Some time ago, in the Kasumi supermarket, I stumbled over a basket full of sweets called “caplico”. I don’t know why, but I got curious to try it. It looked like an icecream, yet it was at the open. The package was printed with a cute character, which I didn’t recognise, but which looked familiar.
The “giant caplico” turned out to be airy chocolate (i.e. chocoloate with lots of holes in it), placed on a cone-shaped ice-cream waffle. It looked like a icecone, but was made of chocolate. Actually there are two layers of chocolate, a light violet colored layer outside, and darker chocolate inside. The taste is advertised as blueberry yoghurt (ブルーベリーヨーグルト), and indeed, the chocolate has slight blueberry taste (without being overly intense). The cone was dry and rather tasteless, but appropriate for the mildly flavored chocolate.
I was very curious about the character. After some trial and error (I did not get that the circle is actually an “ウ“), I could decipher the kana below the figure, it is 妖怪ウォッチ(“Yo-kai watch”), a video game series which has also manga and anime offshoots. I read an article some time ago that it is very popular among kids in Japan, maybe even dethroning Pokemon in popularity. Therefore, it makes sense to use it on sweets packaging aimed for kids.
The character on the package is ガブニャン (gabunyan, ガブ means “bite”, ニャン is an onomatopea for “cat”). There is a short description of this character on the yo-kai list on wikipedia, apparently it is a vampire cat (if it likes blueberries is not described…). I think I saw similar characters on other sweets packaging, so no wonder it looked familiar.
Caplico is made by the company Ezaki Glico. If you have been in a Japanese convenience store or supermarket, you certainly have seen “Pocky” or “Pretz”, they are also produced by Glico. And if you went to the Dotonbori in Osaka, you might have taken a picture of the huge advertising screen of the glico runner.
This was a fun post. Buying some sweet, I learned something about a popular video game (Yo-kai watch) and found out about the company behind the Glico runner and the notorious Pocky sweets.
Have you eaten Caplico before? What about Pretz? Do you know Yo-kai watch?