Dagashi Kashi Season 2 Snack Buying Guide



  • @pleco_breeder Hey! How's it going? No worries, I totally understand. I was referencing your find from earlier in the year about Hajime Owari's name being a pun and a contradiction. Taking that as inspiration, I figured out that there were several more pun names in Dagashi Kashi. Lol

    Also, a tip for anyone having loading issues with the pictures. Just start at the top of one of the episode entries, and then slowly let it load, scrolling down with the arrow keys or your up and down arrow buttons on the scroll bar. This will make the page load smoother as you proceed down the page.

    Hope everyone enjoys this week's entry, located at the bottom of page 1.



  • Hey, everyone! Check out this extra bonus video!

    It is an NHK World News documentary all about convenience stores in Japan. What a fitting subject for this week's episode too! These Begin Japanology documentaries by NHK are really fun and interesting. I highly recommend them if you want to see a first-hand look at what it is all about. Enjoy!

    Youtube: Begin Japanology - Convenience Stores

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  • Heads up to any potential users of JBOX.com. Their site is experiencing some issues with payments, so it is advised at this time to use their sister site, JLIST.com. They have the same selection and I can confirm that the payment option is working much better on JList at this time. Just a heads up! I will be updating all of the links to include JLIST links as well. Thanks for reading, see you this week for the snack guide! I've got a surprise!



  • Coming very soon to a Snack Buying Guide near you...
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    Episode 19 - Hajime Owari, Chocoball, and...

    Part 1

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    Welcome back to the Dagashi Kashi Season 2 Snack Buying Guide!! Each week, we recap the episodes and dive into the history of dagashi. Find out where you can buy dagashi online, and learn more about Japanese cuisine and culture.

    This week's episode is all about the new character, Hajime Owari. Who is she and what is she all about? Coconuts gets a first-hand experience with her manic moods and her ditsy nature. Hajime needs something from Coconuts, but can he deliver? And if he does, what will it cost him? Hajime has a shoddy track record, and she may be more trouble than she's worth. Coconuts continues to move forward, despite the void left by Hotaru. With the help of his friends, and a sleeper agent named Hajime, Coconuts plans to bring Shikada Dagashi to prosperity once again. The Battle of Shikada Dagashi vs. Towns Mart rages on!

    This episode begins with Coconuts reading a sign that his father Yō had Coconuts put on the outside of the dagashi shop. Apparently, his dad feels that they need an extra worker to help run the shop while Coconuts is away at school. According to one source I read, Kokonotsu is in his freshman year of high school, making him around 15 or 16-years-old. So, while Coconuts is off at high school learning, there is no one to run the shop, because, heaven forbid, Yo actually try to run his own shop. Lol Why is he always MIA when the shop needs him? Oh, that's right, he's still in the hospital.

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    The sign says that they need part time work urgently, meaning they need someone right away who doesn’t mind only staying for a short period of time. Hey, I think I might know a character like that… hmm… The wanted ad also notes that no experience is required, which is pretty funny. I guess they’ll take just about anyone these days. Coconuts complains that he isn’t even sure that they can afford to hire a new employee.

    Just as he is pondering these thoughts, a woman in fancy business attire walks up to the door. She is none other than Hajime Owari, the “shy” girl from the job magazine that Yutaka Beni told Coconuts about last episode, when he offered Coconuts a job. Now, with more context with what happens next, I understand why she was walking around with a suitcase outside Shikada Dagashi last episode. She was out of a job and had nowhere to live, so she was looking around and finally found Shikada Dagashi, collapsing from her exhaustion. It could also be that she just tripped. Haha Either way, Hajime is here for a job, and a place to crash while she does said job. AS she walks up the door, Coconuts stands with his back turned, oblivious.

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    Now, let’s stop a moment just to talk about the newest cast member to Dagashi Kashi. Caitlin Glass joins the show as the frazzled part-timer, Hajime Owari. She is a perfect fit for the role and brought a lot of fun and humor to the character. Based on the character’s appearance, I had thought I might not like her, but the voice work alone made me really like the character a lot. She is a fun new addition to the group, and I can’t wait to see them all start interacting together. Kyle Phillips, the director of Dagashi Kashi 2, added a fun behind the scenes video of Caitlin Glass voicing some scenes as Hajime Owari. Check it out below!

    Twitter - Behind the Scenes Video with Caitlin Glass

    On a side note, they have a sweet Dagashi poster on the back wall that I totally want for myself!

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    As Hajime rolls on in with her suitcase, she says, “Excuse me.” Coconuts turns around and is shocked to see Hajime bowing before him, as if he was some sort of revered elder.

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    Hajime’s asks, still bowing, “What’s up? Are you the manager?”

    Coconuts stammers, “Huh… wuh…”

    “Please, I’m begging you to let me work here!”

    Coconuts only wonders, “Who are you?”

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    We return from the opening credits to find Coconuts staring at Hajime’s resume. It notes that Hajime dropped out of college without getting her degree. Hajime laughs uncomfortably as she admits as much. Coconuts asks Hajime why she doesn’t get a better job than as an employee at a dagashi shop.

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    Coconuts wonders why they had to do the interview that night but says that he can’t complain about getting to talk to a cute college girl. As he ogles her legs, Hajime begins to sweat, appearing very nervous. She laughs again, trying to cover up her discomfort.

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    Coconuts mentions that the last job entry, which she started in November and ended in November, was rather odd. Hajime says that she almost didn’t even put it, because she had been working at the convenience store across the street. Coconuts can’t believe that she could quit from a job that has only existed for such a short time. Hajime corrects him, saying that she didn’t exactly quit per say, but more like she was fired. They handed back her resume, and that was that, and now, here she was to present the same resume to Coconuts.

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    Coconuts looks down at the reused-resume, noticing that it still has comments about Hajime, written in red ink by one of the Towns Mart staff members. My guess is that Yutaka Beni wrote that, seems like something he would do. Haha The fact that she wouldn’t print out a new resume horrifies Coconuts, who literally turns to stone (maybe figuratively).

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    The camera pans upwards, and we get a good shot of Hajime Owari, as she laughs, a guilty look upon her face. She says that she didn’t get along well with her co-workers. Hajime adds, “Awkward.”

    Coconuts finally puts the pieces of the puzzle together and remembers that her picture is in the job magazine that Yutaka Beni gave to him earlier. He runs across the room and snatches it up, flipping to the page for Towns Mart. Looking at the picture, Coconuts points out Hajime and her aloof expression.

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    Coconuts accuses Hajime of being the girl that Yutaka had called shy, but Hajime defends herself, claiming that it wasn’t entirely her fault. The Kashigahama branch manager, Yutaka, gave all of his employees funny nicknames, because “teammates use nicknames with each other!” The first name Yutaka gives out is to Mikimoto, who becomes “Miki.” Miki cheers with delight at her new moniker. Next up is Motoki, who is given the nickname “Moku.” After that, Itagaki becomes “Itagi,” and, last but not least, Hajime Owari is given the nickname “four-eyes.” Wait, what? Lol Hajime is the only one that didn’t get a nickname based on her name. She even calls him out on that too. Like, maybe he could have given her something like “Haji” or “Hami,” or even “Jime” or “Wari.” The list of options is practically endless. Instead, Yutaka went with the slightly offensive four-eyes, which was an odd choice if he really wasn’t trying to be an ass. Who knows what he was thinking at that moment. This also irritates Coconuts, who shouts about how he should have given her a nickname closer to her real name, like the other employees.

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    Then, cooling down a bit, Coconuts adds that four-eyes is a bit of an outdated term anyway.

    “Yeah,” Hajime agrees, “it’s not like my glasses stand out. Right?”

    Coconuts isn’t so sure about that, and says, “Well, maybe a little. Anyway, that’s not really the point here.”

    “So, you basically got fired for not fitting it,” Coconuts offers naively. Oh, Coconuts, if only that were the case.

    “Actually,” Hajime replies, “that had nothing to do with it. If you must know the truth, I was late okaaay?”

    “That’s it? Hey, it happens,” Coconuts comments.

    “Oh, it happened alright. Every single day.” In utter disbelief, Coconuts utters, “What? That often…” We see an epic shot of Coconuts face as he contemplates what Hajime just revealed. Then Hajime says one of my favorite lines, “Yeah, uh, see… gettin up early is hella hard.”

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    Realizing that she just told her new potential employer that it was hard for her to get up in the morning, she backtracks quickly, stumbling backwards and knocking over the stool she was sitting on. She starts flailing about, and takes three large jumps backwards, promising to show up on time. Hajime finishes her flourish by slamming herself against the doors, begging him to let her keep the job because she desperately needs the money.

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    Coconuts thinks that she is a lunatic, so he tries to get rid of her by saying that they’ll call her in the next week or so about the position. However, Hajime is on to him, and sprints back and grabs hold of his sweatshirt. Hajime is definitely not helping her case. Lol Also, she apparently doesn’t even have a cell phone, so there would be no way for Coconuts to contact her anyway. She starts sobbing like a baby, tears streaming off her face. Hajime says that she can’t afford her rent right now, and can’t take be rejected by another employer. As the tears continue to flow, she wails, “So, I’m practically a hobo. This crappy minimum wage job is my last hope.”

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    Coconuts is offended, saying, “You’re calling us crappy?” Haha Hajime is very aloof, not even realizing that she is insulting the on person whose approval she needs most. Coconuts just looks like he is going to lose his mind if this crazy chick doesn’t get out of his face. Hajime asks again if he is the manager, and he concedes that, technically, no, he is not the manager. He says that he is only 15 and that he helps his father run the shop, but that his dad recently hurt himself and was staying for a prolonged period of time at the hospital.

    This gives Hajime a terrible, sure to go wrong, bad idea that she immediately thrusts upon Coconuts. Slamming her hands into the table, she asks if that means he as a spare room then? Bowing once again, though not as low this time, Hajime screams at the top of her lungs, “Pleeease, let me live here and work in your shoooop!!”

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    Going even further, she says, “Look, if I live where I work, the I could never be late, riiight?!”

    Wow, this girl is persistent! Also, is it kind of weird that a girl in college wants to move in with a boy in high school who is only 15? I know Hajime is desperate and all, but that might be a little bit too much. I wonder what Yō is going to think when he returns to find a strange girl living in his spare room.

    Hajime goes on about how her wages could be used to go to her rent, so that she would be paying out of pocket. That way, there is no risk for Coconuts to let her stay, and he gets the labor that he needs at a discounted price, essentially. Coconuts wonders if it might all be some sort of trap, and he asks her if it might be. Her reply is simply to laugh, as if to say, “Me, joking? No way!” Coconuts spouted that Hajime is serious. A stray dog howls somewhere outside in the moonlit night, as Hajime just says, “See ya in the morning, boss.” Lol Okay, I guess she just got hired? That was all rather strange.

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    And so…
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    We cut to the morning, and Coconuts comes out into the main area of the dagashi shop from his bedroom, and finds Hajime sleeping on the floor of the shop. Coconuts is perplexed and can’t figure out why she wouldn’t just sleep in the spare room she was renting.

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    Hajime uses the excuse that she already told him she had a tardy problem, so that if she slept in the shop, she’d at least be early for the first day. Hajime finds this amusing, but Coconuts gets seriously annoyed. He says that he expects her to be on time every day, not just the first one. He also scolds her for sleeping in the shop.

    Hajime says, “Yes, boss.” Turning to look at the clock, Hajime freaks out, and says, “Six o’clock? In the evening!” Coconuts just looks at her like she’s an idiot, and says, “No… the morning.” So, Hajime thought she had somehow slept all day and that it was now the evening. It is at this point in time that Coconut’s begins to wonder if he made the right decision about hiring Hajime Owari.

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    Coconuts explains that he got up extra early so that he could show Hajime what to do before he left for school. Hajime just nods knowingly, a smug smile upon her face. “Ah, you’re a student.” Then in a funny voice, she adds, “Memories. Am I right?” Coconuts chides her terrible impression of an old man. Hajime continues her speech of craziness by asking if there is a girl that Coconuts likes.

    “Aaah, tell your good friend, Hajime.” When did they become such good friends? I will say that Hajime’s character is very animated, and by that, I mean that she is always moving around, spinning, jumping and running. It is quite entertaining to watch. Haha

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    Coconuts shifts Hajime’s focus away from his love-life, and on to the matter at hand: dagashi. He directs her to a nearby shelf, where dagashi and models are on display. Coconuts says that as part of her new responsibilities at Shikada Dagashi, Hajime will need to be able to stock the various products in their proper places on the shelves. He says that Hajime will need to stock Umaibō and Maken Gummy. Crossing to the other side of the store, Coconuts tells her to stock the Oyatsu Calpas and the Dice Caramel.

    Coconuts mentions several different dagashi, including a brand new one not featured on this snack guide before. Let's start with the usual suspects before we take on the newcomer. In fact, let's start with one of the most iconic dagashi in existence, the Umaibō, also known as "delicious stick."

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    According to Japan-Talk.com, Umaibō are "a brand of individually wrapped corn puffs that come in dozens of flavors including sweet flavors such as caramel and sayour flavors such as takoyaki. The price of an umaibo often makes it the least expensive item in an entire convenience store, historically they were usually 10 yen. The product is represented by a mascot called Umaemo whose name is a pun of the popular cartoon character Doraemon. The two characters bear much resemblance to each other."

    There are many flavors still sold today, including Mentai, Corn Potage, Natto, Cheese, Teriyaki Burger, Salami, Vegetable Salad, Chicken Curry, Tonkatsu Sauce, Shrimp and Mayonnaise, Takoyaki, Chocolate, Beef Tongue, Pizza and Sugar Rusk. Some specialized flavors are only available in certain regions, such as Monja in Tokyo, Honey in Shizuoka, Mentaiko in Kyūshū, Okonomiyaki in Kansai and Kiritanpo in Akita. Over the years, some flavors have been discontinued, including Caramel Candy, Cocoa, Kabayaki, Saki-ika, Choikara Panchi, Crab Chanko, Omuraisu, Gyoza, Chocolate Peanut, Crab Dumpling, Mame-rikan (Bean-American), Umeboshi Riceball, Red Lobster, American Hot Dog, Marine Beef and Curry.

    The mascot for Umaibō is a cute little kitty cat named Umaemon, who is a parody of popular kids anime character, Doraemon.

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    Just introduced in January of 2018, Umaemon got a new little sister character by the name of Umami-chan. She is a cute, silver haired girl who wears bright colored clothes and a fun Umaibō hat! Check out here Twitter page to follow all of her adventures! (Umami-chan Twitter) She has been taking over the internet recently, even releasing two animated music videos and a slew of music singles. Blowing up social media, Umami-chan has become a phenomenon! She even recently posed in a picture with none other than Miss Hotaru Shidare herself! So, that's where Hotaru has been! Helping to launch Umami's new line of special Umaibō flavors! Check out their photo shoot below, where they switched outfits to show their mutual support!

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    These two snack loving gals were spotted celebrating the new Umaibō flavors together with a feast of dagashi. Check out these exclusive shots straight from the red carpet!

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    The funnest part is trying the different flavors and comparing! Here are some options for you to look through:

    Umami has several music videos out, both live action and animated. Here are the animated videos. Check out her channel for the rest of the videos.

    Umy Story - by Umami-chan

    Ummay name is Umami-chan - by Umami-chan

    The next dagashi snack that Coconuts told Hajime to stock was the Maken Gummy.

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    Based on Janken, the Japanese equivalent to Rock-Paper-Scissors, the Maken Gummy is a stretchy gummy hand in one of three hand shapes. Check out this article link to learn more about the game of Janken: Janken (Rock, Paper, Scissors), Japan’s Most Popular Game. This chewy candy is a cola flavor that gives you that dark cola taste.

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    This one is available on many different websites, such as:

    The third dagashi is the last of the familiar ones, and it is one called Dice Caramel. It was just a few weeks ago that we explored the history of the Dice Caramel, now called the Hokkaido Dice Caramel. Now it's a regional treat specific to Hokkaido, this dagashi is a classic and is very popular. Get these dagashi utilizing a brand-new recipe!

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    Here are some great links where you can purchase the Hokkaido Dice Caramel:



  • Episode 19 - Part 2

    Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for, the new dagashi that Coconuts mentions to Hajime. I hadn't heard of this one before, and I couldn't figure out what the voice actor was saying, even after several listens. So, I hopped on over to Crunchyroll to see what the subtitle version said. True enough, the subs were easy to find and read, and I promptly obtained the name of the unknown dagashi snack. Presenting the newest addition to the Snack Buying Guide!

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    The website Usagikun states that Oyatsu Calpas is a "delicious slightly sweet small sticks of pork and chicken." Think of these as the Japanese version of the Slim Jim. A quick, savory snack that is cheap and easy to consume. Called Oyatsu Calpas in the show, it is also possible that a more accurate name is Oyatsu Karupas. It is listed online in various locations under both names. If you have a hankering for some Japanese meat, then follow these links to your heart's desire:

    Getting back to Dagashi Kashi, we see that Hajime says that his instructions make sense, but that there are just sooo many types of dagashi. She isn’t wrong about that either. There are hundreds of different kinds of dagashi, each one more wild than the last. We see an image of Hajime and Coconuts, as all manner of dagashi cascade down onto their heads. Let’s see here, how many of these dagashi can I name just off the top of my head without looking it up? I’ll give it a shot! Go ahead and play along at home too! It’s fun for the whole family!

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    Starting on the upper left, I see a Dice Caramel next to a Yatta Men mini ramen. That red disk is a Sakura Daikon, a type of vinegar pickled Daikon radish. Below that at the bottom, in the green bag with a frog on it, is Cabbage Taro. Starting in the middle, we’ve got a Yogurette box, and below that is a Seven Neon pixie-stick-style candy. Behind Coconuts’ shoulder are the Home Run Ice Cream Bar and a pack of Cocoa Cigarettes by the Orion Star Company. Top right, we have returning dagashi from season 1, the Boob Ice Cream, followed by the Morocco yogurt, a Kururubou Jelly stick, a pack of Glico Caramels with a runner on the front, a bin ramune bottle, a Big Katsu bar and the king of dagashi, the Umaibo!! Phew, that was a mouthful! I need to catch my breath now! I think I got all but a few of the snacks on that picture off the top of my head, so that’s pretty good! Maybe I should start up my own dagashi store. Now, there’s an idea!

    Hajime says confesses that she has only ever been in a dagashi shop once or twice in her entire life, and that was only when she was a kid. Coconuts is once again horrified, asking her, “What kind of monster are you?" Hajime tries to defend herself with, “I’m not a monster.”

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    Hajime’s excuse involves her not being the only one out there who doesn’t know this stuff very well. Although, she herself admits that there are also probably people out there who have more experience than she does at dagashi. Coconuts asks if that means she hasn’t eaten very much dagashi in her life, to which she ignorantly replies, “I guess not.” Instantly, Hajime realizes her mistake, but it is already too late. Just as Hajime made a mistake, Coconuts is beginning to wonder if he didn’t make a mistake himself. He thinks to himself, “Was hiring her really the right decision?”

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    In a hasty ploy to regain some face, Hajime quickly comes up with a story about how she loves dagashi after all. In fact, she has spotted one of her favorites earlier, one that she “used to buy all the time.” Grabbing a box of candy off the shelf, she holds it triumphantly into the air. Hajime calls out its name as she gleefully displays the dagashi for Coconuts.

    Coconuts gets all excited upon seeing that snack, and announces, “Ah, yes! Chocoball! Like its names suggests, it’s a ball-shaped, chocolate snack! It’s one of the biggest players in dagashi. A huge selling point is its variety of flavors, including caramel, strawberry and, of course, peanut!”

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    Chocoball is an interesting dagashi and it was a blast to find out more! Let's take a look at this unique dagashi chocolate, and see where it all got started. This snack, not to be confused with Japanese porn star Chocoball Mukai, is a small, chocolate ball that is filled with things like peanuts, caramel and strawberries. Now, we will take a look at the Morinaga company's storied history, as provided by the company directly.

    The history of Chocoball dates back to the Meiji/Taisho Eras. In 1899, "Taichiro Morinaga returns to Japan from the United States and establishes Morinaga’s Western Confectionery Shop."

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    Pioneers of Western Confectionary in Japan
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    "In 1899, Taichiro Morinaga—the founder of Morinaga & Co., Ltd.—returned to Japan from the United States with an enormous dream in his heart of spreading Western confectionaries throughout Japan. He began manufacturing Western confectionaries in a tiny factory only 2 tsubo (6.6 m2) in size, and eventually, after he joined forces with a partner, Hanzaburo Matsuzaki, the business expanded in leaps and bounds—and Morinaga’s dream became reality."

    In 1905, the company's logo is chosen. "The Company registers the Angel Mark, which symbolizes the corporate philosophy of 'Delicious, Fun, and Healthy.'"

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    In 1912, "the Company becomes Morinaga & Co., Ltd." In 1918, "Morinaga begins selling domestically produced milk chocolate, becoming the first bean-to-bar manufacturer of chocolate." It is interesting to note that, "In an era when chocolate was still an imported luxury item, far out of the reach of ordinary citizens, Taichiro imported the latest production equipment and invited technicians from overseas to Japan to launch the first bean-to-bar production of chocolate from cacao beans. Sales of domestically produced milk chocolate began in 1918."

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    During the Show Era, in 1960, the predecessor of the Chocoball is invented. Seven years later in 1967, Chocoballs are created, and the first appearance of the Kyoro-chan character. In 1969, the flavors are expanded and the packaging redesigned to have a flap that could open to dispense chocolate pieces. In 1967, the company starts packing goodies in with their Chocoball candies. First they add manga mini-books and small toys, and in 1969, they launch "Toy carnage," which is all about toys.

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    Ironically, it was until the Heisei Era, in 1991, "the name of 'Kyoro-chan' is printed on the package for the first time, and it becomes the opportunity to be widely known to the world."

    "The Kyoro-chan Club is started in 1995, and it distributes mascot toys and figures to club members. Throughout the years, the toy line expands and grows in popularity."

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    "Kyoro who grew into a nationally popular character completely in the 1990 's. He appeared in many commercials in the form of clay animation and costume. After 1996, the CM of Kyoro created by CG was also frequently broadcast and became a hot topic."

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    In 1999, "Morinaga celebrates its 100th anniversary." From 1999 to 2000, Kyoro becomes an animated character in his own anime series.

    'Kyoro was even the star of his own video game. "When becoming Kyoro-chan member, a fun website opens where you can freely play around in Kyoro-chan Town."

    "Various flavored chocolate balls such as bananas, biscuits, cafe au lait, sweet corn, milk, milk pudding, yoghurt have been released since 2000. According to the flavor, various Kyoro appeared and decorated the package fun!"

    "In 2005, the 150 yen series appeared for adults with both price and size!
    Flavors that were slightly different from usual chocolate balls were released one after another. The package also became an adult-like design."

    As we saw in the show, Hajime wanted a whole tin full of Chocoball toys. They actually exist, although, according to the Morinaga website, "book type, Kyoro-chan type, etc. appeared in a form that is not caught by traditional kumume. In 2007, Kanjume for adults appeared for the first time in WEB only, and in 2008, 'Memory Can' limited to 600 appeared as the second adult Kazume, and it gained popularity!"

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    In 2010, "five kinds of package designs that Kyoro's expression is cute. After that, packages are always deployed in 5 types."
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    In 2013, "product information 'Kyoro chan' Chocolate ball mascot character, peanut kyoro, caramel kyoro, and strawberry kyoro's trio unit 'Kyoro chan' finally debuted in March 2013, after 46 years since the birth of Choco Ball! It appeared for the first time as a chocolate ball package as Kyoro chan. I expect Kyoro's activities from now on!"

    In more recent years, the toy filled canisters have become more popular again, and have seen a bit of a resurgence.

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    Kyoro-chan Dream Fantasy Theater was a live-production in honor of the Chocoball's 45th Anniversary that occurred in 2012. In 2013, Kyoro became the host of a game show.

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    The long and storied history of Chocoball spans decades, and is an ever-changing tapestry of trial and error. The popularity of the dagashi snack, as well as its mascot, Kyoro, are continuing to rise. The future of Chocoball looks very bright indeed!

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    Chocoball comes in a variety of flavors that makes it a lot of fun to try. They are yummy and easy to eat, and can be found at any of the following locations:

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    Coconuts is quite impressed that the Chocoball is the one that caught Hajime’s eye, and this makes him think very highly of her suddenly. When he tells her this, Hajime laughs goofily, and gives a nonchalant, “Yay,” a huge smile plastered on her face.

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    Aaaand, then she screwed it up… way to go dum dum!

    Even though she had already won his adoration and respect, she decides to take it one step further, and add that actually, more than the chocolate itself, Hajime loved the toys that came inside the Chocoball more. To a dagashi seller, this sentiment is blasphemy! The candy is king! Toys, naught but mere subjects! Again, Coconuts cannot believe this girl, and questions whether hiring her was a wise decision, given the circumstances. How many mistakes was she going to make? And how much was it going to cost?

    We cut to Hajime’s inner monologue, as she struggles to figure out what to do next. She realizes that she made another mistake, and that she didn’t even take her new employer’s position into consideration when she made all those comments. Of course, a dagashi shop owner would want the employee’s to be more interested in snacks than in toys. Hajime is walking up staircase in hell, wallowing in her self-destruction, when the glass staircase shatters, plunging her into the fiery depths. Hajime screams that she doesn’t want to be fired from yet another job again. This time, she wants to make it work!

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  • Episode 19 - Part 3

    Coconuts addresses Hajime as Miss Hajime Owari, and Hajime jumps back and says, “Eek! My full name.” To everyone’s surprise, Coconuts actually agrees with Hajime. He says that he even has four of the tickets used to get the Chocoball prizes. Hajime is so relieved, and says that he scared her there for a second.

    Thinking about all those tickets reminds Hajime that one time at a shop, while she was waiting there for a job interview nearby, she saw a whole canister full of Chocoball toys for sale. The canister was in the shape of the Chocoball bird. She felt like it was cheating to just buy the toys outright, and so she spent the entire day pacing outside the shop, debating if she should buy the Chocoball canister. Ultimately, Hajime waited until the store closed and never came to a decision, so she never got the toys. She also ended up waiting so long that she missed her interview entirely. Needless to say, she did not get that job.

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    Hajime complains about missing out on the toys, and Coconuts points out that she should probably be more concerned with the fact the she didn’t get the job. However, Hajime says that it is okay that she didn’t get that job, because now she gets to work there instead. “So, it had a happy ending." As she smiles at Coconuts, he blushes, and says, “Well, as long as your happy I guess.”

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    Watch this Chocoball commercial compilation on Youtube. It is simultaneously the most hilarious and disturbing thing I’ve seen, as well as what I must imagine an ACID or LSD trip would be like, if it involved a crazy bird by the name of Kyuro. Lol

    Youtube - Chocoball Commercial Compilation

    Hajime points out that the cute little bird on the packaging, Kyoro-chan, is an interesting piece of artwork. Although the bird is looking to the side, you can still see both of its eyes. It is like a flounder fish in that sense. Hajime says that this style is called cubism in the art world. “It’s where you combine things from various angles into one picture. It’s a technique started by Picasso. Isn’t that such a fun fact?” We then get a fun cubism version of Coconuts and Hajime. Now that’s some high art! It is interesting to speculate that perhaps Kyoro-chan gets his name as a derivative of cubism.

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    Coconuts is shocked that Hajime knew such an interesting fact about dagashi that he himself didn’t already know. He is taken aback by her impressive use of dagashi knowledge, which had seemed lacking up until that point. Even Hajime knew something that Coconuts did not.

    As the ending song starts to play over the episode, Hajime looks back, quite proud of her accomplishment. As she gloats, Coconuts points out one final dagashi fact. Coconuts says that the mascot for Chocoball wasn’t always Kyoro-chan. “Check it out,” Coconuts says, “originally it was a different anime character.”

    Now, in the anime episode, we never did get to find out who that other anime character mascot was because Hajime interrupts Coconuts. However, thanks to the power of the internet, we get to find out! Think of it as a bonus deleted scene!

    I present to you all the original mascot of the Morinaga Chocoball, not Kyoro-chan the bird, but rather another animal altogether. According to a translation from the official Morinaga website, the candy’s history dates back to 1965, when the original Chocoball was released. At that time, the packaging had on the front a popular anime character from a show called “Space Boy Solan.” The character, a squirrel named Chappy, is some sort of superhero? I dunno, Wikipedia has this to say (It sounds a bit convoluted to me):

    “Dr. Tachibana once designed the highly dangerous antiproton bomb and planned to escape Earth with his wife and children for fear of prosecution. On their way in space, their space ship is almost destroyed and only Dr. Tachibana's children, his son and his daughter, escape. The son is rescued by aliens called the Soran who live on a planet with 15 times the gravity of Earth. They name him Soran after their planet and is turned into a cyborg to save his life. He returns to Earth to search for his sister who escaped, but is yet to be found. He then lives with the archaeologist Dr. Kotsuki and his daughter Mika. and teams up with his pet squirrel, Chappy.”

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    The character’s use as a mascot for Chocoball ended after the anime series concluded on TV. He was then replaced by Kyoro-chan, who has reigned supreme ever since. Kyuro has become so popular, that he has even starred in his own anime series and video games.

    Before Coconuts can answer in the show, however, Hajime says, “Manager, the time.” Coconuts looks at the clock and realizes that he is going to be late for school. He rushes out the front door and is running down the street before you could say “dagashi.” Coconuts yells out, “I gotta go, look after the shop for me!” Hajime replies, “Have a good daaay! Seeeya later!”

    As Hajime waves goodbye to Coconuts, who is running off down the street, Saya stands there watching the scene unfold with bewilderment. Saya doesn’t know how to make sense of what she is seeing, and she just stares in confusion at this new girl in Coconuts’ life.

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    And now, something a bit different.

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    Hotaru's Dagashi Giveaway

    While Coconuts is busy working to bring Shikada Dagashi back to its former glory, Hotaru is not just sittle idly by, doing nothing at all. In fact, she is already hard at work at her father's candy corporation, the Shidare Company. Hotaru is working on a batch of new dagashi candies, some of the latest and greatest combined with the classics. However, Hotaru cannot finish her work alone. She needs your help! Hotaru is recruiting lab assistants to help her taste test her new creations. The gig doesn't pay, I'm afraid, but you will be compensated with dagashi! What could be better than that! The only thing that is required is to enter into Hotaru's Dagashi Giveaway! Follow Hotaru's instructions below to enter! Make sure to follow the rules and enter in by 4 P.M. EST on Monday, March 26, 2018. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be announced on the Snack Buying Guide on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. See below for details.

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    "Listen up, snack warriors! Just like with all great dagashi, this giveaway gives you the chance to win free candy! All you have to do is help spread the word about the Dagashi Kashi Season 2 Snack Buying Guide. Take to Twitter and make a post promoting the Snack Buying Guide by using the two hashtags #DagashiKashi #SnackBuyingGuide No need to mention the contest, just something to bring attention to the Snack Buying Guide. Feel free to mention my expansion into other anime, or focus on Dagashi Kashi. Any messages that are posted using the two hashtags by 4:00 P.M. EST on Monday, March 26, 2018. You can only vote once, so only post once. After the entries have been collected, the winners will be randomly selected. Once winners are announced, I will get in contact with said winners and the items will be shipped directly from the vendor in Japan to your doorstep. There are a variety of prizes up for grabs, so make sure to enter before the deadline. Do you have what it takes to become a dagashi warrior? Let the Hokkaido Dice Caramel roll! Keep reading to find out what you're trying to win!

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    Prizes:

    10 Runners-Up Winners
    Straight from Japan, comes the 3rd place, runners-up prize: A pack of 9 assorted dagashi candies. Awarded to 10 random participants.

    Pack of 9 dagashi
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    3 2nd Prize Winners
    Straight from Japan, comes the 2nd place prize: A pack of 30 assorted dagashi candies. Awarded to 3 random participants.

    Pack of 30 dagashi
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    1 Grand Prize Winner
    Straight from Japan, comes the 1st place, Grand Prize: A pack of 45 assorted dagashi candies. Awarded to 1 random participant.

    Pack of 45 dagashi
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    "Good luck, snack warriors!"
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    Dagashi Classics
    The classic dagashi snack we will take at this week is a powdery messy treat called Kinako Bou, or Kinakobo.

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    Oyatsu Cafe sates that "If you ever walk into a local Japanese candy store, you are sure to find a box of Kinakobo on the counter. This classic candy is made from Kinako powder – sweet roasted soybean. It is mixed with sugar and syrup, then rolled into a stick. It may be small, but has a spectacular taste and has more health benefits than most candies."

    You can pick this item up on this ebay link, or in bulk at this A-Janaika Japan link.

    Also available as part of the Dagashi Sampler Set 1, from either JLIST or JBOX.

    You can also use Kinako powder to enhance your dessert creations. You can get Kinako powder at a few different locations:

    Japan-Talk.com says that "sugar didn't arrive in Japan until the 16th century and wasn't widely available until the late 19th century. Before sugar, there was kinako. Kinako is roasted soybean flour that has a sweet taste and powdery texture. It's a common ingredient and topping for Japanese desserts. Kinako isn't as sweet as refined sugar. As a result many kinako desserts have a pleasantly mild sweetness. Common kinako desserts include:"

    Kinako Ice Cream
    "Kinako is more than sweet. It also has a unique flavor that's easy to identify. Everyone in Japan knows the taste of kinako. It's like maple syrup, it's a taste that stands out with personality.
    Kinako powder is a good topping for vanilla ice cream."
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    Recipes:

    Kinako Candy
    "Kinako is a common flavor for Japanese candy and chocolate."
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    Retailers:

    Recipes:

    Mochi
    "Mochi are a Japanese rice cake made by pounding a sticky type of Japanese rice known as mochiko with a mallet. Mochi are made at home or purchased in blocks from supermarkets. It's popular to toast mochi and serve with kinako on top."
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    Recipes:

    Botamochi
    "Botamochi are a lumpy ball of sweet rice and anko. They are occationally rolled in kinako to make them look smooth and appealing."
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    Recipes:

    Dango
    "Dango are mochi-like dumplings that often come served on a stick. Kinako is a common dango topping."
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    Recipes:

    Daifuku
    "Daifuku are pockets of mochi with a sweet filling inside. The mochi on the outside is quite sticky. Daifuku are often dusted with corn starch or confectioners sugar to make them easier to eat. In other cases, they are dusted with kinako powder for flavor."
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    Recipes:

    Kuzumochi
    "A jelly made from the starch of Japanese Arrowroot, a flowering plant that's considered a weed in many countries. Kuzumochi has a light texture and little taste. Another dessert that's almost always served with kinako on top."
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    Recipes:

    Shaved Ice
    "Kinako is an old fashioned topping for shaved ice. This dessert peaked in popularity around 100 years ago but can still be found at old cafes."
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    Recipes:

    Warabimochi
    "Warabimochi is a jelly made from ferns (bracken starch). It has only a slight taste on its own. Warabimochi is typically served buried in a mountain of kinako."
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    Recipes:

    Dagashi Links & Articles
    Just a few links to share this week. A cute Onigiri kit that lets you create adorable rice penguins. Check the link here: JLIST

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    Looking for a costume for next Halloween? Or maybe you need that next new cosplay idea? Check out this Hotaru Shidare dress on Amazon.com:
    Dagashi Kashi Cosplay

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    Thus, concludes another episode of Dagashi Kashi. We were formally introduced to the oblivious Hajime Owari, the broke girl who needs a job and a place to live. With Hotaru out of the picture, Coconuts might end up falling for Hajime. After all, she is a cute, older woman who has come to town, and she is living in the same house. A college dropout, Hajime is looking for a stable position. Unfortunately for her, Hajime isn’t the easiest person to get along with, and she often gets fired from her jobs. With a rough start to the first day, will Hajime be able to make it in the fast-paced world of dagashi? Towards the end of their morning visit, however, Hajime seems to exhibit a wide breadth of knowledge, and even impresses Coconuts. They might begin to bond of their friendship, and it could grow to be more than that it time.

    While they work through this, Coconuts and Hajime are about to get very close. Do I sense a love triangle forming? Hotaru, Saya and now Hajime. Next episode looks to give us a showdown between Hajime and Saya, and I for one cannot wait to see how things play out. Let’s go #TeamSaya (hey, what can I say? Hotaru isn’t even here Lol) Hajime better watch out for Saya’s mean streak if she wants to stay in Kashigahama. Where will the story go from here? Now that Coconuts has Hajime to run the store, will he finally leave his small town to pursure his mangaka dreams? And what does that mean for the rest of Coconuts’ friends? Join us next week to check back in at Shikada Dagashi, as we visit our favorite candy store and hang out with all of our friends at the dagashi shop.

    Don't forget to enter into Hotaru's Dagashi Giveaway by 4:00 P.M. EST on Monday, March 26, 2018, to be eligible for the sweepstakes. Check back in two weeks to find out the winners! As always, thanks for joining me, and I hope you have a life filled with snacks and adventure! Semper in presenti!

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  • UPDATE:

    Prize winners can now pick up their winnings at any nearby Amazon Locker location using a code provided by me. I've also updated the lower tear prize. It now has fewer winners, but those who do win get more candy! Also, sorry for the delay on the snack guide! I forgot to plan my writing around Funimation's scheduled maintenance last night. It will be up later tonight! Thanks!

    Amazon Locker Locations

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    Hotaru's Dagashi Giveaway

    While Coconuts is busy working to bring Shikada Dagashi back to its former glory, Hotaru is not just sittle idly by, doing nothing at all. In fact, she is already hard at work at her father's candy corporation, the Shidare Company. Hotaru is working on a batch of new dagashi candies, some of the latest and greatest combined with the classics. However, Hotaru cannot finish her work alone. She needs your help! Hotaru is recruiting lab assistants to help her taste test her new creations. The gig doesn't pay, I'm afraid, but you will be compensated with dagashi! What could be better than that! The only thing that is required is to enter into Hotaru's Dagashi Giveaway! Follow Hotaru's instructions below to enter! Make sure to follow the rules and enter in by 4 P.M. EST on Monday, March 26, 2018. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be announced on the Snack Buying Guide on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. See below for details.

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    "Listen up, snack warriors! Just like with all great dagashi, this giveaway gives you the chance to win free candy! All you have to do is help spread the word about the Dagashi Kashi Season 2 Snack Buying Guide. Take to Twitter and make a post promoting the Snack Buying Guide by using the two hashtags #DagashiKashi #SnackBuyingGuide Write a post on Twitter, something to bring attention to the Snack Buying Guide or Hotaru's Dagashi Giveaway. Feel free to mention my expansion into other anime, or focus on Dagashi Kashi. Any messages that are posted using the two hashtags by 4:00 P.M. EST on Monday, March 26, 2018. You can only vote once, so only post once. After the entries have been collected, the winners will be randomly selected. Once winners are announced, I will get in contact with said winners and the items will be shipped directly from the vendor in Japan to your doorstep. There are a variety of prizes up for grabs, so make sure to enter before the deadline. Do you have what it takes to become a dagashi warrior? Let the Hokkaido Dice Caramel roll! Keep reading to find out what you're trying to win!

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    Prizes:
    3 Runners-Up Winners

    Straight from Japan, comes the 3rd place, runners-up prize: A pack of 22 assorted dagashi candies. Awarded to 3 random participants.

    Pack of 22 dagashi
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    2 2nd Prize Winners
    Straight from Japan, comes the 2nd place prize: A pack of 30 assorted dagashi candies. Awarded to 2 random participants.

    Pack of 30 dagashi
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    1 Grand Prize Winner
    Straight from Japan, comes the 1st place, Grand Prize: A pack of 45 assorted dagashi candies. Awarded to 1 random participant.

    Pack of 45 dagashi
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    "Good luck, snack warriors!"
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  • Episode 20 - Roll Candy, High Eight Chocolate, and...

    Part 1

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    Here we go again for another week, as the saga of Kokonotsu continues. Episode 20 brings two characters to the forefront, pushing all the rest to the background. We finally get the meeting between Saya and Hajime, and we see that Saya is not happy with this newcomer. Who is this girl and why is she suddenly living with Coconuts? Things aren't quite what they seem at Shikada Dagashi. Meanwhile, Tō practices being a debt collector, and Coconuts goes to school? With Hajime all alone on her first day, what kind of shenanigans will she get into? Will the dagashi store even be standing when Coconuts returns? Will Hajime even be standing after Saya is done with her? This is the Dagashi Kashi Season 2 Snack Buying Guide! Let's do this!

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    The episode starts out with epic rock music playing as we pick up right where the last episode left off. As Hajime waves goodbye to Coconuts, Saya watches from a distance, her mind racing. “Who the hell was that?” Saya thinks to herself as she broods. Saya stares daggers into Hajime’s back, before Hajime turns around, confused. Thinking that Coconuts has a new girlfriend, Saya gets extremely mad.

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    Saya continues to hold a grudge, as we cut to see Saya in class spacing out, thinking about how made she is about that rando girl at Coconut’s place. The teacher repeats Saya’s name aloud, but she still doesn’t hear. Next, she is in gym, and she cannot get Hajime out of her head. They are playing volleyball, and all of Saya’s teammates watch as she just stands there and lets the ball hit her in the head.

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    Later that day, Saya snaps her pencils in half out of pure rage. Behind Saya is Coconuts and Tō who are laughing and talking. Tō invites Coconuts over to play games, and then asks Saya if she wants to play too. Suddenly, Saya slams her hands into the desk, sending items scattering, and yells at Coconuts and Tō that she can’t because she has after school programs! She storms off down the hall, leaving Coconuts and Tō to wonder just what she means by after school programs.

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    Starting the opening theme song this time, we are given a special treat! Up till now I believe that the OP was left untranslated, at least as far as I noticed, and it is now translated for us to read along in English as the music plays. What fun and cute lyrics too! All about candy, sugar and sweets! What could be better!

    Right when we get back from the intro, Saya goes in hot and ready to fight. She stomps down the street, thinking to herself, “I don’t have time to play games. I need to find out who that hussy was.” Saya calls Hajime a she-devil and concludes that Hajime must be some sort of temptress who is using her womanly charms to seduce the young Coconuts into letting them live together. Saya is furious that some random chick would move in on Saya’s turf and steal her crush.

    We get a glamour shot of Hajime in makeup and lipstick, as carefully chosen dagashi fall behind her, as Saya daydreams about Hajime’s motives. Seriously though, take a look at the dagashi behind her and see if you don’t get a certain “impression,” so to speak.

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    Saya then let’s her imagination run wild, picturing Hajime as a striking seductress, instead of silly and clumsy. Saya thinks that maybe Hajime has already used her feminine whiles to win Coconuts over, and that it might already be too late. Finally, she imagines Coconuts hugging Hajime, with Hajime saying that he can call he mommy. Coconuts utters, “Mommy!” as he clings to her chest. The whole scene is rather odd and ridiculous. Lol But of course, to Saya, it is an all-too-real possibility. Saya believes that she needs to shut that shit down ASAP! Stomping her feet on the ground, Saya tells her brain to shut up, and that it can’t be true.

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    Saya decides she must know for herself and throws open the door to Shikada Dagashi. Shouting at Hajime, she yells, “Hey, you! Can I please come in?!” Saya is shocked when she finds Hajime is fast asleep at the counter instead of watching the store. Saya sidles on over to Hajime, who doesn’t wake up, but instead, continues to snore loudly. Saya looks at her funny and leans over to get a closer look. Saya says excuse me which prompts Hajime to slowly wake up, confused at first.

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    Hajime shoots upwards, shouting, “Hiii! I’m awake!” before falling backwards in her chair. Flailing her arms wildly, she shouts as she falls, hitting the back of her head against the wall. Man, that’s gotta hurt! Poor Hajime! Hajime covers her head with her hands and starts rolling around on the ground. “Owee! My poor noggin…” All the while, Saya just stares at her like she is an insane person.

    However, just as quick as she falls, Hajime is back up again, a bright smile back on her face. She leaps up and says, “Woah! A customer! Hii, welcome!” Then, straightening her glasses, Hajime congratulates herself with a “Nailed it!”

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    At first, Hajime mistakes Saya for a customer, but she quickly realizes that Saya must be one of Coconuts’ friends. Hajime informs Saya that she is working the store while the manager is away at school. Saya is beyond mad at this point, and she is about to lose her cool. How could Coconuts hire some random lady off the street instead of going to Saya and asking her to come help out at the store. She feels hurt and betrayed that she wasn’t the one Coconuts went to for help.

    Saya begins to storm out angrily, when Hajime asks if she wants to buy anything. Saya just says that she wasn’t there for candy. Hajime thinks about why she would be there, concluding that Saya must be at the candy shop to see the manager. Blushing, Hajime asks if Saya is Coconuts’ girlfriend.

    Saya’s attitude changes entirely, and she suddenly loses all signs of anger or irritation. “Who? Me? Him? A couple? No… that’s crazy talk. Whatever…” Saya gets flustered and blushes profusely, trying to brush it off like it’s not big deal. Secretly, Saya is feeling like she’s on top of the world after that comment, realizing that this girl is not a threat, while at the same time imagining herself in a relationship with Coconuts.

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    Living off that compliment-high, Saya decides that maybe she should buy something after all. So, Hajime gets to work looking for a good dagashi, while Saya wiggles about with her hands outstretched behind her head. Saya is feeling good right now, thinking about being Kokonotsu’s girlfriend. Hajime mutters under her breath that she must find a dagashi suitable for the manager’s girlfriend. Hajime quickly finds the perfect one, a small little dagashi called Roll Candy, priced at only 35 ¥, or 0.33¢.

    Hajime says that this candy is quite popular at the moment, at least, that is what the manager says. Hajime comments that the manager is a smart guy who knows a lot about dagashi. She says that he is dedicated too.

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    Saya buys the candy from Hajime and starts to open it up. However, once she gets it open and is looking at a spooled-up piece of paper, they both become very confused. Saya can’t believe that Hajime works at a dagashi shop and yet doesn’t know how to eat the candy inside.

    Hajime’s best idea is to try and eat the whole thing in one bite, paper and all. Hajime admits that she doesn’t really know the answer, and Saya flips out on Hajime in her usual fashion. “For real?! How the heck can you not know what you’re selling?!”

    Hajime apologizes, excusing herself because is only her first day. Yikes, what a mess! Coconuts had to rush out of the store without being able to go over most of the dagashi. However, Hajime then turns it back around onto Saya, arguing that since Saya is so close to Coconuts, being his “girlfriend” and all, that Saya should know more about dagashi than Hajime.

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    Finally, Saya is brave enough to enroll the paper. As she does so, a thick, red rope appears raveled between the paper. As if they were expecting something entirely different, Hajime and Saya both say in unison, “Woah! Candy!”

    Saya points out that it looks like the candy peels off, to which Hajime replies it’s a good thing Saya didn’t eat the paper. Saya just stands there in awkward silence, unsure of what to say to that comment.

    "Woah! Candy!"
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    Then we get a classic Dagashi Kashi style moment as Hajime tries to teach Saya how to eat the candy, which she apparently just figured out. Getting very close to Saya, we see shiny sparkles twinkle as the camera pans up. Hajime says, “You grab it here.” Saya, confused, mumbles, “Wait, what?” Hajimes continues, “Put the tip in your mouth.”

    Then we cut to Saya with the rest of the roll candy hanging out of her mouth. Hajime grabs the other end of the paper and they proceed to pull back as hard as they can. The result is that Hajime is left with the leftover paper while Saya remains holding the dagashi snack, now completely unspooled from the paper. Saya and Hajime smile at each other triumphantly, and just like that, Saya’s whole impression of Hajime turns right around.

    Hajime is surprised, and comments, “Woah, we did it. But I guess you could have done it all by yourself.” Saya just nonchalantly mutters, “Yeah, I could.” After a moment’s beat, the two girls burst out laughing as Coconuts arrives at the dagashi shop.

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    Now, it's time for one our favorite parts of the snack segment, the snacks themselves! We have been getting a lot of great new dagashi this season, and Episode 20 doesn't disappoint. The first one on our list is one that Hajime picked out personally for Saya. I have to say, it is such a great feeling to have my research pull through on these snacks, because sometimes they are pretty hard to find. The Roll Candy is not the official name of this dagashi snack, and therefore, the only links that come up for that name are in reference to Dagashi Kashi. However, that little Strawberry mascot with sunglasses plastered on the front of the roll candy packaging was the key! I was able to track down the dagashi's name through that character.

    Roll Candy, more commonly known as the Yaokin Strawberry Roll-Up Candy! According to AsianFoodGrocer.com, "If you’re a fan of fruit roll-up, you’ll love this Japanese version! The Yaokin Strawberry Roll-Up candy is fruity and sweet, with a delightful burst of strawberry flavor. The candy is chewy and dissolves in your mouth quite instantaneously. Grab a pack and share with friends!"

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    The Yaokin Corporation is the company behind the iconic snack, Umaibo. They are the creators of Umaibo's mascot, the cute little cat mascot Umaemon. Yaokin's goal is "Dream Creation for the New Century. Yaokin engages in the design, production and sale of a wide variety of confectionery, ranging from light snacks and sweets based on original fun ideas to nostalgic candies beloved for generations. We deliver fresh products to children throughout Japan and the rest of the world, cultivating the dreams of those who love fun and delicious food. Yaokin strives to create a rich environment for children through innovative treats that are popular and safe."

    Founded in April of 1960, Yaokin opened for business in Taihei, Sumida Ward, Tokyo as a producer and wholesaler of confectionery food products. In December, 1978, the head office relocated to a new office building constructed in Yokokawa, Sumida Ward, Tokyo. Finally, in September, 1981, the trade name was changed to Yaokin Trading Inc. and Yaokin Inc. was established.

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    In addition to their extremely popular Umaibo "delicious stick" snack, they have a variety of other dagashi and snacks that they still manufacture to this day. In particular interest to us today is the Yaokin Strawberry Roll-Up Candy. This long candy is 50 cm long, so although it is only about half the length of Fruit by the Foot (which is actually about 3 feet long), it is still plenty of candy that will last for awhile. There are even multiple flavors besides Strawberry, making this one a combination of both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. I would love to try one of these to compare to American snacks like the aforementioned Fruit by the Foot, as well as a Fruit Roll Up. Now that we now the full name of this dagashi snack, we can find it on any of the following online shops:

    Another snack that is somewhat similar to the Yaokin Roll-Up Candy is the Yaokin Paper Candy. Paper Candy is most like the Japanese equivalent of our fruit leather snacks. Blippo.com states that this "Exciting sweet candy that will cheer you up! Even though the candy is thin like paper it is full of rich flavor. The sour sugar coating will bring a wide smile to your face and the fantastic flavor will definitely make your candy moment more fun!" The candy has a variety of flavors, coated with a powder that is either sour or sweet and sour.

    You can pick up some Yaokin Paper Candy at any of these spots:

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    Finally, in celebration of the Yaokin company, here are a variety of their different dagashi kashi snacks. They have been around for awhile and have garnered quite the collection of candies. Take a look and see for yourself why Yaokin is one of the best in the game:

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  • Episode 20 - Part 2

    Returning to Dagashi Kashi, we see Coconuts enter the shop and greet Hajime and Saya, saying that he didn’t know Saya would be there, but that he is nonetheless happy to see her there. Coconuts asks Hajime how her day went, and Hajime replies that, although dagashi is interesting, the work is pretty exhausting. Coconuts wonders if the store was busy that day, but the text at the top of the screen tells us that Hajime is full of crap. She has been napping all day, so why should she be tired? Hajime goes along with it and acts like she had a tough day on the job. Coconuts, being the nice guy that he is, lets Hajime go home early to rest while he takes over for her at the shop.

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    Hajime is very appreciative of getting off early and tells Coconuts that it is awesome of him to do that for her. Saya decides that maybe Hajime isn’t such a bad girl after all. No sooner than Saya finishes that thought, Hajime pipes up and asks Coconuts if she can take a bath. When Saya hears those words from Hajime’s lips, she goes ballistic! Lighting strikes metaphorically behind Saya as she is once again filled with white-hot fury.

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    “I didn’t take one yesterday,” Hajime protests.

    Coconuts just looks at Hajime with dismay, and says, “Uh, I’d prefer you bathe every day.”

    “Okiieee dokiiieee…” Hajime acknowledged as she went further into the dwelling area of the shop.

    Saya questions Coconuts about the new girl, confirming if she really is just the new part-time employee. Coconuts says that Saya is correct, but that Hajime is a live-in worker, which helps a lot. Saya calmly agrees, saying, “Ah, that makes sense,” before violently grabbing Coconuts by the collar of his shirt. Saya yells at Coconuts, “What is wrong with you?!”

    As we cut to a transition panel, Coconuts just whimpers, “What did I do?”

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    We return to the show, coming upon Tō as he walks along in his awesome shirt (seriously, that shirt is so cool!). Tō starts thinking that it’s been as hot minute since he and Coconuts played debt collector. It is about time that Tō show Coconuts what he has been working on, his true A-game mafioso persona.

    “In this kinda game, you have to start strong,” To says coolly, taking a cocoa cigarette out of the pack. “If you don’t commit, then you risk looking stupid. And no one wants to look stupid.” Famous last words if I’ve ever heard any.

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    Tō slams the door open, putting on his best impression of a local tough. Tō exudes an intense aura as he cautioned, “Hey, Shikada! It’s time for you to pay the piper you filthy animal. If you can’t pony up the cash, then I’m afraid you’ve left us no ch…”

    Tō suddenly realizes that he isn’t even talking to Coconuts, and that Hajime, a stranger to Tō, is the one he is talking to instead. Tō feels like an idiot for talking in a mafia voice and thinks that this cute girl is totally going to think he is lame. He drops the cocoa cigarette out of his mouth and it clatters to the floor.

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    Much to Tō’s surprise, Hajime is actually going along with his bit. She is totally playing into it, trying to be courteous towards To so that he doesn't get embarassed. At least, that is what Tō thought. However, in reality, Hajime truly believes Tō's mafia bit. She pleads with Tō to come back later when Coconuts has returned. She clearly seems frightened, her voice trembling. Tō sees that she is buying into his gangster routine, and decides that he cannot let her down now, not after she has been such a good sport. Tō lays into it heavy, really milking his new role for everything it’s got. Picking the cocoa cigarette off the ground, he resumes his tough-guy act and says that he is tired of having to come back later.

    Tō claims that he can’t go back empty handed. After all, he is a G, right? Thug Life! Tō takes it a step further, informing Hajime that she can pay him off with her body. Hajime stammers, “Pay with my body?” Hajime jumps back and starts screaming. She yells at him to please spare her, that her lifestyle choices are iffy at best.

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    After she begs some more, Tō finally agrees to let her off the hook, but on one condition. Hajime has to do something funny. Without even missing a beat, Hajime takes off her glasses, places them in her pocket, and begins to wander around the room looking for her glasses. In a stilted, joking voice, Hajime asks, “Geez, what the? Where are they? Can’t find my glasses. Where could they have gone?”

    Hajime looks around, and leans down to the dagashi, her glasses off and the long brown hair around her face framing her dark eyes and gentle smile. Tō cannot believe what he is seeing, but this girl has found the perfect dagashi to elevate the gag! He can hardly contain his excitement as Hajime grabs a pair of chocolate glasses, also known as High Eight Chocolate, and places them over her eyes like glasses. In the same joking voice, Hajime says, “Yay, now I can see!”

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    Laughing a big, goofy giggle, Hajime flashes Tō a silly smile. Tō thinks to himself that this is the kind of chocolate glasses snack that you see near cash registers at grocery stores all the time. Tō is very impressed with Hajime’s humorous repertoire, comedic timing and improvisational flare. Tō thinks to himself, “This lady is good!” Tō beams brightly at Hajime, shouting, “Wow! That’s funny!” Could Tō be falling for Hajime?

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    Hajime continues, “Not only can I see, but I can also have a snack.” Tō gets super excited, blurting out, “Functional and yummy!” Tō gets so won over by Hajime’s damn good performance, that he begs her to have a turn. Tō ends up buying 10 pairs of the High Eight Chocolate and seems to be happy with his purchase. Good job Hajime! It is only your first day, but you’ve already sold your first dagashi!

    Tō puts the chocolate glasses over his eyes and laughs manically, asking, “My friends are gonna laugh so hard, right?” Yeah, I dunno about that one Tō. Haha We will have to wait and see what Coconuts thinks about that joke.

    The candy Tō buys is a ring of candy chocolates whose packaging forms the shape of glasses. Hajime used this dagashi to great effect when she pretended to use them as glasses, making Tō laugh in the process. The real name of this candy wasn't mentioned specifically in the episode except for in the episode title. Furuta High Eight Chocolate is a classic dagashi candy that is adored by many in Japan, especially among children.

    Blippo.com describes this dagashi as "Button-shaped chocolate candies that are coated with rainbow colors! The inside is delicious milk chocolate and the exterior is crunchy candy shell. Candies are packed in stylish packaging where the candies are in a shape of number eight. One package includes 3 individual candy sheets. So yummy!"

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    As we have been reading these last few weeks, the companies that make the dagashi snacks are as much a part of the story as the candy itself. These old companies have rich histories and have been making dagashi for more than fifty years. They are part and parcel of what makes the world of dagashi tick. Just as we saw earlier, these companies can vary widely in the products they focus on, and it is because of this that there are still so many manufacturing sites in Japan.

    The manufacturer of the High Eight Chocolate, Furuta Confectionery Co., Ltd., celebrated its 65th anniversary last year in 2017. Last year was also the 50th anniversary of the High Eight Chocolate dagahsi candy. The company was founded on August 1, 1952, when the three Furata brothers started their first cookie comopany. Furata is a large company, and currently has around 280 employees, compared to Yaokin's roughly 57 employees. You can learn more about Furata's history at the official Furata wesbite, or see a a list of popular Furata products.

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    Need another pair of glasses? Can't find the last pair you misplaced? Finally, the dagashi that has the solution you need! Get some stylish chocolate glasses for yourself at any of these online retailers:

    Another version of the High Eight Chocolate, by the same company, is the Furuta Wanage Chocolate. This dagashi contains the same chocolate candies, however, the blister-pack is in a circular shape instead of the shape of glasses. This one is more rare, and can only be found on:

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    Want the same candy but don't want to fuss with small blister-packs? Just get a bag of Futura Colorful Chocolates. Just like M&M's in the United States, these bags come with a handful of chocolate pieces inside, contained in one section as opposed to the individual pods used in the blister-packs. A couple options can be found here:

    Finally, the Furuta company has many different dagashi snacks, and these are but a few. Take a look at these links to see where you can get their other candies:

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    Tō leaves that store, thanking Hajime for the wonderful purchase. After he leaves, Hajime collapses onto the ground, exhausted. “Wow, I survived,” Hajime sighs. Coconuts returns to the shop, shouting a greeting out to Hajime as he arrives. Upon seeing Hajime collapsed on the floor, he runs over to her side to see if she is okay. “What’s wrong, Miss Hajime, what happened?”

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    “Kokonotsu…” Hajime utters.

    “Eh, what’s up?” Coconuts asks.

    “I promise… Ill protect your shop, okay?!”

    “Eh, what?”

    Hajime yells at the top of her lungs, one final, “I’ll protect it!”

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    As we go into the credits, shortly into the ending song, we see Hajime with her chocolate glasses! How fun! Again, we are treated to the wonderful translated lyrics to the song, just as with the opening. Omg, reading the lyrics right now as I right this, and this is a good song! It is so cute and sweet! Totally sums up Hotaru and Coconuts together, and that last fateful moment they shared under the fireworks and the moonlit sky. Awe, I can’t help but smile when I listen to the song with those lyrics.

    Thus concludes another episode of Dagashi Kashi 2. Hajime managed to not burn down the dagashi shop, and in fact, somehow got Tō to buy a bunch of candy. It seems that, despite Hajime's lack of innate dagashi knowledge, she may have an instinct for sales. Beneath Hajime's clumsy exterior lies a girl with real charm. She is genuine and nice, and seems to have good intentions for the Shikada Dagashi shop. Seeing her interactions with Tō was great, and I think it would be interesting if they had Tō be interested in Hajime. We will have to see as the episodes go on. One thing is for sure, Saya is not going to let another girl come into her life and take Coconuts away from her. Will Saya be able to lock Coconuts down before it's too late? Will Shikada Dagashi be able to compete against the encroaching urbanization? And will Coconuts finally take that final leap to follow his dreams? Tune in next week to see more dagashi, to have some laughs and to bond over snacks and friendship as we continue the epic saga of Coconuts.

    Dagashi Classics

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    The first classic dagashi this week is one that was used by Hotaru in season 1 to perform a dagashi dance. They also play some games with them, and Saya makes her Himo Q candy into a Jacob's Ladder. Hotaru explained that this dagashi was meant to be played with, and encouraged Coconuts to do so. Hotaru said that this was the genius behind this dagashi, because most of the time people are discouraged to play with their food, and this dagashi does the exact opposite.

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    Amazon.com says that "The gummy stretches to 126 cm long and comes in a combination of cola and soda, and ramune and melon soda flavors. Sweet and with a slightly carbonated taste, this is a great candy to share with a friend." This is a fun dagashi candy that is along the lines of the Strawberry Roll-Up Candy from this week's episode. Both are long, gummy candies that have a variety of flavors. However, the Himo Q has much more stretchiness when compared to the Roll-Up Candy. You pick up some Meiji Cho Himo Q Super Long Gummy String from any of the sites listed below:

    Get your Dagashi Sampler sets soon! Although they are only on preorder, both Dagashi Sampler Set 1 and Set 3 are already sold out. Preorder yours soon to make sure you don't miss out on these Dagashi Kashi themed snack boxes.

    JLIST Dagashi Sampler Sets

    JBOX Dagashi Sampler Sets

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    And then...

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    The final classic dagashi this week is called Kozakura Mochi, also known as Cherry Mochi. These flavored rice cake candies come in a variety of colors and flavors. Cherry and Green Apple are popular favorites.

    Get your mochi candy right over here:

    Youtube - Begin Japanology - Mochi Rice Cake (NHK Documentary)

    Dagashi Links and Articles

    Hey all, this week's links are focused on videos! There are a lot of fun ones, so check them out!

    Kotaku posted a brilliant little video that combines all sorts of animated works, from anime to stop-motion and everything in between. The central theme that ties all of the clips together is that they are of food. Sounds fun right? Well, it is! Check out this unique mash up that highlights just how awesome food can look in animation. In addition, clips from British clay animations (Aardman Animations!), as well as Pixar and Disney films.

    Youtube - Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner: Supercut

    Or, check out this fun video of an American couple who go to an all-you-can-eat dagashi bar in Tokyo. It is a fun video and the snacks and location look really cool!

    Youtube - ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT JAPANESE SNACK BAR 🍡

    This next video is really funny and kind of shocking. You should watch this one! They couple from the last video go around Tokyo going to weird vending machines. And boy does it get weird! Lol

    Youtube - I Found the Creepiest Vending Machine in Japan

    Thanks for joining me this week for another entry in the guide! We are down to about five episodes left, as we fast approach the end of Season 2. My thoughts? Season 3 bring it on! I am so ready for you! If the manga is any indication, another season is likely going to be in the works in the future. At the very least, we have all of season 2 left! Make sure to come back every week to find out all about dagashi!

    Don't forget to sign up for Hotaru's Dagashi Giveaway by this Monday at 4 P.M. ET to be eligible to win prizes. See the rules in the post made earlier on this page. May the best snack warrior win! Alright, I will see you next week for Episode 21. Have a great weekend!

    Next time...
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  • Head over to Funimation Instagram right now! Lauren and crew are tasting dagashi candy live right now!

    Funimation Instagram



  • Wow! How cool was that?! Lauren and Kyle even went with Japan Crate, featured earlier last year in my snack review. I wonder who they were inspired by? Lol It is really cool that they checked out my blog and were able to use the resources to form a brand new show! It was awesome seeing Gabe from Japan Crate, who gave us some great insight on dagashi and their operation in Japan. If you missed it, head over to the Funimation Instagram and click on the little Funi icon at the top to stream the video footage of the live stream. Lauren, Kyle and more will be back next week for another live episode, so be sure to look out on Twitter for when they go live. I am sure it'll be another blast! Alright, I gotta go now! I have to finish watching Dagashi Kashi! Lol



  • Episode 21 - Internets, Super Ball, and...

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    Hello, everyone! We are back yet again for another edition of the Dagashi Kashi Snack Buying Guide. The comprehensive and encyclopedic compendium of everything Dagashi Kashi. Tonight's Hajime-centric episode was a lot of fun, despite there being no dagashi in this episode. Instead of a dagashi, we got the internets and the Super Ball. All in all, some fun and interesting ideas with a lot of silly jokes. The anime has done a good job of mixing it up, introducing new characters and situations that build on season 1. In this episode, Hajime finds herself once again in charge of running Shikada Dagashi. Yet things never run smoothly when Hajime is around, so you know something bad is going to go down. The battle between Towns Mart convenience store and Shikada Dagashi continues as Yutaka introduces his secret weapon: internet purchasing. What can Coconuts do to compete with technology and modernity? And what will Hajime do when she faces a new challenge at work?

    Before we get started on the episode, I just wanted to announce the winners for Hotaru's Dagashi Giveaway! Or rather, the winner I should say. Lol Now that is a way to win a contest! Be the only one in it! Haha Seriously, this winner might be on to something here. Regardless, congratulations to @Queenira for winning the grand prize 45 dagashi pack! I will contact you on Twitter with details on how you can pick up your prize winnings at a local Amazon Locker near your location. I hope you enjoy your massive dagashi care package sent straight from Japan.

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    The episode opens with the convenience store branch manager, Yutaka Beni, admitting to Coconuts that his overpriced dessert cakes didn’t sell well. More than that, the cakes went bad and spoiled before anyone made any purchases, making it a money-losing item. However, not wanting to admit defeat, Yutaka came up with a plan to do a “made-to-order” system for the dessert cakes. In other words, specialty cakes made to the customers’ specifics instructions.

    What this allows the convenience store to do is not only have custom cakes that people can order, but it also keeps the products from going bad while waiting to be purchased on a shelf. With made-to-order items, it will only be on the shelf a short time while waiting to be picked up by the customer, and it won’t go to waste. Yutaka says that customers can order in the “store, over the phone, or even via the internets!”

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    Dejected, Coconuts leaves the store, repeating the phrase, “the internets,” over and over again. Uh oh, I think Yutaka broke Coconuts. This can’t be good. Coconuts continues mumbling under his breath about the internets, making Hajime very uncomfortable. Later that night, Coconuts suddenly gets an epiphany, and bursts into Hajime’s room while she is writing in her diary. Coconuts scares the hell out of Hajime and shouts that he has a great idea. They should use internet shopping too. Hajime just stares at Coconuts in confusion and asks if he wants to buy an online manga. Roll credits!

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    After we return from the credits, we see Hajime working away on her laptop, writing computer code to set up a website for Coconuts. Don’t ask me where the heck they’re going to host it, doesn’t seem to matter. Lol But I digress. So, she’s making him this website, right? Hajime finally realizes that he wants a place where they can sell dagashi online, and she thinks this is a great idea because a lot of companies are doing that these days.

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    Hajime finishes typing away at her keyboard and finally hits the enter key. “First draft!” Hajime announces with glee. Coconuts is impressed with Hajime’s quick work and her extensive knowledge on “the famous HTML coding language” and “the famous JavaScript coding language.” Hajime even makes a cool sparkling effect follow the cursor around. Hajime shouts, “Welcome to technology!” Deciding that they need to put a selling point on the website, Coconuts suggest, “We sell dagashi,” to which Hajime replies, “We do.”

    A sudden silence takes over the two as they turn to look at each other. They burst out laughing hysterically, unable to control themselves. The fact that a dagashi shop website would even need to say, “We sell dagashi,” is so ridiculous to them that they are in stitches. Hajime and Coconuts then continue to make changes, upping the ante each time, and turning the website into a crazy mess. Every new feature they add sends them into a new fit of laughter.

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    Getting more serious, they begin to update the website with new information regarding the nostalgic nature of the store. However, when Hajime presses enter, and they see their new webpage, they realize that they’ve basically made a hot ad about Hajime that has certain innuendos. The ad simply reads: “Shikada Employee Hajime (20 years old) We offer simple pleasures…”

    Hajime and Coconuts both see that it doesn’t really advertise the shop very well, and Coconuts suggests they add something about how they sell toys. However, that just makes it worse, as now it reads: “We’ve got toys too… We deliver. We offer simple pleasures.” Hajime suggests that maybe it’s a bit too much, and Coconuts agrees. Hajime then asks if he really means a lot, and he says that he did. Finally, Hajime says, “I should start over,” and Coconuts just goes, “Yeah.”

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    The next scene opens with Hajime taking a big bite out of a piece of toast. According to TasteCooking.com:

    "Japan has a long history of adapting and elevating imported food traditions: the term yōshoku refers to any Western-style dish that has been assimilated for the local palate. Bread has been consumed in some form or another since the 16th century, after the first Portuguese and Dutch trading ships landed at Nagasaki. (In Japanese, bread is called 'pan,' a variation of the Portuguese word pão.) When Japan subsequently closed its borders a century later and attempted to purge foreign influences, eating bread fell out of vogue until the outbreak of the first Opium War (1839–1842). At that time, and out of pure necessity, a high-ranking samurai employed a basic hard-baked loaf as field rations for his troops, but unsurprisingly it was as appetizing as British Navy hard tack."

    "Bread regained general popularity in 1874 with the creation of anpan, a natural rice yeast roll filled with sweet adzuki bean paste, by pioneering baker Yasube Kimura. (Kimuraya bakery still sells anpan at its original location in Tokyo’s Ginza district.) Other yeast buns followed, including melon pan, with a meringue-like topping, and cream pan, invented by Nakamurya baker Aizo Soma, inspired by cream puffs or choux à la crème in 1904."

    "But the squishy white sandwich loaves beloved of American GIs has proven to be the most unlikely cross-cultural phenomenon. Instituted during the lean postwar Occupation Era—when commercial bread baked with imported wheat and powdered milk became a cheap dietary substitute—a generation of Japanese children ate school lunches featuring slices of the standard square loaf they renamed shokupan, literally “food bread,” and a dome-shaped Pullman loaf, or igirisu-pan. Both have a fine crumb interior, with crusts somewhere between muffin top and croissant in texture. These yōshoku loaves have become an object of obsession, and because the Japanese can take any obsession to the extreme, humble toast is a lovely expression of their fascination with an industrialized food we often take for granted."

    "This pillowy soft, subtly sweet sandwich bread is a beloved breakfast staple in Japan and is typically eaten sliced very thick, lightly toasted, and served with accompaniments like butter and jam"

    While toast isn't a foreign food, there are Japanese variations on toast that make for some unique and tasty meals. Check out these recipes to learn how to make some yourself:

    Japanese Bread Recipes

    This next recipe claims to have the fluffiest white bread in the world! (Saveur)

    Japanese Toast Recipes:

    Shokupan bread - "Like eating a cloud"
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    Milk Bread with butter and jam
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    Ogura Toast
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    Coconuts is talking to Hajime and asks her about a shipment that is supposed to arrive later that day. Hajime says she didn’t know he placed any orders, and Coconuts asserts that is because he didn’t place any orders because Hajime had said she would take care of it for him. Hajime quickly covers her tracks and pretends to know what he is talking about when she really has no clue. She sees him off to school and proceeds to panic about not ordering any of the product.

    Hajime remembers that it was the Super Balls that she was supposed to order. Super Balls are those rubbery bouncy balls you used to play with as a kid. You remember the ones. Well, Hajime screwed up and forgot to order any. Subsequently, they are all sold out. Hajime thinks to herself that maybe it’ll be okay since the Super Balls can’t be that popular anyway. However, just as she finishes this thought, three young kids come in looking for Super Balls. When the kids see the empty rack, they are irritated.

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    Realizing that she is about to lose customers, Hajime quickly comes up with a solution to the problem. If she doesn’t have any Super Balls, then she will just have to make some! Hajime grabs some salt and laundry starch, as well as a cup of water. Hajime explains that the first step is to pour the salt into the water, then mix it up until it dissolves into the water. After that, Hajime pours in some of the laundy starch. Next, Hajime says to squirt in some paint, whatever color you want your Super Ball to be, and then stir that around too. Then, remove the glob of stuff out of the water. It won’t look quite like a Super Ball just yet. One of the kids complains that it looks gross, and his friends agree. Hajime cautions them that girls won't like that kind of attitude. At this point, begin to roll and knead the ball in your hands, causing the water to leave the Super Ball. Dry off and repeat until Super Ball is round and full-bodied.

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    The kids are amazed that she was able to make them Super Balls out of scratch, and one kid calls her an alchemist. They run off, seemingly satisfied with their purchases. Hajime congratulates herself on figuring out that issue but turns her attention back to ordering more Super Balls.

    Deciding that it would easier to spend an entire day making Super Balls than it would be to just order some more, Hajime toils and labors as heroic trumpet music blares, until she has made a barrel full of Super Balls. Exhausted and covered in paint, Hajime reaches to grab a snack and accidentally knocks over the barrel full of Super Balls. Coconuts and Saya arrive at Shikada Dagashi to find Hajime sprawled out on the floor on with Super Balls everywhere. Saya asks what happened, and Hajime says, “Hi, welcome back.” Coconuts just replies, “Don’t change the subject.”

    Super balls are an extremely popular children's toy in Japan. Kids love to grab them and toss them onto the ground, watching them shoot back into the air. I remember playing with similar bouncy balls myself when I was a kid. Below is an image from Japan of a large amount of Super Balls.

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    There are so many different types of super balls, coming in hundreds of colors, styles and designs. Some look like sports balls, while some are based off popular characters. Some are plain, and some are clear. The variety goes on and on! You can buy authentic Japanese super balls from these various online retailers:

    Check out these awesome Dragon Ball Super Super Balls! Each one is modeled after a different dragon ball. They look pretty sweet!

    Ebay and Amazon have Super Balls, but they aren't specifically from Japan:

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    Now, in the show, Hajime teaches us how to make homemade super balls using water, sugar and laundry starch. Another popular recipe I found online uses Borax instead. If you want to try making your own super ball, here are some different recipes:

    Well, Hajime managed to survive another day's work at Shikada Dagashi! Hopefully her next one won't be so crazy! Ah, who am I kidding, we all know it will be. How will Coconuts and Hajime's website project turn out? Will they be able to successfully create an online dagashi selling site? It is an exciting prospect! It sort of reminds of this snack guide. Lol Maybe I could add Shikada Dagashi's website to the list soon. If they can out-compete Towns Mart in the sweets and candy department, they might be able to stay financially viable. It will all depend on what comes next. As Coconuts continues to grow more distant from Shikada Dagashi, he may finally decide to quit altogether to pursue his dream of creating manga. It is an incredibly hard decision for Coconuts to make, and he is weighing all his options before deciding either way. Next week we stand to see more of that develop as Coconuts continues to work on his manga manuscript. I cannot wait to see what he chooses to do next. All in all, a fun episode that gave us some great Hajime antics. A wonderful addition to the Dagashi Kashi family!

    Dagashi Classics

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    The first dagashi classic for this week is another candy we saw back in season 1. The Morocco Fruit Yogul, also known as Morocco Yogurt, is packaged in a box with elaphants on it. The reason that the elephant is the mascot for Morocco Fruit Yogul is because the snack itself is shaped like an elephant foot. The Matador Network states the following regarding Morocco Yogurt: "If you spent your childhood in Japan twenty plus years ago, yogurt in glass jars was commonly delivered to the home by Meiji Company. [Made since 1961 by Sanyo Seika, the Morocco Yogurt] ...is a small plastic replica of a yogurt jar, but filled with a powdered fruity candy instead, which like the vintage yogurt, comes with a wooden spoon for scooping."

    You can grab some Morocco Fruit Yogul at these couple of spots:

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    Our second Dagashi Classic for this week is a fun dagashi drink mix called Namiki Beer. A small packet contains two tablets, which, after tossed into a glass of water, creates a beer-like, non-alcoholic drink. Similar to the Cocoa Cigarettes, the Namaiki Beer lets the kids get a taste of what being an adult is like, which they find quite amusing. In fact, according to Asian Food Grocer, the term "namaiki," is "a Japanese term applied to youngsters who are usually surrounded by adults so they foolishly adopt adult mannerisms and act obnoxiously beyond their age! This set features an excited Shin chan ready to drink 'beer.' The DIY set allows you to make a realistic cup of beer but it’s actually melon-flavored soda. Simply add the packet of powder, water and 2 ice cubes, and watch the beer fizzle and foam."

    To see how it all works, check out this video demonstration:

    Grab this fun pho-alcoholic beverage from these online sellers:

    This Shin Chan deluxe kit comes with Namaiki Beer and "tuna and squid 'sashimi' jelly, which come in strawberry and milk flavor, respectively. Each pack contains a plastic serving and sauce gold plate, chopsticks, plastic shaping mold, tuna powder, squid powder, namaiki beer powder, and soy sauce (syrup). Simply mix the ingredients, microwave, and refrigerate for one hour."

    Check out this video demo to see it more thoroughly:

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    Dagashi Links & Articles

    I wanted to start off by saying that the Dagashi Kashi themed Sampler Sets from JLIST and JBOX are going like hotcakes despite still being in a preorder phase. I missed out on getting Sampler 3 before it was sold out, but I managed to snag a Sampler set 1, 2 and 4. Now, Sampler Set 1 is sold out as well. Sets 2 and 4 are still available for purchase. So, if you want to get dagashi boxes that are themed after Dagashi Kashi, make sure to preorder yours today! The sets are available on both sites. The main difference between the two is that JLIST has adult-oriented products while JBOX is all-age friendly.

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    Since we were talking about Japanese bread earlier, here are some links about the history of bread in Japan:

    Check out this awesome dagashi mega pack! It is a GLICO Snack Assortment Selection The Glico Spring & Summer Large – Special Box. It sure does look impressive too. This bad boy will only run you back $62. Lol

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    One of my favorite documentary series, Japanology Plus, formerly known as Begin Japanology, is a series that airs on TV on NHK World News in English. Each episode focuses on different aspect of Japanese culture with host, Peter Barakan. Peter is a kind, knowledgeable and curious man, who brings attention to many different aspects of Japanese life. I just watched one on miniatures, it was very interesting. The show airs on TV, but some of the episodes are uploaded on NHK's Youtube page. So, set up your DVR's or head over to Youtube. There are a ton of documentaries, usually around 30 minutes each, that will bring you to the heart of Japan. I will link to a few of them below, but feel free to browse the others at your leisure. I am sure there will be something that will pique your interests. Want to watch live but don't have access to cable? You can check out this link to either watch the live stream of NHK World News channel online, or download the app to your phone.

    Where to Watch Japanology Plus

    You can also watch episodes On Demand on the NHK website right here:

    Japanology On Demand

    YouTube:

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    We're in the home stretch now! We only have a handful of episodes left in the season, as we approach the season 2 finale. I'll say it again, I am hopeful for a season 3. I'll tell you a few reasons why I am excited for season 3 prospects. For one, the way they've structured this season with less emphasis on Hotaru seems to imply that season 3 will return to a form we are more used to seeing from season 1. More importantly, however, is that Dagashi Kashi is now sponsored by Lawson, one of the biggest convenience store chains in Japan. With that kind of backing, I imagine a season 3 will be very likely. So, do not fret that Hotaru has not been on the show for awhile. Remember that Coconuts still has her free ice cream stick, so there is no way she won't return one day! Just hang in there a bit longer! Hotaru works in mysterious ways, after all. In the meantime, let's have fun with these new characters! Next week's episode looks like a lot of fun too. I hope you'll join me again next week for some more Dagashi Kashi! See you then!

    Next Time…
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  • Episode 22 - Monjiro Squid, Manga Manuscript, and...

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    Welcome back to the Dagashi Kashi Season 2 Snack Buying Guide! This week is another fun episode, with hijinks, snacks and even manga! We get a look at the completed Shikada Dagashi website, complete with online order and in-person delivery. The first delivery, however, does not go as planned, and the hilarity ensues. Meanwhile, Coconuts begins preparing for a manga editing event, but his deadline is in two days and he isn't sure if he can finish in time. Will Coconuts find the inspiration he is looking for, or will he fall flat on his face? Find out in this week's episode of dagashi kashi!

    The episode opens with a girl navigating the online Shikada Dagashi website, where she is trying to make a purchase for a sick friend. Her friend loves dagashi, and eats it all the time, but because she is in the hospital, she hasn’t been able to buy any dagashi. The girl narrating adds a 100-pack of Monjiro Squid, priced at 2,500 yen, or 25 U.S. dollars, to her shopping cart. She is going to buy her a lot so that she won’t run out. The girl hopes that this new dagashi delivery service will be just what her friend needs to brighten her spirits. How thoughtful! The girl thanks Shikada Dagashi for providing such an amazing service. Touched by her moving words, Coconuts can’t help but cry in front of Hajime.

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    After the credits, we find Coconuts and Hajime driving to the hospital to deliver the first online Shikada Dagashi order. Hajime is unsure that this is such a good idea since there was no name left on the order. Hajime is worried that it is just a prank, which Coconuts reminds her would be a good thing because it would mean there wasn’t someone stuck in the hospital who couldn’t buy dagashi. They walk around the corner and enter the small ER room. Much to their surprise, Coconuts’ dad To is lying in the bed. All his dad says to him is, “It’s my loving son. What’s up sucker?”

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    It was Yo who placed the online order. Geez, what an idiot. Lol The first thing I think when I see Yo’s giant cast is What the hell man! What’s with the cast? It’s covering almost his whole leg. Lol Then Coconuts says something about it too, and I was like, yeah, see, I told you so! Yo is the most ridiculous person in the whole world, I swear.

    Yo eagerly calls his son over, asking him if he brought something for Yo. Yo says, "Gimme!" and makes a funny face at Coconuts. However, Coconuts is in no mood, and tells his father he can't talk to him that way.

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    Yo sees Hajime and asks who the girl is, to which Coconuts replies that she is the new worker they hired. Suddenly, some seductive-type music starts playing and Yo checks out Hajime. Lol Oh god, why Yo, why!! He turns to his son and admonishes him for hiring Hajime just for her good looks. Yo accuses Coconuts of being “naughty.”

    Yo says that he always has liked girls with their heads in the clouds. I think he must be referring to Hotaru when he says this, which makes total sense. Yo groans, “I’m proud and sad at the same time!” Coconuts can’t stand his father teasing him anymore, so he brings out the dagashi to shut Yo up.

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    Yo is super excited to see that Coconuts brought him Monjiro Squid and asks how he knew that’s what he wanted. Coconuts just sits there confused since Yo is the one who placed the online order in the first place. Yo goes on and on about the “long-lasting flavor” of the Monjiro Squid, which will make them a perfect snack for him to savor while he recovers in the hospital. Yo also states that Monjiro Squid goes great with beer. Squid, in various forms, is a popular side dish with beer in Japan, and will often be served at bars.

    Feeling himself, Yo divulges the history of how the Monjiro Squid came to be served on a skewer. According to Yo, a samurai warrior of old once kept a small stick in his mouth to be cool. Thus, the Monjiro Squid skewer was born. Yo asks the kids if he is “on fleek.” I lost it right there! Haha I could not stop laughing at that line, so funny. Yo is a riot!

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    Coconuts and Hajime just emit a loud moan in response to Yo’s silly use of the term “on fleek.”

    Hajime asks if the company that makes Monjiro Squid uses real squid in the snack. Coconuts replies that they use real flying squid in the snack, which makes it big seller because most “squid” snacks skimp out and use fish instead. Using real squid makes this dagashi a bit classier than its pho-squid counterparts.

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    As described in the episode, this dagashi is made from shredded flying squid that is dried and skewered, The meat is seasoned with a variety of incgredients, including salt, sugar, vinegar and chili. It also comes in a dumpling form as well. Monjiro Squid is a perfect side dish when drinking, so consider keeping some squid around the next time you have a night drinking. It is interesting to note that because most dagashi is meant to be purchase by children, the ingredients are cheap. That is why the expensive squid is usually replaced by fish that has been given a squid-flavor. However, in this case, Monjiro Squid is 100% squid and is one, a bit more expensive, and two, a bit more genuine.

    If you happen to be craving that authentic Monjiro Squid taste, check out these online retailers:

    Coconuts tells his dad that he has to pay him for the Monjiro Squid, plus delivery fee. Yo is flabbergasted and can’t believe that his own son his making him pay for a snack, which Yo had thought was a gift. More than that, however, Yo is interested in this new online shopping and delivery that Coconuts has implemented at Shikada Dagashi.

    It turns out that Yo didn’t even place the order in the first place, which means that it was actually a real order after all and not a prank. This begs the question, who was the person who placed that order? Could it be Hotaru? Unfortunately for our curiosities, we are left without an answer this week. Perhaps they will come back to the online order in a future episode? As they talk about this, Yo complements his son on hiring a new employee and starting an online shop for the store. Yo believes that Coconuts has finally chosen to become Yo’s successor and take over as the ninth head of Shikada Dagashi. So much for the manga, Yo says casually. Coconuts denies this, claiming that he still wants to become a mangaka.

    Hajime drives Coconuts home from the hospital and, getting inspired by Yo’s suggested combination of Monjiro Squid and beer, stops to make a beer run on the way. We cut to them back at the dagashi shop, with Coconuts hard at work on his manga. Or rather, hardly working. Coconuts realizes that it has been forever since he drew last, and that he was letting his day-to-day life take over and block out his dream of creating manga. Suddenly, Hajime wraps her arms around Coconuts, and flops over. Coconuts is surprised and asks if she is drunk. Hajime, still holding a beer bottle, says that she is definitely drunk.

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    Hajime starts bouncing up and down, giggling and smiling. She asks if what Yo said is true about Coconuts having feelings for Hajime. Cocontus says no, “why would I when I have Hotaru?” Oh my gosh, you guys! You guys, are you hearing this right now? I mean, come on guys! This is nuts! Lol We pretty much knew that Coconuts was into Hotaru, but this is the first time he has ever come out and said it out in the open. Coconuts has fallen hard for Hotaru, and despite that she has been gone, his feelings for her have not changed.

    This is when Coconuts gets the idea that maybe it was Hotaru that made the online order for Monjiro Squid. Hmm, I dunno, I suppose it is possible, but it seems a little farfetched if you ask me. Still, how mysterious. Wonder who it could be who made that order. Still clinging to Coconuts, Hajime holds a beer in one hand and a Monjiro Squid in the other. She coos and begs Coconuts to tell her all about Hotaru. Coconuts expertly shifts topics and asks Hajime why she is so drunk. Hajime only whispers in response that it’s a secret.

    And so...
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    Coconuts goes across the street to his competition and sworn rival at Towns Mart convenience store (Gah! Ya dummy!) and picks up a magazine. Coconuts passes by Yutaka warning him not to read and walk, but Coconuts barely registers that the convenience store manager is there at all.

    Coconuts finds what he is looking for in the manga magazine, an ad that says there will be an on-site manga review event, and an editor from the magazine will be coming to Coconuts town, and not very far from the dagashi shop.

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    Coconuts desperately wants to show his manga to the editor, but he only has two days to finish his manga. This means that he must get cracking, or he will miss the deadline. This is Coconuts’ first taste of what being a mangaka is all about: deadlines. If you miss those deadlines, you’re in big trouble.

    Coconuts rushes home and starts working as hard as he can on his manga, trying to get it done in time. I just want to point out that it is kind of funny seeing an anime character drawing a manga character. Lol

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    Coconuts works all night on his manga, churning out page after page. As the night goes on, he only gets faster, and he believes that he can actually make it by the deadline. However, after having stayed up all night without any sleep, Coconuts still has a long way to go. It looks as if he is going to have to stay up again all night just to finish in time.

    On Saturday at around 4 PM, the day before the big event, Coconuts is getting scared. He is not sure if he can get the manga done in the amount of time he has left. It is a daunting task, and it doesn’t help that he has been up all night. He is exhausted and overworked.

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    Doesn't this manga character look a lot like Hotaru? Lol
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    Just when all hopes seems lost for Coconuts, Hajime walks in and starts talking to Coconuts. She is totally impressed by his art, and sees that he has a flyer for the manga event on Sunday. Hajime tells Coconuts that she thinks that is really cool, and that she is going to be rooting for him on Sunday. However, Coconuts says that he isn’t going to be submitting anything because he doesn’t have enough time to finish.

    Just when Coconuts is at his lowest, Hajime steps in to have his back and save the day. Hajime says that she can help him meet his deadline, and that his friends, who are waiting downstairs, can probably help out too.

    Saya and To agree to help Coconuts meet his deadline. Saya says that she can’t draw, but she can make him coffee to help keep him awake. To says in that case, it is up to him to come through. So, he decides to play video games and tell Coconuts about what’s happening in the game. Haha Hajime offers to do background work any grunt work that needs to be done. This makes Coconuts very happy, and he is finally able to smile, letting some of his worries slip away.

    Coconuts thanks his friends, and says, “Let’s do this!” Hajime complains that she needs a desk, Saya says she’ll put on a pot of coffee, and To just cries that the game won’t turn on as the ending song rolls.

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    Thus concludes another week of the Dagashi Kashi Snack Buying Guide! Another fun episode, despite Hotaru still not being in the show. We are getting a different side of Dagashi Kashi, which is actually pretty refreshing. So long as they come back for a third season, I can only see this as a good thing. I for one will be very happy to see Hotaru again. Speaking of which, we might be getting our wish very soon! Coconuts is one step closer to reaching his dream, and he won't stop until he achieves it. Check back again next week to see what crazy snacks they try on the show! Have a good week!

    Next Time...
    ![alt text](https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/29983252_10209292043972881_6665342642860473318_o.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=a3cccbe16d2375fd6ec4635ab20f7f12&oe=5B6B89AE![alt text](image url))



  • Hi everyone! Sorry I didn't post a guide entry this week, I got really busy! I will make it up to you though with a double-sized episode this week that will cover last week's episode and the new episode coming out today. Thanks for understanding!

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  • Episode 23 - Homerun Bar Winning Stick, Snow, and...

    Hey everyone! I am back with the penultimate entry in the Dagashi Kashi Season 2 Snack Buying Guide! I missed last week, so I am catching up with a two-episode double-feature! I am dropping the first entry now, and then the second one a little bit later tonight. Thank you for understanding and being patient. I had a lot on my plate these last few weeks, much like Coconuts himself. I have been preparing for an event, which I am excited to reveal to you. First, however, we have some episodes to get into! This was a really good episode that focused on Coconuts' dream of becoming a professional manga artist, and gave us an amazing scene at the end in the cold waiting room at the train station. The end of the episode was what we've all been waiting for, so it was definitely an awesome payoff! Let's get into the episode and break down what went down!

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    Episode 23 starts with Coconuts and his friends working hard on his manga, trying to get it finished in time for the manga review that is coming to town. Coconuts is working on the main art while Hajime is handling background art and any other small tasks she can do. Saya helps by making some coffee to keep Coconuts awake while he works. To can’t really do anything, so he helps by playing video games and telling Coconuts about what’s happening in the game. It doesn’t really seem to help very much. Lol Coconuts’ manga is looking good, and he is almost ready to show off his new manga! It appears to be about a group of friends, who happen to look just like Coconuts and his friends, and the main girl based on Hotaru appears to be a dancer. The manga is called Spin!

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    They all work really hard, well, except for maybe To, who only works hard at video games. By the end of the night, they’ve managed to finish the manga. However, as the rest of his friends celebrate, Coconuts passes out from exhaustion, remaining in a sitting position. Saya pats Coconuts on the back and he just falls over. They see him snoring, and Saya admits that at least he’s not dead.

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    I have to say, watching this episode, I actually could relate to Coconuts quite well! These last few weeks I have been staying up all night, getting very little sleep, working on my comic that I write. The artist I work with and I have a deadline next week, as we have a book event at Half Price Books. So, I totally see where Coconuts is coming from when it comes to staying up late working hard on a comic. Chapter 1 debuted at San Francisco Comic Con last year, and I am really excited to release chapter 2 next week. I am going to make a separate post about that later, so please keep an eye out for my post. I really think you guys will like the comic a lot! Enough about me though, back to Coconuts!

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    After the opening credits, Hajime reminds Coconuts that he shouldn’t be late for the manga review. On his way out, Coconuts remembers the winning Home Rum Bar ice cream stick that Hotaru gave to him on the night of the festival. He opens the drawer and stares at the stick. Coconuts still remembers the promise that Hotaru made to him that day, that she would one day return to Shikada Dagashi. Coconuts still misses Hotaru dearly, and her absence has left him distracted and unable to fully commit to anything. As a result, his manga has suffered and he can't run Shikada Dagashi like he should. Coconuts needs to make a decision about the direction his life is going to take, but it isn't easy for Coconuts without Hotaru by his side.

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    We then cut to Coconuts riding the train to where the manga review is going to be held. Coconuts arrives at a mall and heads to a bookstore, where a professional mangaka is waiting to review manga. There are several people waiting to show their work to the mangaka, and a few talk among themselves. One guy comments that even though he has submitted work to through this group before, it never gets any easier.

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    Meanwhile, Hajime arrives at the Endo Café and is greeted by Saya and To. Hajime is there to thank Saya and To for their help “yesterday slash today.” They keep repeating this phrase, which I found quite amusing. Saya points out, just as I did, that To really didn’t do anything at all to help “yesterday slash today.”

    Saya says that she is wondering how the manga review is going for Coconuts, and that is makes her nervous even thinking about Coconuts putting himself out there like that with the manga review. To teases his sister by saying that she has been going on like that all day, but Saya blushes, protesting that Coconuts might become a professional manga artist, so she thinks it’s exciting.

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    Saya suggests that they should throw a party to celebrate Coconuts’ manga review, however, Hajime suggests that it would be best to wait and see first. Hajime thinks that Coconuts might not have a reason to celebrate after all. Uh oh, that can’t be good…

    We see a wonderful series of scenes that shows the manga review going spectacularly. The professional manga artist is amazed and even suggests that Coconuts manga might win the award for best new manga. Coconuts’ imagination runs wild and he pictures himself winning the award and his manga becoming very popular. However, the manga reviewer snaps Coconuts out of his day dream and pulls him back into reality.

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    The manga reviewer asks him how long it took, and Coconuts says that he finished it in a couple of weeks. The manga reviewer, all of a sudden, turns into a jerk and starts talking about how he doesn’t have time to go over every page because there are a lot of people submitting work. He sums it up by saying that Coconuts hasn’t managed his time well. Beyond that, the man doesn’t have much to say. His review is a total waste of time, in my opinion, and doesn’t even touch on the art. The dude was just being an ass, noting really offering anything that can help Coconuts improve. Screw you manga reviewer, Coconuts doesn’t need you!

    Although, I suppose trying to finish your manga in the last two days before your event isn't the best idea. cough cough oops... lol

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    The manga reviewer claims that Coconuts is avoiding his weaknesses, but doesn’t say what those weaknesses are, nor does he offer any solutions other than, “you have years to improve.” Are you serious? How about some advice on how to improve? Or some in depth look at his strengths and weaknesses? Nah, this guy is lame. Lol

    Needless to say, Coconuts is devastated.

    Walking along the side of the road as the sun sets, Coconuts is feeling down about the review. It took him three hours to get there and the review was over in five minutes. Coconuts realizes that he needs to spend more time on his manga, and he questions why he is the manager of Shikada Dagashi. Pulling the Homerun Bar ice cream stick out of his pocket, Coconuts thinks about Hotaru and if she’ll ever return.

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    Meanwhile, Saya and Hajime are parting ways, and Hajime comments that she is sorry for bringing the mood down by saying Coconuts didn’t have a reason to celebrate. Saya says it is okay, as snow begins to fall in sheets.

    Back where Coconuts is walking to the train station to get home, an announcer at the station informs Coconuts that the trains have been cancelled due to the “inclement weather.” Coconuts just stands on the platform in utter shock.

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    Coconuts is forced to hang out in the train station’s waiting room, which is a simple wooden shack with a heating stove a tea pot in the center of the room. Groups of people stuck because of the weather sit on benches that line the room’s walls. As time passes, people come and go, but Coconuts remains, his misery increasing with every passing hour.

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    While there wasn't any dagashi in this weeks episode (it was all about the feels this week), there is a unique opportunity given in this week's episode to explore some of Japan's finer beverages. That's right, not a dagashi candy, but rather, a drink. In episode 23, at the end of the episode, we see Coconuts sitting in the waiting room for the train station. It is a small room with a few benches and a small stove, atop which sat a tea kettle. It was snowing heavily outside, and I am sure it was very cold. Having a stove like that not only keeps that little waiting room nice and toasty warm, but it also allows the occupants to have some yummy warm tea. One must imagine that having a warm cup of tea in that comforting room would be a welcome respite from the weary traveler's journeys.

    Tea is a vital part of Japanese life, and is drunk both recreationally and spiritually. Take for example, the sacred Japanese Tea Ceremony. According to japanese-tea-ceremony.net, "The Japanese tea ceremony is called Chanoyu, Sado or simply Ocha in Japanese. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha, together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one's attention into the predefined movements. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, preparing a bowl of tea from one's heart. The host of the ceremony always considers the guests with every movement and gesture. Even the placement of the tea utensils is considered from the guests view point (angle), especially the main guests called the Shokyaku."

    Check out this page of videos for some examples of the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

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    "The Japanese tea ceremony history goes back more eisai history of teathan 1000 years. The first tea leaves were brought back from China by Japanese priests and consumed only at temples for religious purposes."

    Matcha is a type of powdered green tea, and it is specifically mixed in a special way during the tea ceremony. Besides from pomp and ceremony, matcha tea is also drunk on a regular basis as a very popular drink. Go anywhere in Japan and you are likely to find yourself a tea shop that sells matcha green tea. Hibiki-an.com states that, "The taste of high grade matcha is smooth and mellow, and not at all bitter. Unique rich foamy texture. High grade matcha is a bright color of green." Traditional Japanese sweets go well with green tea, such as mochi dumplings, senbei crackers, miso meringue, matcha cookies, sweet bean jelly, confectioneries and more.

    Wikipedia also has this to say about Matcha green tea:
    "Matcha Tea
    Type Green
    Other names 抹茶, 'fine powder tea'
    Origin China
    Quick description Stone-ground Japanese-style green tea

    Matcha (抹茶) is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It is special in two aspects of farming and processing: the green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest and the stems and veins are removed in processing. During shaded growth, the plant Camellia sinensis produces more theanine and caffeine. The powdered form of matcha is consumed differently from tea leaves or tea bags, and is dissolved in a liquid, typically water or milk."

    "The traditional Japanese tea ceremony centers on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha as hot tea and embodies a meditative spiritual style. In modern times, matcha also has come to be used to flavor and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea ice cream, matcha lattes, and a variety of Japanese wagashi confectionery. Often the former is referred to as ceremonial-grade matcha, meaning that the matcha powder is good enough for tea ceremony. The latter is referred to as culinary-grade matcha, but there is no standard industry definition or requirements for either."

    "Blends of matcha are given poetic names known as chamei ("tea names") either by the producing plantation, shop, or creator of the blend, or, by the grand master of a particular tea tradition. When a blend is named by the grand master of a tea ceremony lineage, it becomes known as the master's konomi, or a Butcher block of Leaf."

    Not only is Matcha green tea tasty, but it also has wonderful health benefits. According to Matcha Source.com, "One serving of matcha tea is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea. When you drink matcha you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of the nutrients of the leaf. Matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea. One cup of matcha = 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea in terms of nutritional content. Matcha teas offer unparalleled nutrition."

    "Amongst its many health benefits, matcha…

    • Is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
    • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
    • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
    • Calms the mind and relaxes the body
    • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
    • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
    • vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
    • Prevents disease
    • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
    • Matcha tea is an easy and simple way to add powerful health benefits to your everyday diet."

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    "THE DIFFERENT GRADES OF MATCHA TEA:
    Matcha tea comes in different grades. What you pay for is flavor profile, not nutrients. Young leaves, plucked early in the
    harvest, produce delicate and vegetal flavors. Mature leaves contain more coarse matter from stems and veins and taste more
    astringent. The following illustration denotes how grades are determined."

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    Check out this Match buyer's guide to find out exactly which match green tea is right for you, as well as this page on how to prepare matcha green tea.

    Japanese Matcha green tea is a delicious and healthy drink that is warming and comforting. You can buy your own authentic Matcha green tea from any of these fine retailers:

    If you get some of the powdered matcha green tea from any of the sources above, or perhaps from one of your local tea shops, you use the instructions above, or check out these various recipes for ways on making your own Japanese matcha green tea:

    Out of all the recipe sites, Matcha Source is the best! They have lattes, smoothies, breakfast bowls, and much more! These matchas treats look delicious! Check out some of my favorites below!

    Hot Matchocolate
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    Untruffles
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    Matcha Butter
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    Matcha Chia Breakfast Bowl
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    Matcha Latte
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    Matcha Icing
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    After a while, Coconuts is the only one left in the waiting room. He is feeling like a failure, like he let all his friends down. Just as Coconuts is feeling at his lowest, a pair of black boots make their way through the thick snow towards the waiting room. A familiar figure emerges from the snow blasted chill. Could it be?

    Coconuts wonders if he should just give it all up, his dreams of becoming a mangaka, and tears well up in his eyes.

    At that moment, in walks in none other than Hotaru, wearing an all-black dress, with white and grey detail. This is a new outfit we have never seen before. Could it be a uniform? Or just her new look?

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    I just noticed that Hotaru is wheeling a suitcase behind her, and she is at a train station Is she heading somewhere? Or has she just arrived back in town?

    Hotaru smiles at Coconuts, and asks, “What brings you out here, Kokonotsu?”

    “Uh, hello there, Hotaru.”

    “It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?”

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    Wow! What an episode! I really enjoyed seeing more of Coconuts' manga. Despite what the manga reviewer said, I know that Coconuts has what it takes. He just needs a little more practice is all. Failure is a part of success, as it teaches one how to move forward. All success stories start with failure, so Coconuts shouldn't give up hope yet! If he keeps working at it and never gives up on his dream, he will eventually make it as a mangaka. Every over-night success was ten years in the making. Coconuts just needs to keep making manga and doing what he loves. The only problem is that he cannot focus when he has to run Shikada Dagashi shop. Not to mention Hotaru's absence has taken a toll on Coconuts. However, now that she has returned, what will happen? Will he leave to become a mangaka, or will he stay to take over his father's candy store? Will Hotaru finally explain why she left that day? And can Coconuts forgive her for hurting him the way she did? Let's find out now! Come join me on the next post! See you there!

    Alright, now I'm off to finish part two of this double-feature! On to the Season 2 finale!
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