“Luka Luka★Night Fever” Pink Grapefruit Soda

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What is a pink-haired anime character doing on your soda bottle? Selling you pink grapefruit soda, apparently. Pink and pink seem to go well together according to drink company Itoen and their Vocaloid character campaign. For this edition we have Luka Megurine (巡音ルカ) and her 2009 single “Luka Luka★Night Fever”, where she promises to “break through the ‘dimensions’”; this time with your taste buds.

Vocaloid is a singing voice synthesizing software developed by the Yamaha Corporation in 2004. Each Vocaloid is sold as a “singer in a box”, which allows aspiring musicians to input lyrics and a melody into the program to create their own songs. Common characteristics of Vocaloid music are the following:

1) Throbbing Eurobeat BGM found just as commonly in European dance clubs as it is in smoky Japanese pachinko parlors.

2) Unnatural vibrato a la that Cher song that needs no further explanation—and which you probably have stuck in your head now.

3) Artificial-sounding voices that can only be the product of childhood nightmares of possessed, glow-in-the-dark-eyed dolls smiling in the corner of your bedroom.

4) A music video that features an animated character with blue hair.

Luka, as well as several other common Vocaloid avatars such as Miku Hatsune (初音ミク) and Rin/Len Kagamine (鏡音リン・レン), was developed by Crypton Future Media, Inc. The characters themselves were originally conceptualized as examples of what the singers of these artificial voices might look like, but ended up becoming the animated Vocaloid stars that they are today. Luka’s “Luka Luka★Night Fever” was written and produced by Vocaloid musician samfree. It is the fictional songstress’s biggest hit, receiving over 3,000,000 hits on Japan’s YouTube-esque Niconico Broadcast. With allusions in the song such as:

“I’m coming to see you beyond dimensions.”

“If you’re ready, take my hand.”

“I’ll teach you something that you’ll never learn at school.”

“Forget everything disgraceful.”

and

“When the sun rises it’s time to say goodbye.”

I’d say that Luka not only wishes to bust into the real world, but also to get into your pants—particularly if you own several of her figurines and are averse to showering.

Oh, and heartfelt croonings like this you can leave up to your imagination:  “I know you more than anyone else, so show me everything, and let me find out why we were born with you.”

Now that we know a little bit more about the packaging, let’s get down to the actual product:

Bleah

Not an all caps “BLEAH”, just a regular “Bleah”. Pink Grapefruit? I’d say more bubble gum than anything, which isn’t so bad for someone with as low standards for soft drinks as me. However, that after taste, that’s where the “Bleah” comes from.

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Mizore Nashi (Pear) Drink

The first week of October, and what do you think of? If it’s pears and Funasshi the genderless pear mascot, then you’re right in line with Japan and this Mizore Nashi drink release.
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The drink itself is pretty common in Japan, selling from a variety of companies and packages—most of which do not require an animated endorser. The taste itself is pretty much what you’d expect if you’ve ever eaten a pear before, with added pear chunks—to give that extra possibility of choking to death. Refreshing, but a little heavy with the sugar.
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The main focus of this particular variety is the character Funasshi. Originally created by a citizen in Funabashi, Chiba prefecture to promote tourism in the town, the local government did not officially approve of it, so Funasshi went on to pursue greener pastures himself. Apart from looking like a Pacman hybrid with a stem, random facts are that he is 1,876 years old, listens to heavy metal, and his favorite food is peaches (kind of like if my favorite food were Japanese people).

Since his original inception, he has starred in his own YouTube videos, released a single titled, “Funa Funa Funasshi,” was interviewed by CNN, and has apparently grossed 200,000,000 yen in revenue (think $2 million). That’s pretty decent for a singing pear. The only thing left is mashing that cute face of his into a pulpy liquid and seeing what he tastes like. And with that, dear readers, I present Mizore Nashi drink!