Nick’s Nippon Notebook: A Taste of Mystery

Posted by Guest Author on Dec 3, 2007 in Hobbies and Collections |

mystery fanta

After missing out on Pepsi’s popular but limited edition Pepsi Ice Cucumber flavor, I was on the hunt for a soda challenge. I guess to some extent I found it in the new Fanta Mystery Flavor from Coca-Cola Japan. Apparently it’s a combination of 2 fruit flavors but you’ll have to determine which ones by drinking it. There’s some sort of mobile phone mystery game tie in to play along with and eventually discover if your guess is right about the 2 (very artificial) flavors perhaps long after you really care to know. I notice the little fruits on the bottle have legs. Maybe they are fleeing from the scene of a crime?

I remember years ago there was an old man with a now gone shoebox sized store in Akiba. It might have been a smoking den since all I think inside there were vending machines and benches. What I remember is he had a drink vending machine with one of the display cans all wrapped up in brown bag paper and question marks written in magic marker on it. I didn’t go for it because it’s surely risking something not nice tasting.

One time I bought a drink with a picture of a weird root of some sort on the can. (not ginsing, it was something I’ve never seen in an asian supermarket). It tasted incredibly unpleasant and undrinkable and had to buy another drink to wash the taste out. I guess it was something supposedly really healthy because it was too obscurely located to be my second guess. The thought occurred it might be practical joke for foreigners like who buy anything unusual they see in a vending machine without knowing what it is. But it was located very out of the beaten track.

But in the Mystery Fanta case the mystery was arranged by a giant soft drink corporation and I went for it. I was sort of hoping for something more original. The thought occurred maybe they could do a bit power of suggestion trick. Maybe not choose any flavor or change it all the time. So then maybe consumers would drink more and debate what it was. But I’m completely sure of one flavor and think I know the other, though the puzzle is harder since the flavors are completely artificial concoctions

What flavors did it taste like? Well I’m not telling. I don’t want to spoil the mystery.

Nick Kent is a New York based artist who works with electronic media and is an occasional pop culture pundit.

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