Nissin, the maker of Cup Noodle, is about to unroll a pair of “Luxury” flavors of instant ramen. And one of them is “shark fin”…

■ Cup Noodle Rich

The two new flavors in what Nissin is calling its Cup Noodle Rich series are “Luxury Thickness Shark Fin Soup Flavor” and “Luxury Broth Softshell Turtle Soup Flavor.” Along with the boast that each cup contains 1,000 mg of collagen, the word “soup” appears prominently on both of the new products’ labels—most likely in an effort to promote the fact that this is very much a richer, more nourishing version of every student’s favorite instant snack.

Despite the promise of such luxury (and on the surface morally questionable) ingredients however, the cups will go on sale for just 230 yen (US$2), about 50 yen more than a regular Cup Noodle.

■ Does it really have shark fin and softshell turtle?

This brings us to the controversial nature of the purported main ingredients of Cup Noodle Rich. After a little bit of investigation, we found that “the Luxurious Thickness Shark Fin Soup Flavor” doesn’t actually contain shark fin but “shark-fin-like processed foods”—news that those concerned for our finned friends’ welfare will no doubt be relieved to hear. That being said, faux-fin or not, it seems odd that Nissin should choose to slap the word フカヒレ (fukahire/shark fin) quite so prominently on the product’s packaging while campaigners the world over are trying to put an end to finning. In fact, we’d argue that they’d probably benefit more by marketing the new snack as an alternative to actual shark fin soup.

The Luxury Broth Softshell Turtle Soup Flavor, meanwhile, does list “softshell turtle powder” in the ingredients as a flavoring agent—something that probably will assuage neither the feelings of pet-turtle lovers nor turtle-meat lovers…

■ 45 years of noodles

The two new flavors are apparently a celebration of Cup Noodle’s 45th anniversary, and Nissin is clearly pulling out all the stops for the product’s birthday: not only did it hire legendary TV personality, celebrity, and spokesperson Beat Takeshi to promote the new Luxury line, but they got a Golden Beat Takeshi which—if our years of gaming are anything to go by—gives 45,000 exp and a high chance at rare items if defeated.

Isn’t that right, Golden Beat Takeshi?

▼ “Grrrrr….rrr”

P.K. Sanjun, a writer over at our Japanese sister site, was actually privy to an early taste test of the controversial noodles. Despite shark fin generally being much less taboo in Japan than in the west, he admitted that he wasn’t really sure what to expect, but after trying them he commented that the soup’s thick, “delectable flavor” really did warrant the “Luxury” tag, adding that the additional collagen in the cups really boosted their flavor.

The new noodles will be available to buy nationwide from April 11. If you really want to try them, though, you’ll probably have to hop on a plane or find a good importer since, for obvious reasons, we doubt you’ll be seeing these varieties on shelves outside Japan anytime soon…

Photos © RocketNews24