Love is in the cups, and maybe the air, as Mr. Sato sees if he can make the SoraNews24 staff fall in love with each other.

It might not be the impression most people would get when he’s sticking chemical butt-warmers on his backside or decorating his bare chest with electrical tape in preparation for a groove session with some sexy ladies, but Mr. Sato is actually one of SoraNews24’s senior staff members. As befitting Japanese society’s kohai/senpai relationship, where more experienced members of a group are expected to protect and nurture newcomers, Mr. Sato is always thinking of ways to improve our company’s working environment, and while some management gurus espouse the benefits of team-building retreats, sports activities, or after-hours socializing, Mr. Sato knows there’s only one real way to build lasting solidarity between coworkers:

Love potions bought on the Internet.

In the greatest abuse of his company expense account since…well, last week, when he bought a 10,000-yen (US$92) bento boxed lunch, Mr. Sato recently found love potions for sale on Amazon Japan, with the product page boasting “It’s finally here! The world’s first love potion.”

Impressed by the claimed breakthrough, Mr. Sato promptly ordered a bottle from the seller, listed as “shop7,” for 3,580 yen (US$33), which he figured was a fair price on the basis that as “the world’s first” love potion, he couldn’t really say it was more expensive than any other.

Two days later, a box arrived at SoraNews24 headquarters. Oddly enough, the label’s descriptions of the package contents said “nutritional supplements,” but is there anything more nourishing than love?

Inside the box was a small glass bottle. Turning it around and looking at the label on the backside, Mr. Sato learned that the love potion’s primary ingredients are extracts from mucuna bennettii (a kind of flowering vine native to New Guinea) and guarana fruit.

The love potion’s instructions said to mix it into a drink, so Mr. Sato prepared several cups of water, one for each member of the staff in the office that day. Unscrewing the bottle’s cap, he saw that the liquid was a deep brown color, and had a faintly sour smell to it.

Oddly enough, the instructions contained no information whatsoever regarding the proper dosage, so Mr. Sato decided to put one drop in each cup.


“…gonna fall in…LOOOOVE!!!♫”

He then called his coworkers over and explained his plan, which they all took with surprising calmness (because a dude can only shock you so much when you’ve already eaten sushi off his naked body). So after a quick “Cheers!” it was down the hatch with the love potion.

Then it was back to work, and Mr. Sato asked everyone to inform him as soon as they felt the potion begin to work.

Whose heart would begin to stir fist, he wondered? Would it be Yoshio, his intrepid boss with a borderline-criminal past?

Young Seiji, who’s still just learning the romance ropes?

Or would everyone’s passion burst forth simultaneously?

An hour went by without anyone sweeping Mr. Sato up in their warm, strong yet supple arms. Then another hour passed, with everyone still continuing to diligently type away at their projects, with no furtive glances or surreptitious notes declaring undying affection and all-consuming amour.

Quitting time rolled around, with the day at the office having felt as ordinary as any other. Mr. Sato began to worry that maybe he should have used a larger dose of the potion…but then he realized why he hadn’t observed any changes among his coworkers.

It was because they’d all already loved each other, even before he’d administered the potion.

▼ Even our reporter Go Hattori, who was out sick for the day, loves everyone so much that we could feel his presence hovering above us, like a disembodied head in a floating cube.

While we’re not sure it counts as romantic love, there’s no denying that there’s plenty of genuine affection and fellowship among our team. After all, you might be able to put up with some annoying or bizarre behavior from a colleague you don’t care for on a personal basis, but if you’re willing to stick around an office where not only is a guy blasting his nuts with cooling spray, but asking if anyone wants to join him, then you must like each other on a pretty deep level.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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