”Ba-…baka! It’s not like Domino’s bakes these specifically for anime fans or anything!” …oh, wait, they do.
You could argue that pizza is the ultimate social food, since everyone loves a pizza party (seriously, I don’t even know you, but if you’re having a pizza party at your place tonight, there’s a 70-percent chance I’ll show up). But at the same time, pizza, by nature of how popular pizza delivery is, is also the perfect food for otaku whose ideal way to spend a night is by relaxing at home and watching some anime.
Domino’s Pizza Japan knows this, which is why in the past it’s catered to the otaku market with virtual idol AR concert pizza boxes and romantic anime meme delivery techniques. Now, though, the company is extending its otaku appeal to the menu itself, as it’s created the world’s first Tsundere Pizza!
▼ ツンデレピザ = Tsundere Pizza
For the uninitiated, tsundere refers to an anime character/personality type of running hot and cold with one’s affections. The “tsun” comes from tsuntsun, the metaphorical onomatopoeia for being thornily standoffish. On the other end, “dere” is from deredere, which fills the onomatopoeia role for goey, lovey-dovey behavior.
The new pie is even called the Tsundere Pizza on Domino’s Japan’s official English-language menu, since tsundere, via the international popularity of anime, is a term that’s spread beyond Japan’s borders.
So what makes a pizza tsundere? Well, first you’ve got to have the hateful tsuntsun part. See the massive pile of circular toppings atop the pizza? Those aren’t sliced mushrooms, they’re jalapenos! With the volume of spicy peppers almost equal to that of the entire rest of the pizza, so just like if you’re going to get into a romance with a tsundere, if you’re entering a gastronomic relationship with a Tsundere Pizza, you probably should expect it to hurt.
▼ And yes, there’s already Tsundere Pizza fan art!
However, when making a Tsundere Pizza you can’t have the tsun without the dere. Domino’s Pizza promises that the Tsundere Pizza’s cheese coating will lovingly spare you from the full fire of the triple portion of jalapenos, and that the resulting flavor is “nice and mild,” though we wonder if that’s an assurance we should take at face value or not, given tsunderes’ proclivity for downplaying the sharpness of their tsuntsun actions. Domino’s also says the Tsundere Pizza is “#4 Happy Range,” a designation the world’s tsundere would probably click their tongues at me for not having any idea what it means.
For this passive aggressive declaration of culinary love, Domino’s is asking 2,800 yen (US$26) for a medium, 3,399 yen for a regular, and 3,900 yen for a large. I recommend against asking the Tsundere Pizza why it exists in both “medium” and “regular” sizes when “small,” “medium,” and “large” would have been easier to understand, since trying a tsundere’s patience is a good way to end up getting hit over the head with a 50-ton hammer, as documented in plenty of anime evidence.
At this time, the Tsundere Pizza is exclusive to Japan, but considering the positive response the idea is getting from English-language online commenters, Domino’s might want to consider adding it to its menus overseas as well. In the meantime, we’ll also be brainstorming ideas for other -dere pizzas, like the Kuudere (just a baked crust, with no cheese, sauce, or toppings whatsoever), the Deredere (a dessert pizza overflowing with chocolate sauce, maple syrup, and honey), and the Yandere (a pizza topped with bacteria that devours the organic matter in any other food you have in the house, and then you).
Source: Domino’s Pizza via Jin
Top image: Domino’s Pizza
Insert images: Domino’s Pizza (1, 2)
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s happy to debate whether or not Kimagure Orange Road’s Madoka counts as a tsundere or not.