It’s time to catch ‘em all at Mister Donut!

You might be kind of surprised to hear this, but even with our love of desserts and legendary appetites, we usually don’t go out and buy ourselves four donuts at a time for a snack. But today is a special occasion, one which we’d been waiting all week for, because Japan’s Pokémon donuts are back!

The sweet-in-every-sense-of-the-word treats are the result of the Pokémon franchise teaming up with Mister Donut, Japan’s favorite donut chain. Series mascot Pikachu returns for this fall’s batch, natch, but with a new flavor, and is joined by three all-new edible Pokémon salutes.

Starting with the star himself, at first glance Pikachu’s appearance looks unchanged from last year’s version. But consulting our photographic memories (and, also, our photographic article from a year ago), we noticed there’s a change in Pikachu’s eyes, which are now shining like diamonds full of dreams!

If we had to guess, there are probably two reasons for this. First, obviously, is the added cuteness, and secondly, Pikachu’s new eyes probably make the donuts easier to prepare. The simple circle pupils of the old version could make Pikachu look cross-eyed if they weren’t arranged just right, but the inherently asymmetrical sparkles mean they don’t have to be aligned to the exact same degree, and should help avoid a repeat of the complaints about the very first Pikachu donuts being too uncute to live.

Grabbing a knife and cutting Pikachu open (hey, he’s food, after all) revealed what’s new for 2020. Instead of last year’s banana-flavored filling, the Pikachu donut is now stuffed with purin (Japanese custard pudding)-flavor whipped custard.

Moving on to the other donut species, we come to Chansey.

The kind and caring Chansey is getting lots of recognition this year, with its first-ever Mister Donut treatment following the installation of nine Chansey Pokémon manhole covers in Japan last summer.

The Chansey donut (priced at 259 yen [US$2.59], the same as Pikachu) is covered in strawberry chocolate, and also has little chocolate candies for its ears.

▼ There was some debate among our staff as to whether those are ears or gills on the sides of Chansey’s head, but according to Mister Donut’s website, they’re ears.

▼ Welcome to the Pokémon sweets club, Chansey…so you know we have to do this.

Unlike Pikachu, the Chansey donut itself doesn’t have a filling. On the other hand, and in Chansey’s hands, the egg the Pokémon is always holding is itself a mini donut ball (a single segment of Mister Donut’s perennially popular Pon de Ring donut with whipped custard inside, so this is kind of like two donuts in one.

Also all-new for 2020 are the spherical Poké Ball and Ultra Ball (both 216 yen).

Out of these two, we started with the Ultra Ball, since it’s the one that’s covered in chocolate and icing.

This is essentially a nice-sized cream puff, once again with a whipped custard filling, which at this point we were starting to think must be waiting inside of just about everything in the Pokémon world.

If you want a little more tang to mix with your sweetness, the Poké Ball is the way to go. While the inside is the same as the Ultra Ball, the chocolate covering is replaced with strawberry glaze.

As Mister Donut usually does, it’s also offering some adorable limited-edition Pokémon tableware, with two bowls and two mugs to choose from.

They’re only available as part of three bundles, though, with your choice of one piece of tableware accompanied by
● Your choice of Pikachu or Chansey donut plus three Pon de Wreath donuts (Donut Set A, 1,300 yen)
● Your choice of Poké Ball or Ultra Ball donut plus three Pon de Wreath donuts (Donut Set B, 1,250 yen)
● Your choice of Pikachu or Chansey donut plus one tapioca bubble tea drink (Drink Set, 1,400 yen)

▼ Pon de Wreath

▼ Even the sets’ boxes are cute.

If you’re an aspiring Pokémon Donut Master who’s planning to eat ‘em all, be advised that in previous years, fresh-baked batches have sold out very quickly. However, at the local branches we checked we were told that regardless of what time the branch was opening, they wouldn’t start selling the Pokémon donuts until 11 a.m. That may vary from branch to branch, though, so if you want to ask what time you can buy them from, the appropriate phrase to use is “Pokemon donatsu wa nanji kara hanbai shiteimasu ka?” Meanwhile, the appropriate verbal response when you actually do get your hands on them is, of course, giddy laughter.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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