Between pissing his pants for his newly born daughter’s sake and figuring out whether or not pigeon feces increase one’s fiscal fortunes, Ahiru Neko is a pretty busy guy. Sometimes when things get hectic, he can certainly energize himself by sheer power of will, but why tax one’s mental energy when an energy drink does the trick? Ahiru Neko set out to the World Wide Web to find the perfect energy drink for his needs, and came across… the ANko.

▼ No, we did not misspell “anko,” or the Japanese word for red bean paste.

The ANko is an energy drink made out of red bean paste. Compared to your typical energy drinks served up in a bottle, the ANko comes in neat packets, similar to the electrolyte-filled jellies you may find in your typical Japanese convenience store. The beans used for this unique energy drink are grown in Hokkaido, and the ANko has three types up for sale: koshiAN, tsubuAN, and shiroAN (respectively: smooth red bean paste, chunky red bean paste, and white bean paste). Ahiru Neko bought seven of each flavor with the total cost coming out to 2,780 yen (US$25.61) including shipping costs and tax.

Before chugging them all up, Ahiru Neko inspected the packaging for a list of ingredients. After all, what usually gives energy drinks that quick is caffeine, and quite frankly, the combination of red bean and caffeine didn’t necessarily sound appealing. But to his surprise, caffeine wasn’t listed as one of the ingredients.

▼ Besides red bean, the ANko comes with proteins, lipids, carbs, salts, and a proud label advertising its vegan-hood.

Furthermore, the ANko seemed primarily geared towards athletes with a suggestion for would-be drinkers to down the red bean energy drink before or after exercise. The pack which Ahiru Neko bought even came with its own pamphlet promoting the drink’s fitness benefits. Though Ahiru Neko is very active in terms of seeing how much pork cutlet he can stuff into his mouth, glancing at the pamphlet didn’t really give him much motivation or even extra confidence in the ANko’s energy boons.

To clear his doubts, Ahiru Neko ultimately decided to first deposit a bit of the ANko on a plate before the taste test. He wanted to convince himself that he wasn’t just some madman drinking red bean paste straight out of a plastic packet.

▼ Sploot!

Ahiru Neko felt his doubts increase twice-fold. At first glance, what he deposited on the plate had the same consistency as any other red bean paste one would buy from the local supermarket. Had he been duped by the Internet? Naturally, there was no other way forward but to try out the drink.

▼ Bottoms up!

Much to his surprise, Ahiru Neko realized he was downing the red bean energy drink with a sipping motion of his throat. The ANko’s red bean actually had an incredibly viscous texture, and he could see the mild but sweet taste pairing well with a banana or a sports drink. Though the drink wasn’t crazy loaded with caffeine, Ahiru Neko thought it made for a good snack overall.

And of course, sharing is caring, so what better way to go through 21 packets of a red bean energy drink than to distribute it among your co-coworkers? Ahiru Neko graciously handed off one of his packets to fellow desk-mate Go Hattori for an extra zap of energy during those sleepy afternoon hours.

▼ Sip and…


Recharge complete! Now it’s time to eat a pizza with 2.2 pounds of cheese or go out in full gluttonous mayhem!!!

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