Loyal soldiers and citizens of the anime’s Principality of Zeon can stock up on supplies for any years-long fights they envision.

Mobile Suit Gundam is credited with establishing the “real robot” genre. Up until then, robot anime often treated their mechanical marvels like superheroes in their own right, but Gundam insisted that its mobile suits were strictly machines being used to wage a war, and only as heroic or villainous as the pilot at the controls or the army sending it out into battle.

This grounding of the narrative in human psychology has given the Gundam franchise a remarkably complex in-anime social structure, the latest effect of which is that you now can buy Gundam emergency rations in the real world.

Specifically, you can buy Principality of Zeon Emergency Rations. For the uninitiated, it might seem odd that it’s the ostensible bad guys who’re offering the food, but the Gundam franchise’s recurring antagonists have always been quick to capitalize on their snappier design sense compared to the Earth Federation they rebel repeatedly against.

▼ The cans are emblazoned with the Zeon insignia (no, not the Decepticon logo, BBC).

Crack open a can and you’ll find it filled with kanpan, a sort of Japanese hardtack. Kanpan has actually enjoyed a sort of retro-revival boom in recent years, and is especially popular as a souvenir from vending machine’s in Tokyo’s Akihabara otaku district, so it’s doubly appropriate as anime rations.

While the Zeon people proudly refer to themselves as “Spacenoids” due to their outer-space birth, their real-life rations are made down here on terra firma, in the city of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, by confectionary maker Sanritsu Seika. Shizuoka also happens to be where one of the largest Gunpla Gundam model kit factories is located, which might have had a part in Sanritsu being chosen for the partnership. In any case, Sanritsu’s involvement means that the Zeon rations aren’t the sort of bland barely-preferable-to-starving hardtack that sailors and other pioneers had to endure, but a genuinely tasty crunchy snack. Mixed in with the dried biscuits are pieces of rock candy (if you’re worried that that makes them more like a dessert than a main dish, you can save them for until after you’ve finished your Final Fantasy fried chicken).

That said, the Zeon Emergency Rations really do have an incredibly long shelf life, as they’ll keep for up to five years. They also ship in suitably military-looking cardboard crates, and the designers invite you to “Feel like a Zeon soldier or citizen as you receive your shipment.”

▼ Those with a deep loyalty to Zeon, of course, will want to reuse the empty containers rather than throw them away.

The Principality of Zeon Emergency Rations come 10 cans to a box and can be ordered online here through Premium Bandai. One box is priced at 7,344 yen (US$67), and while laymen might be surprised that the principality is charging people for their own rations, long-time Gundam fans will know that it’s never a good idea to take Zeon’s noble philosophies at face value.

Source: Premium Bandai via Japaaan
Images: Premium Bandai
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