Also featuring the long-awaited return of Umaibo!

Previously on Japan’s Best Home Senbero, after slipping on the Banana Peel of Truth, Mr. Sato met with the soul of his coworker Masanuki Sunakoma on the astral plane. There, Masanuki told Mr. Sato that the only way to free his body from the demons that control it is to find the very best senbero – which is a set of food and alcohol for only 1,000 yen ($8.81) – in all of Japan.

With his mission now clear, Mr. Sato must continue his mission while also avoiding the evil schemes of Masanuki’s possessed form. It wouldn’t be easy, but our Senbero God decided to try one of Japan’s biggest supermarket chains, Seiyu, next. Like most major chains, it has a wide selection of store-brand items that can be bought rather cheaply for a plentiful senbero experience.

For instance, Mr. Sato was able to get two cans of store-brand Strong 9% Chu-Hi alcopops for just 115 yen ($1.01) each.

A pack of store brand Microwave French Fries for just 98 yen ($0.86) would certainly fit in with this evening’s feast.

And boy howdy! If it ain’t a pack of Boston butt pork slathered in Yoshida BBQ sauce and on sale for just 93 yenneroos (0.82 buckeroos)!

This pack of bean sprouts for only 28 yen ($0.25) is a great way to add some texture to any senbero.

And this tube of grated raw garlic ought to bring some much needed zing for just 98 yen ($0.86).

These items are all intended to enhance the Menbo Ichiban Kake Soba noodles Mr. Sato got for a mere 105 yen ($0.93).

For his next course, he bought a four-pack of bread rolls for 109 yen ($0.96).

Then, he got a can of sardines to place in said rolls for 108 yen ($0.95).

And this five-slice pack of cheese for 95 yen ($0.84) would round out his sandwiches nicely.

That all didn’t leave much room in his budget for dessert, but luckily the insanely cheap puffed corn snacks Umaibo were always an option for 10 yen ($0.09) apiece.

This 13-item senbero set Mr. Sato back 994 yen ($8.76) before taxes, which is probably as close to the magic number of 1,000 as he’s ever gotten before.

This was a very auspicious note to start off on, so Senbero God Sato wasted no time and began cooking right away. First, he dumped all the bean sprouts onto some plastic wrap.

Our reporter doesn’t like to brag but he’s considered by some to be the leading expert in wrapping things in plastic and microwaving them.

By the way, Mr. Sato’s outfit for this senbero was inspired by the rootin’ tootin’ Mr. Yoshida of Yoshida’s Fine Sauces.

However, in Tokyo cowboy garb is hard to come by, so Senbero God had to make do with what he had.

Mr. Sato: “Let’s get out there and rope them doggies, dagnabbit!”

The pork was easy to cook and just needed to be fried up in an oiled pan. Having been singed in many a past senbero, Mr. Sato wisely kept his distance.

In doing so he noticed on the back of the package “tastes like mama’s cookin'” was written. It made him wonder how his own mother was doing.


Mr. Sato: “HI MOM!!!”

Mr. Sato: “Right… Back at it, then.”

Mr. Sato: “Ow! Oil splashed on my finger!”

Remembering what his mama taught him back on the ranch, Mr. Sato began rubbing his earlobe to soothe the searing pain in his finger.

But in doing so he could smell that his burn mark was just some BBQ sauce and licked it off.

It began to smell so good that he decided to try some right then and there, apparently forgetting the “burn” he had received moments earlier.

Mr. Sato: “Ow! Ooh! Hot, hot.”

After the piece cooled, our reporter was blown away by the rich flavor of the sauce.

Mr. Sato: “Mr. Yoshida! Where are you?! Fly by the window, because I want to compliment you!”

The Senbero God was so busy hallucinating that he had forgotten about the bean sprouts in the microwave.

Not to worry, though. They were resilient vegetables and Mr. Sato had bigger fries to fry.

Next, it was time to make the sardine cheese rolls.

They were easy enough to assemble and just needed a little toasting.

By this time the fries were all heated and ready for serving.

This freed up the microwave for the soba noodles which he set to heat while also boiling water for the soup in an electric kettle. Mr. Sato was really in the groove and everything was going according to plan.


▼ Byoooooon!

The constant microwaving and toasting had blown a fuse in the office.

It wasn’t a big problem, however. Mr. Sato just needed to flip the switch back up and…

…everything came back on.

▼ Byooooon!

Mr. Sato: “That’s weird. It happened again.”

Mr. Sato: “Alright! All fixed! Now, where were we?”

▼ Byoooon!

Mr. Sato: “What the hell?!”

Mr. Sato: “Back to cooking!”

Yoshio, who had been working the camera for this assignment, is a true documentarian and normally doesn’t get involved in whatever Mr. Sato is doing. However, seeing that this loop Mr. Sato was stuck in would probably never end on its own, he decided to intervene.

Yoshio: “Hey, dumbass! It keeps turning off because you’re running too many appliances at the same time.”

Mr. Sato grew meek after his scolding and quietly made the rest of his soba noodles.

Mr. Sato realized that every senbero has its thorn, just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song.

Then he solemnly put in the bean sprouts and BBQ pork.

And finally squeezed on some garlic.

The ding of the toaster oven echoed in the quiet office and Mr. Sato walked over to remove his sardine rolls.

Everything was ready but only got a conservative fist pump of restrained enthusiasm from our humbled Senbero God.

However, some nine-percent alcopops were sure to change the mood quickly.

A grin crept back onto the face of our reporter and he eyed a nicely browned sardine roll.

It was really good! Mr. Sato didn’t expect much from the bread since it was on sale, but it was surprisingly fresh.

Next was the soba which he dubbed “Soba Jiro” as the heaps of rich flavored toppings were very similar to what’s served at the famous restaurant Ramen Jiro in Tokyo.

Soba, however, is usually a more subtle tasting noodle than ramen and was heavily overpowered by the other ingredients in both taste and texture. The beans sprouts really helped to ground the dish overall, keeping it in the “good” category.

The alcohol also helped greatly.

With the main food safely consumed, it was time to cap this senbero with the Umaibo. You might remember that Mr. Sato had gotten one of these with his Aeon senbero. However, when he ate that one he had forgotten to do something very important.

One of our reporter’s many claims to fame is that he developed the “coolest way to eat Umaibo ever” back in 2011. It was so popular a small electronics repair shop in Tokyo had used it in their letters to customers.

He would like to demonstrate it now.

Mr. Sato: “You see…hic. The key is to lift with your knee cap, not your waist.”

Mr. Sato: “Raise the Umaibo to about the top of your head for the right velocity and keep your eyes on your knee…”

Mr. Sato: “Then…DROP THE HAMMER!”

Mr. Sato: “Wow! It actually worked after all these years!”

Mr. Sato: “See! The snack popped out of the wrapper cleanly!”

Mr. Sato: “I’ve got to be honest. I wasn’t sure if that still worked.”

Mr. Sato: “I thought maybe they changed the packaging or something.”

Mr. Sato: “Hooray for me!”

Mr. Sato: “Yoshio, what are you looking at?”

Masanuki: “…”

The dark senbero lord quickly slid into the room and interrupted Mr. Sato’s victory.

Mr. Sato: “Gyah!!! Why, you varmint!”

By this time Mr. Sato knew to anticipate Masanuki’s arrival, which is why he bought extra Umaibo. He handed one of them to Masanuki which appeared to calm him somewhat.

However, the dark senbero lord suddenly pressed the stick against his own forehead. This wasn’t the “coolest way” at all but another dark perversion of Masanuki’s twisted imagination. Mr. Sato tried to stop him, but was quickly silenced with an overwhelming shush from his coworker.

Masanuki: “…”

Mr. Sato: “No! I can’t let you do this to yourself!”

Mr. Sato: “Noooooo! It doesn’t work on your forehead!”

Masanuki: “Hurrrrr!”

Masanuki: “Fuuuuuuun!”

Mr. Sato: “Aw no… I can’t watch.”

Masanuki: “Hurrrrrr!”

Masanuki: “Fuuuuuun!”

Mr. Sato: “Awgh… This is such a lame way to open your Umaibo.”

Masanuki: “Hurrrrrr!”

Masanuki: “Fuuuuuun!”

Masanuki: “Hurrr!”

Masanuki: “Fuuuuuuun!”

Masanuki: “Hurrrr!”

Masanuki: “Fuuuuuun!”

Mr. Sato: “Stop! Stop! For the love of Antonio DeNiro, it’s already open! It’s…already…open…”

Masanuki: “Hurrr!”

Masanuki: “FUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!”

The dark senbero lord had no intention of stopping, however. He kept hitting his head with his puffed corn snack until the situation got as awkward as it could possibly get.

Satisfied with making everyone in the room as uncomfortable as possible, Masanuki took his senbero and left the room.

Masanuki: “…”

Masanuki: “…”

Mr. Sato: “That was so weird.”

Our Senbero God worried that armed with the secrets of opening Umaibo, Masanuki might trick innocent PC repair shops into thinking his way was the cool one, when in fact it sucked. Still, the dark lord didn’t seem nearly as violent this time around, so perhaps this overall decent senbero was starting to reach the goodness within him.

This was ultimately not the best home senbero in Japan, however, which meant that Mr. Sato’s quest was not finished. Find out next time where the search for Japan’s Best Home Senbero takes our hero to next!

Catch up on all our “Japan’s Best Home Senbero” articles here:
Episode #1 – Lawson Store 100
Episode #2 – Don Quijote
Episode #3 – Costco
Episode #4 – IKEA
Episode #5 – ABS Wholesale Center
Episode #6 – Aeon
Episode #7 – Kaldi
Episode #8 – 7-Eleven
Episode #9 – Milk and Cake for Dogs
Episode #10 – Hanamasa Meat
Episode #11 – Life
Episode #12 – Shokuhinkan Aoba

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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