Sorry, Sasha, but your loss is our gain.

“Hey, so there’s this new rice ball at the convenience store people are talking about online. I saw some dude on Twitter say ‘This shouldn’t be for sale.’ So I want you to go pick one up and eat it.”

“Say what now?”

That’s how the conversation started between me and my boss, SoraNews24 founder Yoshio.

“Someone else said ‘This is over the line.’ So, anyway, get to it.”

And with that, I set out to the nearest branch of New Days, the convenience store chain operated by Japan Railway and located inside JR train stations. Luckily, though, this turned out to be one of those times when the only people outraged were hardcore anime otaku, and even then their rage seems to be pretty tongue-in-cheek, because all the commotion was about a new type of Attack on Titan-themed rice ball.

The subject of the mock opposition is the new Onigiri with the Meat that Sasha Stole, a salute to Attack on Titan’s most carnivorous-minded character (aside from the man-eating Titans, anyway). This particular meaty morsel seems to be referencing the hunk of meat Sasha steals from the officer’s mess on the day she and her fellow new recruits get thrust into their first Titan fight. The sudden start of the battle means she never actually gets to take a bite, and from that day the lives of her and her comrades become a string of violent tragedies, making the stolen meat a bittersweet symbol of how even such a simple symbol of joy will be ground into nothingness by Attack on Titan’s cruel world.

▼ Sasha’s later-episode appearance on the label might also have fans thinking of some of her sadder meat musings from further along in the story.

But as much sympathy as I felt for Sasha, by this point I was also incredibly hungry, and just because she never got to eat the meat doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t be allowed to indulge, right?

▼ Sorry, Sasha. I’ll keep you in my thoughts as I eat this.

At 168 yen (US$1.45), the Onigiri with the Meat that Sasha Stole is a little on the pricy side for a convenience store onigiri, but it’s on the hefty side too. It owes a lot of that weight to the pleasantly thick slab of pork, slathered in sauce, that’s perched on top of the hockey puck-shaped rice ball.

▼ This onigiri opens a little differently from the standard style, but it’s not too hard to figure out.

And with that, it was time to dig in.

▼ Fun fact: It’s impossible to eat Attack on Titan-themed food without hearing the first season opening theme, “Guren no Yumiya,” playing in your head.

▼ ♪Seid ihr das Essen?♪Nein wir sind die Jäger!♪

If you’re an Attack on Titan fan with a soft spot for Sasha, you’ll probably feel a wave of sadness wash over you as you bite into this rice ball, because she would have loved it.

The heavily spiced meat makes its presence felt right away, like it would with a Spam musubi. What sets the Onigiri with the Meat that Sasha Stole apart from that Okinawan favorite, though, is that instead of white rice, it uses a pepper bullion rice. So while the flavor profile of an ordinary onigiri peaks mid-sensation before the white rice gives it a more subtle finish, here your taste buds remain firing the whole way through. Everything gets even more intense once you reach the center of the onigiri, where a mayonnaise-like pepper dressing is waiting to kick the flavor up one notch further.

Compared to other onigiri, this is a much heavier and more filling experience, but if you’ve got a rumble in your stomach and a hankering for meat, it’ll solve both problems nicely. Despite my boss’ impression that this was an onigiri that “shouldn’t be for sale,” it deserves its spot on the shelf, and it’s easily the best stolen anime meat-themed food since that time we made our own edible Titans to eat with the Sasha stolen meat curry.

Related: Twitter/@manarisu9475, Hachima Kiko
Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!