We crack open a can of the crossover between Coca-Cola and the Bleach anime/manga franchise.

Here at SoraNews24, our taste tests fall into two broad categories: things that sound delicious, and things that sound weird. As you might expect, we get more volunteers for the first group than the second, so when our boss said “Hey, anyone up for drinking a can of Bleach cola?”, you might expect the assignment to be as appealing as eating crab ice cream.

But just like your kindergarten teacher told you, capitalization is important. We’re not talking about cola made with bleach, but cola inspired by the anime/manga franchise Bleach. Timed to coincide with the premiere of the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War continuation of the anime TV series, Coca-Cola Zero Soul Blast went on sale recently in Japan, and not long after our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma had a can in his hand baring the likeness of Bleach protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki.

The packaging promises that Soul Blast is “action flavored,” and Coca-Cola Japan’s press release further pledges that it will help you “become the strongest version of yourself possible.” We suppose that’s true if you follow the logic that empty calories are detrimental to physical performance, as the Bleach cola is both zero-calorie and zero-sugar.

But more than the nutritional facts, Masanuki wanted to know about Soul Blast’s flavor factor.

Pouring some into a glass, the aroma was almost identical to ordinary cola, but with a subtle difference. Something about it stirred up memories of Masayuki’s boyhood days when he would run to the neighborhood candy store and buy packs of “American Cola,” a sweet powdered confectionary that you could eat as is or mix with water for a make-it-yourself soft drink.

The differences got more pronounced though when he took a sip of Soul Blast. It tastes quite a bit differently from regular Coca-Cola Zero, with a fruity, almost lemon-like citrus sensation at the start of the flavor profile. And while Soul Blast is very sweet, its finish is far crisper and cleaner than standard Coca-Cola Zero too, making it both “exhilarating” and “refreshing,” Masanuki reported between gulps of it.

Bleach Coke is on sale for a limited time only, and is a great beverage choice for fans of the series, cola enthusiasts in general, and designated drivers who need to find an alternative beverage to Japan’s new tsundere beer.

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