Spreading the Japanese custom of eating KFC at Christmas to other parts of the world.

Our Japanese-language reporter Miho Kouzuki currently resides in Spain, where she likes to keep an eye out for Japan-related products and news, and just the other day, she came across something that totally blew her away.

▼ There’s a series of new “otaku” items on the menu at Spanish KFCs.

Miho could hardly believe her eyes when she saw the word “otaku” on the menu, and upon asking her Spanish friends about it, they responded with rave reviews, saying: “What a cool name!” and “It’s a popular flavour in Japan, right?

Unsure of what otaku flavour might taste like, Miho stopped by her local branch of KFC to try it out. Once she got there, she didn’t have to look hard to find the new Japan-inspired series, as there was plenty of eye-catching signage being used to promote it.

Miho smiled at seeing the Japanese words “お祝い” (“celebration”) and “美味” (“delicious”) branded across the screen, and she was surprised to find a message above it in Japanese that read: “In Japan it’s customary to eat KFC at Christmas”.

Judging by the campaign materials, it looks like KFC is hoping to encourage customers in Spain to jump on the Japanese custom of eating KFC at Christmas, and if otaku in Spain want to adopt a Japanese custom, this seems like a pretty easy way to do it. The lineup includes a burger, sold separately or as part of a set, chicken pieces, and a bucket of chicken, so customers have a variety of options for their Christmas dinner.

▼ Miho opted for the Otaku Burger Set (10.29 euros [US$10.73]), which came in a specially branded box on a tray with a specially branded placemat.

KFC was really going all out with this otaku promotion, and Miho couldn’t help but notice the red-and-white colours reminded her of New Year’s in Japan, where red-and-white are used as auspicious, celebratory colours.

The set Miho ordered included the Otaku Burger, a drink, and fries, which Miho paid an extra 1.79 euros for to have them be “barbecue flavour”. Upon opening the burger box, Miho was greeted by a glistening bun that exuded the delicious scent of butter, and beneath it, two chunks of fried chicken, slathered in sauce.

Miho discovered the true identity of the otaku here was teriyaki sauce, imparting a very Japanese flavour to the KFC burger. The sauce was incredibly sweet, though — going beyond teriyaki territory to reach levels of sweetness usually reserved for mitarashi dango rice cake sweets.

▼ The sweet sauce was a fantastic partner for the saltiness of the seasoned chicken, while the buttery buns brought everything together in perfect harmony.

The burger was absolutely delicious, and when Miho reached for a fry, she was surprised to find they had hollowed-out centres that allowed them to catch the sauce and bacon pieces. The barbecue sauce turned out to be a bit strong when eating them alongside the saucy burger, so next time she’d order plain fries to let the teriyaki truly enjoy the limelight as the main character of the show.

The whole set was incredibly filling, and Miho says she would’ve been fine with just the burger itself as it was so hearty. After finishing her meal, Miho was satisfied in terms of taste and portion size, but in terms of curiosity, she was left wondering what made this burger “otaku”.

However, when she asked her Spanish husband if he thought the word “otaku” was an apt one for the series, he said, “The name sounds cool and it tastes good, so what’s not to like?” It was then that Miho realised the burger walked to the beat of its own drum, doing its own thing and following its own passions, regardless of what the other burgers on the menu thought of it.

And that’s essentially what being an otaku is all about.

So in the end, the Otaku Burger is more than just teriyaki sauce and manga-fied Colonel Sanders branding — it’s also about indulging in your passions and celebrating the holidays in whatever way you choose. Either way, it’ll be on the menu from 22 November to 16 January, so everyone in Spain, otaku or otherwise, will be able to get a taste of Japan at KFC this Christmas.02

Photos ©SoraNews24
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