Pokémon Cafes and Centers celebrate the Pokémon that most resembles Japan’s representative cuisine.

Pretty much everything on the menu at the Pokémon Cafe takes inspiration from the art of the video game/anime franchise. So it’s actually kind of surprising that it’s taken until now for the restaurant, which has branches in both Tokyo and Osaka, to add an entry based on Tatsugiri, the Pokémon that looks like a piece of sushi.

▼ Tatsugiri

Tatsugiri are Dragon/Water-type Pokémon, and the species’ Japanese name Sharitatsu, is literally a combination of the Japanese words shari (vinegared sushi rice) and tatsu (dragon). Their unique physiology features a throat sac that, when inflated, looks like the block of rice at the bottom of a piece of nigiri-style sushi.

However, the Pokémon Cafe’s new Tatsugiri sushi set doesn’t use nigiri-style sushi, but rather oshizushi, sometimes also called hakozushi, in which the rice and toppings are pressed flat using a board or box. The Pokémon Cafe’s oshizushi looks to be made with shrimp, marinated ground chicken, egg, imitation crab, ham, and greens, arranged to ctreate a Tatsugiri trio and a Poké Ball.

Not hungry? The Pokémon Cafe is also adding Tatsugiri to its selectable latte art choices for caffe latte, caffe mocha, and caramel latte orders.

And if you’re not hungry or thirsty? You can still get in on the fun, thanks to a new line of Tatsugiri-themed traditional Japanese kitchenware and interior items coming to the Pokémon Center specialty stores attached to the Pokémon Cafes and also found in shopping centers elsewhere in Japan.

The most distinctly Japanese of the bunch are a miso soup bowl, soy sauce plate, and masu (box-like square wooden sake cup), each featuring the three forms of Tatsugiri, curly, droopy, and stretchy. While each of these items has a set purpose in classical Japanese cuisine, there’s no rule against using them for things other than soy sauce, miso soup, and sake, or just displaying them as decorations.

▼ Masu could double as stable, sturdy little organizers for things like keys, coins, or accessories.

That’s just the start of the collection, though, which also includes a Tatsugiri yunomi handleless teacup…

…and a set of sushi plates, all similar to the style found at conveyor belt sushi restaurants.

Tatsugiri also shows up as the base of a shamoji (rice scoop)…

…and as a set of tarebin, compact plastic containers put into bento for those who want to add a squeeze of soy sauce right before eating their boxed lunch,

Earlier in this article we already say the Tatsugiri Curly Form plushie strap, and there are Droopy and Stretchy Form versions too.

Cute as the straps are, if you’re going for maximum eye-catching impact, you can’t beat the three-Tatsugiri plushie that’s shaped like a sushi geta, the board on which the food is served at traditional sushi restaurants.

Speaking of sushi geta, Pokémon Center shops will also be offering one shaped like Dondozo, Tatsugiri’s frequent combat collaborator.

And if the sight of so much cute Poké-merch has you feeling like you need to sit down and collect yourself, the Tatsugiri zabuton floor cushion would be a fine place to do so.

Prices have only been announced for a few items (880 yen [US$6.10] for the soy sauce plate, 990 for the miso soup bowl, and 1,540 for the sake masu), with the rest to be revealed sometime before the items go on sale through the Pokémon Center online shop on January 11. Physical Pokémon Center stores will start offering the lineup on January 13, the same day as the 2,750-yen Tatsugiri sushi set and latte art drinks join the menu at the Pokémon Cafe.

Related: Pokémon Center online store, Pokémon Cafe official website
Source: Pokémon Cafe, Pokémon Company
Top image: Pokémon Cafe
Insert images: Pokémon Cafe, Pokémon Company
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