Veteran anime producer helps spread love for Yamaguchi salt.

As the producer of several of Ghibli’s most celebrated anime, Toshio Suzuki has been an instrumental part of the studio’s success, even without hands-on involvement in the film’s visuals. That doesn’t mean that Suzuki lacks artistic talent, though, as he’s now created illustrations for a new line of gourmet onigiri (rice ball) salt.

Okawari Tokyo is a company that produces Omusubi Gochiso ni Naru Oshio, which translates loosely to “Salt that Makes Rice Balls a Delicacy.” The sea salt is produced from the waters of Yuya Bay in Yamaguchi Prefecture, where the seawater mixes with freshwater from the nearby Kakebuchigawa and Awanogawa rivers. This unique combination makes the salt rich in minerals, but lower in bitter-tasting magnesium, which makes it perfect for imparting extra umami and enhancing the natural flavors of the ingredients it’s added to, says Okawari Tokyo, with their primary recommendation being to sprinkle it on rice balls.

The standard packaging is clever enough, with the bag the salt comes in folded and wrapped in paper to resemble a triangular onigiri.

But to really catch people’s eyes, Toshio Suzuki created a character, called “My Neighbor Onigiri-kun,” for a pair of special illustrated packages.

The artwork is full of the charming, low-key whimsy found in the doodles of Studio Ghibli’s artistic creators.

A My Neighbor Onigiri-kun plushie even exists, though it’s not for sale, at least at the moment.

Omusubi Gochiso ni Naru Oshio hasn’t gone on sale quite yet, but it’ll be available at the Ekinaka Biople shop inside Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station starting June 21 and at branches of wellness products chain Biople from July 13, as well through the Okawari Tokyo online store here, priced at 918 yen (US$5.95).

Source: PR Times
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: PR Times, Okawari Tokyo
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