New Favorite Botan Rice Candy Stickers

My last visit to Japanese food store Sunrise Mart (close to Purl Soho in NYC) was a big success: my Botan Rice Candy boxes both came with awesome stickers!

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A dog wearing a green suit is holding a box of donuts and making “mog-mog” chewing sounds. This is an excellent sticker. The squirrel on a mushroom is a little less impressive, but he’s cute, and the weirdly slapdash illustrations of the mushrooms are pretty funny.

As I recently elaborated in an interview with awesome 15-year-old blogger Alex, Botan Rice Candy is my favorite because it has edible rice wrappers that crinkle in your mouth, and each package comes with a sticker that looks like it was designed sometime in the mid-20th century. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Japan over the years, but I’ve never seen these “Made in Japan” candies anywhere in that country; they seem to be a treat unique to Asian food stores in the US.

For more critiques of Botan Rice Candy stickers, check out my archived posts.

The Definitive Botan Rice Candy Sticker

Today I randomly came upon Botan Rice Candy at Sunrise Mart, and so I had to buy a box. It turned out to contain what just might be the best-ever Botan sticker. Ever!

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Let us take a moment to reflect on what makes this sticker so perfect. Weird anthropomorphic animal: check. Almost-normal-but-really-quite-baffling activity: double check. This bunny (who does not seem to be related to the ice cream-vendor bunny who showed up on the last Botan sticker I got) is using a computer, and giant doughnuts and candy are spewing out of the screen. What’s going on here? Is the bunny ordering doughnuts and candy online, or just enjoying some food porn? We don’t know. But the bunny is clearly DELIGHTED by the activity. Now that I think about it, maybe the sweets are meant to be a metaphor for how personal computer use is addictive and fun and terrible for you. Poor bunny has a problem.

It seems that I’m not the only person who enjoys obsessing over the stickers that come with Botan Rice Candy. I got an email the other day from someone who has a blog dedicated to them called The BRC Gallery. Go Internet!

Awesomely Strange Botan Rice Candy Sticker

A couple months ago I picked up a box of Botan Rice Candy. It did not disappoint in the sticker department!

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It appears to be a bunny selling ice cream behind a counter. I get that the pink thing on its head is part of the (red?) uniform of an ice cream seller, but what’s the white thing under it—bangs? The fluffy tail of another, smaller bunny hiding under the ice cream seller bunny’s hat?

Botan Rice Candy stickers always seem to raise more questions than they answer.

Only Somewhat Disappointing Botan Rice Candy Stickers

You might remember that the last few stickers I got with purchase of Botan Rice Candy were extremely disappointing. In spite of that negative experience, I was feeling lucky during a recent trip to Pearl River Mart, so I picked up a few more boxes.

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The doggie chasing a soccer ball is certainly an improvement over the illustrated comic book sound effects that I got last time, but a DUPLICATE poolside penguin? Such a repeat is a Botan first for me. Also, although his eyewear is obviously meant to be swimming goggles, it reminds me too much of sunglasses, and sunglasses on animals is never cute. (Now I will get letters, I know.)

Overall, a mediocre sticker experience this time. But the candy was soft and delicious.

Extremely Disappointing Botan Rice Candy Stickers

Botan Rice Candy is a delicious and mysterious treat. The yummy chewy orangey-flavored candy is a product of Japan, but I’ve only ever seen it Asian food stores in the US, and never in Japan. Also, the inside wrapper (but not the outside!) is made of rice and edible.

But my favorite thing about Botan Rice Candy has always been the funny sticker that is a free prize in each box. In the past, I’ve usually gotten an illustration of something generically charming, like an athlete of some kind or an animal. (See the examples printed on the box.) Lame, yes, but in a cute way.

I’m extremely disappointed in the sticker prizes I received today in my two boxes of Botan Rice Candy from the Sunrise Market in Soho.

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????

I am at a loss as to what to do with these stickers. My husband thinks they’re awesome, of course. Anyway, Merry Christmas!