Japanese Vending Machines

Japanese Vending Machines 7

... Apple juice like this. Qoo had one of the best brand names and some of the best labels of all. Here you can see a rare trio of Qoos, showing the character development of its blue one-eared mascot (presumably also called Qoo): first, balancing an apple on his head; then peering suspiciously into the pouch of a marsupial citrus dealer; and finally, crying uncontrollably when his gift of a small flower is spurned by a pink-dressed Carmen Miranda with wishbones for eyes.

Qoo was delicious. Getting one of those in an I-bloody-dare-you was no dare at all.

But Kim got the best of the dares, and it was all my fault. I figured it would be a great wheeze to get him to try a drink made of “barley extract and mineral”. The result, as transcribed from Jane’s video of the moment:

Rory [pointing at can]: I bloody dare ya—barley extract and mineral!

Kim opens can with satisfied smile.

Rory [leaning into shot]: Good head on that!

Kim takes a swig, swallows.

Kim: It’s fine.

Rory [snorting in disbelief]: D’oh. What’s it taste like? Is it like beer?

Kim: It is beer. Beer’s made from barley extract.

Shot pans to row of cans in vending machine.

Rory: Bugger.

We’d seen so many vending machines full of soft drinks made by Kirin and Suntory that the one full of Asahi didn’t ring any alarm bells for the only non-beer-drinker present. Maybe the complete absence of cartoon characters and bamboo should have tipped me off. But to be fair, I was also fooled by the lack of teenagers jostling for cans and running off with them, which is what you would have seen if it had been sitting in a quiet street in almost any other country in the world.

May 2006

←Previous · Return→