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In Japan, 7-11 Has A Cross-Promotion With Splatoon 3. The Result Is Purple Buns.

Of course, I tried the Purple Bun

Image from the release date announcement trailer for Splatoon 3

The release of Splatoon 3, Nintendo’s long-awaited take on shooters, is neigh. As such, promotion for the game is in full swing — especially in Japan. I had heard that Splatoon was popular in Japan. But that seemed like a vague statement until I walked into a 7 Eleven this week. This week, there’s a huge cross-promotion between Splatoon 3 and 7 Eleven, which multiple themed food items and exclusive merch. The highlight? Purple buns, of course.

First of all, assuming you’re American or associate 7 Eleven with their American counterparts, you have to understand that 7 Eleven in Japan is completely different from the depressing, dirty places you know. 7 Elevens in Japan rule. You can get delicious, cheap meals and load up on necessities. And they’re very clean. Japanese and foreign tourists alike come to 7 Eleven more days than not to grab a coffee and breakfast, or maybe get a lunch bento or grab a beer to unwind at the end of the way. It is a wonderful, level meeting ground for all. (Why yes, I am a Japan 7 Eleven Evangelist.)

So a cross-promotion at 7-11 is a big deal, because almost everyone’s going to see it. It has more spread and makes more sense than certain recent One Piece placements in the US. And there are a ton of different food items. The purple blueberry melonpan, of course. But there’s also a “chicken curry vs beef curry” meal, a brightly colored donut, two kinds of cup ramen, and a Squid Burger (made menchi-style, which is a ground and fried patty, and it is squid). There were non-edible goods, too, but those are long sold out. You can check out the 7 Eleven website for specifics (but it’s in Japanese).

I tried the Purple Bun, because of course one must try the Purple Bun. It was a pretty standard melonpan, but it had blueberry jam in the middle. And it made my tongue purple, which is great. I videoed the experience of trying it out on my fledgling millennial TikTok.


The 7-11’s in Japan have a bunch of items to clebrate Splatoon 3, so I bought and tried the most ridiculous ones for all my fellow Nintendo people not in Japan: a purple melonpan.@Nintendo @7-ELEVEn #splatoon #splatoon3 #weirdfood #tastetest #nintendo #711japan

♬ original sound – kircarey

It’s not just 7 Eleven, either. I noticed a huge cross-promotion at Baskin Robbins, too! Complete with some real wild-looking ice cream. But just how popular is Splatoon in Japan? Well, Splatoon 2 is the only console game to have sold over 2 million copies in the country in over a decade.

In late 2018 and early 2019, you can find a bunch of articles which use the phrases “addiction” and “tearing families apart” quite a lot. Whether that’s true or a classic Video Game Culture Scare (or both), the fact is that the game is very popular in Japan. I’ll be interested to see if I notice any changes in public spaces when the game releases.

Image credit: Nintendo

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Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.