Japanese donut-maker forced to pull its new Pikachu donuts from stores because they look too disturbing
Anyone alive in the 1990s will be all too familiar with the critical condition known as Pokemon Fever. For reasons that have remained a mystery, there was a time when 156 cartoon creatures had almost mythical mind control abilities - forcing families to unite behind the power of the pokeball, or risk falling apart forever.
Designers may have subsequently run out of ideas and tried to make monsters out of ice creams, gear shifts and god knows what else, but 90s kids know that the first pokemon were some of the greatest characters ever put to screen. Nothing summed up this sentiment like the weird yellow mouse that stole the heart of a generation. Despite fire-breathing dragons and legendary birds being readily available, the whole world loved pikachu.
With his long ears, endearingly stupid smile and chubby red cheeks, pikachu will always be the reassuring, familiar face of pokemon. Whether he was prancing around Kanto in the apparently neverending cartoon series, or rustling through the undergrowth of Viridian Forest in the original game, pikachu was the one pet that everyone wanted to have. To this day, he has a legacy that other cartoon characters can only dream of. It would take something truly remarkable for anyone to even come close to ruining it. Step forward deranged confectioner, “Mister Donut”.
Earlier this month, the leading Japanese donut chain decided to capitalise on pikachu’s endearing popularity by releasing a selection of specially created sweet treats, specifically crafted to resemble the cute blonde vermin. Judging from their press releases, the results looked magnificent - a perfect likeness that Ash himself would be proud to flog to the masses. Unfortunately for easily startled fans, it was a completely different story when you actually opened the box.
Almost immediately after the snacks went on general sale, the internet was flooded with hideous, freakish photographs of what appeared to be pikachus stitched together by a mad Professor Oak. Gone were the soft round features and cheeky glint in the eye, replaced instead with asymmetrical, soulless peepers and a face that wouldn’t look out of place in a Resident Evil franchise. This was not the chirpy, happy mouse we know and love. Every sinister smiling face seemed to be saying “kill me” to it’s creator, like a stitched together lab zombie, forgotten by an insane scientist trying to find the cure for eternal life. No amount of super potion can possibly fix this mess.
In fact, so traumatising were the donuts that the store’s parent brand, “Duskin”, were forced into taking immediate action. In order to prevent the spread of these unnatural horrors across Japanese supermarkets, Duskin issued a nationwide recall ceasing sales and trying to track down their escaped experiments. Sales are scheduled to resume this week, only this time without including donuts that look like they’ve just come out of the factory in “Hostel”.
It’s always dangerous to mess with someone’s fondest childhood memories. Often, even if a detail is only slightly different from how you remember, people can and do go completely ballistic. Small wonder that when something goes as catastrophically wrong as you can see here, the outcry is immediate. We can only hope that valuable lessons have been learned by all involved.