On July 1st, the convenience store Lawson will make a new flavor of "Karaage kun," a popular fried chicken sold in their hot foods section, available. Two weeks later on July 15th, another Karaage kun comes out, but this one's not for everybody. Rumor has it you have to be at least 15 years old to eat it.

Who's ever heard of R-15, or any other rating on food? On July 15th, the first ever fried chicken with an age restriction comes out. Nobody under the age of 15 is allowed to eat this fried chicken. What exactly does that mean? Why would food have a rating? When pressed for more information, the PR department at Lawson declined to comment. So is this just a publicity stunt? Has to be, right? So every Lawson employee is going to be asking for identification when someone who looks younger than 15 asks for Karaage kun R-15?

I highly doubt it, considering they don't even card you for beer or cigarettes. Japan has made it more difficult for minors to buy beer and cigarettes from vending machines, but with an actual human being selling you stuff, it's a piece of cake for kids to get their hands on a pack of cigarettes and/or alcohol. Many convenience stores now will ask you to press either a YES or NO on a computer screen that asks if you're over 20 (legal drinking age) when you buy alcohol. You press YES (no matter how old you are) and the cashier will thank you for cooperating as he rings you up for the 10 cans of chu-hi (shochu cocktail) you bought. So buying fried chicken shouldn't be a problem... obviously!

Apparently, the one to be sold on the 1st of July, the one without the rating, is deliciously tender and juicy with a subtle soy sauce flavor. And for the R-15 rated one? A lot about it is kept top secret, so everyone will have to wait until July 15th to try it. That is, if you're over 15 years old.

Pixellated for secrecy:


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No kids allowed.