In celebration of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s release, The Pokémon Company had the brilliant idea to partner with Japanese company Mr. Donut and release throughout Japan a lineup of fried dough inspired by some of our favourite Generation IV Pokémon. We can’t think of a better way to herald the release of a video game, because who doesn’t love donuts? Seriously – other franchises should get on it. Metroid Dread E.M.M.I. donuts? A Jack Frost donut for Shin Megami Tensei V? Yes please.
We digress. To uncover what these Pokémon donuts are all about, we marched down to our local Mr. Donut and bought all five varieties, of which there are two types. First are the furimuki donuts, which translate roughly as ‘to look over one’s shoulder’ in Japanese. ‘Over the shoulder donuts’ is a mouthful, so henceforth we’ll refer to them as Pokébutt donuts.
The second type of donut does away with the traditional ringed shape in favour of the disembodied heads of Pikachu and Eevee, and are simply called ‘Pikachu and Eevee donuts’ in Japanese, which is no fun so we’ll refer to them as Pokéheads.
Piplup, Pikachu, and Eevee all received the Pokébutt treatment. As you can see from the above picture, Mr. Donut cleverly designed them to match each Pokémon’s posterior as they look back at potential consumers in anticipation (or malice in the case of Eevee).
There were two other varieties of the Piplup donut – a Glaceon and a Pachirisu – but they were of the same flavour. This raises confusing questions as to whether or not all blue Pokémon taste the same, but perhaps that’s a question better left unanswered.
We went with only Piplup as he’s become the mascot of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl in Japan and we already had to eat five donuts.
Pokébutt Donut #1 - Piplup
The Piplup donut is a simple whipped cream-filled donut with the icing on top doused in a sweet blue powder of suspect origin. The staff at Mr. Donut refused to answer whether or not any blue-coloured Pokémon were harmed in the making of said powder, insisting that the substance was dyed icing sugar, but we maintained our suspicion as we took our first bite.
Immediately, the inner circle of whipped cream overpowered the flavour profiles of the dough, blue powder, and icing, making this donut rather one-note. Yet who doesn’t love whipped cream?
Verdict: 7.8/10 (but too much cream)
Pokébutt Donut #2 - Eevee
Eevee’s hindquarters are a melody of flavours mashed together. A caramel icing sprinkled with coconut tops the donut, while wedged between the top and bottom halves are an inner and outer ring of chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
A single bite of the Eevee donut overwhelmed us at first, but our second attempt, after some mental preparation, revealed the delicious variety within. The bitter chocolate sauce and the caramel icing in particular paired well. It’s as if the many flavours came together to pay homage to how Eevee holds within it a myriad of possible evolutions.
Pokébutt Donut #3 - Pikachu
Despite being the mascot of one of the largest media franchises the world has ever known, Pikachu’s derrière, filled with both whipped and custard cream, disappoints on several levels.
Foremost, the yellow icing with a few drizzles of chocolate is largely a flavourless, waxy substance. Much like the Eevee donut, the inside boast two rings of filling, though the whipped and custard creams were not as evocative as they were quite similar in taste.
Altogether it wasn’t terrible, and it was certainly edible, but Pokémon’s poster child still comes up short in Pokébutt donut form.
Pokéhead Donuts #4 and #5 - Pikachu and Eevee
The Pikachu and Eevee heads are functionally the same aside from their outward appearance. Both donuts featured milk chocolate for eyes, though Pikachu did have chocolate candies akin to M&M’s for its rosy cheeks, while Eevee’s ears were accented with dark chocolate pieces.
Both donuts were covered in that near-flavourless waxy icing, a disappointment after the delicious caramel of the other Eevee donut. And both were filled with whipped cream to the point where one could mistake these two donuts for cream puffs. In fact, little about these two confections resembled donuts. Perhaps they should have been sold at Mr. Cream Puff instead?
Quite the letdown, then, given that the Pokéhead donuts were sold at a premium of ¥250 compared to the Pokébutts at ¥180. Regardless, they were both adorable and, other than the icing and a lack of any filling in both ‘mon’s ears, tasted good enough for what they were.
Some highs, some lows, some creamy middles. Feel free to let us know below how the word 'donut' should be spelled, as well as which confections you think might better suit certain Pokémon.