Game and anime-themed food items are not exactly uncommon in Japan – you can buy Kamen Rider-themed fish sausages over there – so I’m not exactly taken aback that Namco Bandai’s official shopping portal in Japan, Premium Bandai, is launching today a second series of Idolmaster-themed wafer biscuits.
What I’m surprised by, is that each pack of Idolmaster Wafers 2 will not only include a tasty (I hope) cocoa-cream wafer biscuit and an Idolmaster clear card (one of 30 designs; “clear” cards are made of plastic, which makes it easy for you to rinse off any cream or crumbs stuck to it), but also a “Voice World” serial code that, once registered, will let you “call” one of the anime and game series’ 13 idol characters at random.
Namco Bandai claims that through Voice World you’ll actually be able to hold a conversation with these virtual idols. Using voice recognition technology, the service will playback different dialogue clips over the phone to you, depending on your response to questions from the idol.
When you register serial codes on the Voice World website you’ll be able to check a schedule for when which idols will be available. Conversation topics will also differ depending on the time of your call, and these are listed on the schedule as well.
Unfortunately, the Voice World service appears to only work with mobile lines in Japan. You’ll have to foot any bills incurred for the outgoing call to Voice World, but otherwise the service itself is free, limited to one call per day.
Premium Bandai will begin taking pre-orders for Idolmaster Wafers 2 from today, 4PM Japan time (GMT+0900 hours). Each pack is sold for 105 yen, and a box of 20 is priced at 2100 yen (prices include tax). The actual release/delivery date is near the end of July.