Tentacle Grape starts an Indiegogo campaign


More tentacles, less High Fructose Corn Syrup

I've never tried Tentacle Grape soda, but I've been hearing for years that vendors tend to sell out of it at anime cons. Whether that's because the soda is actually a delicious, refreshing carbonated beverage, or people just feel super-naughty buying something called "Tentacle Grape" is another matter, but for whatever reason, it's a popular novelty item in otaku circles.

Apparently it's so popular that producer Cosplay Deviants cannot meet demand, and has turned to Indiegogo to raise the capital necessary to make the drink more cost-effective to produce. If the campaign's goal of $20,000 is met, not only will the soda be reformulated so it's sweetened with cane sugar instead of High Fructose Corn syrup, but the packaging will be improved as well. It may not be immediately obvious how those changes will make for more cost-effective production, but the corn syrup was keeping Tentacle Grape out of tons of markets; being made with HFCS currently prevents the soda from being imported into countries with strict laws against the stuff, like Japan and the UK. Being able to sell to more markets should, in theory, allow for larger production runs, greater economy of scale, and cheaper prices. A rep for the product explains it in this video.

The Indiegogo page includes all the typical reward tiers you would expect, including T-shirts and signed artwork; what it doesn't mention, unsurprisingly, is the controversy surrounding the product. Obviously, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of a drink inspired by the prevalence of tentacle monsters that go around raping schoolgirls in a certain kind of anime- and by "not everyone," I mean, "lots of people who will think you are a bad person if you back this."

When Cosplay Deviants acquired the product in 2010, they gave the brand a "friendly" makeover, depicting a girl and a tentacle (Murasaki and Budou, respectively) who seem to be having a grand old time together. Since the rebranding, the image of the product is now "consensual fun with tentacles LOL!" rather than "Tentacles are icky rapists!," which was probably a smart move on their part, but that doesn't change the fact that the product is based on a rape joke. Personally I'm not offended, but it doesn't take much of a deductive leap on my part to see why many other people are.

Obviously, if you don't feel comfortable with it, avoid this campaign, but it'll be interesting to see how many people pony up the funds to "Get Graped"-- and yes, that is the name of one of their reward tiers. One of the goals of the campaign is to get more comic stores and hobby shops to carry the drink, so if this succeeds, you may be seeing some bottles of Tentacle Grape around the neighborhood...for better or for worse. 


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Karen Mead
Karen MeadContributor   gamer profile

Hi, I'm a former newspaper journalist who got tired of having a front row seat to the death of print. There probably could be some interesting story there about a disenchanted reporter moving on ... more + disclosures



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