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Conbini Boys

Conbini Boys

By Conbini Boys
Mike and Matt dive into their passion - Japan’s convenience stores, known as conbini. From canned coffee to fried chicken to seasonal one-offs, we’ll be hitting you with the biggest news across the conbini landscape.
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The Ice Cream Episode
This week we’re talking ice cream. It’s getting hot, summer’s about to start, and so we thought it would be a good time to introduce the ice cream zone at the conbini. We walk you through the lay of the land, talk about the different ice boxes you’ll find, and then introduce some of the legends of the conbini ice cream world. Matt picks up one of the most shocking losers we’ve seen in a while, and to close it out Mike introduces his family’s experience with Lawson’s Okaasan Shokudo. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
June 16, 2021
Top 3 Underrated Conbini Items
Last week, we looked at our top overrated items at the conbini, and this week we're continuing that trend by offering up our 3 most underrated items. If you've been listening to the show for a while, you can probably guess a couple of them, but some of them might surprise you. We make a big announcement during the scoreboard segment, then Matt reveals an amazingly appetizing loser,  followed by one of the juiciest winners that we've ever seen. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
June 9, 2021
Top 3 Overrated Conbini Items
In this week's episode, Mike and Matt share their top 3 most overrated items. Mike goes off on products claiming to contain a half-day's worth of vegetables. Lawson comes out with a dessert haul for the ages. And Mike celebrates the new cheese-in famichiki Our Overrated Items Mike 1 Mike 2 Mike 3 Matt 1 Matt 2 Matt 3 Winners and Losers Ramen Salad Half-Day Vegetable Kimchi Soup Matcha Desser Haul Parisian Sandwich What's the call on the haul? Check out the haul At the Gemba Cheese-in Chiki Watch on YouTube: Join the convo on Twitter:
June 2, 2021
Matt vs. Melon Pan
Breaking news here in the world of the conbini today. The Conbini Boys that we know and love are in a courtroom battle after Matt’s sudden declaration that “Melon Pan is bad.” Mike steps in to defend Melon Pan, but Matt stays on the offensive. Is Melon Pan good or bad? Will the Conbini Boys be able to resolve their differences without it ripping the show apart. Those are the questions we’re hoping to answer today. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
May 26, 2021
Keeping a Watch at the Konbini with Patrick St. Michel
This week, we’re joined by a true conbini legend, Patrick St. Michel, the longtime writer of the legendary Konbini Watch column at The Japan Times. We learn about Patrick’s journey to becoming a journalist covering Japanese music and pop culture, and how that combined with his love for the conbini to lead him to Konbini Watch. After that, Patrick sticks around to hang out for the normal show, and offer his amazing commentary on a range of conbini items. Follow Patrick on Twitter: Check out his Substack: Read Konbini Watch: ---------------- Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
May 19, 2021
Slamming Draft Beer from a Can
In this week's episode, Mike and Matt give an update on the righteous battle between Mr. Matsumoto and 7-11. We discuss an amazing new beer can from Asahi that somehow replicates the draft beer experience. The Chiki Wars remain hot with two new chikis. We check on our winners and losers amongst this week's new items, which include a hot number from Go!Go! Curry. Mike wraps with a review of the Mochi Weiner from Lawson. Watch all the glory on YouTube Join the convo on Twitter
May 12, 2021
A Love Triangle at Ministop
This week, we’re taking a look at the Yamitsu-kitchen campaign from Ministop, which features a love triangle, some amazing items, and some questionable giveaways. We take a look at the scoreboard, where the numbers are a little bit low, and then pick out our winners and losers, where Seicomart makes a strong showing. Finally, Mike goes on a rampage at the genba, and sets a new personal record for number of chikis eaten in a week. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
May 5, 2021
The Future of the Conbini
In this week's episode, Mike and I imagine the conbini of the future. How will the conbini continue its pursuit of perfect ten or twenty years from today? The Chiki Wars heat back up with 4 Conbini releasing new chiki products. Then it's off to the scoreboard where we share a spectacular new product out of Lawson.
April 29, 2021
For the Mothers and the Fathers
This week, the conbinis open up for preorder for mothers and fathers day gifts, and so Matt and Mike pick out some potential gifts for their parents. We take a look at the scoreboard, where Ministop makes some big gains and Lawson takes a few losses. Finally, Mike reviews three chikis from the genba. Also, a quick heads up, the audio this week might be a little messed up. Sorry about that, we’ll try to get it fixed by next week. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
April 21, 2021
7-11 Strikes Back
In this week's episode, we follow up on the legendary battle between 7-11 and disgruntled franchise owners, Mr. Matsumoto. The Chiki Wars are finally heating up. Then we head off to the scoreboard where Mike and I share our winners and losers amongst this week's new items. Watch us on YouTube: Follow us on Twitter:
April 14, 2021
Time Flies When You're Eating Chiki
This week marks our one year anniversary since starting the podcast, and so we take a look back at some of the memorable items, news, and segments from the past year. We take a look at some interesting items, including an innovative rice ball, some strange flavored chips, a classic hot dog, and a horrifying monster of a wrap. Finally, Matt shares a pizza, while Mike shares his experience of rehydrating during a stomach flu. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
March 31, 2021
Eating Korean at the Kanbini
In this week's episode, we celebrate the arrival of the Kanbini - a convenience store that features Korean snacks, prepared food, and beverages. The Chiki Wars finally heat up with four new chikis. We take a look at the Scoreboard and finally see MiniStop serve up a couple of losers this week. Matt shares a review of Shake Shack's new Korean Fried Chicken sandwich. And Mike gives us the lay of the land when it comes to conbini at his new home. YouTube: Twitter:
March 24, 2021
Countdown to Full Bloom
This week, we’re looking ahead to the cherry blossom season. We look at some of the cherry blossom themed items being released at the conbini, and debate what exactly is the flavor of sakura? We welcome NewDays to the scoreboard, share our winners and losers, and then preview a new segment where Matt will be reviewing fast food items from the states. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
March 10, 2021
Our Firsts Guests: Casey and Joe from Ishikawa Summit to Sea
In this week's episode, we're joined by our first guests, Casey and Joe from the Ishikawa Summit to Sea podcast. They're conbini veterans living in Ishikawa Prefecture. Highlights from the episode include:  Casey describing his local Lawson, which he can reach without encountering a single traffic light Joe disclosing his clandestine conbini hauls that he hides from his wife Casey and Joe making a call on a haul And now, links! Ishikawa Summit to Sea Podcast - listen to Casey and Joe each walk talk about life in Ishikawa and their hometowns, Cape Cod and Newscastle Ishikawa Summit to Sea Twitter The Beanpod Podcast - Casey's solo podcast about life in rural Ishikawa The Beanpod Twitter Conbini Boys YouTube Channel Conbini Boys Twitter
March 3, 2021
NewDays: Your Conbini Base at the Train Station
This week, we’re finishing our tour of B-tier conbinis, and to close it out we’re taking a look at NewDays, the train station convenience store chain. We take a look at the scoreboard, pick our winners and losers where there’s a little bit of controversy, and then talk about another controversial item that keeps popping up, family mart’s Poki Chiki. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
February 24, 2021
Pounding Rice at Poplar
In this week's episode, we continue our exploration of B-Tier conbini and head over to Poplar, a popular conbini in and around Hiroshima. We take a look back at their history and share what makes them special, notably the option to order a pound of rice in your bento. As always, we run down the new item scoreboard, share our winners and losers, and then head to gemba for another look at the the tare chiki from FamilyMart. Watch us on YouTube: Follow us on Twitter:
February 17, 2021
Seicomart Is No Joke
This week, we’re continuing our theme of taking a look at some of the smaller convenience stores around Japan. So just just like with Ministop and Daily Yamazaki, this week we’re taking a deep dive into Hokkaido’s pride, Seicomart. The Chiki wars take an unexpected turn when Matt and Mike discover the existence of a mysterious association. We take a look at the scoreboard and pick out our winners and losers, where both newcomers Ministop and Daily Yamazaki make an appearance. Finally, Mike reports from the genba with a review of an item that just might have to do with the conbini champion himself - Famichiki. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
February 10, 2021
Getting Baked at Daily Yamazaki
In this week's episode we continue our deep dive into B-tier conbini and head to Daily Yamazaki, a minor conbini known for its baked goods. We check out the chiki wars and the scoreboard, where Mike takes a shot at Ministop. Then we hit the Gemba where Mike reviews the tarutaru chiki. Check out all the action on YouTube: Follow us on Twitter:
February 3, 2021
Beyond the Big 3: Ministop
It’s a new year, and we decided to do something new… For the next couple of weeks, we’re going to be looking beyond the Big 3, to some of the other smaller conbinis in Japan. This week, we’re starting with Ministop. We check in with the Chiki wars, where we look at 4 new chikis. We take a look at the scoreboard, pick out our winners and losers, and then check in with Mike for some items from the genba. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
January 27, 2021
Best of the Conbini Boys: Chiki, Chiki, and More Chiki
In this week's episode, we take a look back at some of our favorite clips from the past year:  Unsolved Conbini Mysteries  Famichiki Legendary  Feats of Juice FamilyMart and Choshu Riki Collaboration 7-11 Cheese Dog Conbini Christmas Cake Casey's Conbini Memory The First Chiki Wars Segment
January 20, 2021
Crowning the Conbini Tournament Champion
After six rounds of brutal matchups we finally crown the champion of the Conbini Tournament - Famichiki - and honor it by sharing four legendary feats of juice. We also look at the new item scoreboard and pick winners and losers. We make a call on a haul and Mike reviews a new Famichiki from the gemba. Conbini Tournament Final Bracket Items we discuss: Mike's winner new item Matt's winner new item Mike's loser new item Matt's loser new item What's the call on the haul Famichiki Mala Flavor Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Join the conversation on Twitter:
January 13, 2021
Famichiki vs Tuna Mayo Onigiri
Happy new year! And what a way to start: we've finally reached the championship round of the Conbini Tournament. From the hotbox division: Famichiki. From the meal division: Tuna Mayo Onigiri. We give our predictions, our thoughts, and look forward to the not so distant future where we can crown the king of the conbini. And that's not all... things are picking up again at the conbini! We pick up our winners and losers, talk some chikis including a really exciting one from Family Mart, and then Mike shares a couple of genba items, featuring one blast from the past. Check out the youtube channel: Vote for your champion on twitter: Check out the full conbini bracket on Google Sheets:
January 6, 2021
The Final Four
In this week’s episode, we preview the Final Four of the Conbini Tournament showcasing each of the division champions that will face-off in epic matchups. Hot Box Division: Famichiki Snack Division: Black Thunder Meal Division: Tuna Mayo Onigiri Beverage Division: Pocari Sweat Get ready for some brutal matchups! We also share our very first Conbini Composition from a listener. Check out the video and subscribe to our YouTube channel:
December 30, 2020
This week we're checking back in on the Conbini Tournament, where the third round has wrapped up and we're into the divisional championships. We celebrate the winners, and then take some time to commemorate some of the losers, who will continue to live on in our hearts. No chikis this week, for the first time ever, but we do take a look at the scoreboard and share our winners and losers as always. And finally, we celebrate Karaage-kun's incredible arrival aboard the International Space Station.  Check out the youtube channel: Join the conbini convo on Twitter. Download your conbini bracket or make one in Google Sheets.
December 23, 2020
The Conbini Tournament Heats Up
The Conbini Tournament hosted some savage matchups in Round 2. Mike was left shaken to his core by a close battle between Pocari Sweat and Oi Ocha Green Tea, while Matt was left feeling anxious about a Round 3 fight between Canned Coffee and Conbini Drip Coffee.    Outside the tournament, Mike and Matt take a look at two new chikis from FamilyMart and Lawson. The former continues its quest to perfect a cheese-in recipe, while the latter has crafted a chicken leg masterpiece.    Mike and Matt bring back 'What's the call on that haul?' where Mike breaks down a shinkansen conbini haul sent to us on Twitter. The podcast wraps up with At the Gemba with Mike, where Mike reviews two cheese-stuffed chikis from FamilyMart. Check out the video where you can see all the goodies on YouTube: Join the Conbini Tournament by following us on Twitter: View the live bracket here:
December 16, 2020
The Highest of Highs and Lowest of Lows
In this week's episode we're checking in on the Conbini Tournament, where the first round has finally wrapped up. We take a look at our devastated brackets, talk about some of our favorite matchups from the first round, and look ahead to some of the exciting matches in the upcoming round of 32. We check out some cheesy chikis, spotlight a couple of upcoming conbini items, hear from the Spicy Commentator about a new drama-inspired sweet, highlight an upcoming conbini protégé, and then hear from a caller who tells an incredible memory of how the conbini saved him during a critical emergency.  Check out the youtube channel: Join the conbini convo on Twitter.  Download your conbini bracket or make one in Google Sheets. 
December 9, 2020
Episode 31: Our Final Fours in the Conbini Tournament
In this week's episode, Mike and Matt share their respective Final Fours in the conbini tournament. Matt drops some shocking news about his feelings toward Pocari Sweat, while Mike speculates on the rise of conbini drip coffee. Naturally, they talk chikis. Lawson joins 7-11 and FamilyMart with their Christmas-inspired bone-in fried chicken, then one-ups them with beautifully broiled chicken legs. Winners and losers cover everything from Protein in Pocket to squid cartilage (what?!).  Download your conbini bracket or make one in Google Sheets.  Join the conbini convo on Twitter. And check out all the goodies on YouTube.
December 2, 2020
The Conbini Tournament
This week is episode 30, and it's a big one! For the next six weeks we're going to be holding the first ever Conbini Tournament, where we try to crown the king of the conbini. We talk about the upcoming tournament, take a look at some new items and the chiki wars, and then hear from a caller who shares a memory from their first trip to the conbini. Subscribe to our Youtube 2:34 - Chiki Wars  9:28 - The Scoreboard  10:30 - Mike's Loser  13:10 - Matt's Loser  15:17 - Mike's Winner  18:24 - Matt's Winner  20:48 - Main Story: The Conbini Tournament 28:36 - At the Gemba with Mike 32:27 - Conbini Memory
November 25, 2020
Sipping Whiskey and Snacking Chiki
In this week's episode, Mike and Matt talk about yet another Karaagekun flavor, the return of premium bone-in chicken at FamilyMart, share this week's winning and losing new items from the Big 3 conbini, discuss a FamilyMart with a bar, hear from the Spicy Commentator on a new conbini sweet, hit the gemba, and listen to their first caller's conbini memory. Subscribe to our YouTube 1:50 - Chiki Wars 6:55 - The Scoreboard 7:44 - Winners and Losers 7:57 - Mike's Loser 10:29 - Matt's Loser 12:20 - Mike's Winner 14:16 - Matt's Winner 16:57 - Main Story: A FamilyMart with a Bar 21:30 - The Spicy Commentator Reviews a Conbini Sweet 24:30 - At the Gemba with Mike - Reviewing Nikuman 30:34 - Conbini Memory
November 18, 2020
The Return of the Spicy Commentator
In this week's episode, we welcome back one of our favorite members of the conbini boys universe: The Spicy Commentator. We look at some chikis, share our favorites from each conbini, check out a new conbini television drama, and continue on with our look at the history of onigiri at the conbini. YouTube:
November 11, 2020
Unsolved Conbini Mysteries
In this week's episode, the chiki wars heat up with three new chikis from each of the Big 3 Conbini. We share our winners and losers from this week's new items. Mike tells a spooky tale about 7-11's Zaku Chiki from the gemba. And we head to Conbini College to talk about the history of the onigiri. 1:58 - Chiki Wars 8:15 - New Item Scoreboard 8:54 - Matt's Loser: Lawson's Mentaiko Mochi Man 11:03 - Mike's Loser: FamilyMart's Katsuobushi Gohan 13:26 - Matt's Winner: 7-11's Haagen Dazs Quattro Formaggio Ice Cream Sandwich 15:40 - Mike's Winner: 7-11's Green Salad Bowl 17:17 - 7-11 Recipes 21:39 - At the Gemba with Mike: Unsolved Mystery of the Zaku Chiki 15:28 - Conbini College: History of the Onigiri YouTube:
November 4, 2020
A Family Mart Christmas Tale
On this week's podcast, we round out our review of Christmas preorders at the conbini, finishing up with a look at Family Mart. We take a look at a chiki from Ministop, pick out our winners and losers of the week, share some conbini resources, and then take a look at Ministop and their game-changing "partner contracts" with conbini franchise owners. Video version here: Conbini Resources:    Super Salary Man (@salariedman_s)   Konbini Watch (@mbmelodies)
October 28, 2020
Highway Robbery: Conbini Christmas Cake
We kickoff this week's episode with more vegan innovation out of FamilyMart - meatless nuggets. Then we dive into the New Item Scoreboard , picking winners and losers out of the Big 3 Conbini. The mailbag is back with shoutouts to a few Twitter followers dropping big-time knowledge. We review Lawson's Christmas menu and nearly blow our stacks on the price and size of their Christmas cakes. Mike reviews a new poke chiki and we wrap with some news on conbini sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.  2:32 - Chiki Wars 6:58 - Scoreboard 8:40 - Mike's Winner: Kushikatsu from Lawson 11:04 - Matt's Winner: Tamagotchi's Sando from Lawson 12:28 - Mike's Loser: Caramel Popcorn Lifeguard Flavor from FamilyMart 14:23 - Matt's Loser: Spicy Cod Roe (mentaiko) Filled French Baguette from FamilyMart 15:59 - Mailbag 20:35 - Lawson's Christmas Menu 23:42 - Lawson's Christmas Cake Lineup 31:55 - At the Gemba with Mike: PokeChiki 35:11 - Conbini News
October 21, 2020
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
In this week's episode, we're looking at the start of the Christmas preorder season at the conbini: Christmas cakes, fried chicken, pizza - those Christmas classics, starting at 7-11. We take a look at a few new chikis, take  a look at the scoreboard, and then catch up on an on-going story of conbini franchise owners challenging the corporate offices for the freedom to do business as they please. Video version here:
October 7, 2020
Napping at the Conbini
In this week's episode, Mike and Matt explore a fundamental part of Japanese culture: eating, sleeping, and watching TV alone in the confine parking lot. They also hit the scoreboard to cover new items out at the Big Three conbini. Mike shares reviews of the Black Pepper Famichiki and the Honey Maple L-Chiki. The show wraps with an exploration of conbini growth since the 60s. 
September 30, 2020
In this weeks episode, we're talking burgers. Yes, that elusive, staple item that the conbini has yet to perfect. Is Family Mart's new burger series the answer to our prayers? We'll have to see. While on the topic, we also look at some of our favorite fast food burgers from Japan as well. We check in with the chiki wars and look at two new chikis: a maple syrup chiki from Lawson, and a black pepper chiki from Family Mart. As always, we take a look at the scoreboard, and check up on some conbini news: this time, an unfortunate trend has extended internationally. Video version here:
September 23, 2020
Bento Box Bombshell
In this week's episode, we take a deep dive into a conbini staple - the bento box. What are our Top 3 bento boxes? Then we head off to the gemba for a tour of the hot box section. As usual, we take a look at the new item scoreboard and follow up on some conbini news.
September 9, 2020
We Made it to Youtube! - Episode 20 Blowout
In this week's podcast we make our video premiere! We get accustomed to the new video format and then check out the Chiki Wars and the scoreboard for new releases at each of the conbinis. We take a focused look at the unfortunate phenomenon of the elderly crashing their cars into conbinis, Mike gives a live "At the Genba" review, and then we take a look at some news revolving around Lawson's new strategy for oden. Video here:
September 2, 2020
The Chiki Wars Rage On
In this week's episode, the chiki wars are heating up with all three conbini releasing big-time chikis. Mike and Matt take a look at the new item scoreboard, which has a surprise from Lawson. The Spicy Commentator is back for another sweets review. We make a call on a couple of hauls before heading to the gemba with Mike to hear about the return of 7-11's agetori. Did it bring tears to his eyes? Finally, we follow up on the phenomenon of old people crashing into the conbini.
August 26, 2020
Famiriki: The Family Mart and Choshu Riki Tag Team
This week, we're looking at some new fried chicken items coming out of Family Mart and Lawson, checking in on the weekly output at the conbini and picking up some items to share, taking a look Family Mart's collaboration with professional wrestling legend Choshu Riki, and catching up on some conbini news. Check out photos of the items we discuss on social: Instagram Twitter Facebook
August 19, 2020
Conbini Dreams in Okinawa
In this week’s episode We take a deep dive into Okinawa-only items at FamilyMart. The Spicy Commentator is back with a surprising review of 7-11’s new Pierre Here signature sweet series. We critique two more confine hauls and Mike reviews the Cheese Takkarubi Famichiki.  In Conbini News we follow up on the plastic bag reduction effort. Plus, the Chiki Wars rage on with new items from 7-11 and Lawson. Check out photos of the items we discuss on social: Instagram   Twitter
August 5, 2020
Lawson's Uchi Cafe: The Pinnacle of Conbini Sweets
In this week’s episode, we turn our eyes to Lawson - checking out their weekly output as well as their legendary Uchi Cafe series. In the Chiki Wars, we take a look at the final results of Lawson's Nice Cheese Gran Prix, as well as a look at a new addition to the Famichiki lineup. We share a few hauls, enter a lightning round in Mike's "At the Genba" series, and check in on some controversial news coming out of the conbini. 1:30 - Final Results of Lawson’s Nice Cheese Grand Prix  3:15 - Family Mart's Dak-galbi Famichiki 5:21 - Podcast Blooper #3 (ZERO kcal Cider triple) 7:28 - Lawson's Weekly Output 9:35 - Uchi Cafe's Shequasar Frozen Fruit Bar 10:46 - Uchi Cafe's Custard Peach Daifuku 11:46 - Coffee Jelly Pudding 13:16 - Sweet Beef Curry Bread 14:49 - Pasta Clam Chowder 17:04 - Lawson's Uchi Cafe Introduction 18:50 - Bravo Michipu 19:40 - Zakushu 20:54 - Chocomint Tart 22:40 - 7-11's Pierre Herme Series Introduction 25:43 - Sharing Hauls Z32:09 - At the Genba with Mike Lightning Round 37:51 - Conbini News
July 29, 2020
7-11's Prolific New Item Output and Weiner Wars
In this week’s episode, Mike and I once again examine the prolific number of new items out of the konbini - this time at 7-11. We get into the Chiki Wars with updates on Lawson’s Nice Cheese Grand Prix and a shocking new big chiki out of 7-11. We also dive into a Weiner War between Lawson, 7-11, and FamilyMart, then report on big news concerning plastic bags at the konbini. Let’s get started. 1:45 - Update on Lawson’s Nice Cheese Grand Prix 3:54 - 7-11’s Shocking Big Chiki 6:43 - 7-11’s 97 new items for the week July 14 - July 21 8:14 - 7-11’s Hashed Potato 9:32 - 7-11’s Wasabeef Chips 11:10 - 7-11’s Torori Takkarubi Doria 13:38 - 7-11’s Taiwan Beef Mixup Salad 15:07 - 7-11’s Black Thunder Pablo Cheese Tart Hybrid Snack 17:33 - 7’11’s Zero kcal Cider Triple 19:06 - The Haul Segment (Mike’s Haul and Matt’s Haul) 24:58 - New Items: Weiner Wars 25:36 - FamilyMart’s Big Chorizo 27:15 - Lawson’s Pork Weiner and Cheese Roll 29:07 - 7-11’s Double Weiner Red Curry 31:08 - Lawson’s Chocolate Pudding Sandwich 32:59 - Mail Bag Conbini News 34:02 - Thank You to the Conbini 35:40 - Huge News about Plastic Bags at the Conbini
July 22, 2020
Too Many Products, Too Little Time
68 new products this week... and that's just at Family Mart. We take a look at the mind-blowing weekly output of the conbini, check in on Lawson's Nice Cheese Grand Prix, take a look at 7-11's Sauce in Chicken series and Ministop's Double Cheese Katsu Dog, critique a couple of hauls, hear from the Spicy Commentator about a previously introduced product, and catch up on some conbini news that is sure to shake up the industry. 
July 15, 2020
Critiquing Conbini Hauls
In this week’s episode, we celebrate 200 known flavors of Lawson’s karaage-kun fried chicken, critique some conbini hauls found on twitter, and share some big news about robots coming to FamilyMart.
July 8, 2020
It's Getting Hot: The Conbini Boys Share Shocking Reviews of the Famichiki
In this week’s episode the Conbini Boys kickoff with Lawson’s Nice Cheese Grand Prix. Then they engage in some heated discussion around other people’s reviews of the Famichiki. The Spicy Commentator is back to review the Basque Cheese Choco Pie. Mike shares his review of FamilyMart’s Karamucho Famichiki introduced last week, followed by an introduction of two new items: the Mango and Passion fruit Zeitaku Shibori canned cocktail and Lawson’s Rare Cheese Jelly. Mike and Matt close out with big news - Lawson will begin selling 500 yen bags of vegetables at 15,000 stores. 1:38 - Nice Cheese Grand Prix 7:30 - Famichiki Critiques 14:45 - Spicy Commentator on Basque Cheese Choco Pie 17:34 - Karamucho Review 19:38 - New items: Mango and Passion fruit Zeitaku Shibori canned cocktail 21:30 - New items: Lawson’s Rare Cheese Jelly 23:30 - Conbini News
July 1, 2020
Keeping Cool at the Conbini
The Conbini Boys are back after their episode 10 blowout. They start with a check in on the Chiki Wars, taking a look at Family Mart’s new 3 part famichiki series, featuring the incredible Karamucho Famichiki this week. Following up from last week’s alcohol themed episode, Matt and Mike go in depth about drinking culture in Japan, talking about everything from nomikais to daikos. The Spicy Commentator is back with a traditional Japanese sweet review from 7-11, and for new items this week, the boys take a look at some items to keep you cool during the hot summer. Finally, they take a look at the world of conbini news, unearthing an interesting new trend involving t-shirts as well as another hero to add to the conbini hall of fame. 1:57 - Chiki Wars: Family Mart’s new 3 part Famichiki series 5:49 - Overview of Japanese drinking culture 12:00 - Spicy Commentator Reviews: 7-11’s Mochimochi Warabimochi 14:40 - New Item: 7-11's Clear Cooler Strong: Pineapple and Mango Sour 16:14 - New Item: Lawson's Machi Cafe: Frozen Party Soda 18:07 - Mailbag 21:44 - The Great Conbini T-shirt battle: Lawson's Sour Squad vs Family Mart's Karamucho Chiki 24:48 - Conbini News: A new hero is born
June 24, 2020
Episode 10 Blowout: Popping Brewskies at the Conbini
It’s episode 10! Mike and Matt kick off with congratulatory notes recognizing this unbelievable milestone. Everyone from Michael Jordan to Shinzo Abe wrote in. Then the boys jump into a HUGE conbini topic in celebration of the 10th episode: alcohol. The Conbini Boys cover everything from beer to canned cocktails to cup sake. They ask the big questions like “Which has more text on it: a New York Times front page or an Asahi Super Dry beer can?” They dispense critical advice, such as what to do when your friend peels back a cup sake top. In new products, Mike and Matt review the Lemondo canned cocktail from Coca Cola and frozen beer from Kirin. Finally, Mike and Matt share big news about Lawson’s karaage-kun launching into space and the accompanying Black Hole flavor chicken nuggets. 1:48 - Congratulatory messages on the 10th episode 6:58 - Introduction to conbini alcohol 10:47 - Overview of conbini beer 22:41 - Overview of conbini canned cocktails 25:32 - Overview of conbini sake 29:36 - Lemondo canned cocktail 33:18 - Kirin Frozen Beer 35:15 - Lawson’s Karage-kun in outer space and Black Hole flavor karaage-kun chicken nuggets
June 17, 2020
Legendary Famichiki Tales: Extraordinary Feats of Juice
Matt and Mike round out their deep dive into hotbox fried chicken with a journey to Family Mart, and follow it with some truly legendary tales about the power of Famichiki. The Karakuchi commentator heads back to Lawson to bring us a review of a cupcake inspired item. Mike shares his thoughts on the Kakipi Famichiki, and the two look at a couple of new items: the Burger King Strong Burger and Cheese Milk Tea. Finally, after taking a look into the mailbag, we share some uplifting Conbini-related news stories. 0:00 - Kickoff 2:10 - Family Mart's Fried Chicken Deep Dive 8:03 - Legendary Famichiki Stories 17:20 - Sweets Review from the Karakuchi Commentator (Lawson's Cupke) 20:07 - Kakipi Famichiki review 22:50 - New Items: Burger King Strong Burger and Cheese Milk Tea 28:33 - Mailbag! 32:34 - Conbini News
June 10, 2020
Lawson's Karaage-kun: The Greatest Product Platform of All Time?
The Conbini Boys continue their deep dive into hot box fried chicken at Lawson, home of the karagage-kun. These fried chicken nuggets have an astonishing number of flavors. The Spicy Commentator is back to review FamilyMart’s Zakuzaku Banana Chocolate Ice Cream Bar. The Conbini Boys dig into two new items: gatsuri ramen out of 7-11 and Kakipi (rice cracker) Famichiki at FamilyMart. After diving into the mailbag, Mike and Matt announce the winner of Lawson’s Regional Mayonnaise Onigiri Tournament. Finally, the Conbini Boys share news on the Famichiki Senpai (Famichiki big brother) and his exercise routine while in quarantine. 2:42 - Bloopers 4:28 - Lawson Fried Chicken Deep Dive 17:20 - Spicy Commentator reviews banana chocolate bar from FamilyMart 19:36 - New Item at 7-11: Gatsuri (gut buster) ramen 24:20 - New Item at FamilyMart: Kakipi Famichiki 27:20 - Mailbag 31:38 - Winner of the Lawson’s Regional Mayonnaise Onigiri Tournament 34:52 - Conbini News: Famichiki Senpai Exercise
May 27, 2020
Traditional Japanese Cuisine: Hot Dogs and Fried Chicken
This week, the Conbini Boys take a deep dive into the fried chicken section of the hotbox. Starting with 7-11, they’ll be taking a look over the next couple of weeks at the fried chicken selection from each of the Big 3: Lawson, Family Mart, and 7-11. The spicy commentator is back with another review, this time looking at "Italian Pudding" from 7-11, and as for new items this week, they’re looking at the traditional Japanese cuisine known as “hot dogs.” Next, following up last week's Top 3 Favorite conbini items episode, Matt and Mike introduce their  “honorable mentions” to the list. And finally, the Boys introduce a new segment: “Conbini Boys Story Time” with a riveting story about the development of Pocari Sweat. 0:00 - Kickoff 1:30 - Hot Box Fried Chicken Deep Dive:  7-11 (7-11’s fried chicken selection) 8:47  - Sweets Review from the Karakuchi Commentator (7-11’s “Italian Pudding”) 11:20 - New Items: Hot Dogs! (Lawson’s “GOOODOG”, 7-11’s Cheese Dog) 15:42 - Mail bag check 18:32 - Near misses to our Top 3 Conbini Items 26:28 - Conbini Boys Story Time: The history of Pocari Sweat (The History of Pocari Sweat)
May 20, 2020
Behind the Scenes: The Anxiety of Choosing Top 3 Conbini Items
In their first Behind the Scenes bonus, Mike and Matt discuss the anxiety of choosing their top 3 favorite conbini items just before kicking off Episode 6. 
May 13, 2020
Top 3 Conbini Items
In this week’s episode, Mike and Matt share their Top 3 favorite conbini items. It’s a nearly impossible question to answer. But after a week of long walks, pacing around the house, and consulting with fellow conbini-lovers, they each managed to whittle it down to three spectacular items. As always, Mike and Matt kick it off with hot box chicken, specifically tatsuta chicken. The Karakuchi Commentator IS BACK for another sweets review where she talks Basque-style Cheesecake from Lawson’s. The Conbini Boyz follow up on Lawson’s regional mayonnaise-themed onigiri tournament sharing which two made it to the final showdown. Conbini news continues to revolve around Covid-19, celebrating a collaboration between a long-haul bus company and Lawson’s. As always, Mike and Matt round it out with two conbini memories. 0:00 - Kickoff 4:27 - Chiki Wars: Tatsu Chicken 8:24 - Sweets Review from the Karakuchi Commentator: Basque-Style Cheesecake from Lawson's 11:15 - Mike and Matt's Top 3 Conbini Items 21:10 - Lawson’s Mayonnaise Onigiri Regional Tournament Update 24:17 - Sponsor's Ad 26:58 - Conbini News 29:53 - Conbini Memory
May 10, 2020
Lawson's Mayo Onigiri Regional Tournament
In this week's episode, Mike and Matt take a deep into the conbini's spectacular regional, seasonal, and limited edition culture. Lawson's is kicking off a two-week long mayonnaise-themed onigiri (rice ball) tournament. Who's is going to make it out on top? Strong contenders like Sendai's cow tongue and miso-mayo onigiri and Okinawa's taco meat onigiri blast off into a winner-takes-all battle.  5:19 - Correction on the History of Boneless Hotbox Chiki 7:29 - Lawson's Mayo Onigiri Regional Tournament  17:03 - Regional, Seasonal, and Limited Edition Conbini Culture 22:05 - Maimai's Karakuchi Commentator Review 25:12 - Conbini News 29:05 - Look Ahead to Next Week ​​Show Notes: ​​History of famichiki: ​​Lawson onigiri tournament voting page: ​​Chocolate Bar Cookie Sandwich: ​​Conbini cooler open solution:
May 3, 2020
The Big Chiki
In this episode of Conbini Boyz, Mike and Matt talk Big Chiki. That’s right - BIG Chiki. FamilyMart has unleashed from its hot box a 1.5x sized Famichiki. Does it live up to the hype? Tune in to find out. In Conbini News, we talk Covid-19 and how 7-11 owners are braving the crisis like true samurai warriors. Then, we talk about the latest trend in conbini items - Cheese Foam Drinks. Should you have one? Probably! Finally, as always, we end with Conbini Memories.
April 28, 2020
Foreigners' Favorite and Least Favorite Conbini Items
In this week's episode, Mike and Matt dive into the conbini items foreigners love and hate. Will the hotbox boneless fried chicken reach the top of the conbini food chain? And what's sitting at the bottom? Also, Mike and Matt get into Covid-19 discussing 7-11's mobile conbini serving at-risk populations. Despite the challenging environment, Mike managed to do some field work to test out the Samurai Mac burgers. As always, we start off with fried chicken and end with a couple conbini memories. 
April 20, 2020
Drinkable Cheese Tart and Gubo
In this week's episode, Mike and Matt dive into the latest news and products hitting the conbini:  Unmanned conbinis watched over by AI 7-11's acquisition of Speedway falls through Gubo chunky sticks FamilyMart debuts its first vegan item PABLO cheese tarts in drinkable form As always, we kickoff with something on the Chiki Wars. And end with a couple conbini memories.
April 5, 2020
Conbini Boyz Kickoff
In their inaugural episode, Mike and Matt dive into the fried chicken wars, the latest seasonal items on conbini shelves, Covid-19, and 7-11’s war on the storeowner who refused to stay open 24 hours.
March 29, 2020