New-style Chinese tea brand Lelecha has teamed up with Japanese anime IP Jujutsu Kaisen (呪術廻戦, lit. sorcerer battle) for a new collection of items and themed branch decorations.
The co-branded series, called Shushu Kaisen (薯薯回战, lit. Potato Battle) includes two sweet potato-flavoured teas, one with cheese, cream and puff pastry twist bits on top, and the other with taro balls and coconut jelly, topped with mushy sweet potato. Sweet potato chips and rye bread stuffed with sweet potato accompany the drinks. Paper bags, cups and stickers will be gifted to customers buying the collab items. A sweet potato cheese pound cake will be available from 24 January and will come in a box inspired by Prison Realm, a cursed object from the show.
Established in Shanghai in 2016, Lelecha is a new-style tea chain focusing on tea and soft bread with a higher-end positioning. After opening for franchising in early 2023, the number of branches was projected to triple by the end of 2023 and reach 500. The brand has had various collaborations with international IPs such as Swiss cartoon character Pingu, Japanese manga and anime IP Crayon Shin-chan, Japanese soft drink mascot Qoo and Japanese brand Osamu Goods by artist Harada Osamu.
Jujutsu Kaisen is a popular anime series based on the Manga of the same name Gege Akutami. The second series ended in Japan on 28 December, while in China there are still 3 episodes to go on Bilibili. Lelecha’s collaboration came on the day the latest episode streamed while the pound cake will be available when the next episode airs. Lelecha has the potential to maximise the impact of the drops by syncing the release with the airing schedule of the anime.
Jujutsu Kaisen might be a niche series for mainstream viewers, but has a strong following in the manga and anime community. On Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the topic “Lelecha Jujutsu Kaisen” (#乐乐茶咒术回战#) has a modest 1.60 million views. With its collaboration history, Lelecha is known to partner with highly esteemed if somewhat left-field IPs, trying to harness the niche coolness of its partners. This latest move is no exception.