In Japan, parents make bento lunches for their kindergarten kids. To make a healthy lunch look as appetizing (or rather, “fun”) as possible, many parents make them as cute as possible. As a parent of two boys, I’ve tried to make cute bento lunches, with the key word being “tried”.
The materials you are working with — well, food — aren’t ideal. Still, Japanese food companies do sell pre-cut Pokémon seaweed paper, veggie cutters that create adorable shapes, and edible powdered dyes to alter the colour of white rice. Even with that help, I haven’t turned anything one millionth as impressive as the hand-made lunches AnnaTheRed has churned out over the years.
What makes her bento lunches so damn great isn’t merely that she can make pretty much any video game, anime, or manga into a lunch, but that AnnaTheRed, who grew up in Japan, uses the types of food you actually find in Japanese kids’ bento lunches. (Sometimes, bento makers in the West use food that people in Japan would find, well, odd in a lunch box.)
Kotaku has previously posted a handful of her bento work (here, here, and here). And now, here are many, many more. I’ve probably posted too many from her blog (which you should read), but hopefully she won’t mind! Just wanted to share.