Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kyara Ben

Or Character Bentos.

There are still a few things I get excited about. One is the Japanese obento, lunchbox. Man. They are so much fun. Lots of tasty delicacies and fun to look at as well.

When J was in kindergarten I had a ball. I collected dozens of books and spent upwards of an hour on his lunches. I tried to get creative by cutting sheets of seaweed and making faces on the rice. My level was probably that of the pictures above. That is all edible btw, quail eggs, ham, lotus roots, sliced cheese of course rice.

Ha ha. I remember once for my husband's obento I made two big round heaps of white rice and then added two pieces of red pickled plum on top...boobs. It had me in hysterics. I just wish I had been there to see his face that day at lunch. Unfortunately, because of stunts like that, my family no longer encourages my bento creations.

But they're crap out of luck! I saw a great TV show last night and I think I might start back up because the bar has been raised. These are the Kyara Ben of the future.

Look at this!

And this!

Imagine getting something like this in your lunch. Makes me weep over my ham sandwich and Little Debbie snack days. I remember thinking I was cool when I finally convinced my mother to stop filling my thermos with Kool Aide and just wrap a can of coke in tinfoil.

I am stunned at all the sites relating to kyara ben. Here's a daily blog from a lady who does all the Pokemon. Wow. This link has tons of pictures.


*EDIT* There, They're, Their. Thanks Imomo!! I'm sure this thing is littered with such horrors.


Prashanth said...

Amazing! And you can eat it too?

Doug Skinner said...

Few things in life bring me more pleasure than a good lunch...I wish this sort of thing was more popular here in the US.

Emily Veinglory said...

Wow, I would have trouble eating something like that and destroting all the hard work!

Scriptorius Rex said...

If it gets kids to eat their veggies then I'm all for it.

Kappa no He said...

Prashanth: Except for the odd toothpick or two, yep totally edible!

Doug: I am going to predict that this will eventually make it to the states and be a hit. I mean the way anime, manga, and sushi have been embraced!

But then again the cynic in me nags that since obento take a bit of time to prepare...maybe not.

Emily: The lady on the TV show the other night (who actually had obento BETTER than the ones I posted) said that her family thought she was cruel because they had to eat what she took two hours to prepare.

Scriptorius: Here here! I was never a big veggie fan when I was a kid but the kids here eat fantastically well.

Once when we were back in the states for a while my mom took my son (then three or four) and I out to Dennys or someplace. He picked at his french fries and goes, "God, I want
some vegetables!" My mom nearly fainted.

Nancy said...

Those are so awesome -- much cooler (and way more portable!) that peanut butter hearts, that's for sure.

What proportion of the kids bring fully made obentos to school? (Is it a peer-pressure thing, to have a cooler obento than the next kid?)

I think, if an obento-craze ever hits the States, it'll be in some pre-fabricated form (i.e., seaweed faces you can peel off plastic, like fruit roll-ups). We're just too lazy. :)

Kappa no He said...

Nancy: I remember making obento a lot during the kindergarten days (although not everyday). Kindergarten is probably the biggest cutesy phase. Elementary school is all school lunch (which is a blog all its own!!). I think junior high and high school is obento everyday.

I'm not sure about the competition with obentos. I imagine it is there because when you eat together you see everyone's lunch. I know girls are a lot more picky than boys. I'm always quizing my son on what everyone had. And you should see me at field days and sporting events when everyone brings obentos and eats in one big area. I bring binoculars.

Japan too has begun lots of ready made obento goodies, small frozen veggies and meats that you just add to the box. And the other day I saw a pre cut design for a soccer ball (you just wrap a round ball of rice in it, voila! soccer ball! You totally predicted that one.

Eric said...

I have to say, I love those lunch boxes. So much more creative than the PB&J :)



Virginia Lee said...

I saw an article about this not too long ago in the NY Times (I think...) and was amazed. It's so cool! And you've actually done this? Wow!

Anonymous said...

Here's your million dollar idea for this month. "Kappa's Hentai-Ben" Set up a small shop in Kabukicho, and you can retire in a few years. There's all kinds of shops in the US that make porno cakes and candies. I'm not sure about Japan, though. A natural.

Kappa no He said...

Eric: No peanut butter here!

Virginia: Mine are more like the top two. Once or twice I've painstakingly cut sheets of seaweed and made faces only to have half of them stick to the top of the obento box. The results were quite creepy I heard.

Imomo: OMG! That is a brilliant idea. I've always had a sorta fascination with Kabukicho. Small shop, back street, creative and indecent use of veggies. And the Kappa's Hentai Ben just seals it!

Connie Barbour said...

Wow - how creative! I agree with others that it would be hard to eat artistic creations.

jean said...

Kappa's hentai-ben -- I love it!!! Those rice boobs were just the beginning!!

Speak for yourself, Kappa, but pb&j has found its way into Y's bento on many a fine occasion!

I'm wondering what all these picture perfect creations look like after they've been lugged a kilometer in a school bag.

There's a gal who used to post on FWC who makes bentos like you wouldn't believe (I see them on her photo site). Next time you're over I'll have to show you them on the computer.

I bought one of those soccer ball rice ball kits to use in lunches for my son last summer when we were in Canada. But the appeal of the 'ready in 2 minutes' sandwich option took over. I ended up giving the darn thing away to a neighbour who was much more of a keener Mom than me.

Anonymous said...

Character bentou=kawaiiiiii! ^_^

(wants one NOW). - Kenshin

Pat said...

You took an hour to make a lunch? Wow, your family is lucky! Kelly would kill for a mother like you.

Kappa no He said...

Connie: Yea, it's like 'where do I start?'

Jean: Wow, I haven't made a PBJ in years. I don't think I even know where to buy peanut butter, chunky!

Pat: Okay, not daily! I'll admit...only on special occasions, school pic nics, field days...

Peggy said...

Those are beautiful. I can't imagine spending so much time decorating a meal that's going to be quickly devoured. I do remember that my mom once got creative with my lunch, dying the tuna salad green on St. Patrick's day. Unfortunately, I was mortified, rather than appreciative. I hope J appreciated your hard work!

jean said...

Green tuna salad --- whoa!!

I always bought Skippy at Seiyu but then Walmart took over Seiyu and it got replaced by a no-name brand. And then a few months ago there was a big p.b. recall in the States of - guess what? - that company's products, so no more p.b. at Seiyu. I buy it at other places now - Shizutetsu, etc. Skippy's pretty crap compared to some of the more natural brands at home, but you definitely can't be choosy about your p.b. in Japan!

Kelly said...

That is awesome!! When I was a kid it was a crumy lunchable and lousy caprison - wow, kids these days what will they come up with next?!?