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Regular readers will no doubt know that we at RocketNews24 love few things more than a good character design bento lunchbox, or kyaraben for short. There are whole sections in book shops and libraries here in Japan dedicated to the art of crafting beautiful packed lunches using an array of techniques to transform something as plain as rice and a handful of toppings into characters and objects that will make their diner grin from ear to ear. And this new batch, published earlier today by Japan’s Naver Matome, shows us just how far creative cooks, mothers, husbands and wives are prepared to go to spruce up what can often be the day’s least exciting meal. Put down your Lunchables and check these out.

  • 1. I’ve got my eye on you!

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First up from Twitter user @yu_chocoholic, The Ring’s Sadako comes to lunch with this slightly disturbing bento made with a slice of ham, some nori seaweed and a cleverly positioned hard-boiled egg on top of a bed of wholesome rice. It looks fantastic, but we’re not quite sure we could stomach the additional ketchup…

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  • 2. Boys’ Love

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Because there simply aren’t enough homoerotic lunch boxes in the world, @246rrrrr decided to go all out with this one and bring a little romance to his mid-day meal.

  • 3. Product placement or a subtle reminder?

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Our excellent featured image today comes from @hayashou, who shows that “character bento” knows no limits. Creamy ben, perhaps? Wait, no, that just sounds wrong…

  • 4. Shaved your eggs recently?

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“My first attempt at a kyaraben!” tweets @TomaMiki. Well its certainly adorable, but perhaps you need to work on your presentation, Miki-san!

  • 5. Have lunch, save the planet

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Twitter user @8zz reminds us all of the importance of recycling with this cute onigiri rice-ball collection. It just goes to show that even something as simple as balls of rice with a few fillings can be fun and exciting if you put your mind to it. We hope the ones in the middle and on the right aren’t actually made of aluminium and plastic, though…

  • 6. Half ‘n’ half

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We’re sure this Baron Ashura bento would make a great little lunch, after we’d gotten past that menacing stare, anyway. The first bite is with the eye, which is where we suggest you start eating this one.

  •  7. Easter lunch

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Proving once again that nori seaweed is the creative ink of the kitchen, @n_chonchon‘s Moai bento is once of the coolest we think we’ve ever seen.

  • 8. Don’t you die on me!

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Mobile Suit Gundam‘s Mirai Yashima implores one lunchtime diner through the mediums of ham, cheese and carefully cut nori to eat up and not die today. Genius.

  • 9. Face me!

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But what of those who have neither access to sheets of nori nor the time to spend creating beautiful patterns each morning? @Gachapippy‘s bento of Japanese actor Toshio Kakei shows that some plastic wrap and marker pen skills can work just as well. Just don’t scrimp on the accompaniments.

  • 10. 21st century lunchtime man

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Finally, bringing us home today is @shamaizm‘s homage to King “Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man”, made with more Spam than can possibly healthy in one serving, and understandably worrying this little girl who doesn’t seem quite sure how to tackle it.

Keep up the fine work, Japan!

Source: Naver Matome