In recent years, itasha, cars emblazoned with admirably detailed yet painfully nerdy vinyl graphics inspired by anime and manga, have been getting more and more mainstream attention. But what if you’re not old enough to drive, or you just want to express your admiration for your favorite 2-D character without spending hundreds of dollars creating a car that your friends or date will be too embarrassed to ride in?
In that case, why not turn to the world of itachoko, chocolates decorated with anime character likenesses?
Ice cream and frozen food maker Futaba Foods decided to get creative this past Valentine’s Day, and invited a number of contests to participate in creating and sharing snapshots of their itachoko. Futaba itself got the ball rolling with two entries, the first of which is the cute-yet-deadly Charlotte from Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
▼ Appropriate, since she’s also known as the Desserts Witch
Futaba Foods also whipped up this Kill la Kill chocolate, featuring not the no-nonsense series heroine, but her perkier pal Mako, instead.
Confectioner Imuraya was also inspired by the dark magical girl series Puella Magi Madoka Magica, crafting an edible version of arch-villain Kyubey, whose void-like eyes are all the more terrifying for being surrounded by a collection of his sinister quotes.
▼ If you’ve ever wanted to bite Kyubey’s face off, here’s you chance.
Belcorno, an Italian restaurant in Aichi Prefecture, put their experienced chefs to work on this chocolate battleship and character from mobile game Kantai Collection, in which the player commands a combat unit made up of anthropomorphized battle ships.
▼ Of course some of them wear sailor suits. They’re ships for crying out loud!
Illustration website Ecrii showed up with this artistic realization of the site’s wascot.
Non-Japanese characters weren’t barred from the fun wither, as even the Japanese branch of Warner Entertainment tossed their hat in the ring with this Gollum.
▼ Is Gollum such a sympathetic villain that you could resist eating him?
Of course, Tolkien’s work would go on to serve as the primary inspiration for hundreds of fantasy series, such as video game Dragon Quest, which was represented by these cute little chocolate slimes made out of Hershey’s kisses.
▼ Is it wrong that we’re immediately trying to figure out how many experience we’d gain by eating the whole lot?
Oddly enough, the majority of participating companies were neither animation nor candy producers. Those slimes above, for example, were made by Imamura Aluminum, which sells interior fixtures. This Tachikoma rideable robot from Ghost in the Shell? You can thank Yanagiya, a company which sells apricot-oil derived beauty products.
Watanabe Fabrics went all-out with three different types of itachoko showing its employees keep their fingers on the pulse of the anime community, with sweets inspired by mega-hit Attack on Titan…
…tongue-in-cheek superhero franchise Tiger and Bunny…
… and even Kirikuma from recently wrapped TV series Arpeggio of Blue Steel, who we’re not sure we should hug or shoot with a hunting rifle
Similarly non-anime related ejoy, an online home center which is standing by in case you need a Black & Decker cordless drill or a couple of two-by-fours, turned in this exquisitely drawn Mokkun, a familiar from supernatural period piece Shonen Onmyoji.
And lastly, here’s an idol singer from Love Live!, which comes to us courtesy of Sanwa Company.
Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but considering the energy that went into the exhibition, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Futaba Foods organize another next year. And for all those of you inspired by these anime goodies to get in the itachoko game yourself, but feeling like you need to upgrade your cooking equipment first, Sanwa Company’s main line of business is kitchen installations and renovations.