Feedback – Eve’s Totoro Bento


Totoro Bento – made by Eve
Bento Box – Naseba Naru Bento Box from Bento&co.
My friend in France, Eve, made this for her course in Visual Arts at her University. She had to make a work of art of her choice and she decided to make this. She wrote :  Hi Rie ! I wanted to share with you my very first charaben. I would love to have your feedback on it ! It took me a looooot of time (3 hours) as I am a beginner, and had some trouble with the omelet for the flowers, and with the ears of the onigiris !! I hope through time I will be more efficient !! 
I am not a bento commentator, I myself is still learning how to make my bento better, so really I do not think any of my comments have so much value for anyone. But since Eve wants to hear my opinion, I shall try to put some thoughts into word. (This is just my personal opinion and I try not to be judgemental)

Here my dear friend Eve says it was her FIRST charaben and it took her 3 hours to make this. If you have made a charaben before, you may know how time consuming it is to make a charaben. And I can tell you, Totoro does look easy to make but really he is one of the time-consuming figure as he is very simple and yet unique, specially it is hard when you can use no bright colors or surface decoration to hide mistakes. Totoro is a very demanding figure compared to an easy character like Hello Kitty or Snoopy. But Eve presents this quality and I was very impressed. She even made 4 character figures! Well done Eve! I am sure your Professor was as much impressed as I was!! If you keep on making charaben at this level, you will be very good charabenist in months to come. 

I like specially the Totoro with grinning face in the bottom tier.  (In this photo the tier is placed above the top tier)  His facial expression is such an adorable one and we can not help smiling when we see him. (can you eat him??) The two red mushrooms in the bottom tier are also very cute. Look at her detailed work to place these dots (cheese?) on the edge. The use of the red color here is very effective with the green broccoli background.  Kurosuke (the black round ball) can be maybe better seen if you put a leaf of lettuce or something underneath as it is blending with the color of bento box. This can apply to any black bento box. If you have nori maki or onigiri wrapped in black nori, put a leaf of green or use a colorful silicon cup to save it from disappearing. 

Eve says she had trouble with tamagoyaki flower. I can see they are a bit squeezed to fit in to the small space. Tamagoyaki or Ham flower needs a bit more space around them to flower. And if you would like to put a sausage in the middle, it is easier to wrap it around the sausage only once. It is called Himawari Sausage (Sunflower Sausage)
We use a small piece of dry spaghetti to fix the end of the tamagoyaki to the sausage. The tiny piece of spaghetti will be very soft by the time you eat the bento, but it is an edible and useful fixture for Charaben.

I asked Eve about the box she used because I wanted to know if it was possible to remove this divider. I hope Eve can make a Totoro bento again (if she has time or if she has another project for her Visual Art class ^^ ) and use the same box without the divider. Without the divider, she will have more space for the Totoro’s belly. You will have more gaps and spaces without the divider, but you can use a colorful lettuce or fruits as filler. And maybe eyes can be more playful next time (specially Kurosuke) as they will add more facial expressions. Kurosuke looks fun and playful when his eyes are like this.

Eve, thank you for sharing your wonderful Totoro bento!
Hope you will share your next charaben with us again!!

Good luck!!




2 thoughts on “Feedback – Eve’s Totoro Bento

  1. Hello Rie

    Thank you for your very complete comment !! You asked if totoro can be eaten, in fact everything in the bento is edible. The mushrooms for example are made out of pepper and cheese.

    The trouble I had with the tamagoyaki flowers is that the egg sheet that I cooked in the pan was useless : it was not strong enough, and it broke in little pieces so I broke an egg, put it in a plate, cooked it in the microwave and it incredible but it worked ! It was not very even and very flat, but i bet through time and practice, I could have better results with the microwave cooking of the egg sheet.

    The idea of the spaghetti is great, and the kurosuke surrounded by a green leaf is also good ! I'll remember about it's funny eyes for the next time !
    Thanks again for your comments, and your advice, the sunflowers made out of sausage is very very interesting !!!

  2. Yay Eve! You are so good! and I hope you will make many more Totoro bento. Your first charaben was fantastic and you are very talented!! Tamagoyaki for charaben use needs a little practice, you can also try to make it with only egg yolk as well. Try a new way and see how it works!

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