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 :
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!!