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Me & Rabbit

I’m born in Japan, came to the U.S. in 1994, and I have been living/moving around in the state of New York since then.
I went to an art school in NYC but, just like 95% of the art students, ended up working a non-art related job.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I used to be a full-time translator for anime shows, and for some strange reason, I have recently become a full-time GM for an online card game called Alteil. I wasn’t hired because I was a good card game player or anything. I do translation for the game. Beating me in the game means nothing! (So please try not to murder me mercilessly if you happen to duel me :P)

I still love creating stuff with my hands in my free time and I enjoy sewing, cooking, and drawing. I’ve made tons of plushes, but I always had a problem finding a place to display them, and I would usually just give them away.
I guess I get more excited while making them and when I finished making them, but not so much after that.

But recently, I’ve discovered a love for making bento (lunchbox in Japanese)!

In Japan, a lots of moms wake up early to make bento for their kids and their husbands. And often, they make cute animals or characters from anime shows out of food, so that kids will enjoy eating healthy food. Those bento are called “Kyaraben” or “Charaben”. (character bento)

It’s so much more challenging than making a plush, and takes only about a couple of hours. But no, I don’t spend the couple of hours straight to make bento. I get up 6 in the morning, and we try to leave the house around 9:15-9:30. And most time, I prepare the food the night before, sometime while I cook dinner. (EDIT: I changed “takes only about 5 hours” to “a couple of hours” because, usually 1 hour for doing a sketch for bento, 1 hour for preparation the night before, and a couple of hours in the morning)
The best part is, your work will be eaten and gone by the end of the day!

So, I’m going to write about bento, plush, food and anything I create in my blog. Nothing serious, just for fun.

I hope my creations make you go “ooh, neat”.

All anime & video game characters are copyright of their respective owners.

Q: Where are the other bento I’ve seen on Kickintheheadcomic’s flickr page or some sites on internet?

A: I made my first “kyaraben-ish” bento for kickinthehead (my boyfriend) on 9/11/2008. He took some pictures and posted on his flickr, and that’s how it began.
I’m pretty lazy by nature. That’s why my boyfriend is the one who takes pictures of my bento, edits them, uploads them to flickr, and put notes on them. But everyone’s comment on my pictures made me decided to start this blog.
I started my first bento blog on 11/11/2008, and I have been blogging every other day since then, but my blog still hasn’t caught up with my current bento.
Also, my flickr page is for this bento blog, so it doesn’t show my latest bento on there either.
So if you want to just see my latest bento, please check out kickintheheadcomic on flickr!

If you’d like to contact me, please email me at annathered[at]gmail.com

Click the image to go to Bento collection on my flickr!

Click the image to go to Bento collection on my flickr!

What I do for a living.


1. Sara Mueller - November 17, 2008

‘Oh neat’ would be a mild version of the jaw-agape wonder of those bentos! You are an amazing artist!

2. Jana - November 21, 2008

it makes me go OMG!!!! seriously you should write a book or do something more than that.. you can maybe open a restaurant or something like Japanese fast food or something like that. Trust me its much much more than “ooh neat”!!!!!

3. Asakiyume - November 22, 2008

These obento are just wonderful, and so inspiring! What an incredibly fun thing to do–your boyfriend is so, so lucky. My brother’s boyfriend sent me the link to the photos, and I sent them to a friend who posted the link on Facebook–they are just so excellent.

I especially love your Miyazaki ones ^_^

4. Asakiyume - November 22, 2008

Oops–actually, I meant my brother’s girlfriend!

5. Wendy Leow - December 7, 2008

your creations are fantastic.. I am looking at your blog in secret. If my 4 and 2-yr old kids see this they will go nuts! Thanks for sharing!!

6. lilyanette - December 7, 2008

Thank You for showing me the next level of the Bento making world. Love your creations and “WOW… so neat” 🙂

7. Lyvvie - December 8, 2008

I’m grateful you started the bento blog. Don’t get bored please – keep going! I say “Ooh…neat!” a lot.

8. phlyingpenguin - December 8, 2008

All I can say is WOW. I’ve seen some good bento examples around, but I’m quite amazed by these. Don’t get bored of blogging; I’ll be following this blog as long as it exists!

9. Linh - December 8, 2008

I gotta say, you got some skills. You could charge an arm and a leg to cater for folks, ha.

10. redphayze - December 8, 2008

My husband sent me the link to your boyfriends’ flickr website and your blog. I’m so amazed and impressed by your bento-creativity!

11. GeoMom - December 8, 2008

OMG! “Oh, neat!” is an understatement! I followed a link to your website from Lunch in a Box. I’m glad I did. Your bentos are out of this world. I look forward to seeing and reading about your new creations.

12. Graham Lawrence - December 9, 2008

Truly amazing. Makes me happy for the rest of the day!

13. Kai - December 9, 2008

The Disney Blog http://thedisneyblog.com/ linked to your site, and am I glad I looked! Amazing works of art, the only drawback being that I’d never get to eat any of it because I’d hate to destroy a thing of beauty…

14. Patrik - December 9, 2008

Your blog is really cool. I’m impressed!

15. Edward - December 9, 2008

Wowwie! Lucky boyfriend!!

16. Campanilla - December 9, 2008

You are amazing! And I can’t believe that someone dares to eat those bento’s. xD Greetings!

17. bharath - December 9, 2008

You are amazing.
I am sure your kids would be very happy to have you as a mom.
I am looking forward to copy some of your creations.

18. Tofer - December 9, 2008

You must look into producing a book–it would be perfect for a coffee-table or for someone interested in reproducing your amazing designs. Great site!

19. Pablito - December 9, 2008

Your boyfriend is lucky to have you. I can tell that the main ingredient in your dishes is LOVE. Thanks for sharing! P

20. Monkey - December 9, 2008

Very Cool! Your boyfriend is a lucky man 🙂 I especialy like the katamari damacy Prince. Keep it up!

21. Iris - December 9, 2008

this website is amazing!!
My little sister is crazy about Sesame Street, do you have any bento version for little girls like her??

22. Krystal - December 9, 2008

You are amazing! Thanks for taking the time to post. You should definitely consider converting these to a book at some point. 🙂

23. Will - December 9, 2008

this is incredible 🙂 awesome. definitely publish a book!

24. Kathleen - December 9, 2008

Your art work is incredible! I love the direction you have taken with the food. And it really makes good sense to get children to eat healthy by turning the food into things they recognize. I would definitely buy a book if you ever published one. I think it’s great and cannot wait to see what you come up with next. I hope you keep having fun doing this. 🙂

25. Fumiko - December 9, 2008

Wow that’s amazing! I’m so impressed. I have seen some incredible “kazari makizushi” before. Your work is also an art.

26. JF - December 9, 2008

You are a genius.

27. monsieur - December 9, 2008

Please, be my girlfriend !

28. Justin - December 9, 2008

These are great!!! you should either put ads on here or get your own blog and stick google ads on there then you can do this full time!!

29. Craig - December 9, 2008

I’ve never felt the need to post anything on anyone’s blog before this. You’re cool.

30. Jim - December 9, 2008

I love this woman.

31. Irene - December 10, 2008

I would willingly go gay for you. But I know you have a bf. Can we be friends? You make wonderful bentos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

32. Franz - December 10, 2008

I just wanna say I’m a HUGE fan of bento-making people like you! I hope I can actually learn the tips you made! すごすぎです、がんばってください!お弁との作り方ありがとうございました!

33. Mal - December 10, 2008

It’s just great Anna ! Keep on the good work !

34. Eric - December 10, 2008

Art industry or not, you have a phenomenal artistic and culinary prowess. You have inspired me to try and create my own rudimentary Bento in the future.

35. Marianne - December 10, 2008

These are amazing 🙂 You should make some out of Sculpey – I bet they would sell, for a lot, like hotcakes at places like Monkey King, myplasticheart and the like. Just wonderful stuff!

36. Ant - December 11, 2008

You are great!

37. Raul - December 11, 2008

Hey Anne,

Your work is just amazing. Congratulations.
Also this is the ultimate art. You can see it, you can smell it and you can eat it.

Keep doing this great work.

38. the rabbit - December 11, 2008

you totally rule anna the red!

39. the rabbit - December 11, 2008

much more that “oo neat”
“oo incredible & inspiring & wow what talent & a myriad of other compliments!”

40. eekabeep - December 11, 2008

Thank you for providing instructions and photos! I’ve always wanted to do this!

41. Euge - December 11, 2008

You should make characters like Charlie Brown!

42. jean - December 11, 2008

These are beautiful and thoughtful. Your boyfriend should marry you based on the perfection of his lunches! (kidding, of course) but keep up the amazing work.

43. cori - December 11, 2008

Make a book.
Make people happy.
Make money.

And all from just what you do everyday! ^_^

44. cori - December 11, 2008

Or…. a television show… *gasp*
I’m already hooked.
Don’t underestimate your creativity and skill – I know you say moms in Japan do this, but no one is doing it here. Pleeeeeeease help spread the joy!

Your bf is awesome for putting up the pics on flickr!

45. sonya - December 12, 2008

i love you so much!
thank you for posting instructions on how to make egg sheets and everything else!

keep up the good work!

46. Keith - December 13, 2008

Oh man, please tell me you are single. I will marry you right now.

47. cindy lowe - December 14, 2008

you should open up a store in NYC!

48. João - December 15, 2008

Open a bento store!!!

49. Chi - December 15, 2008

Open a store and publish a book!!!

50. Jess - December 15, 2008

This is amazing. I just discovered bento, and I am in awe. Thanks!

51. yamgnos - December 16, 2008

Thanks for all your post. I like all of them. I will love cooking after reading your post. Once again thank so much.

52. R-1 - December 17, 2008

Hello. Hope you don’t mind, but I made a post about you on DannyChoo. These are really great. I hope my knife skills will eventually reach the level of accuracy that you have.

53. shiva - December 17, 2008

You are avery talented artist Anna!! amazing. thanks for sharing your art with us =)

54. Leslee - December 17, 2008

I’m so glad you have a blog now! I’ve been following your bentos since your boyfriend started posting them on Flickr. It’s great to see your blog now and see more info about how you create them! I love the how-to section! Great work!

55. Naoya - December 19, 2008

what you do is really great!! as japanese, im so glad to know that someone from japan are doing great outside japan.
my girlfriend is a huge fan of Studio Gibli, so i will tell her to check this site. she will love your art.

56. Marisol - December 21, 2008

Hello, Anna! I read about your work in a spanish’s website and I’am very glad to see you work with the vegetables, rice and other meals.
I live in south america.

You are and artist! Congratulations.

P.S: Could you please write the process to prepare a “bento” into spanish? Thanks

annathered - December 29, 2008

Hi Marisol
Sorry about a late reply.
Unfortunately, I don’t speak Spanish… =/ (feeling embarrassed since I’ve lived in NY for 14 years now)
Maybe you can Google translate the page into Spanish? Google has language tools, and all you have to do is to put url link on “translate a web page.” Hope that helps.

57. Muraki - December 23, 2008

\o/ lol \o/

very cool

lol \o/

58. Boneco do Rio de Janeiro - BRAZIL - December 23, 2008

Sinceramente, você é de mais!

59. thais morais - December 23, 2008

criatividade a mil!!!
muito lindooo

60. sid - December 30, 2008

my boyfriend showed me this site, and i love it!! you’re so good at this~ it makes me feel hungry looking at your bento.
the studio ghibli ones are my favorite!

61. Beru Betto - January 3, 2009

Wow, your work is amazing! All of it is so Kawaii and gorgeous! I wouldn’t dare to eat it. XD You’re a genius! : )

62. Nyssa - January 4, 2009

I would not have the heart to eat any of your bentos.. I’d much prefer to hang them up. They’re beautiful! ^^

63. Lizzie - January 6, 2009

I’ve just gotten into japanese cooking as often it can be a lot healthier than British food and I want food I can carry with me to labs without it having to be a boring salad or sandwich, and I’ve been very lucky because your site is the first I’ve found! It’s given me things to learn about while I’ve been in hospital so thanks for that. I look forward to making bento myself as soon as I’m back home.

Best wishes,

P.s. seriously, you should make this into a book when you have a bigger amount of bento.

64. Katherine - January 6, 2009

I love your site.. You have inspired me to try to make bento for MY boyfriend 🙂 I found your step by step guides helpful… Time to put them to use!

You should make a book, your bentos look fantastic!

65. Colin Woon - January 8, 2009

You’re incredible! Love your bento and blog! Keep up the good work!

66. Calvin - January 17, 2009

Very amazing! I don’t think I could eat any of those because they’re so incredible to look at.

67. Angeleyes - January 17, 2009

Hey! Just stumbled onto your blog! Your creations are like those from the books! Will be following your blog!

I was from the art school too but always never end up working in that line! And like you, I love to do stuff with my hands… I have a cupcake e-shoppe (www.i-love-cupcakes.com) and now I’m into Bento-ing!

68. mchan - January 23, 2009

Thank you so much Anna-san for these so many cutedelicious bentos!… they really make my days happier, even though I just only watch at them ^___^

Some day I’ll try to do it myself =)

69. Claudia - January 24, 2009

Today I found a picture of your Zelda and Yoshi/Pikachu Bento in a german nintendo magazine and i decided to visit your website! your bentos are awsome! Really great work! And i love your rabbit cookies! I think I make my own bunny-cutter and make some cookies for my next Wii Party! I hope I can do this cutter… 😉

Go on with this website! I love your stuff!

Greetings from germany!

70. Julie - February 1, 2009

My kids and I are in awe of these creations! We are HUGE Wall-e fans and were looking up flickr pics when we came across your wall-e cheese sandwich, and then we kept looking at the pics. WOW wow WOW! We are now huge fans of your work. You should totally sell prints of the pics. I am sure they would be huge hits. Just saying… 😉

71. Carrie - February 11, 2009

Hi Anna, Your bentos is so great! I work for chool of Visual Arts and wonder if you went to college here? If so I’d love to be in touch with you. -Carrie

72. Gustavo - February 11, 2009

A really cool work!! How creative are your bentos!! As an anime and videogame characters fan I have to say that it was a good surprise seeing Yoshi and Zelda made bento.

73. sole - February 12, 2009

anata no obento wa totemo kawaii desu!!!!
watashiwa arugentin desu.
watashi no blog wa : http://gachimaia.blogspot.com/

74. the french - February 17, 2009

C’est incroyable ce que vous faîtes! (comment peut-on faire mario ?)

75. Nixon - February 19, 2009

you are my idol!!!! those little stuff are neat!!
i wish i had half of ur skills!!
those meringue shrooms are neat, after failing to make macarons i’ve quited baking momentarily. haha~

76. Nikelle - February 20, 2009

Fan-freaking-tastic! You are one very talented lady! I have to admit i an uber jealous of your mad skills with the bento. I made the cute little meringue mushrooms today, so much fun! I can’t wait to copy more stuff that you do, lol! Thank you for starting this blog, hope you are having a great week!

77. Nigel - February 20, 2009

Hey Anna. Love your work! It’s our current favourite. Can you do a Mt Fuji?

78. Endymion - February 21, 2009

Will you marry me?

Just joking! You’re awesome and I will try to make such charaben (I call them bentotoro) once in a while.


PS: Seriously, please marry me! >;3

79. Rico - March 1, 2009

Hello from Germany,
your blog is really great and fun to visit.

Many love greetings


80. light annie - March 1, 2009


みーにも教えとくね(* ̄∇ ̄*)

81. Jane - March 4, 2009

Please write a book! I’d love to be able to attempt (and I do use the word ATTEMPT) to recreate these for my kids in the future!

82. Pierre - March 9, 2009

Oh my god, you’re the perfect wife, marry me !

83. Christine - March 12, 2009

Where can I order your book? I would like to get a copy. Please email me.

84. eki - March 18, 2009

I love your obentous! it makes me happy when I see them!! I was born is Japan living in us also! I would like to do a post on your bento if you dont mind to share with my readers about you n your bento~

85. tatiana - March 26, 2009

They are great!!! Very nice and fantastic! How to learn to make such bento??

86. wai yi - March 29, 2009

love your bentos , they are very cute 🙂

87. someone - April 6, 2009

Uh….I think it’s pretty much already been covered here already, judging the the previous comments…
So, at the risk of reiterating the obvious, you rule the school.

88. light annie - April 8, 2009



さっき、灯台長さんのブログ見てきたんだけど、お腹が痛くなるほど笑わせてもらいました(爆)(o_ _)ノ彡 バンバン!!

89. Ant - April 16, 2009

Everytime I pop by, this sites never fails to impress me!

**clap clap clap!

90. Stiletto - April 18, 2009

I love cooking but I don´t think I could be good in bento. You´re fantastic!

91. Erica - April 25, 2009

Hello ! Your bentos are fantastic ! I would love to eat it ..or maybe i wouldn eat ..just staring it…Congratulation! I pick some photos to my blog and i hope you dont mind. I wrote your credits. bye

92. momwakeup - May 2, 2009

oh wow, this makes me sad…
i want a mom like u (¶_¶)

93. clover - May 6, 2009

Love this site! Can I please give a bento suggestion? How about the Iron Giant?

94. Kitty - May 7, 2009

Oh my goodness!! You are AMAZING. I stumbled across this blog looking for a steamed bun recipe without yeast and just wow. I am so… in awe of all of your creativity and creations. I think it is really extraordinary how you can put so much of yourself making these creations all the time and how creative you are in making tools (the bottle cutter) while still having a job and boy on the side! I sit around knitting a lot of the day (currently unemployed) and I can barely find time to do all the crafts and things I’d like to do.

You’re most definitely an inspiration!

95. Kento - May 12, 2009

I think your website is probably the best thing on the entire internet. Your taste is great! Katamari Damacy and Calvin and Hobbes? It’s like you make an edible version of everything I love.

96. bentokitchen - May 14, 2009

I really love your website. I have been doing “normal” bentos for some time, but now I will try to make those nice ones like you did! Thanks for those great tips!

Nadine from Germany

97. Erica - May 22, 2009

i like your blog so much …
Thank yyou for sharing 😀

98. Quynh - May 25, 2009

Oh your stuff is so . . . how should I put this? Kawaii! ^__^ so keep posting good stuff.

P.S. I also went to an art school but I suck at everything else so I have no choice but to suck it up and kick ass down the road.

99. thepaste-upmechanic - May 29, 2009


100. John Jacob - June 11, 2009

I am pleased to be the 100th person to write here that your work is awesome, and very cute! I look forward to more of it.

101. Sugoi-chan - June 12, 2009

Hi Anna!
I have read an article about you and your masterpieces *-*
i’m without words!*O*
you are fantastic and your bentos too *W*

102. Jenny - June 12, 2009

Just found your blog. I’m a gigantic fan!

103. Rebecca - June 17, 2009

Hi, I just came across your blog and bento pics. They’re amazing and I can’t wait to try out your tips! Can’t wait for your future posts! :]

104. plastiqgurl - June 26, 2009

you are an inspiration! i fell in love with bento making when i was researching for valentine’s day idea. now i’m addicted. lol

105. Fara - June 29, 2009

Your art is increadible, keep it up!

106. suzuakami - July 1, 2009

amazing! i myself am from Korea and love to cook.i was also wondering if you could do a bento of an anime called higurashi. please email me and tell me! you can find it on youtube but the episodes are so long that they have to be cutt into three parts. just to tell you, one chapter is made into more than 8 epiesodes. please email me soon. i hate waiting

107. coconutstudio - July 20, 2009

i love reading your blog. Problem is that it makes me really hungry. Thanks and keep it up.

108. Sarah - July 27, 2009

Wow, i love your stuff ♥
You should open a restaurant. I would come and visit you every day :D!

109. Diana - July 31, 2009

I am just discovering “bento Stuff” and I am so glad and grateful that I found your website…You are “Marvelous Darling” I love all of your stuff and thanks for posting them…you “inspire me” I just love your “creativeness”

Take Care and God Bless

110. sandiriffic - August 9, 2009

omg! i totalli impressed by your bento making skill!
Love them ❤ inspired me to make bento for my boyfriends too!

Thanks for the motivation 😀

ps: hmm. consider making cinnamoroll bento too (: ? would realli love to see it!

111. ewige - August 18, 2009

Featured in Nintendo Power!? How much geek cred can one attain? I stumbled upon a photo of your bento while fooling around on flickr… amazed by your work. Keep it up! 🙂

112. Mimzy - August 18, 2009


You’re amazing!!! We love you! Here is our posting on you for Plaztik Mag’s Blog site:





113. shinnonikki - August 26, 2009



OMG. You are totally amazing to the MAX!
You really are an artist.
I love your creation.
It makes my eyes grow BIG and my mouth go WOW.


I admire your skills.
And I’m going to learn from you.



114. aya - September 8, 2009

oh wow. u r amazing. u r my idol now. and wow.wow.wow ..i wanna learn too ..oh wow

115. Snowdrops - September 9, 2009

I just discovered your site from linking through your bf’s photostream on Flickr, and I’m completely bowled over by the super cuteness of everything you do. Your bf is one lucky lucky man! It makes me want to find a gf like you even though I’m a girl! Am absolutely loving your Studio Gbili bentos, esp. Totoro!! I blogged about it via the blogit function on Flickr.

Keep up the aweinspiring work Anna! You truly rock! And I’d absolutely add my voice to the chorus of your fans here to ask you to publish a book and open a bento shop so that I have another must-go place when I visit NYC.

116. Mariana - September 15, 2009

What a wonderful job you do! I found your blog at a brazilian’s magazine site and since I adore kyaraben but don’t have any ideas how to do them, I fall in love with your work. Thank you so much for share your ideas and know-how about kyaraben. Btw, your plushies are AMAZING *-* great job too!

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