Metal Gear Bento

“Hideo-kun! What do you want in your lunchbox for school tomorrow? Ham and cheese? Peanut butter and jelly? Or how about Solid Snaaaaaaaake!”

The image you see before you, ladies and gentlemen, is genuine, 100% completely edible food. We’ve seen colourful character bentō lunchboxes before, but this is something else.

As part of its 25 years of Metal Gear and Final Fantasy celebrations, Japanese game developer Konami has had a set of truly amazing lunchboxes made for a photo event. Featuring characters from both of the long-running series, the lunchboxes are so detailed that they almost look like waxworks. No matter how many times we look at these things, we can’t quite get over the fact that it’s actually food.

This game-cum-bento celebration project has reportedly been underway since October this year, with a tremendous amount of thought going into not just the designs and which characters to feature, but also their ingredients. Taking their work very seriously, the staff at Konami worked with food experts from around the country to select the best blends of rice and vegetables, and also used specially selected eggs that retail for around 500 yen (US$6) a piece. Make no mistake; no expense was spared in these lunchboxes’ creation.

The bentō were put together by members of the Shoku no Sutajio (The Food Studio) who worked secretly for months getting the designs just right. After putting together over 200 prototype lunchboxes, they finally settled upon the perfect four.

At the Final Fantasy and Metal Gear anniversary party, producers and industry legends Hideo Kojima, Yoshinori Kitase and Yoji Shinkawa were presented with the “ultimate bentō” in recognition for their work to date. Here they are posing for our photographers like the proudest schoolkids ever.

Staff with their bentosLunchboxes from left to right: Metal Gear’s cardboard boxes, Solid Snake and Raiden, Final Fantasy, and Chokobo and Moguri bentō

We have no idea whether the bento were eventually eaten by the lucky game developers, but it if were us we don’t think we could quite bring ourselves to destroy such incredible pieces of art. Let’s take a look at the lunchboxes in detail and see how they were constructed.

Metal Gear Bento close up

▼Snake’s head and moustache hair was made from oil-coated oven-baked white onion

solid snake close up

▼All three faces were made from mashed potato. Your mother was wrong what she said not to play with your food!

snake close up 2

▼Snake’s headband was made from nori seaweed wrapped around dry-cured ham

snake close up

▼Raiden’s locks were made from the same onion

raiden close up

▼Old Snake’s eyes? Quail eggs.

old snake close up

▼The floppy-haired Final Fantasy crew arrive in edible form

final fantasy bento

▼The detailing in their hairstyles was done with slivers of nori seaweed

final fantasy bento close up

▼See those eyes? Sliced cheese with blue food dye and white fish paste backgrounds.

final fantasy bento evencloser

▼Metal Gear’s famous cardboard boxes on rice and finely chopped katsuobushi fish-flake “soil”

metal gear kyarabento

▼ The boxes are made from inarizushi, sushi rice wrapped in fried tofu

metal gear kyarabento 2

▼And back to cute with a Chokobo and Moguri bentō

final fantasy character bento

▼This Moguri was made from white rice and tiny slices of ham for its pink ears

final fantasy character bento close up

▼Sorry, I couldn’t resist adding a few Metal Gear exclamation marks…

Staff with their bentos Metal Gear Style

[ Read in Japanese ]