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As someone who learned to drive a car before he could ride a bike, there are a couple of things that slipped through the cracks on my path of acquiring basic life skills. Sewing, for example, is still an arcane art to me. After all, why go to the hassle of making my own clothes, when there are plenty of stores perfectly willing to take my money in exchange for a new shirt or pair of jeans?

But maybe I’m missing the point. After all, knowing how to sew doesn’t just mean you can design your own wardrobe, it also means you can create awesome anime and video game figures made entirely of felt.

Like in many countries, if we’re talking percentages, sewing is a much more common hobby for girls than boys in Japan. That wasn’t going to deter Kosuke Ueda, however, a man living in Tokyo’s secondary anime capital, Nakano.

Ueda got his start in this soft science of felt figures while watching an acquaintance make some of his own. “It looked fun, so I decided to try it too,” he recalls. “I’d heard about this kind of thing on the Internet, so I already had some interest in it, and that was the final push I needed.”

From there, Ueda’s skills steadily improved, and he now chronicles the production of his creations and shares their finished forms through his Twitter account.

Behold: the most awesome fuzzy felt creations you’ve probably ever seen!

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Sharp-eyed readers probably noticed a figure crouching behind the felt Sailor Moon above. Another photo reveals the lurker to be Street Fighter’s Zangief, whose rock-hard abs are ironically recreated in soft felt.

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Ueda shows still more old-school video game love with this Final Fantasy Black Mage, an iconic design that developer Square Enix has been using since the series began in 1987.

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The anime of Studio Ghibli also provide Ueda with plenty of subjects, such as this trio of Totoros, plus a special guest appearance of black cat Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service.

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Here we see The Baron, from Ghibli’s adaptation of the Aoi Hiiragi manga Mimi wo Sumaseba, also known as Whisper of the Heart.

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Another kid-friendly project features the children’s television characters Gachapin and Mukku, who’ve been entertaining Japanese tykes since the 1970s.

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Ueda punches three more holes in his anime aesthetics bingo card by crafting a woman in a bunny suit, young lady in a frilly dress, and cat girl.

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Western fantasy is also well represented, with this duo of a unicorn and anthropomorphic mouse.

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The talented feltworker even occasionally draws inspiration from real life, as with this detailed bust of Olympic skater Mao Asada.

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Ueda says that each figure takes, on average, about 20 hours from start to finish, and the time investment required is a testament to his dedication and concentration. Looking at his amazing workmanship, you’ve really got to take your hat off to the guy, and not just because it’s a sure bet he could sew you a better cap than the one you already have.

Source, images: Kosuke Ueda’s Twitter account
[ Read in Japanese ]