From Pop Team Epic to Cowboy Bebop, this professional confectioner’s anime and video game dojin works are edible!

When talking about food in Japan, it’s often said that presentation is so important that meals are practically works of art. That’s true of snacks, too, as we’ve seen even convenience store-bought sweets that are achingly beautiful.

But today we’re looking at confectioneries made with traditional Japanese recipes that draw inspiration from a thoroughly contemporary form of visual art: anime and video game character design.

Japanese Twitter user Otakumi gets his name from a mashup of otaku and takumi, the Japanese word for a master of a specific skill. In his case that skill is making traditional nerikiri sweets, which are made from sweet bean paste, sugar and sticky rice flour.

▼ Currently airing breakout comedy hit Pop Team Epic continues to inspire dessert makers.

Because nerikiri is a paste with a fairly stable consistency, it can be shaped into a variety of forms. Flowers are common motifs, but Otakumi instead chooses to recreate characters from anime and games. While he’s not averse to modern muses, like Pop Team Epic’s surreal schoolgirls, he’s also got an appreciation for the classics, with icons from Cowboy Bebop and Studio Ghibli films among his creations.

▼ The last time Spike and Vicious got together, it didn’t end well for either of them.

▼ Ironically, Spirited Away’s No-Face has one of the most memorable mugs in anime.

When asked how he got started making anime candies, Otakumi says he was already a confectioner who’d been thinking about what sort of fan art project he could do to show his love for his favorite franchises. Then it dawned on him that he could simply meld that passion into his existing work making nerikiri. He estimates each takes about an hour for him to make, including the time spent thinking about the design, which seems like incredibly fast work to us.

▼ Even the complex hairstyling of characters such as Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ Ikoma, Free’s Makoto, and titular leading man Gintama pose no problem.

While he sometimes gets caught up in current trends and makes nerikiri of whoever the fan favorite of the current TV season is, Otakumi primarily makes candies of characters he personally likes.

▼ Otakumi was into Devilman before the thoroughly unexpected Devilman Crybaby made the series cool again, as this tweet from 2014 proves.

▼ Mascot-type characters get a lot of love from Otakumi, with Rayearth’s Mokona, Kodomo no Omocha’s Babbit, and Kemomo Friends’ Lucky Beast having gotten the nerikiri treatment.

▼ This looks like the tastiest Pokémon Magikarp since the taiyaki sweet bean cakes they sell in Yokohama and Akihabara.

▼ Fellow Pocket Monster Mimikyu is here too.

Oddly enough, Otakumi hasn’t used his talents to salute Nintendo’s Super Mario, but he has saluted Mario’s once formidable rival Sonic the Hedgehog…

…as well as lapsed face-of-the-Playstation-brand Parappa the Rapper.

Ordinarily, this is where we’d direct you to where you can buy these candies online. Unfortunately, while Otakumi may be a candy-making pro, these are strictly a hobby, as they’re not officially licensed, and therefore not for sale. Maybe that’s for the best, though, because we don’t think any fan of these characters would actually be able to bring themselves to eat their lovingly recreated heroes.

Top image: Twitter/@otakumi_wagasi
[ Read in Japanese ]

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he can’t think of Cowboy Bebop without getting an intense craving for stir-fried pork and peppers.

[ Read in Japanese ]