These plastic warriors are trawling for a brawling, cruising for a bruising, and sampling for a trampling.

If you’ve eaten out in Japan before, you’re bound to have seen the (usually) realistic plastic food samples outside countless restaurants, tempting in potential diners. The craftmanship behind the making of these samples is an art in itself, rendering the colours and textures of food, but surely making endless bowls of plastic ramen or fried rice must get a little monotonous. Maybe that was the reason behind some phenomenal plastic art that re-imagines Donbei udon and soba noodle pots and their contents as amazingly cool warriors of a bygone age.

Graphic designer Taishi Arimura (the same artist behind the beautifully minimalist “city vs. countryside” piece we looked at a few days ago) has posted the photos of his sublime creations on his Twitter page (@15424578268), showing off not only a great concept, anthropomorphised noodles, but also his undoubted skill in having crafted the realistic, individual noodles and the accessories that set the piece off, like the disposable chopsticks sword or the armour made of shards of plastic pot or deep-fried tofu.

While some plastic, or wax, food samples are comparatively easy to make (if we managed to make some, anyone can) with the right equipment, one-off models like these with far more complex shapes and textures are another story, one as mysterious as Nissin’s other famous product, the Cup Noodle’s mystery meat used to be.

These Donbei creations are surprisingly not the first time the instant udon and soba brand has featured in artwork. But unlike their notoriously slippery cousins, don’t look like they’d try and escape if you wanted to eat them — they’d fight back.

▼ What one of manufacturer Nissin’s more pacifistic Donbei looks like.

The long strands of noodle, reminiscent of an Egyptian mummy with its bandages, loop round, widening out towards the torso and feet to form the dining table soldiers’ forms while the weapons and clothing resemble the noodles’ usual accoutrements; we were particularly taken with the tofu material on the back of the lighter-coloured noodle warrior and the shield of the fighter seemingly crafted from darker buckwheat soba noodles.

The works probably won’t be winning any food sample competitions, since they’re not actually a dish that you can order (though if they were, that’s a restaurant we’d be queuing up to eat at). Still, they have us in the mood to do battle with a pot of Donbei udon or soba noodles right now. One pot, one pair of chopsticks, one of me (sigh), only one outcome.

Source: Twitter/@15424578268 via ADB
Featured image: Twitter/@15423478268
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