Just when I thought my own bento efforts were getting, um, better, I discover a website dedicated to the ultra fine art of character bentos. Also known as kyaraben bentos.

The site is not available in English (except for the listing of months in the upper left) but if you’re creative, the photos are a phenomenal inspiration. Here’s just a sampling of the bento photos you can find at e-obento.com. There are hundreds, if not thousands of more examples of these wonderful artists’ works.

These little hedge hogs in love are just adorable!

And oh, the frogs on lily pads are awesome!

Also amazing are the various facial expressions on the characters.

As it stands, the best I can do at the moment is shred green onions to resemble grass and cut flowers from firm veggies like carrots, squash and cucumbers.

I do have a plethora of seaweed but haven’t gotten any cool paper punches. I’ve been looking for a squirrel punch because my hubby is just crazy about feeding squirrels at the local parks. Lots of frogs, bears, fish and dogs but no squirrel tools.

Ah well.