Amabie Toast Art
Most of my Amabie drawings veered in the edible direction from here on, mostly because I did not want to be wasteful, but also to streamline meals in my 24-hour challenge without losing time. While I was baking one bread, I peanut-buttered another. Inspired by the new Instagram sensation Manami Sasaki and her toast art, I started building my sweet Amabie. Chocolate hair, jam for the eyes, apple beak, kiwi scales, and 3 cashews in lieu of legs. Hope Amabie protects from all illnesses, diabetes included.
Self-assessment: 4, because I can’t stop comparing it to the delicate toasts on Instagram.
Phase 2: Challenge an Insta Foodie
While we wait for Manami to come out with Amabie toast eventually, I challenged another foodie. Katie blogs about great food and her Instagram @thetastytraveller.kt is full of beautiful sweets. She is not afraid of challenges, as you can read all about her insect challenge, or our cooking battle.
Turns out she was way ahead of me. Katie had already made a Japanese wagashi sweet in the shape of Amabie with the help of Gallery Okubo who offer wagashi-making lessons. Stop and look for a moment—this is one of the cutest Amabie I have ever seen.
Amabie Avocado Toast
At this point, if I didn’t make an avocado toast, I would have been a shame to all millennials. I decided to limit myself to 99% avocado and add a bit of sesame, salt, and cucumber. It’s how I ended with this fat birdie.
Self-assessment: 2.5. Luckily the 3 legs of Amabie are so recognizable, otherwise this would have been just a budgie. I enjoyed eating it, though.
Phase 2: Challenge an Insta Foodie
Jessica Iragne, the social media manager of a major food tour company in Tokyo, loves avocado as much as I do. She also loves natto as much as most of us hate it. For those adventurous foodies reading this, trust her that avocado and natto is a winning combo. For a very Japanese take on avocado toast, she also added dry nori seaweed. Aaaaaand I think this is “Amabie meets Sadako from ‘The Ring’.”
Drinkable Amabie art was next on my 24hr challenge. I pulled an espresso shot, steamed some milk, and tried making latte art for the first time in my life.
Yes, of course, I failed.
Most of the foam sank, and I still desperately tried to draw Amabie, but it looked nothing like it. It’s like staring at the clouds, forcing yourself to find abstract shapes. If you squint, you might be able to see the Starbucks mermaid.
Self-assessment: Complete fail.
Phase 2: Challenge a Coffee Lover
I passed off this extra hard challenge to fellow writer and coffee lover Arturo, hoping he would be more successful. He wasn’t. However, after squinting and grasping for meaning, I am now convinced we’re seeing an apparition of Karl Marx.
Fast Forward to a week after the challenge, the straight-A student in me couldn’t stop thinking about my latte art fail. And then I had an a-ha moment. The trendy Dalgona coffee is whisked to such a solid fluff, it supported a chocolate sauce drawing of Amabie. So even if it doesn’t count a week later, here’s my improved Amabie latte art.
Pausing from edible and quite flat art, my next challenge was a miniature sculpture. I made a glam-looking Amabie out of play-dough.
Self-assessment: 4 – I’m no Michelangelo, but this, at least, is recognizable.
Phase 2: The ‘Pay it Forward’ Challenge
I invited all Instagram followers to join me in the Amabie challenge, and Nupur Singh enthusiastically accepted. Always ready for fun, she and her daughter made Amabie out of play-dough in no time, pretty much nailing it.
Amabie Pancake Art
Ending my challenge with the most tricky part I’d been postponing the whole time. I was making pancake/crepe art, an especially difficult task for someone who doesn’t even make plain pancakes. Lacking food coloring, I had to improvise—cocoa for the hair batter, turmeric for the nose and feet, and matcha for the scales. It was a clash of flavors that somehow worked together in the end, like a group project that barely gets a passing mark.
Self-assessment: Considering the complexity and my inexperience, I think I deserve top marks on this one.
Phase 2: Challenge Further
I know someone much better at making pancakes than me – my friend and language specialist Lily. This green thumb gives life to both plants and food. You can look at her beautiful plants here, and her exclusive fancy Amabie fruit pancake below:
In the midst of all the cooking, baking, and drawing, I dashed to the printer shop for one Amabie art item that would last. I ordered Amabie badges featuring Simon’s illustration and mailed them to friends so that Amabie’s healing face could reach even more people.
The sunrise found me drinking my second failed latte art and eating the Amabie pancake. In just 24 hours I had become an obsessed Amabie fan, accomplishing 12 artistic depictions of the yokai monster while also challenging 12 other people. If you, dear reader, decide to join us, let us know by using #AmabieChallengeTSC.
As I scrolled through social media one last time before collapsing in bed, I saw the Twitter storm over the new Osaka Expo logo. The Internet had dubbed it “Koroshite-kun”, loosely translated as “Mr. Kill-Me-Now,” or as I decided to call it, “K.I.B.I.L.E. Boy” (Kill It Before It Lays Eggs!). Another creature that everyone started drawing and sharing – but I’ll sit this one out and look at what others post.
If you want to binge on more Amabie images just search for the #Amabiechallenge on Instagram, or follow Amabie14, the Twitter bot that retweets everything about Amabie.
Stay safe, healthy, and pass the viral antiviral Amabie along with #AmabieChallengeTSC!
This article was first published on Tokyo Survival Channel.