Using pastel colors and icing's unique bubbly aesthetic as her paint and cookies as her canvas, popular confectioner Manna-Tanuki is causing a stir on social media with her mouth-watering masterpieces that look almost too cute to eat!
And as it turns out, Manna-Tanuki is actually quite the Dragon Ball fan, so what better way to merge her two passions than to have her recreate one of her favorite Dragon Ball scenes through her iced cookie art?!
What scene did she choose? Read on and try to figure it out as you go!
Manna-Tanuki's most famous creation: a tanuki iced cookie!
Manna-Tanuki started out by drawing straight lines around the outside of the cookie base like the frames of a manga panel, following which she started to outline a character inside. I wonder what that fluffy-looking mass in the middle could be...
She then began filling out the background with various lines and shapes of equally various colors. Regardless of icing's reputation for being notoriously difficult to draw sharp corners with, Manna-Tanuki skillfully managed to create jagged lines here and there with careful control of the icing pen.
Next, the background behind the character was filled in using blue and then dashed with brushstrokes of white to make a cloud-spotted sky. The way the contours of the clouds are just transparent enough to let the blue sky peer through them makes it look incredibly lifelike!
Then the shapes in the background were detailed with thin lines to give them different textures. The gray portions appear to be boulders of some kind...
Now it's time to fill in the character outline! It looks like there's a little kid sitting on top of the fluffy mass from before...
I think some readers might have already figured out what scene this is!
As more details are added, the fluffy mass in the center of the piece is revealed to be a cloud, which is then filled in with yellow and decorated with ruffly spirals to create...the one and only Kintoun!
And finally, Manna-Tanuki filled in the details on the character's face.
After adding a speech bubble or two as the finishing touches, this piece of edible art was totally complete!
For those of you playing along at home, the scene Manna-Tanuki recreated was a wonderfully cute rendition of Goku flying on the Kintoun!
Manna-Tanuki's creation compared to the original manga panel.
This panel is from Dragon Ball Tale 24, when Goku has just bid farewell to Bulma and the others following their escape from the Pilaf Gang and is flying off atop Kintoun to commence his training with Kamesennin.
So why did Manna-Tanuki choose this scene? Here's what she had to say!
"I chose it because I've really been able to relate to Goku in this scene recently! I've been trying not to avoid things I don't like or things that are different, and instead expose myself to new ideas and sensations as much as possible to become stronger and kinder." (Manna-Tanuki)
As a special treat, we were also lucky enough to have Manna-Tanuki create two more of her favorite scenes for us!
"Goku's heartwarming reunion with Grandpa Gohan! This scene is so moving, I almost feel like crying out, 'Grandpaaa!!!' together with Goku." (Manna-Tanuki)
"I really love this scene. It was so cute in both the anime and the manga. It's like, 'Can you really just agree to get married like that?!' (laughs)" (Manna-Tanuki)
——Please tell us about your first experience with Dragon Ball!
Manna-Tanuki: My little brother loved Dragon Ball when we were kids, so I naturally ended up watching it with him. My first impression of it was like, "They're always really happy to be fighting in this anime, huh..."
And we'd pretend to turn into Super Saiyans and make all the sound effects ourselves, like, "Shuishuishuishui.... Dokuuush! Shuushuushuushuu!!" (laughs) That's so nostalgic.
There were always reruns on TV, so I watched it a lot. I really loved Toriyama's designs for vehicles and dinosaurs too—even now I get all excited looking at collections of his artwork.
——What's your favorite Dragon Ball scene?
Manna-Tanuki: My favorite is when Goku turned into a Super Saiyan for the first time in Dragon Ball Z. That moment when he says, "Are you talking about Krillin?!!!!!" was cool in the manga, but in the anime it was on a whole different level of intensity.
——How about your favorite character?
Manna-Tanuki: I really love Pual! It's so cute and polite and lovable!
I also like how Goku says, "Oh well!" sometimes. When you grow up into an adult, you tend to overthink all sorts of things—you obsess over stuff and just can't let go of some things, and it only ends up making you feel worse. That's why I really think that that line and Goku's outlook on life are great. I love Goku's "I'm getting pumped up!" kind of lines for similar reasons too!
——What characters are easy to make as iced cookies?
Manna-Tanuki: I feel like it's generally easier to make cute characters who have less colors in their designs. In Dragon Ball terms, that would be Pual, Oolong, and Chaoz maybe? On the other hand, it's more difficult to make full-body versions of human characters. I think it'd be especially difficult to make Vegeta and Goku because they have a lot of muscles! Although, I'd like to try making them sometime when I have the chance.
——What was the hardest part about the ones you made for us today?
Manna-Tanuki: The backgrounds. It was really tough to draw the thin lines while keeping them tidy. And then the characters themselves were difficult too. All of Toriyama's characters' faces have a very particular balance and expressions that are hard to get just right, so it's very difficult to recreate them with icing without something going wrong.
——Lastly, could you tell us about how you got into making confectionary and posting your creations online?
Manna-Tanuki: I've always liked making sweets, but I really got into it after I grew up and got a job. I was in a bookstore and stumbled upon a book called Painted Cookies by Akiko Hoshino that I fell in love with at first sight. From there I learned how to make iced cookies by trying to imitate what I saw.
Then I kind of started posting the things I made on social media on a whim, but before I knew it people were replying with all kinds of nice comments, like, "That's cute!" or "How did you make that?"
The moment when I really decided to try and take it seriously was during the COVID-19 epidemic. I wanted to be able to do something that I and other people could enjoy while staying at home.
——Thank you very much for making these wonderful iced cookies and sharing your love for Dragon Ball with us!
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