As I’ve remarked before, even though Japanese anime culture has a number of parallels with Western pop culture, they don’t seem to intersect that often. This is particularly and peculiarly evident in manga and comics; despite their similarities (and the influence of American comics on the development of manga), I don’t know too many anime fans who read Western comics, and I’m certain that there are many comic book readers (particularly older ones) who don’t care that much for anime.
Despite this separation, fans on both sides frequently share a passion for collecting things, particularly figures. Figures of characters from Western properties often have some differences compared to anime figures; they are often sculpted in polystone, they are typically on the larger side, and they often come from specialist manufacturers unknown to collectors of anime figures. However, that is not the case with this particular figure; this figure of Psylocke comes from Kotobukiya, a company that every anime figure collector knows. Strangely, this figure is not the first, nor the second, nor even the third, but is the fourth figure of Psylocke that Kotobukiya has released in the last four years. Kotobukiya has made some attempts at integrating the two audiences, particularly with their Bishoujo series, which combines Western comic book and science fiction characters with anime-style design sensibilities, but they also make a number of statues targeted squarely at Western comic book collectors. We don’t often look at such figures here but as Psylocke is my favorite character in all of comic books, for her we will make an exception.
A couple of years back, I was thrilled when Kotobukiya made a figure of Psylocke. Psylocke is my favorite character in all of comics and I was happy to get any figure of her. Over time, my enthusiasm for that figure – and indeed, Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo line – has mellowed to a certain degree. Not that I dislike them, but it’s clear that the Bishoujo figures are meant to be fairly inexpensive products aimed at a mass-market audience. However, this statue is an entirely different proposition, with supposedly only 750 limited edition units manufactured and a price tag that would deter most collectors. How disappointing then, that once again my enthusiasm is tempered – indeed, extinguished; this time, because of a most peculiar and most irresponsible mistake made by the manufacturer.
Posted in Figure Review
Tagged 1/4 scale, Figures, leotard, ninja, non-anime figure, psylocke, Review, sideshow collectibles, sword, thong, x-men
Once when I was a kid living in Seoul, my uncle took my brother and I to a comic book shop near downtown, just a bit west of Gate 1 to Yongsan base. I doubt it’s still there, and I have no idea how my uncle even knew about this shop in that pre-Google Maps era. I was bewildered that such a shop even existed; I didn’t think that Koreans had much interest in American comics (despite being ethnically half-Korean myself, I’ve always identified with being American and I had no interest in Korean culture at that time). I remember the store had a barter system, and my brother traded off some of his books for new ones. I had no comic books of my own so I asked my uncle to buy the comics I wanted for me. One of the books I got was Uncanny X-Men #218, which had some of the female X-Men battling the Juggernaut. I didn’t know much about the X-Men, but one character in particular caught my eye – she wore a tight black bodysuit and a loose green tank top and had an awesome 80s haircut with a white skunk stripe through it. In the issue, she threw a punch at the Juggernaut, took one in return that launched her into orbit, and then she came back for more. It was a great book, and Rogue became one of my first childhood cartoon character crushes.
What? Stop looking at me like that. I know you had cartoon character crushes when you were a kid, too.