Kotobukiya Bakemonogatari Kanbaru Suruga Ani*Statue
Basketball-playing cutie with a dark secret...
Kotobukiya's Bakemonogatari Kanbaru Suruga Ani*Statue is available for order directly through Kotobukiya's online store and via fine retailers BigBadToyStore.com and HobbyLinkJapan.com.
Along with their incredible giant robots, Kotobukiya is best known in Japan for its Ani*Statues highlighting the beautiful girls of anime and manga. One of the recent series targeted for the creation of these works of art is Bakemonogatari, a fantastical manga/anime telling the story of a high school student thrust into the world of the supernatural. Koyomi Araragi, a recovering vampire, suddenly finds himself encountering girls troubled by unique mystical apparitions. One of these is Kanbaru Suruga, a pretty basketball player with a dark secret...
The Bakemonogatari girls come packaged in standard Koto window boxes with plenty of decoration. In Kanbaru’s case, the box is a light blue with a background pattern of symbols including a silhouette of the statue, basketballs, and more. The front panel is dominated by the large window, and underneath it is the character’s name and that of the series. The top of the box has a partial photo of the statue, while the back panel has a clear image of the whole piece and an insert of one of the special features. There’s also plenty of Japanese text covering the package, but unfortunately I couldn’t tell you what it says!
Kanbaru is a not your usual girly and buxom anime girl. Athletic and into sports, Mr. Suruga was a track star who tried to use a mystical monkey’s paw to increase her speed. The plan backfired when the paw was revealed to be a demon in disguise, and it subsequently grafted itself to her body. Living with the constant reminder of her folly, Kanbaru is a somewhat tortured soul. A self-professed lesbian and pervert, the girl moved on to basketball, and that’s exactly what she’s playing in this iconic representation! At approximately 6 inches tall (1/8th scale), Kanbaru shows off her mad skills in a complicated move involving twin basketballs.
You’ll find Kanbaru comes in just a few parts, and she’s easy to assemble. Plug the posts on the display base into her feet and you’re ready to go! Of course, you can go further by adding the second basketball (on its own dedicated post) to complete the scene. Kanbaru bends over at the waist with her legs straight, tossing a ball between her legs and holding another over her back. It’s definitely an athletic stance, made all the more impressive by her slim physique.
The high school girl wears a decidedly cute outfit with a pink and red shirt, gray skort (half skirt, half shorts), and basketball shoes in red, gray, and white. Kanbaru’s sculpt focuses on intricate clothing details like the pleats on her skirt and the tiny tie at her neck, while emphasizing smoothness on the long lines of her exposed limbs. The girl’s short hair is spiky and yet flows with her awkward pose, and her basketball shoes are quite detailed. Of course, her arms really stand out with regards to sculpt, both the tightly wrapped one and the monkey version.
As with all of Kotobukiya’s Ani*Statues, paint applications are crisp and bright on Kanbaru. The dark and light colors on her outfit contrast nicely, as does her pale skin tone and dark hair. The yellow tie on her shirt really draws the eye, but her face is quite enchanting with its cute smile and enormous brown eyes. Visually the Kanbaru’s demonic arm stands out, seemingly more appropriate for a horror figure than a pretty Japanese girl. The bandaged version pulls out of the shoulder slot easily, allowing you to equip her literal monkey’s paw. Thick with sculpted fur and large pads, the monstrous arm is light gray and black, and looks great.
The stand is absolutely necessary to display the figure; she won’t stand up by herself. The basketballs are lifelike though solid plastic, decorated in brown and yellow with “B/Sports” logos. The statue works fully in the round, though there are certain angles that are more attractive than others. While it’s certainly not obscene, her pose is a little suggestive and you might want to rotate her so that she’s not exactly bending over in your face. You can even make a simple diorama out of the package insert, a four-panel interior scene!
Whether you’re a fan of Bakemonogatari or just a collector of beautiful statues, Kanbaru will be a welcome addition to your statue lineup. She’s fantastically unique thanks to her pose, monstrous arm(s), and for the fact that she’s athletic instead of voluptuous. Don’t let that hold you back, though; she’s just as pretty as any bishoujo statue! Kanbaru retails for about $70, and you can find her now at fine importers.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of Kotobukiya