There are a lot of negative vibes towards those who collect anime figures. Let’s delve into the topic.
Collectible PVC figures have been popular for many years in Otaku circles. Figures are usually created for various anime, manga, and video game characters from Japan. Most of the time they are pre-painted and 1/8 or 1/6 scale of the character. Many characters in Japanese media have very specific biographies that include height, weight, hair color, eye color, and even blood type.
While fans of anime shows, movies, manga, and video games have purchased these figures, others look at fans as childish, weird, or creepy. Honestly, there’s a big double standard when it comes to fans of Japanese media and fans of almost anything else. Cynical critics either chastise fans for collecting “toys,” but then they may say some of the figures are adult in nature and therefore creepy.
First off I want to be clear about the figures themselves. These figures are not toys. Most of the time they range in price between $20 – $100. Would anyone buy a toy for $20 that does nothing but sit there? They’re more for display and collection than play. Each figure is intricately painted and crafted, and many figures outright state who did the sculpting on the front of their box. They are almost always made of PVC, and some times come with small, interchangeable parts. Yes, there are some figures out there that are in provocative poses, and can even be undressed, but not all figures are like this!
There are many types of people that collect anime figures. The majority are simply fans that want to support their form of media by buying and displaying a figure. Some may like the character design and in turn want to buy a figure to display it. I absolutely love the character design of Black Rock Shooter, but I felt the anime was one of the worst I’ve ever seen.
So in reality, buying and displaying an anime figure is no different than buying a poster of your favorite TV show or band and putting it up in your room.
In addition to regular fans of a show or video game, there are collectors that buy anime figures and hope to resell them later for a higher price. As stated earlier, prices of anime figures can get really high, especially when it’s a figure of a very popular character or franchise. Only a limited number of figures and created, so collectors buy a figure and keep it in their box. Luckily, many anime figures come in boxes with several windows to see the figure from various angles.
I really believe there’s a double standard when it comes to those who buy merchandise from Japanese media. If you buy a T-shirt, some anime figures, and a few posters of your favorite anime, manga, or video game, it’s automatically creepy or weird; however, if you buy a T-shirt, posters, cups, and even decorate your car in colors and logos from your favorite sports team, it’s automatically okay? That’s really unfair!
So, I say to all anime fans out there, don’t be afraid to show off your merchandise! We shouldn’t have to hide in the closet. And to the critics out there, don’t be quick to rush to judgement. Just because the form of media is a little different from what you’re used to doesn’t make it wrong.