For the hard-core otaku, Kio Shimoku’s “Genshiken” should be mandatory reading. The manga (made into an outstanding anime in 2004) features a misfit group of otaku who don’t even fit in with the regular anime/manga clubs at their university. Instead, they belong to their own fringe group – the Genshiken (Gendai Shikaku Bunka Kenkyūkai , or The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture) – a repository for the weirdest of the weird. The series delves into the sordid depths of Japanese geek culture, covering everything from doujinshi, figure collecting, anime, pla-models, ero-ge, cosplay, and ultimately expanding into the territory of fujoshi, traps, and BL.
Easily my favourite character is Ohno Kanako. This cute, busty, cosplay obsessed fangirl becomes what is probably the first official female member of the Genshiken early on in the story. She also has had more figures released of her than any of the other characters in the series (second place going to Saki Kasukabe, the girlfriend of one of the other members). This beautiful figure depicts her in in the middle of changing into (or out of, if you prefer) one of her cosplay costumes.
The figure comes in a solidly constructed, re-sealable, collector friendly box. The figure is held securely in place by a plastic shell. A large window allows you to easily view the figure if you prefer to keep your figures in the packaging, with side and top panels allowing plenty of light into the box. The yellow background graphics contrast well with the predominantly blue figure, which, aside from the show’s logo, is the only image used on the box. I would have liked at least some images of Ohno from the series or manga to make the box a bit more colourful, but for whatever reason, none are present.
Although quite simple compared to more elaborate sculpts, this figure really is a stunning piece of work. It captures Ohno’s look surprisingly well – something that can often be tricky when converting a 2D image into 3D. The pose is sexy but tasteful, and depicts her with her shirt unbuttoned to reveal her bra as she struggles into her uniform jacket. She has a somewhat whimsical expression, as if lost in the ecstacy of her latest cosplay experience. All details on the figure, from her hair to the buttons, epaulettes, and the cut of the uniform, are sharp and cleanly moulded. The full costume can be seen on the cover of volume 5 of the manga, as well as in the show.
Aside from a base, no accessories are included. However, Ohno does have the option to be displayed with or without her skirt. The figure pops in half at the waist easily allowing the skirt to be removed or replaced.
Instead of paint, Ohno’s face is moulded in a light skin colour that looks really good on the figure. Both eyes are perfectly aligned – very important on larger figures, and the small, characteristic moles on the left of her eye and chin are present. The figure’s remaining colouring is quite simple – mainly the blue and white of the costume. She also has gold epaulettes and brown stockings. The paint apps are excellent for the most part, with only a few minor spots were the lines on the uniform have bled under the masks a tiny bit. This is only really noticeable under very close scrutiny. The stockings have a darker shadow effect airbrushed on that effectively simulates the different material.
Hands down, this is one of my all-time favourite figures in my collection. Oh, and when you do get around to watching the show, keep an eye out for this figure (along with another figure of Ohno in beach wear) perched on the TV in the back of some of the shots in the OVA episodes that fill in between season 1 and season 2.