I love anime and manga, but in general I’m not really a collector of all the other “Character Goods” and ephemera that go along with the stories. I do have a few figures, art books, pencil boards and so forth, but it never really caught on with me–it mostly seemed like a lot of extra clutter just taking up space and costing me money that was better spent on purchasing the actual shows.
However, every once in a while something catches my eye that I really want. This year, it was stuff from the incredible movie Summer Wars and specifically two items: a limited edition Hanafuda card set from the show and the newly released figures of Ikezawa Kazuma and his OZ avatar King Kazma.
First up was the set of Hanafuda cards; getting my hands on them was the main reason I went to Anime Expo this year. They were only available as a premium if you purchased $150 worth of FUNimation items at their booth. Since I’m a regular FUNimation buyer, I already had most of their stuff I wanted so had to pad my order with duplicates (which are probably destined to become gifts for my friends and anime-loving niece).
The traditional Japanese card game Hanafuda Koi-Koi actually plays a crucial role in the outcome of the film. Immediately after seeing it, I learned how to play and have been doing so a lot on my iPad. But I wanted this particular set of cards for the artwork and the connection to the movie characters. The cards themselves substitute many of the traditional figures in the game with some of the many OZ avatars from the film. To me, they’ll just be a cool connection with the movie and in fact, it’s quite possible I will never actually play with them!
The second item is the absolutely beautiful figure set from Altair which I received this past weekend from an eBay purchase. It depicts one of the main characters, Ikezawa Kazuma, in 1/8 scale along with his OZ avatar King Kazma. Kazuma was probably my favorite character in the film (along with grandmother Jinnouchi Sakae).
I have a few large-scale figures from various anime, but these definitely have to be the most well made, finely crafted ones I have in my collection. They are static models (as opposed to the posable, “Action Figure” type) and are meant purely for display. The materials, paint and details are top-notch, right down to Kazuma’s characteristic grumpy face. There’s even a detailed desktop picture of OZ on his miniature laptop’s screen. King Kazma–champion of all fighting games in OZ–looks impressively kick-ass; he’s definitely one Usagi you wouldn’t want to piss off. He’s also particularly meaningful for me since I was born in the Year of the Rabbit.
King Kazma stands around 9″ tall, and Kazuma (sits) about 4″ tall. The set also comes with miniatures of Kazuma’s laptop and signature headphones, and two separate plastic bases that nest into one another. Because of the natural poses and quality finish, the two almost seem alive somehow (I know–that’s something only an otaku would say…). They’re currently holding pride-of-place in my glass display cabinet.
By the way, please forgive me for not providing my own photos–I’m just bein’ lazy (click for larger versions). Not only that, but I really need to sit down and do a Summer Wars review, don’t I? Sigh…
Heh, I’m actually very much into anime “character goods” but I’ve only been buying figures since around 2008. Very slowly building a collection that I really need to find more room for =0