Ask anyone who knows me and they could easily tell you that I love almost everything Japanese – food, books, manga, anime, films… I’ve been obsessed with Japanese culture for as long as I can remember. I even went so far at one point in my life to try making a living there for a time. It was something I had to try and am very glad that I did. But still, at heart I am an American, a westerner, and there are things about the Japanese culture, more specifically their fan bases, that I can never fully understand. One of which is the fascination with certain kind of collectibles that many would describe as rather extreme.
Take the collecting of certain kinds of collectible figures: there is something of a rather niche culture there as there are different kinds of collectibles for differing kinds of fans. You have your standard collectibles and figures for your average fans; but then you have this diehard pocket or fans who are into only the most exotic and unique pieces – pieces that other fans even look down upon as being, shall we say, a bit too much.
Eroge figures or figures with cast off clothing and armor are two types of collectibles that, while I can appreciate the beauty and novelty of owning, can’t quite understand why many people are obsessed with collecting. I mean, I get the whole sexy nude thing, I do – but I don’t quite understand the need for collecting a vast array of these figures. Collectible figures in sexy poses is one thing, but nude or extremely sexualized figures I just don’t get. But even those pale in comparison with what I am going to discuss next – life-sized figures.
I’m a big a fan as most others are, but I never quite understood the need for collecting a life-sized collectible to display in my home. To me, that always seemed a bit too much on the excessive side of fandom – even for the fandoms that I am really passionate about. As much as I love Star Wars or Captain America, I could never see myself owning a life-sized Cap statue or Darth Vader figure. And life-sized collectibles stump me as it is when it comes to certain fandoms, but then you have these fandoms that really take it to the next level and see collectors buying life-sized figures based on schoolgirl anime and gaming characters – and that just throws me for a loop.
Like this new life-sized collectible featuring Hikari Miyamoto from the popular PlayStation VR app Summer Lesson, featuring the character in all her schoolgirl-ish charm, dressed in her schoolgirl attire. To be honest, it kind of creeps me out because, well, knowing the kinds of fans that would be attracted to buying this kind of collectible, I’m kind of ashamed at what some of them would do with this figure. And seeing as how someone is willing to pay upwards of $23,000 to own this statue – yeah, to go to that kind of extremes is beyond my comprehensible reasoning.
But hey, if it’s your thing, don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do. Just don’t expect me to understand why it is that you like what you do.