I’m all for more male figures as well as dolls of anime characters provided two things 1) there’s an interest for it to happen and 2) even if it’s not being asked for, it’s done well. Well, Groove’s two latest offerings go completely against both of these, unlike say their Madoka line or Ika Musume. I don’t think I’ve ever once heard a single person mention that they wanted a doll of Kenshin or Black Jack (I’ve heard Real Action Hero and Hot Toys get thrown around, but they’re quite different) and I can most certainly say that these were not pulled off well.
Black Jack here looks like a cross between the Phantom of the Opera and Dr. Who and ever so vaguely like Black Jack, but that’s only due to the Taeyang’s distinctly Asian face. This full size doll comes with a set of scrubs and his medical bag as well, so he at least has some accessories to go with him. There’s also two versions, an original manga version in all black, and a regular version with some touches of red, which allows for people to pick which design of him they like better. I’m glad to see Black Jack merchandise come out as he’s often overlooked for other Tezuka characters such as Astro Boy, but I’d rather have no merchandise at all than… this. Also, along with Black Jack is his trusty sidekick Pinoko in Byul form, and let’s just say she didn’t really fare much better and leave it at that.
Next up is a docolla sized Pullip of… Himura Kenshin…? Yeah, never thought I’d be writing those words much less you reading them. This smaller sized doll features Kenshin in his standard red outfit with his trademark red hair and scar on his face. But that’s about where the resemblances to Kenshin stop. Yes, in the manga and anime there are numerous jokes to Kenshin’s feminine-looking face, but… that doesn’t mean that anyone literally wants merchandise of him looking like a female on a female doll type. To boot he also doesn’t have his signature sakabato, or reverse blade sword for those not in the know, and is suffering from a severe case of tiny-hands.
If you’re looking to add either of these to your collection, they’ll both be released in December with Black Jack and Pinoko retailing for ¥13,000 and Kenshin retailing for ¥3,800. I know I won’t be ordering either of these, but let us know your thoughts on them in the comments below as well as what male character you think would actually look well on one of Groove’s bodies.