Plastikitty Review: Kotobukiya’s ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

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You would think that with the rise of male figures, we’d be getting more and more dynamic and interesting takes on them. But sadly, that’s not the case: for the most part, guy figures are still just kind of standing around. I mean, it’s high-quality standing-around, but nothing much is happening there.

Except, of course, for Kotobukiya, who has been making dynamic male figures for quite some time. So of course we were all excited for their take on Tokyo Ghoul‘s Ken Kaneki! While the show was pretty popular it didn’t receive a ton of figure attention. Thankfully, the few options we do have are pretty awesome, especially the ArtFX J Awakened Version which we’ll be taking a look at today.

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

Ken’s box is pretty average, but it has some nice details, like a clear cutout version of his crazy smile that gives you a little peek at the figure. ~spoopy~

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

Ken stands at 1/8 scale, and with this base comes in at just under 9 inches. His wing-tentacles, however, make him appear a lot larger.

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

See? They wrap almost all the way around him, creating a really nice sense of depth.

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

His face is covered in his signature mask (with bonus demented eye!), giving us a legitimately creepy face. You very rarely see figures that go full-throttle into horror land, but they obviously weren’t concerned with making Ken look anything but terrifying. If you ordered directly from Koto’s store you get a bonus unmasked head but come on, how could you resist this face? Creepy mask all the way.

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

Ken’s outfit is pretty basic: a black t-shirt and off-white shorts. Have you ever noticed that most anime guys have regular, everyday clothing while girls wear absolutely ridiculously complicated things? Like, in the same show. I always get excited when I see a girl in clothing you could wear in real life.

His outfit is simple in both concept and detailing: while there are tons of well-sculpted tears and rips, there’s not a whole lot of shading going on. It’s not an area that’s lacking in any other part of him (especially the tentacles/base) so I’m guessing it’s a stylistic choice. Keep his outfit super pared-down and draw attention to the more unusual elements.

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

There are handcuffs on both ankles and wrists, because Ken is a bad dood with crazy murder tentacles, and someone should probably get that under control. Also black nailpolish, because he is 2edgy4us. I really like Ken’s character design but you have to admit, it’s pretty Hot Topic.

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

His hunched-forward pose, like he’s about to leap at something, and the motion in his hair give this a definite “action movie” vibe. Like we’ve caught him right before a battle, rather than just in a generic pose. I really like when it feels like a figure is actually a captured moment of an anime/manga, rather than a pretty girl/guy just standing there posing. I want my figures to feel organic, and Ken definitely fits the bill.

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

The murder tentacles are by far my favorite part of this figure. First off, murder tentacles are awesome. Second, they add so much to the figure: a sense of something unsettling, and tons of motion/volume. Plus, they just look super cool. Each individual scale is sculpted, and the glossy red paint makes them look, well, bloody. Especially since the rest of him is so matte.

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

Like most of Koto’s figures, Ken’s base is fully sculpted. It’s broken concrete, making him look like he came in for a heavy landing. How much do murder tentacles even weigh? Because that is some serious dentage in the pavement.

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Ken Kaneki

Ken’s strength is in his raw uniqueness. Sure, he’s a dynamic male figure, but that’s not really what makes him shine. He’s actually unsettling: between the disturbing face, his bloody looking tentacles and a practically broken figure, this is pure horror all the way. And I love it! I really wish we could get less cute/sexy/brave-looking figures, both male and female, and see more experimental things like Ken. Because who doesn’t want to scare their houseguests every once in a while?

Thanks as always to Stephen Donaldson for taking these lovely shots!

Purchase At: KotoUS (with bonus head) | AmiAmi | BigBadToystore

[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Plastikitty with this review sample!]

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About Leah Bayer