Kanbaru Suruga by Kotobukiya

From the moment Kanbaru made her entrance in Bakemonogatari I knew I’d enjoy her character. Running to catch up with Araragi we see only her legs for the first couple of times she’s on screen, however the viewer is treated to a pleasant surprise once she catches up with him. Kanbaru jumps over Araragi and Hachikuchi and upon landing we’re greated with this as our view. Wonderful thighgap and the outline of her bum. So some how this figure seemed very fitting of her.

Kanbaru fits perfectly into the Lesbian Jock trope enjoying Basketball and admiring her attractive upperclassmen. However in addition to this she’s also a self admitted fujoshi and lolicon bringing the topics up with Araragi as well as trying to drag his mind into the gutter along with hers. Describing herself she says to him “My waist is just narrow enough, and my body is nice and tight overall.” while holding her breasts. She follows that up with “I’ll be the bottom to your top anytime, anywhere.” Then to confuse him she jumps to “Boys Love” and then back to herself she directs his attention to her spats and asks whether he thinks she’s wearing panties underneath.  Of course she never answers directly, instead saying she’s both a sports girl and an exhibitionist. It’s this sort of teasing that makes me enjoy Kanbaru.

While I have Good Smile Company’s Kanbaru on order as well I feel Kotobukiya’s represents her character a lot more accurately and does so far more simply. The figure has the both sides of Kanbaru that she claims to be, there’s the sports girl side with the basketballs and action pose as well as the exhibitionist side where she’s showing herself off to all those around providing them with a clear view of what they’re likely to want. While we get no definitive answer about her panties we can speculate based on the tightness of those spats that she’s either wearing a thong or none at all. Though I suspect a thong, I see a substantial lack of cameltoe in the sculpt which I truly find disappointing. I don’t ask for much, just the subtlest of crevices would have been enough.

Kanbaru comes with but one accessory and it’s a bit of a spoiler if you haven’t seen Bakemonogatari, but if you haven’t seen it by now I suspect you wont care about the spoiler anyway. Also, for shame, go watch the series! The one accessory Kanbaru ships with is the monkey arm that’s hidden under those bandages on her left arm. I found this accessory in no way attractive and greatly prefer the bandages over the furried limb. Because of this, I chose to ignore it all together and did not take any pictures of it for this review, you can however just Google search and find many examples of it.

The quality of this figure is about on par with your average 1/8th scale Kotobukiya figure, middle of the road, not much to complain about but not stellar either. Visible seem lines up her legs as well as obvious join points between her bare legs and spats. Her hair is pretty bland but mostly fitting for the artwork she’s based off of, oddly though it looks like she has an anus at the top of her head. There appears to be textures throughout the figure affecting the paint in various ways, some places end up with a bit of a shine while others the matte finish they’re supposed to be. The worst of the paint issues however is on the basketball she’s holding on her bum, there’s a lovely wet mark. Perhaps Kanbaru sat on this basketball during a dirty conversation with Araragi and got a little excited. Unfortunately it’s more likely a failure on Kotobukiya’s part. Damn, I liked the idea of Kanbaru getting wet on a basketball, maybe I’ll stick with that anyway.

Kanbaru retailed for ¥6,800 / $80 CAD however I picked her up for $68 CAD at release and she’s been seen for as low as ¥4,800 / $57 CAD, a much more reasonable price for what you get. The difference between the JPY and CAD needs to stop and reverse a little, that or the CAD needs to pick up some value. At anyrate, as previously mentioned she’s 1/8th scale which makes her somewhere around 15 cm tall netting her a rather small box for a figure of this scale. She’s nice and compact without being Taiga sized.

All in all I’m pretty content with Nakamura Hirotoshi’s work on Kanbaru, she’s not the most attractive girl I own but she has many nice attributes that allow her to carry her own. I suspect the biggest complaint about her might be a running theme with Bakemonogatari figures, the school uniform is terrible. Wish they’d chosen some more attractive colours, purple, pink, red and yellow just don’t do it for me. It some how feels like the sort of uniform you’d see at a fast food restaurant rather than a high school.

Kanbaru, I’ll be the bottom to your top anytime, anywhere.



  • Dat ass
  • Captures her character quite well
  • No obvious flaws


  • Terrible uniform
  • Bit expensive for the price paid
  • Lacking in shading and paint details



  1. Chag says:

    I wonder whether Kanbaru really is a lesbian or a bisexual. Her delight in teasing Araragi would suggest the latter. Besides, the label “lesbian” would effectively eliminate her status as a member of Araragi’s haremette — that would not do.

    The lack of camel toe is a bit of a disappointment, considering details of which the spats map out the contours of her ass. Also, anus on the top of her head? CANNOT UNSEE. I am instantly reminded of that mindfuck picture you linked me a while ago. Hell yeah, I’d hit Kanbaru’s head-anus any day of the week.

    • Aka says:

      She’s probably bi, she does enjoy teasing Araragi a little too much. Or perhaps, she was a lesbian, but when her idol took on a male companion she saw something in him specifically because Hitagi showed interested.

      I figured the spats could contour her ass because it’s a larger surface area, and the surface tension of the spats perhaps was enough to stop it from creeping into smaller crevices.

      The picture(s) Chag was referencing. One, two. Very NSFW.

  2. Fabienne says:

    Looks like a good figure of Kanbaru, even though I prefer the one from GSC.
    The pose of Koto’s figure looks very nice, cute and funny, ok the “hole” in her head looks a bit strange haha.
    Mhh Kanbaru appears a bit simplyfied down there, my Hachikuji Mayoi from Koto seems to be a bit more detailed in that area ;D.

    I think Kanbaru is more on the lesbian side, in the Nadeko snake story she enjoyed hanging around with Araragi a lot, but personally I felt no signals of love there.

    • Aka says:

      I find it very disappointing that Hachikuji is more detailed. I’m nearly entirely uninterested in her character beyond the fact she continually says Araragi’s name incorrectly and I found that mildly humorous.

      Kanbaru enjoyed her some Nadeko fanservice as well didn’t she?

      • Fabienne says:

        Well, she’s really a side character, but I like her bacause she’s cute and funny.
        haha, yeah that was a funny scene Araragi and Kanbaru stared enthused at Nadeko in the school swimsuit XD

  3. Ashlotte says:

    Well I certainly like the concept of this figure a great deal more then the GSC one (Especially the face…oh god do I hate the face on GSC’s version…), but then of course as you showed Koto did their typical underwhelming job on actually making her and all I can feel is “meh”…

    If I was a lucky man I’d say Alter would make one of her in the tomboy casual wear from the first Nadeko episode, but then that’d be too awesome to actually ever happen…

    Oh btw whats with the in article picture links? If you click them into a new tab it darkens the entire window? It maybe made me feel like you were meaning to make them be pop-outs on click since the darkness goes away when you clikc on the screen, but then if you do that it just sends you to the picture itself directly.

    On chrome if you just left click the screen darkens a second then takes you right to the picture and on Firefox it’s the reverse where the screen darkens after hitting the back button to return to the article and you have to click away the darkening. Just felt kind-of…odd? O.o

    • Aka says:

      You’d think Alter would do more from Bakemonogatari, they’re doing Hitagi and Senjougahara, they didn’t have a Kanbaru on display though. Or a Nadeko for that matter right? Maybe Alter will finally get around to doing Nadeko in her pants as well.

      The in article links should keep you on the same page, darken the screen and open the larger photo shrinking it to your screen size. But I too notice this isn’t working right. How unfortunate. I’ll have to figure that out.

  4. Tier says:

    I like sporty girls so even though I know next to nothing about Bakemonogatari, I like Kanbaru. I wish more figure makers would make more athletic figures. It’d also be nice if they put them in sports uniforms, like track shorts or a soccer uniform or something, but Kanbaru’s pose with the two basketballs is still very appealing. It’s also kinda surprising, since it’s a bit more ambitious than the stuff Kotobukiya does. I like Kotobukiya’s figures but a lot of their stuff isn’t what anyone would term visually dynamic.

    That pucker on her scalp is rather unusual since the rest of her hair is so plain. It’s a real shame that they didn’t include a matching one on her other end. They really could’ve given people something to talk about.

    • Aka says:

      You should watch Bakemonogatari, despite it’s walls of text it was quite good. I’m probably going to buy it on Bluray whenever it’s released.

      I’d love more athletic figures so long as they’re not wearing bloomers. Shorts are fine, sweat pants are fine, spats are good too, but bloomers do nothing for me. They’re sort of like bulky underwear or maybe even diaper-ish. There’s just something about them that I tend not to find very appealing.

      I suppose it was a nice change from Koto’s usual, but it feels like a relatively minor change.

      They couldn’t have given her an anus without cameltoe. I’d also wonder what she’d sat on to get her spats to display such an bit of anatomy.

  5. lovelyduckie says:

    I’d definitely display her with the monkey arm. I currently don’t have any bandaged figures but if I had one where bandages were an option it’s VERY likely I’d use that accessory 🙂 Kotobukiya really did a great job on her eyes…they really grab me.

    • Aka says:

      I’m not sure I follow you. Kanbaru does have a bandaged arm, I choose to display her with that instead of the monkey arm. It’s considerably cuter in a strange way.

  6. Rajura says:

    It’s a well done figure… but overall I just don’t care for it.

    I know we all have our personal tastes, and I am not knocking anyone’s. It just doesn’t do it for me.

    I don’t know why… I wanna like the figure, but I just don’t.

    However, Aka you again did a superb job with the shots! That makes me feel all the worse for not liking the figure!

  7. Tian says:

    Being a Kanbaru fan myself, I really enjoyed this review. I like how the figure shows her playfulness and makes her shorts very prominent. It’s kind of an inverse zettai ryouiki but it still works. I have the GSC version preordered but I might pick this one up if I find it for a good price…

    • Aka says:

      Ha that’s true, I’d never thought of her spats that way, inverse zettai ryouiki.

      The GSC looks superior overall, but I don’t think it represents Kanbaru as well.