November 30th, 2005

I was putting together an article recently on gaming merchandise, and had the opportunity to pose a few questions to Kotaku‘s Brian Ashcraft – resident merch fanboy and Japanese correspondent. His answer regarding sexy merch didn’t make it into the piece (Damn you, word count limit!), but it was just too great – especially that last paragraph – to pass up sharing with the world…

Brian: [I] don’t collect sexy stuff. I like the idea of Kasumi more than the actual Kasumi. Here’s a character that’s so popular in Japan that’s she’s the one pushing the 360. In Japan, the Xbox 360 is a white box you need to buy in order to play Dead or Alive 4. It’s as if she’s a real idoru. If you buy a copy of Weekly Jump or any of those manga for teen and pre-teen boys, you’ll always find some swimsuit model like MEGUMI or Waka Inoue on it.

These idoru are not fringe celebs, but very mainstream. Waka Inoue’s one of the country’s most popular morning variety show, and MEGUMI’s in mainstream dramas and game shows. If Kasumi were real, she’s be on these shows too. That’s the part that’s amazing. She’s that popular. This isn’t just a male thing, as there are male idoru as well. Most of them tend to be in boy bands, but they serve the same function.

Bizarre thing about the sexy figurines is that if you do a search of Japanese blogs that cover this kind of thing you can find upskirts of plastic figurines. I shit thee not. You can find otaku coming into these figurine shops and snapping pics as if the statues were real women. In some stores they even put stickers over naked figurines’ vitals. Why? Perhaps the level of detail is too realistic. But doing something like that will always keep the form in the gutter.

Tags: Blog

4 Responses to “Kasumi Upskirt (You know you want to read about it…)”

  1. Bonnie Says:

    So what do we think, are there men sitting at home getting out of the image of figurine crotches? What would that even mean? How is this related to blow up dolls? What the heck is more attractive about a plastic figure than a real girl? Come on, sex and modern consumerism here people; you should like this one. Let’s talk!

  2. Scott Jon Siegel Says:

    Um, all I have to say is this:
    Fighting Upskirt Game (via Kotaku

    That is all.

  3. Bonnie Says:

    Ah, Scott, too slow. Already a link in the “In the News” section. Maybe next time, pretty :-).

  4. Bonnie Says:

    Well, no one else wants to chat, so I suppose I’ll throw in my two cents – that perhaps sexual attraction to a consumer good represents the ultimate fetishization of products in first-world, highly capitalistic countries such as Japan or America, or (really, in addition) that attraction to the inadanimate – which has a long history in Western literature and art – has to do with literally fetishism and a disconnet from what is grounded and human, but also almost always reflects back on the subjects one understanding of self-identity. Hans Bellmer often thought of himself as female. Sadism toward the doll represents masochism toward the self. And in the modern world, the self is understood through mass-produced products and mass culture personalities.

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