If you have read my review on Good Smile Company’s 1/8th Scale Kagamine Rin figure, then you would know appalled I am at the relatively cold reception of that underrated gem. In retrospect, I think I understand a part of the reason why figure collectors didn’t go nuts over the Kagamine twins, and that is because of their paired presentation.
No matter how nice the Rin figure may be, the question of whether or not to get the Len figure would inevitably occur to those considering purchasing the figure. Because so much of the Rin’s identity is rooted within the twin relationship between the two characters, the acquisition of only one of the siblings would feel incomplete for many fans. However, as a non-cross-dressing male figure, Len lacks the critical element of sex appeal that is so important to most collectors of Bishoujo figures. As the result, Len becomes a liability to Rin– he’s important enough to make Rin feel incomplete with his absence, but not important enough to warrant a 5800 yen price tag.
Aww, stop it – you’re making Len cry!
Okay, maybe “liability” is too strong of a word, but the double threat of Rin and Len probably made the duo seem a little too intimidating of a package. But enough speculating, let’s get on with the review!
True to the original illustration, this figure of Len features a very slim physique that is evident in the thinness of his arms and legs. As if to compensate for this, Len also dons a much more conservative sailor outfit than his sister, complete with short sleeves, a necktie and very, very bulky-looking shorts. Hmm, I wonder if there is fanart out there of Len wearing his sister’s outfit… Hohoho, scandalous stuff.
Like his twin sister Rin, Len is presented in a very high-contrast colour combination. Whereas Rin’s collar and leg/arm warmers are primarily gray, the darker parts of Len’s costume are almost completely black. As a result, the white and yellow on Len appears even more vibrant.
The pose Len takes in this figure is a little odd. I haven’t touched the keyboard since my kindergarten days, much less the keytar, but I’m pretty sure keytars are not meant to be strummed. Yet that is exactly what Len appears to be doing with his right hand extended below the instrument. I appreciate Kanji Toona’s attempt to make the keytar look like a more exciting instrument with this more dynamic pose, but it doesn’t make much sense when you think about it. The sculpt does look pretty energetic, though! There’s a strong sense of motion conveyed by the pose itself, the swaying tie, and the flowing sailor collar – whatever Len is doing, he seems to be really into it!
Overall, I feel Len’s pose does not fare as well as his sister’s in an independent context. Len’s one-sided low-profile stance makes him appear less complete by himself than his sister, who at the very least stands tall, despite her somewhat contorted posture. Also note that most of these photos were taken from an angle that is almost level with Len’s display base. If you display Len on a desk, chances are you’ll have a hard time seeing his large green eyes due to the way his head is tilted forward.
Personally, since I have owned Rin long before Len, I have great difficulty seeing Len outside the context of the Kagamine duo, so chances are my opinions are pretty swayed. What do you think? Does Len look complete by himself, judging from the photos?
As a part of the North American generation that grew up watching Dragonball Z, Len’s spiky hair and green eyes automatically reminded me of the Super Saiyans. However, here’s the thing: Rin and Len didn’t have green eyes in their original character designs, but rather they had blue eyes! Somehow I completely missed this notable departure from the source material in the Rin review (methinks I was a little too infatuated with that figure at the time). At any rate, while the face may not be completely accurate to the source material, it does look very handsome along with the shaded hairdo and the tones of pink in his skin. I’m also loving the stubby little ahoge poking out of the back of his head.
Like Rin, Len’s costume is nicely shaded. The white portions carry a blue tint in the shaded areas and the black portions have different tones blended within the glossy paint finish. The yellow/orange belt hanging out of his shirt is sharply painted, and even the edges of his necktie are tinted with a darker yellow. The quality of the sculpt really shows in the black shorts and collar, where light is reflected off their glossy surfaces.
As a man, you’ll have to either be very tough, very famous or very gay to get away with wearing coloured fingernails. While I suppose Len fits the bill of being very famous, I can’t help but to be weirded out slightly by his bright yellow fingernails. Len, I understand how important it is to look in sync with your sister, but maybe this little detail would be better left alone?
Len’s keytar is a nicely detailed piece of work with a strap that hangs over the side of Len’s left arm. I have a feeling that position is not the most secure place to rest the weight of your instrument, but it really is a trivial bit of detail. You can display Len without the keytar, but keep in mind that his left hand is moulded with the contours of the keytar in mind, so it would look strange without it.
In terms of production flaws, there really aren’t many to name. Asides from the injection marks on the back of his leg warmers (which are more visible than usual due to the glossy finish), picking out noteworthy flaws has been a difficult task for me. I suppose the small yellow bands on the sides of his shorts and the lining on his collar/arm warmers are a little rough, but even that feels like mean-spirited nitpicking.
The display base for Len is the same size and shape as that of Rin. Only the left foot of Len is secured onto the base via a simple peg. This allows the figure to be swivelled on that axis, and the reason you would want to do this is to combine it with the Kagamine Rin figure. By rotating both figures by around 90 degrees counter-clockwise, you’ll have yourself a nifty combined display base with Len’s right foot on Rin’s side of the base.
The two figures really complement each other well with Len taking the lower right side while Rin takes the upper left. I have said in my Kagamine Rin review that she looked fine by herself. While that statement remains true, I can’t deny the fact that she looks even better along with Len, despite having to surrender the foreground to her brother.
So, what do I think of Len in the end? He is certainly a well-produced and well-priced figure. Being a straight guy, I don’t think I am capable of exerting the same excitement I had toward Rin for Len, but I think I am about as happy as I can be for a male figure. Not only does Len look great in his own right, but he makes the favourite figure out of my collection look even better – can’t ask for much more than that, can I?
Very vibrant colours with good use of shading
Great sculpt for the clothes
Looks a little incomplete without Rin