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Anime Figures are here! Report on Dive, the company that makes the popular boy figurines from the manga Crows

Anime Figures are here! Report on Dive,
the company that makes the popular boy figurines note1) from the manga Crows. note2)

The word figure in Japan refers to figurines of characters, mainly from manga.
But a Japanese figure is different to a doll that changes clothes; they are just for looking at. In fact, in Japan today there is a boom in demand for otoko-figures, or boy figures, quite the opposite of the bishojo-kei pretty girl figures that have been popular to date.
Of the boy figures, characters from the manga Crows are under the spotlight.
Inside the fantastic Dive office.In fact the company Dive,manufacturer of the figures from the manga Crows is right here in Fukuoka, the base of asianbeat, so we thought we’d take a look into the interesting world of Dive.
Of the boy figures, characters from the manga Crows are under the spotlight.

A new type of Boy Figure

Figures that at first didn’t sell now sell for a premium.
Back in 2000 Noriyuki Furukawa ran a small candy store in Fukuoka, and tried his hand at selling figures, but it was hard to get hot-selling items for a small store like his. In April 2003 he established the wholesaler Dive, and got in touch with the maker of the manga Crows. Furukawa was a big fan of Crows and managed to get the rights to make the character figures. From this time on Dive went from a candy store to a toy maker. However, at that time, mainstream figures were of pretty bishojo-kei girls and robot-monsters. Most of the characters in Crows were delinquent schoolboys – which did not have much market appeal. In July 2005 the first character Harumichi Boya went on sale, but unsold boxes of the figures filled the warehouse.

Comment on TV Gives Dive Their Big Break

Furukawa was confident that his products would sell and he was busy running around trying to get shops to stock his figures. Then one day, a TV show featuring popular comedians did a report on the Crows figures, and the Dive shop in Fukuoka became famous throughout Japan. Of course the manga had sold 32 million copies, so it was only natural that fans would lap up the cartoon characters which were reproduced with such minute detail from the face, accessories right down to the soles of their shoes. The hard work they put in to reproducing the manly figures was rewarded by their sudden popularity. Because of the limited number of figures available, the collectors scramble to get those hard-to-get items. The feature length manga Zero was released in October 2007 adding to popularity of the figures.

From Fukuoka to the World

The sequel “Crows Zero” will be released in 2009, and will surely add to the popularity of the boy figures. Plans are on the table for a 25th anniversary figure for the manga Hokutonoken.Why Fukuoka? Furukawa answers that question by saying “It’s my home town and I wanted to give something back, I wanted to add to the vitality of the place”.
Note 1) Normally the Chinese character for man/boy is 男 (otoko) but a different character 漢 (otoko) is used to express that tough manliness of the boy figures.
Note 2) In Japan boys’ school uniform is all black, thus the name given to the delinquent boys in the manga “Crows”.

Inquiries regarding the figures:

Inquiries regarding the figures:
3-9-4 Nagaoka Minami Ku Fukuoka
Phone 092-400-9603
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