Posable action figures from Japan-China ‘Three Kingdoms’ series introduced

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Toymaker Takara Tomy Co. has released eight action figures of key characters in the “Saikyo Bushoden Sangoku Engi” TV anime series, now airing on the TV Tokyo network.

The posable figures’ neck, shoulder, elbow, waist and other joints move freely, allowing fans to recreate and enjoy the anime story’s world.

Eight figures are available: Shokatsuryo (Zhu Geliang), Chohi (Zhang Fei), Soso (Cao Cao), Ryubi (Liu Bei), Kanu (Guan Yu), Ryofu (Lubu) , Choun (Zhao Yun), and Chosen (Diao Chan), each priced at 1,029 yen ($11) including tax.

The anime is based on the Chinese historical epic “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” a favorite of Japanese men. The figures can be displayed on office desktops or at home, creating a source of inspiration, according to Takara Tomy.

The anime series is a Japan-China collaboration co-produced by Takara Tomy and Beijing Glorious Animation Co., an affiliate of China’s state-owned China Central Television (CCTV).

After preproduction work in Japan, the main production took place in China over four years. It has received much attention for being a major Japan-China anime collaboration.

The series has been aired on CCTV since 2009. In Japan, it has aired every Sunday since April from 9:30-10 a.m.

It is rare for an anime series co-produced by Japan and China to be aired in a time slot aimed at young children.

As many characters are voiced by popular Japanese actors, the series received media attention in Japan. Narrated by Takeshi Kaga, Eiichiro Funakoshi gives voice to Ryubi and Shingo Tsurumi supplies the voice for Soso.

Of the 650 million yen production costs, Takara Tomy funded 250 million yen. The toymaker handles marketing in Japan, China and around the world, as well as related business such as sales of toys and online games.

The action figures are the first “Saikyo Bushoden Sangoku Engi” program character goods to be sold in Japan.

Takara Tomy said it will promote the series to serve as a bridge between the two countries. It also plans to continue to make similar business proposals.

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.