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Original Body-Chan and Body-Kun Figures, Best Uses for Artists

Body-Chan and Body-Kun are poseable figures released by Bandai and
S.H.Figuarts. Body-Chan is the female version, Body-Kun is the male version. So is it worth buying these to pose for character art and drawing, and to study the human figure?

The short answer is, yes, you should absolutely get Body-Chan or Body-Kun, or both, but don’t expect these figures to solve all of your drawing problems. As you probably already know, in drawing human anatomy there is no quick fix – it is best to just learn the bones and the muscles first.  

There are a couple of versions of these figures on the market, so let’s address that first. I purchased two versions of the female figure Body-Chan. I purchased one version from a store in Japan called Mandarake. The other version, which cost about a third of the Japanese version, came from China via AliExpress.

Body-Chan figures from China (left) and Japan (right) arrive at Gvaat’s Workshop.
Body-Chan boxes DX SET
Body-Chan purchased at AliExpress (left), and Body-Chan purchased at Mandarake (right)

As you can see in the pictures the figures were basically identical in package design and what was included with each figure. However, upon closer inspection, it appeared to me that the Chinese version is basically a poorly cast clone of the version from Japan.

Everything in that package that was purchased from AliExpress appeared of a lesser quality including printed instructions and printing of box art. The figure is still functional, but mine came with a detached arm, which I could not reattach despite trying for some time.

If I had to buy these again, I would only order the original version from Japan.

Body-Chan figure comparison
Mandarake version on the right
Body-Chan Body-Kun, what is in the box
Inside the box
Body-Chan from China and Japan

What’s inside the box, Body-Chan DX-set by Bandai and S.H.Figurearts

You actually get quite a bit inside the box of the DX-set. In addition to the figure and the posing manual, included is a transparent stand that can be used to suspend the figure. The base of this stand also functions as a storage box for the figure’s accessories.

Body-Chan figure stand
Body-Chan Body-Kun accessories

For accessories, you get multiple hand attachments, and props like a sword, a laptop, and cellphones.
Body-Chan Body-Kun accessories

Are Body-Chan and Body-Kun Figures Helpful in Drawing?

Body-Chan Body-Kun placement

There is a great benefit in having a figure with many articulation points that can be suspended with the included stand and lit with your mobile phone flashlight in a very short time. If you draw the human figure or characters often, this quick process allows you to brainstorm new dynamic poses, and it also helps understand how the human figure will appear in perspective.

I was able to complete these studies of the arm from different angles looking at the Body-Chan figure for reference. If you want to learn to draw arms, check out my tutorial here.

However, with Body-Chan figures, an artist only can get a general indication of the forms and how they move in space. This can be used as a starting point for thumbnail sketches, or for practicing understanding movement in perspective.

It would be wise to keep in mind that the figure does not show the skeletal structure and muscle forms. Therefore, it may be a good idea to use the Body-Chan model, and study anatomy to properly map skeletal structure and muscle mass in your drawings.