FigureFocus 322 ForCorporation Churaumi Aquarium Whale Shark

Time to look at another one of those less common gashapon figures from a less common company. This is one from a company called ForCorporation, and while I’m sure they do other things, I am familiar with them as makers of aquarium capsule figures. While some of them have come into my collection (or at least my awareness) as figures labelled as “Another Aquarium” which…not sure what’s going on with that one. It’s like a generic capsule series that would be easier to sell? But this one came labelled as ‘Churaumi Aquarium’ (I probably translated the text on the base), an aquarium in Okinawa.

The figure made here is a Whale Shark, which makes sense for the Churaumi Aquarium. It is one of the few public aquaria with whale sharks on display (although I have swam with them at another one). Still, another aquarium on the list to visit someday…! Anyway, it’s a neat little model in a couple of pieces. There are also a couple of highly stylized remoras attached to the figure, which do not come off (more than once…) The peg and base are a translucent blue acrylic with a word plate on it; this is characteristic of the ForCorporation figures, although some figures have the words ‘another aquarium’, and this one is Japanese characters. The material is a fairly basic plastic/PVC material but it is serviceable.

For a small figure from a weird little company (as far as I know) the figure is fairly well done. It definitely captures all of the characteristic features of a whale shark. It has the white stripes and dots, and the lateral ridges along the body. There’s even a strong caudal keel at the base of the tail. The high dorsal fin and long pectorals are there, and most importantly, the five gills slits appear to be present (a frequent error in even great shark model makers). The colour is a deep dark blue with a white belly, which seems correct if a little too bold. The remora part of the figure is a lot less detailed, with the general shape and body of a remora sculpted, but the figure lacks much detail in the fins or face, and the colour is a monochromatic brown, without any of the characteristic remora patterns.

The figure is definitely a unique one–it isn’t like whale shark figures are hard to come by in a range of sizes, but this one stands out for the remoras (although even that isn’t unique). It’s also not exactly the best of the Japanese gashapon/capsule whale shark figures, falling somewhere in the middle range of quality. The brand itself is less familiar, and overall they see less expensive than many, although not easily found. I do know that the figures do show up in the ‘generic’ form as well as the branded, so one or the other should be obtainable. I was able to get mine as a bulk lot through a friend that brings in Japanese figures for people, and these were ‘extras’ in a lot. A good enough figure if you get the chance.

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