Juichimen Kannon, also known as Guanyin, is one of the more complicated and revered figures throughout the various Buddhist sects. He is the Lord of Compassion and the God of Mercy. Kannon was so compassionate that, after attaining enlightenment, he chose to remain on earth in order to ease the suffering of all sentient beings and guide them towards enlightenment.
While the ideals behind Kannon are basic, the character has become incredibly complex over time. His biggest change was the eventual evolution from male to female, since females are closer associated with compassion. Today, Kannon is thought to take on any form necessary in order to assist those in need. From either to neither gender, a humble beggar to a just ruler, a being with two arms or many, a horse head to multiple human heads, Kannon’s forms are as endless as his concern for all sentient life.
I have yet to be disappointed with the sculpts of any of the figures in this line, and Kannon continues to maintain that high standard. The figure is an entirely new sculpt that fits in well with the previous entries while adding another unique body style to the line. The most distinctive aspect to this new figure is his height, which is almost towering over the other figures. Kannon also has elongated arms which stretch nearly to his knees and give him an extremely long reach when positioned in an action stance.
The other interesting thing about this figure’s sculpt is that he is a mostly naked body. Where the previous figures have had their clothes and armor sculpted on, Kannon relies on separate pieces of hard and soft plastic clothing to cover him up. I particularly like this effect with the scarf that encircles his arms. It makes the figure look as if there’s an ever present breeze around him.
Kannon’s head is easily the most detailed aspect of the figure. The main face has a peaceful yet androgynous look, allowing the figure to be seen as either gender. The other ten faces, which represent the stages of the Bodhisattva path and his ability to observe the entire world for suffering, are each sculpted with their own personality. Most seem to be either tranquil or concerned, with a few even looking angry. But the one facing behind is the most interesting with his hearty laughing. Continue to page 2…