Frances Delgado, Host of Toybox Web Series on AX Live, and Her Crazy-Huge Anime Collection
Frances Delgado, anime figure collector and host of Toybox on AX Live
The world has been taken over by monsters. You and your family are forced to live in the bowels of the Earth. Against all odds, you decide to fight the evil beings above you and save the human race. And you do it all in a tiny bikini and knee high tights.
This is the plight of Yoko, a 14-year-old red-head with a rifle, and one of Frances Delgado's favorite anime characters. "She's so resilient," Frances enthuses. "Her life is so tragic, but she manages to hold on to the small happiness she has."
Frances, 23, has dedicated her life to anime culture and figure collecting ever since her brother showed her her first Anime series when she was 14. She is a self-proclaimed Otaku, the Japanese word for people with obsessive interests (i.e., nerd), usually referring to anime. The label's origins are disparaging, but "we choose to embrace the word and make it positive," Frances explained.
Frances has amassed a collection of over 240 figures, thirty of whom are of Yoko. "I made it my goal to get every figure of her ever made ever," said Frances, "I'm only missing two." To walk into Frances's bedroom in her parents' Riverside home is to enter a new dimension guarded by armies of detailed, delicate figurines twirling, kicking and shooting their way to a life free from evil.
A segment of Frances's Yoko collection
On her bed lie three daki makuras (body pillows that usually feature an anime character in a lurid poses on one side and naked on the other). "Mine aren't as bad," Frances assured me in our interview. "I found someone who custom-made the pillows and had my favorite male character, Kamina, done. He's only one-sided." Watch Frances give you a video tour of her room below.
When I asked her what she thought of the female characters' enormous breasts bulging from beneath their bikini tops, Frances maintained, "For me it's art. Most of my figures aren't in lewd poses. They're not real people so I wouldn't say anyone is being exploited."
In complete opposition to these sexual depictions, Frances has begun to add her own figures to the anime market. She crochets dolls of popular characters and sells them on Etsy in order to finance her own collection.