[Modeler: Kuroganeya Kokubaru] A Sculptor’s Pursuit of “Kokubaru-shiki” 

Model tech that makes the models on the screen look life-like

I want that legendary sword… I want a bow with an arrow that pierces through the dark of night… Of course, any cosplayer who has ever wanted to recreate the world of a favourite work has had these kinds of wishful thoughts, but we all know that it’s easier said than done when it comes to making those wishes come true. 


But…. what if… it were possible??? What if there were a person who could make them come true??


Please don’t think “Nah… that’s impossible (laughs)” Because there is someone!! And that “someone” is Kuroganeya Kokubaru!!!



“No, no, not at all! Even though you’ve given me that amazing introduction, I really just fell into it.” Kokubaru-san started off. 


Wait, wait, I wonder if it’s possible to make weapons with that much attention to detail just on a whim.




Before I knew it, more and more requests came in…

“Really, it just sort of happened. I have always been a fan of anime and video games, and even still I had never thought that I would be doing something like this. I was a member of a club in college where I mainly made lighting crafted from bamboo and other handy works. After graduation a friend of mine who was in the same club asked me if I could make Asuna’s sword from Sword Art Online. I guess he remembered that I had that skill.”


Solus Shinon / Bow & Shoulder Guard from [Sword Art Online Alicization] 


Solus Shinon / Bow & Shoulder Guard from [Sword Art Online Alicization] (You can even disassemble it!!)


Even though it was a request from a friend from his college years, Kokubaru had no experience making cosplay weapons and he was hesitant to agree to it.


“But I just have such a passion for constructing things I couldn’t refuse. From then on, (I started to get requests from) friends of friends… and then friends of those friends… and it gradually grew from there. But when you have such a deep love for the craft, what else can you do?  I just couldn’t  say no (laughs).”


Oh wow…. Such kind people do exist. All I might have thought about was how to make a business out of it (*Just kidding!).


Solus Shinon from [Sword Art Online Alicization] (Cosplayer: Jiro / @cos_Jiroooo, Cameraman: aka / @akaburn_megane)


Solus Shinon from [Sword Art Online Alicization] (Cosplayer: Jiro / @cos_Jiroooo, Cameraman: aka / @akaburn_megane)




What’s possible when your work is your hobby

“I did think about doing it as a full time job at first because I was receiving a lot of commission requests, but there are some things I can only do because this is a hobby and not a commercial venture. And my goal is to only make pieces that leave people who see it in awe, pieces that make people say “Wow!!””


I mean…. That is definitely the spirit of the doujin community!!


Mash Kyrielight’s Shield from [Fate/Grand Order] (Fully assembled!)


Mash Kyrielight’s Shield from [Fate/Grand Order] (The writing lights up!)


“I really love how I get when I am crafting pieces and I am very thankful to the cosplayers that give me the opportunity to do so. From my point of view, as long as someone who really loves the work is using it, I am happy to lend a hand when I can.”


He really is a saint in the world of model creation! No, he’s more than that; he embodies the true spirit of a craftsman down to his very core. I truly felt that after I heard of his level of commitment to making models. 




Pieces built bit by bit from the concept up

“Let’s say…there’s a sword from a certain work for example or anything really, if you want to only make its likeness then anyone can do it with a bit of time. I take it a step further from there and bring it to a more advanced level; the Kokubaru style. When it comes to international models, it’s common to see shiny gimmicks.Things like swords with lightning effects are made a lot. I feel like in Japan the focus is often still the shape; the likeness. I feel that there are a lot of details that I can add and fine tune, so in order to make entertaining features that people can enjoy, I am studying electronic engineering.”


A determined vow. It has been said before that in life we’re constantly learning, Kokobaru however is truly an example of the saying “Do what you love and success will follow.”




Pieces tailored for photoshoots

“Also I have a strong commitment to the Kokubaru style, if I do say so myself. I strive to create pieces that suit each cosplayer. Whether they prefer to be at events, studio photoshoots, or indoors in a light or dark room, I tailor it to fit those spaces.There are many people with many different styles, so I try to suggest things that will go well with the shooting style. “


The latest “Kokubaru-shiki” piece is the blue rose sword. Made completely out of resin, it glows blue when in UV light!!! Apparently, this idea came to be because there was a request from a cosplayer who usually did shoots outdoors. It also apparently took 2-3 months to craft and that’s why it’s so amazing. It looks like the sky and the sword have fused together.


Eugeo’s Blue Rose Sword from [Sword Art Online Alicization] (Shining a gorgeous blue under the sun)


Eugeo’s Blue Rose Sword from [Sword Art Online Alicization] (Construction of the prototype)


Eugeo’s Blue Rose Sword from [Sword Art Online Alicization] (Taking the resin sword out of the silicone mould)


Unwittingly, from that one request Kokubaru has come to gain a large amount of trust in the modeling world. We can’t wait to see what awe-inspiring pieces he has for us in the future!!!




  • Kuroganeya Kokubaru



You Tube:youtube.com/channel/UCOgCE-84I7mGLV_zX94pNww


  • OSP Streaming Channel

You Tube:https://youtube.com/channel/UCZPz5t131RCis_TsSkQZ6Bw




Shiro Sato


Rhiannon Charles

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