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Shunya Yamashita

Flare Rei Ayanami photo
But is it really Rei?
Wow, it's been a while since I last saw full blown Evangelion scale figure go up for pre-order. This certainly wouldn't count as a traditional Rei figure since the design has been made over by illustrator Shunya Yam...

Bishoujo Ed Scissorhands photo
Bishoujo Ed Scissorhands

Bishoujo Edward Scissorhands. Yes, this is a thing.

Merry Christmas, you filthy animals
Dec 26
// Andres Cerrato
Yes, I know what you are thinking based upon reading the headline. I know there's rumors for a sequel to Edward Scissorhands, but they can't go in that direction. Yes, it may have been Christmas and I may just have drank a we...
Bishoujo Lady Deadpool photo
Bishoujo Lady Deadpool

From left field, it's Marvel Bishoujo Lady Deadpool

This is a thing
Feb 04
// Andres Cerrato
Well, this is something I didn't expect whatsoever. Kotobukiya has had its weird concepts for its popular Bishoujo line. Sure, there's the oddball, at least to me, of Freddy and Jason, not to mention the MiB Agent. The latest...

Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's Street Fighter Bishoujo Cammy

Aug 11 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Street Fighter Bishoujo CammyFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: US$64.99Available at: Koto US  Street Fighter IV brought back the Delta Red version of Cammy (just when I had gotten used to her silly Killer Bee outfit), and that's the version used for this figure. The box art shows a Cammy who - though passed through the Bishoujo filter - looks a bit more mature and battle-ready compared to other Bishoujo designs. Still, the sculpt takes it to another level. There are two approaches you can take while depicting Cammy, and this figure shows us a bit of both. There's the sexy, borderline exploitative look that the original illustration goes with (that leotard doesn't do much for modesty). And then there's the Linda Hamilton-esque badass look, which is what the sculpt shows. With a hard light, you can accentuate the extraordinary detail in her musculature. Indeed, this is no cliche dainty anime girl. Look at how cut Cammy is! It's easy to believe a woman with this physique can pound a guy like Vega into dust. You can see the sheer tension in Cammy's muscles and limbs as she delivers power to her strike. However I think the effect is overdone when it comes to her legs. There's a little too much rippling mass, whereas the anatomical details on her back and shoulders is more believable. Her abs are another example of the sculptor's personal touch when translating the art. These details are absent from Shunya Yamashita's illustration, but lend a lot of character to the figure. The build quality is good as usual. The paint job is very clean and overall the finish looks great. You can see a little contrast between the matte finish of the body and the metallic look of Cammy's gauntlets. It's hard not to let Cammy's butt be a focal point. The clenched look makes sense when you take the rest of the figure into account, but it's not my personal cup of tea. However, as I sit with the figure on display above my monitor, it does look nice from below. As for the face, Kotobukiya did a good job. It's not as round as in most depictions of Cammy, but this one does look more British to me. The only thing that really bothered me about the figure was the base. Like with some of the newer Bishoujos, this one uses slots instead of pegs to attach to the feet. It's fine at holding the figure upright, but falls out very easily if you pick the figure up. I guess it's only annoying when you need to move it, but I had to deal with it a few times during this shoot. If you've ever been bothered by the fact that even action hero females tend to be waifs, then Bishoujo Cammy is for you. This lady has put in some reps at the gym, and has a physique that can stand up to the absurdly burly male bodies in the Street Fighter universe. [Thanks to Kotobukiya for the review sample!]
Bishoujo Cammy review photo
HCB+P all day
Kotobukiya's Bishoujo lineup seems to be growing by the day. The latest Street Fighter gal to hit the, uh, streets is Cammy. Although she isn't out in the US, she is currently available to import from Japanese retailers. When...

DC Bishoujo Zatanna photo
DC Bishoujo Zatanna

Kotobukiya conjures up more Bishoujo, teases Zatanna

It's magic how bad these puns are
Jul 17
// Andres Cerrato
Kotobukiya is going to have quite the show for us at San Diego Comic Con. We've already seen the teasers for Street Fighter Bishoujo Sakura. Then there was one for Marvel Bishoujo Wasp. DC hasn't been forgotten as the la...
Marvel Bishoujo Jubilee photo
Marvel Bishoujo Jubilee

Painted Bishoujo Jubilee is here for pre-orders

December will be a blast
Jul 15
// Andres Cerrato
[Update] Pre-orders are now available and listed below! She'll be out in late December for ¥7,200. Wasn't it just yesterday that we finally got to see the prototype sculpt for Jubilee? Oh yes, it was. In what was just a d...
SF Bishoujo Sakura photo
SF Bishoujo Sakura

Next challenger for Kotobukiya Bishoujo is Street Fighter's Sakura

Short skirts. Short skirts everywhere
Jul 13
// Andres Cerrato
Perhaps you're watching a stream of EVO right now and you're in the mood for some more fighting. While we've seen the release Bishoujo Chun Li and are awaiting Cammy and Juri, how about one more fighter to add to the mix? Kot...
Horror Bishoujo Freddy photo
Amiami's preview inspired me
One preview gallery clearly isn't enough for us to wrap our heads around Kotobukiya's upcoming Bishoujo Freddy figure, so Amiami has provided their own. A lot of people reacted negatively (or with confusion) to this supposed ...

DC Bishoujo Starfire photo
DC Bishoujo Starfire

Kotobukiya releases full gallery of DC Bishoujo Starfire

This is the perfection of the Bishoujo line
Feb 17
// Andres Cerrato
This has to be one of the quickest figures I've seen from sketch to market. It's no secret that Starfire was pretty much the perfect choice for the DC Bishoujo line, but it looks like Shunya and the folks at Kotobukiya wanted...
Bishoujo Freddy vs. Jason photo
Bishoujo Freddy vs. Jason

Wonder Festival 2014 Winter: Bishoujo Freddy vs. Jason

Feb 09
// Andres Cerrato
Back at NYCC, Kotobukiya hinted at Bishoujo Freddy and Jason. This proposal honestly seemed like a nightmare to me, but hey, someone has to like it right? Today, in the mounds of all the hype from WonFes, Shunya himself took ...
Bishoujo Nina Williams photo
Bishoujo Nina Williams

Tekken Tag Bishoujo Nina Williams enters the arena

Enter the ring as a blonde purple assassin
Feb 08
// Andres Cerrato
I'm kind of amazed at how many Bishoujo figures that Kotobukiya has released. Of the many releases, I'm most surprised at the amount from Tekken Tag 2. Not that it doesn't have a great roster for release, but that it's gone o...

Tomopop Review: Psylocke (X-Force ver.) by Kotobukiya

Dec 17 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Marvel Bishoujo Psylocke (X-Force Ninja Outfit ver.)Figure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: US$64.99Available at: Koto US  Despite beginning life as a British girl, Betsy Braddock inhabits the body of a Japanese assassin, leading to the ninja-esque Psylocke that we all know and love. Although Psylocke does have mutant powers, Kotobukiya elected to play up her skills as a ninja. This is the second Psylocke to grace the Marvel Bishoujo line. Our very old review of the first one shows off some of the differences in the character designs. In general, this version is edgier (partly thanks to the use of black). Despite having twice the number of swords, the original Marvel Bishoujo Psylocke doesn't look as menacing as the X-Force version. The sculpt was handled by Busujima Takaboku (sometimes credited as Busujima Takamaki for reasons beyond my comprehension). His faces have caused some consternation for our readers and staff members alike. This is actually his first Marvel Bishoujo sculpt, although he has done a lot of Tekken Bishoujo figures. He has done some great faces (Alisa Bosconovitch, Jaycee) and some not-so-good ones (Lili). I'd say Psylocke's is one of his better works, although you might notice a bit of that pink-eye thing going on. Aside from sending me on a trip down memory lane, the review of the older Psylocke serves to show how much this figure line has evolved over the years. Both figures have a comparable MSRP, but the sculpt, paint, and manufacturing quality have improved noticeably. I'm a fan of dynamic poses. A good number of my figures lack a sense of movement, so I'm always happy to see one with rippling clothes, blowing hair, or any other such visual cue. Psylocke looks dangerous with her sword raised high, body in motion, and eyes narrowed in concentration. Despite being designed by Shunya Yamashita, her lips are not curled in a smile. From the back you can see more of her flowing hair. Both her hair and her sash are translucent. Psylocke's butt is not featured prominently, but it's still pretty nice. She's also not posed with an abnormally arched back. Let's talk about that ankle. I've had this figure for a few days, and it hasn't gotten any less distracting. From above and to the figure's left, it doesn't look too bad. Head-on or from the right, it looks painful. I tried twisting my foot into the same pose... and succeeded! So I guess it's still anatomically correct. Fancy bases have become a hallmark of the comic book Bishoujo figures. This one adds a lot of character to the figure. It's a snow-covered stone path, very evocative of old samurai movies (or Kill Bill). The stone texture achieved in the paint job is pretty convincing too. What you're not seeing is the underside of the base. It's been reinforced with cross beams, making it very sturdy. It's reassuring to pick up the base, feel the weight, and not have any flex whatsoever. Here you can get a better look at the sculpt along her legs. It's very realistic — notice how the straps around her thighs pinch the skin. Even though her ankle looks a bit funny, I still like this Psylocke figure more than most of the western ones. In my experience, the western interpretations look too masculine — square jaws, broad shoulders, narrow eyes. I like Shunya Yamashita's Bishoujo designs because they make the characters more feminine and expressive (albeit more exploitative sometimes). In this case, Yamashita hasn't sexed her up more than her usual design. The appeal is less in the fanservice, and more in the sense of danger and beauty the figure exudes. There are plenty more photos in the gallery for you to check out. Psylocke will be out later this month, so make sure you know what you're getting! [Thanks to Kotobukiya for the review sample!]
Marvel Bishoujo Psylocke photo
A mutant ninja, but not a turtle
Psylocke has been a popular character among Marvel Comics fans, although she's probably more known for her X-Men incarnation than her original stint as a supporting character in Captain Britain. While western manufacturers ha...

SF Bishoujo Cammy photo
SF Bishoujo Cammy

Street Fighter Bishoujo Cammy has a teaser

Bishoujo Round Two FIGHT!
Dec 03
// Andres Cerrato
It's no surprise to many of you, but Kotobukiya's Bishoujo line of figures are one of our favorite figure lines here at Tomopop. As excited as I am for Chun Li, others on staff are similarly excited for Cammy as the second re...
Bishoujo Spider-Woman photo
Bishoujo Spider-Woman

Bishoujo Spider-Woman has first color sample display

This turned out much better than I thought it would
Nov 08
// Andres Cerrato
Spider-Woman is a character I've never really looked into before. When she was announced, the pose certainly drew attention. The prototype was on-hand at NYCC and it was revealed then that she would come with alternate, maskl...
Mara Jade photo
And no, that's not a sly way of saying that she's all bad
[UPDATE: Pre-orders are now available through select retailers] It's something of a rare treat that Kotobukiya should produce a Bishoujo figure that I can find myself actually praising, but the company's Star Wars Bishoujo Ma...

NYCC 2013 photo
NYCC 2013

NYCC 2013: Kotobukiya Bishoujo

Shunya has done right by these ladies
Oct 11
// Andres Cerrato
After taking a brief look around Kotobukiya's booth, some of you were undoubtedly impressed by the assortment of Bishoujo figures. As any good man would, sometimes you have to go back and take a second look. In doing so, I wa...
NYCC 2013 photo
NYCC 2013

NYCC 2013: Kotobukiya Industry Panel

Marvel. DC. Bishoujo. Star Wars. More.
Oct 11
// Andres Cerrato
Last night, Kotobukiya held its annual panel at NYCC to discuss what's next for the company in 2014. The company had a few surprises for its main franchises, including Marvel and DC Comics, Star Wars, and of course the Bishoujo line. The company also has some brand new properties that will definitely surprise you.  Hit the jump to check out the new items from the panel!
DC Bishoujo Starfire photo
DC Bishoujo Starfire

Kotobukiya adds one more Bishoujo, DC's Starfire

Set the world on fire
Oct 10
// Andres Cerrato
Kotobukiya made fireworks appear yesterday with the announcement of Marvel's Jubilee for the Bishoujo line. Today they bring DC Comics into the fold with the unveiling of the Starfire. If there was ever a character that has l...
Marvel Bishoujo Jubilee photo
Marvel Bishoujo Jubilee

Prayers are answered, next Marvel Bishoujo is Jubilee

Cue Daniel Bryan YES! gif
Oct 09
// Andres Cerrato
I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this announcement. On their Facebook page today, Kotobukiya revealed a new sketch for the Marvel Bishoujo line. It is none other than Jubilee and I can't say enough about how w...
DC Bishoujo Wonder Woman photo
DC Bishoujo Wonder Woman

Kotobukiya armors up for newest Bishoujo Wonder Woman

Cape = Armor.
Sep 27
// Andres Cerrato
For a while now, Kotobukiya has been teasing their latest in the DC Bishoujo line, Armored Wonder Woman. Today, we get to see the Amazon in all of her glory and all of that armor, which is as invisible as her jet. As to what ...
Bishoujo Spider-Woman photo
Bishoujo Spider-Woman

The next Marvel Bishoujo will be Spider-Woman

Jessica Drew swings into the range
Sep 13
// Martin Siggers
Today, Kotobukiya posted a new Shunya Yamashita illustration on their Facebook page, revealing that the next figure in their range of Marvel Bishoujo figures will be the original Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew.  I have ...
SW Bishoujo Mara Jade photo
SW Bishoujo Mara Jade

Mara Jade gets illustrated for next Star Wars Bishoujo

She's a killer
Jul 16
// Andres Cerrato
Kotobukiya's Bishoujo line took a risk in going to the expanded universe of Star Wars and it's largely paid off. Jaina Solo was a great start to the line, which hasn't seen anything new since. The next in the line is none oth...
DC Bishoujo Armored WW photo
DC Bishoujo Armored WW

Shunya draws up sketch for Bishoujo Armored Wonder Woman

Shunya crafts a new version of the Amazon
Jul 12
// Andres Cerrato
The DC Bishoujo line has had its share of great entries. The original release of Wonder Woman was certainly among them, but Shunya is coming back with another version of the Amazon. In his newest sketch, he depicts what they'...
SF Bishoujo Chun Li photo
SF Bishoujo Chun Li

Street Fighter Bishoujo Chun Li strikes a pose

She kicks high...wait wrong game
Jul 02
// Andres Cerrato
Last time we heard anything about Kotobukiya's plans for Street Fighter Bishoujo Chun Li, it was simply a placard at Wonder Festival Winter. When we talked about it last time, many of you noted Shunya's "upfront" approach wit...

Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's Marvel Bishoujo Kitty Pryde

Jun 21 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Marvel Bishoujo Kitty PrydeFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: US$59.99Available at: Koto US Kitty's box is the normal white Bishoujo-style box, featuring Shunya Yamashita's art. There's nothing offensive about it, but I do think her hand looks enormous in the illustration. Look at her hand. Once you see it, you can't unsee it. It's huge! Obviously I'm just playing around here. The back doesn't show any upcoming figures, but it does remind you that the Covert Ops Black Widow statue (reviewed) is available. There's no need for a traditional unboxing; this is Shadowcat we're looking at! She can walk right through that cardboard. Getting her set up couldn't have been any less of a fuss. The only instructions you need are printed on the box flaps, so there's no need for extra sheets of paper. Kitty comes attached to her base. The only thing that comes separated is Lockheed. There are no pegs to worry about when attaching Lockheed; his claws and tail are designed to just wrap around Kitty's arm. Kitty has a bit of that old-school X-Men look with the (very) dark blue and yellow uniform. The dark parts are glossy while the yellow parts have a matte finish. I like the glossiness as you can use those parts to accentuate the curves of her body. The paint job is exceptionally clean, likely thanks to the simplicity of the design. However, glossy surfaces are magnets for fingerprints and dust, so be sure to wipe them down before you take pictures. I think her face is rather nice... from certain angles. I like what Kotobukiya did with her eyes, but Kitty's mouth looks too smushed-together. It creates an overly cartoonish look. Yamashita's art style is more pinup than cartoon, so there's a bit of a clash there. Here's Lockheed! I would have liked crisper detailing on him. Kotobukiya did manage to pull off a subtle, reptilian skin texture for Lockheed which is pretty cool. Eventually I found that a purple alien dragon being perched on Kitty's arm was too weird, so I ditched it and decided to focus on just her. This photo set is very butt-oriented. The reason is because it's glossy, so it catches the light very well. Without Lockheed sitting on Kitty's arm, her pose takes on a different character. Here I made it look like she was mid-stride in a run. From other angles she looks like she's rocking out to some music. Remember what I said about her glossy butt? This is why my photo shoot gravitated over to it. There's plenty to like in this Bishoujo figure, assuming her face isn't a deal breaker for you. Kitty's design isn't the most ambitious, but she does look great under photographic lighting. The inclusion of Lockheed is a fun (if weird) bonus, and the whole package does come a bit cheaper than other Bishoujos. While Kitty isn't my favorite Bishoujo ever, her design is fairly cute and photographs well. You can just throw tons of light at her and watch the glossy outfit do its thing. Plus, I can't argue with the build quality. Fans of the character will probably get more mileage out of this one. [Thanks to Kotobukiya for this review sample!]
Bishoujo Kitty Pryde photo
Not the mother of dragons, but the stepsister?
I thought I knew a little bit about the X-Men, but somehow I never caught on to the fact that Shadowcat has a pet dragon. Weird, right? This information didn't escape Kotobukiya, who packed in Lockheed the dragon alongside Ki...

Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's Tekken Bishoujo Lili

May 16 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Tekken Bishoujo LiliFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: US$64.99Available at: Koto US I decided to skip the customary box shot because it's pretty much the same as the other Tekken Bishoujo boxes. Lili comes very well packaged, with most of the figure wrapped in plastic. Before I get to the figure, I want to note that her feet attach to the base via slots instead of pegs. This method made for a loose fit for my Jaycee figure, but the connection is very secure for Lili. The main criticism I've heard is that her face doesn't look right. The issue is that the hair just overwhelms it, making the rest of her head look gigantic and oddly narrow. This is true of Shunya Yamashita's original illustration too, and kind of true for the official character design. Speaking of Yamashita's design, he seems to have taken some artistic license with Lili. The outfit reflects her trademark style: goth loli boots, the ascot tie, and lots of frills. However, it shows much more cleavage and midriff than the official design. Here we arrive at my favorite feature: her legs! It's a combination of sculpting and painting that make them magnificent. They look muscular, as if in the act of flexing. Kotobukiya did a great job capturing the look of legs in motion, slightly strained under the weight of the body. In concert with the lovely skin tones, Lili's legs — especially the back — catch the light very well. Next you have to look at what the legs are attached to. Some readers complained that Jaycee didn't have enough of a butt. Well I think Lili is beyond adequate in that department. The best thing about her butt is not the shape, but the fact that her skirt is lifted up just enough for you to see it. Since I'm a perv, I very much appreciated this detail. See? Just that little bit of a skirt flutter turns a good butt into an amazing one. You'll also notice that Lili's panties are pretty fancy. Someone at Kotobukiya put a lot of effort into sculpting them, so be sure to pay them their due attention. The rest of the outfit was sculpted with the same attention to detail. I've never sculpted anything in my life, but it can't be easy to make all those wrinkles and frilly bits. The checkered pattern on her tie is well done, and even Lili's choker (which you can barely see) looks good. The level of detail exceeded my expectations, as did the quality of the sculpt and the paint job. This figure is just really well-made; it gets even better when you realize it won't break the bank. When you have a low-key scene like the above with plenty of shadows and contrast, you can start to appreciate just how elaborate the outfit is. On the flip side, if you blast the figure with light, you can see all the detail and movement of her hair. Ignoring the part that frames Lili's face, the rest of her hair is very well-made. It conveys a sense of flow and movement while the use of translucent materials gives it lightness. Without a strong backlight, it retains a bit of depth and shading. Lili fits in well with Alisa Bosconovitch. Alisa has a better face, but I think Lili has by far the better body sculpt. In terms of the ability to pull off fluttery outfits and the color pink, I'll say it's a wash. I've been pleased with my growing harem of Tekken Bishoujo figures. The game features some outlandish character designs, and they translate well as figures. Lili's design isn't super fanciful, but Kotobukiya managed to make the figure interesting and charming in other ways. The deal breaker, though, is whether or not you can live with her face. If you don't mind it, you'll be very happy with the quality of the rest of the figure. If you forced yourself to buy it despite not liking her face, I guess you could always display her backside. [Thanks to Kotobukiya for this review sample!]
Tekken Bishoujo Lili photo
Prepare to enter the top tier of legs
I haven't played a lot of Tekken games in my life, but I am enjoying Kotobukiya's Tekken Bishoujo figures. Overall, it's a solid line of figures. The latest one to arrive is Emilie de Rochefort, otherwise known as Lili. This figure has its unique charms, as I was pleased to discover during the review process. Read on to see what I mean!


See the artwork for DC Comics Bishoujo Black Canary

May 10
// Kristina Pino
Kotobukiya have recently revealed the official illustration for upcoming DC Comics Bishoujo Black Canary (she was revealed back in Toy Fair) by Shunya Yamashita up on their Facebook page!  What do you think, folks? ...

Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's Tekken Bishoujo Jaycee

Apr 24 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Tekken Bishoujo JayceeFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: US$64.99Available at: Koto US  I've found that this figure sums up the spirit of the Bishoujo series in a nutshell. It's colorful, fanservice-y, cute, a bit silly, and even slightly whimsical. These things also sum up many of Tekken's female characters, so the two make a great pairing. There will be no great mystery as to Jaycee's identity with this figure. As you can see, she comes unmasked in the box. The package includes the two heads, one ponytail piece, a mask that fits in her hand, and three inserts for the base. Shunya Yamashita often alters the designs of Marvel and DC characters to give them skimpier clothing. He had to do no such thing with Jaycee because her outfit's already plenty skimpy in-game. Even with the mask on, you can see some of the hallmarks of Shunya Yamashita's style. When I first saw the figure, I thought something weird was going on with her lower lip - like she had a bit of the Habsburg lip going on. Upon closer inspection, Jaycee's actually sticking her tongue out. This discovery upped the cuteness by several orders of magnitude. Jaycee's stance exudes confidence. It's not an action pose; it's more of a winning pose. I like that it still shows some movement, accentuated by her flowing hair. Kotobukiya did a good job with the feathers. They don't look like globs of plastic. Instead there's some definition to them along with a feel of lightness. The production quality here is good but a notch below top tier. I didn't notice any distracting mold lines, but there were some small gaps where the body parts were fitted together. They're barely visible to the naked eye, but will be more easily spotted in photographs. The paint job is mostly clean. Again, you'll struggle to notice imperfections with just your eyes, but they will show up in photographs. You can display Jaycee masked or unmasked. I'm not sure which one I like better. She does have a nice face so you can't go wrong either way. I do wish her eyes were brightened a bit, but I don't have any real complaints about her face. Kotobukiya includes a separate mask to go with the unmasked head. This fits into Jaycee's hand. The chin straps are flexible, so you just need to bend them into place. I have to give Kotobukiya props for this sculpt. The texture and finish on her costume look very much like the vinyl used in real wrestling outfits. You can see above that her shoes are a bit strange. They kind of look like platform boots but they have no heels. The official art shows that they're just flat-soled boots, so I guess Jaycee's actually standing on her toes with this pose. Speaking of her shoes, they connect to the base via slots instead of pegs. This improves the fit but also seems to make for a looser connection. Whenever I picked the figure up, the base would fall off. It's not a big deal as long as you're careful. I often find that figures have a character to them that come out during the photo shoot. Some figures tell you how to look at them while others get you to think about how to look at them, if that makes sense. Jaycee is one of the latter, and that's why I had so much fun shooting this set. Ultimately that's what I enjoyed about this figure. It has personality, and that goes a long way. [Thanks to Kotobukiya for this review sample!]
Bishoujo Jaycee review photo
Fighting game storylines and wrestling storylines are often alike
Tekken seems to have returned to its status as Namco's flagship fighting game series with several new titles having come out in the last few years. One such title is Tekken Tag Tournament 2, which is where Jaycee comes f...

Tomopop Review: Yamato's Creators' Labo Nen-Nen

Apr 12 // Brian Szabelski
Figure Name: Creators' Labo #033: Nen-NenFigure Maker: YamatoRetail/List Price: ¥10,800Available at: HobbyLink Japan Begin with the box? Why sure. It's a fairly basic box with a large window on the front, some smaller ornamental window slits on the side, and the large Nen-Nen illustration on the back. It also lists both the illustrator, Shunya Yamashita, and sculptor, the talented Mitsumasa Yoshizawa (a.k.a. REFLECT), who has worked with both Yamato and Shunya before. Nen-Nen is an interesting figure. While my first thought went something along the lines of, "I hope she's not a leaner," Nen-Nen has a bit of liveliness to her look. She's posed in a fighting stance with her dress (if that's kind of what you can call it) fluttering in the PVC breeze. Rather than looking head on, she's oriented at more of a 90-degree angle, looking off to her left, with a hand on her sword and the other extended outward. She does indeed look ready for a fight, and if she weren't an original character, you might wonder just what video game she came from. The base has a nice Chinese pattern on it ... but is otherwise a plastic circle. Stable, simple with a peg for the foot to rest on. Nothing much to complain about or really praise here. Speaking of her feet, take a look at these shoes. Yes, she is preparing to fight in high heels with big red balls on them ... why did you ask? While the idea of fighting in heels might seem ridiculous, at least everything is looking good here. The paint lines along the detailed edges are clean, and even the small red, jewel-like spheres add a little pop of color to the blue and gold palette. As with some of Shunya's illustrations, you get plenty of leg with Nen-Nen. Paint is even here with a nice off-tone for the stockings and some fancy ornateness on the top end. To be honest, they kind of give me a Chun-Li feel from the look, without the beefiness. And here is the obligatory butt shot to get it out of the way. You can actually see she has an uneven butt, which makes sense a bit because she's got one leg up in the air like that. But wearing a thong bottom? For fighting? I know, Cammy does it, too, but I don't understand it. Maybe it's a range of motion thing. But yeah, she has a nice sculpted butt. When you get up to Nen-Nen's battle dress, it really begins to sink in how good this figure looks. Shunya's design is shapely and eye-catching without being too exploitative (yes, even with that little boob window), but REFLECT's work here is what sets this piece apart. Just the way the dress seems to twist and fold along Nen-Nen's curves naturally, how it creases along her shoulders and upper arms; all of it looks wonderful. That liveliness, or activeness, I mentioned before really finds itself manifested in this part of the figure; Nen-Nen would be very different otherwise and perhaps a lot more run-of-the-mill. Perhaps Nen-Nen's other great feature is her face; REFLECT has once again done a wonderful job capturing Shunya's style in a way that looks even better when the detail work is done. It's a much softer and youthful look than in Shunya's drawing, but I think it works out pretty well here. Looking past the face, the hair has some definition in it, and there's a bit of a seam hidden in the hairline, as is commonplace with a lot of PVC figures. The little hair loops (I guess that's what we call them?) look nice but do feel a bit like they're at a standstill when a bit more movement could have been put into them. You know, unless Nen-Nen has been holding this pose for a good five minutes, in which case, I salute her balance and leg strength. As for the upper body, I mentioned earlier how the creasing looks good, and you can see a little better glimpse of it here. It bunches in spots where it should and tailors itself around her arms in a manner that feels realistic. I think this is some of REFLECT's best work, on par or even slightly better than what he's done previously. Taking a closer look at the left hand, which faces palm outward as part of her fighting stance, you can see how each of the figures has its own definition and even Nen-Nen's pink nails have not been overlooked. The sword itself — technically a type of dao — is an extra piece that you'll have to fit in. Here, you can see Nen-Nen's right hand without the dao in it, and where it slots in. The dao is a two-piece accessory that separates where the hilt and handguard are, easily disassembling and reassembling. Put together, of course, and it looks like this: Now, it's clear Shunya has taken some liberties in designing the dao to be a bit more fancy, with a unique shape and that gigantic circle at the bottom of the blade. You would think that might make the sword less battle-worthy, but again, Nen-Nen's whole design is very stylized and not necessarily set in realism. The good news happens to be that the paint here is excellent; no paint splotches to worry about, and the colors all have a proper hue to it. Again, you can't really deny that this is a gorgeous figure in every little nook and cranny. Oh, and included in the package is a print of Nen-Nen and her sibling Non-Non giving her a bit of a hug. Or something like that. Maybe Non-Non isn't that good at hugs. It's easy to see the cheesecake here and expect a very Shunya statue. While Nen-Nen does fit that bill, it also means that some of the good Shunya qualities are present here, too, teased out by REFLECT's gorgeous sculpting work. Nen-Nen feels a lot like a collectible made for the older collector, not because of that butt, but because there's no licensing behind it to appeal to younger folks. It's more a piece of art that people will love for its individual look rather than a collectible you'll get to represent fandom or as a status symbol. Nen-Nen fits in well with an equation I've learned to respect for being accurate: Shunya + REFLECT + Yamato = good-quality figure that I'll enjoy. Get her if you're looking for something that's different. [Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for sending Nen-Nen along for review!]
Review: Nen-Nen photo
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