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Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's Bishoujo Batgirl

1:00 PM on 12.08.2010 // Tomopop Staff

For most figures, I don't care much about their background. With Kotobukiya's Bishoujo line, it's pretty much the exact opposite. I tend to care more about the character than the designs, which is why I was much more excited for Emma Frost than Batgirl. I've always preferred Barbara Gordon in her role as Oracle (this probably has to do with my girl crush on Gail Simone), so I pretty much skimmed over this figure. I still wanted her, but I wasn't as excited for her as I was for, say, Black Cat or Catwoman. But as soon as I got my hands on Babs, my feelings totally changed. So hit the jump to see what makes Batgirl such a standout figure!

Figure Name: Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl
Figure Maker:
¥6,200 (about US$74)
KotoUS Hobby Search

Batgirl's box is like every other Bishoujo figure, so there's nothing really of interest here. However, you may have noticed the bumped-up price from Emma Frost. This is because Batgirl, as the first DC Bishoujo, is a scale bigger than the previous ones. They were originally listed as 1/8-scale and people complained that they were more like 1/9, so Kotobukiya bumped up the size to a more standard 1/8.

One thing I usually mention when talking about figures influenced by Shunya's art is that they aren't entirely true to his body type. Yamato's Asuka is a perfect example of this, and while previous Bishoujo figures have been a bit curvier than the norm, Batgirl is the first I've seen to really nail his full-figure style. 

At first it seemed a bit odd to have a Bishoujo figure that was larger than the previous ones, but as usual Kotobukiya's quality increases as the scale goes up. To me, increased quality is more important than having them match in size! In any case, my Bishoujo shelf was getting a bit crowded so I will just display all the bigger ones together.

One thing that seems different with the recent Bishoujo figures is the sense of power in their poses. Babs looks sexy here, yes, but she also looks in charge. Whereas some of the older ones looked more girlie than strong, Emma and Batgirl look very much in control. 

You may have noticed that Batgirl's cape is slightly less elaborate than the illustration, but this is for good reason. If it was longer on both ends, it would have to be made from ABS to keep from drooping. Figures like Alter's Gwendolyn have this problem, where softer plastics tend to bend downwards over time if exposed to any extra heat. And if the cape were made from ABS, the figure could be prone to leaning because of all the extra weight. In any case, the slightly shortened cape still looks pretty awesome.

The main complaint on Emma Frost seemed to be her apparent lack of Shunya's signature thick top eyelashes. Thankfully Babs does not have this issue, as her eyelashes are well defined and reflect the original art style. Though her face is mostly covered, it's clearly based on a Shunya illustration. 

Batgirl's red hair is well sculpted and defined, with some nice "blowing in the wind" action going on. The slightly shimmering paint used is unconventional but it really works, and helps to bring out the shading. And the red of her hair contrasts so well with the deep blue of her cape!

Speaking of her cape, it takes up a lot of space! The Bishoujo figures used to be quite small, but starting with Emma's billowing cape and now Batgirl's, they take up a fair amount of room. However, the larger size and the fact that they take up more space add a sense of dynamism that seemed to be lacking on the first few. 

The cape itself is well constructed and sculpted. It adds a lot of weight to the figure, but not enough to cause leaning. And the glossy blue paint is just so pretty. It looks almost like liquid! Batgirl has a really nice mix of paint, with the matte on her suit, the metallic details, glossy cape and shimmering hair. 

Her outfit is sexy without being slutty, a fine line that many of the figures in this line balance well, and the paint on her suit is very well done. It's not so thin that it looks like she is wearing body paint, but it's not thick and clumpy either. It does a great job of mimicking the skintight outfit she wears as Batgirl. The fact that the gold accents are actually sculpted and not just painted on accentuate this.

As I said before, Batgirl's figure is a wonderful representation of Shunya's style. For once a company decided to keep the hips larger than the bust, which is a trait that is often overlooked when making the transition from art to figure form. Batgirl is still idealized, but she's a much more realistic representation of what women look like. 

Well, it wouldn't be a Bishoujo review without a DAT ASS shot! As we've come to expect with this line, Batgirl has an exceptional bottom. 

I love how very 60's pinup her shoes and feet are. It skirts the line between cute, sexy and empowering very well. Though how she fights crime in those things is beyond me!

Batgirl's ridiculously long legs are quite alluring. They make her appear tall, which is odd because the height of a character isn't often apparent when looking at a figure. However, it's fitting for a super hero! 

One of the highlights of this figure is the gargoyle on the base. It adds a nice sense of place, and adds a bit of extra flare to the figure. The gargoyle itself is incredibly well painted, and looks nice and "worn."

I know I said in my previous review that from a technical perspective, Emma Frost was the best Bishoujo so far. Well, it appears I have to change up my order rather quickly, as Batgirl is not only the best-produced figure in this line so far, but also my current favorite. Even though I like Babs better as Oracle, this representation of her as Batgirl is truly awesome.

On that note, hey Koto, let's get a Bishoujo of Oracle! If we can have Jean Grey and Phoenix, we can have Batgirl and Oracle! Or, you know, you could just make an entire Birds of Prey Bishoujo line. I mean, how badass would these be as figures?! Anyway, Batgirl seems to have sold out on AmiAmi quite quickly, so I'd hop to it on obtaining this cloaked beauty!

Thanks to Stephen Donaldson for taking these pictures. We thought it would be appropriate to shoot her in Gotham, her natural habitat! Sadly we couldn't get any miniature villains for her to fight. Maybe next time! 

[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample]

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