When Black Hanekawa came out of the shipping box, I was a little at a loss with how to handle this review. She's large and makes a statement without the help of flashy backgrounds or anything, so I wanted to show her off while also conveying the feel of the destroyed classroom when she first appears in Bakemonogatari. Unfortunately, I don't have any dilapidated, abandoned classrooms to work with, so I chose to get a little creative.
I'm surprised as always at how much more impressed I am with figures once I'm looking at them in my hands than I ever was when I see them online pre-release, with nothing but a grey background to spur your imagination. Let's not forget that we also have previously taken a look at Alter's version of the same character, which looks overall great.
Kotobukiya's entry is rendered in a different style and boasts a much less boring base, though the pose is similar (it's a stretch, but I get the same street-sly feel from this figure I did with the previous). Does it match up with or exceed your expectations, and does it beat out Alter's version? Read my thoughts after the jump.
This girl's box is larger than average. It isn't needlessly huge, though, considering this girl takes up a good deal of space. Besides that, the design is rather nice with a simple black and yellow motif. The figure petty much speaks for itself, so the box doesn't need to do much. The box also highlights Yuusuke Mazaki as the sculptor, who has also worked on some notable figures such as MegaHouse's Yukiko and Lili.
Once you take her out of the box, you've got the two desks (separate) and the main figure all separated on the tray. She attaches by the leg to one of the desks, and the other could be positioned anywhere you like for her elbows to prop up on. Without the second desk, she won't balance, and without the desks at all, you're in danger of ruining her hair unless you have another suitable platform for her to rest on.
Personally, I don't see why anyone wouldn't want to use the desks. They're well-sculpted and the wood detailing is great. The desks themselves have lots of rusting, even on the inside. Kotobukiya spared no attention to detail here.
What makes Black Hanekawa such a big real estate hog on your shelf is that hair. It's billowing out all over the place. The only real issue with the hair is she obviously looks best at an angle that you're seeing her face, but I could appreciate the craft work here.
Looking at her from above, you see she's got a few extra seams, but they aren't a bother in the least. This is a figure you'll probably want to display at or above eye-level for maximum effect.
I took her off the desks for a few pajama detail shots. She's wearing some orange PJs with little cat faces on them. It's fluffy-looking and sculpted appropriately. For being such a happy-looking set of jammies, though, she seems like one dangerous girl... but I guess I would be too if I'd been cursed by a demon baka cat.
Here's one last image before i get back to our regular programming... her cleavage! I actually quite like this feature on Black Hanekawa. They aren't needlessly large breasts and they maintain a natural shape. I'm kind of pointing them out here because this is a review, but when she's on the desks they are basically blocked from view by her hands.
Now, let's look at her behind since we got a look at her chest. If I have one, just one issue with this figure, it is this seam. Either that, or she's got some serious camel toe and wedgie issues. Once again though, it's not like I would normally be positioning this figure so her butt is in view instead of her face, so it really shouldn't be an issue, but... well, it's there.
Let's turn her back around...
I absolutely love the mischievous expression. Her face is flawless and the hands are the perfect gesture to accompany it. There is some pronounced seaming there with her ears, but it's only showing up more because of the contrast in this image and isn't as apparent on the shelf.
As I mentioned before, this figure is best displayed in a way that you're seeing her face. I don't think the rest of the figure is anything without the charm of her expression. When I think about it, her design is pretty simple, despite the great molding and superb attention to detail all around, but it needs something to hold it together, and that's it right there.
Overall, Hanekawa is a fantastic-looking figure. Does it beat out Alter's? Well, that depends on how you look at it. Overall, this version has a more impressive base, and I love the look so much more. If you're really picky about character depiction and accurate coloring and all that jazz, you might prefer the other figure. Either way, you're getting a great package. I favor figures like this one that make a bigger statement, but again, it's really a matter of personal preference.
Thanks as always to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with these beautiful review figures! Once I'm able to figure out how to get Hanekawa back in her packaging, you might see her in a future contest - she's just too awesome to not share.
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