Although I like Kanu Uncho, I wouldn’t call her one of my favorite anime characters, particularly given her questionable characterization in the last two seasons of Ikki Tousen. Nonetheless, I own more figures of Kanu than any other character, and Alter’s version is number six in my collection. I’ve had it sitting in its box for a couple of months now, and today seems like an auspicious day to write about her since I want to watch basketball and I think I can bang out this review real quickly.
I’ve talked about Kanu’s background at length in prior reviews and at this point, I’m guessing that people who like her already know who she is, and people who despise her don’t really want to ever see her again, much less read anything about her. Instead, I’d like to talk about a recent activity I’ve enjoyed. I reactivated my World of Warcraft accounts a couple of months ago and have taken my characters – all stuck at level 70 – into Alterac Valley to crush all of the undergeared, underleveled players who just want to gain experience points. It’s a lot of fun to take my warlock in there, since I have Seed of Corruption and almost nobody else does. Since the games generally devolve into meatgrinder stalemates, I can cast Seed of Corruption for great effect and fun. It’s a bit like clubbing baby seals. Hmm, that’s not a very classy thing to say. It’s a bit like lobbing handgrenades onto the court during a wheelchair basketball game. Wait, that might even be worse.
Originally sold in 2008, this version of Kanu quickly sold out and became one of the more difficult Alter figures to find. I don’t remember seeing Kanu at any of my favorite American retailers and while I sorely wanted this figure, I wasn’t willing to pay an exorbitant auction markup for her. Fortunately, Alter reissued both Kanu and Chouun Shiryu in April when they released Kakouen Myousai and Ryomou Shimei.
Kanu is sculpted in 1/8 scale and stands about 20.5 centimeters tall. Like most Alter figures, she doesn’t require much assembly; her Seiryutou just needs to be put together and slid into her hands to get her ready for display. Kanu’s skirt can be removed, which is a bit unusual as there aren’t many Alter figures that have a castoff option.
Even though she’s standing straight up with both feet on the ground, there’s still a strong sense of movement on display here, with Kanu’s skirt flared out just enough to give a tantalizing view of her underwear and with her hair swirling in a very impressive arc. Unlike some figures with long, sweeping hair, Kanu’s tresses are quite rigid and hold their position well.
Alter’s version of Kanu deviates from her anime and manga depictions by centering her bangs on her forehead, rather than having them cover up her left eye. There’s some sort of defect around her right eye and I’m not sure what it is; it’s pretty hard to notice under normal conditions though, since that eye is heavily shadowed by her hair.
There’s also a prominent seam line running up her left leg. It’s especially noticeable higher up on her thigh, which is a bit unfortunate since that’s one of the centers of attention of this figure.
Besides those two flaws, though, this figure looks very nice. Like most Alter figures, the paintwork is superb, as is the sculpt in general. Kanu’s baggy socks have a hint of texture to give them a coarser look than her school uniform and her top is creased and baggy where it ought to be and tight where it should be. Particularly nice is the chrome paint on the blade of her polearm, which gives her weapon an authentic metallic appearance, unlike a lot of other Kanu figures out there.
Here’s the detailing under her skirt.
And one more shot.
I remember thinking this was one of the best Kanu Unchou figures I’d ever seen when it was first released. Since then, other figures have superseded it in my esteem – particularly Daiki Kougyou’s miko versions – but this is still a fine rendition of Seito High’s most prominent enforcer. The castoff option – atypical for Alter but most appropriate for an Ikki Tousen figure – is a nice touch, and overall, this is a great figure and one of the best versions of Kanu in her school uniform.