When I look at Alter’s lineup, there aren’t any figures that I’d consider bad. Oh sure, they’ve got quite a few figures that I don’t particularly care for, but they are supreme with respect to quality, and you can see it in every figure they make. On the flip side, consider Taki Corporation; they don’t have a single figure that I like and their works are distinguished only by their misshapenness. Then take a maker like Kotobukiya; they’ve been around forever and they put out pretty good figures. I can’t think of any that stand out, though; there are a number of Alter figures that I knew I was going to buy as soon as I saw them, but I can’t think of any Kotobukiya figures that I can make the same claim for.
Daiki Kougyou, however, is a different sort. While Alter is consistently superb and Kotobukiya is always solid and Taki is reliably bad, Daiki Kougyou’s figures are all over the place. They’ve crafted masterpieces like the miko version of Kanu Unchou, which can easily go toe to toe with anything Alter’s ever chucked out. And then you have figures like this, where you scratch your head and wonder what they were thinking. Further, while Alter, Taki, and Kotobukiya all tend to adhere closely to the original character designs, Daiki Kougyou often eschews convention and offers its own spin on existing characters. For example, many of their figures are sculpted by Toshirou, whose style has its own inimitable idiosyncrasies, and they have an upcoming figure of Ikkitousen’s Ryomou Shimei as re-imagined by Shunya Yamashita, who of course has an easily-identifiable and distinctive flair. They’ve also made a figure of Sei which is unusual in that they didn’t bother giving her a left arm, and her face looks a little bit like Dr. Julian Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
So when I look at this figure of Haruhi, it’s a bit surprising to me that it comes from Daiki Kougyou. It looks more akin to something that Max Factory or Good Smile Company would make, since it’s a very faithful representation of the character. It’s also an amazing figure, and while I think miko Kanu is the best figure that Daiki Kougyou’s ever made, Haruhi is right up there as well.