After playing through Sengoku Rance, I decided that I wanted more figures of characters from the game. I wound up getting Kenshin and Isoroku Yamamoto, and if Shikibu had a figure, I’d get that too. Sadly, she does not, and sadly, many other worthy characters from the game haven’t been so honored. Kotobukiya or Orchid Seed or someone should retool to make a figure of each female Sengoku Rance character; the world would be a better place for it.
In the game Sengoku Rance, Isoroku Yamamoto is a captain who has been coerced into serving House Ashikaga. As Ashikaga’s territories are adjacent to the player’s starting location, Yamamoto is one of the first commanders you can defeat and coerce into joining your own army. I tend to keep her in my main force even though I haven’t had a lot of luck using archers, particularly towards the end of the game.
Isoroku is depicted as a gentle, duty-minded person intent on extending her family line. Unfortunately, being that she is the last of her family, that means she needs to squirt out a baby. Rance – the titular main character of the game – eagerly volunteers his services as the prospective father, but Isoroku declines due to the impropriety of birthing a half-gai-jin heir. Such concerns do not deter Rance, who resorts to manipulation, seduction, and misrepresentation to get his way.
Many of the characters from Sengoku Rance draw their names and backgrounds from medieval Japanese history, but Yamamoto is instead based on a Japanese naval admiral. The real Yamamoto served as commander of the Combined Fleet during World War II and was one of the architects of the zerg rush that clobbered the American battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor. After enjoying a period of unprecedented dominance in the Pacific, his forces suffered a crushing reversal at Midway. Yamamoto, not knowing that Americans were listening to his Vent channel, was subsequently assassinated by US Army Air Forces pilots over Bougainville Island.
The mission to kill Yamamoto was performed by pilots in P-38 Lightning aircraft, one of the most distinctive-looking fighters ever made. Curiously, a few decades later the Japanese game developer Capcom would release a game called 1942 in which players took control of a P-38 and went about blowing up Japanese ships. One wonders how the American public would react if a major American game company made a game in which you controlled a Taliban insurgent and ran around shooting NATO soldiers.
Anyway, on to the figure. This figure comes courtesy of Kotobukiya and is built in 1/8 scale. She’s a bit under 20 centimeters tall to the top of her head, although her ponytail adds a bit more height.
I normally don’t take note of a figure’s box, but Isoroku comes packaged with multiple twist ties holding her in and scads of plastic. Wire cutters are a useful thing to have while trying to extract her from her packaging. Fortunately, she’s pretty easy to set up once you finally free her; you stick her ponytail to attachment points on her head, butt, and lower right leg and then work her bow and arrows into their proper positions. I do not see any pegs or anything that secure her armament to her hands, so this is one of those figures that you don’t want to knock down or bump. She comes attached to her base; her right foot is even held down by a metal screw.
Incidentally, I overlooked that third attachment point for her hair so her hair is looser in these photos than it really should be.
Unlike some of Volks’s figures, Kotobukiya’s version stays fairly close to the game design, and they’ve done a very nice job of it. Isoroku is given a rather unemotional, business-like expression, which I think works pretty well being that Isoroku fights to secure the future of her family rather than because she gains thrills or joy from battles and victory.
The paint is quite good, with no major problems. I do think that it would have been better if they had used a brighter red for her eyes. Some of the gold outline on her clothing is a bit sloppy, particularly on the bottom edge of her trousers, but you’d have to be looking very closely at the figure to notice it.
The sculptor did a very good job of detailing her clothes, from the two little puff balls dangling off the front of her shirt to her three-pointed hair ornament to her two-toed tabi socks. I particularly like the detailing on her sword, which has a little square link on the end that you can move around.
The only aspect of this figure that I dislike is the base. She’s mounted on a transparent pink plastic slab which is hideously incongruous to the more muted colors of the figure. It’s also got House Ashikaga’s emblem on it, which is sort of annoying, as I like to kick around House Ashikaga first thing when I play the game.
I actually got this figure about a month ago but didn’t get around to unboxing it until just the other day, but now that I look at her, I think that this is a really cool figure. Isoroku wears perhaps a bit more clothing than I usually like, but other than that, she looks great, and I hope that Kotobukiya keeps on making Sengoku Rance figures.
I don’t recall seeing many reviews for this figure out on the internets. The only one I can think of is Ashlotte’s review over on Tsuki-board. It’s an excellent review with awesome pictures. Pay no mind to his slander of Senhime, who is indisputably, incontrovertibly, indubitably one of the two most awesome female characters in the game. For real yo. Anyway, go clicky. Right now.