Kureha Touka from Shining Wind (Swimsuit Version)

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review

At first, I wasn’t too enthused by Max Factory’s line of swimsuit-clad Shining Wind girls and I’m not really sure why. It’s a terrible thing when a man can’t get excited by cute underaged girls in tiny bikinis, however, and I finally decided that Kureha and Xecty had too much appeal to pass on them. It would’ve been cooler if they’d picked out some suits out of Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, though; Kureha looks pretty good here, but she’d be bangin’ in the Venus or Mach.

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review

Kureha Touka is a character from the video game Shining Wind. It’s a member of Sega’s long-running Shining series, which began with Shining in the Darkness on the Genesis and is best known for the four main Shining Force games. Shining Force was an early tactical RPG featuring a huge and varied cast – including centaurs, a robot, dragons, a ninja, and a bipedal armadillo – and is still fondly regarded as one of the classic Sega games of the 16-bit era. In contrast, the more recent games seem to focus more on cute girls with archetypical personalities and moving merchandise rather than providing quality gameplay, and as such I have no plan on polluting my childhood memories by playing them. The most recent game, Shining Hearts, includes something called the MOE system, which ostensibly stands for “Mind Over Emotion” but we all know what it really means. Sigh. It breaks my heart to see one of my favorite video game franchises whored out in this manner, but that’s the way things go.

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review

But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the characters for how they look. I liked Max Factory’s original Kureha – and if I knew how valuable it’d get I would’ve picked up a few more – so it wasn’t much of a stretch to pick this one up as well. Fortunately for me, the Shining Wind girls are priced relatively inexpensively, despite being 1/7 scale. She’s about 22 centimeters tall, which seems a bit small for the stated scale but owners of Max Factory’s VN02 Miku and Nuclear Fusion Rin figures are already aware of the manufacturer’s penchant for funny math. Kureha comes ready for display without any fuss, which is a nice change from all the figures I get that need to be disassembled to get all their plastic wrap off. She attaches to her base by two pegs in her left foot, one of which is metal, which should help allay leaning concerns.

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review

Kureha’s wearing a skimpy low-cut bikini in colors similar to what she wears in her priestess guise, and it looks quite nice as it barely covers her up and strains to hold her in. She’s playfully tugging her shoulder straps up and I’d think that it should pull her top up tighter against her chest, but what do I know about bikini tops? The yellow part of her bikini bottom also looks a little strange in that it doesn’t look like it has a complete waistband, which is an important thing to have given how low it’s riding. Nitpicking aside, though, her suit looks great and highlights Kureha’s important parts.

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review

I don’t recall ever seeing measurements for the Shining Wind girls, though I’m sure they’re out there. I’m guessing that Kureha’s the second bustiest of the four characters getting the swimsuit treatment from Max Factory but she’s quite stacked even as the runner up. Her arms frame her chest, highlighting their curves and directing your eyes right into her cleavage. I think that that’s my favorite part of this figure.

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review

Similarly, her twin bikini bottoms show off her delightful hourglass figure. Her tiny waist and broad hips are sexy as hell and complement her breasts perfectly. Less nice is her backside, which has breadth but lacks depth. The top of her gluteal cleft is visible but looks kinda strange because her backside doesn’t have much curvature. I’m still mystified why figure sculptors have such a difficult time sculpting the female rear.

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review

To go off on a tangent for a bit, it’s a little weird how inadequate the English language is for certain things. Like the body part mentioned above; the technical name is “gluteal cleft” but the colloquial name is the “butt crack,” but that just sounds so uncouth, and we won’t bring up coarser terms. There are a lot of other body parts and functions which suffer from the same problem, and it’d be nice if there were terms that don’t sound quite so clinical as the former but as uncultured as the latter, particularly as the writer of this blog strives to maintain a conversational yet classy and dignified tone to his writing. Always.

This digression is not a consequence of the writer’s struggle to come up with certain terminology, nor does it have anything to do with Nanowrimo occurring next month. Nothing at all.

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review

Kureha has a pleasant, placid expression on her face, and it’s easy to recognize her origin as a Tony Taka design. It’s a cute expression, probably not one that’s going to set hearts on fire, but it looks very nice. Her hair has some complex detailing on the lower parts of her tresses, but they quickly fade towards the crown of her head, and it’s pretty easy to mistake the top of her head for a Whopper candy when viewed from behind.

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review

Pleasant and placid is also the way I’d describe this figure. To me, Kureha exudes gentleness and friendliness rather than overt sexuality, which is interesting since she’s a sharp exhalation away from being naked. I can’t deny that she has a beautiful body build and a particularly nice rack, though, and while she’s not really the most exciting figure I’ve purchased this year, I’m pretty happy to have her.

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review

Check out foo-bar-baz for another review of Kureha. It seems like figure review blogs have been slowing down in recent months; I don’t think I’ve seen any other reviews of Kureha yet.

Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review
Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review
Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review
Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review
Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review
Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review
Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review
Max Factory Kureha Touka Figure Review
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38 Responses to Kureha Touka from Shining Wind (Swimsuit Version)

  1. radiant says:

    Mmmmm… last pic is really nice. Nothing like getting some wet PVC. What shutter speed are you using for that? That must be some really high powered lighting.

    • Tier says:

      I shot it at 1/160 sec apparently; I usually shoot at 1/250 which is my camera’s maximum sync speed but I guess I forgot to set it that way. It doesn’t really matter too much though since I was using flashes and their pulse durations are usually somewhere between 1/1000 and 1/10000 sec; that effectively becomes the camera’s exposure time since I was shooting at f/6.3 and ambient light levels were relatively low.

  2. JessyP says:

    Love the first water shot! Exciting. Making good use of the splash proof 7d.

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! I definitely had a lot of plastic bags covering up my flashes, but I wasn’t too worried about my camera. Another nice thing about the 7D is its fast burst mode; I had to shoot a burst of like three or four pics per take to get something usable. I love the Rebel XS and it’s a great camera, but it shoots at something like 1 FPS, which wouldn’t have worked here. (On a slightly related note, the Rebel cameras have a very useful self timer-activated burst shooting option, but the more expensive Canon cameras don’t have this drive mode. What’s up with that?)

      • JessyP says:

        The expensive canon don’t have that feature, but they usually support wired or wireless remote triggers which I prefer to timers. I imagine you could throw the water and set off the shutters manually very easily with a remote with good timing. The 7d can do like 8fps bursts which is crazy fast. Holding down the remote you could easily run through 30+ shots for each water sequence. Of course you’d have to do outside on a sunny day to get a nice shutter speed to freeze the action, but that could be a nice change of pace to studio lighting.

        Either way I like the way you are exploring new ideas like the water.

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, I’ve got uhh, some Canon wired remote, which isn’t that great … I’ve jammed the button down more than once, I always accidentally slide it into the bulb mode selector, and the cord’s only a couple feet long. I probably should’ve looked for one of the Chinese-made ones on eBay, I’m sure they’d be more robust. The nice thing about the timer-triggered burst mode is that it’d leave both my hands free to pour water or whatever when I hear the shutter going off. (I’ve tried using my toes to press the shutter release, I’ve had some pretty mixed results with that.)

          Thanks, I always like it when I get a figure that I think I can photograph in an interesting manner. It’s a lot more fun than just shooting them on black, though it definitely takes a lot more time, particularly since I’ve got no clue what I’m doing most of the time.

  3. Is it wrong of me to like the fact that they made the bikin straps tense as opposed to 99% of bikini figures where they simply paint them on the body and make it look like they’re hugging the body contours?
    So many figures get that wrong…

    • Tier says:

      It is not, I like them too; it helps give her more of a curvy look. It’s a very nice detail, particularly so since there’s not a lot of detail to put on a swimsuit girl figure.

  4. Sloth says:

    Great TITS shots, Tier.
    I’m guessing that’s mist from a water spray in some of those shots.
    I love the detail on her lower back and the creases on her butt. I especially like the shot where you angled it so that the top is hidden from view, very ingenious.
    Something bothers me great though. When you look at her from the back, ie. kureha-16.jpg, she looks like an armless, retarded monster with epic ass. DON’T KNOW IF WANT!?!?

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, that’s from a little spray bottle. I need a bigger bottle to make those sorts of shots work, I think.

      Haha, yeah, she looks kinda strange with her arms hidden like that. Her hair sorta looks like Cthulhu’s chin tentacles too, which is kinda weird and kinda awesome.

  5. Chag says:

    I’m going to echo everyone else and compliment you for those great water shots. I love how even the splash pattern is in the first shot. I also like those “fizzy” backgrounds a lot — what did you do for those?

    As for the “butt crack” dilemma, Personally I would use something like “back canyon”. It’s still pretty vulgar, though, but at least its quirkiness should divert one’s attention away from the vulgarity to a degree. Hmmm, when I’m out of school, I would definitely try something like Nanowirmo. I don’t think I have enough life experiences to fuel a GOOD novel, but I sure am rant-happy enough to crank out a bad one. It sounds like a good foray into creative writing — I haven’t done that since high school.

    • Tier says:

      It’s from a little spray bottle, and now that I think about it, I can’t remember why I bought it. I think I had some other idea that I wanted to try out with it and I wonder what that was … I guess it probably wasn’t a good idea. I ought to write a post someday about all my photo ideas that didn’t work, it’d probably be the longest post on this site.

      I’ve been trying to get something done for Nanowrimo the last couple years but I’ve never gotten it done. Two years ago I was playing World of Warcraft and Wrath of the Lich King came out that November, and last year I was doing this blog which takes up most of my free time. I’m hoping nobody notices that I’m using a text editor a lot at work next month <.<

  6. Ashlotte says:

    Swimsuit figures… -_-

    Ah well putting aside my prejudice nicely done as always Tier! Those light brownish hued shots are awesome!

    • Tier says:

      Indeed, it is a swimsuit figure XD Yeah, I’m finding it kinda hard to get excited by them too, unless the pose or the suit are interesting or there’s something unusual about them. None of that’s the case here, but she still looks nice.

      And thanks! I wanted to try to get a warm tone for Kureha, I figure for Xecty, I’ll go with a cooler look.

  7. Alex says:

    Great work mate you are making an art of this.

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! I’ve been trying out some new things, they don’t work most of the time but it’s still a lot of fun, particularly if something turns out better than I expect (which doesn’t happen very often, unfortunately).

  8. Deckard says:

    Great figure, even better photographs!!

    • Tier says:

      Thanks to you too! I’m trying to get away from doing the all black or white backdrop thing but for a figure like this, I think the white works okay.

  9. Fabienne says:

    Kureha is very nice with her sexy waist, her belly button and of course her rack ;D
    I only bought redhead Seena from this Shining wind swimsuit lineup

    anatomic terms are sometimes hard to choose “gluteal cleft” or “butt crack”
    by the first term you think its a word no one understands or the word sounds to bold.XD

    the pictures with the orange background are really nice
    I think kureha-08.jpg is my fav

    • Tier says:

      It seems like Seena is far and away the most popular of the four; she’s been sold out for a while but Kureha is still available at every retailer I check and I’m guessing Clalaclan and Xecty won’t sell as well either. I’m gonna skip Clalaclan but I’m looking forward to Xecty.

      Yeah, that’s the problem XD It’s tough to find a good word that sounds natural but not too vulgar. Not that I worry too much about the latter, but I figure if I were gonna use it in a story, I ought to use something less coarse.

  10. BioToxic says:

    I can’t wait for my Kureha now so I can display along with Seena. I was kind of expecting her this Monday, but no dice.

    She looks great. I just love her long legs and slender frame. I wasn’t too sure about her pose initially from the promo shots but your photos have completely wiped away that uncertainty. The only niggle that jumps out at me is where her hair lines join, it’s kind of distracting, but then Seena suffers from this as well.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, it’s a pretty big seam on top of her head, I notice some figures do a better job of hiding it. I’ve got two really old Max Factory figures in my Detolf (Kasumi from Dead or Alive and Eukanaria or whatever from Enchanter) and both of them do a really good job of minimizing it, but I guess MF was trying to get these figures out quick and cheap. Seems kinda like MF’s just a Figma company these days.

  11. Halbred says:

    Wonderful review and photos, Tier. I love how she’s pulling up the bikini straps, thus squashing her dirty pillows together further. I’m also with you on the technical term for “butt crack.” “Gluteal cleft?” Boring!
    I’m going to the local figure-heavy comic shop tonight and I’ll keep an eye out for Kureha. We just got our PFD’s (silver lining of living in AK) and I get $50 to spend however I want (the rest goes in retirement). That will capture most of whatever I end up buying. I also just found out that the OTHER comic shop in town takes game supplies and whatever else for store credit, which is how I intend on buying Kotobukiya’s recent and excellent Phoenix figure.

    • Tier says:

      The way she tucks in her elbows gives a good sense of depth to her goods. I didn’t really pay a ton of attention to it before she was released but now that I see her in person, it’s the main thing I notice.

      Yeah, it’s too boring, maybe I’ll just have to avoid situations where I have to write about that specific part. Maybe I’ll use something like “cleft of her ass,” it’s a bit longer but it combines a superficial scientific sensibility with the vulgar vernacular.

      That sounds like a good deal, I’m gonna have to take a look at Kotobukiya’s new round of Marvel bishoujo figures again. I saw Ms. Marvel’s prototype pics and she’s looking mighty fine, and that she’s 1/7 scale makes her even better.

  12. epic win on that opening shot!

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! It took a while to get that shot since I’m still learning how to set up a shot like that, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.

  13. Aka says:

    Kureha certainly has a sexy body, wonderful curves and long legs for the win. Thinking about her rear, I wonder if it’s because many an asian woman seems to lack the ‘baby got back’ backside, making it hard for sculptors to find local source material for which to base their designs. And perhaps because of that, they also have a preference for a flatter rear. That said, I find her rear to be rather pleasant, she’s no Kasugano Sora (as per Megahouse’s rendition anyway), but she’s far superior to say Ayakura Nemu (as per Good Smile’s rendition).

    Also on the topic of bottoms, I’ve tried to think of synonyms to “gluteal cleft” and “butt crack”, but I can’t seem to come up with anything that’s not somewhat sleezy. It’s a real shame, there should be a way to describe ass cleavage politely and none clinical…

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I’m guessing culture has a big part to do with it, it seems that they do not exalt a curved backside as much as certain elements of Western culture does. More the shame, that; I think it’s going to be my biggest beef with that Asuka figure that Yamato and REFLECT are doing. Yeah, Sora’s got a good butt; a very welcome thing too, since a loli with a nice rear is such a rare thing.

      I would’ve hoped that there’d be some useful slang there, but it seems not. How very strange English is, sometimes.

  14. super rats says:

    Water on a swimsuit figure, what is this madness!!!

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  16. I was waiting for Kureha in the mail for the longest time, got held up in customs for about a week and a half. So much for EMS, my SAL package arrived before the EMS did. Lame! They’re usually pretty quick about it though, not sure what happened this time.

    That said, I really like the colour scheme on Kureha and how she turned out, though Seena is still my favourite. I wish the sculpt was a bit more like the illustration though, where her head and upper torso is slightly turned towards the left. This sculpt of Kureha, her head and body faces forward plainly, I think that made the figure lose some emotional response when you look at her – not enough body language.

    • Tier says:

      Blah, that sucks. I’ve been fortunate enough not to have any problems with the USPS or customs despite the massive volume of stuff that I buy. Yeah, this is a pretty straightforward figure … I found it kinda hard to write about her, since swimsuit figures are so commonplace and there’s not a ton to distinguish Kureha. She’s very cute but not very exciting. Though I do like her a lot (more than I let on in my review) because of her obvious charms. Sasami had the same problem that I wasn’t really sure what to write, though at least with Kureha, I came up with photo ideas without much thought.

  17. Kureha says:

    mmm underaged girls in bikinis 🙂

  18. Wolfheinrich says:

    I really thought about this figure when I first saw it on website some months ago, but with things the way they are, I really hadn’t been paying much attention if at all to the pvc scene. While admittedly Kureha is quite the vanilla blend bishoujo, but Tony Taka blend vanilla is hard to resist! Absolutely love the the water splashing effect, good job!

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! I’m still looking forward to Xecty, and I wouldn’t mind it if they made a Blanc Neige figure in this series (though I guess she comes from a different game). Actually, now that I think about it, I remember MF did make a swimsuit Blanc Neige figure and it looked pretty decent; maybe I ought to look around and see if I still want it.

  19. Sora says:

    Nice shot 🙂 !!! This figure Kureha can cast off i mean strip off ^^! ???

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