Back in the day, it was all too common for US anime and video game companies to westernize Japanese titles to make them more commercially viable. Mazinger Z became Tranzor Z, Space Battleship Yamato became Star Blazers, and a whole bunch of titles were rolled into Robotech. My personal favorite title change is Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, which translates to “The Eternity You Desire” but was localized as the much less poetic and much more hilarious “Rumbling Hearts.” The first time I saw the new title, I thought it referred to a wrestling anime. Thankfully, with anime becoming more acceptable, if not mainstream, title and content changes have become much less frequent. However, Del Rey Manga reminds us of history by bringing us Hosana Tanaka’s series Rappi Rangai as “Ninja Girls.” Seriously, that’s the best title they could think of? One of the “girls” isn’t even a girl so what the hell?
In Ninja Girls, we are first introduced to Kagari when she literally washes ashore at the feet of main protagonist Raizo. Being a considerate and well-meaning young man, Raizo takes her home and cares for her until she recovers consciousness, and of course she misunderstands his intentions and labels him a pervert. And of course it turns out that the destitute Raizo is actually the last living heir of the ancient and noble Katana family, which of course Kagari has pledged to serve. And of course Raizo’s harem quickly expands to three fawning kunoichi – and of course one of them is actually a transvestite dude. And of course they get into all sorts of wacky adventures while trying to restore Raizo’s heritage. It’s not as bad as it might sound but it’s in no way original, and it really could do without the trap.
Of the three ninja that comprise Raizo’s entourage, Kagari is the rambuctious, clumsy, physically powerful one. She powers up by being observed by Raizo while fighting, which I suppose is a somewhat unique plot device, though it’s not particularly interesting. She’s headstrong, willful, lacks common sense, but generally has good intentions. In other words, she’s Hakufu Sonsaku, and probably a hundred or more other characters like her.
Kagari is manufactured by Embrace-Japan, a company that I have never heard of. Their website indicates they have some sort of relationship with older companies Mile Stone and Cafe Reo, but I’m not sure what it is. She’s sculpted in 1/8 scale and is about 21 centimeters in height if you include her base and about 13 centimeters tall if you don’t. Speaking of her base, it appears to be some sort of waterspout or maybe a vortex of magical energy. Whatever it is, it’s necessary to display her, because her back is curved in such a way that she can’t stay upright on a flat surface. The base provides an indentation to keep her from falling over, but she doesn’t physically attach to it.
She’s wearing some very practical ninjawear, namely some tight booty shorts and a cleavage-baring bustier. Definitely the fashionable choice of the serious kunoichi. It’s sculpted well, and one of the nice touches is that the soles of her sandals have a thatched texture rather than just being completely flat.
A less nice touch is that her bustier appears to be glued together. The promo shots indicated that it could be removed, so this is an annoying discovery to make after buying the figure. Not being able to ogle her breastages doesn’t bother me a ton since I was going to let her keep her dignity but this is the first time I’ve ever seen an advertised castoff option require tearing apart the figure’s clothing, and hopefully it’s not something that I ever see again.
The paintwork is serviceable; I suppose I’d compare it to a lower-quality Orchid Seed figure, maybe. It does the job, and Embrace Japan has thankfully not gone for an overly glossy effect. Instead, most of her paint has a matte appearance, which doesn’t stand out that much but also doesn’t look bad.
Close up, Kagari is pretty rough, with a lot of scratches and scuffs, though admittedly some of that may have caused by her repeatedly toppling from her base. Those imperfections aren’t really noticeable during normal viewing, but neither are there many aspects of her that are going to get anyone excited.
One thing that I would have liked Embrace-Japan to have done differently would have been to make her eyes looking towards her right, as in the source illustration. As it is, she’s looking at her thigh rather than back at the viewer, which limits the figure’s impact. Admittedly, she’s got sexy thighs and I often look at them, too.
Overall, this is an alright figure, one that might appeal to fans of sexy ninja girls with a contemporary fashion sense. My fondness for this figure is more because I like Kagari’s character design rather than because of the figure’s quality; as far as it goes, it’s harder to justify shelling out full dollar for it since it’s not particularly notable for anything. Though then again, it’s already been in the bargain bin at Hobby Search and sold out with a few days, so I suppose I’m not the only person who likes a girl in tight shorts.
Here’s another thing I wish the industry had gotten past: not content with just changing the title, Del Rey decided that her shorts bared too much flesh so they covered up her buttocks. Lame. At least it doesn’t appear that they’ve censored the interior art.
Kind of bullshit that her top is glued together despite the advertisement of bewbage.
Okay, seriously, I’ve seen quite a few figures in this sort of “rolled-back, legs in the air” pose and it really bugs me. It really limits the display options, since there’s really only one or two good positions, and the features are all scrunched together and…ack. It looks pretty good and detailed and pretty dynamic, but it’s such a limiting posture. I mean, I guess you could say the same thing of even girls who are standing up–it’s obvious that all three of my Ame-Comi girls have to be facing straight forward (except Wonder Woman), but you can do it right (like the Bishoujo Marvel girls) or REALLY right (Velvet from Odin Sphere).
FYI, I posted my thoughts on the Bishoujo girls (finally) on my blog, if you care. When I get back from Hawaii (vacation!) I’m going to do a review of my newest girl–PANIC! Tamaki Kousaka, who I absolutely love.
Yeah, this isn’t one of those figures that looks good from all angles. It does have the benefit of looking distinctive, and if that’s not enough, I guess it also has the benefit of putting her ass right out front for admiration. But yeah, personally, I like figures that are standing upright the best; it’s easiest to display and it’s easiest to see the full character design, and the design is usually the main reason I buy a figure.
Definitely a weird pose if you ask me – what is she doing anyway? lol
Interesting figure, but probably one that I would’ve never have paid any attention to if it weren’t for your review. ^_^’
She’s selling manga books! And probably not doing a great job of it since I’d never heard of the manga till I heard of this figure. It originally caught my eye because the character designs seemed very similar to those in an old PS2 game called Crimson Tears; Kagari looks a lot like a character named Asuka in that game.
It’s a shame the base isn’t a little less conspicuous, because it steals the focus away from the figure. I also imagine taking photos of this figure was pretty challenging because of the angle of her eyes. Inexplicable deviations from the original art — this is Meiling all over again.
On an up note, that’s some grade-A side-boob right there. I definitely would’ve liked to see the breastages. CURSE YOU GLUE.
Yeah, the base looks kinda weird, I’m still wondering what it’s supposed to be. It’s kinda flashy for a girl who’s pretty much just chilling out and kicking back. And yeah, the photos were more difficult to take than I expected because the lighting was tricky; her weird body position made it hard to light up her face. Her legs would just get in the way and cast bigass shadows. I had kinda hoped to do a bit more with these photos but my original idea didn’t work out so this was strictly a plan B photoshoot, and I didn’t think the figure was good enough to merit more effort, anyway. I was sorta like, just get this one done and move on to the next one.
*lol* they dared to name Mazinger Z into Tranzor Z
Rappi Rangai sounds interesting, I will take a look into it..
Its not that I want to get this figure for myself, but I can understand why someone would have bought her.;)
She has a very nice face with a good looking haircut on her head.
The pose looks nice and I think she has a cool looking outfit,
I really like.the short thing (I don’t know the name of it) with the sleeves.
judging from your pictures the quality appears fairly good
It seems that she is a figure where the angle is important when displaying her.
well in my opinion your pictures of her turned out great, kagari-03.jpg and kagari-14.jpg
I like good looking figures that aren’t very popular 😉
thx for sharing
They did! Though I didn’t even know that Tranzor Z wasn’t its actual name till about two decades after I watched it. It’s funny how I can’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday but I can still remember the Tranzor Z theme song, almost 25 years after the last time I heard it. How the heck can I remember something like that after a quarter of a century?
Rappi Rangai is an okay manga … I’m not sure if I’d call it good, it has a few funny parts but it’s not all that original and it doesn’t actually have a lot of fanservice. On the other hand, I did enjoy the first two volumes so that says something about it.
I like her outfit a lot as well. I wonder what those sleeves things are called? You see them from time to time on anime and video game characters. Quistis Trepe wore something like that in Final Fantasy VIII and her costume is one of the reasons she’s my favorite Final Fantasy character.
The figure actually looks better than the manga artwork… The manga is pretty ugly but I’m sure I’ve seen the drawing style somewhere before.
Still, The name change isn’t *that* bad. Try Asu no Yoichi which was changed to samurai Harem!
The manga’s art is okay, I guess … it didn’t make a big impression on me. I thought that Kagari resembled one of the main characters of Crimson Tears but after reading the manga, there’s not as much of a similarity as I thought. For one Kagari is always smiling or crying and I don’t remember Amber/Asuka doing anything like that in the couple of hours I played Crimson Tears.
Yeah, that’s a pretty bad name change. Still, it doesn’t rationalize changing the name of the manga; just because some other title sucks doesn’t mean “Ninja Girls” doesn’t suck any less.
True, when it sucks it sucks but at least there’s at least a tiny bit of logic behind the renaming. 2 out of the 3 characters are actually Kunoichis afterall. But in Asu no Yoichi, there isn’t even a harem. and he’s not a samurai! The main guy is just really old fashioned!!
If the title change still has some bearing on the actual manga, then it’s a little less painful, I feel. Of course, some are actual improvements, tho that’s usually when the original title made little sense. Erementar Gerad, I’m looking at you!!!
I kind of wish there were more figures that weren’t standing straight up and in a large variety of poses. Lately, I’ve been wanting more figures that are sitting. Anyway, the ass in the air pose suits me fine. There aren’t too many that I have like that, two I think, one of which is my favorite Christmas decoration.
Is one of those Beagle’s Chris figure? I seem to remember seeing that figure and I’m pretty sure I saw it on your site.
I definitely do like how her ass is highlighted here. Come to think of it, the last couple of figures that I’ve gotten all have the backsides prominently displayed. I’m gonna have to showcase them properly whenever I get around to taking their photos.
Wow, I haven’t posted on here in ages…….
Anyways, I feel as if I haven’t gotten a new figure in awhile (probably because I haven’t). Holiday shopping and unexpected car repairs really take a toll on your figure budget : (
OMG it’s you. Yeah, unplanned expenses suck >.< I wound up having to pay a few hundred bucks for some new tires and brake pads the other month, and I'm really glad I did because my car was sliding all over the place and I would have crashed it in the last few weeks if I hadn't gotten those things replaced. That cost wasn't too bad but I'm going to need to get a new timing built soon, probably in the next six months, and I'm sure that's not going to be cheap. I also had to buy some new eyeglasses recently because my vision plan expires at the end of the year and I'm not renewing it. Man I'm glad I had that plan though; it knocked the cost of my new glasses from like $680 to $230 and I got my eye exam done for free.
I was looking at another review of yours and I saw this one and just wanted to see what others thought, I have her already.
I like her, I read the series and liked the figure so I got it. Kind of want a figure of the girl with the gun though instead..
As for your “glue” I noticed that too, but I’m not one to be stopped (I have Bastard! Kai Harn figure… so yeah) and I kind of went with opening it, there seems to be something but it comes apart easy then it’s a simple push them together to hold, it’s like 3 holes and the 3 opposites to go in.. drawing a blank on it, but it doesn’t work very well in staying, but the material holds it shape to the point where they don’t actually do much, so you can cast her off
Yeah, the girl with the gun is pretty cool. Man, I don’t even remember her name now, though …. where are my books … Kisarabi, that’s it.
Ah, thanks for the heads-up about her top. I didn’t want to damage the figure so I didn’t try very hard at ripping off her top but it’s good to know that you can do it without doing irreversible damage. It’s funny how they glued her top on despite advertising her shirt as removable … and then they went and screwed up their next figure in the same way! At least they offered replacements for that one. I kinda wish I’d ordered that figure so I could have two copies of it.
Yeah, I like her, it’s the old girl with gun angle, and the outfit… Do I need to continue?
Wow, didn’t even know about that, that is a pretty big mess up I got to say. All copies..
Well mine seemed to have something but the hell do I know about anything they told me it was cast off so I was like “I’m finding out” and yeah, the only problem is the grooves for the corset are now pointless, and it was a little bit harder for me to set her, maybe I’m just retarded I don’t know, I leave her with it on though. Glad they didn’t fuck up, and that they can make a face that doesn’t look like all the others. I don’t know maybe it’s just they few I saw, but all the ones I’ve seen by them the faces seemed the same, that one with the mistake is the first I’ve seen that is different.
Yeah, I think I’m going to let her keep her shirt … she doesn’t ever go around topless in the manga from what I remember so I don’t letting her stay clothed. And if I ever decide I want to sell the figure, I guess it’ll be easier to do it if she’s intact.
That’s gotta be an expensive thing to do for a figure company that seems to be relatively new. I’m guessing it doesn’t cost much to manufacture a figure, but having to make new ones, box them up, and send them out seems like a huge expense to fix a problem caused by some overzealous glue application.