Here is a riddle: gather together a major figure manufacturer, a world-famous anime artist, and a graphics studio whose portfolio includes contributions to Metal Gear Solid 4, Tales of Vesperia, and Valkyria Chronicles, and what do you get? The answer is absolutely nothing other than a pair of boobie mousepads and a figure. Enka Oudou Dai Shogun was touted as a multimedia event, but I haven’t seen any of its media apart from a couple of illustrations in Shunya Yamashita’s One Voice artbook. It looks like nothing more will come of it and presumably it will thus be consigned to the dustbin of memory, just like Shuraki. Anyone remember Shuraki? There were some good figures from that series. Fortunately, Kiriko is a fine figure as well.
Kiriko came out early last year and I waffled for a long time before deciding against purchasing her. I had two problems with her design: I didn’t like how her bodysuit was a muted lavender color rather than the deep violet shown in the source illustration, and I didn’t like her backside, which looked very flat. So I passed on her and didn’t think much about it for a while, until I read VF’s review. I reconsidered my reservations and then reversed myself, resolving that I’d pick her up if I could find her and funds permitted. When Christmas rolled around last month, a friend of mine and his wife asked if I’d be interested in exchanging gifts. I like getting gifts so I agreed and after some brief discussion, we decided to give each other matching Amazon gift cards. If it’s the thought that counts, then our gifts were absolutely worthless because we put no thought into them at all. At any rate, I now had a mandate to buy something from Amazon and finding a merchant with Kiriko in stock, I put in an order for her. As it turned out, I paid cash anyway because I forgot to activate my gift card. Whoops.
Kiriko Hattori is manufactured by Yamato and is sculpted by Yoshizawa Mitsumasa of REFLECT. They’ve collaborated often and Kiriko shows many of REFLECT’s hallmarks. One unique thing about Kiriko is her size: she’s sculpted in 1/5 scale, a scale that’s not often used for anime figures, and stands an impressive 32.5 centimeters tall. She comes with a mirrored base, a sword, and a little hairpin which slides into a notch in her hair ribbon.
The source illustration was done by Shunya Yamashita and a couple of disparities are quickly noticeable. For one, her suit is a darker color. Her body also seems to be more compact; she still has long legs but her torso is shorter and her curves are more pronounced. In particular, her ass has a much more rounded and full shape compared to the figure. REFLECT’s Kiriko takes its basic design from Yamashita’s artwork but the final sculpt is very much a product of the sculptor.
As such, elements of REFLECT’s inimitable style are very visible. Here, Kiriko is a very tall girl, her statuesque presence accentuated by her elongated torso, high-heeled sandals, and thigh-high leg armor. Her hip bones are prominent, calling attention to her slender waist. Like many of REFLECT’s figures, Kiriko is much more of a woman than a typical big-headed moe anime girl.
And another element that is conspicuous is the sculpt of her backside. I’ve criticized some of REFLECT’s other figures because of their flattened buttocks, and from some angles, Kiriko suffers from that problem. And yet, now that I have her and can see her in person, it doesn’t actually look that bad. In fact, it looks pretty good. Stylistically, it’s similar to his recent Asuka figure in that it looks very sexy from many other angles. So, my initial impressions were wrong; she does have a great ass, even though I wouldn’t have minded if it were slightly more robust.
I’ve also changed my mind on how I feel about her suit. I wanted a darker suit and part of my hesitation regarding this figure was my hope that Yamato would release a re-colored version of Kiriko. However, I like the lighter lavender color now; it contrasts effectively with her black armor and subtly complements her pale skin.
Speaking of her bodysuit, it looks fantastic. It tightly hugs her body, displaying her toned physique. Strategically-placed wrinkles give it a realistic appearance and the long seams running down her sides emphasize the lean lines of her body. Two details that I particularly like are at the top and bottom of her suit: I love her high collar, which gives her a magisterial sense of authority, and her suit’s feet, which end in two-toed socks that give her a distinctly Japanese flair, despite her obvious Caucasian appearance.
Her armor also looks very good, with raised patterns meant to mimic embossing. It’s held to her body via red straps and the paint on those straps ia bit less convincing than I would prefer. Similarly, it would have been nice if her armor had more of a textured appearance; as it is, it has a flat, plastic-like look. Then again, Kiriko appears to be a modern-day ninja and contemporary armor tends to be made of plastics, so this might not be entirely unrealistic. Another note is that the little red ribbon tying her breastplate together looks rather flat, as if it had been stamped on her sternum; a little more depth would give it a more authentic look.
Her sword appears to be of Japanese origin, though it doesn’t seem to have the curvature associated with a typical – or stereotypical – katana. It does have a couple of cute little red balls dangling from a red cord. It gives her a playful edge that goes well with her expression.
Speaking of her face, Kiriko is beautiful, with her mysterious smile and her sideways gaze. Her expression seems to change depending on which angle you view her from; I think I like her frontal view best, where she seems to be staring off into the distance.
Kiriko also has very pretty hair. No helmet hair here; the tresses of her bangs are sculpted, and the rest of her hair is pulled back into a ponytail. The hair that frames her face playfully curves upwards, giving just a bit of a girlish touch to her overall look.
Quickly looking at my collection, I notice that almost all of the figures I have with ponytails are fighter girls. Mai Shiranui, Meiya Mitsurugi, Saber Lily, Yoko Ritona, Kaguya Nanbu, Rachel from Ninja Gaiden … almost all of them are warriors and most of them are carrying weapons. A curious trend, that.
I really like her overall sculpt. Her pose isn’t particularly complex or animated but it shows off her body to its best advantage and, combined with her height, gives her a very commanding shelf presence. Her long body and lengthy legs are both very sexy and her breasts are just the right size – not too big and not too small.
In this hobby, if you hesitate, you often miss out, but sometimes good things come to those who wait. Now that I have Kiriko, I see that I had no reason to wait; she is a fantastic figure, one that I love. If I had gotten her last year, she would’ve been in the top three of my five favorite figures list. I might have even selected her number one; I’d have to give it some thought but she definitely could have been there. Certainly I don’t have much that is negative to say about her; she’s a rare figure that looks even better in person than she does in photographs and after a long period of unnecessary deliberation, I am very glad to have her in my collection.
More concept art of Kiriko. I really like this costume of hers in the middle; it’d be really nice if Yamato made a figure out of it but I’m guessing that ain’t gonna happen. Excuse the bad scanning too, I am much more comfortable using a camera than a scanner.