Kyou Fujibayashi is one of the best-known alpha females of anime: she is confident, athletic, violent, and also domestically talented. She is similar in many ways to Tamaki Kousaka but for some reason, she doesn’t get nearly the same level of merchandising love. And what love she receives doesn’t feature anything close to the variety that Tamaki gets. Tamaki’s figures depict her in her underpants, swimwear, as a samurai in her underpants, blue jeans, and a maid uniform, among other costumes. Kyou, in contrast, generally gets stuck in a gym suit. Not that I have a problem with that, since I have this thing for girls in tight athletic wear. Similarly, I have this thing for figures of anime girls with vulnerable expressions. It really simplifies photographing them.
Kyou is one of the main characters of the well-known visual novel and anime Clannad. This figure is manufactured by Kotobukiya in 1/6 scale. She’s about 11.5 centimeters tall and 15 centimeters long, and since she is on her hands and knees, her shelf footprint is very compact. She comes with a couple of accessories: a soft white cushion and a plastic vaulting apparatus.
Kyou is a feisty girl but that is obviously not in evidence here. This figure is inspired by an illustration of Kyou as she appeared when she was locked in a gym storage shed with Clannad protagonist Tomoya Okazaki. In the scene, Kyou appears nervous but one gets the impression that she could kick Tomoya’s ass if she wanted to, and also that she’s not entirely unwilling to make the most of this unlooked-for opportunity. The figure looks nervous as well, and perhaps a bit more. Hobby Search’s item page describes her as “wearing defenseless gym uniform, staring right at you with teary eyes, this is sure to strike your heart.” What do you think of when you hear “defenseless?” Some people might think of a young girl finally opening her heart to romance. Some might think of a child on the verge of growing up. Some might think of France. Me, I think of chains and restraints and a good time – hence the photographic angle.
I really like the fearful expression on her face, with her wide-open eyes and flushed cheeks. Her eyes have a glossy finish to add that teary look. Yeah, I guess it looks like she could be deciding whether to open her heart to romance but me, I like to imagine her transfixed in terror. Or maybe anticipation.
I also really like her pose. It facilitates so many things and really emphasizes her vulnerable state.
And I like her outfit. You see this sort of gym uniform all the time in anime but I haven’t seen it on that many figures. I’ve only got two other figures that are wearing a gym suit, but I have a bunch of figures of girls wearing school uniforms or school swimsuits. I’d really like a figure of an anime girl in a track and field outfit or a gymnastics leotard or a racing swimsuit; we need more athletic girl figures.
Kyou’s sculpt looks great. She’s got a nice-looking backside and a cute expression, and there are also some nice details like the lace ribbon tying her hair and her visible bra strap. One knock are the very visible and not very attractive seams running up her thighs. Similarly, paintwork is pretty good. Her socks and her shorts are shaded quite nicely, and her skin tone is flesh-like and appealing rather than the pale and cadaverous complexion she sported in her promo photos.
The biggest problem with this figure isn’t technical, it’s that she’s not particularly exciting or memorable. She was released at the end of 2010 without much fanfare, and I haven’t seen much love for her these last couple of months. Kyou doesn’t have a lot of figures but as a lot of them put her in a gym outfit, this one isn’t anything that hasn’t been seen before.
However, I still like Kyou a lot. When I ordered this figure, I wasn’t thinking just of how she looked, I was also imagining the possibilities for taking her picture. Even though this figure isn’t visually distinctive, she does have a distinct personality and her pose and expression make photographing her a lot of fun. How much fun? I’ll let the pictures at the end answer that.
Here she is with Wave’s figure.