Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

And back to fighting girl figures. A number of great fighting girl figures have been released this year, which is enormously gratifying. Quite a few of them aren’t wearing pants or skirts, which is also very pleasing. One such figure is presented here, and while Matabei took a bit of additional hassle to acquire, it’s easy to see why she was worth the effort.

Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

Matabei is a character from the merchandising machine Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls. Characters from this property have appeared in books, pillowcases, trading cards, t-shirts, and of course, an anime that aired last year. It’s telling that despite the promising premise – cute fighter girls in revealing outfits battling each other – I could only make it through two full episodes before dropping the show. As I recall, Matabei was something of a bodyguard to Yukimura Sanada and is also rather clumsy and clueless. She was one of the few characters that I really liked.

Gotou Matabei's face

Matabei comes courtesy of Alter and, like several of their Samurai Girls figures, was a mail order exclusive. She’s sculpted in 1/8 scale and stands about 22 centimeters tall to the top of her hair, and a bit under 29 centimeters tall including her spear. Like her peers she comes with an uninspired plastic white base decorated with the franchise logo and a flower and petal motif.

Matabei's stomach

The design of the Samurai Girls characters comprises a mashup of historical and contemporary fashion. As such, Matabei’s outfit marries a stylized school uniform top with a traditional bottom. This is no ordinary traditional bottom, however, it’s a fundoshi, which really flatters her. In my view, anyway. The fundoshi is an asscheek-baring loincloth worn mainly by men, but it has seen an upsurge in popularity among anime figures as of late – female anime figures, thankfully. Matabei, Junko Hattori, and Alter’s recently-released Houmei all rock the fundoshi, and all of them look absolutely fantastic while doing so.

More of Matabei's face

Her seifuku top looks great, too. It’s cropped short, a bit reminiscent of Kanu Unchou, and tied in front, giving her outfit a modern flair. The rest of her outfit is … well, her footwear, tabi-styled shoes encircled by rope. A modest girl Matabei is not.


Matabei comes with a spear, which separates into three parts to facilitate getting it in her hand and attaching its red ribbon. It is lovingly detailed and looks quite realistic, with the metallic parts receiving a particularly attractive finish. The ribbon’s dramatic shading and sense of movement lend an element of dynamism to a figure featuring an otherwise unremarkable pose.

Matabei's glorious, glorious backside

Or rather, Matabei’s pose would be unremarkable if it were not for that ass, which is in full view and looks great. Her look brings to mind Metatron, another one of Alter’s callipygian figures. Matabei’s wide stance and defiant look come together to give her a strong sense of presence and gravity which seems totally incongruent with the anime’s campy, slapstick tone. Would that the anime had put away the cheap jokes and stale, generic characterization in favor of something closer to what Alter’s Matabei conveys.

Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

Going back to Matabei’s ribbon, it slots into her left hand, and Alter provides a little support strut to keep it balanced. I didn’t bother using it in these pictures and I’m probably going to toss it back in the box, since it’s just another thing I know I’m going to lose otherwise.

Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

And I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose this little guy. I’m not sure who he is, but I’m sure he shows up in the anime at some point. Back in the box he goes, too.

Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

Matabei has a relatively muted, pastel color scheme, which seems to suit her well as a supporting character. She also appears to have a fuller body build than the other characters, although I can’t help but think that her legs seem a bit stumpy, particularly around her knees. It seems like her lower legs ought to be a little bit longer.

Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

Her face is stern and pensive, a look that suggests anxiety or disquiet. Or perhaps it radiates competence, as if her gaze is warning a potential foe that she can kick their ass despite not wearing pants. That’s the best type of fighter girl, by the way, the type that is so skilled that they don’t need to wear clothes. Alter’s other Samurai Girls figures also have appealing expressions; Jubei offers a confident, enigmatic smile, Senhime looks like an elegant, high-class serial killer, and Yukimura – the first version – looks like a demon conjured from some alternate plane of existence. Then you watch the anime and you find out that Matabei is the slow, dimwitted one and Jubei is the innocent, clumsy one and Senhime is the bitchy tsundere one and Yukimura is the snotty loli one. Very disappointing.

Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

I’ve purged most of the anime from my memory and I’m going to substitute my own characterization in lieu of reality. In light of that, I’m going to say that Matabei is a fine figure, one that I’m very glad to own. She looks great, her outfit looks great, her polearm looks great, and her ass looks great. What more can you really ask for? Well, longer legs, maybe, and a better source, but I can overlook that. She was definitely worth the added expense of going through a proxy service and hopefully, we’ll see even more fighting girl figures clad in sexy, sexy fundoshi.

Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
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45 Responses to Gotou Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

  1. Asa says:

    She is quite a lovely figure, as many Alter ones are. I’m rather indifferent about such scantily clad girls, in most cases. When my mother visits and surveys my figure cases, she’s critical of any remotely risque ones. Not that I have any that are particularly ecchi or anything, but she still eyes them quite sceptically. BRS and Kannagi girls come to mind, but she likes most of them.

    I’m not sure what she’ll say when she sees CM’s Horo I’ve ordered, and I’m quite tempted to get the new recoloured Ziska…

    Rather nice photos again, I rather like how you kept it warm like candle/lantern light, with the suitable backdrop, though you should probably try to make some miniature tatami mats not just use what looks like a scrap of carpet (or perhaps actually a rubber mat?) ^^; If you do modelling type stuff, surely it wouldn’t be hard to make a frame for them. 😀

    • Tier says:

      You should buy more and have her get acclimated to them. Acclimation is the name of the game in anime. I mean, this is the entertainment medium where incest is fashionable. And lolis with cameltoe. What in the world is up with that basketball show that’s airing this summer? I felt embarrassed looking at its promo pics and I’m the guy with a tentacle stand.

      I actually really like how the floor texture turned out. It’s some sort of cabinet lining material that I got for cheap at a hardware store. I wanted something that would show off some shadows to get some contrast with the light-colored floor and the darker parts of the wall.

  2. zzzzzy says:

    Great review as always!! And it seems I’m the first to somment this time =D. The little monkey always makes me curious as I dont remember it ever being in the Anime =O…
    The photos are again amazing, my favourite would probably be 10, and 12 would be a great wallpaper!

    • Tier says:

      Somebody else also told me he didn’t remember any monkey in the anime … so who’s it supposed to be? Hmm, well, Samurai Girls brings back some of the Sengoku-era historical personalities, so maybe it’s the Taiko.

      I made picture 12 in wallpaper size, though my site stats tell me that not many people run 16:10 resolutions. I have a 1920×1200 monitor so this is the size I like to use, but it seems a lot of people have high-def 1920×1080 displays. Maybe I should make more versions in different aspect ratios.

      • zzzzzy says:

        Yes! More wallpapers please! they look amazing! my screen res is 1366×768, I guess its a 16×9? I dunno..
        There weren’t that many wallpapers on Rin though =(

        • Tier says:

          I’ll go back and pick out some shots I like. I need to remember to take more shots in landscape orientation, I typically shoot in portrait mode, which isn’t too useful for making wallpapers.

          • zzzzzy says:

            I think the ones you have makes excellent wallpapers. Like the Junko pictures, which would make awsome wallpapers if there would be any of those in a wide shot angle (or whatever it’s called xD)

      • Shadowblade says:

        That person is right i watched the anime to the end and the special there was no monkey in it whatsoever. One thing about this model i don’t like is the face, in the anime she was portrayed with a much older face, this one kind of looks a little kiddie

        • zzzzzy says:

          I agree, but although the face wasn’t that true to the original anime, I still like it somehow… She looks so ..fierce!!
          There were some who didn’t like the legs, but I think they look good! I think some figures has too little meat on the legs rather than much.
          Well.. I don’t think this is too much.. but it is the the right ammount for this particular figure and the other in Alters Hyakka Ryouran figure line. =)
          Good proportions in other word.
          Although I think my Max Factory Hatsune Miku looks great, I think she looks too skinny. =O

          I think larger scale figures usually have more believable proportions. For example: my 1/7 scale Orchid Seed Lineage Elf looks like a 1/8 !?
          I’m probably going to sell it..

  3. GREW says:

    Did ya missed me? xD

    As always great picture you take there.

    I would like to own her too. So far I own 3 of Samurai Girls too. But after see her at a non-exkclusiv European shop and not cheap at all or even at normal price I have to pass. But it was kinda a mistake to pass this one. She looks really awesome.
    BTW: I don’t like the Samurai Girls figures from other then ALTER. Those from Alter show kinda “power” in their pose, not only ero.

    About the monkey thing – it never seen in the Anime.

    • Tier says:

      I did! Yeah, I like Alter’s Samurai Girl figures best as well. I would really love to see someone make a fighting girl anime that combined some fanservice with a serious plot. It doesn’t need to be a great plot or anything, just something that’s not gonna make me roll my eyes all the time. I had really hoped Samurai Girls was going to be like that, based on the figures that I had seen and bought before the show aired, but man, what a disappointment.

      That confirms that nobody knows what this monkey is supposed to be … gee, I guess I won’t feel bad if I do lose it, then.

      • GREW says:

        Same here. I hoped for a action based Anime with lot of fights.

        But the outcome is pretty… normal and kinda boring. Sad when you know that the cast could do more beside what we saw.

        Maybe monkey appears in the Novels?

        • Tier says:

          I’m still looking around for a good action anime to watch. It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve seen one that I really liked. It’s not like I’m hard to please – I really liked Seikon no Qwaser – but it’d be really nice if anime writers stepped away from the usual tropes and cliches. Maybe I’m just getting too old for this stuff.

  4. Cantan says:

    Pretty incredible figure – do love the detail and her weapon is pretty well made and constructed too – something that Alter seems to be very good at, whilst many other manufacturers are not – GSC and Hattori Junko’s weapons being obvious examples – still a bit sore about the bent katana handle!

    Quick question though:
    There is a clear plastic support in her box – any idea what this is for?

    When I ordered Gotou back in January I ordered this:

    Obviously well illustrated… but this series just seems to revolve solely around topless (and often bottomless women – it’s almost a surprise that she doesn’t have a castoff option…
    there is no sign of any stupid monkey in the book though!

    Incidentally, any idea what has happened to Hobby Search’s Bargain Bin? Trying to keep my eye out for one of my wished for items hitting that in the near future, but it seems to have been removed… did google it too and it was empty.

    • Tier says:

      That was something I appreciated as well. I’ve busted Orchid Seed’s Lineage elf figure, and I know I wasn’t the only one because when they reissued her, they included a new weapon that was more sturdy.

      The plastic thing is a support strut to hold up her ribbon. I guess maybe they were worried the ribbon might snap off somewhere after some period of time. I put it back in the box; I’ll go ahead and take my chances.

      That’s a great looking artbook, and yeah, that’s pretty much what the show was about, from the two episodes I watched. That and really generic tropes. Alter seems to refrain from castoff mechanisms – I can’t think of more than a few of their figures that offered that – but I’m sure Alphamax or one of those other manufacturers doing Samurai Girls figures will fill in for them.

      Again nobody knows who this monkey is! What a mystery. Now I don’t feel badly about not knowing who this dude is supposed to be.

      Yeah, I thought that was really bizarre that they took it off their site. It’s been taken off their Japanese site as well, I’m not sure what’s up with that … scaling back operations maybe? I dunno.

  5. Jonnay says:

    Great shots as always 😀

    A pity the tanto in her hair can’t be drawn out :/

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! Yeah, that would be a cool feature. I’m kinda glad she doesn’t have a lot of stuff to fiddle with, though; I’m actually kinda not looking forward to photographing the figure I plan to shoot, just because she has a castoff option and I don’t really like fussing with that stuff anymore.

  6. Luth says:

    I thought that Gotou having a much plainer design would result in a so-so figure from Alter. Boy, was I wrong. Although not enough to get me to pay so much for her, I can appreciate how good looking she is. The awesome long hair, the fundoshi, banner, spear, etc, etc are done beautifully. Somehow, several of the Alter Samurai Girls seem to have weird legs. Hanzo’s are stumpy too, Jubei’s are weirdly long in places but the costume hides most of that, I’m not too sure about Diaper Girl. Senhime’s seems to be the only one I own that has normal legs.

    Lol, I might be mixing this up with another anime but I thought the monkey was in some hot springs episode and ended up stealing several of the girls’ clothes?

    Love the lighting, very dramatic and reminds me of an old samurai movie. In some of the pictures, she looks worried, like in 12 and 15, and in others she looks determined.

    • Tier says:

      I’ve got Jubei up on a high shelf and looking at her up there, her legs definitely look really long. Kinda strange. I’m not gonna complain too much though, because I still love the character designs. Wish the anime were better.

      I’m making use of that new lighting contraption that I mentioned, and man it is awesome. It was a bit spendy but it was definitely worth it. It’s very odd how almost nobody sells a 1/4″ male to 1/4″ male threaded adapter, though.

  7. BioToxic says:

    Matabei in figure form is much more appealing than her anime counterpart. The anime just painted her as drab and uninteresting, more like a side-kick to that annoying forehead. Here she has a lot more personality and presence. The detail on the spear head looks wicked. No idea who the monkey is though. The only negative is her legs are quite stout looking which looks odd given she’s supposed to be a very tall character. The plus side is her rear sticks out more immediately drawing your attention, *what’s up with those legs, oh look at that ass*.

    Samurai Girls anime was really quite poor looking back on it now; wasted potential. The characters were rather weak and the whole plot was just jumbled non-sense. Plus I find the VA for Muneakira really grating. Even the fan-service was lackluster. Still, it was worth watching once since it did introduce me to many of the characters. Without it I’d probably still be an onlooker and know nothing about the awesome Kanetsugu.

    • Tier says:

      I remember when I started watching the show, I saw the bomber-slicing sequence and I was like, “Okay, this is kinda weird, but I’ll roll with it.” Then the forehead showed up and I was like, “Oh hell no, this is gonna be one of those shows.”

      Yeah, the short length of her legs seems at odds with her anime appearance. She has a statuesque body build, but she looks just average height here.

      I thought the same thing about Muneakira and I wasn’t sure why. Then it was pointed out to me that he has the same voice actor as Makoto in School Days! It’s no wonder I disliked him right from the start.

  8. Chag says:

    I’ve always found the “loincloth” as a bizarre choice of clothing for women. I confess that I never really found it attractive due to the overwhelmingly masculine association in my mind. But after continued exposure to the much more shocking fetishes out there (of which you are partially responsible =P), my inhibitions against the loincloth now seem trivial. Symbolic association is a habit of the mind, but it doesn’t take genius to appreciate Matabei’s fine ass. I also really like the sturdy look of her legs. There is something attractive and refreshing in their toned thickness — I don’t think I’ve seen any other figure that carries the same feel.

    • Tier says:

      I need to put more all-the-way-through pictures on this site. Actually, hmm … I think I might know how to do it. I also need more maggot-birthing pictures. I’m less sure how to incorporate more of that here without it being too jarring.

      Matabei’s ass is fine indeed. Alter gets a lot of well-deserved accolades, but I don’t think they get enough props for how nicely their sculptors form the backsides of their figures. Metatron, test suit Alter, and Matabei are fantastic demonstrations of the love they have for that particular part of the body.

  9. I’m the opposite of you in that I absolutely despise the character designs from this series. I’m just not digging the traditional/contemporary mash-ups. The girls look just fine with little to no clothes on, but all look like fashion disasters when fully dressed.

    Despite that, I still SORTA like Jubei…but that’s because she mainly reminds me of a younger and peculiarly dressed version of Jingai Makyou’s Ignis.

    I will say this is a fine looking figure. As expected of Alter! But you’re right in that something seems off with her legs. It’s nice that her legs seem to have some serious meat on them but it’s a shame they look so short.

    • Tier says:

      This stumpiness is an odd problem; the next figure I’m planning on reviewing also suffers from this problem. It’s like the stretched neck problem that afflicted some of the figures I got last year; these things seem to happen in bunches for some reason.

  10. Tian says:


    Looks like a pretty nice figure overall, but I don’t like the color scheme, and her underwear is ridiculous. Doesn’t look like Alter did anything to capture Hyakka Ryouran’s unique visual style, but I’m not sure what they could have done in that respect.

    Anyway, as usual, great reviews and photos (especially love #11), and I’m happy to see that set make a return!

    • Tier says:

      Ridiculously awesome! Matabei knows how to dress for success. Yeah, they didn’t do much with the anime’s styling; I was actually gonna try to make a backdrop in that vein, with ink splotches and heavy black outlining and stuff. Then I realized I have no clue how to go about doing that, and I wouldn’t be able to re-use that backdrop for anything but HRSG figures, so I went with a different idea.

      • Tian says:

        I think the fundoshi would fit better with a sleeveless top. Am I off-base here? I also think she should get a little side-boob involved, or at the very least some underboob.

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, I agree with that, or maybe a tighter long-sleeved top, like a tied-off Underarmour shirt or something, something that’ll ride up a bit to get that underboob effect. I wouldn’t mind if she lost the front flap on her loincloth, too, I’m not as big a fan of the flap as much as the back.

  11. Fabienne says:

    Oh it looks like this figure turned out very nice, I would have bought her at a standard run price, but the exclusive run was a big turn-off for me. I was quite pissed as I heard the news that she will be an exclusive figure and so I passed after I gave it some thought.

    The face of Gotou also looks very pretty, Im not a fan of, stern face expressions in general but in her case I really like it.
    Her outfit looks really great and together with her proud pose the figure creates an exciting atmosphere. I like her slightly stumpy legs for some reason maybe they give the figure a more realistic appearance in terms of proportions or I just prefer girls with shorter legs haha.

    the dojo setup looks very close to the scene from the anime as far as can I remember ^^
    My fav pics are gotou-matabei-10, gotou-matabei-02 and gotou-matabei-10 good job again.

    btw I hope you will unpack your Soniko figures soon, at least the bondage version :p

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, the exclusive release was sort of annoying. Matabei has my favorite outfit of the Hyakka Ryouran characters so I was going to get her regardless, but it’s curious how some of Alter’s figures are exclusives and some are not. Though admittedly, it’s also kinda worked out for me; I would’ve gotten Yukimura if she were a standard release, but given how much I dislike her in the anime, I’m glad I didn’t. Hmm, I said I was going to pretend the anime doesn’t exist but there I go breaking that already.

      Sonico might be coming out of the box! Really soon, actually.

  12. VictorPar says:

    Dude, where did you get that Japanese-style door frame in the background? was it photoshop or real stuff? it makes a great stage setting really.

    • Tier says:

      It’s real stuff, I made it out of some wooden sticks and printer paper. I generally don’t do a lot of Photochoppery; not saying that I’ll never do it, but none of my pictures to date are copy-pasted onto backgrounds.

  13. Steve Chen says:

    After nearly a year at finding one, I scored old “mojii……….mojii”(That’s an internal joke in the omakes. Anyway, the monkey is called Sasuke, Yukimura’s pet (who never shows up in the anime), come to think of it, a lot of the characters never show up in the anime. A question was raised on a seemingly useless transparent stand…….it’s supposedly for use on that torn up pennant/ribbon/flag thingie on her spear.

    And Tier, right on the money on everything you say about her. Your backdrops as usual are most excellent!

    Now, on the Alter Senhime and Hanzo…if I ever find one lol!

    • Tier says:

      Hoorays! This is a great figure indeed. I’ve actually been thinking really hard about giving this show another chance; I’m not watching anything from this season, Samurai Girls is pretty short, and if I can handle Guilty Crown, I ought to be able to handle Samurai Girls.

      Hope you find those two; I don’t think I’ve seen Hanzou for sale in a really long time. Actually, I haven’t seen Hanzou in a really long time, period; it’s as if nobody wants to take her picture or something.

      • Steve Chen says:

        I managed to get a pic on what/where to use the monkey for. He’s supposed to latch on to Yukimura’s fan/weapon………..though I’m kind of afraid to damage the tail and fan part…………uggh!

        • Tier says:

          Ahh, interesting. And odd that they’d include the little dude with Matabei rather than Yukimura.

          I wonder when they’ll show off D’artagnan; it’s kind of odd nobody’s made a figure of her, kinda like everyone’s waiting for Alter to take the lead or something. I wonder if Alter has some kind of contract saying that they get first crack at the characters.

          • Steve Chen says:

            I read in a site / link somewhere that Gisen Yagyu will get the statue treatment first. D’Artagnan would also be a nice treat or the Japanese gunner (whose name escapes me at this time).

            Hopefully not another frickin’ exclusive though……..(makes me wonder with Alter or HobbyJapan, what the heck is it with this exclusives anyway?! The Samurai Girls always sell out) lol!

    • Tier says:

      She’s looking pretty good. Really good, even. I’m looking forward to getting her. I wonder if Alter will do a figure of Master Samurai Yagyu Jubei?

      I watched through a few episodes of Samurai Girls today and I actually enjoyed it. Though it’s a pretty dumb show, it’s a lot of fun and I think I’ll watch it all the way through.

      • Steve Chen says:

        Dumb and sexy lol! Too short an adaptation of the original manga but high quality production values. Imho, the anime kind of dragged in episode 3 to 6. Compared to Demon King Daimao, (that on the other hand seemed rushed)the University presidents’ storyline line (the one with the smiley witch head)seemed like, d’uh(?) how’d she suddenly have the hots for Sai anyway?

        See, it did grow on you hehehe………too bad there ain’t no season 2 planned.

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, it’s growing on me; though I’m watching the uncensored version now and it’s quite superior to the ink-blotted version I watched the first time around. I guess I’m feeling better about the characters now; I wonder if that means I should get that bikini Senhime figure with the removable top.

          • Steve Chen says:

            That new version of Sen looks even better than the Skytube version indeed (more anime accurate(?)) if that term is applicable. Though I wonder why amiami zero still hasn’t made one in their Samurai Girls “beach babe series”? They’ve already released Yuki,Hanzo and coming soon Jubei.
            On the Jubei Yagyu “master samurai” version, don’t give Alter any ideas about changing her eyes’ pupils into red and package it as her master samurai version lol!

  14. Tier says:

    Yeah, though from what I can tell, the Skytube version doesn’t look that great. I actually own it but I’m not planning on taking it out of the box. The New Line one is also 1/6 scale, which is very appealing to me.

    I’m up through episode 8 now and Gisen is smoking hot.

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