Back to the bikini figures, and today we’ll be looking at the self-described Warrior of Love, Naoe Kanetsugu.
I have a bunch of figures of the Samurai Girls characters and I’ve been consistently negative in my opinion of the show. However, I watched through the whole series earlier this year and it actually wasn’t that bad. In fact, I’d say for the most part, I even liked it. Jubei was cute, Gisen was smoking hot, and Hanzo, Matabei, and Kanetsugu were very funny. The male lead wasn’t terrible, either. The same can’t be said for the ending, though – the show’s production staff decided to inject dramatic tension into the last few episodes, even though most of the series’ run consists of comedy and the usual harem-centric relationships, and the contrast is stark and the transition is handled predictably badly. It reminds me a bit of some other shows I’ve seen, like Sora Kake Girl, Sora no Otoshimono, and Beck, where I liked them at first but then they fell apart following poorly-executed plot development.
When I wrote about Alter’s first figure of Kanetsugu, I knew next to nothing about her character, but now that I’ve seen it, I can say that her actual personality and mannerisms are not quite what I expected. I figured she’d be lively and loud, in the way that twintailed anime girls with giant weapons typically are, but in addition to that, she’s an enormous airhead, a monomaniacal braggart, and a borderline-insane romantic. As such, her main role is as comic relief, which typically involves her being pummeled to a bruised pulp, sometimes at the hands of the central cast.
Fortunately, this figure depicts her in a better state, sort of (I’ll explain that in a bit). It’s by Hobby Japan and Alter, who’ve made a number of figures of the Samurai Girls characters, though Charles D’Artagnan is conspicuously absent in both their catalog and their release announcements. Like all of Alter’s Samurai Girls figures, Kanetsugu is sculpted in 1/8 scale and is about 13.5 centimeters tall. Like a lot of Hobby Japan’s stuff, this figure was a Japan-only exclusive and so necessitated going through a proxy; I used Tokyo Hunter.
This figure is listed as a “swimsuit version,” much like Yagyu Jubei’s earlier figure, though in my opinion, her outfit looks more like lingerie than swimwear. Personally, I think it’s a bit unfortunate that Kanetsugu’s outfit isn’t listed as lingerie since despite the obvious appeal of sexy underwear, lingerie is not something that is often fetishized in anime, unlike swimsuits, thighhigh socks, school uniforms, and so many other things.
Regardless of what she’s actually wearing, Kanetsugu definitely looks fine. Her outfit features a number of straps, which is a bit unusual but looks very attractive. It stays faithful to the style of the series, which marries contemporary fashion with traditional Japanese aesthetics; for example, she’s got some neat fingerless gloves encircled with ropes, which looks both modern and classic at the same time. The contrasting sea-green and black color motif is also very pleasing, particularly with the way the pastel green complements her lilac hair.
She’s also got some roller blades; they aren’t too noticeable from the front, but they are an interesting and fun addition to her design.
My particular figure comes with a less welcome feature: she’s got a big-ass crack in her hair and a smaller scratch on her face (the latter of which is edited out of these photos; I doubt anyone cares to see my figure’s problems). When I saw the damage, I did what any thoughtful and level-headed person would do; I hauled ass to Tokyo Hunter’s website and ordered another figure. Hopefully it won’t have any flaws. Admittedly, it’s difficult to see the damage from a distance of even a couple of feet, but I’m overreactive like that.
Besides that specific problem, though, Kanetsugu really looks great. Her outfit is very sexy; naughty-minded people will appreciate Kanetsugu’s saucy nipples and tiny micro-bikini.
I think it’d look nicer if she were wearing a thong but instead, the seat of her bikini offers tremendously more coverage than the front of her suit. It does offer a rather tentacle-friendly opening below the waistband, though.
Tongue out and eyes veritably twinkling, Kanetsugu wears a very cute, flirty expression, one that conveys a sense of lively, youthful mischief. It’s mildly out of keeping with Kanetsugu’s personality, I think, but still looks perfect nonetheless.
She also comes with this drinking gourd, which puts a modern twist on the traditionally-styled Japanese vessel by giving it the appearance of a Nalgene container. Her arm detaches to facilitate pushing it up against her side; if you’re an idiot like me, you can also just push it through the gap between her arm and body, but be warned that doing so will probably cause a paint transfer problem; it’s easily cleaned up with some rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip but still rather annoying nonetheless.
If you paid more money, you also got this pack-in, which is a table mat of some sort. I don’t think I’m ever going to ever use it as such, which no doubt is what Hobby Japan expected. It’s interesting how all sorts of things – table mats, Kleenex box covers, pillowcases and so on – can be turned into prized collectibles just by printing a picture of an anime girl on them.
Kanetsugu also comes with a base, which she obviously does not need to stay upright.
Leaving my particular figure’s problems aside, I think this is a really great figure, one that I’m very glad to have. I liked Kanetsugu in the show, more than I thought I would, and though the figure doesn’t really do much as far as embodying what she is like, she still looks fantastic. Her tiny bikini is very attractive, and her playful expression is very cute. The Samurai Girls designs have always demonstrated a slick sense of style while providing fanservice in spades, and Kanetsugu is a superb example of this synthesis. When my replacement figure gets here, I’ll be able to say this is one of my favorite figures of this year.