Given the prevalence of Tamaki Kousaka figures in the market, it’s a little surprising that we haven’t looked at a Tamaki figure here in 364 days. It seems like you can’t go a month without seeing a new Tamaki figure go up for preorder. As much as some may decry the proliferation of Tamaki figures – and I can’t say that they don’t have a point – there does seem to be a market for them, so let’s look at this one.
This particular Tamaki comes from Clayz. More specifically, it’s sculpted by Takeshi Miyagawa, whose works comprise the bulk of Clayz’s product catalog. I only own one other Clayz figure – their old 1/6 scale Saber (and I just realized that I don’t have Clayz included in the manufacturer list in the sidebar, even after all these years of running this website). It’s not a fantastic figure, but it has a lot of nostalgic value to me, as it was one of the earliest figures I purchased. I also fondly remember the process of searching for a Saber figure, which I undertook after I started watching the Fate/stay night anime – it was more difficult to buy anime figures back then. I’ve been sort of on a nostalgic kick for a while, probably brought about by my advanced age, and so when this Tamaki figure went up for preorder I decided I’d give Clayz a shot.
Clayz lists this Tamaki as being 1/8 scale though that’s actually a very conservative estimate. She’s a fraction over 24 centimeters tall, not including the base, and being that she’s bent over at the waist, she’s closer in size to most 1/7 or 1/6 scale figures. Tamaki is ready for display right out of the box; you don’t even need to fit her on her base, as her base comes fixed to her feet. Tamaki also comes with no castoff options that I know of, which is fine with me but might be a turnoff to some collectors.
There is a ton of Tamaki figures to choose from, and the interesting thing about them is that many of them look very different from each other. This isn’t the case with some other hobby goods superstars, such as Saber, the Nanoha characters, or the Evangelion girls; the figures that those characters get tend to stay reasonably faithful to their original designs, and their sculptors tend to not put too many individual touches on them. With Tamaki, though, sculptors seem to be free to ignore her original design and indulge their stylistic inclinations. For example, Max Factory’s well-regarded figure gives her an enormous rack, Daiki Kougyou’s recent swimsuit Tamaki gives her a rounded, soft look, and the aforementioned Gift figure gives her a very womanly, broad-hipped and long-legged body. This particular Tamaki is no different, being that it bears all the hallmarks of Miyagawa’s style (though admittedly, pretty much every figure he sculpts does so as well, regardless of its source).
Miyagawa’s style is very recognizable; the faces of his figures typically have very sharp, upwardly-sloped eyes with enormous pupils, puffy cheeks, and either exuberant or neutral expressions. It’s sort of an old-school style, a bit reminiscent of the design of anime characters from the late 1980s (the puffy cheeks on his figures remind me a bit of Keroppi, the popular frog character from Sanrio’s Hello Kitty franchise who was introduced at around that time). That’s around the time that I started getting into anime, and so his style has a nostalgic appeal to me.
Tamaki is something of an anime sex symbol, and like many of her other figures, this figure presents her as such. As the figure’s version name states, she’s wearing black lingerie. That’s another thing that appeals to me; much of the appeal of anime characters revolves around specific fetishes, such as particular uniforms, thigh-high socks, various types of weaponry, headphones, musical instruments, and so on, but for some reason, you don’t see too many figures dressed in lingerie. I’m not really sure why; I wouldn’t mind seeing fewer figures dressed in swimsuits and more figures dressed in lingerie (I’d also like to see more figures dressed in blue jeans, which, for some reason, you very rarely see in anime).
At any rate, Tamaki’s clothing looks great, at least from a stylistic standpoint. She’s wearing a classic ensemble, with bra, panties, stockings, garter belt, and gloves. The black color adds a touch of seductive naughtiness, and effective shading gives her gloves and stockings a sheer look, which is quite attractive.
Tamaki’s pose is also notable. Although her whipping hair adds a touch of energy to this figure, Tamaki does not have all that dynamic of a look. This gives the position of her hands more prominence, and this leads the viewer’s attention squarely to her backside, which is undoubtedly a highlight of this figure. Her rear is generously sculpted, which looks great when complemented by her high-cut panties.
It should be noted that while that scratch on her backside looks terrible, it’s not too easy to see in normal viewing; I had to hold the figure about three inches from my eyes before I noticed it (admittedly, my eyesight is awful and your results may vary). That said, the technical quality of this figure is not tremendously impressive. Most bothersome to me is this speck on her right shoulder which I could not remove; again, it’s not easy for me to see it with just my eyesight, but just knowing that it’s there bothers the hell out of me.
The back side of her head also shows a lack of detail in her hair; though to be fair, you’d probably never see this side of her head when she’s on a shelf.
I’m equivocal on her facial expression; when I looked at her promo photos, I thought she looked like she was smiling, and I think she’d look better if she were doing so. Instead, although her mouth is parted, she doesn’t seem to be expressing anything (from some angles, I suppose she might look like she’s expressing surprise, I suppose, but given her pose, it’s sort of hard to think that that’s the case). Also, because her pupils are so big, from some angles it looks like she’s looking in two directions at once.
But despite its problems, I do like this figure quite a bit. Tamaki may be overused as a subject for figure companies, but this one still has distinctive appeal. Her clothes are very attractive, as is her pose, and while the technical faults are bothersome, I don’t think they are overwhelming. This isn’t my favorite Tamaki figure in my collection, nor is it my second favorite, but I think it looks really nice.
And it’s not even the first Tamaki I’ve received this year! We’ll look at another one shortly, from another somewhat less-known manufacturer. Well, less-known when it comes to their non-porno figures, anyway … their porno figures are kinda unforgettable.