Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

Yagyu Gisen figure by Alter

Many, many companies make figures of the characters from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, but nobody does it better than Alter. It has been a while since we’ve gotten a new figure of a core character, though; in fact, it’s been over a year since they released Naoe Kanetsugu. Charles d’Artagnan is still MIA, with not even a hint of a prototype sculpt, but presumably she’ll be along at some point in the future. In the meantime, today we will take a look at Gisen, the erotic seductress whose fiery passion and icy resolve conceal a variety of secrets.

Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

Like most contemporary anime, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls is not a particularly sophisticated show, but it does have an impressive and distinctive sense of style. Also, it typically doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the absence of pretension serves it well. While the characters are taken stock from simplistic, familiar tropes, they are likeable enough – even the lead guy, who doesn’t have much of a role beyond being the victim of the female cast’s affections. The show made a poor impression on me at first but after watching it again, I found that I liked it – at least up until the last few episodes, when it tried to inject drama into the plot. Of course, the attempt failed miserably; shows like this one ought to stick to what they do well rather than making an abortive grasp for pathos. The second season – titled Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride – is airing now, and hopefully it won’t pretend to have a plot.

Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

Yagyu Gisen is the last of the core cast to be introduced, and that’s unfortunate because I felt she was one of the more interesting and appealing characters in the show. She presents herself as an assertive yet sexually submissive young woman, labelling herself a slave and freely offering the use of her body to lead male character Muneakira. Following some friction with the other members of Muneakira’s harem, she casts herself as Yagyu Jubei‘s little sister. However, her seductive, feline affectations hide a far darker personality, and it is this side of her that plays an integral part in the resolution of the first season’s story.

Interestingly, she appears in the character section of the Samurai Brides website, so maybe we’ll be seeing more of her later on.

Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

Like all of Alter’s other figures of the Samurai Girls characters, Gisen is sculpted in 1/8 scale, standing about 20 centimeters to the top of her head and about 25 centimeters to the tip of her sword’s handle. Unlike most of Alter’s figures, Gisen comes with a number of detachable parts; her sword grip can be removed from the blade part to place it in her hand, and her head is also detachable so that her face can be swapped out. To facilitate the removal of her head, her right forearm separates from her body. Aside from all that, she also comes with a white plastic base festooned with stars and the series logo, just as the other Samurai Girls do.

Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

One of the odd things about Alter’s Samurai Girls figures is that they don’t obviously reflect the actual personalities of the characters. Jubei looked fairly serious and reasonably confident; in fact, she’s an airheaded juvenile with self-esteem issues. Senhime looks like a sullen, serious killer; she’s actually a garden-variety tsundere character. I guess Matabei‘s figure comes closet to matching her looks with her traits – but then, she doesn’t actually have much of a personality to start with. Gisen has a couple of things that provide clues to her nature; the eyepatch is an obvious one, as it conveys a sense of mystery, and the padlocked collar is another, suggesting that she has a masochistic disposition. The look on her face is fairly neutral, though – just by looking at her expression, you wouldn’t guess that she’s capable of great malice.

Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

That’s not to say that it’s not a good-looking expression, or that she isn’t attractive. On the contrary, her single green eye is very appealing; so much so that despite the complexity and detail of her overall appearance, her eye is still one of the most attention-grabbing aspects of her design. Her eyepatch is a striking red and gold color, offering a marked contrast to the cool tones that dominate her look. The eyepatch’s strap stays entirely on the right side of her face rather than crossing over her left cheek, rendering the eyepatch unobstrusive despite its conspicuousness.

Body parts

As mentioned, she comes with a number of parts. Disassembling her is straightforward and everything fits very well. Aside from the prominent seam circumscribing her bangs – which many figures have, anyway – there is nothing to indicate that she can be disassembled at all.

Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

The eyepatch look can be discarded, if desired; she has an alternate face that features her uncovered right eye. She has a heterochromatic look reminiscent of traffic lights or Christmas (or Vivio). However, I’m not nearly as fond of this look as I am of the eyepatch; something seems off about it. It might be because of the proportions of her face; she seems to have a more round-faced appearance without the eyepatch. Perhaps it’s because of the contrasting, unsettling appearance of the reptilian pupil. Possibly it’s because she looks a little cross-eyed. Or maybe it’s just because it looks unfamiliarly weird, in the same way as when a friend shaves his face after having had a beard for the whole time you’ve known him. That said, her two-eyed look does do a better job of conveying her sinister intentions, though I’m not sure that the shape of her mouth matches what her eyes are expressing.

Yagyu Gisen's torso and clothing

Unlike her nominal big sister, Gisen wears a fairly straightforward outfit, an obvious derivative of the schoolgirl seifuku uniform so prevalent in anime culture. It is, of course, much more ornate than the average blue-and-white schoolgirl outfit, with lots of intricate patterns on her gloves and socks. True to the characteristic aesthetic of the series, her outfit also features lots of ribbing and ropes.

Close-up of hand

As expected, the paintwork is impressively clean in its application.

Pivoting swords

She carries a rather unusual sword; it features two blades, with a pivot near the grip so that the other blade can rotate out, rather like scissors. To be honest, I don’t think it’s the most attractive weapon in the show.

Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

Strangely, Gisen’s breasts seem to be toned down. In the anime, Gisen is a very well-endowed girl, and she freely uses these traits to her advantage, but here, her bust is quite modest. It’s sort of odd for a figure company to deemphasize the sexual characteristics of a character, but perhaps they were working off of the original Nitroplus design materials, where her breasts looked to be a bit smaller than they did in the TV show.

Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review

As expected, Gisen is an excellent figure. Her character design is quite attractive, and Alter’s workmanship is impeccable, as always. She’s not at all a dynamic figure, of course, and perhaps a more energetic pose would have done a better job complementing her stylish design, but she fits very well in overall theme and look with Alter’s other Samurai Girls figures. With the new season introducing new characters, hopefully Alter will show off Charles soon, and with Alter having made swimsuit figures of several of the cast members already, hopefully Gisen will get one too.

Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls Figure Review
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27 Responses to Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

  1. Asa says:

    Her skin on her thighs looks quite yellow. Very jaundiced. Is it a lighting/WB thing, or is it really a different colour to her face?

    She is quite pretty besides that. As per usual for Alter figures, really. I have one due this month (this http://myfigurecollection.net/item/124994 Jubei with mimi for you to hate on) so I’ve been trying to actually watch the show. But it’s difficult since it is failing so hard at trying to deliver a story. I really wish shows like this would give up any attempt at storytelling and just have fun with what they are.

    • Tier says:

      It’s a lighting thing; the light is aimed up at her head, and her skirt shades her legs, so her thighs appear darker. Or rather, it’d actually be more appropriate to say that her thighs appear as they are and her face appears lighter; she has a relatively dark, yellowish skin tone overall.

      Ahh, more stuff to hate on; there’s not enough hate in this world, if you ask me. Nice underwear on that figure, though; one of the sad things about the show is that they all wear pretty boring underwear, which is a shame given how often it’s shown. Speaking of the show, while I guess I’d say I enjoyed it overall, I don’t know if I’d recommend it; it is in no way remarkable and it has not just one, but two tsundere characters. If it didn’t get so many figures, I probably wouldn’t have stuck with it.

  2. Phil says:

    First new figure in awhile, I am glad I got her 🙂 As for her thighs, I think she is supposed to be tanned? Mine look fine.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I think she’s just tanned. It’s sort of a distinctive skin color, particularly compared to the other Samurai Girls characters, who all seem to have the same complexion.

  3. Wieselhead says:

    You did it again…

    I was a bit dissapointed as I saw Gisen as figure, she was quite hot in the anime, but I didn’t really saw the sex appeal In the promo shots, actually she didn’t appeal to me at all and now I’m on the fence of getting her. And that after I sold my two Hyakka Ryoran figures from ALTER, well I planned to get the other Naoe anyway.

    In your pictures Gisen knows to convince. Her face expression gives her this nice sexual predator look from anime, especially her striking eye(s) give her a lot of appeal. The tanned skin is very sexy and these patterned stockings are pretty. The uniform is not as exciting as the one of the other figures, but it still look good and fitting to the Hyakka Ryouran design.

    I only wish the cleavage of Gisen had been a little wider.and revealing, but I guess I like her enough to make a purchase of her someday, this month is a bit too crowded unfortunately, but that isn’t a real problem.

    Hehe you are right that the figures not entirely match the anime style, since they’ve been announced “long” before the anime, they chose to follow the illustrations. The figure of Jubei for example would have been more fitting to her yellow eyed counterpart, actually.

    I would love to see a bikini Gisen or dressed in that open kimono from that certain scene, I don’t really mind if from ALTER or Ami Ami zero.

    • Tier says:

      I hadn’t gotten that many figures earlier this year but it seems like every maker is dumping their figures out this month. I kinda hope that one figure of the bicycle girl from Steins;gate doesn’t make it out this month, since it’s kinda expensive and Amiami is already going to need a huge box to pack my stuff (mainly since one of those figures is 1/4 scale).

      I think she definitely would’ve been improved with a more commanding bust. I agree that a figure of Gisen in that little short robe would be great; that was a really cute outfit. I wonder what role she’ll play in Samurai Bride? (Assuming she actually does show up … I hope she does, I’m not really digging the new characters from the first episode.)

  4. Dvalinn says:

    The second season of Hyakka Ryouran starts with them having transformed the dojo into a maidcafé due to the economic crisis, one that some new villains actually frequent because they like the place, even after they nearly wrecked it earlier. So yeah, the sequel starts off rather silly and I hope it continues that way. Nothing is more cringeworthy to watch than a dumb fanservice show trying to add drama.

    Anyway, I’ve always liked Alter’s figures of this show and it’s my goal to own some of them in the future – what’s stopping me now is their high price on the aftermarket. The character-designs are nice, they’re crisp and colourful and they have a variety of poses. Still, among them, Gisen isn’t my favourite. She still looks nice, mind you, and I especially like all the little details on her. On the other hand, not a fan of her specific pose, her sword is…rather ugly and I don’t like her colour scheme in the first place (green and white, yegh). Not to mention the character itself didn’t leave much of an impression on me because she appeared so late. Most of my problems aren’t really Alter’s fault so much as the character itself though, I guess.

    Wonder what’s keeping Charles too, you’d think they’d finish the non-swimsuit line to coincide with the second season, at least. Especially since she does have a nice design.

    • Tier says:

      I kinda thought that maybe they’d do a little more character development, a little more plot development, maybe focus a bit on Jubei after she returned to the cast; but no, they went for slapstick comedy and I think that was a good choice. I also thought the economic crisis bit was pretty funny; I like how they have a . All in all, I think the show is off to a good start; as you say, hopefully it doesn’t try to rise above its reach.

      Alter’s release strategy has been a little odd; Jubei’s been released three times, I think, and Kanetsugu is getting a re-release. However, if I remember right, both versions of Yukimura were exclusives and so were Matabei and one version of Hanzou. I wonder if that’s Alter’s doing or Hobby Japan’s; figures based on Hobby Japan titles have always had inconsistent availability.

      I guess the snarky theory might be that they’re busy making figures of dudes and Strike Witches. Hopefully we’ll see her at some point; I can’t really say that Alter has shown off much recently that interests me.

  5. Aaron says:

    Wow, I really like this figure. I think she is much better represented with her eyepatch (which is usually something I hate in anime) and love the look of her thighhighs. I also really like her color scheme and the way she is presented.

    I won’t be buying her, but I definitely think she would be a great figure to own.

    • Tier says:

      I think eyepatches on anime girls is something I’ve always liked, due to the implied mystery it inherently invokes – since the eyes are typically the most expressive element of a person, it suggests that the person is hiding something or trying to hold something back. Though I guess it also depends on the archetype it’s applied to … for example, I like eyepatches like Gisen’s or the eyepatch that Evangelion’s Asuka wears, but I’m less of a fan of the pirate motif and so I don’t really care for eyepatches there (sort of odd, now that I think about it, because I’m a big history buff and I love reading about the age of sail).

  6. Steve Chen says:

    You got yours already! I’m soooooooooooo jealous! (mine is sal small “snail mail” packet). Anyway, I really like how your pics put out her true beauty. The online store’s promo shots don’t do justice to the figure based on your exposition.Especially her eyes……….eerie and yet attractive, kind of like Aldra.

    A point you raised about her appearance in the “Bride” website, its quite intriguing too. What’s her relation to the upcoming Jubei Yagyu “Sword Princess” figure? That one seems to be an amalgam of her and Gisen (eye patch and scissor sword).

    • Tier says:

      Yep, I got mine via EMS shipping … which was nice because I ordered it during Hobby Search’s 50% shipping discount promotion. I don’t even remember when that promo ran, but at any rate, it only cost about 1000 yen to ship.

      Interesting, I did not notice that at all. I am hoping they don’t do something as lame as merging Jubei and Gisen into one body, but I won’t be surprised at all if that’s what they do; with shows like this one, you kinda expect them to do the dumbest thing possible.

  7. Bakayaro says:

    I wasn’t sure about this figure since the offical photos were not so appealing. But now she is on my wishlist. I love your shots, they show me that she is definitely a pretty and sexy figure. I already preordered the re-releases from Jubei and Naoe so I have to order this one too. But maybe I’ll wait for a little bargain since she is still in stock in so many shops.

    • Tier says:

      Jubei and Kanetsugu are definitely great figures as well. I’m a bit surprised that Gisen isn’t sold out, as the other Samurai Girls figures seem to have sold well, and I wonder how long stocks of her figure will last.

  8. Oh my god, I hate the costume design of this series so much. Trainwrecks! Trainwrecks, all of them! That being said, I’m surprised by how much of Gisen I like. Love the red/gold combo of her eyepatch and collar. Like the detailed purple stockings and gloves. And those shoes? I LOVE those shoes, from the rich and deep color to the super glossy finish! That sword is nonsensical to the point of being silly, but it sure looks cool…

    • Aaron says:

      I forgot to mention her shoes. I agree that they are awesome and one of the best parts of this figure.

    • Tier says:

      Haha, that is harsh XD I do like the aesthetic of the series a lot, and its design sensibilities are one of the major reasons I kept watching it. I’m sort of ambivalent on the costume design; I’m not a huge fan of Jubei’s outfit, though I like Matabei’s a lot (I wish her loincloth didn’t have that front flap, though). I’m kinda cringing thinking about how the second season will give figure makers an excuse to chuck out stuff with maid outfits.

  9. TomTheCat says:

    Alter coming back to their senses, it appears? This figure looks fantastic. I like how her clothing wrinkles in all the right places: Her hips, her knees, her ankles. Very realistic! There is nice detail everywhere, just as it should be. Even on her, what do you call it, sword? I’ll take your word for it, lol.

    Although, in my humble opinion, putting a red eyepatch on a red eye doesn’t make that much of a difference, except from it there being an eyepatch. I’m not making any sense, am I? When I saw photos of her on MFC, I wondered why there were two sets of practically identical pictures until I took a really close look and finally noticed that in one set she was wearing the patch. D’oh!

    But I still like this figure very much. Very well done, Alter! And photographed very well, Tier!

    • Tier says:

      Maybe, but it’s more like this figure got delayed and delayed … if I remember right it was supposed to come out around November, so it’s nearly half a year late. I heard they had some manufacturing issues or something, so hopefully they’ve got that unpleasantness behind them.

  10. Zerogriffo says:

    muito bom!!!

  11. Steve Chen says:

    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2013/04/14/hyakka-ryoran-samurai-bride-nude-docking-anime/

    Take a look at this Tier, Remember the monkey that came with Matabei? Gawd! She also transforms into a girl……….this series is soooooooooooo sick lol! For sure! The second season will be mine!

  12. twiiisty says:

    I just wanted to let you know that you are BY FAR one of the best figure reviewers I’ve had the pleasure to come across on the internet. Your reviews made me buy several of the figures I currently own. Keep up the good work ! 😀

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