Amongst anime hobby companies, Tamaki Kousaka’s popularity as a muse is everlasting. This isn’t always a good thing; the esteem in which she’s held by figure makers occasionally seems excessive, and a large segment of the collecting population greets each release of a new Tamaki figure with a collective rolling of the eyes. However, I pay no attention to that; I like Tamaki, and I own a bunch of her figures. It’s actually been over a year since I reviewed one; in other words, it’s been too long since we’ve looked at her. To remedy this insufficiency, we’ll look at one of her newest figures, which squeezes her into her Dungeon Travelers fighting outfit. We’ve seen this before; Kotobukiya made a figure of her in this outfit, but while that figure exemplified why, for a long time, people generally regarded Kotobukiya as a maker of mediocre figures, this one, by Kaitendoh, is quite a bit nicer.
Kaitendoh has been around for a while, and I actually reviewed their first figure, which also happened to be one of Tamaki Kousaka. In retrospect, it’s a pretty poor figure (and those pictures are pretty awful, too). Strangely, while Kaitendoh hasn’t ever attained much respect in terms of their overall product catalogue, they’ve employed some fairly distinguished sculptors. That first Tamaki figure was sculpted by the same guy who sculpted this much better-received Tamaki by Max Factory, and this Tamaki was sculpted by Ken Yokota, the guy who sculpted Good Smile Company’s Rin Tohsaka. He also sculpted Retia Adolf, which is a good figure but not one that’s likely to get anyone’s testicles quaking in joy. In other words, I had no idea what to expect before receiving this figure, but my expectations were aligned on the pessimistic side.
However, one aspect in which this Tamaki surpassed my expectations is in size. She’s listed as 1/6 scale, so I had hoped she’d be big, but I didn’t think she’d be quite this big. She’s about 28.5 centimeters in height from her base to the top of her head, and about 32 centimeters tall in overall height, including her sword handle. I’ve got several other 1/6 scale figures on my desk – including Daisy, Alleyne, and Iris – and Tamaki is substantially larger than all of them.
This figure is mostly ready for display right out of the box; the only thing to do is to remove some plastic sheeting and put her sword into her hand. One curious element is that this particular figure has no breast-baring castoff option; we’ll talk more about that in a bit.
Tamaki is, of course, one of the main girls from the To Heart franchise. To Heart is one of those peculiar properties that hasn’t gotten a core release – that is, either a visual novel or an anime or manga adaptation – in quite some time, but still remains a mainstay in output of hobby goods. To some extent, this has caused Tamaki’s personality to be subsumed by her visual appearance. Notably, the design of her face tends to vary depending on whether the figure maker wants to present her as a caring, loving older sister or as a lascivious, man-eating sexpot. Here, Tamaki has a friendly look, with big, limpid eyes and a warm smile on her face. It might appear a little odd, clashing as it does with her fighting pose, but there have been so many Tamaki figures with so many different looks that this sort of expression doesn’t seem inappropriate.
While her facial expression is reserved, her outfit certainly is not. She’s dressed up in her samurai costume, which comprises thigh-high boots, matching gloves, war panties, and a top that is clearly inadequate to the task of restraining her breasts. It’s a lovely outfit, one that I like a great deal. Incidentally, this isn’t even the most skimpy outfit worn by the characters of To Heart 2 Dungeon Travellers; that distinction probably goes to Lucy, who is basically nude in one of her costumes.
Tamaki is generally depicted with an assertive bust size but this figure makes them quite large indeed. It’s reminiscent of the older Max Factory figure in that respect, though they’re perhaps just a bit smaller in proportion here.
As mentioned, there’s no explicit castoff feature with this figure. That came as a surprise as I had seen some pictures of this figure appearing topless; apparently the version of this figure in a white-colored outfit featured a torso with bare breasts, but this one does not. That other figure also had a different head, which has an open mouth. I didn’t like it nearly as much as this one, and to be honest, I’m not really that disappointed about the lack of explicitness on this figure, either; I really like how her bikini armor looks and thus wouldn’t want to remove it.
Her hip armor is removable, however. She separates at the waist so that it slides off her hips. Her head is also removable, though there’s no point in doing so with this version of the figure, aside from removing her plastic packaging wrap.
Kaitendoh’s figures tend to fail to impress in terms of manufacturing quality, but I was surprised at how nice Tamaki looks. Her paintwork is clean and precise. The matte look of her bustier and belts give a nice contrast to the glossy sheen of her boots, gloves, and panties.
Her body is also sculpted quite well. In particular, her body has a soft look that is enhanced by the tightness of her costume.
Anyone with a fetish for armpits – I know you all are out there – will be pleased with Tamaki’s pose, which depicts her with her arms raised high. It’s not clear what she’s doing, exactly, but as far as dynamic anime fighting poses go, it looks pretty good, if not entirely practical.
Speaking of practicality, I’m really hoping that leaning isn’t an issue with this figure, being that she’s quite substantial and all that weight is being supported by one leg. Unusually, that one leg fits into her base very loosely; if you happened to turn this figure upside down she’d fall to the floor. Kaitendoh does use a metal rod to support her foot; it slides into a socket in the base, so hopefully the rest of her leg is also reinforced.
As a samurai, Tamaki is equipped with a large katana. It also looks quite nice.
It’s made of plastic, unsurprisingly, but the parts that are supposed to be metal do have a realistic reflective quality; you can see the back edge reflecting Tamaki’s hair here.
I’m really impressed by how nicely Tamaki turned out. She’s huge, which I almost always prefer when it comes to figures, and she’s got a very sexy outfit. I’m even more impressed that Kaitendoh made a figure that looks this great; their earlier figures have kept expectations tempered, but hopefully they can continue to make high-quality figures. There are a lot of Tamaki figures out there, but this one is definitely one of the better ones.
Incidentally, there’s an Orca Toys figure that looks quite similar to this one, with much the same pose and the same outfit. However, she looks quite a bit more aggressive, and I think that one will feature a topless castoff option. I’m not sure whether I will buy that one or not.