We’ve noted before that fighting games don’t seem to get a ton of figures, at least relative to the number of popular and well-known characters that would seem to make for attractive figures. Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo series has ameliorated this dearth to some extent, though I admit I kinda have a hard time taking that product line seriously. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see some of the girls from Street Fighter and Tekken getting some love from a figure company.
One series that hasn’t gotten much love in terms of merchandising – at least until very recently – is Dead or Alive. It’s an unexpected situation since Dead or Alive’s main appeal stems from its female cast. Street Fighter, Tekken, Soul Calibur, and other fighting games are known for the sophistication and responsiveness of their combat systems, and one can find many videos of tournament matches attesting to their gameplay depth; meanwhile, it is equally facile to find videos of the Dead or Alive girls in their defeated poses, the camera lingering on their succuluent, sweat-streaked bodies. As crude as that may seem, that type of content ought to be old hat for anyone who watches contemporary anime and particularly for anyone who collects anime figures, and it seems like the Dead or Alive series should have more figures than it does. Well, now we have one more, of lead girl Kasumi. Unfortunately, its manufacturer has a reputation that is charitably described as mixed. Seeing the Griffon logo on the box doesn’t engender confidence but it’s not like there’s a surfeit of Kasumi figures to choose from.
First, though, a brief bio: Kasumi is the daughter of the leader of the Mugen Tenshin ninja clan. A series of unfortunate events results in her departing her clan, and her exile defines the contours of her personality. She is presented as melancholy and wistful, but also determined and courageous. Despite her impressive martial skill and penchant – like all of the Dead or Alive girls – for wearing immodest outfits, she’s also depicted as being rather meek and emotional, quite the opposite of her half-sister Ayane, who is a popular character in her own right.
This figure is manufactured by Griffon Enterprises. Kasumi is sculpted in 1/6 scale and stands about 26 centimeters tall. She comes with no accessories or additional parts; she’s ready for display after placing her on her base.
For its fifth iteration, the Dead or Alive franchise followed the trend set by Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Soul Calibur in revamping its presentation. The most obvious departure was the substitution of the anime styling of the characters with a more realistic look; gone are the oversized eyes and round faces, replaced by a more Final Fantasy-esque look. It’s a jarring change, one that I don’t think I’m quite used to, despite having played the last few Dead or Alive games. It’s particularly strange to see during the cutscene sequences inspired by Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball; the cuter anime look fit that game well, whereas the realistic style seems a bit out of place.
Obviously this figure takes after the contemporary style, though it doesn’t quite hit the mark. For one, Kasumi’s expression is completely devoid of emotion, which makes her face less interesting, particularly since this figure’s pose models one of her victory celebrations, if I remember right. For another, her face seems to lack a feminine quality, at least in my eyes. I’m not entirely sure why, but comparing this figure with her official DOA5 art, perhaps her eyes are too close together, and her face looks a little narrower than it should be. That said, I don’t think her face looks terrible, and while that is certainly faint praise, I was very much expecting her face to be terrible, so that’s still kind of a win.
Breast bouncing has a long and storied history in anime, and it’s a somewhat common thing in video games. In particular, it’s a Team Ninja trademark, as are female breasts in general; one really can’t go for very long when talking about the Dead or Alive series without tits entering the conversation. They’re an obvious aspect of this figure’s design, with the front of Kasumi’s dress shaped to expose her impressive cleavage. I don’t recall that her breasts were this large in the game, to be honest, but they still look pretty good.
The size of her rack combined with her forward lean gives her a rather front-loaded appearance.
Kasumi’s dress takes after Mai Shiranui’s style of ninja wear. She wears a revealing blue dress, cut high enough up her hips to show off her buttocks.
The patterning on the front and back of her dress is nicely done.
As is the detail on her bracers.
I think it’s supposed to look like her sword is secured to her back by a length of rope, but that doesn’t look like rope to me.
There actually are a couple of lengths of twine dangling from the handle of her sword, though.
Looking at her, it’s not too difficult to think that her head is smaller than each of her breasts. Her body proportions tend to make her look a little older than she’s supposed to be, I think.
From the side, her shapely rear can be observed. She’s wearing white thong panties under her dress, though it’s obviously quite difficult to see.
In the Dead or Alive games, Kasumi can usually be selected with her hair done up in a ponytail or with her hair down. A lot of people seem to like her better with her hair let loose but me, I like the ponytail best, and that’s how she’s wearing her hair here. Her hair is flipping towards her left which, combined with the lower part of her dress, gives this figure a sense of movement.
And finally, we can’t talk about a Griffon figure without pointing out some technical problems. My particular figure has a couple of issues on the back side of her left leg; there’s a odd area in the middle of her left calf where it looks almost like a section of paint flaked off, and there’s a peculiar groove just above her ankle. Neither are particularly nice or desirable of course, but if one were going to have a problem with a figure, the reverse and lower side of a leg isn’t a bad place to have them, I suppose.
Kasumi is a decent figure – certainly not an excellent one but a step up from what I had anticipated. The rendition of her outfit is pretty good and while a more expressive face would have been nice, her pose is attractive as it is. I really wish that her face were a little more feminine; that would have more than compensated for any of her faults. As it is, she’s okay, and I suppose the major takeaway is that I’m a little more confident in Griffon’s ability to make figures that don’t look mediocre. Hopefully someone makes more figures of the Dead or Alive girls in the future – Griffon, Kotobukiya, anyone.
i’m bias when it comes to Kasumi form DoA. it was a no brainer that i get this one. true as you said not may figures of the DoA girls out there so had to get her. truth be told i didnt know that Griffen Enterprise was a hit or miss company with their figures. the prototype photos had many, including myself, hopeful for this one but the final product was less than expected. i agree that kasumi here is good but not great. hope others will pick up the license as well and get better figs out.
Well, to be fair, Griffon’s not really a “hit or miss” company, they’re mainly just “miss.” Sad to say but I don’t recall that any of their figures looks all that great, and there has to be some sort of compelling circumstance for me to even consider buying one of their figures (in this case, my fondness for the DOA franchise). It would indeed be quite nice if someone else makes more DOA figures. Maybe the recent introduction of Marie Rose will help, as she seems expressly intended to be merchandising bait.
I’ve always enjoyed the fact that so many people involved in this hobby tend to give Griffon a hard time. While it’s certainly deserved as so many of their figures are released with qc issues I do have to say that not all of their figures arrive this way.
Their gym ver of Hakufu and Ryomou are absolutely fantastic! If I remember correctly, you had a thing for figures with athletic sneakers. Both of these girls have some highly detailed kicks.
Haha, yeah; I used to look for Yamato figure reviews since people always ragged on Yamato. Me, I loved Yamato’s products and I wish they (or Arcadia, I guess) could get back to their former standing.
I do have a thing for anime girls in sneakers. That reminds me that I heard there’s a new Ikkitousen anime out, or something; I should probably check it out since the winter anime season is winding down.
I don’t like to talk bad about a figure XD
The figure reminds me of a certain korean anime style that fails to portray female attractivity.
At first I thought it was a Kotobukiya figure, so it actually isn’t that bad by Griffon standards.
The figure looks well made, body, clothes and hair appear rather good. To bad they couldn’t come with a prettier face, from full frontal and from further away she looks indeed decent nearly cute, still a really plain girl, unfortunately. From other angles she feels like a chubby farmer’s woman with a very short neck, a soccer mum, or Street Fighter’s Ryu as crossdresser.
I’m curious about if you intend to keep her?
Ahahaahahahaha, it’s all good, particularly when one is talking about a Griffon figure, where you have to really stretch things to try to say anything nice. I’m not familiar with the Korean style you mention, though I have to admit that I generally really like Korean anime-style artwork, like Hyung Tae-Kim’s style, or the MMO style that you see in Lineage II, TERA, and other such PC games, and in titles like Freezing. She definitely does look pretty male though just looking at her face, I think she kinda looks more like Ken than Ryu XD Yeah, I’m going to keep her, if I didn’t care for the DOA franchise I probably wouldn’t but it’s kinda hard to find Kasumi figures, and some of the other ones have their own problems, too.
Oh no, it’s not from the things you’ve mentioned, I’m not even sure if it’s Korean, maybe you remember that Iron Man anime a few more months ago, that was a really odd character design and the female characters suffered the most from it. Compared to other animes I found them pretty unattractive. If I recall the scenes of the anime Kasumi looks actually prettier ;D
Oh I thought Max Factory did a pretty one in 2004, 10 years ago *sigh*
Ah, yes, I do recall that anime. That (and the other Marvel anime) were pretty weird. It certainly isn’t the sort of thing I usually like.
That Max Factory Kasumi was the first figure I got, I think; I got it along with Yamato’s old Kanu Unchou for Christmas. I still feel fondly towards both those figures, even though neither is all that accurate with respect to the character.
In my previous vow of not getting a not fully cast off fig, well I had to break my vow twice………..Kasumi and Alter’s upcoming Mu-12.As you also picked this one, I feel the same and have to cry this one out…………………… why o why didn’t Griffon stick to the dialogue and kept the prototype face in the box? That one was far more prettier. Maybe some corporate suit wanted to emphasize more of her Asianess?
In my version, no blemishes but the box was not sealed with scotch tape as other figs usually do………..typical griffon QC.
I have Epoch’s resin fig. That one actually looked like the box images…………..makes you scratch your head why companies can’t deliver what they promise.
Not all negatives are………having sometime to kill, used a magnifying glass on her face, i have to hand it to Griffon, Kasumi’s eyebrows are nicely printed, it’s grainy scratchy like that the CGI renders and not a lazy uniform embosing. .
Incompetence comes to mind … or maybe apathy; they’ve been around so long that they have to have some idea of what their reputation is like. At least, I’m assuming they don’t have a sterling reputation amongst Japanese collectors.
Hmm…these photos of Kasumi are great, maybe damningly so. I love the print details of her dress and armor but, while I may respect the realistic rendition, it irks me to sound like a typical MFC naysayer by noting that her face just seems off putting somehow.
Maybe it’s just that I’m conditioned towards highly feminine faces at this point but she seems more than a little bit butch. I do notice that I like her profile much better but dead-on is a bit more manly than I typically prefer whereas even a bit off center (like in pic #05) is far more tolerable.
Man, I like Kasumi and all but this may be a rare case where our tastes diverge a bit. Still, I do appreciate the highly faithful (and artful) photo shoot in that I’m left with a very solid impression of the end result of this figure by Griffon who, historically, has varied widely between preproduction photos vs. the actual end product. Despite my reservations, this is actually a very nice figure.
Nah, I think that’s a fair assessment, since it’s pretty easy to tell (or at least, I think it is) that something is awry with her face. It’s particularly easy if you glance over at the screenshots or promo art from the game. She’s definitely kinda male looking, though it’s harder to tell from a normal viewing distance, which might be why I didn’t really think too much about it till after I had written the post. I think it’d be fair to say that this isn’t a great figure XD Or that it’s pretty bad, actually. If it were a character I didn’t like, I certainly would not have bought it.
Well at least she doesn’t have the Girffon face… although I might actually like the Griffon face better than this one.
As for that scabbard, she’s clearly using noodle dough to secure it to her scabbard, which is also made of noodle dough.
*secure it to her sash, I meant
I suppose that this figure answers some of my questions I had about contemporary Griffon products, though I have to admit I’m curious about how their 1/2.5 scale figures have turned out.
It does look like noodle dough, or maybe adhesive putty; I kinda think of adhesive putty since I use it so much when trying to hold sets and backdrops together.
Definitely something off about her. The face doesn’t actually look much like her DOA5 avatar. This figure looks shorter and more compact than Kasumi should. The old BOME versions are better than this. Bleh.
Where’s my SCIV girlie figures? Talk about a roster begging for some PVC sculpts.
Yeah. They changed her eyes. If Griffon followed through with the proto pic, she’ll look like her DOA5 CGI much better.
Yeah, definitely quite a bit off, I think. Oh well. I wonder if Soul Calibur will get the Bishoujo treatment? I’ve been hoping the Mortal Kombat characters would, but the Soul Calibur characters would seem perfect for that line, since it seems like Kotobukiya expressly targets it towards American buyers, and SC seems to be one of the most popular fighting game franchises over here.
I’ve noticed this change to more realistic look when the game was announced but it was very subtle since DOA has already had sort of realistic character face compared to some other fighter games. However I think this figure went out even further on this track and made her look not like Japanese anime/game characters anymore. On the other hand there was that figure from Maxfactory which is like totally fan artwork with huge anime eyes.
I didn’t own a next gen console and haven’t played any games in DOA franchise since DOA3. So I’m pretty excited about DOA5 coming to PC platform. What I really hope for is a Ninja Gaiden type of hack and slash action game where I can use any of the DOA girls to beat some monsters.
Griffon has done not bad work with her. The crane pattern on her dress looks really nice. Her ankles look a little odd though.
Yeah, that Max Factory figure was kinda weird. As I remember it was based off a garage kit and I guess MF doesn’t really adapt garage kits all that often now. I still like it even though it doesn’t really look all that much like Kasumi.
I started playing DOA with DOA3, which I bought with my Xbox, and I liked it quite a bit. I’m shameless enough to say that I also really enjoyed the volleyball games, and that I hope they make DOA Xtreme 3 someday (hopefully with much shorter loading times). An action game would be great, too; I vaguely remember hearing that they wanted to make something like that (maybe that was DOA Code Cronus), but then they dumped the guy who was leading that effort, so I’d imagine that’s not going to happen now.
Yeah there is something wrong with that face… seems disconcertingly masculine
Yeah, something went awry there. Not entirely unexpected I guess. Well, I expected something to go wrong but I really hoped it wouldn’t have been anything to do with the face.
Hi, when you bought this figure, was it a “New” condition figure?
If yes, was the box opening taped? Or not taped at all ? How would you know if it’s a New figure if it’s not taped ? May I ask you where you bought this figure from?
Please let me know.
Hi, yeah, it was new. I bought it when it was released from Hobby Search. If I recall correctly the box was taped. There’s not really any way to know if a figure is new if the box or the plastic clamshells aren’t taped, but I suppose you could look at the position of any protective plastic sheeting, and see if it looks askew.