Monday 19 September 2011

Non-Scale Togame (Ichiban Kuji)

Hello darlings! I hope life treating you well! Summer is coming to an end, but the news is not all bad! I have a new review for you today. Ten points if you can guess this beauty's name.

That's right, Katanagatari's master strategist, Togame, emerges from the dregs of summer to herald fall! Behold!

Ichiban Kuji has long been (in)famous for creating lottery prize-figures that are difficult to obtain unless you live in Japan. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on her via Mandarake. I have many words to describe this figure, but "Oh my god, she's beautiful" seems appropriate.

Take a look for yourself.

That hairthat generous, Herbal Essence hair. No one should have such copious locks. No one. Am I jelly? Indubitably!

Togame's box is about as boring as they get. A white chunk of cardboard with lax effort and no patterns. It's existence is purely utilitarian. Naturally, I have no issue with it, but I do wish Ichiban Kuji tried a little when it comes to these banal matters.

In stark contrast to her box, Togame herself is colourful, and bigger than I imagined. As a glorified prize figure, she's not officially to scale, but standing at 24 cm, she's about 1/7 scale.

Her base is a simple plastic square with red maple leaf print to match the one she has in hand. Unfortunately, it's a bit creaky, and looks rather cheap, but it does match her hair nicely.

Katanagatari was a show of unexpected twists. It was focused so hard on satirical hijinks that I suspect it lost focus on the essence of storytelling (namely, plot and pacing). It made a good impression on me in the beginning, then took a tailspin halfway. It also pulled one of the biggest trolls I've ever seen in the history of all shows. I, like many fans, am still waiting for my bifurcated shark.

Despite all this, I fell in love with the style, and Togame's design striking me as especially memorable.

Forgive me for some blurriness. My late-night camera fiddling doesn't always result in the best pictures (or posture).

Togame's outfit is captured to a tee, short skirt included. I'm very fond of the flow they've sculpted into her hair and sleeve. The movement in her is spectacular despite her static pose. The paint job is decent, though not very deep. It's mostly one-toned. There are a few mishaps near her socks and on her hair (more on that later), but it's not enough to disrupt the beauty of this figure.

Love the way she's lifting her foot, by the way.

Togame doesn't lend herself too well to detailthat's just the way she was designedbut spectacular attention's been given to the areas that call for it. Her sword handle's beautiful, and you can just see her fingernails.

On the back of her sleeve is a snake eating its own tail. Obvious symbolism or cute detail? Or both?

Usually I don't like overly shiny hair, but the pearlescent sheen on Togame just seems right.

And that face. Wow, the face. Such lovely fushia eyes. And that smile. It may not suit Togame to wear such a reserved expression, but you'll never hear me complaining about a beautiful face.

Speaking of hair...

It. Never. Ends.
This is where things get ugly.

While I dig the tremendous nature of her hair, it's also where major sculpting errors rear their ugly heads. Massive seam lines run everywhere, not just in the expected bang area, but everywhere. They plague her sides, top and back. Fortunately, they don't show up well on camera, but trust me, they're quite disconcerting in person. The paint gets rough and lumpy around these seams too. Her hair is like a Monetlovely from a distance, else just a complete mess (no offense, Monet).

But besides her hair, there are seam lines throughout, but they're nowhere as apparent. One can be seen running through the rope-belt she wears around her waist. More discreet ones run along her legs and sides.

On the bright side, some attention appears to have been paid to her boobular area.

Perky, ain't she?
I've read elsewhere that Togame's was difficult to put on her base. Foolishly, I dismissed this as all sorts of failings on the collector's part. Hard to put on, sure. I poopooed and haha-ed until I got her out of her box.

Then I realized they were right.

Togame is notoriously difficult to set up. Her legs aren't spread wide enough for her pegs. Her pegs slide up and down in their base. It takes a lot of prying and jamming to set her up. The brute force is heartbreaking. Thank goodness Togame's sturdy. The transparent backing that help cushion her (goliath) hair needs to be twisted and turned until it's just right

It is pretty though. Much better than the clear pegs that most prize figures provide.

Delicious transparency.
But that maple leaf—I've never felt such loathing for plastic flora, and I'm Canadian. I love maple leaves by proxy—just not this particular leaf.

Togame's fingers don't separate, so how does the leaf stay on her fingers? Plain, pure balance. Getting her leaf to sit on her fingers is honestly the hardest thing I've had to do since calculus. You think Ichiban Kuji would allow for some movement in her fingers so she could at least pinch the leaf, but no such luck.

She's holding a monstrosity.
The first time I tried getting it on, it bounced under my couch. I upended the entire living room looking for it. Then ended up swiffering the floor to destroy the horde of dust bunnies I released upon upending the living room. Not that it helped me get the leaf balanced. No sir. That took a miracle of pure will, it did.

Moving on.

Togame is cast-offable. Under her ultra-risque skirt is a white thong. I would provide photographs, but Togame is so difficult to set up once she's on her pegs that I didn't want to risk pulling her apart again. Sorry folks. Forgiveness, please!

Overall, Togame is a beautiful figure for her economical 2500 yen. If you can get her for a similar price, she's well worth your money (if only for the sweeping hair and beautiful face). Mandarake should still have a few more of her to go around.

She's the first Ichiban Kuji figure I've seen in person, so I can't speak for her quality in comparison to similar products. As a prize figure, I wasn't expecting top quality, and certainly didn't get it. The paint job is nice, but could use more depth. From what I've seen, Ques Q's Togame figure will have superior shading in comparison. Ichiban Kuji's sculpt is dynamic and quite details where it wants to be, but could also use some serious improvement. In comparison to Ques Q's rendition, however, I prefer this figure's pose. Don't take it personally, Ques Q, but Togame's hair could be so much more whoosh.

Honestly, I'm not sure whether I should compare this figure to my full-scale figures...

The Run-Down

Packaging: 3/10 (It's about as exciting as a white box—which is exactly what it is.)
Base: 6/10 (Nice colours, but cheap-looking.)
Pose: 7.5/10 (Look at that sweeping hair!)
Sculpt: 5/10 (Seam lines galore, but her face is just lovely.)
Paint: 7/10 (Few errors, but could use some shading).
Overall: 6.5/10 (Enjoy her from a distanceI mean it.)

Company: Ichiban Kuji
Price: ??? (none I guess, since she's a lotto prize figure)
Purchased from: Mandarake

Much Love,

P.S. Figure makers, if you're listening—a full scale Nanami figure, please?

No comments:

Post a Comment