Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ohno Kanako Figurine and Jeremy Clarkson

Yamato SIF EX Ohno Kanako 7” PVC figurine


This is my first PVC figurine. I have numerous Gundam plastic model kits. I am a detail freak, and very anal about small defects in anything I buy: from dead pixels on PSP’s (sold one and RMA’ed three) to the flavour and consistency of gum I just bought at local supermarket. Well, ok, I’m overdramatizing, I only RMA’ed two PSP’s.

Having that said, I also love Genshiken. I think it’s one of the best anime ever, and I watch an episode on a daily basis, without ever growing tired of it. Consequently, I love the girls in Genshiken, Kasukabe Saki and Ohno Kanako. I can go on and on about them, like how Jeremy Clarkson can rave on about his Ford GT. Hold that thought, by the way.

Box art, parts, construction

The box is very nice, depicting a shot from the Genshiken clubroom’s window with attached Kujibiki Unbalance poster, and Ritsuko and Tokino flanking the clear window. On the sides, Ohno is portrayed as herself, holding a pair of cosplay nekomimi, and as Ritsuko. The back shows a picture of the figurine.

After carefully opening the box (which I perceive as contributing to almost half the esthetic value of the entire product), the contents are revealed: the figurine (no detachable parts), a scabbard, sword and a stand.

Construction is straightforward, no excessive bending or jamming was necessary. All parts fit snugly and firmly. The scabbard is unfortunately not hollow, and thus, not functional. The stand has a snakeskin motif, but is otherwise very basic, almost flimsy. But it does the job. The figurine’s center of gravity is slightly to the rear, but the ankles seem strong enough to prevent bending.

First impression, design

At 7” tall, it’s about the same height as a 1/100 Gundam plastic model kit. Ohno is in a simple standing pose, nothing special here. The way she stands though, and how she holds both the sword and scabbard is great. She looks slightly sideward, whilst smiling sweetly and politely. So instead of a samurai girl, she looks like a girl *pretending* to be one, and that is *exactly* what we want cosplay-queen Ohno to be like.

Both hair and clothing ripple slightly in the wind, like it is being created by a fan during a photo-shoot. Again, exactly the effect that fits perfectly with Ohno’s character. The effect itself is well done, with the creases not too deep and the fringes rippling in a believable fashion. The hair is also great, and the ribbons (one in the hair and one on her back, which straps in her short battle yukata) adds an enormous amount of cuteness to the entire design.

Technical: paint, mold

The paintjob is pretty good. Blacks are done in a matte finish, the colours are bright yet slightly shaded, so it doesn’t look too much like a toy, but still like anime. Lines are generally crisp, no major flaws. The eye decal is excellent; the entire facial area is, actually, with Ohno’s trademark moles positioned perfectly. Another outstanding element is the shading on skin areas, especially the knees. The boots are also great, the straps are sharply painted.

The mold is good in the crucial areas (front, face, skin, J-cup boobies), and there is not an intolerable amount of flash (small dots of excessive material). The knee looks fantastic, with noticeable tibial tuberosity (the narrower elevation below the kneecap). Detail on the hands is also great, the recession of the nails is visible and the fingers are slender and feminine. There are a number of flaws though, especially in the hair. There were 3 flat spots, 1 of them even mimicking an ugly “solder burn”. Another similar damaged spot can be found on right fringe of the pink ribbon in her hair. Seam lines are also visible, although not in a dramatic fashion. There is also a dent above the right knee.

Although the PVC production process is prone to this kind of defects, the combination of all of the above, pose a serious issue. It usually comes down to the manufacturer’s QA policy. Companies like Good Smile Company, Alter and Max Factory have higher standards, others lower ones. I have little first hand experience, but this figurine, as well as the buzz on the net, puts Yamato on the lower end of the scale.
Having considered this, the many great technical features seem to outweigh the production hick-ups though.

Personal satisfaction, conclusion

Yes, this figurine has an amount of serious flaws. Yes, the pose isn’t very dynamic. Yes, Yamato probably is a poor manufacturer. It just looks so nice though, it’s right up there with my 1/100 MG Freedom in terms of eye candy yumminess. Detailing and colouring are very good, with high marks going to the face and knees. The figurine perfectly conveys Ohno’s character. One of the reasons why I held off a long time from figurines is the fact that they seldom get the faces and “heart” of the character right. Not so with this figurine. It *is* Ohno. I can kinda sum it up like Jeremy Clarkson’s Ford GT. It is impossible to get into due to the ridiculous doors that contain part of the ceiling. It needs to be filled up at virtually every single petrol station you come across. And it breaks down more than clockwork made by a baboon. But he still loves that car. As I love this figurine.


Coolguy said...

I didn't think the Genshiken anime was that special but I'm absolutely wild about the manga though.
Got all volumes published up to date.

I hope this blog can serve as a natural habitat to me (a self-proclaimed otaku)just like a petrol station serves as the natural habitat of the Ford GT. ;-)

Dustin said...


dustyjo said...

^Damn, it won't let me delete my previous comment :(^

Shonen said...

Don't sweat it ^_^