This review has been a long time coming. I’ve set it aside for another day a few times, saving it for later always. I kept choosing to do this because she’s probably my favourite figure so far and wasn’t quite sure how to present that. Not only is she Horo, one of my favourite characters, but she’s done rather well in this figure. She’s also the smallest Horo I own so far coming in at 1/8th scale.
Well, as I’ve spoiled in the first paragraph, this figure is my favourite. I’ll admit to there being some bias here as Horo from Spice and Wolf is perhaps my favourite character in an anime. So if we remove that bias, does this figure still maintain it’s appeal and high rating? I would like to think so, but lets see.
The paint work on this figure is pretty decent, no obvious defects. However it’s quite a bland scheme and there’s very little depth to it. Not much shading, and the differences in colour you may see are likely due to shadows more than anything on Kotobukiya’s part. There’s some shading in her tail and shoes however. Odd of them to shade the shoes I think, her tail definitely as it’s an important part of Horo, but her shoes they’re pretty bland anyway. Perhaps it was done to spice them up a little bit. Lastly, the paint work in and on her ears is pretty well done, there’s light brown where there should be, unlike Cospa’s Horo which lacks this detail entirely.
Despite the blandness of the colour scheme chosen, the colour of her hair and tail is rather appealing and stands out quite well against the green/brown dress. Her skin colour is also well chosen, while lacking in shading details, it’s soft pale colour fitting of the harvest goddess.
Less is More
Shoukaku Kitaike has done himself proud in his sculpt work for this figure. While an overall simple appearance, there’s enough detail in the right places to make it a fun and appealing pose. Horo’s flowing hair out behind her in a natural manner, unlike TAKI’s Horo whose design has her hair clumped in an unnatural manner. I also rather like the choice of undergarments under her dress, very old fashioned, befitting of the time period in which the series is set. Other notable bits of detail, is the hole in the back of the dress allowing Horo’s tail to protrude. The wrinkles formed around this spot are effective, as are those in her shirt. Like the Cospa figure, the clothes under the dress dip under her tail, though since in this figure it’s her undergarment’s we see the top of the crack of her bum. Though due to the way the tail is attached, it ruins what would otherwise be appealing.
There are some downsides due to the molding process, seams, always with the seams. They’re quite hard to hide I know, but they’re rather visible in places on Horo’s dress. Both sides where the dress is joined, all the way down there’s a visible seam. The ones in her arms I can play off as “detail” as they’re sleeves and need to be sewn together, but those in her dress are too poor to be “detail”. The worst seam though is in her tail, I’m not sure why they could not have molded it in a single piece, but it’s two parts joined together, leaving a nasty seam.
The left over details, such as her eyes, face, base and necklace. The wheat filled pouch around Horo’s neck is mildly detailed, however and interesting bit is the string used to hold it around her neck. It’s actually string, though the pouch does not move. It seems like a nice touch, though since it’s 1/8th scale, it seems like it’s frayed a little and would burn to wear. But perhaps I’m nitpicking and should just appreciate the thought instead.
Horo’s eyes seem to be designed quite well, they have a suitable red and a nice black border around like them Horo’s design in Spice and Wolf season 1. However her face still doesn’t seem to quite match the animation, which is what it’s trying to copy I imagine. As she looks nothing like the light novel’s illustrations or the Manga design by Koume Keito.
The base on which Horo stands seems to be in conflict with the figure. I feel it stands out far too much with it’s dark solid colour contrasting with the figures overall light appearance. The yellow material used on it is supposed to in some way represent the wheat fields she presided over. But if you touch it, the only thing you’ll think of afterwards is dead sun-burnt grass. If Horo was looking after a field of grass it would not be dead and sunburn and have a sharp rough texture like this. Again, maybe I’m just nitpicking, because at least it’s more creative than many other bases.
I feel bad being so hard on Horo, though I’m sure I could have been harder on her. The defects in this figure feel so minor to me that I almost never see them. So hopefully I pointed them all out, but feel free to mention any that you see. But whatever you do, don’t make me hate this figure!