Last week while I was working crazy hours, a tiny little package arrived with my name on it. The tiniest package I’ve received yet in fact, so tiny. The package inside was yet smaller again, measuring in at 12 x 14 x 12 cm. What was contained inside this tiny box was a tiger that fits ever so nicely into my palm, a palmtop tiger if you will, and Drossel’s new pet.
Updated with some additional thoughts at the end.
Aisaka Taiga comes from a series titled Toradora! which started as a light novel series, became a manga serialized in Dengeki Comic Gao!, which then moved to Dengeki Daioh and finally, was made into a 25 episode anime which aired in the fall of 2008. The series also has had an internet radio show and a visual novel.
This particular iteration of Aisaka Taiga as sculpted by Hidemasa Kiyohara takes after her manga character design by arist ‘Zekkyou (絶叫)’. As you may have noticed, Taiga’s a bit, well… she’s small. As she sits she measures in at around 8 cm in height from head to bum, considering she’s a 1/8th scale figure and doing a bit of math I guestimate she’d be around 138 cm tall in real life. Quite a shorty!
Taiga was an exclusive release to Dengeki Daioh magazine and was produced by Kotobukiya. Her MSRP was ¥5,400 / $65 CAD, however due to her exclusivity a proxy service was required to purchase her. Using such a service inflates the price considerably due to how the process works and the additional fees required. Something that pains me a little about this process however, she can be had for $10 less than I paid total via eBay. But of course there was no guaranty 5 months ago when I pre-ordered her that that would be the case. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
How’s she look?
Perhaps that was too short an answer, but you know it’s true. Taiga definitely does not look like she’s 17 years old with that cute little girls swimsuit on and her small stature. One might argue she looks perhaps 12 years old and still in elementary school. The addition of the innertube certainly doesn’t help either as it adds to her young appearance. But none of this matters, because she’s adorable.
Her left swimsuit shoulder strap appears to be slipping off rather adorably, her two piece reveals a cute little tummy and she’s sitting cross legged holding her dainty little feet. I think I feel a HHNNNNNGGGG coming on, so moé I’m going to die~
*clears throat* Sorry about that, where was I. Oh yes, the sculpt work is quite decent on Taiga, she has a decent amount of detail for her rather small size and her pose and posture seem quite realistic. The way her feet curl as she crosses them, and the arch of her back with a hint of bum, all quite well executed. No complaints here.
Kotobukiya has done a decent job on her paintwork as well. While her skin lacks depth its tone is pleasant and seems evenly applied throughout without any one bit more or less shiny than the rest. The only parts of her that have multiple tones and shading are the frills on her swimsuit and her hair. I think this is more or less what you can expect from Kotobukiya, consistency but nothing overly special. One nice touch I noticed though was light pink paint on her fingernails and toenails. Not the most noticeable of areas to apply detail to but nice regardless.
Taiga isn’t without her flaws though, I mean this is Kotobukiya. On her left side under her swimsuit top you can see what looks to be an injection point. It’s a lot more subtle than I’ve made it appear in this picture but I wanted to make it a bit more obvious to see. Another flaw, also on her left side, is a shiny mark that looks like perhaps someone spilled a little bit of finish onto her. And again, on her left side there’s a gash in her leg which I honestly did not notice until the macro shots so I don’t worry much about it. Lastly, there’s a finger print on Taiga’s innertube where a worker who should have been wearing gloves applied the decal. I suspect this could also be the same person who spilled the bit of finish onto Taiga’s back, as I can’t wipe off the mark.
One minor note before the close, Taiga comes with no base, nothing at all to put her on. I’m pretty sure of this, I could be blind as I’ve checked the box numerous times and found nothing resembling a base. It’s not a huge issue since Taiga doesn’t require one to sit down, but I feel it would be nice to place her on something because I fear that in all my moving of things all the time, she’s going to get scratched or worn. You may notice in some of the macro shots of her feet and under her legs there’s lots of dust, I suspect a base would help here as it’s easier to clean a base than it is to clean everything else in my room.
She looks great!
Overall I’m pleased with the figure, despite the exorbitant amount I paid for her given her original price. She really matches up well with the piece of artwork she was designed after, there are some minor differences such as in the artwork her left strap is falling off more, and her face is less pointy, and her arms closer together, and her eyes smaller… ok ok there’s many differences. But despite them all I feel she’s a good 3-dimensional representation of the 2-dimensional picture. Not perfect, but I think represents Taiga very well and in a much cuter way than all the other figures available. If Taiga hadn’t been an exclusive and were widely available she would have been a great buy, but due to her exclusive status and raised price I’ve had to add a modifier to the score below. Poor Taiga, adorable, but in the end, an average score.
While writing up what was supposed to be a short review on MyFigureCollection.net for Taiga, I noticed something of importance that I missed during my initial review here. Compare the hair from her promo shot to the hair I received. I’ll note that the Official shots show the hair I received, but the promo shot on which I based my purchase was far better. I wont adjust my opinions above. But it is definitely worthy of note and does disappoint me.
A Thank You
A big shoutout to Drossel for helping out with the photography this time around. She did a great job and overcame many obstacles! Good girl!