Review: Good Smile Company’s Hayakawa Yuzuko

Hayakawa Yuzuko goes against my usual taste in women. The majority of the time I don’t find women who exceed my short stature to be attractive yet I get the feeling Yuzuko here would tower over me as she’s easily the tallest figure I own and she’s only a 1/8th scale figure! Hey, hair counts! Marge Simpson might be my height but not with that hair she’s not. According to Google Marge is 259 cm (8’6″) tall! (168 cm or 5’6″ without hair).

Before Good Smile Company displayed the prototype of this figure I’d never heard of Peppermint Yuzuko (柚子ペパーミント), and since then I’ve looked for more information but really haven’t found much. I find it interesting that they’d even make a figure of something that seems so obscure. I also feel that Good Smile Company and Yokota Ken have changed the feel of Hayakawa Yuzuko (早川 柚子) considerably from the original art style. Looking at the artwork on the extras with this figure she really doesn’t look the same beyond general appearance. It makes me really question what’s up with this figure. And to just get it out of the way, why GSC, why did you change the base? I know she’s already 30 cm tall and would have been taller with the original base, but it was the original reason I pre-ordered Yuzuko. Seriously check out the awesome base she was originally displayed with, front, back, how much cooler is that than what we got?

As mentioned Yuzuko came with some extras most figures do not. I don’t feel they’re worth the steep price tag Yuzuko seems to demand with her MSRP of ¥9,800 / $109 CAD. I suppose the drama CD that was included is likely worth the extra amount if one could understand it which I sadly cannot. As such I’ve not even opened it to try it out, perhaps at a later date I will do so but it really doesn’t interest me at this point. Along with the drama CD they’ve included an art pamphlet that also acts as instructions for placing the chain around Yuzuko. The pamphlet contains an equal number of pages with art as with text and as such seems a bit of a waste to call it an art pamphlet though I have no other name to give it. I’m not sure what the extra sheet included is, it appears to be an ad of some sort, perhaps for an upcoming volume or chapter of the manga?

The changes Yokata Ken and Good Smile Company have bestowed upon Yuzuko are quite positive in my mind. Having no connection to the original character I feel she looks much sexier through their sculpt than the original artwork would suggest the character should. Yuzuko has visible breasts protruding mildly through her top creating a more mature impression of the character. Adding to this more mature Yuzuko her legs appear thicker and more adult. Topping off the improvements, Yuzuko has ‘dat ass’ that she seems to lack nearly entirely in the original artwork. I’m not sure where Yokata Ken got these characteristics for her, but I like his style.

The colour scheme of Yuzuko’s sailor outfit appears to match well with the artwork though the figure has a much more pink shirt than the artwork which appears entirely devoid of colour except for the red lining. Overall she’s quite well painted with plenty of shading in her clothing and hair. Her skirt and top are well shaded and uniform in quality, no one section seeming to stand out as lacking. Her hair is quite well shaded with greens of varying intensity, and her second head has a bit of tooth-pasty green to it along with some blues as well. I think the area lacking the most might be her skin, it does have shading but doesn’t seem to have the depth her clothes and hair seem to share.

Good Smile Company however has continued to drop the ball on overall quality. While Yuzuko is quite well painted like Index is, also like Index she has spots and marks all over. The biggest of which is a black squiggle on her right hand. On her right shoe it looks as though Yuzuko has dripped something upon them, there’s a shiny wet looking spot. Yuzuko’s bum also suffers from a molding defect of some sort in her panties. The rest are however quite small and not worth mentioning specifically.

As others have mentioned already in their reviews of Yuzuko, Yuzuko comes with two chains. The chain she has for display, and an actual chain one can attach. However there’s no way to use the actual chain to get the same effect as the display chain. And the display chain doesn’t do a great job of looking like a chain as none of the links have open centers. They include a small chain to add to the end of the display chain so you can wrap it around her arm but again I can’t help but feel a little lied to. It feels like there were 2 large changes to Yuzuko between the prototype and the release. Between the vastly different base and the poor replacement display chain I’m pretty disappointed. Though admittedly, I knew the base had changed a long time ago and continued with the order anyway, so I can’t claim that as a surprise. But the chain is still displayed on the box, just like Black Rock Shooter’s original scar was still displayed on the box. It’s deceiving and I don’t much like the bait and switch feel of it.

Unfortunately this week I couldn’t manage to be creative with lighting. I had this great idea and tried it out but just couldn’t get the effect I was going for and opted to drop the operation all together. However to make up for it, I’ve decided to bring back a favourite of mine. Let me tell you, wrapping up Drossel in a proper kikkou (??) bondage tie is quite possibly the most difficult thing I’ve ever tried. The chain was long enough, but not flexible enough like a rope would have been, so I had to improvise a little. Not many pics due to the time consuming nature of the chain, but I hope the effort was worth something. Enjoy!

So to close, I’m quite happy with Yuzuko as she is. She’s well done, she’s sexy, and the wrecking ball is unique, even if it’s only half a wrecking ball. I think had I never known the superiority of the prototype over production I would have been quite content with what I received. It’s one of those times I suppose where ignorance would be bliss. Perhaps keeping up on all the figure news as it happens is ending up as a negative rather than a positive. Sure I can get the scoop on what to expect and arrange my money properly but I feel I’m being let down more often now that I’m keeping in touch with the scene more.

The plastic packaging was rather sturdy for Yuzuko. Sturdiest yet?

-Aka

Pros

  • Looks considerably better than the artwork on which she’s based
  • Interchangeable head is nice
  • Great bottom (aka dat ass)
  • Legs, nice ones

Cons

  • Good Smile Company changed her design, they cut her wrecking ball in half as well as changed the appearance of her display chain
  • The extras are somewhat meaningless to me, just raised the price
  • Paint defects like those on her thumb, and spots throughout

Gallery

Comments

  1. Rico-sama says:

    I love this shot. :3

    Boo. I really have to agree with you about two of the big changes that were made (though I had to really examine your pics because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the chain at first). I think the base is what I’m the most disappointed with out of the two: it was probably a cost cutting measure but I can’t imagine it would’ve cost that much more to make the full thing. I mean come on, keep the price the same, drop that damn character album, and then give me that full base! I’m disappointed with GSC on that one.

    The chain sucks too but it was the wrecking ball that really had me excited about Yuzuko.

    I also agree with you about the changes to the design. I’m not familiar with the original work either but I think the figure looks good regardless.

    It’s a shame there wasn’t a lot of shading on her skin tones but at least the base color looks right this time. *cough* Canaan. *cough*

    But anyway color me jealous – my Yuzuko isn’t going to come in for a couple weeks still and your pics and review only reinforce that she’s a damn fine figure. I can’t wait until mine gets in.

    • Aka says:

      I think that’s my favourite shot as well. It’s got that whole “dat ass” thing going on.

      I don’t really care to scan in any of the artwork, but she looks younger and less detailed in it. So the change is good.

      Yuzuko seemed to arrive with enough time to review her before most other people seemed to. So I was happy in that respect. I just wish I could have been more creative, it’s damn hard to be lol.

  2. […] Aka’s review is up too at omgwebsite. […]

  3. Tier says:

    She looks pretty nice, though that scratch on her thumb would annoy me greatly. I hadn’t planned on getting her but I did give it some thought mainly because her backside looked so nice in some of the promo shots. I couldn’t rely justify the price though, nice backside or no. I wonder what’s up with the tattoo on her thigh? It looks kinda like one of the #8 cards in Go Stop.

    I always approve of bondage, even if it involves robots. Though it might be hotter if the robot had tied up the girl. Well, I guess I don’t approve of bondage if it involves guys, but that goes without saying.

    • Aka says:

      I don’t notice the scratch on her thumb so much from the majority of viewing angles. But it does annoy me. I’m not willing to mess with paints and whatnot though to attempt to fix her. Maybe in the future.

      I’m interested in that tattoo as well. I’m also interested in who was allowed to tattoo such a young girl so far up her thigh.

      I thought about trying to have Drossel tie her up, but I was worried if that would affect Yuzuko’s paint any, as well as the logistics of it. Yuzuko’s considerably taller than Drossel. I’m sure I could have, especially since Yuzuko’s skirt comes off. But I figured Yuzuko’s already holding the chain so I’ll just run it off that.

  4. Chag says:

    Despite the slightly questionable QC of GSC figures, they always look fantastic from a distance (as is the case with Yuzuko). And at the end of the day, that’s pretty much all that matters to sell figures. I bet there isn’t really enough incentive for GSC to make an effort to make improvements.

    • Aka says:

      I wish there was incentive, but we keep buying their products at whatever price they feel they can charge. But you’re right, they all tend to look pretty darn good from the average viewing distance.

  5. VF says:

    Oh yay, GSC QC strikes again! =\ Figure does look good though, it’s a shame about that base, the one in the prototype was pretty cool! With the green hair, she reminds me of Medusa – I think the black hair works better on this figure.

    LMAO @ the Drossel pics – good job!

    • Aka says:

      I rather like the taller green hair. But the dark green hair does suit her better. I’m still not sure which way I’ll display her though.

  6. Ashlotte says:

    Sometimes it feels like GSC gets too ambitious for their own good and this one certainly smacks of it with the whole BRS line giving the same feeling (Though I’ll reserve final judgment until after I get to see the OVA. :p). Having big ideas is all well and good, but I prefer a figure company to remember that the figure comes first and QC is chief among priorities…

    Like you said they coulda easily dropped the pretentious multi-media BS parts of the figure and used the original concept base while maintaining the same price…meh.

    And what do you mean no trick lighting effect this time?!? She has translucent hair that you easily coulda done some neat stuff with you lazy sod. :p

    • Aka says:

      You know… I think I’d prefer an extravagant figure that’s only so so in the quality department over a very well done but boring figure. So if GSC having ambitious ideas nets me interesting figures that maybe lack the perfect quality I tend to expect, I’m still happier than if they only made boring figures like Wave does. That said, I do wish they’d make a perfect figure.

      I meant no lighting effect this time because the idea I had didn’t work, and I didn’t feel like using the same tricks as the past at the time. Didn’t really take her translucent hair into consideration either :S

  7. Rajura says:

    Really? It came with a CD? That of extra would definitely make it easier for me to justify buying figures… maybe it’s a good thing that so few do come with such incentives!

    Even if you can’t understand it (depending on how long it is), as long as you’re planning on keeping it you might just wanna pop it in the car CD player just to see how the voice acting is… even if you can’t understand, it might be good to see if you can feel what they’re trying to convey through the emotion in their voices.

    Man… and that chain is pretty impressive! I like the artistic license you took with it.

    • Aka says:

      I don’t see it as an incentive. I see it as an added cost I’d rather not pay. Adding in ‘incentives’ like this raises the price of a figure, and I get nothing from the ‘incentive’.

      I’ll eventually throw it on my computer to give a listen but I don’t really like drama CDs because it’s like listening to people speak a foreign language at the mall. There’s very little context and you don’t understand any of it.

  8. Fabrice says:

    For some reason i like her without the flames, normal the better XD
    i love the chains its nice that it long so that you can use it for other purpose like you did with the figma, anyway since its from GSC, i guess it should be good =)

  9. mangasus90 says:

    GSC’s quality does go down lately eh….. but nonethe less this one is really cool in every aspects!

  10. lovelyduckie says:

    I can’t wait for mine! For me this was one of those rare figures where I see it…and it doesn’t matter that I have no idea who the character is! She HAS to be mine! Although in your images I’m not sure how I feel about that very slight tint of pink in her shirt. It reminds me of the color pink a white shirt turns when it’s accidentally washed with something red that bleeds.

    • Aka says:

      With you on that, I had no idea who she was but as soon as I saw that prototype I was sold. Disappointed in the changes, but still a great figure. As for the pink, it does have that tone to it, as if Barts red baseball hat was in with Homers white laundry.

  11. Adam says:

    Strange, the base from the pre-release photos that I remember for Yuzuko matched the final design.

    I can relate on the bait and switch feeling, though. Cospa/Resinya made some “creative” changes to the paint colors in a few areas on my Galett figure and I can remember being less than thrilled with the results.

    • Aka says:

      There were pre-release shots of the end base yes, but before those there were prototype shots with the full wrecking ball. So for those of us who’d see these first, seeing and getting half a wrecking ball was a bit of a drag.

      I’m not a fan of Cospa after getting their Horo figure. I gave her a solid 3-stars at the time, but now she’d be 2.

  12. […] or not. School girl in her school uniform with long flowing hair, where have I seen that before? (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or any of these.) However Serizawa does differ from these examples in one way, […]

  13. […] really can’t detail the list of problems with Yuzuko any better than Aka.  His had lots of extraneous paint marks that could only happen during production and mine was no […]