Review: Kotobukiya’s Kasugano Sora

July 12, 2010  |  Featured, Figures/Reviews

Moving away from last weeks perhaps more depraved figure we move on to a new kink, school swimsuits.

I’ve repeated many times in the past that I’m not a fan of swimsuit figures. The reasons are few, they’re often vapid and simplistic. Yet, despite this claim of mine, I own 13 figures in swimsuits or swimsuit like clothing. Am I a liar, a damn dirty liar? I’m starting to wonder myself. Breaking down this 13, there are 2 one-pieces, 2 that aren’t really swimsuits but very similar, and 9 varying degrees of bikini. The two one-pieces, both of them are school swimsuit and neither of them are of the modern one-piece variety no of course not. Both Neko Peke and Kasugano Sora (春日野 穹) don the older skirted two-piece, the style most envisioned when school swimsuits are brought up in conversation, the one fetishized by so many anime, manga and eroge.

Taking a couple steps backwards though before I dive right in (oo puns!) lets talk a little about Sora first. Sora comes from Yosoga no Sora (ヨスガノソラ) an eroge published by Sphere back in 2008. The reasons this game stands out beyond other eroge isn’t it’s story of twincest or it’s cliché premise, no it’s the character designs. Hashimoto Takashi (橋本タカシ) and Suzuhira Hiro (鈴平ひろ) are the two responsible for the games character design and art. Hashimoto Takashi being the lesser known for me but no less skilled than one of my favourite artists Suzuhira Hiro. Specifically Hashimoto Takashi did the design work for Kasugano Sora, and as thus this rendition of Sora follows after an illustration of his. Sora is produced in the larger 1/6th scale form-factor and measures 13 cm (5″) tall. She was pretty reasonably priced for a 1/6th scaled figure with an MSRP of ¥7,140 / $83 CAD. Usual discounts etc… She cost me less than that with shipping included. (Side Note: I often confuse Nanao Naru’s artowrk with Suzuhira Hiro’s and vise versa, I’m not sure why.)

Like often is the case with figures adapted from artwork, manufacturers, and sculptors more specifically take some liberties when making the shift from 2-dimensions to 3. Kotobukiya and sculptor Munetoshi Makio are no different and have taken some creative freedoms with Sora. The most obvious change is she’s not blushing, at all. This seems to be something avoided by a lot of manufacturers, perhaps it just never looks right I’m not sure. Though, Native managed it with Shoujo M and S (both NSFW) but it was much more subtle. I always find that after the manufacturer removes the blushing, much of the appeal of the figure is removed. Everything’s still there but the characters embarrassment and perceived emotion changes without the blush. Sora’s gone from an embarrassed cute look to an indifferent look, a drastic change.

Other changes in Sora are more subtle. In the illustration, Sora’s pulling her swimsuit out further from her left arm, in the sculpt she’s resting her thumb on her arm and gives no impression she’s undressing further. The wrinkles of her swimsuit around her waist differ as well, in the illustration they’re much more pronounced and help bring out the school swimsuit fetish by drawing ones attention to it. I originally started writing this review as if Sora was wearing a modern one-piece school swimsuit and only when I consulted the original illustration was I drawn to notice it wasn’t. The last sculpting changes I notice, Sora’s hair ribbons are larger in the sculpt and the placement of Sora’s left foot, the illustration has her right leg resting upon it, however the sculpt has her right leg in front of her foot instead. Not really a change I worry about as it looks much more natural in the sculpt than the picture.

The fit and finish on Sora’s about standard for a Kotobukiya sculpt, she doesn’t stand out in any way in this regard, but she doesn’t fail either. Her skin is pale with a subtle pink giving her some colour and helping reveal that she’s not dead, unlike the indication one might get from her eyes. Her swimsuit has a nice sheen to it diferentiating it from the skin’s finish. The hair however seems to differ greatly in it’s chosen tones. Sora’s hair appears more pale and blonde than the original artwork which is a light grey/brown. Sora’s seams seem quite well hidden, where her legs join her torso, behind her bangs, etc. The biggest flaw in the finish however is on her left butt cheek, there’s a lump that likely is from the injection mold.

So far in my collecting career Kotobukiya’s the only manufacturer that’s offered pillows as bases. I’m positive others have as well, but of the figures I’ve collected, only Sora and Zange have come with pillow bases. I’ve come to like them since getting the first, they’re unique and help in creating more of a scene than a plastic disc ever could. They also work in a way that “World is Mine” Miku’s base can’t, they can form to the figure much more realistically and aren’t limited to exact placement. Except well, Kotobukiya sorta messed this effect up. Sora’s hair is a more solid plastic such as ABS, and is actually acting as support. Thus weight is being applied to it that real hair would never have, so her hair digs into the pilow, looking a bit odd.

Interestingly, comparing Sora from artwork to physical, I get the sense that Sora in physical form appears older than the Sora in the illustration. It could be the blushing, it could be the way the pose has been altered, it could be how her collar bone’s are defined, I don’t know but I feel like she’s older and more womanly in ‘person’ than in photo, and I appreciate that greatly.

She’d seem more alive if she were blushing…

-Aka

Pros

  • Nice action pose with hair to match
  • Alluring undressing pose
  • Reasonably priced
  • Sculpt is well done and makes Sora appear older

Cons

  • Much of her weight is forced into her strands of hair
  • No blushing, none at all
  • Expressionless

Gallery

 

14 Comments


  1. Love that washed out look in the header pic…I WANT MORE OF THOSE!!! T_T

    Ah well one of the best Koto figures I own is one in a school swimsuit so I guess its one of their fortes? Just really wish she had a white one instead of blue…Maybe it would look too pale and devoid of color with just the white, but I still want it badly…

    • The washed out header is quite nice, I agree. But didn’t suit a review, she would have been misrepresented. Of course I could have done the artsy section like I do sometimes. Maybe later.

      Is your best Nanako? Nanako works well in the white swimsuit, far better in fact than she does in the blue. Sora however would have been far too bland with a white swimsuit, the swimsuit contrasts nicely with her pale hair and skin. Nanako has the purple hair and tail to contrast with her white swimsuit giving the figure definition. Oh yes and her red skirt as well.

  2. Did you let Sora steal Horo’s bed?!?

    If so, how could you?!?!?!?!

    Well, this figure’s not my cup of tea, but definitely competently done… good prize. *ding*

    • Horos bed is pink and much larger than Sora’s pillow. There’s room for 2 in Horos best.

      Stick some animal ears on ‘er and a tail and she’d be your kind of figure amirite?

      • Wolf ears and tail? …you bet!

        Okay good, just makin’ sure! I am sorry for even thinking you’d do that to Horo. I just went back and checked that review again. It is indeed most spacious and pink most befitting of a beautiful Wisewolf. I like that you made note that her bed has room for two.

        Actually, in that case, sharing Sora’s pillow with Horo might be even better than sharing Horo’s bed! 🙂

  3. Even if she’s not blushing, I think she looks great. Personally, I’m a fan of pale skin girls ^.^

  4. I like Kotobukiya figures, my favorite is the Maryan changing now version, but thats not the topic ;D

    This figure of Sora resembles her illustration very good,she looks well sculpted.
    I really like the detailed hair strands and the shiny eyes.
    The pale skin color of Sora looks also nice.

    too bad that her face looks some kind of emotionless to me.
    maybe it would look different with natural light,
    I dom’t know 😉
    If I would plan to buy a Sora figure I would prefer the other one from Megahouse.

    • I have Koto’s Maaryan Changing Now ver on my wishlist along with her sister figure Child Witch ver. Cute figure I’ll likely never buy unless a great deal comes around but never the less…

      I have Megahouses Sora as well, I’ve just never reviewed her or even taken her out of the box yet! I’ve had her for 5 months! haha

  5. 1/6 scale is a good scale. MegaHouse’s figure is good but would’ve been much, much better if it were 1/6 scale. I’m not really a big fan of the flat chest nor school swimsuits but I like Sora a lot anyway. You know what I like best about this figure? I like the toe. If I owned this figure and someone happened to see it, they might think it was a strange thing to have, but the toe elevates this figure from somewhat risque to straight-up perverted, which I think is great.

  6. I like what you’ve done in some of your shot layouts, particularly that first one. I might have to steal some of your ideas, lol.

    Kotobukiya is so amusing to me sometimes. They get all sorts of detail wrong or they don’t think that something like heavy ABS plastic hair weighing down on a pillow would look weird but you start talking about cameltoe then the whole game changes. Now I’m a perv so I like details like that but come one – the are other areas that could use that level of attention.

    I’ve seen a few figures do blush well and they mostly start with “A” and end with “lter”. 😉 GSC is also a little more adventurous in that regard but sometimes the results are mixed. But with Kotobukiya you should just be happy the colors didn’t turn out brown.

    It’s a nice figure all things considered but like you I wish some more elements from the artwork came through to the figure.

    • What is it they say? Imitation is the best form of flattery? Glad you like ’em. You’d seen the last layout prior of course, unfortunately not quite the same due to some restrictions.

      I more or less agree, as great as cameltoe is, it’s a dime a dozen when it comes to figures. I’d prefer they’d focused on other areas instead, and in reality they could have done more, it’s not like cameltoe is difficult. It’s done so often everyone just expects it anyway. It’s almost a question when cameltoe isn’t there, why isn’t there cameltoe?

      Not sure if I mentioned this in the review or not, I don’t think so, but my favourite part of Sora is her bare shoulder. From every angle it’s just sexy. I don’t have a collarbone fetish but perhaps the apparent action of undressing is what makes it sexy. I’m not sure.

  7. So daring. She’s really really nice, i expected your satisfaction to be higher O.o
    look at her…cuteness ^^
    I had to miss out since i was broke but for sure once i have enough, id get her. love the facial expression.. so innocent ^^

    • Nah, she’s not excellent, maybe deserving of 4/5 stars but I think 3.5 is fair, she’s above average but ther eare others I like more, and as I collect more and see more my ratings are constantly being recalibrated in my head. If I were to go back and re-rate old reviews I think they’d all change.

      She’s cute though!