E2046: Kousaka Tamaki (wedding version)

This girl needs no introduction, there are countless figures of Tamaki out there, but this one is different. I can’t quite put my finger on it, what could it be… oh yeah, she doesn’t look like a complete whore!

I can’t begin to count how many Tamaki figures out there make her look like a total tramp, poor girl, she probably doesn’t deserve the image. Then again, I never seen the eroge or the hentai, so maybe I’m wrong about that. I honestly can’t say I’m a fan of her character, but then why do I have so many figures of her in my collection? Maybe it’s the red twin tails? Maybe somewhere deep down I have a thing for red twin tail haired anime girls? N’ah…

Well, this version of Tamaki is definitely different, she’s fully clothed and she’s in a white wedding dress. Talk about an oxymoron! But here she is, in a pearl white dress and veil, getting ready for her big moment! And for an after-the-wedding review, head on over to Tier’s, who also posted up a Tamaki review recently (with some really great pictures).

Was this a scene from the game or just created out of concept / illustration – I’m not sure – but when I first saw the prototype of the garage kit, I knew I would get her. I think what got me interested was the fact she’s wearing a wedding dress and I do wedding photography from time to time. Thought it’d be fun to try translating some of shots to figure form.

Tamaki was intially released as a garage kit I believe, then New Line came out with the PVC version. The version that I have is from E2046, which is resin cast and pre-painted. Basically it’s the garage kit pre-completed for me. Now, I know there have been some controversy with getting figures from third party companies that re-cast moulds, but I’m not that picky about it. Yeah, yeah, copyright / license / recognition issues. Are you telling me you’ve never downloaded an MP3 before? Yeah, thought so. =P

That said, had I known New Line was going to come out with a PVC version, I would’ve purchased that. It is cheaper and looks like you get more bang for the buck – but more on that later. The Tamaki I got from E2046 comes with a nice background of a grand hall – I have to admit I do like using this as a background and have already took a few figure pictures with it (as you’ll see in upcoming reviews).

The biggest difference at first glance between the PVC version and this one is the face. E2046 opted for the garage kit prototype look with the large (almost) pupil-less eyes. Her expression also appears slightly less happy, from certain angles it almost seems like she’s getting cold feet and thinking about fleeing the altar. Some times when I look at this Tamaki, her face has “tramp” written all over it – I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the shape of the nose in combination with the long eyes – she just has that “look” about her. Yet when you change the lighting around and look at her from another angle she looks alright. Maybe it’s just me? The E2046 version also comes with a white veil, I’m not sure if the PVC version does or not.

In terms of colour scheme, both versions look pretty much the same. Red hair, white dress with pink flowers. New Line did come out with a limited edition in a “gold” dress though – I was tempted to get that too but finally some sensibility kicked in and I ended up not ordering it. It was for sale at Hobby Link Japan though, not sure if it still is or not. At first I thought one gold and one white dress may be interesting, but after staring at the gold one for awhile, it just didn’t look right to me.

I had initially ordered E2046′s Tamaki when they first announced her for ordering, I was probably one of the first people who submitted their order. At the time, I thought it was only a garage kit; had I known a PVC version would be released, I would’ve waited to order that. I had briefly mentioned this earlier, but let me tell you why (aside from the moral issue of ordering from E2046 and such vendors). First of all, the E2046 version is more expensive than the PVC version. Not by much, but it’s still more expensive – normally I wouldn’t mind, except that in this case E2046 seemed to have taken the “cheap route” in terms the design. I’m not 100% sure on how the garage kit is, but the PVC is fully cast-offable. The E2046 version, not so much! While I don’t really have any intentions of displaying this figure in the nude, having the option would’ve been nice.

The PVC version allows you to remove her dress, clothing, underwear, etc. It also came with a stylish short skirt for a slightly different look. The E2046 comes with a clamshell dress which you can remove, that’s it. You don’t even have the option of removing her top shirt or the underwear. Oh but it comes with a “Gathering Surprise” – the background of a cathedral / grand hall. But yeah, it’s really just a printed picture on a foam board – how much would that have set them back to manufacture? And it wasn’t as big as I expected either, so if you’re taking photos with it, it’ll be a fairly tight crop. So in terms of value for the money, E2046 really failed in this category.

With the E2046, when you cast off the dress (skirt portion, really), you’re faced with a hideous scar on her left leg. It’s like someone sawed off Tamaki’s left leg and just stuck it back on – I’m guessing this was done to in order to put slide the underwear on. The prototype of the garage kit also appeared to have this hideous cut, I’m surprised E2046 didn’t remedy this with some in-house modifications (like what they’ve done with some of their other Gathering releases). I’m guessing this was a case of getting the product out on the market as fast as possible. While I like the fact the underwear is a separate piece (not moulded directly on to the body), the fitment looks really awkward. It looks like it’s too large for Tamaki’s ass and the underwear is sagging – not very sexy at all. A garter on the legs would’ve also been a nice touch, but not present. This is due to the original sculpt design, so not really E2046′s fault – but once again, they could’ve took an initiative to go above and beyond but didn’t.

Tamaki is my third figure from E2046′s Gathering line and probably the one I’m most disappointed with thus far. The other two figures I have, Devil Girl and Saber Lily, were much more eye pleasing (reviews coming). The finishing on Tamaki is nice and clean, though, typical of E2046 paint work. Shading is subtle and the pearl effect on the dress is well done. The entire figure is mainly pearl white, so I can’t say they did an excellent job with colours. LOL

E2046 did an excellent job with the fitment of this figure, the skirt of the dress clams together cleanly and securely. And due to the dress design, the seam line is very well hidden and barely noticeable. Tamaki doesn’t wobble at all with her skirt on, and it does have some weight to it.

While this review may be critical, E2046 didn’t do a bad job per se, it’s just that it feels like they didn’t try very hard. Do I like the figure? Yeah, it ain’t bad. Do I regret buying her? Yeah, I could’ve saved some money and got more out of it with the PVC version. I really can’t see anyone else buying this Tamaki from E2046 unless they come down in price or offer up more cast-off features like the PVC version from New Line. The nice background board just isn’t a big enough of a bonus to make you want to buy the E2046 version. Perhaps at one point it did, if the PVC version was never announced…

For me, this is one of this figures where you can look at and smile, but stare at it long enough you start to wonder why the hell you bought it for. I did have fun taking her pictures though, and I think they came out well – it really helped me blaze through the post processing. XD

On E2046′s site they had an ad for Tamaki which said something along the lines of “Who’s the lucky groom?” I couldn’t help but laugh at that; in the back of my mind I kept thinking who’s the unlucky sap that’s marrying such “used goods”. That’s probably a really mean thing to say about Tamaki, but can’t help it if that’s the way she’s been consistently portrayed.

As I’ve said, poor girl.