Kotobukiya: Christie Monteiro

 I think it’s been about half a year since I’ve posted a figure review, after Skyrim was released, things were just a little different around here.  But now that’s finally behind me, it’s time to get back on the saddle and write some reviews.  Particularly with all the interesting figures coming out this year, I just can’t sit back and do nothing anymore.

The first figure I’m going to review will be Kotobukiya’s Christie Monteiro, from the Tekken game series.  As you follow through this review, please keep in mind I haven’t taken figure photos for awhile and I haven’t been writing much, so I’m really rusty with it all.  Don’t expect any witty comments (not that I had much to begin with) nor pretty pictures (not that I had much of that to begin with either) – that’s right, it’s all about the figure, plain and dry.  Yup, that’s how I’m gonna roll with this one.  ;-)

If you’re here reading this, then you probably already know who Christie is and are probably wondering whether this figure is a good buy or not.  If you’re not familiar with Christie then don’t worry, you’re not alone.  I’m not that familiar with Christie myself, other than the fact that she’s one of the characters in the Tekken series (Tekken 4 and on).  While I’m familiar with the title of Tekken ever since it came out, I was never all that into the game and story.  I don’t think I’ve ever owned a Tekken game until Tekken 6, which I got for Christmas a couple of years ago – even then, I never played the game.  At least not until I got Christie’s figure, I thought I’d take a look at the game and see what this fighter was like.

Two things came to mind when I started playing Christie’s character:  First, I can say that Kotobukiya did a great job pulling this one off.  The style and look is very similar to Christie’s design from Tekken 5 and up, though this version is supposedly based on Tekken Tag Tournament 2.  Second, OMG is her fighting animation is ever annoying!  All that bouncing and prancing around made my eyes so dizzy, but I guess that’s the point given her fighting style is Capoeira.  And I thought Mai Shiranui’s bouncing boobs were distracting…

One look at the face and you know who the artist / designer is for this figure.  Christie has the undeniable signature face by Yamashita Shunya, which I typically (or starting to) find boring.  Well, maybe not boring, but it’s getting typical – they all look the same, just different bodies.  But I do have to admit I really like Christie’s face, maybe even moreso than her original realistic look.  The face here is really cute and matches her body language well.

One general complaint that people had (or have) that I’ve seen is the fact Christie’s head is pointed towards the back and looking downwards.  While I agree this hides her pretty face, but I don’t mind it much.  I think the head position matches her body language, it looks as if she’s moving forward but looking back at an attack she just dodged.  That said, there’s also a lot of eye candy from the frontal view, and looking at her face may not be the first thing your eyes would pay attention to.  ;-)

You’d think someone that is trained in the fighting arts of Capoeira would wear something a little less revealing… all that movement and prancing about, mishaps must happen.  I guess one could argue this is less constricting for her when she’s fighting, as well as a decent distraction for an opponent of the opposite sex.  Christie’s 1P outfit is definitely unique – it looks like she wrapped herself up with disco ball material but ran out.  If it sounds like a rant, it really isn’t – I can appreciate a girl’s decision in what she wears, especially if she has the body to show it off.  I think the sculptor did an amazing job on Christie’s body sculpt, it is very detailed and very… tempting.

 

The detail in her outfit is superbly done as well, all the little honeycomb pattern is done neatly and well textured.  Christie was sculpted by Busujimax, who also sculpted Alisa from the Tekken series too.  I was slightly interested in Alisa’s character due to the mech integration, but I’m trying to cut back on my figure spending so I picked getting Christie over Alisa.  I definitely have no regrets doing so, I think Christie has a much better body sculpt and body language.  Alisa looks somewhat stiff and that she’s about to keel over backwards from the weight of her rear thrusters.  ^_^’

Obvoiusly when you first look at Christie, you see her breasts, and it’s definitely one of the defining features of this figure.  They aren’t over the top like Alter’s new bikini Selvaria, which is a real turn-off for me.  I don’t think I can classify Christie’s breasts as being unrealistic, but I really can’t recall when’s the last time I’ve seen a real girl with such perfectly round breasts.  Then again, I dig Asian chicks, so breast size is really a non-issue for me.  /flamesuiton

Another defining feature of Christie’s sculpt is her abs, I think the pictures explain it quite well, don’t you?  She has an unrealistically skinny waist, but that’s typical of anime-ish girls.  The only gripe I have is the manufacturing quality of Kotobukiya’s work on this one; they’ve been releasing some fairly decent quality figures lately but it seems like they took a step back in terms of quality control with Christie.  The body is full of mould and seam lines – particularly around her waist – it looks like she has scars from a liposuction or c-section.  They may not be as noticeable from standard viewing distances, but they are obvious when you get up close or aren’t too focused on her breasts.  If the manufacturing process took a little more care, Christie would be an extremely superb figure.  I’m not sure if all Christie figures are like this, but I’m pretty sure they are – but if you’re on the fence whether to purchase her or not, don’t be!  She’s definitely a worthwhile purchase, given all her eye candy features, but somehow I just have a feeling she will end up in the bargain bin.  I’m not sure what it is, but it just feels like there’s not much hype over this figure and as of this writing, I think I’m the first one to come out with an English review of this figure.  Hell, I might even have the first full review of this figure?  I just haven’t come across any other reviews of Christie yet…

Getting on with defining features, Christie definitely has the assets to show it off.  Yeah, I just used that lame pun – butt come on, just look at the pictures!  You have to admit it’s warranted in this case!  While I don’t care much for the breasts, I said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m definitely an ass guy.  lol  If I had to pick one decisive feature that won me over with this figure, it’s Christie’s beautifully sculpted ass.  They could always be a little perkier, but I think Busujimax did a fantastic job with Christie’s rump – and with Christie’s design of looking backwards, it gives me more reason to display her with from this angle.  But seriously, it’s not just her ass that has all the details from this view, there’s also her belt with the strands on the rope, the jewels hanging off her straps, and the pretty cool butterfly on her back!  Speaking of the butterly, I didn’t even realise the wings were transluscent until I posted up her picture.  Small details like this make for a great overall presentation of a figure and a great conversation piece.  =)

The strands dangling from her back and side are flexible, so there’s no worry about snapping them off unless you’re intentionally tugging on them.

 

As with the Bishoujou line of figures, Christie has the signature semi-transluscent hair.  I was gonna do some fancy silhouette type lighting showing off her hair but got lazy in the end.  After the hundreds of frames I took trying to capture the water splashing effect (seen further below), I got fed up and decided to move on to try publishing her review as quickly as possible.  January was pretty busy in terms of figure releases and there are a bunch of figures I want to review (particularly Catherine from Max Factory) with the little time I have available lately.  Also, since I haven’t taken any figure photos since GSC’s Strength, I was really impatient and rusty with my lighting technique.  You can probably tell from the pictures that I didn’t really bother with proper white balancing and the somewhat harsh lighting.  Christie’s skin tone is really bronzed, somewhat darker than the soft shading of the prototype photos.  The overall paint work on the skin also doesn’t feel as smoothly finished as the prototype photo – the prototype appeared to have a very even air brushed gradiant.  It’s not bad, but when I received Christie in person, I was a little surprised that she was a little more bronze / orangey than I had anticipated.

That said, Christie’s back sculpt is very well done as well, and even more of a reason to display her with more of her back exposed.  Particularly the feminine arc of her back down to her ass – it’s very sexy!

  

On with the figure details, Christie’s pants (or stockings I should say?) are full of win.  The detail and paint work here is very well done, though the ink wash is a little crude, the intended effect is still achieved.  And all of a sudden I just realized I’ve been jumping from past tense to present tense throughout the review, and now that I’m amost done the review I’m too lazy to go back to fix things.  So I’m just gonna apologize for that and move on…  lol

As I was saying, the leggings (yes, I’m going to call them leggings from now on, seems more appropriate than pants or stockings) are very detailed.  The paint is shiny and give off that disco ball effect I mentioned earlier.  The purple lines around her outher thighs are cleanly painted with no overlap or runs.  The sculptor didn’t just do a great job on Christie’s body, but her clothing as well, it really looks as if her clothing and accessories are moving with the sway of her body.  If I had some sort of foot fetish, I might’ve gone into more detail about her feet sculpt, but I don’t so that’s that.

 

One small aspect of figures that I always scrutinize in my reviews is the ability of the manufactures to paint finger nails.  They are small and require attention to detail, it’s just one of those things set one manufacture above the other in terms of quality, I find.  Alter, GSC and Max Factory are usually pretty good with this, particularly Alter’s paint jobs.  Most times, medicore to lower end manufacturers will just dab a blob of paint often covering the entire tip of the finger.  I was pleasantly surprised that Christie had neatly painted finger nails, which isn’t something I usually expect from a Kotobukiya figure.  Unfortunately for my Christie, the painter forgot to paint the thumb of Christie’s left hand – she has ten fingers, learn to count!  Sheesh!  =P  The siver dry brushing also over laps a little onto the fingers, giving them a slightly glittering effect, but that’s just the macro lens talking.  Honestly, it’s not something you’d notice when you look at Christie as a whole.

An interesting design that I haven’t seen yet on any of my other figures is the clear base that comes pre-mounted to Christie.  The box included three different designs that you can place inside the clear base.  You can opt for an illustration of Christie, the Tekken Tag Tournament logo, or Tekken Project autograph by… well, I really don’t remember who and I can’t recall where I saw that info at the moment.  lol  But this setup is definitely interesting and much better than the typical disc or rectanuglar plain white base that comes with Kotobukiya figures.  My pick is probably the one with Shunya’s illustration for the base as you can see the illustration source and the Tekken logo.

And as tradition dictates, here are some slightly more artistic photos of Christie, though I’m not all that entirely impressed with them myself but life goes on…

Here are two photos that I came up with after going through hundreds (more like over a thousand) of frames to capture.  I really hate working with water as they’re so unpredictable in movement.  It was also hard to time the shutter with one hand and splashing the water with the other.  The first photo I played around with the colours in Lightroom and Photoshop, so the water drops look kinda fake, but that was kind of the intention – to make it a little surrealistic.  I had the image in my head of water splashing across Christie while she’s in motion, but the end result didn’t come out as well as I had planned.

I couldn’t decide whether I liked the colour version or the B&W version below – okay, I lied - I prefer the B&W since I’m into the low key / harsh lighting type photos.  But I noticed most people prefer colour versions, so I posted both up to please both sides of the coin.

Yay!  I made it through the entire review without ever mentioning the monstrosity that was called a Tekken movie… wait… d’oh!  >_<’