MegaHouse: Yagyu Jubei (Queen’s Gate)

Note: The following material is rated 18+ due to its mature content, viewer discretion is advised (tee hee, I’ve always wanted to say that).

Yagyu Jubei is one of the most famous and romanticized of the samurai in Japan’s feudal era. Well, at least that’s what Wikipedia tells me anyway. Quite honestly, I’ve never been that keen on Japanese history and lore so Jubei’s name was pretty much absent in my life until I came across something called Hyakka Ryoran, aka Samurai Girls. The jist of it is that they made famous guys from ancient times into hot girls – like the Ikki Tousen series. The concept is still somewhat twisted to me, but I’m not going to say no to these girls.

My first encounter with Jubei’s figure was the one made by Alter, but by the time I got into the hobby it was already long sold out. And since I wasn’t familiar with the character I ignored her figure for the longest time, at least until I saw that Alter was re-releasing her last summer. I began to like her character design as I looked at more of her photos so I decided to get the Alter Jubei – which led to my getting the limited swimsuit version and now this version from MegaHouse.

I intended on writing the review on Alter’s Jubei first, as it made more sense chronologically. But both of the previous Alter figures have been out for awhile so there are already some reviews out for them – thus I decided to write my review on the MegaHouse version first. Another motivation for me to write this review was the fact that the pictures of this Hobby Japan exclusive figure are pretty crappy (as of the writing of this review). Most of the pictures that I’ve seen since her release simply doesn’t do the figure justice, while I was waiting for my Jubei to arrive I wondered if she was worth the cost of being an exclusive figure. Not that my pictures for this review are the “end all, be all” but I think at least curious collectors will have a better idea on what this figure is like and the quality MegaHouse has put in it.

If you’ve been following my site for awhile, you may have noticed that I tend to go through the review showing more detailed pictures of the figures first then getting to the more “artsy” type at the end. Recently, I’ve tried to change that in an attempt to spice things up a little – I decided to use more artsy type photos rather than clear / detailed shots. But going back on some of the comments and feedbacks, it seems like a number of viewers do like the fact that I showed the smaller details of a figure in my reviews that are normally not mentioned by others. It may be a little more time consuming and boring, but if the demands are there, then I guess it’s worth it. While I probably will mix the two types of styles depending on how a figure inspires me in the future, for this particular review I’ve reverted back to my old style of showing the details. My decision for that is mainly due to the lack of information and detail about this figure, and as I mentioned earlier, pictures that just doesn’t do her justice. Plus, I couldn’t come up with an interesting enough backdrop. LOL

A lot of the pictures of Jubei that have surfaced since her recent release have been quite different from her promotional photos from MegaHouse. I found a lot of the photos showed her paint work to be harsh and static and that her body lacked any details. Well, when I finally got the figure in hand, I realized those photos couldn’t have been more wrong and the more closely I inspected the figure the more details popped out at me. She definitely lives up to their “Excellent Model” line up, although it’s not something you will notice right away – there’s a bit of warm up time involved.

So when you first see this figure in person, what do you notice? Aside from her skimpy outfit, she’s small. Yes, this Yagyu Jubei is sculpted in 1/8 scale, but she looks smaller than your usual 1/8 scaled figures. Well, that is until I had put her beside some of my other 1/8 scaled figures to compare – she looks in line with the average 1/8 scaled figures. I was curious as to why she looked so small by herself, even for a 20cm figure (would be taller if she was standing straight). Then as I progressed through with her photo shoot, I began to realize why that is – her physique. Her body is small and thin, as are her arms and legs – there’s just not that much meat on this girl, not like the Mai I’ve just reviewed (she’s beefy). Jubei’s lean physique and lack of clothing adds to her illusion of smallness – and as I type this I’m starting to wonder why I didn’t take any photos of her beside other figures to show you how she scales with them, particularly the other two Jubei figures that I have. D’uuuuuuh! Looks like I’ve gotta make an edit on this review later. >_<’

But getting back to the details, most of the pictures you may have seen so far have probably been a full frontal picture, which is a pretty boring angle. What I mean by that is this figure contains a lot of hidden detail that the normal frontal view doesn’t capture. One detail in particular is the back of her hair – which you can see below that actually has quite a bit going on. The rope that ties her hair up into two small pony tails has tiny strands like a real rope. Then there’s the two black hair clip things that closely resembles the sheathe of her sword although the paint detail isn’t as meticulous as Alter’s version. The bun, however, looks more special as it’s shaped like a rose rather than a ball of hair like Alter’s. You win some, you lose some. =P

One other small thing that I noticed compared to the promotional photos is that the two rope things on the back of her hair are soft. So they fall down rather than stand up like in the official photos, hell, even on the box art. The hair is nicely sculpted, although I think Alter’s is still better, but this one has a sense of softness to it – if that makes any sense. There’s the typical seam line at the top of the head, but it’s not as noticeable in person.

Also unlike the other Jubei figures, this one has an open mouth sculpt. It’s a hard thing to sculpt and make it look good, particularly anime mouths which have no lips. Some people hate them, some people don’t mind them – I’m probably part of the latter group. While looking at the mouth through two dimensional photos resembles an anime picture more, looking at the mouth in person in a three dimensional setting is a little different. The more I stared at it, the weirder it looked to me – I don’t know why but the term “blowjob” comes to mind. =P

The clothing is really skimpy and simple in design – but the painting on it is superb, lines are clean and precise as well as the smoothly blended shading in the pink. The material of the shirt is soft, as it’s a cast-off, but its fitment on her body is really tight. I took a couple of tries to get it to sit properly and clip in on the sides (it’s the typical clamshell design). To remove her shirt, you just pull off her head and split open the left and right sides and slide the shirt off over her body. Her breasts fit inside her shirt very tightly, so I think constant cast-off / cast-on may result in some sort of scratch marks over her breasts – which may not be much of a problem for me as doing this review will probably be the only time I ever remove her clothes. But this is still something to keep in mind should you want to cast-off/on her clothing often.

The skirt or belt is a really interesting design concept, if you ask me. It looks like a belt, yet it looks like a very loose fiting short skirt – either way, it doesn’t cover much nor does it leave anything to the imagination. The paint on the flowers are also interesting as they resemble a dot-matrix print job, you don’t see the dots as easily in person but the macro lens sure as hell picked it up.

The belt (I’m just gonna call it that) sits very loosely around her hips and I found that it tends to rise up when handling the figure. It can be removed from Jubei by simpling unclipping the silver triangle part. I’d recommend being careful with this though, as if you force it the wrong way the little stub might break off.

From the rear you also get a clearer view of the details around Jubei’s hips – the area surrounding it has some nice detail which I find are typical of MegaHouse figures. It adds a little more form and visual cue to the area which would otherwise be a dead space to me. The belt is also quite unique compared to many of the figures I’ve seen and own, so definite brownie points for this design.

With such a short top and barely a skirt, there’s a lot of room in between to showcase Jubei’s abs. Again, it’s one of those things that you probably won’t notice from the front as the muscle structure is more prevalent from the sides. I find it reminiscent of Sora Kasugano’s abs, which happens to be another MegaHouse figure. Also from the side, you can see how thin Jubei is – from my recollection, Alter’s Jubei figures are a little beefier. I could be wrong though, as they are still sitting in their boxes and I haven’t looked at them in awhile.

I like the look of the belt from the left side, it’s just hanging off her hips – I find that to have a strange sex appeal to it.

The geta is well done and the sole is somewhat reflective – there’s a slight metallic pink glow around the soles due to the base design. But still, the geta doesn’t look all that comfortable to me – wouldn’t Jubei prefer some nice boots instead? =) The paint work around her feet is fairly clean with no overlaps of the black which is a good thing as she has white socks on. The geta’s platform is also a lot thinner than that found on other Jubei figures.

I like the base of this figure, the metallic finish is a nice touch even though there’s no design on it whatsoever. Sometimes simplicity works, although I wouldn’t mind having some floral design that matches those found on her skirt.

Another variation of this version of Jubei is the mounting position of her swords. In Alter’s version, the sheathes are tied to each of her thighs, while this version only has one sheathe on her right arm guard and she wields a chain blade in her left hand. The katana that’s sheathed on the right arm can be removed and held in her left hand in place of the chain blade – that unfortunately displaces the chain blade as Jubei cannot duel weild in this version.

Her right hand looks awkward to me, I tried to do a similar pose and it kind of hurt my fingers – the positioning is just so unnatural. It reminds me of this guy from an auto commercial you may have seen.

Wielding the fixed katana, Jubei looks a little more agile to me but at the same time loses the coolness factor of this figure.

I think MegaHouse did an excellent job with the chain blade, the handle is extremely detailed with very clean paint application. The blade itself also has a cool red metallic glow around its edges with onyx black in the center. There have been a couple of reports that the chain came broken, which is a shame, but I can definitely see that happening. The material is somewhat flexible but will still snap rather easily if mis-handled. On the bright side the remedy is fairly straight forward and a little super glue should do the trick.

This is the first Queen’s Gate figure that I got from MegaHouse and I think the first one that’s 18+ from them too. That means I don’t have anything to compare Jubei with aside from looking at other reviews and pictures. I’m not sure if it’s like this on the other “adult” MegaHouse figures but Jubei has a really weird way of censoring her private part. I don’t know whose bright idea it was to use a band-aid, but it really “kills the mood” so to speak. I don’t know if it’s because it looks so stupid there or that we normally associate band-aids with wounds – blood, pus, cuts, scabs, etc. Are you feeling as turned off as I am yet?

Personally I think there could have been so many ways they could’ve handled this, such as using the bikini-like panties as illustrated below (from the game book). Hell, I think I’d even settle for the typical Griffon Enterprises barbie doll style too. That band-aid design is just really poor taste, particularly how visible it is on the figure.

Since I mentioned the game book, here’s also another shot of Jubei which is probably what this figure was based on. I have the game book, but don’t understand it – I thought it was supposed to be an art book of Jubei illustrations. It ended up being a game book with a lot of ecchi pics of Jubei. It’s kind of like one of those old “choose your own adventures” type of deal, you roll a number and turn to a specific page. At least I’m guessing it’s a dice rolling type game – anyway, looks like the more you win, the less Jubei wears. This outfit with the belt/skirt is achieved when she loses her outfit and underwear – but once again that’s just my assumption looking through the book. ^_^’

While MegaHouse got the vaginal area all wrong, at least they got the breasts right. In my opinion, they don’t look all that bad and is proportionate to the body. Definitely no torpedo boobs here! Nipples also look normal, albeit a bit on the pink side. With her outfit removed, you can see why Jubei appears to be so small – as I’ve mentioned she has a really small frame. If this body was real, her clothing size will probably be XXXS (no pun intended)!

The body sculpt is great though, even I’m attempted to just display her without her clothes on. The skin tone is fair with subtle shading, the paint work is very clean as well with no visible black specks or dust particles. I may just have been lucky with this figure though. But best of all, no seam lines! I didn’t even notice until I was reviewing the pictures, it was like when the apple fell on Newton’s head – ding!

The lower right photo (#33) is probably my favourite – it shows off the sculpt work on Jubei’s back side very well. The two little dips just above her hips may be a little heavy handed but they serve their purpose well and helps accentuate her lower back. In the lower right picture, Jubei’s butt cheeks look a little unbalanced though, the left side has a slight perk to it while the right side looks somewhat flat. It may be the way her legs are positioned, but it never hurts to add a little more definition. That strap around her right thigh also looks fairly good simulating tightness pushing in to her skin, but it looks a little bit too tight. I wonder if Jubei will have blood circulation problems…

All in all, I think this figure is pretty good – I love the body sculpt but that band-aid censor is just plain stupid. If I can pick one gripe about this figure that would be it. If there are other reviews out there, I’m pretty certain they will complain about the same thing.

One other thing I almost forgot to mention is the weight distribution – I want to say that she’s fairly balanced but the truth is there’s somewhat of a pull towards the rear. Since she’s on one leg and leaning backwards I’m not sure if she’ll develop some sort of leaning years down the road. The left leg doesn’t feel all that stiff to me, it’s sturdy, but I have some doubts that it will support the weight of her body over time due to the angle.

If I had to pick my favourite out of the three Jubei that I have, I think Alter’s first version is still the best. It’s value, quality and design supersedes the others. Was this Jubei worth the price of an exclusive? I would have to say no and will probably give it a rating of 7/10 if I give out ratings – which I don’t. =P I was really excited when I first saw the promo pics of MegaHouse’s Jubei, then I got slightly turned off when I learned about the band-aid thing but kept hoping that was only there on the sample model. Since her release, some pictures surfaced on the Internet from those who have received her already – I felt underwhelmed and quite honestly a little sad with the way she turned out.

When I finally received her in my hands though, I knew she wasn’t all that bad and definitely not as bad as some of the pics I’ve seen. I know I mentioned this already at the beginning of the review, but I just want to re-iterate what this figure is all about. Hopefully my review here will help the potential buyers out there or curious collectors to see that although she may not be the best Jubei figure, she definitely isn’t bad by any means. She may be expensive, but she’s definitely a good one to have in your collection particularly if you’re a Jubei fan.