Yamato: Hattori Kiriko

Hattori Kiriko was released back in March of this year, I received her through a US retailer about a couple of months after the Japan release. I had intended to complete her review before I left on vacation but something happened along the way and it made me procrastinate putting out this review till now. Since I’m on the subject of ninjas (Alter’s Momohime review), I might as well get on Hattori’s review before other figures come and occupy my mind!

I first saw Hattori Kiriko’s figure a couple of months before her release, at that time HobbyFan had her pre-order for around $75USD, which was surprisingly cheaper than getting her from Japan. The only downside was that I had to wait about two months after her release to get her – I didn’t mind as I was saving around $30 dollars.

I contemplated on whether or not to order her but curiosity got the best of me so I decided to give her a shot. She looked quite elegant in the photos and how could I say no to her 1/5 scale? Yup, Kiriko comes in 1/5 scale, standing from head to toe at roughly 34cm! Sculpted by Reflect, Kiriko is a very close clone to the original illustration by Yamashita. While once again I’m not familiar with the origins of this character, Enka Odo dai Shogun, it doesn’t stop me from appreciating the figure for what it is.

Kiriko, to me, is a hard figure to review as I have some mixed feelings about her. While the overall presentation is fairly good and her sculpt is accurate to the illustration, there’s something about her figure that nabs at me. But more on that later…

First off I just have to say that Kiriko was a hard character to photograph, as her colour scheme is very drastic – the black and light purple (almost gray) played havoc with light metering – so I have to apologize for the over exposure in most of these shots!

At first glance, Kiriko is a very sexy figure with a very feminine pose – the skin tight outfit contributes to her sex appeal as she boldly shows off her figure. Given that she’s in 1/5 scale, it allows for a more proportionate body sculpt, though she gives off the illusion that her body is longer than it looks.

One of the details that captivated me in the preview photos is her face and eyes – I think she has a beautiful face and the details in her eye lashes adds to her feminine aura. One thing that surprised me when I got the figure though was how green her eyes are. In comparison to the preview photos, the green is much more saturated on the production model – it looks almost lizard like.

My figure, unfortunately, came with some scratches and what seems like glue on part of her chin. I tried cleaning it off, but it’s on there pretty good, looks like I would have to slice it off if I want to make her chin smooth. Luckily it’s not as noticeable in person, but you can see a bit of that in the below shot; notice the edge of her chin appears kind of sharp and uneven.

The black, gold and red scheme of her armour is simple but effective. There are some small details on her armour but for the most part it’s rather smooth and without texture. The black also attracts dust like no tomorrow, I had quite a bit of trouble keeping her clean for the macro shoots.

The arm guards have some details and patterns but they’re rather simplistic and lacks texture as well. Normally this may not be a problem, but keep in mind she is 34cm tall, so she has quite a bit of surface area. The all black paint work on such a large surface that lacks texture is rather bland and boring if you ask me. If she was smaller, in 1/8 or 1/7 scale I think it would have worked out better.

Yamato did accomplish a very good paint application though, most lines are clean and there is very little overlapping. The red ribbon in front of her would spell disaster if there was any overlapping on to her purple suit given the fact her front is so exposed.

As most in the community already know, Yamashita + Reflect usually spell out more realistic looking figures rather than the typical anime-isc look. This is easily evident in Kiriko with just one look, from her breasts to her waist and all the way down her legs. I think the Reflect did an excellent job with the sculpt around this area of the body, as her body is twisted slightly with one leg forward. It’s a very natural pose.

If there’s to be a complaint about this area of the figure, it would be the large empty space between her chest armour and her leggings. While that’s just how Kiriko is designed, the large empty space does look boring and make you feel wanting.

The patterns on her legging is well done, like her upper body armour, the lines are clean and precise. The black and red colour scheme carries down her legs and is painted smoothly, no blotchy paint work here! Only gripe is that I’m not a fan of the all black (majority) scheme, but that’s really a personal taste.

The black-white-black overall look is nice though, reminds me of an Oreo cookie – yummy! Kiriko is fairly yummy herself too!

Kiriko’s sword is a loose piece which you side into her hand, you can adjust how high she holds on to the hilt depending on your preference. Personally, I think she looks better holding the sword closer to the guard as it looks more relaxed. The blade has some very slight details, but nothing to write home about. The silver paint is nice and reflective, though, making it look more realistic.

The red string thingy (yes, I just called it a red string thingy – my brain’s not functioning properly right now) is an actual string, so it hangs freely from the pommel of the sword. I find it a nice touch and adds to the overall presentation of the figure.

The hair pin is also a loose piece – when I say loose I really mean that literally! It sits very loosely in a shallow hole between her hair tie so be careful when handling her as it may fall out quite easily. The details of her hair is nicely sculpted, it actually looks like her hair is being pulled back into a pony tail. The different depth in her strands of hair help promote this illusion that her hair is pulled back tightly – it isn’t something that we see in many figures.

You may also notice in the picture below (left) that Kiriko looks like she’s leaning a bit to the right – don’t worry, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Kiriko has a leaning problem, but not the leaning problem that we’ve become accustomed to. It has more to do with her base and the peg not thick enough to support the weight of her body. The hole in her foot is slightly larger than the peg, so she’s somewhat standing loosely on the base – thus she wobbles and leans a little to the right. This can be remedied, however, but I didn’t bother. Kiriko’s legs are quite solid and got some nice weight to it, I don’t think there will be any leaning issues with this figure.

The back of Kiriko’s armour has a design of a devil’s face, which is typical of ninja or samurai armour design. But the best part of this figure, if you ask me, is the sculpt of Kiriko’s back. I guess you can say I’m more of an ass person than a breast person – Kiriko definitely has one of the best butt sculpt I’ve seen since I started writing figure reviews. While I complained the front section of the figure looked a little boring with all the plain white / grayish purple, I don’t mind the back side! ;-)

Kiriko’s base has a mirror finish, which looks great with her reflection in it. I just wish the peg on the base was a bit more beefier so it would prevent Kiriko from leaning slightly. How does ninja fight in those high heels is beyond me – she must have mad skills! ^_^’

While most of what I have to say about this figure is positive, I did mention in the beginning that something about this figure nabbed at me. To be frank, I think this figure is boring. I was excited by the promo pics when she went up for pre-orders, she looked great in the photographs. But when I actually got Kiriko in my hands and was taking photos of her, I found her to be really boring to take photos of. I couldn’t come up with any creative ideas when I look at her; while her pose is fairly elegant, it is reminiscent of a boring bikini figure pose. No matter which angle you look at her, it’s the same look and the same pose. She’s pretty, don’t get me wrong, but there’s just so many ways I can take her picture and then become bored.

What also contributes to this boring feeling may be her size – while its great that she’s in 1/5 scale, many times we all wish our figures were a little larger, but in this case it may be Kiriko’s downfall. Mainly, she doesn’t have a lot of detail on her body and her midsection is completely bare of colour. Being 34cm tall, that’s a lot of negative space in between – I honestly think Kiriko might fare better if she was sculpted at a smaller scale.

That said, if I could go back in time, I probably would have stopped myself from purchasing this Kiriko and save some money. Then again, I look at her back side and all is right in the world again! As I’ve said, this is one figure that gives me all sorts of mixed feelings; I just don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.