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Today we'll be taking a look at one of ALTER's entry into the Bakemonogatari series, Hanekawa Tsubasa. Bakemonogatari is a light novel series written by Nisio Isin AKA NisiOisiN due to his pen name being a palindrome. Bakemonogatari focuses on a high school student named Koyomi Araragi and his encounters with all kinds of apparitions; gods, ghosts, mythological beasts, and spirits. A heroine is usually introduced each chapter within the series and the events and characters play an important part in the subsequent chapters.

I don't know much about the series or the characters so I don't want to spoil anything for you or myself. Tsubasa is a classmate of the protagonist and like the other heroines, she was possessed by a spirit. Her spirit is a monster cat, called a Bakeneko. The spirit seems to manifest when she is stressed and it's also a male spirit. This particular figure is based off of or inspired from the last episode of the "Tsubasa Cat" story arc.

The figure was originally released in October of 2011 but is being re-released in August 2013. The re-release is retailing for around 7,000 Yen and at this time should be available for pre-order from various sources. If for some reason you prefer to acquire the original then you would have to look toward the secondary market unless you luck out browsing a foreign store that carries figures. The good thing I guess is the pending re-release should help lower the price on the original. However a re-release is sometimes a gamble and depending on how they come out the original might end up costing even more.

For the purposes of this review we will be looking at the original release. Hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect for the release to help you decide if you want to add this wild cat into your collection.

Please understand a score of 10 will never be given as there is always room for improvement no matter how perfect a figure.

Packaging: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆







ALTER usually goes with white for their packaging which works perfectly. Every once in a while they veer from it and this would be one of those times. The choice of black and gold supports the theme of the figure quite nicely. The gold compliments her golden eyes and the black represents the night where she stalks about. The use of the "Tsubasa Cat" silhouette and paw prints covering the packaging is noted and appreciated. The creative artwork with the windows looking out into the night and the other silhouettes further supports the theme of the figure. And the pictures used shows off the figure quite nicely. The main window panel is big enough that you can see most of the figure and the packaging looks good enough that you probably could leave her in the box for display purposes.

Packaging weight and dimensions:
Weight: 1.01 kilograms
H: 290 mm
W: 300 mm
D: 230 mm

A lightweight non-corrugated cardboard was used for the packaging as usual. This helped keep weight down which was definitely needed as the figure and base is a bit heavy. The weight of the packaging with figure is over a kilogram and of course the box is quite big meaning shipping weight could be high as well. However there isn't much you can do about the size considering the contents within to ensure the figure is protected. So size and weight are worrisome which leaves protection. The good news is protection is actually adequate even for the size of the box. Normally lightweight cardboard and large surface areas do not go well together but they did a decent job with the inner liner and blister to provide decent support. The packaging should be able to resist some compression and the crumple zone is large enough that any deformation short of intentional damage should be halted before the figure within is damaged. So I guess she should get to you safely but it might cost you.

A typical two piece blister was used to protect the figure. Note the area around her face is flattened to give you an undistorted view of her face. In addition to the normal plastic sheets to protect from rubbing and paint transfer, they also used a sheet of bubble wrap to protect her wild and intricate hair. The two blister pieces were further secured by wire twist ties and tape to prevent the blister pieces from separating causing the figure within to shift around. The bulk of the strength of the packaging is provided by the blister.

ALTER did a decent job with packaging. Their choice of not using their typical white worked out nicely. The colors complimented the character and the decorations supported the theme of the character and series. The packaging is big and heavy but protection is adequate. She should get to you safely but it might cost a little. All in all they did nice job with the packaging. Expectations were met.

Sculpting: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆
Sculpting credits go to Tanaka Touji who has a decent number of lovely ladies under his belt. He's been working with figures for over a decade and looking at his past work you can see a gradual and steady improvement in details and execution. Below you can see some of the other girls he's worked for an idea of what to expect.

She is 1/7th in scale but due to her pose it probably doesn't look like it. However, if she was standing upright she would make for a towering/imposing figure. In any event lets move on to the main attraction. I decided to show her both with a white background and a black one. The reason being the scene this figure was based on occurs during the night so I felt it was best to show her in the appropriate setting.



She looks good, right? Hopefully the pictures do her justice and there really isn't any sculpting issues to point out except for something minor which I'll address soon enough. I searched and I searched but I couldn't find the screen capture of the scene she was supposedly based on/inspired from so I grabbed what I could to compare. As you can see they did a nice job on the details of her face, hair and outfit.

Let's start with her face. As you can see they did a decent job recreating it from the anime series. They captured her catlike eyes perfectly and that fanged mouth of hers. They did a great job with her jawline and the transition from it to her neck on down was seamless and natural looking. She looks good from various profiles. They captured her wild and innocent sides at the same time purrfectly. This isn't one cat girl you would want to cross. The only thing is the spirit haunting her is male yet she still looks feminine while the male spirit takes over? Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining and I'm sure actually seeing the anime/reading the books will probably show I'm not seeing the full picture. In any event her face looks purrrfect.

What will definitely get your attention is that wild hair of hers. It looks like if it's alive moving around ready to strike at you. It should be noted her hair is very stiff and if you should happen to drop her pieces will more than like break. So care should be taken with that as well as the various strands getting caught on something and snapping off. Her hair is nicely detailed and seems accurate to the recreation of the character stalking around at night. You have the typical seam line on the top of her head as well as some strands of her hair but they did minimize as well as integrate it into the hairstyle. Her hairstyle is quite dynamic and looks good from various angles and as mentioned is certain to catch your eye. A very nice job.

Since I haven't seen the anime or read the books, I assumed her ample cleavage showing was just some fan service. But after looking at the various screen captures from the "Tsubasa Cat" anime story arc it looks like they were just paying attention to the details. They replicated her exposed shoulder and cleavage perfectly. And speaking of her cleavage, they did a very nice job on her ample bosoms. Little is left to the imagination of those pendulous breasts of hers. I also liked the job they did with her neckline and defined collarbone. That exposed bit of flesh just makes you want to see more of her. Also as mentioned they did a nice job on the details that looks quite realistic.

Her pajamas isn't exactly tight fitting but at the same time you can easily see the curves she's hiding underneath. Her ample breasts popping out at the top doesn't hurt either. Note the details put into the outfit with the various wrinkles and how the material folds and stretches. It looks quite realistic as if she's really wearing it.

I love the job they did with her exposed tummy. I want to rub this kitty's tummy and make her purr. The way the shirt parts looks quite realistic and I love the job they did on the straps of her pants. Note her hands, fingers and claws. The hands and especially the fingers are usually neglected on most figures. You can tell they put some effort into them. They did a very nice job with the details and overall execution. She has some of the best hands and fingers I've seen on a figure of this scale to date especially the nails.

Moving on down to those long legs of hers, you can see the pants covering them are just as detailed. I love the way the material wrinkles, stretches and bunches up. It really looks like she's wearing them. Now I did mention a minor issue which you should be able to see. Look at where her left thigh transitions to her rear end. You can see that's where they attached the leg to the rest of her. I understand complicated poses like this are difficult to fabricate in a massed produce setting requiring the use of several pieces but I think they could have done a better job in minimizing or integrating the seam line into the design. I've seen it done plenty of times. However I don't really see any stitch lines they could have used and looking at how the pants conformed to her I guess there was not other way to do this. I guess they decided this was the best route to the go since she's meant to be seen from the front. So I guess it's a minor issue as it doesn't stand out most of the time and for normal display purposes you're not going to see it. Also, unless you have sharp eyes you probably didn't see the other seam line at her right shoulder. That's an example of what I was talking about in regards to minimizing/integrating the seam with the design. It just looks like one of the various wrinkles found on her outfit. I bet you didn't even notice the seam line at her left arm either. They hid it so well that you have to look up close and stare for some time before even seeing it.

Like her hands they put some effort into her feet and toes. The attention to detail and overall execution was very good. I love the job they did on the nails.

Tanaka Touji and ALTER did a nice job with her. From head to toe she's detailed and seems to be an accurate recreation of the character in demon form. The fit and finish for the most part was up to standards for them. The few visible seam lines should not be an issue especially with the most visible being on her butt. The ones on her head just don't stand out due to the distraction caused by her hairstyle. The others were minimized or integrated with the figure. More importantly they did such a nice job on her face and hair that you just won't notice the few seam lines present. Expectations were met.

Painting: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆
ALTER usually colors their figure competently using all the tools available. This figure isn't any different. if you look below you can see the figure and some screen caps from the anime. As you can see the colors used seem to match up nicely especially those golden eyes of hers.

Looking at her face you can see her eyes were placed precisely and look accurate to the anime/character design. Those eyes easily command your attention when you look upon her. I love the job they did with her kitty ears. Also, note her hair isn't one flat color but instead shaded to give it more depth and dimension. They did a nice job on her mouth and fangs and of course her lovely complexion.

They usually do a nice job on the flesh tone of their figures and as you can see they deliver again. Even though you don't see much flesh, what is exposed looks fantastic. Her flesh tone looks realistic and is nicely detailed. Look at the shading and accents used to bring life to her flesh.

Her PJs are not one flat color but again various shades to add to the overall details and depth to the figure. The various wrinkles, stretching and folds in her outfit looks even more realistic due to it. The decals/stencils were placed perfectly over her PJs as well. It looks like they took their time with each one even the ones on her breasts look purrfect. Another note to the attention to detail they put in, look at her nails. Each one was hand painted and pretty precisely. Now I understand it will vary between figures but from what I've seen I'd say it's safe to say you should expect the same level of quality and attention to detail. Now I can't say that for the re-release. If they do a cash grab and try to go cheap on the production then quality may suffer. I guess we'll find out?

ALTER did a nice job as usual coloring and bringing this figure to life. The attention to detail and accuracy is noted and appreciated. Expectations were met and possibly exceeded.

Posing: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆
As mentioned I searched and searched but couldn't find a screen cap of the scene that inspired the figure/pose. Since I haven't seen the anime or read the books I can't verify if there is even an actual scene in the anime. From the screen caps I've seen though the pose seems to keep in spirit with the character and what does happen during the "Tsubasa Cat" story arc where she stalks the protagonist. As mentioned her face seems accurate to the character design and anime. Also that wild hair of hers definitely seems spot on as well. What did it for me was those eyes of hers and the way she moved in the pose. She looks very catlike, graceful and lethal at the same time. This is definitely how I would picture a cat girl stalking around at night.

The pose is very dynamic especially due to her wild hair. She looks great from various profiles but she is meant to be displayed facing forward. She looks best displayed at eye level but you can't then above eye level works best since you get a clear view of her face. Plus it looks like she's getting ready to pounce on you.

Tanaka Touji and ALTER did a great job bringing the character to life. I don't know if they actually recreated a scene but the pose is fitting with the character. The pose is dynamic and easily grabs your attention. Expectations were met.

(______ x _ = ______) - 799134 = _____ are for fun! 8Þ
Total points increased to 12,500.
If you think you have the answer, do not send to me or you will be disqualified. Wait for an announcement on when/where to post your answer.

Base: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆
Most of the time the base used for a figure is only secondary or not important at all. However I like to think that a good base makes a good figure even better. In this case the base is actually an extension of the figure and they put a lot of effort and attention to it. It really looks like they ripped a piece of the street out where she is stalking about at night, even down to a portion of a sewer manhole cover. I'm not sure why they decided to slant it like they did since I didn't see the anime so not sure if they were trying to be accurate or just creative? I loved how they put paw prints all over the base. As nice as the base looks it also added to overall weight of the figure and packaging though. However, I don't think the figure would be the same without the base they used.

My only real concern is that I think they could have made the mounting pegs thicker and more sturdy. They are too thin for my comfort but so far have stood up to some abuse. She sits on the base securely enough but I wouldn't try to pick her up by the figure due to the weight of the base. You should always pick her up by the base to avoid any damage.

All in all they did a nice job with the base. It's stable but big so it may limit where you can display her. However, it's critical to the figure as you need both to recreate the scene that inspired the figure. Expectations were met and possibly exceeded.

Enjoyment: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆
Here we arrive at the end. Hopefully if you were trying to decide if you wanted to consider the re-release that you've gotten a good idea of what to expect from the figure. As for my enjoyment of the figure, it would be subjective and difficult to quantify. The best I can do is to indicate whether I thought she was worth the cost. I do not regret getting her and think she was worth what I paid. Now bear in mind we looked at the original release so the re-release could be the same or different. If I had to do it again knowing what I know now I would still do it again and get her. She definitely makes me want to see the "Tsubasa Cat" story arc and I can only hope the R1 release for the series eventually gets made. They did a lovely job with the details and overall execution of the figure. My expectations were met and possibly exceeded. I would love to see their version of the non-demon form of Tsubasa though.

See you later.
12,635 osumaa • 0 suosikki4 kommenttia



Which do you prefer of the two shown above? Yes, I know it is an unfair comparison...

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Thanks for this! Just finished this series and now I will be adding this lovely lady to my wishlist! Thanks!
4 vuotta sitten
Awesome review! And Hanekawa looks great! A worthy figure to own.
7 vuotta sitten
lonesomefolly7 vuotta sitten#1469139Loved the review, myself I'm wondering whether to get black hanekawa from Alter or Koto. I wish you had pitted them against each other instead of GSC Hanekawa.
That aside, I really think GSC's Hanekawa looks more dynamic and brings a lot more into the table (two sets of glasses, two hairs, an extra shoe, the cellphone, desk, chair). It's my favorite figure at the moment in my collection :p

I agree. A comparison between Koto's and Alter Hanekawa would have been nice O:
Also, I don't know If it's just me, or what, but... There's something about this Hanekawa's face that seems off...

Anyway, nice review C:

Edit: LOL, forget it. I saw Koto's Hanekawa's face and.. LOOOL. This is way better.
7 vuotta sitten
Loved the review, myself I'm wondering whether to get black hanekawa from Alter or Koto. I wish you had pitted them against each other instead of GSC Hanekawa.

That aside, I really think GSC's Hanekawa looks more dynamic and brings a lot more into the table (two sets of glasses, two hairs, an extra shoe, the cellphone, desk, chair). It's my favorite figure at the moment in my collection :p
7 vuotta sitten
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