Mirei-san is the third Yamashita Shunya-designed original figure to be released in Kotobukiya’s shop-limited Art of Yamashita Shunya series (we reviewed the first, Sela-chan, back in February of 2006). Sculpting duty was handed to in-house Kotobukiya veteran Otsuyama Houjun this time, known for competent craftsmanship if not particularly inspired work in the past; under the guidance of Yamashita’s solid designs he has produced here what may be his best kit yet, but is it good enough to justify the already steep Kotobukiya-limited price and proxy import fees? You decide…

Original Design: Yamashita Shunya
Sculptor: Otsuyama Houjun (Amiami search)
Source: Original (design illustration)
Scale: 1/7 (19 cm tall)
Materials: PVC, ABS
Release Date: Mid-April, 2007
Production: Kotobukiya
Price: 7,350 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: Kotobukiya Shop limited (no international shipping)
Kit Variations: Kansai version


Heisei Democracy Kotobukiya Yamashita Shunya Mirei-san PVC figure review

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Heisei Democracy Kotobukiya Yamashita Shunya Mirei-san PVC figure review

The Good

  • While any sculptor’s creative role in this figure series is subservient to Yamashita’s designs, Otsuyama has done a very nice job indeed of rendering the vision of the original in three dimensions. It’s hard to imagine the figure looking significantly different than it does, and that’s no small feat.


Yamashita Shunya original Mirei-san design illustration

Yamashita Shunya’s original Mirei-san design

  • Kotobukiya’s generally above-par manufacturing quality is in evidence here, with subtle shading on the hair and clothing that really lends vibrancy to the sculpt. There are no flagrantly offending seams or mold lines visible (other than on the top of the head, forgiven due to the hair being replaceable).

The Adequate

  • From a few vantage points the figure looks disturbingly doll-like. It’s a quality that’s hard to pin down, but has something to do with a stiffness of posture and narrowness of gaze… oh, and the floating arm doesn’t help either. While I always like the options granted by replacement parts I would have preferred that the arm sculpt fit more snugly against her thigh.

The Ugly

  • The price and limited availability are the real one-two punch that lowers her from a solid purchasing decision to more iffy territory; if you want this kit you have no choice but to pay Kotobukiya retail, and 7,350 yen is asking too much. A release on the open market would benefit everyone involved.

Overall Score: 8/10

This is a good kit, no question; Yamashita Shunya’s prodigal design ability manifests well with Otsuyama as a channel, and everything about it speaks to a professional job well done. That said, it lacks the certain plus alpha that inspires insatiable lust in me as a figure collector, and coupled with the high price and limited availability I would recommend it only to ardent Yamashita fans and those with a lot of ready cash to burn.

Omake

Yoshida Yuri cosplays as Mirei-san on Act On TV’s Figure Oukoku (courtesy of the official Kotobukiya blog):


Kotobukiya's Mirei-san cosplay