Among the three most popular Ikkitousen heroines (Kanu, Ryomou, and Hakufu, with Ryofu as an honorary fourth) Hakufu is probably my least favorite from a design perspective. That said, listening to Ikkitousen web radio for the past few months has made me a diehard fan of Asano Masumi, her voice actress. This has nothing to do with the figure in question, I just felt like a little random Masumin respect was necessary… at any rate, this offering from Griffon has dispelled much of my distaste for Hakufu’s design and is probably the best figure of her that I’ve ever seen. Read on for why:
Original Design: Shiozaki Yuuji
Sculptor: Yamamoto Masahiro (Amiami search)
Source: Ikkitousen (manga, anime)
Scale: 1/6 (13 cm tall)
Release Date: July 31st, 2007
Price: 6,825 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: [KNC] [HLJ] [HS] [TL] [AAA] [PA]
Hakufu fills the role of protagonist in the complex web of factional fighting and fanservice that is Ikkitsousen. She’s a simpleminded, uninhibited but powerful fighter who dislikes being called stupid and often quarrels with her (sexy, Inoue Kikuko-voiced) mother. There’s a range unflattering epithets that could be applied to her character that I’ll pass up on here; suffice to say she can be irritating at times, but her straightforward no-nonsense attitude is generally refreshing.
All of that is thrown out the window with this kit, which shows her in a deliberately vulnerable position, with subtly inflected emotion that it’s hard to imagine her ordinarily capable of. Unlike most other Hakufu kits this approach works really well for me; although I like strong willed, kick-ass female characters in general there’s something about the crude raunchiness of a lot of Hakufu depictions that rubs me the wrong way.
While the initial display samples of the kit looked solid I was a bit worried about how Griffon‘s quality control would hold out given their relative inexperience in the PVC field. I was pleasantly surprised to find both the sculpt and the paint job quite well done, on par if not superior to their cold cast offerings – distinctively, the paint job on the skin is highly reminiscent of the matte paint used on cold casts or acrylics used on model kits, and that’s what gives some of the review photos their “film grain” look. It’s a new texture for PVC and I rather like what they did with it.
The one incredibly obvious and troubling aspect of the kit is revealed after the (incredibly painless) cast off. I don’t think I have to go into detail aside from the rhetorical WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING, and wondering who in the QC department got their hide tanned for those twin circular aberrations. Sigh. It’s not a big deal when viewed at a reasonable distance, but still… *smacks forehead*
Regardless, this is a very nice kit that I’d recommend to anyone who’s not too disturbed by the docile, feminine eroticism that radiates from the normally mannish Hakufu. Hardcore fans of Ikkitousen’s Amazon protagonist may disagree, but in my book this is the best 3D representation of Hakufu yet released.
Overall Score: 9/10
Omake: Some of the least comprehensible engrish I’ve seen on a figure box. If they were trying to make the packaging look as official as possible to dissuade Triad counterfeiters this probably wasn’t the way to do it:
suitable for ages three to adult