When Hanako was first revealed to be in production back in May she was an instant preorder for me, and I expect was so for many other Tsukasa Jun fans; his past collaborations with Megahouse had yielded nothing but solid gold, and the prospect of an original cowgirl kit was right up my alley. When we confirmed later in the summer that she was a likely candidate for castoff that was just icing on an already delicious cake – now that she’s finally out, how does she stack up to the hype? Very well indeed, as I’m pleased to report:
Original Design: Tsukasa Jun
Sculptor: Osiris (Heavy Gauge)
Scale: 1/8 (14 cm tall)
Release Date: November 28th, 2007
Price: 5,250 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: [KNC] [HLJ] [HS] [TL] [AAA]
Support HD!: [PA] [YA]
According to her original scoop in the July edition of Hobby Japan magazine this version of Holstein Hanako-san was a design commissioned from Tsukasa Jun for the express purpose of this kit. Due to this there isn’t much else to say about her beyond her very attractive concept art:
original Tsukasa Jun design illustration
Update: it should be noted that Hanako’s design did not originate with this kit; Cobra-Kai‘s Toushirou produced a Hanako-san resin kit based on an alternate illustration of the character that was originally released in 2004.
Sculptor Osiris proved his credentials with the early ’07 release of Megahouse’s Queen’s Blade Echidna, so it was with high hopes that I learned of his participation in this project. I’m happy to report that his sculpting skill was a nigh perfect match for the voluptuously toned curves of Tsukasa Jun’s original art, creating a 3D representation that mirrors the original with something close to perfection. Thanks to his devotion to detail and keen 3D eye she is a kit that looks great from a wide variety of angles, and has so many appealing elements I had trouble narrowing down the ones I wanted to focus on for the footer images of this review.
Sculpturally speaking I can’t think of anything I’d want to see done better on this kit. If I had to be completely anal I’d mention that there are a few slightly unflattering angles from which her breasts look a bit off, but that’s true for just about every pair of breasts in existence so it’s not really a fair criticism. For fans of proportions such as the ones displayed here this sculpt has so many erogenous zones that writing this part of the review has been quite distracting…
Ye gods Megahouse, how do you do it? The maker yet again manages to keep production costs down and transfer the savings to us in the form of an incredibly reasonable price for what is one of the highest quality PVC figures on the market today. Hanako’s paint job contains some of the most varied textures I’ve seen together in a single kit, with metallic chrome on her sleeves and leggings, shiny leather trim and boot soles, matte cloth, semi-gloss skin, translucent chrome butterfly wings – the list goes on and on. Shading and detail work are applied with tremendous efficacy, and a few bits of slippage on the trim don’t mar the overall gorgeous effect.
The casting job is equally solid, with details such as rivets and fingernails preserved without obtrusive seams or mold lines present. A few very faint lines are visible from certain angles, but nothing that detracts from the overall impression of the kit. The only slight gripe I would have in this department would be that the upper part of her right bra strap is disconnected (to allow for easy castoffability) and looks a bit obvious from some angles; this is inevitable due to the castoff configuration however and is not easily noticeable.
I think any serious criticism of Megahouse’s Holstein Hanako-san is likely to come in the form of distaste for her entire concept (which is rather whimsical, and the expression on her face is pretty vapid when it comes down to it) instead of a critique of the talent or production quality that went into bringing her to us. From a technical perspective the kit doesn’t go anywhere we haven’t been before, but it covers the best of established PVC theory with the confidence and mastery of the medium that Megahouse has become famous for (and at an astoundingly reasonable price), and thus it is without hesitation that I can recommend this kit to anyone at all interested in what she has to offer.
Overall Score: 10/10
+ lovely original Tsukasa Jun design
+ Osiris kicks ass in the sculpting department
+ exceptional range of textures and fine attention to detail
+ solid, high fidelity casting with minimal seams / mold lines
+ great price point for a kit of this caliber
+ uncomplicated castoff
o truncated bra strap a bit obvious from certain angles
– having to place bets on who would win in a milk-off: tag teamed Holstein and Guernsey Hanakos, or Sanae
If you’re interested in picking her up and supporting HD in the process she’s still available at Play Asia! If you’re on a budget HLJ and Hobby Search still have her as well. I’d hurry though, as I suspect she won’t be around for long…
At this point I’m leaning against a separate review post for Guernsey Hanako (everything I’ve said here would apply to her equally); I’ll try to get a full image gallery for her online shortly.