I had never purchased a New Line figure before this one was announced (in the past they were primarily known for expensive cold casts whose looks never quite fit my budget), but when the fishnet version of their “private” Kousaka Tamaki was announced my willpower crumbled and I placed the preorder. Preview shots hinted at a figure that positively exuded erotic pheromones, and it was with high hopes that I embarked upon this review following the figure’s release last month. While ultimately the finished product isn’t quite as impressive as the prototype shots I’m still quite happy with the end result, explored in detail below:
Original Design: Amazuyu Tatsuki
Source: To Heart 2 (eroge, multimedia empire)
Scale: 1/6 (26 cm tall)
Option Parts: none
Release Date: April 2008
Production: New Line
Price: 8,190 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: [KNC] [KNC] [HLJ] [HLJ] [HS] [HS] [TL] [TL]
Support HD!: [PA] [PA] [YA] [YA]
Kousaka Tamaki, often referred to as “Tama-nee”, is one of the most popular heroines of both the original PS2 all-ages version of To Heart 2 and its “XRATED” PC version. She is a stereotypical onee-san (older sister) character and is often portrayed as slightly sadistic or tsundere. I’m a fan of her character to the extent that I’ll pick up her doujinshi on occasion, but normally wouldn’t jump at Tama-nee figure unless it presented some rather extraordinary attributes, which this one definitely does….
The above text was written to preface the last Tama-nee figure review I did almost a year ago for Daiki Kougyou’s Godzilla Toushirou “tsun-kao” rendition, and while New Line’s version isn’t quite as epic the preamble applies just as well here.
I find it mystifying the extent to which many Tama-nee figures deviate from Amazuyu Tatsuki‘s original design, and like Toushirou’s attempt before it the work of Goemon here doesn’t particularly resemble her (in terms of facial construction, at least). I suppose it could be put down to the artistic license of the sculptor, but it seems that slapping a pair of red twintails onto a voluptuous body will give you all you need for a Tamaki kit. Not that I mind, as I’ve never played the game and don’t have a huge affinity for her original design, but in terms of fidelity this sculpt isn’t quite there.
In terms of raw craftsmanship, on the other hand, this is a very nice piece indeed. The stomach and back aren’t quite as well defined as I’d like, but her upper torso is a thing of beauty – the more I look at that part of the sculpt the more I appreciate the subtle dedication to detail of the interaction of the skin and fabric of her bra, and in that sense this is a kit that really couldn’t be castoffable – it’s too anatomically correct. The sculpt around the hips and thighs is quite nice as well, and the pose is engineered to show off these two charm points to maximum effect. Not incredibly dynamic, but it doesn’t have to be.
Let’s start with the questionable and move on to the awesome. The points I can criticize on this kit are seams that are a bit more visible than they perhaps ought to be (under her chin and the joining of her arms to her torso), and the odd choice of fire-engine red for the paint job on the nipples. Either she has some serious chafing going on, or she’s an alien, or they ran out of pink paint and decided to use her hair color there as well; whatever the reason it’s a curious design choice that while certainly not a deal breaker I did find mildly distracting. Another element of the paint job at odds with the original prototype is the eye application, which has been simplified away from the subtle allure of the original:
That said, there’s a lot done right about the production of this kit that serves to recommend it highly. The casting job (other than a few seams) is spot on, with minimal mold lines and faithful rendition of small details. The fishnet stockings are very well done, especially for a figure of this small size – they look natural and realistic (other than the inevitably large seam up the back) and compare favorably to the work on FREEing’s 1/4 scale Haruhi bunny series.
Other than the exceptions noted above the paint job is also quite solid, with a suitably shaded matte finish on the skin and semi-gloss for the hair and lingerie that works well (though could perhaps be a bit more texturally varied; her panties look to be made of leather in certain lighting). Detail work is quite good, always a priority when dealing with black paint against a light (flesh-colored) background, and despite the red nipples the “transparent” parts of the bra convincingly and subtly rendered.
New Line’s “fishnet” Tama-nee is a really nice figure. That said, a slightly weak and un-Tama-nee-ish face sculpt is weakened further by a bold and simplistic eye design, at odds with the more subtle feathered lashes promised by the promotional prototype images. That promo shot also promises nipples of a more standard nipply color rather than the stark red of the final project. If the promise of the prototype had remained fully intact, New Line’s “private version” Kousaka Tamaki would be an easy recommendation across the board, but as is she fields a bit weaker hand that may cause some to pass her up for others with a superior price to quality ratio. I’m still happy with the acquisition though, and I think most other Tama-nee fans will be too.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
If you’d like to support HD with your purchase, New Line’s Kousaka Tamaki (private ver.) is available from both YesAsia and Play-Asia in two configurations (fishnet and regular stockings).
Other retail options are listed at the top of this post.