Monday, May 29, 2017

IBUKI - Street Fighter Bishoujo Statue

Ibuki is the sixth figure (I believe) released in Kotobukiya's Bishoujo Street Fighter line of "pretty girl" statues. I've resisted diving into this line for nearly three years, but with 2017 shaping up to be an all-out Street Fighter merchandising blitz, I just couldn't hold out any longer.

Ibuki is a fixed-pose, PVC statue based on the artwork of Shunya Yamashita. She comes packaged very carefully in a window box (with 3 windows!) featuring the beautiful artwork that inspired the figure. Everything is protected very well, and the box is attractive enough to keep and even add to the display (I've got the box turned around to the full-artwork side as the backdrop behind the statue). The figure is advertised as 1/7 scale, and she stands about 9" tall atop her non-removable, clear plastic base.

The sculpt is excellent. The pose is interesting, and eye catching. Visually, there's a neat line created from the bend of her right elbow, following her forearm, across her throat and down her extended left arm to her hand. It's tilted slightly downwards, which I wish was a tiny bit different - raising her left arm and hand just a little would have added just a touch of aggression that the statue seems to lack. Along those lines, Ibuki's face is a tiny bit longer and thinner than the artwork of Yamashita. The result is a more "pixie-ish" look that I have a harder time taking seriously as a ninja warrior. It's not bad, by any means, just different enough from the illustration to be noticeable.

The outfit has plenty of detail in the form of creases and folds to suggest motion and depth. The lower portion is a separate piece, allowing for space between the body and "clothing" in places. The hair is fantastic, with the enormous tail whipping up over her head and back around to her waist, and three tremendous strands bowing down in front of her face. They are not pliable, and I'd suggest being careful with them. The same should be said about the blade she has in her right hand, as it is fairly pointy and made of pretty hard plastic.

The paint is the real highlight of this statue (and, from what I've seen, of the entire Bishoujo line). It really is exceptional, and really serves to enhance the sculpt. The base colors are all applied perfectly, with absolutely no bleed or blemishes. Granted, it's a pretty simple color scheme: flesh, brown, dark brown, light brown, off-white, beige and pink fingernails. That said, Kotobukiya applied some expert airbrush highlighting to make everything pop. The clothing and actual flesh both sport subtle shading in strategic locations, never feeling overdone or sloppy, while standing out when examined closely - it's artfully and tastefully done.

The face is clean and sharp, with a gloss applied to the eyes. As I mentioned before, I prefer the face of the illustration to the final product, but the statue certainly isn't bad. Ibuki is a terrific addition to my shelf, and (yes) I will be getting more Bishoujo Street Fighter statues. She's beautifully sculpted, painted perfectly and looks great on the shelf. A quality statue is one that draws you back to it time and again, while a powerful work of art encourages you to notice new things on each visit. I feel like this line of statues has the care and craftsmanship to make both of these things possible, and I certainly look forward to adding new releases (as well as old!) to my collection...