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Ichiban Kuji Kuroko ShiraiIchiban Kuji Kuroko Shirai

victorvipervictorviper5 jaar geledenReview
Today we'll be reviewing Banpresto's Ichiban Kuji figure of Kuroko Shirai, released back in December of 2011. The way she's fiddling with her skirt, a panty shot or two or three is basically unavoidable and thus if you consider such things NSFW, now's your chance to turn back.

About the character: Kuroko Shirai is one of the main characters from A Certain Scientific Railgun. Like most of the students residing in Academy City, she possesses esper abilties. Kuroko is a level 4 esper (the second most powerful rank), and her special ability is teleportation. In battle she could in principle teleport objects directly inside a target's vital organs, although she prefers a less lethal approach, pinning down and immobilizing her adversaries.

Now on to the review.

Packaging----------7/10


The front of the box features a large window, and the Railgun logo.

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The sides also feature a large window, but unfortunately the combination of the way Kuroko sits inside the blister and the plastic wrapped around her makes it hard to get a good view of her this way.

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The back of the box is pretty boring.

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It's a fairly bland, boring box but it got her to me safe and sound. You might deduct a point here if you keep your figures in the box simply because it's kind of difficult to get a good view of Kuroko inside the box. Of course in that case, I might quote Sting and say "if you love someone, set them free" (although I sort of doubt Sting had anime figures in mind when he wrote that lyric).

There are three components to the figure-Kuroko, her base, and her bag.

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The handle on her bag will actually swivel a little bit, so it was easier to get it positioned into her hand than I expected. The bag seems much sturdier in its construction than I had imagined.

Posing----------9/10

The pose is, in my opinion, one of the highlights of the figure. At first glance it appears as if some sort of confrontation might be imminent, as she might be reaching for one of the nails she keeps strapped to her thigh. On the other hand, she's not wearing her Judgment armband, she's still holding her bag rather nonchalantly, and the look on her face suggests she may simply be feeling flirtatious. You get the impression she might be flirting with her onee-sama Mikoto.

Let's take a good look at her.

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Sculpting----------8/10
Painting-----------7/10

Overall, the quality of the sculpt is good (although there is one significant issue) and the painting score mainly stems from one severe flaw; more on that a bit later. Perhaps you've already noticed what it is.

Here's a close up of Kuroko. I think her facial expression is arguably the best of all the Kurokos that are out there. Her smirk and the way she has her head tilted really plays up the flirtatious, occasionally mischievous aspect of her personality. I must admit that I like her eyes. In the anime, Kuroko's eyes are not quite red, not quite brown, and slightly but not quite pink. Then again, I've always had a little bit of a thing for red eyes...

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An even closer shot. Mine had a little bit of paint from somewhere on her cheek (although it's very hard to see in the photo below). In addition, the color on her mouth is maybe just a little bit too orange. You can see a spot or two where there's a little bit of excess material on her bangs as well.

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Here's a shot of Kuroko's hair. The seam where her bangs attach is clearly visible, but overall the finish of her hair is pretty good.


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One of her twintails. I can't really see any spots in need of sanding or signs of any excess material, and the detail on the bows is acceptable.

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Both of her twintails. The way she's got her head tilted, gravity would definitely be having some effect. Overall, her hair looks nice.

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Here's a good view of her uniform top. I was all set to complain about the seams on her top, but then I went back to look at various shots from both the anime and the manga, and sure enough, there should be visible seams in those spots. The biggest complaint here would be that the width of the trim on the v-neck is not uniform. The Tokiwadai emblem is reasonably well done.

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Her hands look okay, although aside from her index finger and thumb, the other three fingers are all sort of one unit. The nails are painted, though.

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Kuroko's bag has a glossy black finish. As you can see below, the portions that simulate metal (on the corners for instance) are painted reasonably well, although there is a spot or two where the black finish spills over. The detail on the clasp where the bag closes and the straps are nice touches though. In addition, the handle will swivel a bit, which makes it easy to get the bag placed in her hand. The downside, however, is that if you try to move her around and photograph her, you'll have to wait for the bag to stop swinging back and forth!

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The side of her bag. Presumably when it opens it expands a little bit, and I like that this little detail is there.

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An awkward spot on figures is often the jawline-to-neck area, but here that transition spot is handled okay.

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Her shoes and socks. The shoes are nicely sculpted, but you can see a little bit of a mold/seam line running down her sock.

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One of Kuroko's signature features is the straps on her thighs. You can see what must be some excess glue on the top of one of the straps, and there are seam lines visible on her legs. However, to be fair, those flaws are much more noticeable in these photos than they would be just looking at the figure in person under normal lighting. It's too bad, because otherwise, the quality of the sculpting is pretty good.

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The way she's tugging at her skirt, pantsu shots will be unavoidable. The big painting/tinting flaw is noticeable in these shots; more on that in a moment.

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And that brings us to probably the biggest flaw in the figure. Looking at the shot below, you can see that the color of her legs below the straps is not quite the same as it is above. It almost simulates the appearance of stockings, which of course Kuroko does not wear with her uniform. In fairness, it's much more apparent looking at her from behind (and it's more apparent under very bright lighting), but it's one of those things that once noticed, probably can't be unnoticed.

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Base----------7.5/10

Kuroko's base features the Tokiwadai logo. The base itself is fairly lightweight, but this isn't a particularly hefty figure, so it seems sturdy enough to support Kuroko. The design probably won't wow anyone, but neither is it just a boring, plain disk.

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Overall verdict and enjoyment----------8.5/10

Before we get to the overall verdict, let's talk about her scale and take a look at Kuroko with some of her friends.

Here is Kuroko together with her Penguin Parade counterpart (ITEM #63703). I think the design of the face on the Kuji figure is much more faithful to the character. On the Penguin Parade figure, her face is just too round in my opinion.

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Kuroko with Kotobukiya's maid Kuroko (ITEM #59785). Again, I think the Kuji captures her somewhat better (admittedly, I'm not a big fan of the winking face anyway).

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Kuroko with FREEing's Bunny Kuroko (ITEM #135060). If you've read many of my reviews, you might have noticed that FREEing's Kuroko is one of my favorite figures. However, I think the facial expression (that little bit of a smirk, in particular) on the Kuji figure is slightly better.

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Kuroko with Alter's Uiharu (ITEM #42027) and Saten (ITEM #41616). Kuroko is the smallest in stature of all the main Railgun characters, but here you can see she is appreciably larger than Uiharu and Saten, who are 1/8 scale. Alter, why did you never get around to doing figures of Mikoto and Kuroko? Why must you tease us in this manner?

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Here is Kuroko with her beloved onee-sama Mikoto (ITEM #133551). Mikoto is 1/7 scale, and you can see that Kuroko is comparable in height. Kuroko stands about 21 cm tall, and I've seen her canon height listed at 152 cm, so she is definitely close to 1/7 scale.

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Overall, let's summarize the high and low points of the figure.

Arguments for:


Her facial expression is arguably the best of all the Kuroko figures currently available.

At approximately 1/7 scale, she is fairly large.

The overall finish of the figure is good.

There aren't that many figures of Kuroko in her everyday uniform out there.

Arguments against:

That issue with the coloring of her legs could be a dealbreaker.

Although she's not really high-end quality-wise, she's not cheap, nor is she all that easy to find (more on that in a moment).

I've been on something of a quest to find the perfect uniformed Kuroko, as I am quite fond of the character. I have to say while this figure is not exactly perfect, she is exactly what I had been looking for. I'd say she's the best uniformed Kuroko out there, and since there's only this figure ITEM #167166 on the imminent horizon Kuroko-wise, she might end up being the best of the whole lot. I'd recommend her if you're a Kuroko fan.

Availability (as of this writing):

Long sold out new, very sporadically available preowned.


Apparently, she was a mail-in item and she saw a very limited general release, so she is not easy to find. She will occasionally show up preowned on Mandarake, although be prepared to pay upwards of 7000 yen. Jungle Hobby has one as I write this for 7350 yen. I found mine at a US store for $90. Now, if Alter or GSC had made a figure of Kuroko in her uniform, I probably would have passed on this one considering her price (and her quality is not up to the standard of those two companies). If however, as I was, you are looking for a Kuroko in her canon uniform, I'd recommend tracking this one down, flaws and all. Of all the Kurokos currently out there, this figure seems to capture her personality the best.

THANKS FOR READING!

If you liked this review, leave a comment or check out my other reviews:

Kotobukiya Yotsuba Koiwai model kit (Yotsuba&!) BLOG #10241
FREEing 1/4 Ryomou Shimei (Ikki Tousen) BLOG #10130
Penguin Parade 1/8 Kuroko Shirai (A Certain Magical Index) BLOG #10028
Kotobukiya 1/6 Asuka Langley Shikinami (Evangelion 3.0-You Can (Not) Redo) BLOG #9804
Kotobukiya 1/7 Mikoto Misaka Beach Side (A Certain Scientific Railgun) BLOG #9755
Sega Sena Kashiwazaki PM prize figure (Haganai) BLOG #9654
Kotobukiya 1/8 Karin Sasamori (To Heart 2-Dungeon Travelers) BLOG #9537
Alphamax 1/7 Sena Kashiwazaki (Haganai) BLOG #9423
Good Smile 1/8 Triela (Gunslinger Girl): BLOG #9286
Phat! 1/8 Meruru (Atelier Meruru): BLOG #9178
Phat! 1/8 Totori (Atelier Totori): BLOG #9107
Griffon 1/7 Etna (Disgaea): BLOG #9056
FREEing 1/4 Mikoto Misaka (A Certain Scientific Railgun): BLOG #8950
QuesQ 1/8 Taiga Aisaka bunny (Toradora): BLOG #8880
Alter 1/8 Hanna-Justina Marseille (Strike Witches): BLOG #8821
Kotobukiya 1/7 Kuroneko swimsuit (Oreimo): BLOG #8699
FREEing 1/4 Kuroko Shirai (A Certain Scientific Railgun): BLOG #8666
8,691 hits • 14 berichten

Waarderingen7/10

Sculpting
Painting
Posing
Base
Packaging
Enjoyment

Berichten14

0pt
Docoda The MusicMaster
victorviper (5 jaar geleden) #1744292
So, you don't like Alter's Saten, eh? I think they did a really good job with her. She and Uiharu look really cute together...


Well I find her mouth a bit, awkward? Atleast on pictures it is. I think the Alter mouth is way better with her biting her lip.
5 jaar geleden
0pt
Docoda (5 jaar geleden) #1742915Great review. Although I clearly agree about this figure having the best face and capturing her personality the best I'll wait with ordering a Kuroko incase maybe a new figurine gets announced.
On a side note. Of all the girls I think only Alter's Uiharu is a great success in capturing the character. Koto's Saten also does it it pretty well but I can't really get myself alto well into that one atm.


Given how surprisingly few proper scaled Kuroko figures have gotten released, I'm not overly optimistic that there will be too many more forthcoming. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

So, you don't like Alter's Saten, eh? I think they did a really good job with her. She and Uiharu look really cute together...


secretly-otaku (5 jaar geleden) #1743679Thanks once again for another nice review. Indeed, this Kuroko seems really nice! Maybe this one could be at the top of the Kuroko figures out there at the moment, but I'm hoping for ITEM #173885 to turn out well. Maybe the pose can be too girly for a Kuroko that is usually serious (if not suggestive around her onee-sama xD), but as a Kuroko fan, you should keep an eye on her!

I like Sega figures as much as the next guy (and I agree-a PM release would be nice, with their generally larger scale), and they have been getting better quality-wise, but overall I have to think the quality of that figure would be inferior to the Kuji (at least for me, that's a pretty big consideration when looking for that one just right figure of a character). I actually didn't know that Sega Kuroko existed (or was going to exist), so thanks for pointing her out!
5 jaar geleden
0pt
Thanks once again for another nice review. Indeed, this Kuroko seems really nice! Maybe this one could be at the top of the Kuroko figures out there at the moment, but I'm hoping for ITEM #173885 to turn out well. Maybe the pose can be too girly for a Kuroko that is usually serious (if not suggestive around her onee-sama xD), but as a Kuroko fan, you should keep an eye on her!
5 jaar geleden
0pt
Docoda The MusicMaster
Great review. Although I clearly agree about this figure having the best face and capturing her personality the best I'll wait with ordering a Kuroko incase maybe a new figurine gets announced.

On a side note. Of all the girls I think only Alter's Uiharu is a great success in capturing the character. Koto's Saten also does it it pretty well but I can't really get myself alto well into that one atm.
5 jaar geleden
0pt
well, if anyone wants this figure after reading the review. nice review btw, quite complete. I'm selling a bunch of my figs and this one is one of them. it's unopened, so if anyone is interested pm me.
5 jaar geleden
0pt
pandidora (5 jaar geleden) #1742411Great review as always! I really like that you put just enough text and pictures. Not too much yet not too few. And your pictures are always sharp.
I wish this figure were a standard run, she is too hard to get. In my opinion this is the best Kuroko figure on the market which is a shame. I wish there would be more figures of her (eg. Gsc and/or alter).


Thanks for the (highly complimentary) comment. It really is too bad she is so limited, because she is quite cute. I also wish Alter would do some more Railgun figures, since after all, they already made such nice figures of Saten and Uiharu.
5 jaar geleden
0pt
Great review as always! I really like that you put just enough text and pictures. Not too much yet not too few. And your pictures are always sharp.
I wish this figure were a standard run, she is too hard to get. In my opinion this is the best Kuroko figure on the market which is a shame. I wish there would be more figures of her (eg. Gsc and/or alter).
5 jaar geleden
0pt
Cantisama (5 jaar geleden) #1741387Maybe the difference in leg color is a tan created by wearing a skirt every day.
She looks great! Thanks for the review.


That's actually what I told myself when I first noticed that issue. She really is a great figure though, tinting issues or not.
5 jaar geleden
0pt
Maybe the difference in leg color is a tan created by wearing a skirt every day.

She looks great! Thanks for the review.
5 jaar geleden
0pt
Ruttsu as Ruttsu
victorviper (5 jaar geleden) #1740900I get the distinct impression she is not preparing to teleport. It's almost more like she's posing for someone.
On that Koto figure you mentioned, something about her just doesn't seem right to me though. From certain angles she looks okay (PICTURE #78109 for example), but she just doesn't look very Kuroko-like. Like the Penguin Parade figure, her face seems a little too wide.
she has one foot off the ground and only the "tip" of the other foot touching the ground, that's why it looks like she's teleporting to me, I only mentioned the pose of the koto figure, I like the face of this Ichiban Kuji better :)
5 jaar geleden
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Welcome to my blog.

Most of my articles are figure reviews, with the occasional loot post thrown in.

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