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Kotobukiya is known for their fantastically detailed PVC and resin statues. Over the past few years, the company has found great success with their bishoujo line of figurines. Translated, bishoujo means “pretty girl,” and thus far the line has not disappointed in that regard. Though the majority of the bishoujo line was steeped heavily in Marvel and DC heroines, Koto has expanded the series to include some gaming licenses, and so far we like what we see.
Above: Cristine is looking as... pretty as ever
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has gotten the most attention thus far, with two figures already slated for release this year (Christie and Alisa). Christie’s figure was on display at the show, and features the trademark styling of the line’s concept artist, Shunya Yamashita. To say Yamashita’s art is cheesecake is a little disingenuous, as the whole point of bishoujo is to create representations of beautiful, albeit exaggerated, women. Not every female character’s costume is as revealing as Christie’s, but Yamashita and the sculptor do make sure to accentuate the more alluring features of the character.
Though Christie was the only Tekken statue physically present, Kotobukiya did have a handful of concept art on hand for some of the upcoming figures in the Tekken bishoujo line. Lili, Asuka, and JC all look rather tame compared to Christie, but there’s still a hint of oversexualization in each piece of art. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly does limit the appeal of the figures for some people. There isn’t a lot left to the imagination, and prominently displaying such a flirtatious figure in your own home is a risky venture. That said, there’s nothing wrong with bishoujo line, or even owning any of these statues. It’s just that having sexy little women adorning your home may send out the wrong vibe to visitors.
Above: Ever wonder what Mass Effect by Square would look like?
The bishoujo line is also spreading to the Mass Effect universe later this year. The first statue in the line will be of Liara T’Soni, which will retail for $60 (you can pre-order one from their website). Having seen the original concept art, which caused quite a stir in the Mass Effect community, it’s clear that Koto listened to the fans, and dialed back the proportions of Liara’s mammalian protrusions. Compared to the rest of the line, the only real trait Liara’s figure shares with the other pretty girls is the way her face is rendered. When the statue ships, it will come bundled with some multiplayer DLC exclusive to the first wave of shipments.
The other big Mass Effect news was that Kotobukiya will be doing a bishoujo version of female Commander Shepard. Unfortunately, since the concept art was not approved in time for the show, we were unable to see just what Yamashita has in store for the fan-favorite sci-fi heroine.
Above: You can see more angles of all of the figures in the gallery below
Pretty girls aren’t the only statues Kotobukiya makes, and the Yoshimitsu fine art statue they have coming out later this year is a testament to how strong the sculptors at Koto are at rendering even the most insanely detailed statues. Extremely limited, the Yoshimitsu statue features the demonic samurai striking a pose on a giant decapitated head. While the work done on Yoshimistu does quite enough to make this statue extremely impressive, it’s the finer detail on the monstrous base that makes this piece a truly magnificent work of art.
The amount of sinew, veins, and musculature rendered here would be a gruesome sight were it not so awe inspiring that you can’t help but be amazed by the craftsmanship. The Yoshimitsu statue has only raised our hopes for the just announced male Commader Shepard statue. The only news Kotobukiya had on the male Shepard statue was that they were indeed making one, but we’re a little ways away from seeing anything close to concept art or preliminary sculpts.
If Kotobukiya’s booth taught us anything, it’s that the manufacturer is capable of a wide range of fantastic statues. Whether you’re captivated by the allure of the bishoujo line, or slack-jawed by the insane amount of minutiae of the Yoshimitsu piece, you can’t help but appreciate Koto’s sculptors. The best part is, with so many great licenses lined up for the rest of the year, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Koto can do.