Bishoujo: Mai Shiranui
I know, right? Another #Bishoujo so close together. Must be an off year (more on that way later in the blog). At any rate, this is the kunoichi Mai Shiranui herself! I was tempted to get her and then I pulled the trigger so here we go! Right into the review, shall we?
#Kotobukiya once again does it! The box is definitely respecting the ambiance and design of the 98 classic King of Fighters game. And as usual, they do a good job. And, of course, it's a familiar box with windows to allow us, collectors, to see the beauty inside.
Yamashita's art is amazing, that much is obvious. Even if I don't end up getting the Bishoujo, I do just admire his art. And there are some fan art Yamashita had done in the past I can only wish Kotobukiya would find ways to secure and make happen as a tangible statue (Final Fantasy fan art of Shunya are amazing and, of course, are my main want). The box side art even shows the character roster that the player could pick from. And, no, these aren't confirmations of Bishoujo/Ikemen or anything. Though wouldn't mind a Yuri Bishoujo though.
And, yes, the promo figure is just gorgeous. Pictures do a fine job accentuating the Bishoujo's assets, right?
Mai's Shiranui's base is supposed to resemble a street of some sort. She's standing on a manhole and I'm going to assume that it's a stage for one of the fighters. Unless it's a homage to the Ninja Turtles because she's a Kunoichi.
As far as Mai goes, Ms. Shiranui's pose is a homage to her fighting stance in the games. It's a well-known fact that Mai's a very provocative character and everything she does lean on that sexuality. Legs spread apart, rear sticking out, body bent over allowing her well-shaped chest to do its "thing". I like how her left arm is pushing her large tassel behind, adding more dynamics to her stimulating fighting stance. Her other hand, Of course, is holding her trademark fan that acts as her main weapon. It is a definite Mai Shiranui pose through and through!
Right off the get-go, Mai doesn't wear a whole lot. Why the need to point out something so blatantly obvious, one might ask? Well, less clothing usually means fewer details due to sculpting not requiring as much. Usually. There are still some things about Mai's tiny clothing that still needed some attention to make it look engaging. And those said details definitely showed through her "kimono", her long tassels, and the rope on the kimono (the one in her back), these are all done quite well with the usual Bishoujo style. Again, I can't say just how good they are at making clothing look organic. The transition between her naked flesh to her flimsy clothing is quite good. Something that I'll miss and complain about if Kotobukiya slips up in one of their statues. Glad they continue this trend, which is why I keep forking up some hard-earned cash for certain characters.
There are many things about the sculpture I'm going to go over in more 'up-close' segments. But the tassels are really well done.
The colors are just amazing. Definitely, something that Bishoujo is also known for, and while this doesn't have as much shading and overall complicated work, the painting presents and the choice of plastic definitely hits it off with Mai's color scheme. The kunoichi has a pretty simple coloring with mostly dominant of her skin color and red--the peppered brown (her shoes and hair) and white (kimono lining and the such). But it all comes in together with a little flaw (more on that). There is some good shadowing here and there on Mai's red garb, more prominent on her footwear but they are peppered throughout. The skin is what one would expect as well. The hair and the face, while still good, seem to lack things but not enough missing to fully call this a miss. Though I will talk about it more in a bit. The base is a good juxtaposition to the flesh and red/white outfit, which totally completes it all.
Again, the face is a beauty. It doesn't 100% hits the mark of Mai Shiranui "likeness", but it's nothing to scoff at for sure. The face is done quite well and as for the hair, it has a nice shade of brown. But I do wish that Bishoujo goes back to the signature 'transparent' tip of the hair.
From this.... 'close', one can see some imperfections between the red and the white paint application. It's not going to dissuade me about this statue but do know it's there for my statue. "Near perfection" is what I said.
And at this angle, there is more to admire, of course.
Here is Bishoujo Mai Shiranui next to Bishoujo Battle Dress Chun Li. The two are 'rivals' due to their place in their own respected fighting games. While Chun Li is far from wearing her traditional garb, this is, however, much more in line with Mai Shiranui's theme. Though... I remember Mai being almost as thick as Chun Li.
Mai Shiranui is an example of what Kotobukiya can do with a highly-sexualized character. They can turn up the notch, feed on what makes a character known, and definitely deliver. There are some mishaps, of course. The flawed line work with the paint is the first time I have noticed with Bishoujo in a long, long time. Can I recommend her? How can I not? I've been a fan of Mai for a while for reasons too obvious. But partner in the 90s anime and SNK vs Capcom 2 nostalgia, this is a pretty well-done statue. Not perfect, but definitely has plenty to offer. I don't get as many Bishoujos these days but getting two in such a close time apart, I'd say it's worth it.
Until Next Time!