Some of you may remember a post I made last year on whether to purchase one or both versions of a particular figure. The figure in question was of Ruri Hoshino, my all-time favourite anime character and unofficial mascot of Nopy’s Blog. Originating from the 1996 anime Martian Successor Nadesico, figures of her are extremely hard to find, which was why I was elated to hear that a company called Kurushima would be releasing two versions of Ruri, titled “Way Back From Bakery” and sculpted by Keiko. As you can see above, I bought two of these figures, one is the polka-dot dress version and the other is the pink-dress Miyazawa limited version. They come in exactly the same box with only a couple of stickers identifying which version is inside. Each figure retails for 14200 JPY, making them the most expensive in my collection.
Unlike most figures, which are made out of PVC, this line of Ruri figures is made out of cold cast resin. While PVC figures are generally soft and pliable, cold cast figures are hard and brittle, making them extremely fragile. Enough description though, below you can see my review of the actual figures.
Overall Pose and Sculpt
I was originally going to write two separate reviews for each version, but thought that it would be redundant and combined them into one. As such, these comparison photos are not actually of the figures standing next to each other and were taken from slightly different angles.
As you can see from this first pose, Kurushima has generally done a good job delivering production figures that match their promo shots. The polka-dot version features a white dress with light green and magenta dots and matching yellow hair bands and shoes. The pink-dress version has a white and brown stripe near the hem and matching red hair bands and shoes. At first glance, it appears that both versions use the same sculpt, with the only difference being the colour scheme, but the polka-dot version actually has her head tilted down while the pink-dress version has her head slightly higher.
The colour and design of their bakery bags also differ; each one is designed to match Ruri’s outfit. One of the less noticeable differences that you can spot here is the colour of her underdress. In the polka-dot version it’s blue, and in the pink-dress version it’s white.
One of the advantages of cold cast figures like these are that there are no leaning issues. Due to the hard and brittle nature of resin, it will not bend under normal conditions, allowing figures to stand on a single leg.
The sculpting on Ruri’s backside, arms, and legs is smooth with no visible seam lines.
Her dress was also nicely done, with folds around her waist to show that she has just spun around and the waviness of the bottom of her dress adding to her pose.
In general, I was very happy with the pose that Kurushima decided to go with, and the sculpt did not have any major problems. I think that the slightly lowered head of the polka-dot dress version looks better than the pink-dress version, but they’re both still cute. You may have noticed that Ruri seems rather pale in these pictures, that’s not because of the lighting. Ruri is usually described as having pale, almost white skin because she is a result of genetic experimentation and mutation. It’s odd that the promotional pictures show her having more pinkish skin, which does not match her character design or the actual figures.
In the anime, Ruri had very thick and pointy eyelashes. These figures got the thick part right, but her eyelashes aren’t as pointy as they should be. She is still identifiable as Ruri, which is what matters most. I was also happy to see that they decided to give her a happy expression, which is rare for the mostly emotionless electronic fairy (Ruri’s nickname among personnel of the United Earth Spacey and other military groups).
Unfortunately, my pink-dress version came with an obvious quality issue: part of her left eye is missing. The eyes are not painted on, but are on some sort of adhesive plastic film. This means that they can be torn off if you’re not careful. My figure came out of the box like this so there was nothing I could do.
The dots on the polka-dot dress appear to use the same film as the eyes rather than paint. That leaves the pink dress, which is actually painted. There is only a white and brown stripe on the pink dress and no complex pattern, so I would be shocked if Kurushima managed to mess that up.
Sadly, I dropped one of the bags; it does not stay on Ruri’s arm very well. It was then that I discovered that paint does not adhere very well to cold cast figures. As you can see above, a bit of the green paint has chipped off.
Looking at these two figures, I’ve come to the conclusion that while cold cast may offer a cleaner sculpt, it causes major problems when trying to apply an adherent paint or film.
Oddly enough, the most detailed thing on these two figures are the French baguettes that they are carrying. They have amazingly realistic texturing and a superb paint job.
The bows on Ruri’s shoes are decent, but not anywhere near the best I’ve seen. There is also some problems with toenail paint getting on other areas.
One of the big things I look for when judging the attention to detail in a figure sculpt is how accurate the hands and fingers are. If you look at your hand, each finger (minus the thumb) clearly contains three sections with two joints no matter what position you have them in. Ruri’s fingers look like little sticks rather than fingers, which is very disappointing.
Something that I have to mention is what happened with Ruri’s left twintail on both figures: they arrived broken. The fact that this happened with both figures from different suppliers and shipped at different times indicates a problem with Kurushima’s design or packaging. The pink dress version has the twintail partially detached, but it took out a piece of Ruri’s head with it.
The polka-dot dress version had the twintail entirely detached, and it managed to scratch up some of Ruri’s hair as it was tossed around inside the box. I did manage to reattach it without much trouble.
For 14200 JPY, I expect near-flawless and high-quality figures, but I was very disappointed in Kurushima’s quality issues. While the general sculpt was fine, blocky bows and stick-like fingers show a lack in effort. Figures missing a part of their eye should not make it into a box and the packaging should be designed so that pieces can not rub against each other if they do detach. Good Smile Company, for example, places plastic film in between removable parts. I do not recommend buying this figure from Kurushima unless you are a hardcore Ruri fan like me. If you are a hardcore Ruri ran though, this might be worth your while because Ruri figures like these only come around once per decade.