I present you, Xiao Mei, my second figure inspired by the [infamous] illustrator Tony Taka. She is 1/6 scaled and manufactured by Kotobukiya. As my third figure from this company, I kind of have the feeling that she will have a couple flaws here and there, and well, you’ll see what I’ll have to spout if you keep reading ^^v
“A fickle black cat pirate. She’s a member of the beast race. Xiao-Mei normally runs an antique shop, but she’s also a thief who refers to herself as ‘Black Tail.’ “
Okay, looks like we have a cat thief in my hands. Movin’ on…
Judging by the original illustration, I think we can agree that Koto did a pretty good job adapting to its original. The sculptor managed to keep her mischievous smile which is awesome because, often, facial expression tends to be lost during translation from 2D to 3D. The butt is really emphasized in the illustration in comparison to the figure. Perhaps Kotobukiya could have increased her butt’s volume and make it more obvious? Oh well, no biggie. The position of her feet is also different. The folds in the cloth is really well replicated and I commend Koto for that.
Quite delicious, isn’t she? Oh right, the taiyaki on her mouth looks yummy too.
She looks great from any angle and I find that there are various angles in which you can display her however you like. I have my Xiao Mei looking at Takamura Yui, but not exactly posed like the picture below. Note that Yui is 1/7 scaled, so she is just a bit tiny smaller than Xiao at 1/6 scale.
Xiao Mei looks really great from any angle. Really. She also has a mischievous face which we’re all glad Kotobukiya was able to do. There are only three minor things that bug me about her face. First, her eyes are glossy. Not sure if it’s the recent trend (Takamura Yui had glossy eyes too), but I don’t really appreciate it as it reflects the light under my lamps when I’m taking pictures. Well, other than that, her eyes will not reflect light under normal circumstances. Second, her lipstick / lip color is a bit sloppily applied. At least I’m glad it’s neutral-orange toned and not pink or red! It would have been unfitting and tacky in my opinion. Third, her face is glossy to my surprise. Not sure if Koto forgot to matte her face, but it can be quite distracting to stare at a sweaty face. It was hard to capture the gloss on my camera. *frowns*
Moving on to her head and hair…
You were probably thinking that she has really nice hair by now, and you are right on that one. Her bangs are nice and sharp like how hair should be on figures or on illustrations. Though, her sides are a bit rough near the ends and I think they could have sanded them down a bit more, but oh well, it’s nothing that bad. As for hair seams, they’re very hidden thanks to the clean seam lines and black hair. Interesting thing is, seeing that she has pure black hair, we wouldn’t be expecting any shading on them. Well, surprise! She has this lavender highlight on the sides of her hair. I don’t think it was necessary, but oh well.
Xiao Mei’s cat ears are decent and I’m glad they did them properly: shading and sculpting the ear hair. Her two meatballs are also nicely done, especially the frills. Also, notice her neck… they actually sculpted her stretched neck!
Let’s look at her body now.
Xiao Mei has oriental clothing (a China dress, I believe) colored in light pearly purple around the butt. The paint job is alright, though, I think Kotobukiya can improve on their skin tone shading. Near thigh socks or gloves, they always spray too much shading and it looks like our ladies got a suntan underneath their clothing. But overall, their paint job is decent and there are no blothes, spills, or whatsoever. Crisp and clear!
What? If you look at her frontal view again (3rd picture), you can spot her nipples which is a nice touch. Her breasts are also nicely done.
I spoke a bit about Xiao Mei’s flaws on her upper arm and back. I’ll be showing you more pictures about her flaws below.
The rest of the sculpt is a bit lacking. Some parts of Xiao Mei is rough and sandy as you can tell from the pictures way above (the one with the arm). What I’m really disappointed is that her giant ribbon has flaws as well… on some areas the finish is sandy and rough. Not only that, but an area of the cloth was kind of floating above her thigh and did not seam properly her thigh socks. Also, on the third picture, at first I couldn’t tell what going on with the cloth around her waist. Is it tucked underneath…?
Well, what can ya say… Kotobukiya will always have flaws.
… but on the bright side, this figure has great moe points.
Of course, one of the reasons why people like this figure is because she is a cat lady. Not only she has has cat ears, but her tail is very attractive. Xiao Mei is twirling her tail around her finger playfully… oh so tempting! Can I touch it too?
Additionally, near the end of her tail, the transition between the black and white is well painted.
Oh right. Another selling point are her optional taiyakis ^^ One goes on her mouth (it’s magnetic), and the other one can put anywhere else.
Of course, here’s the obligatory pantsu shot in every figure review.
Underneath Xiao Mei, she looks quite a bit flattened but it’s not like we display her from underneath anyways. We can clearly see that they put an effort to show us the detailing around her crotch area, including her underwear. There’s a tiny ribbon (done a lot better than Melty’s!) and her underwear is actually very intricate! I’ve even seen pictures of people breaking off her lower dress just to display with her with underwear. A castoff-able option would have been AWESOME, but I don’t want to break my figure.
Her base is a bright turquoise pillow. It looks so soft! I’m really glad Koto did not give her a plastic dish. What kind of kitty likes to sit on hard plastic, right? Let’s give our kittens soft fluffy pillows.
Overall, Kobobukiya’s Xiao Mei is a mouthful. Not only she’s cute, but she’s sexy. Her pose and her mischievous face really gives you the urge of jumping on her and hug her while trying to bite the taiyaki on her mouth. Yes, she definitely has flaws just like any other Koto figure, but I think they can be overlooked and are not that noticeable (except the one on her giant ribbon, sob).
If I were given a chance to buy her again, I would, knowingly that she is not perfect sculpt-wise. The price is a bit expensive but mind you that she comes with two taiyakis (one’s magnetic, too!), a pillow base, and she’s a bit bigger than your average 1/8 scale figures.
I can definitely say that at the moment, she’s among my favorite figures.