The world is not beautiful . . .

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. . . but she certainly is.

(Sadly, I can’t say the same for the quality of my pictures. Rush job + old camera + lack of photographic talent = Disaster.)

Today the spotlight falls on Good Smile Company’s 1/8-scale figure of Kino, the title character of the 2003 animated series Kino no Tabi.

Now before I start talking, let’s have a few close-ups of her head and upper body.

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My compliments to the artist for turning out such a fine sculpt. Never mind that Figure Kino’s facial resemblance to Anime Kino is tenuous at best. Unlike Max Factory’s Nagato, which is nearly a spitting image of its anime counterpart, this figure strikes me as a creative reinterpretation rather than a work of direct portraiture. Anime Kino’s face is rounder, and on the whole she looks very much like a girl in the later stages of adolescence, whereas Figure Kino has the finely chiselled features and well-developed physical proportions of a young woman. But the resemblance is there: the lightly tousled hair, the sturdy green travelling clothes, the trusty old utility belt and gun holster. And that contemplative, quietly observant expression on her face is spot-on.

Next two images – Close-ups of her utility belt and holster.

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Below – A shot of the long, sinuous, translucent cloud of smoke issuing from Kino’s pistol. It’s not an essential element of the composition as a whole, but I do think it’s a nice touch.

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Now as experienced collectors will probably tell us, no figure ever comes out absolutely perfect. In Kino’s case, I’m not particularly pleased about the peg that holds the cloud of smoke in place (image below).

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It’s a necessary evil (unless one is prepared to ditch the smoke entirely): that cloud is made not of rigid plastic but of a flexible, slightly rubbery material with the look and feel of congealed Elmer’s Glue-All. One end goes into the barrel of the pistol and the middle section has a small peg that fits into a hole at the back of Kino’s left leg, but neither provides enough support to keep the rather weighty cloud in place. Needless to say, the figure would look better without the peg – which, predictably enough, doesn’t appear in any of the promotional images on Good Smile’s official site – but I’m prepared to put up with this minor annoyance if it means keeping the smoke.

The next flaw is a little harder to forgive.

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That seam should have been better concealed. (Tucked under folds of hair, perhaps, or filled in with plastic and paint.)

But in the end, I’m not prepared to let these trifling slip-ups get in the way of my relishing this important acquisition. I give Good Smile’s Kino a well-deserved HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating.

4 Responses

  1. I’m actually not a big fan of the smoke effect as it seems more like an afterthought. The sculpt really embellishes on Kino’s femininity too judging from the posterior shot. All in all, she does look pretty nice. Give her a good home next to your Yuki.🙂

  2. Well, the hair seamlines are pretty much present in almost every figure I’ve gotten, so I’m pretty used to them. I don’t have any space on my desk for them, so I just leave them in the display cabinet lol

  3. Actually she may not look like that on the anime and im glad for that; she looks way too boyish

  4. These responses are long overdue, but here goes:

    @Yamcha = Yuki’s on a different level, I’m afraid. Literally. I have a new bookcase just for DVDs/CDs and figures, and I’ve reserved the uppermost shelf for Suzumiya Haruhi stuff – Yuki included. Kino’s a couple of shelves down.🙂

    No worries about the smoke – I’ve seen her without it and she still looks pretty good.

    @Zeroblade = You’re right, those seamlines are probably a standard-issue pain for just about any figure. Even Yuki has one – although hers is better concealed (partly because of her slightly more complex hair design).

    @Zaram = Agreed. A faithful portrait of Anime Kino wouldn’t have been as shelf-worthy as this more feminised reinterpretation.

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