Plastikitty Review: Kotobukiya’s DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

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Black Canary is probably the Bishoujo that fans had to wait the longest for (discounting Lady Deadpool of course, who was in “is it going to be made?” limbo for years). We first saw her art in May of 2013, over 2 1/2 years ago. Then, a few months later, the sculpt. Right on track, except she vanished shortly after! They ended up redoing the sculpt in April of this year, with the painted version right behind.

Dinah is one of my absolute favorite DC girls, solely because of Gail Simone’s run of Birds of Prey, so I’ve been anticipating her with bated breath for a long, long time now. But after such a long wait, can the final product ever live up to expectations? Hit the jump to find out!

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

The version we ended up getting was, obviously, not the original all-black one, but the special AFX blue colorway. It’s no secret that I was not a fan of it when it was first revealed: the blues looked too harsh and I just wasn’t feeling a non-classic-Canary. But seeing her in person was a totally different experience!

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

The blues are definitely much less jarring in person. I think in the original promotion shots they looked so harsh because her jacket is an almost-pastel cool blue, while the tights are a very warm aquamarine blue bordering on teal. Without the harsh lighting and backgrounds of a promo photo, though, the color combo is a lot more natural. Especially for the jacket, which is much less powder blue and a deeper tone than what I expected.

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

The success of any Bishoujo is going to rely on how accurately they capture Shunya’s distinctive art style in the face. Canary is, thankfully, a rousing success in that department. It’s an almost perfect copy from the art, and the playful expression really fits her character.

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

Dinah has always been one of my favorites because while she has superpowers, she doesn’t use them to win battles (for the most part). She relies instead on physical combat, at which she’s one of the best in the DC world. Without super-strength or super-speed, just with training and raw talent. Yeah, badass.

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

This of course means that she’s buff af, and I hate renditions of her that have Canary as some slight, cutesy girl. But Bishoujo Canary, like Powergirl, is ready to kick your ass. Look at those leg muscles! Killer. I love it.

Her fishnets are real, which has been a selling point of the figure from the first announcement. I really appreciate this touch, because painted-on fishnets usually look laughably bad. These are definitely better-looking, though of course you need to be careful handling her because fabric can rip! Though from a realistic perspective, why would a heroine whose main shtick is kicking people choose to wear such an easily destroyed fabric? Not so practical, Canary.

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

Canary has one of the best bust sculpts I’ve seen on a Bishoujo. No anti-gravity orbs here: they’re falling naturally with her body, and given her pose they’re actually separated like they would be and not squished together. There’s barely any cleavage! It’s a miracle!

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

The most vital element of any Bishoujo: the butt. I have to say, I’m a little disappointed in Canary’s. Sure, it’s nice and very muscular, but I wanted a classic Bishoujo butt for her! I mean, Black Canary’s outfit is kind of all about the booty. Just ask Ed Benes.

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

It’s not a Birds of Prey themed review without getting Black Canary and Huntress together! These are probably my two favorite DC girls, and I’m SO happy to have them hanging out finally. Of course I’d love the third classic Bird, Oracle, to join them. Sure, we have Batgirl, but I want an Oracle figure so very badly. I ship Babs and Dinah like woah.

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

Black Canary’s base is rippling water (or at least something that looks a lot like water), presumably from her Canary Cry. Nice to see a subtle shout-out to her superpower, since it’s basically impossible to convey in action!

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Black Canary, Blue Ver.

The long, long wait for Black Canary definitely did not dampen my enthusiasm about her. I’m so in love, and for me this is the perfect combo of figure and character: it’s Dinah to a tee! I was a little wary about the blue colorway, but the in-person experience of it was so much better than what I imagined. Of course I want classic black now too: you can never have too much Black Canary!

Thanks as always to Stephen Donaldson for taking these shots.

Purchase At: AFX

[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Plastikitty with this review sample]

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About Leah Bayer