Plastikitty Review: Kotobukiya’s DC Bishoujo Black Uniform Batgirl

With uncanny timing, Kotobukiya announced a black uniform repaint of their Batgirl Bishoujo figure only a month or two before it was announced that Barbara Gordon (then Oracle) would be returning as Batgirl in the New 52. Coincidence? Probably, but I am sure the hype of Babs once again in a cape, both good and bad, must have driven up sales on this figure considerably!

I’ll be honest: I really prefer Babs as Oracle, not because we need more disabled superheroes or some politically correct spiel, but because of the character development that happened while she was chair-bound. Returning to fighting crime the “traditional” way seemed like a step back, but with Gail Simone at the helm I doubted it could be all bad. And in fact, Batgirl is one of my top-3 favorite comics at the moment because of the amazing job Simone does with handling Babs’ PTSD.

So when this figure was first announced I was less than thrilled (where’s my Oracle?!), but now I’ve really grown attached to Babs in the black outfit. I ended up being really, really excited to get my hands on her, because while I tend to buy figures based on looks alone I always feel a deeper “connection” to them when I adore the character. So would this black uniform version of Batgirl live up to my admittedly high expectations? Hit the jump to find out!

I think this might be the first Bishoujo recolor to have unique art on the box. Usually even if the box gets a color swap, like Binary Ms. Marvel, the art is the same as the original figure. However, Babs got a nice art repaint! It adds a lot to see the art with the black uniform instead of what would probably be a jarring blue.

Like the first version, Batgirl requires zero assembly. She’s screwed into the base as is the gargoyle, so there’s nothing much to do except remove some plastic sheets. I really do like when figures require minimal assembly, as spending half an hour trying to figure out what goes where is not a pleasant experience.

Batgirl is wearing a mask, so there’s not a whole lot of her face that is showing. The eyes really become the focal point, and thankfully Koto has done a great job of replicating Shunya Yamashita’s eyelash-heavy look! The decals are cleanly applied and don’t “wander” off of the indents, and this could be an easy area to mess up because of the small area to work in. The combination of big , expressive eyes and the mask gives her a nice sense of mystery–it’s kind of hard to pinpoint exactly what she is thinking

Batgirl’s in a pretty classic bat-family pose: looking over the city, poised on a gargoyle, cape fluttering in the wind. While she’s really just standing around, the pose ends up looking really dynamic and is definitely in character. While most of Shunya’s designs for the comic line are based more on making them into pinups than being true to the character, the art for Babs is probably the truest to who she actually is out of all of them.

The original Batgirl figure had a grey and blue colorway, but I’ve always preferred the bat-family in black and gold. It seems more striking, and of course fits the “bat” image well. The blacks on Batgirl are deep and rich, with a nice mix between the super glossy cape and the matte bodysuit. The gold is a dull metallic that doesn’t stand out too much but accents the black nicely.

Batgirl has a pretty simple outfit, but they’ve done a great job of keeping the sculpt interesting. The cape in particular is very well done, and the glossy finish really makes the folds pop. The gold underside adds a sense of motion and breaks up the swath of black.

Babs one of the curvier Bishes, with wonderfully full hips and some magnificent thighs. She’s also reasonably busty, and in terms of just the body sculpt she’s probably my favorite of the Bishoujo line so far. I say “so far” because I have hope that they will do the Huntress and that she will be the most breathtaking figure to ever exist.

A Shunya figure just isn’t right without a glorious backside (which is why I hate the Yamato Asuka), and Batgirl definitely delivers. The shiny black material really accentuates her curves, and the paint they used is almost glittery which just adds to the whole picture.

Batgirl has the typical mile-long legs you find on figures (and also superheroes), and some particularly kick-ass gold boots. She has one leg balanced on the gargoyle as if she’s about to leap into the air, or at least pose on top of it. The gargoyle itself is quite impressive, with a ton of sculpted details and some great shading work.

And here are the two versions side by side! The paint on pretty much everything is different, even the golds are subtly darker on the black version. The gargoyles are also painted different colors, which is a nice touch! I definitely prefer the black version, though I think both are equally nice in terms of quality.

Batgirl is definitely one of the best Bishoujos, with a really accurate face, great body sculpting, and a wonderful color palette. I think the black uniform version definitely improves upon the former version as the black seems even sleeker and is certainly truer to her (current) comic form.

Batgirl was one of the odder shoots we’ve done recently, and we actually ended up with 3 different ones at the end of the day. The first two were unfortunately lost when Stephen’s harddrive died, though I am sure we’ll recover them eventually. This turned out in our favor, as the third shoot definitely worked out to be the best of the bunch–we went for a simpler route and it suited the figure quite well!

Purchase at: KotoUS

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


About Leah Bayer