Plastikitty Review: Kotobukiya’s Marvel Bishoujo Jean Grey

When Jean Grey was announced as a new addition to the Marvel Bishoujo line, people were a bit skeptical. After all, we already had Phoenix. In fact, we had three Phoenixes–regular, Dark, and White. But that was at the beginning of the line, when the figures were a bit smaller and the attention to detail wasn’t as high. So Jean Grey would be an interesting comparison point to see how the line has changed.

Jean Grey’s box is like all of the other Bishoujo boxes–white, sturdy, decorated with the original art. Some might complain that they’re boring, but I love that if you line them up from the first release to the latest they all still match. The same goes for Kotobukiya’s Shining World line, and sometimes consistency is a good thing!

Like almost all of the Marvel Bishoujos, Jean Grey comes ready-to-display right out of the box. No putting her on the stand or anything! You do have to attach her magic pink energy, but since that’s an optional part and she doesn’t need to have it displayed, it doesn’t really count. I’ve noticed that for the most part, the Marvel line pops out of the box and is ready, but the DC and Movie lines take a bit more assembling!

Jean’s pose is a bit different from the illustration, mostly in the positioning of her legs. It’s one of those small changes that doesn’t really affect the aesthetic value, and it was probably done so she’d balance better. Like most of the Bishoujo poses, Jean Grey looks like she is posing more than like she is “caught in the middle of action.” The lifted leg, the big smile, the cocked hips–it’s obvious that this isn’t her usual stance. But this is a trademark of Shunya’s designs, as he tends to do a modern spin on pinups.

Jean’s expression has changed a bit from the illustration. She’s still got a big, enthusiastic smile, but her eyes have been altered to make her look more angry and intense. I think it’s a nice change, because she still retains the pinup look without having a big “oh look at me!” smile plastered all over her face.

Her hair, like many of the Bishoujos, is cast in clear PVC. This is a trend that, funnily enough, started with Dark Phoenix. It’s become almost a trademark now, with most new additions to the line sporting clear locks. It adds a nice sense of lightness, and hey, who doesn’t love clear PVC? It starts out a deep almost pinkish tint at the top and fades to a paler red-orange, a nice contrast to the yellow-and-blue suit. The illustration does show her hair as a lot “fluffier” looking, but I think the more wind-blown look they went for on the figure works just as well.

Jean comes with a cool pink swirly-energy thing you can attach to her hand. It slides on easily if you have it at the right angle, and there are no pegs holding it in place so she looks fine without it displayed. But really, why would you want to take it off? It’s clear, it’s pink, what’s not to love? It compliments her color palette quite well, and also brings a touch of girliness.

Jean Grey’s outfit has a pretty striking color combination–bright yellow and deep blue. It really makes her stand out in the line, as most of the other girls are wearing sleeker, more modern outfits with less vibrancy. Plus, head-to-toe yellow latex is kind of hard to ignore. The gloss effect is, as always, done fantastically, so it looks like a suit rather than paint layered on her skin. Latex can easily come off as looking like body paint on a figure (or, alternately, like a 3″ thick suit), but Jean has just the right balance of thickness to be believable.

Her body-type matches Shunya’s illustration perfectly–naturally busty with a slim waist, rounded thighs and a big butt. That’s pretty much his standard, but I’ve seen it botched before, especially in the breast-area. Generally, Shunya doesn’t draw magical gravity-defying boobs, and Jean Grey’s especially look very natural (albeit quite large).

It wouldn’t be a Bishoujo review without a butt shot! Jean’s might not be as prominent as some (Ms. Marvel being the clear butt-winner), but they’ve given her a very skintight ensemble to make up for it.

The more recent Bishoujos have had some really nice diorama-style bases, and Jean Grey is no exception. She’s standing on a giant puffy cloud of smoke with rockets and a plane coming out of it. It’s quite dynamic, but it also has some of that oldschool-comic goofiness to it as well. Why is the plane half the size of her leg? Who cares, it looks cool!

One thing I forgot to mention when talking about her body (and how wrong does that sound) is how muscular they made her. Much like Wonder Woman, Jean’s sculpt has added a lot of musculature, particularly on her legs. It’s a nice balance of sexy and strong, which in my mind is exactly how superheroines should be.

Jean Grey is a solid addition to the Bishoujo line. Some alterations were made to the original illustration, but I think they benefit the figure rather than detract from it. The paint is smooth and without major flaws, the clear PVC is well-executed, and the body sculpt is quite realistic. She is one of Stephen’s all-time favorites out of our Bishoujo collection, and we own every single one!

Thanks to Stephen for taking these shots. Jean was a fun shoot, as her pose gives off a lot of energy and can make for some pretty creative angles. Sometimes with a figure it’s really only good-looking from a few angles, but Jean seems to work in most angles you put her at!

Purchase At: KotoUS

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


About Leah Bayer