Chun-Li’s road to release was a long and bumpy one. The line was announced in 2011–yes, almost three years ago–and we didn’t get to see her sculpt until this past summer’s SDCC. She was painted shortly after, but that’s where things got a bit rough around the edges. Fans were, shall we say, displeased with Chun-Li’s face. But Kotobukiya is one of the few companies that actually listens to fan suggestions during productions, and she got a new face right before release!
I think many people were still skeptical given the drama around this release and the very long timeframe, so I was thrilled when we got our paws on her to do a review shoot. Nothing’s better than seeing a figure “in the flesh,” right? So, does she live up to the very high expectations set up by a three year late, or does she miss the mark? Hit the jump and let’s find out!
Since this is the first figure in a new Bishoujo line, I’m sure you are all dying to know what the box looks like. Well calm down Brad Pitt, it’s just like all the other Bish boxes! Compact, and it features the original art on the front and sides.
Chun-Li’s actual front angle is different from how she is displayed in the box–I mean, I guess you could display her totally sideways if you’re a rebel who doesn’t play by the rules.
Chun is a BIG figure. Usually the Bishoujo girls are pretty compact, but like the new Psylocke she has a pose that’s rather dramatic and demands attention. Oh, and space. She is much taller than most Bishoujo figures (or rather, her legs are!), which is the price you pay for a dynamic pose. But I think any Street Fighter fan would rather have this Chun-Li than a compact one posing cutely.
I’m very glad they fixed her face: the original really did take away from the overall feel of the figure, while this one adds a more playful atmosphere. This one is more accurate to Shunya’s art, though I think Chun-Li is in desperate need of a makeup intervention. Who does her eyebrows?! Because they are hella short. And the red wings–girl, add some black liner there, please.
If there were more figures with adorable Chinese buns in their hair, I would have a “thing” for them the same way I do with wings or pink hair. Sadly, they seem pretty uncommon–the only ones I can think of off the top of my head are Xiao-Mei and Wave’s Taiga. Oh, and Chun-Li, of course! Aww, her hair is so adorable. Umm, I mean fierce! And strong! Actually, it’s nice to see a girl with hair that is reasonable for battle. All those women with long hair flowing free? That doesn’t work in real life. It would get in your eyes and stick to your lipstick and be a MESS. The bad guy would kill you while you were trying to remove a strand of hair from your eyelashes.
Chun-Li’s most notable feature is probably her ridiculously muscular legs. Of course, in terms of real strength, they’re not ridiculous at all. If you beat up people for a living (or hobby?), you are going to be buff as hell. So while the Street Fighter designs aren’t really my cup of tea, I adore that they give their girls hulking muscles. You can’t be dainty and beat the crap out of people. That’s just not how it works. Chun-Li looks intimidating, like she could kick you in the face without breaking a sweat, and it’s a welcome addition to the usually slim, cutesy Bishoujo line.
Of course this is a Shunya figure, so she is also super busty. Which kind of, you know, contradicts the whole super muscled thing. Also, why are her boobs going… downward and to the side? Gravity is acting very strangely here. Plus we’ve got the boob sock effect going on. As you can tell, I’m a little annoyed at how busty she is, though that seems to be part of her design in general–and the design of half the women in fighting games. Ah well, you just can’t have it all.
Guys, this is the second Bish review in a row where I haven’t had a decent butt shot. And she’s so muscular, I bet she has a great butt. That I’ll never see. Crying forever.
We may not see her butt from this angle, but we do get a nice look at the sculpt of her outfit. As you’d expect from her pose there are a lot of folds and wrinkles to denote motion. I really love her color scheme, the blue and gold are just so classic. Hmm, I did come into this saying I hated the Street Fighter designs, but at every turn I am finding things I like about them.
Chun-Li’s base is similar in style to both the Tekken and Star Wars line: a clear disk with insertable art. It features Shunya Yamashita’s original design so you can compare and contrast. For example, note that in the art you can see some of her buttcheeks (????), because Shunya lives in a magical world where anatomy is very different from Earth. I am so thankful that the sculptors fix all the boob and butt flounders going on in these so we get at least slightly realistic anatomy.
I have to admit that I really did not expect to like this line at all. I am biased against the Street Fighter girls, and would much rather have, say, Soul Calibur or BlazBlue Bishoujos added to the game line. But I am slowly but surely coming around. Chun-Li just features a lot of things I like: a body that looks like it belongs to a woman that actually kicks some ass, a lovely and classic color palette, and, of course, really friggin cute hair accessories. I mean, I’ve even started to like Cammy! It’s the hair, I tell you. I can’t resist twintails.
Thanks to Stephen Donaldson for taking these shots! Now that we have done a few back-to-back alternating reviews, you can compare and contrast our style. I think the main difference is that he takes a lot of vertical shots while I take more horizontal ones, because I forget you can put the camera that way. Kidding! Of course, I am totally 100% kidding. I swear.
[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Plastikitty with this review sample]