I ended last week with Kotobukiya and we’re starting this week with the same! The difference is that this week I’m giving the Justice League ArtFX+ statues a rest and instead turning my attention back to Koto’s Bishoujo line. Koto has a veritable shit-ton of amazing Bishoujo statues on deck for 2014-15. From Marvel to DC to Star Wars and Street Fighter, this line is going to get a lot of my money in the months ahead. And if their most recent release, Psylocke, is any indication it’s going to be a damn fine couple of years. This release is Psylocke’s second outing for the Bishoujo line and that’s a rather sore point for me because I missed the first statue and now it sells for crazy prices on the secondary market. I try not to look for it a lot because I kind of want it bad enough to pay a lot more than I should, and so it’s best to try to forget it exists. This all-new Psylocke release, however, serves as a mighty nice consolation prize, even if I’m not usually keen on the X-Force costumes.
The box shares the same deco style as previous releases in this line, but it’s a little unusual as it is a landscape shaped box to fit the unusual orientation of the statue. As usual, there’s some great source artwork by Shunya Yamashita on the package and the windows give you a tease of what’s inside. The statue is wrapped in plastic and nestled between two plastic trays, so if you want to really get a good look you’ve got to take her out and unwrap her. Psylocke comes already attached to the base and the only assembly required is placing her katana in her hand.
I’m always impressed by these statues, but Psylocke here absolutely blows me away. Seriously, I don’t want to downplay previous releases in the line, they’re pretty much all great, but I don’t think I’ve been this amazed by a Bishoujo since Wonder Woman. To see what all the fuss is about, first and foremost we have to look at the composition because in terms of pose this is some of Koto’s finest work. Psylocke is poised close to the ground, with one leg bent back under her and the other stretched out all the way so that it extends well beyond the base. She has one hand on the ground and the other holding her katana aloft. This is absolutely gorgeous composition work, so much so that it feels like it belongs among one of their larger and more expensive Fine Art statues. Speaking of size, Psylocke scales perfectly with my other Marvel ladies. Her head is close to the same height as the kneeling Mystique and X-23, but with her katana stretched above her the total height of the piece comes close to statues like Black Cat and Black Widow.
Of course, composition is only half the battle, and doesn’t mean much without a solid sculpt. Again, in this department, Psylocke outshines most other releases. The contours and curves of Psylocke’s body border on pure poetry and the muscle definition in her shoulders and… um, groin, are superb. The straps on her thighs and biceps are sculpted so that they ever so slightly constrict her skin and the rumbling of the costume adds that extra touch of realism. Even the way her white belt rises up in a frozen flurry conveys the kinetic energy on display here. Her scabbard is tethered to her belt with sculpted ties and is punctuated with a little brass cap. Truth be told, there isn’t a lot of complexity to Psylocke’s costume, but it feels like Koto went above and beyond with what little they had to work with.
As for the portrait, I really like what they did here. Sure, you can argue that a lot of the Bishoujo portraits look alike, and I wouldn’t refute that. Psylocke here has slightly narrower eyes, giving her a more serious expression that better matches her action packed pose. It fits the statue better than the more frivolous portraits that Koto has used on some of the more cheesecake poses like Kitty Pryde or Sue Storm. I also dig that her face is looking straight up. The style with many of the Bishoujo statues is to have the girl looking slightly down and to the side. It’s part of the “pretty girl” motif, I get that, but it’s kind of nice to get a good look at the portrait from dead on for a change. Of course, Pyslocke’s hair is flowing outward with beautiful effect and the tips of her hair are partially transparent.
I don’t have a lot to say about the coloring here. The katana looks particularly good with a semi-steel finish on the blade, intricate paintwork on the grip and a bronze colored tsuba and ricasso. The X-Force costume is black and the high gloss contrasts beautifully with the soft matte plastic used for Psylocke’s bare skin. It looks good, but I would have so preferred this piece be her in the traditional purple costume. I suppose there’s always a chance that we could get a Comic Con recolor.
The base places Psylocke in what I think is supposed to be a Shinto Garden with a piece of sculpture off to the side. The base is textured to look and feel like stone with what looks like possibly snow covered grass. As mentioned, Psylocke’s leg stretches well beyond the base making her the least space efficient Bishoujo so far. She certainly demands a lot of real estate on the shelf, but she’s well worth it and she looks great in the front row with the taller statues behind her.
Psylocke retailed at just under $60, which is a pretty solid value. Sure, sometimes the Bishoujo’s go down in price, but they also sometimes go up. Because of the fluctuations in price, I usually gamble and don’t pre-order this line, but I was pretty smitten with this piece when I first saw it and so I dropped a pre-order straight away. She’s the 13th Bishoujo statue in my collection and right now she’s definitely in league with Wonder Woman and Huntress in my top three favorite releases. That’s saying quite a bit since I’m not necessarily a big fan of the X-Force costume. This is just a case where Koto nailed the essence of the character perfectly in a breathtaking pose and followed through with a superb sculpt.