In case you haven’t heard, Kotobukiya is out to bankrupt me this year. The fact that I’ve branched out to collecting their ArtFX+ statues has been bad enough, but they also seem to have thrown their Bishoujo line into high gear, full speed ahead, let’s take every last damn penny poor old Fig has in his meager coffers too. What’s that? The Marvel and DC stuff isn’t doing it fast enough? Let’s start with Street Fighter! Anyway, Chun-Li is the obvious first choice for this new sub-line of Bishoujo and certainly a favorite of mine. But then what red blooded male gamer hasn’t fantasized about being strangled by Chun-Li’s copious thighs. What’s that? It’s just me? Did I share too much? Ok, moving on… Hyakuretsu Kyaku!!!!
Chun-Li comes in a window box that should be readily familiar to all collectors of this line. The windows allow you to get a teaser of what’s inside and is, as always, collector friendly. But the statue is wrapped in plastic and held between two plastic trays so you’ll want to free her from her prison to get a good look at her. Long time Bishoujo collectors will note that the box is black instead of white. Koto seems to do this on most of the non-Marvel or DC related statues. Both my Ghostbusters Lucy and my Tekken Christie Montiero statues came in black boxes. I don’t have a big problem with it, although I do believe I prefer the white. Of course, the deco includes all the great artwork by Shunya Yamashita and you also get some photos of the statue on the back. Oh, look! Cammy’s coming! I’m pretty damn excited about Cammy!
Chun-Li comes out of the box already attached to the base, but she is easily removable if you want. She attaches with a solid stepped tab that snugly fits inside the right foot. The balance is impressive and it allows for the dynamic high kick pose, which suits the character so well. It looks just like she’s in the middle of her Lightning Kick attack. Indeed, the “frozen in time” element on display here is one of my favorite things about this piece. and that’s all thanks to the thoughtful sculpting. Her qipao dress swirls around her legs and the ribbons from her ox horn hairstyle float around her head. It’s always impressive to me when a statue can convey energy and movement on this level.
As for the sculpt itself, the Bishoujo style works perfectly for Chun-Li without having to deviate from the character’s own style. Naturally, the DC and Marvel statues look like the characters with an intentional Bishoujo treatment, while Chun-Li looks like Chun-Li. It’s just a comfortable fit. Her portrait portrays an effortless “pretty girl” expression that works with the pose while not quite deliberately mugging for the camera. Her iconic and chunky spiked bracelets are present and the gold scrollwork on her dress is all integrated into part of the sculpt. Of course, this is Chun-Li and one’s eyes are drawn almost immediately to her powerful legs, which look superb from the detailed musculature of her thighs right down to her laced white combat boots.
The coloring on this figure hits all the right points and the paintwork is as immaculate as I’ve come to expect in this line. Unlike a lot of these statues there isn’t any high gloss paint at work here, which suits the character art. The gold looks great against the blue of her dress and there’s just enough sheen on the costume to contrast slightly with the soft plastic of her skin tone. The brown used for her tights is perfect and there’s just a hint of lavender paint on the top laces of her boots. Chun-Li’s colors are certainly iconic (as long as your Player 1) and this statue celebrates that fact.
Chun-Li comes on a clear base that opens and allows you to insert one of two graphics if you like. One just has the Street Fighter logo, the other features some of Shunya Yamashita’s art. While the one with the character art is certainly striking, I find it a bit busy and distracting, so I went with the simple logo. The same system of base and insert was used for the Tekken statues and I’ll confess that I wasn’t all that keen on getting it reproduced here. I think it looks OK but whenever I pick up my Christie Montiero statue, the bottom always drops out and the graphic slides out. Thankfully the base on this statue snaps together much better and it isn’t a problem.
Chun-Li set me back $55, which is right about what I usually expect to pay for a new Bishoujo statue. Sometimes I hold off to see if I can get a deal, but seeing as how Chun-Li was the first in this sub-series, I was somewhat worried about there being a run on her, so I locked her in with a pre-order. She is still available at some retailers, but apparently Koto sold out pretty fast on their own site, so anyone still on deck over this one might want to consider jumping into the pool. Either way, I’m hoping these initial offerings do well because I’d really like to see this line continue. I think Sakura would be the most likely choice after Cammy. After that who knows, but I’m gunning for Poison, Ibuki, and Elena. They would all be instant purchases for me.