It’s Bishoujo time again! Those nefarious money vampires at Koto have been especially prolific lately and it seems like at least once a week we’re seeing artwork or prototype pics of new and upcoming statues. It was just a couple weeks ago that I looked at their new Bishoujo Wonder Woman and hot on the heels of her arrival comes Spider-Woman. Jessica Drew has been sitting in my Pile of Loot for a little while and now she’s here and waiting to be opened. Let’s do it!
The packaging here is right in line with what we’ve been seeing from all the Marvel and DC Bishoujo statues. You get a white window box with some gorgeous character artwork by Shunya Yamashita. Collectors may be surprised to find that the box is a lot smaller than those used for most of these statues, but that’s because of Spider-Woman’s pose, but fear not. She’s still crafted in the same 1/8 scale as Koto’s other Bishoujo offerings. The back of the box teases us with Jubilee, another great character choice for the line and we’ve already seen some pictures of that statue from Koto online and yes I’ve already got her pre-ordered, dammit!
As usual, the statue comes wrapped in plastic and sandwiched between two plastic trays. You can get a good peek at her through all the windows in the box, but you’ll have to get in there and unwrap her to really appreciate what you’re getting. She comes separated from her base, and while the pegs are a bit of a tight fit, I got her in without too much trouble. Giggity.
And there she is out of the box and ready for display and oh man is she gorgeous! And yes, as the box suggests, she is small. Again, it’s not because she’s scaled any smaller, but because the composition here has her in a compact and low profile squat. Still, if you own Koto’s Bishoujo Mystique you should know what to expect here. It’s interesting to note that I’ve seen some critics of the original artwork and prototype of this piece suggested this pose was too suggestive or just downright vulgar and inappropriate. It’s certainly sexual, but that’s nothing new to this line and, indeed it’s the whole damn point. Besides, Spider-Woman here is definitely one of the most clothed Bishoujo statues in the entire line. With the exception of her face, she’s literally clad from head to toe, but that doesn’t stop this statue from leaving little to the imagination. And yet, her squat, with right fingers touching the base and her left fingers reaching out, mimics the kineticism of Jessica’s spider-like acrobatics remarkably well for a static piece. I not only think the pose here is appropriate, but totally in character for her, and while it may be no surprise to everyone who knows that I’m a shameless champion of this line, I think it’s absolutely exquisite.
And speaking of exquisite… let’s talk about the paintwork. Even though I started with the composition, the truth is that it’s the colors on this piece that first caught my eye. That’s saying a lot when you consider how alluring the sculpting is. The high gloss candy apple red that Koto used for her costume has to be seen in person to be believed. It’s so sumptuous that it’s almost like all this time I thought I was seeing the color red, but it’s always just been some dingy knock-off and only now am I seeing red in its original, brilliant form. And when you combine that with an equally impressive glossy luster in yellow, you have what is easily the most breathtakingly colored statue in my Bishoujo collection. Quite often, one of my favorite things about the coloring on these pieces is the contrast between the soft matte finish of the flesh tones and the sheen of whatever latex or leather the ladies happen to be wearing. Here that contrast is barely present. You get a little of it with the face and the hair and her translucent wings, but basically that red and yellow paint is carrying the day all by itself, and it carries it quite splendidly.
Jessica actually has two portraits with the change achieved by switching out the face. The stock portrait has her masked and you get that same beautiful red and yellow high gloss on her mask, with some heavy black outlines and white eyes. The windblown hair effect is pretty much a staple in this line, but here it feels like Koto went that little extra mile. The hair just feels more chaotic and complex and that extra effort pays off because it looks smashing right down to the semitransparent edges.
The alternate unmasked head is swapped in by removing the head from the neck post, taking off the bangs, and then pulling off the face. It’s quite similar to what I’ve seen with the S.H. Figuarts Sailor Moon figures. My first instinct was to dismiss the unmasked head because the masked version is just so iconic, but I think I’ve fallen in love with Jessica’s unmasked face. She has an almost wistful expression and yet a hint of a smile on her tiny mouth. She’s also got a set of beautiful green eyes and it’s almost a shame to cover them with that mask.
Most of the time when I get a Bishoujo statue with variants, I have a clear preference on which way I want to go with it. With Black Widow I always prefer the rifle over the knife; with Storm I opt to leave the effects parts off; And Kitty Pryde is always displayed with Lockheed perched on her arm. In this case, I’m not sure which way to go and I’ll likely be swapping the heads out every couple of weeks to enjoy them both.
Of course, with the Bishoujo line, you never know what Koto’s going to do for a base. In this case you get a simple black raised disc with a white spider-web pattern sculpted and painted onto it. It works perfectly for the character and the black really helps to accentuate the beauty of the costume’s red and yellow paint. Every time I decide that I want Koto to just standardize all of these damn bases, they pull something exceptional and unique like this and I back away from my argument. Another very cool thing about the base is that there’s a hidden compartment underneath where you can store the extra face. That’s plenty cool!
And so, it should come as no great surprise that I’m in love with another of Koto’s Bishoujo statues. With 17 of these beauties now under my belt, Spider-Woman here is just another example of why I’ll follow this line until Koto decides to kill it or I happen to finally succumb to alcohol poisoning. She may not be as big or imposing as some of the other statues in my display case, but she makes up for it in every other way. And even with the diminished stature, at $55 I still think she was a bargain. Jubilee or Starfire will likely be next, and after that we can look forward to She-Hulk, Wasp, and Zatanna, not to mention what Koto has in store for the Street Fighter and Tekken sub-lines. Life is indeed good!