Koto continues to be the pretty girl monkey on my back, making me shell out untold monies for their never ending flood of Bishoujo releases. Does that sound like I’m complaining? Because I’m not. As long as they keep going, I’ll keep buying. Today I’m finally getting all caught up on the Street Fighter line with my fourth statue in that series, Sakura Kasugano!
The package is certainly familiar. It’s a black window box with extra windows on the top and side panel to let more light in. You get the Street Fighter logo and plenty of that great art by Shunya Yamashita. The back of the box features a teaser for the next statue, Poison. She just started shipping and I’m pretty excited to get her.
Sakura comes attached to her base and all ready for display. Koto went with a great pose here, with Sakura in the final phase of her Shoryuken attack. It’s definitely a high energy piece of composition and it tests the balance of the statue to its limits with Sakura lunging forward and up on her right leg and her left leg drawn up and over the edge of the base. Outstanding!
Sakura is clad in her iconic school uniform, which consists of a white and blue abbreviated top that exposes her midriff and a blue pleated skirt. Both garments swirl up from the motion of her attack, and yes that means you can catch a glimpse of her red undergarments. I particularly like the way the free ends of her headband and her yellow kerchief are whipping around from her momentum. This is a high energy piece that is certainly befitting of the source material. The ensemble is rounded out with a pair of red finger less gloves, red and white sneakers, and the edges of her blue socks.
The coloring on this is flatter when compared to most of Koto’s Bishoujos. That’s not really a criticism, but just an observation. We usually get some high gloss somewhere to contrast with the soft skin tones, but here there’s really none of that. There’s a dull sheen on her gloves, but that’s about it. That having been said, the paintwork on her sneakers is particularly crisp and bright and the coloring is vibrant and beautiful all across the board.
The portrait here is superb. The mouth is open and I can practically hear Sakura shouting out her attack. The paint for the eyes is crisp, as always, and while there isn’t a lot of hair here for them to work with, it looks great.
The base is the usual clear disk that we’ve been seeing all along with the Street Fighter and Tekken lines. You get a choice of two inserts to decorate it with. One is the Street Fighter logo and the other is a piece of colorful character art. I’ll confess, I find these inserts to be a pain in the ass. The inserts show fingerprints rather easily and getting them in and closing up the base without having a stray cat hair trapped in there is nearly impossible for me. But in the interest of continuity, I wouldn’t want to see Koto change it up in the middle of the line.
I picked up Sakura for around $55, which is a damn good price in a market where these things are releasing in the $65 range. I’ll confess, I was a little iffy on seeing Sakura appear in the Bishoujo line. These statues are most often about sexualizing its subjects and while that may fly over in Japan, in my book, Sakura is too young for that. Thankfully, that wasn’t what they were going for in this piece and, apart from a little flash of fan service, the result is just an excellent treatment of the character. Every release in this line just leaves me wanting more, and hopefully I’ll be back with a look at Poison before the end of the month!