StarshipPooperStarshipPooper9 anno/i fa
Today we'll be taking a look at HobbyJAPAN's latest figure which was made in collaboration with ALTER. The figure in question is Gotou Matabei from the Hyakka Ryouran series. She was based loosely on Gotō Mototsugu who served Toyotomi Hideyori as a samurai and general during the early Edo period. In the Hyakka Ryouran world she instead serves Yukimura Sanada as her faithful bodyguard.

This figure is a HobbyJAPAN Magazine mail order exclusive. The coupon to order her was found in the January and February 2011 issues. She was released in June of 2011. The order period has since expired meaning more than likely the only way to obtain her now is on the secondary market or proxies that might have some left due to cancellations. She retailed for a little over 8000 Yen but for anyone outside of Japan she probably cost much more due to the use of a proxy service in obtaining her. The goal today is to determine if she is worthy of the effort to acquire her.


Please note a score of 10 will never be given as there is always room for improvement no matter how perfect a figure.

Packaging: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

Just like the other girls, ALTER was consistent with the design and layout for Matabei. A large window panel at the front that wraps around up top gives you an excellent view of the figure and her accessories. If needed, you could get away with leaving her in the box. The box itself looks nice so leaving her in the box to display is definitely an option.

Dimensions of the box

H: 280 mm
W: 270 mm
D: 190 mm

Like usual ALTER went with a light weight non-corrugated cardboard box. The dimensions are such that in the US at least it would not be considered an over-sized package. It's also very light helping keep shipping cost down again. The weakest part is understandably the large window panel, but even then the contents is fairly safe as long as it's packed adequately.

Front & Back
Front & Back

A typical two piece blister is used to both segregate the various pieces of the figure and to protect it. An additional reinforcement was used with a wire twist tie to make sure the blister does not separate or shift in addition to the usual tape. The extra step is appreciated unlike certain manufacturers that don't even bother to use tape on the packaging such as Griffon. The figure is covered with various sheets of plastic to protect from rubbing and paint transfer. Bubble wrap is also used to to protect the non-weapon end of the Yari as it is quite delicate.


Detailed instructions on how to assemble the figure is provided. This is appreciated as it's still quite common for complicated figures to not come with any instructions whatsoever.


Expectations were met as ALTER remained consistent with their packaging for the Hyakka Ryouran girls. The design and artwork looked nice and you have the option of leaving the figure inside the box without much issue. It's fairly light but you still have decent protection. Keep up the good work!

Sculpting: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

Sculpting credits go to Takahashi Tsuyoshi. He's actually sculpted another Hyakka Ryouran girl before, Tokugawa Sen. The majority of figures he has worked on has been for ALTER and most of them appear to be very well made. Takahashi has been sculpting for over 6 years and it looks like he's at the top of his game. Below you can see some of the figures he has worked on giving you an idea of what to expect.


Like the rest of the girls, she's 1/8th in scale. The figure stands 230 mm tall when measured from her feet to the top of her pony tail. When she is holding her Yari, she would measure over 290 mm. As seen below, she comes with the monkey ninja, Sarutobi Sasuke. Her Yari and a support for the flag from her Yari.


The first item we'll be looking at is the monkey ninja, Sarutobi Sasuke. Popular folklore lists Sasuke as the leader of the Sanada Ten Braves, a group of ten legendary ninjas that helped Yukimura Sanada at the Battle of Osaka Castle. There is argument that he even existed, but I'm pretty sure if he existed he wasn't a monkey... Sasuke is pretty tiny standing only 35 mm tall.


His head is detachable and is mounted by a ball joint as shown below. He can swivel his head 360 degrees and care should be taken with his tail as it could easily break off. I don't know if it's a coincidence but his tail is in a shape of a question mark. This of course made me want to put him on her head to see a big question mark floating over her head. 8Þ


These are the two ends of her flag. The one with the "metal" ring attaches to the spear and the other end goes into her left hand. The flag itself is very rigid and I was actually pretty afraid I was going to break it when I first held it. Both ends flexes enough to allow you to install the flag without much issue. I do not recommend you let the flag hang loose from the spear but actually install the other end into her left hand or you risk damaging the flag. Even though she is using a Yari, the flag on it actually has several purposes which basically makes it a flag spear. The flag is used to cause confusion in combat, it's very distracting seeing the flag moving around that you end up getting skewered before you know what's happening. Also, if you skewer someone the blood has to flow somewhere, which is basically down the shaft of the Yari. The flag soaks up the blood and prevents the pole from being slick during extended combat. Since it's already red, you won't notice the blood on it. Also, from afar those flags were also very distracting and could trick generals into falling for feints and traps.


This pole is meant to support the flag, however it's too short and from what I can tell the flag is rigid and light enough that it shouldn't sag. Even if it did, it would need to sag by quite a bit before you could even use the support rod. If you look at the blister, you can see the rod fills up the entire cavity so that's the specified length and not some mistake...


These are the two ends of the pole. The ends may look metallic but that's not the case. That pointed end is pretty fragile and care should be taken that you do not break it. It's meant to be installed into the base to prevent it from slipping. It was fragile enough that they took extra care to wrap it in bubble wrap to prevent it from shifting and hitting the blister wall during transport. The other end of the pole is where the blade and flag attach. It's removable so you can slide the top of the pole through her hand to hold the pole. Note the detailing of the ends, they look so realistic you could probably mistake it for a real weapon. Also note all of the connectors are D shaped.


As you can see the blade attaches to the pole via a D shaped connector as well. It's actually a snug fit and it's meant to hold the flag down by pinning the ring end down. When everything is assembled the Yari is almost 300 mm long from tip to tip.


The blade is finely detailed and could easily be mistaken for a real weapon. However, it is fragile and care should be taken when installing it into the pole as you could bend/break it if you're not careful.


Installing the Yari is pretty easy. Just remove the top of the pole and slide the pole through the bottom of her right hand. Slide it up far enough so the bottom of the pole clears the base. Start sliding the pole downward toward the base until the point at the bottom of the pole goes into the hole in the base. Put the top end of the pole back on. Take the spear tip and slide the connector through the ring on the flag then attach the it to the pole. Insert the other end of the flag into her left hand. Pretty straight forward.





Unless you had the eyes of a hawk, you probably didn't see the only minor issue with the figure. When I say minor, it really is minor and you probably wouldn't notice unless I point it out. I also believe it will vary between figures. In any case that minor issue will be addressed soon enough. Otherwise, ALTER has done justice for an exclusive and what you expect from it. Starting with her face, the shape and contour is very clean and appealing.


Her hair abounds with details from various strands sticking up at her bangs to the detailed side bangs. Her ponytail is intricately detailed but resilient to damage. Even though Takahashi had illustrations to reference it's pretty obvious he took the lessons he learned from sculpting Ignis as they have a similar hairstyle. It looks like he vastly improved on the previous figure.


As mentioned the side bangs are detailed, and each ends with an intricate decoration/ornament. Her right side bang is glued in place while the left is free to move around.


Onto the minor issue... At least for mine, the few loose strands on the top of her pony tail weren't attached cleanly and there's a slight gap. It's minor and you wouldn't notice unless I point it out and up close. As mentioned I have a feeling I just had bad luck and the other figures are probably fine. Even then, it's not really an issue. I've tried to find fault with this figure and this was the best I could do. I hope that shows the excellent quality control that ALTER used for their exclusive Hyakka Ryouran girls. Everyone one of their girls up to this point has had no issues or very minor issues, at least for me.


While we're at her hair, let's look at her amazing Tantō. Besides her Yari, she also uses a Tantō, which is basically a knife used for stabbing primarily and slashing secondarily. What's interesting is that both samurai and women carried these weapons. They did a great job with it, however I really wish you could draw it out of the sheath. However, due to the tilt of her head I could see it constantly falling out if you could draw it out. Oh well. In any event it doesn't change the fact that it looks great by itself and being used as a hair ornament, excellent execution.


Her hands are actually the same size! I can't count the number of times where you have disproportion hands and feet on figures. I'm glad Takahashi actually paid attention to this detail. Also note the tail end of the flag is pretty securely glued in place so I doubt you have to worry about damaging it, but note it is quite sharp.


Her cleavage was pretty low key when compared to the rest of the figure. It just didn't stand out but that's not a bad thing as it wasn't a distraction to the rest of the figure. It was clean and integrated well with the figure as a whole. Her shirt is nicely detailed with the various wrinkles and creases rippling throughout. The knot at the front was detailed but it looks like it could have used more refinement as some parts of it didn't contrast enough when compared to the rest of the knot. Where she shines is her amazing midsection. Her abs and obliques look great and her belly button was just right. The transition from her waist to her hips and beyond was nicely executed.


Here's another chance to look at her amazing midsection...


If you're wondering what's she's wearing below, it's a Fundashi. Samurai actually wore these into battle. It also looks like she's wearing a male variant because the female ones usually has a flap in the back as well... not that I'm complaining. 8Þ It's nicely detailed and the front flap is rather rigid and fixed securely. The thunder strips on the other hand are flexible but also very fragile so care should be taken when handling that area. Might I add she's got a nice butt. 8Þ


As you can see from all sides, her Fundoshi is worn very naturally. The transition from flesh to the material was well executed. I did not see any issues what so ever, again the attention to detail was apparent.


Her legs are long and lovely. The amount of muscle tone/definition was just right, they struck a perfect balance. Her knees look great as well as the overall shape of her legs. They are nice and smooth with no discernible issues.


The transition from her legs to her boots were well executed. There were no visible gaps and it looked quite natural. The boots themselves including the rope decorations look great. The details are noticeable and appreciated.


Takahashi Tsuyoshi and ALTER have done it again. The excellent quality control was noticeable. As hard as I looked I couldn't really find any faults at all, no matter how small or trivial. The figure was well put together and masterfully sculpted. Expectations were exceeded based on the official photos and illustrations. The pictures just do not do the figure justice enough. You actually have to have her before you to truly appreciate all that she has to offer.

Painting: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

ALTER in my experience is usually in the upper end of the spectrum when it comes to painting figures. They take a balanced approach to the level of tinting and painting for a figure. For the Hyakka Ryouran girls they went into overdrive especially on the quality control. Consistently each girl they have turned out has come out near flawless in regards to the paint work employed. This figure isn't any different. Looking at her face, the decals were applied precisely and look great. They even painted her mouth and rather precisely if I do say so myself. In the same situation, I can think of some manufacturers that wouldn't even bother painting the mouth.


As you can see, her hair isn't one flat color but instead employed various shades to enhance the effect they were going for with the wind blowing her hair all around. It nicely simulated the way the light would play off of shiny hair as it danced around. The shading also gave the hair more depth.


The finish on that Tantō looks amazing. It looks so real I feel like I could reach out and pull it out of the scabbard. Everything on it was painted very precisely with no stray brush mark in sight.


Here we have another example of the excellent job they did with this realistic looking blade.


I just can't find any fault. Look how realistic of a job they did with the pole. The finish on everything was superb.


Her outfit employed shading which enhanced the wrinkles and creases making it look like the outfit was actually being worn. They used the washed out/faded effect well at her chest showing the material was straining and being worn down holding back her ample breasts from the strenuous activities she must partake in serving Yukimura. The accents to her flesh at her midsection was very well executed, breathing lift to her flesh.


The same can be said for her lovely legs. They look so alive.


A closer look at her legs show the details used. I especially like the back of her knee as a good example of the level of detailing. Normally, you either have the details applied via sculpting or painting, it's not often both types of detail are used. This shows the level of attention to detail ALTER is willing to put into the figure.


The accents on her flesh also help with the transition from her legs to boots. The boots themselves look great. Note only the armor shin guard and rope was tinted, everything else was painted, including those red rings that were impossibly precise. The worn out effect on the boots looked great.


Then we get to the monkey and you see they were a little sloppy. I have a feeling the team that painted the figure wasn't the same that took care of the monkey... The monkey is basically what you would expect from most other manufacturers, which really makes me think if they didn't subcontract the monkey to someone else... In any case, the monkey wasn't the main feature and the job they did on it was acceptable.


Expectations were met. Just like the other girls before her, ALTER did a fantastic job. I could see no apparent issues with the figure. The tinting of the various pieces and her flesh was well executed. The painting both by hand and airbrushing were where they needed to be and very precise. The decals used were appropriate and applied precisely. An excellent job.

Posing: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

It looks like Takahashi Tsuyoshi took the illustrations and made it his own. He expanded greatly on the reference illustrations and presented a scenario that showed off the figure. With the wind to her back, her lustrous ponytail fanned out on the currents showing it off but parting at strategic points to give you a teasing view of her backside. You get a sense of the cacophony blowing about her with her torn flag sailing through the air like a living creature coiling about. Her defiant stance with her looking stoically behind her as she opens her self to take on all comers.


The flag really looks amazing with the way it's fluttering about. The rich colors and shading really add to the effect. Very eye catching and truly adds to the figure.


Takahashi Tsuyoshi and ALTER met and exceeded my expectations. The figure and pose looked great in the official photos, but when I actually had her in my hands she looked even more amazing. As mentioned the flag and her hair were the key features that bring the rest of the figure together. She makes such a heroic yet sexy figure. The flag allows you to display her at various angles and still look great. I'm glad they didn't just try to rehash one of the reference illustrations. A job well done.

Base: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Not much to say about the base. It's stable and does it's job. It's low profile and not overly large. The decorations look OK and it's consistent with the rest of the girls.


Considering the official photos showed a clear base but all of the other girls had similar white bases I can't really say I wasn't expecting what I received. No real complaints and I couldn't really think of any way for them to improve on it.

Enjoyment: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

So we arrive at the end of our journey. I've tried hard but I just couldn't really find any faults with her. She truly deserves the title of exclusive. ALTER delivers it again with their excellent quality control and execution of the figure. With all the fees and associated costs I went through to obtain her, I probably paid twice her worth but looking at everything before me I have to say she was worth it. I do not regret obtaining her and would do it again without a second thought. If you have the chance to acquire her, I would say go for it because you won't regret it.



See you later.
19,170 visite • 0 preferito9 commenti




KumaChopper6 anno/i fa#2409080I just got this figure today.
I'm still wondering how to use the clear flag support. Like you previously stated, the height is not a mistake that Alter did since it matches the packaging.
This review is about 3 years old.
Have you ever used the flag support at all? (for however long you had her for out in display)

I've never used it and she's fine.
6 anno/i fa
I just got this figure today.
I'm still wondering how to use the clear flag support. Like you previously stated, the height is not a mistake that Alter did since it matches the packaging.
This review is about 3 years old.
Have you ever used the flag support at all? (for however long you had her for out in display)
6 anno/i fa
kk090200 Con going Anime lover!!!!
I love this figure! Great review once again! Thanks for taking the time to do these. I love your reviews.
9 anno/i fa
StarshipPooperIf I ever do a second look, will definitely have to retake the pictures and or just post process these.
It happens very often to me too ^^
9 anno/i fa
Thanks, but I cringe when I look the pictures now. If I ever do a second look, will definitely have to retake the pictures and or just post process these.
9 anno/i fa
She's wonderful!! Congrats for great review and sharp pics!
I would like to get one... but she's very hard to find now, and so high prices :-(
9 anno/i fa
negativezero Making Room
as always a great review, I can't wait to receive mine. I love seeing them all together like that in the final pic.
9 anno/i fa
Thank you - very useful!
9 anno/i fa
COOL... !!!
9 anno/i fa
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