Today, we'll be reviewing a figure which has gradually worked its way into my favorites list, Kadokawa's Holo the Wise Wolf. This is not an 18+ figure, but many of the shots below could be considered NSFW, so be advised of that.
About the character: Holo is one of the main characters from the Spice and Wolf manga and anime series. Holo is a harvest diety with a long-standing relationship with the citizens of the town of Pasloe. However, as the years have passed and the residents of the town have increasingly come to view her as unnecessary, Holo develops a desire to explore the world, and when she crosses paths with co-protagonist Lawrence who is a traveling merchant, she decides to seize this opportunity.
Holo's true form is that of a fearsome looking wolf, and even when in human form she retains some of her wolf features, including her tail of which she is quite proud.
Kadokawa goes with a simple box design. The bar across the window provides a little convenient censoring of the figure inside.
The "merchant meats spicy wolf" text is unintentionally funny :).
One side panel has a large window which allows Holo to be viewed in profile.
The other side panel features a couple of shots of Holo.
Looking at the text on the back, it appears that Kadokawa is one of the countless subsidiaries of Good Smile.
Holo inside the blister.
The way Holo has her arms extended means the box needs to be fairly large to accommodate her. The box measures 28 by 20 by 19 cm and it weighs just over 600 grams.
Holo has an espresso brown base, and since much of the artwork from Spice and Wolf has a very earthy feel, the color is appropriate. You can also see that Holo stands on one foot; that rod inside her foot appears to be made of plastic, but I would have preferred to see a metal rod instead in the name of long-term stability of the figure.
I have Holo displayed inside a case, but still dust happens, and you can see the shiny finish of the base together with the dark color means the base will easily show dust!
We'll see that this figure has its fair share of issues, but I do like her pose. Being a deity, Holo is fairly uninhibited, and the way she has her arm extended gives her a very carefree feel.
Let's have a look at her.
Holo looks good from a number of angles, and so there are no real complaints on the posing front.
In terms of overall quality, I would say this figure is slightly below average relative to most newer figures. There are some things that Kadokawa did really well, such as Holo's body sculpt, but there are a number of instances of quality control issues as well as some lazy sculpting/painting here and there.
Holo's face is really pretty, and I really like her reddish-brown eyes.
Note there are several places in Holo's hair where there are little bits of excess material.
Holo might look best from this angle, where she's looking slightly off to the side.
Spice and Wolf fans are no doubt aware that Holo's exact appearance can differ wildly from medium to medium. In the manga (particularly the early chapters), she has a very "severe" look with her almost rectangular eyes. Anime Holo has a slightly softer look, and much of the merchandise featuring Holo (like that wall scroll ITEM #825963 on the far right) gives her a very cute and moe look. This figure, like most of the Holo figures out there, gives her a very soft and cute feel.
Holo's wolf ears are cute, but you can also see some painting issues. There should be more of a gradual color gradient where the brown ears gradually transition to white at the tips, and you can see that there are spots of white paint everywhere. It's not unlike what you'd see if you just applied white paint with an airbrush without masking any of the neighboring parts.
You can see some really messy spots where the various pieces of her hair meet.
I do like the sculpt of Holo's hair, the way it's sort of whipping around her body, as that gives a sense of movement to the figure.
Her hair is less color saturated at the ends, but I'm not sure what's going on with that one isolated spot; the color fade seems out of place in that spot.
More painting issues on the other side of Holo's head. It looks like the hair pieces didn't get totally painted at some of the edges.
I like the little pouch Holo wears around her neck. It provides some convenient censoring, although the lacing sort of melts into the rest of the pouch.
Note the sloppy painting on Holo's armband.
The sculpting on her hands and fingers is generally okay, and I like how you can see the crease of her palm, but I would have liked to see more definition on her fingernails.
I'm not sure how well this comes across in a photograph, but the skin on Holo's other palm is quite shiny. It's weird since this is really the only spot on the figure where this happens.
We've seen some flaws with this figure, but her body sculpt is really quite good. I like how you can see her bicep tendon working, and note the very subtle sculpt on Holo's ribcage.
You can also see her ribcage on the other side of her body. I also like the definition on her navel and the definition on Holo's pelvis.
In case you're wondering, there is no detail on Holo's breasts underneath her hair or the pouch, so this is most definitely not an 18+ figure.
Holo's tail is a point of great pride for her, and I like its reddish-brown color.
The texture makes it appear that Holo's tail is quite thick, but if you look closely you can see more little spots with excess material on her tail.
This shot shows what is probably my least favorite thing about this figure. There's a bunch of material in that seam on her tail, and a quick once over with an X-acto knife could have cleaned this up significantly.
Kadokawa should have done better sculpting Holo's anklet. It looks like it's growing out of her ankle...
Holo's traveling partner Lawrence is 5'10" (178 cm), and it is established that Holo is approximately one head (gotta love those English units :) ) shorter. One head is equivalent to approximately 8 inches/20 cm, so Holo would be about 5'2" (157 cm) tall. Not including the base, Holo is about 8.5 inches (21.5 cm) in height, and factoring in the way she's standing on her tiptoe, I'd say she'd be about 8 inches (20 cm) tall. That would make her listed 1/7 scale a little generous; she'll look like a large 1/8 scale figure sitting on the shelf.
Spice and Wolf and the various Atelier games take place in pre-industrial settings, and so an Atelier/Spice and Wolf crossover project of some kind could be kind of interesting! Below, we have Holo paired with Phat's Merurulince Rede Arls ITEM #117969 , who is 1/8 scale.
"Vampire meets harvest deity" could describe the shot below. Q-Six's Velvet ITEM #604880 is large 1/7 scale for comparison.
These two make an interesting pair in part because Momohime looks a little mortified to be seen wearing only a towel, while Holo is very uninhibited and carefree. Amakuni's Momohime ITEM #313104 is listed at 1/7 scale, but I'd say her true scale is actually much closer to 1/6.
I like the similarity in the poses of these two figures, the way both Holo and Lilith Aensland are holding their arms wide. Amakuni's Lilith ITEM #582603 is a large 1/7 scale.
I have these two displayed right next to one another on one of my shelves, and they make a very interesting pair. Kurushima's Hakufu Sonsaku ITEM #11438 is 1/5.5 scale.
I also like how these two look with one another, even though Shoujo S is an 18+ figure and Holo is not. I assume Shoujo S ITEM #25420 and Holo are not too different in their overall stature, and Shoujo-san is 1/7 scale.
(NSFW shot behind the spoiler tag)
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Overall verdict and enjoyment----------8.5/10
Arguments for: Holo is very pretty, particularly her eyes, lively pose, good body sculpt, and despite the fact that Holo is nude you don't really get an ecchi vibe from the figure.
Arguments against: A number of instances of sloppy paint and sculpt and the shiny brown base will be a dust magnet.
Would I recommend this figure? Despite all the QC flaws, she really is a nice looking figure and I have no regrets about buying her. Further, despite the ongoing popularity of Spice and Wolf, there haven't been a ton of Holo figures made and some of them have gotten quite expensive on the aftermarket. So, all things considered, I'd still recommend this figure, quirks and all.
Availability (as of this writing)
Not too hard to find pre-owned.
Holo's price new was 12800 yen, and I got mine (preowned, unopened) for 12000 yen. I've seen prices of 11000-15000 yen for a preowned Holo if you'd like to add this harvest deity to your figure shelf.
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews you might also find interesting:
Phat! 1/8 Merurulince Rede Arls (Atelier Meruru) BLOG #9178
Amakuni 1/7 Lilith Aensland (Darkstalkers) BLOG #41374
Kotobukiya 1/7 Miki Hoshii (iDOLM@STER) BLOG #42677
Max Factory 1/5 Marie Rose (Dead or Alive) BLOG #41521
[NSFW] Daiki 1/6 "Kanbanmusume" Kurara-chan BLOG #40436
[NSFW] Rocket Boy 1/6 Kurone BLOG #41984
Ques Q 1/8 Taiga Aisaka "Tiger Costume" (Toradora!) BLOG #39258
Sega Hatsune Miku "Ribbon Girl" BLOG #33733