Alter’s Yagyu Jubei – Beating the dead horse

You know that saying, third time’s a charm? That’s how I feel after getting my hands on Jubei after so many years.

The first time I had no money to buy her, the second I hesitated too much and it sold out, that’s why this time I jumped at the chance to pre-order without a second thought. This let me with almost four years of suppressed desires to sit down and take pictures of her.

With that said without much further ado I present to you the millionth look at Alter’s Yagyu Jubei from Hyakka Ryouran.

If you ben around the figure scene for the past three to four years you must have inevitably seen either this rendition off Jubei or the variety of offerings by other manufacturers. In particular this version by Alter has been one of those ubiquitous figures that everyone seems to own. Just look at the sheer number of user pictures on MFC and it’s ever present front page entry in the figure category.

If you go on a trip down the memory lane and look at figures blog from around 2009 you will probably see various reviews of this figure, the same for the second re-release more or less.

Quite simply a lot has been said about Jubei, a lot of pictures of her have been taken. This left me with a conundrum, did I have anything new to say, any new way to show her off in pictures?

The answer in the end was no, not really.

If you keep reading, you will probably end up hearing the same things about the figure everyone has been saying for years. I suppose I could complain about Alter’s endless delays this years but I suppose at this point all of that is moot.

This is why at first I didn’t actually thought to do a photo shoot when I ordered Jubei, I figured I would just order her and be happy to finally own her.

However, once I actually got the figure, once I saw her in person, that changed. It is a very nice figure, very easy to see why I find it so ubiquitous. So I thought, what the hell, who cares if I’m beating the dead horse and make a post about Jubei. At the very least I felt more comfortable trying out a two point lighting setup which I hadn’t done in forever.

I might have mentioned it before but I have only one rule that I always abide to when buying figures. I must have either watched or played the media where a character originates before I buy a figure. Occasionally I cheat a bit and order a figure first and then go check out the source material. That is exactly what I did with this figure, after all at first it was only a line of figures which then got an anime.

An anime where you had a genderbent version of one Japan’s most famous samurai, along with a slew of other historical figures, interesting visual style, and several popular seiyu such as Rie Kugimiya?

Sounds pretty cool, right? Except that it really wasn’t, not for me anyways. I mean, it has a lot of things I would normally like and yet for some reason it didn’t click.

I have tried watching the first episode several times and the beginning of the second but I can’t seem to get past that. It is a fanservice show with historical figures as girls, I sat through shows with a similar premise but for some reason I never been able to with this one, I wonder why that is though.

At least I can enjoy the figures side of it and seems to have been successful enough since there is a currently airing second.

Out of all the figures that have come out, only this interpretation of Yagyu Jubei has really caught my eye. I mean sure some others like Naoe Kanetsugu really tickled my fancy but not enough to click on that order button.

I don’t know what it is about this figure, but I really, really like it.

I mean, sure I’m really fond of the way it mixed traditional Japanese imagery with modern imagery in the clothes. That is something that I have always liked about the whole line of Hyakka Ryouran in general.

You look at Jubei and she is essential wearing what looks like the top part of a sailor school girl uniform, sans skirt for some dubious reason.

Her whole design is accentuated by Shimenawa, the rope that can be easily seen at Shinto shrines in Japan, adding that definite traditional flair and strong visual element with the large ribbon in her back. These ropes are believed to act as wards against evil spirits in Japan, seeing as Jubei had some dual personalities going on in the first couple of episodes I wonder if their presence in her design have any relevance to the plot or they were only added because they look cool. Alter did an excellent work with them, while they don’t actually have the texture of a rope they sure look like they do which I suppose is all that matters.

In addition to that, something that I hadn’t noticed before after all this years is the drum in her back below the ribbon, I wonder what is up with that as well. If you look around you see other different elements like her hair ornament which to me seems reminiscent of a sword hilt or the hair ornaments in the back bun. Of course you can’t have a samurai girl without swords which look quite nice, I do wonder though how having swords attached to your thighs works out, I suppose that is a strange decision in their placement.

This placement though draws attention to something that I really like about this figure. Jubei is a bit meaty. She obviously has the bust, nothing to out of the ordinary there. It’s when you look down that things get a more interesting, just look at those nice hips and thighs. The way the ropes around them dig in gives them such a nice sense of volume!

Jubei’s face is something that I love about this figure a lot, the nice bright blue eyes direct my gaze to them, the faint lip gloss is a nice alluring touch and the slight presence of the eye shadow in a color complementing her overall color scheme.

Something that I find amusing about the figure is her pose, it’s not very samurai like, not something I would think of when you say master swordsman. It actually reminds me a lot of the kind of poses idols would do at a concert or an event.

Nice details, nice posing, nice build, nice painting.

I’m quite happy with this figure, not too annoyed at the stupidly long delay since she is up to usual Alter quality. I regret a little bit not being more decisive during that second re-release, could have owned and enjoyed this figure since then. I suppose all that matters is that I have in my hands now… and to think I was gonna cancel it…

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  1. I don’t think I’ve seen too many posts about her, so it’s not so bad!

    It is a pretty nice-looking figure, though. I think I can see why so many people have her.

  2. I like Alter’s interpretation of Jubei, as well as her character design. They went for a stockier look and it’s pretty cute. She also looks great on the set you made! If I ever get around to photographing my Momohime figure, I might go with a similar set :D

    It’s kind of weird how after Hyakka Ryouran first came out, I started noticing that gender-bent alt-history was a thing in anime. Most of them start as visual novels, games, manga, or some other form of media apparently.

    • I like the meatier rendition too, girls need a bit of meat!

      It is, never expected something much of just a line of figures. Yes, there sure is a lot of gender bent historical figures in anime, kinda wish the shows would get more effort put into them in terms of characterization and writing.

  3. I really like all the figures that Alter did for Hyakka Ryouran. I just recently got my hands on Hattori Hanzo, which was hard to find but was worth it as she is an absolutely gorgeous figure. Jubei definitely is a nice figure as well, I should have got her on the re-release. Maybe I’ll hunt around and track her down somewhere, it would be nice to have a whole Hyakka Ryouran set as all the figures are really nicely done.

    • I like the line as a whole, lots of interesting things going on with each figure. With several re-releases for most of the figures I don’t think finding them for a decent price should be too hard, good luck with that!

  4. Hey better late then never, Miette. Don’t bother for being not the first reviewer, it’s your blog after all ^^

    I liked Hyakka Ryouran watched the first season for three times.
    I clearly see whats wrong in such shows, but I can still enjoy them to the fullest, when they hsave the right character chemistry.

    I always thought that it is funny that the blue eyed Jubei is a lot more cute and childish as this figure implies. This figure actually shows the attitude of golden eyed Jubei.
    But however, the figure looks very good and detailed, the short dress is really attractive, haha so nicely short.

    I haven’t bought her because of the monster rope on her back, I can’t say more bad about her :D

    I like the second pictured a lot and the panel detail shots.

    • I don’t worry so much about being the first or last but I do worry about over exposure.

      Three times? Really? Wow, that’s amazing. I don’t dislike the show per say and I have watched shows people consider bad and enjoyed them. I guess I just never been in the mood for it.

      Actually, I thought the same thing as I watched a bit more of the show. Makes me wonder if the whole dual personality thing had been defined already when the figure was made.

      Always great to hear you say you like the pictures, to be honest I wasn’t feeling to hot about them but they seemed to have turned out just fine.

  5. I have this figure as well and it’s one of my most cherished ones. The quality is really good (as usual coming from Alter) and I love the characters. *hugs Jubei*

    • Indeed it is, only had it for a little while compared to other figures but it has become one of my favorites for sure.

  6. That moment when you realize you’re to tell something but then you see they’re already stated by someone…. esp. Sir Wieselhead. o7

    Anyways I liked her because Aoi Yuuki. And maybe even more now I see Alter’s rendition of her. Oooooh yeah.

    • Lol, happens every once in a while to me, sometimes I notice sometimes I don’t until after I comment.

      Oh, she is voiced by Aoi Yuuki? Never noticed, then again when I think of her I think of Madoka for the most part.

  7. Those EYES. They’re staring into my SOUL.

    I resisted her, and resisted her, and resisted her, and now I’ll muster the courage to resist her again! As much as I scoff at the show, I can’t deny the girls’ allure. The mix of traditional Japanese dress and contemporary design is mad attractive. On top of it all, I know Alter did a spectacular job on the entire Hyakka Ryouran line. I just know if I get Jubei, I’ll need the rest of the samurai crew, and neither my wallet nor shelves can handle such a massive commitment.

    The details on this figure never ceases to amaze me. Besides her eyes, I think my favourite part of her are her ropes.

    • I like eyes quite a bit, so striking!

      Yes, yes, oh so much yes, if nothing else I’m thankful the existence of Hyakka Ryouran resulted in this line of figures! Luckily enough for me, I’m not the type to go for complete sets, doubly for this line since a few are exclusives.