Kotobukiya Oshino Shinobu – Mmmm… donuts!

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Hey peeps!

How have you guys been since last time? Hopefully you guys have been having lots of fun.

Not too long ago I got to have some fun of my own with the super cute and adorable Kotobukiya Oshino Shinobu from the ever popular Monogatari franchise from good ol’ Shaft.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

I have been a long time Shaft fan. When I started to become heavily invested in watching anime during my early college days I became attached to the weird quirky adaptations they made. Shows like Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei and Hidamari Sketch with their bold visual styles and disjointed storytelling really had a completely different vibe than their contemporaries.

Whenever there was a new season I would look to see what Shaft was up to, what interesting show would I add to my watch list.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

That’s how I ended up watching things like Denpa Onna to Seishun OtokoMaria+Holic and several others. However, there was one show that was suspiciously absent for many years. One that I went out of my way to avoid, even when people were clamoring how awesome it was, how suddenly it took care of Shaft’s money problems, how it was the greatest thing since sliced bread… again!

This good folks was me with a nice good case of hype aversion for certain show called Bakemonogatari.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

I always tend to be weary when the Western anime fandom explodes with whatever shows. I have found out time and time again I like anime shows for very different reasons than the Western fandom.

Heck one time someone called one of my most enjoyable shows to watch “garbage that no one right in the head would watch”. Sometimes it seems like my tastes are mutually exclusive when it comes to anime with the Western fandom.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

It takes me some effort to get over that and actually sit down to watch these shows. I eventually watched it, popularity aside this was a show by Shaft. I enjoyed it, it’s one the few shows I genuinely I wish I was fluent in Japanese so I could understand all the word play.

I suppose it did work out better for me in the end though, by the time I watched the show it was out on nice looking blu rays and this included all the extra episodes that were not broadcasted during its run.

Heck by the time I watched it the sequel Nisemonogatari was also out in super pretty blu rays too.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

With that said, when Bakemonogatari was at the height of its popularity, when everyone was crazy with all the merchandise I had no interest at all as I had never watched it.

When all the pretty figures were being released by Good Smile Company, Alter, Kotobukiya, etc I looked at them and thought they were nice and enjoyed the photos of them people would take.

The only figure that really caught my eye was GSC’s Shinobu but it wasn’t really until I saw a certain photo by Fab that I really started to crave that figure. Alas prices on that were silly so I never really thought to actually buy it. Good thing GSC re-released their Shinobu eh?

Kotobukiya Shinobu

After watching Nisemonogatari I ended falling in love with Shinobu, talking and having a personality really helps! I never really understood why she was so popular when she just sat quietly in a corner in Bakemonogatari.

After her depiction in Nisemonogatari I wanted a Shinobu figure badly, really, really badly. There was GSC’s high profile rendition but that depicts Shinobu as she was in Bakemonogatari not the Shinobu I wanted. For a long time no one really did a Shinobu I wanted, I almost settled for a prize figure as the best I had to choose from.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

This is when the oft maligned Kotobukiya comes out of nowhere for me to the rescue. I never really subscribed to the hate camp for Koto but it had been ages since a figure from them interested me so I hadn’t really paid much attention to them in a while.

Koto suddenly doing not only a Shinobu but just the perfect image of her that I wanted in figure form really struck me. After I saw the prototype at a Wonfes I just needed to know when could I order this figure and when would I get it.

Now then, how well did Koto do in bringing me my dream Shinobu figure to life?

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Shinobu has a super happy smile on her face, why wouldn’t she when she is holding one of her beloved donuts in hand. The figure looks the part she has her perma blush, her lovely vampire fangs in full prominence and her beautiful large golden eyes. If you like the cute childish Shinobu this expression is for you.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

However, if the haughty older Shinobu that loves to tease Araragi is more up your alley then Koto has you covered as well. I love how her fang pokes out of her shrewd smile this combined with her narrow eyes makes me think she is saying she won’t be sharing her beloved donuts.

As you have seen Shinobu comes with two interchangeable expressions. They work just like they do on figmas and nendos, you take out the front hair piece and swap them out as desired.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Apart from the two interchangeable expressions Shinobu comes with a few other accessories.  One of them is the donut she holds in her right hand, the donut is simply wedged into place. I gotta say I was surprised at how it is a lot more secure than photos make it seem, in all of my moving and bumping the figure around it did not fall out of her hand even once.

As far as looks go, I guess it does look like a donut? When looked from a normal viewing distance and not under a macro lens it looks pretty well.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

On the other hand, I can’t say the same for the box of donuts. While it does look the part and gives the texture of an actual cardboard box it is no where as secure as the donut in Shinobu’s right hand. With almost every little bump the box would fall out of her left hand. Eventually I got so annoyed at it I just didn’t bother and left out as I was taking pictures.

Even without the box, Shinobu’s left hand looks fine and can be displayed without if it becomes too much of an annoyance.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

As you probably noticed throughout these pictures Shinobu also comes with a nice straw hat with cute pink ribbon on it as seen in the show. The hat uses the power of magnetism once more, just like Koto’s older Marisa figure, to keep the hat secured on her head.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

One of the things I really liked about the figure was the base featuring a certain young chap, I like the nod to how Shinobu lives in Araragi’s shadow. Although the more I look at it, the more I keep imagining Araragi just peeking under Shinobu’s skirt.

In case you are wondering, this figure has Shinobu wearing panties and not just a band aid.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Another thing I loved about this figure is how Shinobu’s pose puts emphasis on her cute little loli behind and her nice slim legs. Not bad for only being in body that appears to be eight years old.

Which reminds, most of Shinobu’s figures are of her as she appears in her lovely loli for. If you ask me I would really love one of her as a teenager as she appeared in the final episode of Nisemonogatari.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

I always loved Shinobu’s sundress, I really dig the nice sexy back it shows off. Although I suppose with the open back and short skirt this dress would be a bit daring for an adult woman.

May be not, it sure hasn’t really stopped cosplayers from doing so at all.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

My biggest complaint about this figure would be a couple of seam lines, or I suppose they are more aptly called gaps. One is the one you get from the separation between Shinobu’s front bangs and the rest of hair in order to accommodate the face swapping. While I feel it is inevitable that there would be a gap I think Koto could have done a bit better to make it less noticeable.

The other thankfully enough is covered by Shinobu’s hair and it’s situated at her right shoulder where it attaches to the arm. I think Koto just slacked off on this one and were counting on the hair to conceal it. I suppose if that was their aim it worked out as it is not very noticeable.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Kotobukiya Shinobu

I wish her hair had a bit more shading, it looks fine I guess with natural shading from lighting but I would really liked a bit more. Perhaps if it did it would not look so much like bananas. I guess this is just Koto following the visual style of the show, GSC’s own rendition also has a flat color for Shinobu’s hair.

Aside from that the rest of the figure is painted well. Her dress looks very nice with touches of shading to give it some depth along with the folds. The small details like the ribbons in the dress or the underskirt are also done well with no paint going over the border.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Over all I think Kotobukiya has done a splendid job with this figure. Sure it has some mishaps here and there but they are barely noticeable when you look at the whole package.

The figure looks like Shinobu, has all the elements that are associated with her and even has a variant if you want different expressions.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

I like this Shinobu, I will go as far as to say that I like it more that GSC’s version. I do admit this has a lot to do with Koto’s version depicting my preferred image of Shinobu and I do find the GSC version the more interesting figure over all.

At some point Alter should be showing off their figure, I suppose the ball is now in the court to see how their rendition matches up.

That’s all from me for now, a bit long winded but it has been a while after all. Until next time peeps… ka, ka!

10 Comments

  1. That’s a pretty cute figure. Definitely like it better than the GSC Shinobu; it doesn’t help that one that the old motorcycle helmet she wears in the first season reminds me of a crazy person.

    • Lol, I always found the helmet kinda silly and it looked even sillier to me when I saw girls cosplaying as Shinobu. I do agree this is definitely the cuter Shinobu and thus my favorite out of the two.

  2. My heart skipped a beat as I saw Shinobu in her summer dress, finally raising her voice.
    such dignified loli characters s are rare, I liked that she is so ladylike but also shady at the same time.
    While I don’t show much love for loli characters these days, Shinobu is something like a weak spot.

    After years of defending Kotobukiya I ended up in the hate camp, sounds like a tragic anime hero XD
    Since they changed the skintone on most new figures I lost interest in their products, yet I have the upcoming Ikaros,
    I don’t want to imagine what happens if this figure will disappoint me… lol

    Ok enough of sounding like an ass, this figure looks cute and shows one of Kotobukiya’s strong points, which is making especially cute figures of anime girls. They made her a few steps cuter than she is, but it works very well.

    You sure love your figures in this classic summer dress, its not your first figure in this attire. I also like this especially on Shinobu it has a certain elegance, like a Hollywood star from the 50’s, Audrey! :D Hell, from the backside she doesn’t seem to be shy in the least, these legs and bare back are too good. Her happy face is really enchanting, kind of bewitching smile.

    I love your setup in these pictures, they show a positive world of pastel colors and friendly brightness. Very fitting for the “innocent” vampire. I can’t remember to have seen the second face plate of her in the anime, what would be the only reason why I prefer the other version, acually they should have sold her with 4 faces, to defeat in advance. Im curious about ALTER’s attempt most likely they will have a two face version as well.

    • Haha, she might look like a loli but she is actually an old lady after all. You know I haven’t been attracted to loli characters lately, I think recently only the little sister in law from Engaged to the Unidentified.

      Poor Koto, Shinobu seems fine me, I haven’t seen Kobato in person so I can’t really tell if they share the same skin color that you disliked. I hope Ikaros turns out to your liking I have my fingers crossed for you.

      Lol, what? Shinobu is always super cute, what’s the matter with you? She doesn’t need anyone to make her cuter! :P

      Oh yes, I’m afraid at this point of my significant other where to wear a nice white summer dress I might push her down without thinking! Thinking about it, it is probably because this time of dress seems very elegant, very feminine, just like Audrey indeed. That reminds me, I should finish watching Roman Holiday.

      I was all gung ho to snap some shots of Shinobu shortly after she arrived but no idea came to mind. I really wanted to avoid the donuts as I felt they are overused with Shinobu but I ended using them after all. Although I suppose it’s fine since they are not the main focus. The pastel colors did come about trying to be cute and match the cute Shinobu.

      If I had known about both beforehand I would have bought both but I think the two extra expressions are not enough to double dip at this point for me.

      I’m so giddy with anticipation to see Alter’s version, someday… may be next year? I look forward to it regardless, Alter fanboy and all.

  3. All those donuts make me hungry, I want one too D8 Love the setup you made here for Shinobu, really fits her capricious personality. This figure now makes me want to get a nendoroid of her…even though i told myself to lay off nendos for a while.

    Oh man, that base really looks good. Like you said she lives in Araragi’s shadow. The base though somewhat conveyed to me on how Shinobu is an S while Araragi is an M.

    I’m still waiting on that promised Heart under blade figure which we allsaw in the previous wonfes though, hopefully they show it this July =___=

    • I can’t begin to tell you how much I gorged on those donuts after I was done.

      I always love when figures give nice subtle nods to their back story. Never really thought the S&M thing but I guess Araragi is getting stepped on by Shinobu and I do suppose he would enjoy it.

      I wonder what happened to that figure, it has been so long. I would love to own Shinobu at her different stages of growth.

  4. Love these photos! They combine two of the best things in the world: donuts and Shinobu. In fact I’d describe this photo set as “delicious” because that’s what donuts are (not because I’m a creepy lolicon). I’ve been trying to find a way to get the Panaino version of the Shinobu figure. She’s just too adorable!

    • I do think it is delicious both ways… I’m glad you liked the photos though, I was happy I was able to get the feel I wanted.

      If it didn’t need to save on some money right now I would be splurging and getting both versions. My prefered shop for exclusives, Mio Boutique, has her in stock.