iKotobukiya 1/7 Sakura Kinomoto9/10    Выбор читателей (2017-05-19)

Certain figures are best classified as "epic", and today we'll be reviewing a rather epic figure of one of my favorite anime characters, Kotobukiya's Sakura Kinomoto.

About the character: Sakura Kinomoto is the title character from the much-beloved Card Captor Sakura anime. Sakura is a seemingly ordinary young girl who stumbles on an arcane book bearing the name "The Clow" in her father's library. The book contains a set of tarot cards, and when Sakura reads aloud the name of one of the cards (the Windy), the cards scatter to the wind. Keroberos, the guardian beast of the Clow, emerges and proclaims Sakura the card captor, tasking her with the retrieval of the Clow cards.

This figure depicts Sakura in her outfit from the opening to season three of the anime. Seeing Sakura in this outfit makes me want to start humming "I am a dreamer, hisomu power..." :).


The box is, shall we say, kind of large. There are some delicate parts to this figure and Kotobukiya provides a package that should keep Sakura-chan well-protected in transit.

The front of the box features a large window which affords a good look at the figure, although I really can't imagine keeping such an epic figure cooped up in the box!


If I wanted to complain a little bit, I would observe that there's quite a bit of "dead space" inside the box. On the other hand, if your friendly postperson doesn't handle your packages with the same care as they would their personal collection of Faberge Eggs, you might very well appreciate this over-packing...


The other side panel of the box is mostly a solid panel, but Kotobukiya for their own inscrutable reasons puts a tiny little star-shaped window there.


The back panel features a gigantic shot of the figure.


This figure features what might be the heaviest blister I've ever seen. I was a little worried about how Sakura's wings would handle a trip across the Pacific, but as you can see Kotobukiya opted to package the wings in their own dedicated sub-blister. That sub-blister comes in three pieces, so someone at Kotobukiya really wanted to make sure Sakura's wings arrive to your home damage free!


This is not a small figure, and Sakura's base and her wings add a nontrivial amount of weight as well. The box is made of a heavy corrugated cardboard, and that blister also adds some weight. The package measures 32 by 31 by 25 cm and the whole thing weighs just over 1400 grams, so Sakura could be costly to ship.

For reference, the figure in the shot below is item #450729. That, like most of the FuRyu prize Sakuras, is a smallish 1/8 scale figure, and so you can see how humongous this box is!


Sakura comes pre-attached to her base, but she will require a little bit of set up. Step one is to get her wings attached. Kotobukiya makes the pegs slightly asymmetrical so you can tell which wing goes where, although I don't know if this was necessary, since the feathered parts of the wings are supposed to be at the bottom.


Attaching the first wing was simple enough, but getting the second one in place was a little bit tricky, as it was tough to find a good place to hold on to the wing. My ultimate solution was to get the peg on the second wing started and then gradually wiggle it into place.

It took me a second to figure out how Sakura was meant to hold her staff, but then I noticed there was a little peg in the staff...


...which inserts into this spot on her hand. This is a rather clever solution that doesn't make it look like Sakura has a death grip on the staff and it doesn't require bending her fingers, so Kotobukiya gets some credit here.


Set up and ready!


While Sakura might suffer from a little bit of "big box syndrome" a la item #98665 it looks like Kotobukiya really made an effort to keep the figure safe in transit.


Sakura has a very interesting base, so let's start there. The base has two distinct levels, one of which duplicates her magic circle. The swirling wind effect should also be familiar to CCS fans, as you see this a lot whenever Sakura summons the Windy or the Watery cards.


The swirling effect usually accompanies a mahou shoujo's transformation, but of course Sakura does not transform; rather her friend Tomoyo makes all of her outfits for her, so this kind of an interesting design choice. It also recalls the design of another Kotobukiya figure item #5980.

The wind swirl gets a little bit clumpy in spots, but that's not really a big deal.


The wind swirl is made of a fairly soft and flexible plastic, and so it looks like Kotobukiya includes another layer of rigid plastic inside, and then screws Sakura onto that. The base is quite heavy, too, so even though she's standing on one leg Sakura stays extremely stable. When I was moving the figure around to take photos there was absolutely no wobble.


It's an eye catching and functional base, and so Kotobukiya did just fine on that front.


Sakura is wearing her outfit from the season three opening, which mostly depicts her flying around in the sky. From the looks of her, Sakura might be getting ready to take flight, or based on the way Kero-chan is sort of clinging to her, it could also be that she's in mid-flight already.

Whatever she's up to, let's have a look at her.








It's a very eye-catching and lively pose and the only possible complaint I could think of is that there is a relatively limited range of angles from which to view Sakura. However, because the figure is clearly meant to be viewed from straight ahead, this is not a particularly big deal.


We'll see that there are a couple of small issues on the painting and sculpting fronts, but overall I would say that the finish of the figure is significantly better than average, as Sakura has some neat features which serve to offset these relatively minor problems.

One thing I really like about this figure is the design of Sakura's cute face. Cheerfulness is her invincible power after all, and that facet of her character really shines through. Her green eyes are really pretty, too.

Further, while both the CCS manga and anime are excellent, I prefer the anime adaptation, and this is the first recent non-prize Sakura figure which depicts her as she appears in the anime (item #236143 and item #270949 feature more manga-like Sakuras).


CCS fans know that manga Sakura has blondish-brown hair, while her anime counterpart has darker brown hair, so this is clearly the anime Sakura. It's all too easy for brown hair on figures to be very flat in color, so I appreciate the shading in her hair. The color variation in the tips of Sakura's hair makes them look very light and wispy!


Since this figure depicts Sakura as she appears in the opening animation of season three, where she spends a lot of time flying through the air, I like how Kero-chan is stretching out here; that gives a real sense of movement to the figure. If I was going to be picky, I would note that Sakura's face looks maybe just a little chubby from this one angle. That's being pretty picky, though...


This spot where Sakura's bangs meet the rest of her hair can sometimes be a real sculpting trouble spot, but there are no real issues of note to be found there. Also, her twin ahoge (ahoges?) are one of Sakura's key features and they effectively conceal the spot where the two pieces of her hair meet.


Sakura's twin pigtails are very cute. I also like how you can see her hair being pulled into the pigtails. That's a nice subtle feature!


The painting on Sakura's frilly choker is pretty good, but there are a couple of very small imperfections to be seen in the shot below. There's a small piece of excess material on the collar of her dress, and you can clearly see a little cutout spot where Kero attaches to her shoulder. I'm inclined to forgive the latter since that probably means that Kero is much more securely attached to the figure compared to, say, if he was just glued to Sakura's shoulder.


If you look closely, you can see little bits of excess material between Sakura's fingers. I wonder if there was a tiny little hairline crack in a mold somewhere that caused this to happen. That seems like the maximum likelihood explanation, so YMMV in this area.


Recall that Kotobukiya uses a peg to attach Sakura's sealing wand to her hand. This means that she doesn't have to wrap her hand around it, nor is it necessary to bend her fingers to place the wand, but it does mean you can see the peg from certain angles. I do like how her fingers are sculpted, as well as the fact that there's a little bit of a sheen on her fingernails.


Sakura's wand is rendered faithfully. That bright spot on the star is not a painting imperfection; it's just reflection from my lighting setup.


The fringes on Sakura's dress are nicely sculpted, and they look very crisp. I also like how Kotobukiya varied the pattern of the ruffles in the three layers of her dress; it would have been really easy to be lazy there, and just sort of copy the same basic pattern in each layer, so that is yet another nice subtle feature! Also, Sakura is twisting her torso ever so slightly, and so I like how you can see those small creases in the chest portion of her dress.


There are a couple of spots like this to be found on the figure where it looks like maybe a little piece of debris found its way onto the figure during the painting process; none of them are too noticeable, though.


Sakura's wings are of course quite spectacular and I like the subtle pink color gradient, but there are a couple of places where there are some minor imperfections. For example, there are a couple spots in the tips of the wings where there's a little bit of excess material.


Probably the worst defect to be found on the figure is this spot in Sakura's wings. The wings are clearly made of two distinct layers, and you can see where the two layers meet.


There's also kind of a weird vertical seam in Sakura's right wing.


Another key feature of this outfit is the cute pink ribbon which is tied around her left thigh. On many figures, bows turn into a big clumpy mess, but Kotobukiya did a really nice job sculpting the knot.


You can see a couple of small painting flaws on the ribbon around her ankle and where some excess yellow paint finds its way onto her shoe. I really like how her shoes have a glossy white finish, while her socks are a flat white. It would have been very simple to just give her socks and shoes the same finish, so Kotobukiya gets a small kudo here.


Card Captor Sakura has little to no fanservice, and whenever Tomoyo designs an outfit for Sakura that has a skirt, she always chooses either bike shorts or big puffy bloomers for the corresponding undergarments. Someone at Kotobukiya obviously worked overtime on this part of the figure, as there is a lot of detail on Sakura's bloomers. The little creases in the material make the material look not unlike seersucker. That would be a pretty high-end choice of material, but Tomoyo comes from a wealthy family and certainly she'd spare no expense when it comes to making clothes for the world's only card captor, right?


Scale Comparison

The figure spans approximately 10.25 inches (26 cm) from the bottom of the base to the top of Sakura's head, the tips of her wings are about 11.5 inches (29 cm) in height, and the horizontal span of the wings is about 12 inches (30.5 cm). Factoring out the base, Sakura-chan herself is right about 8 inches (20.3 cm) tall. It is established that by season three of the anime, she is 5'0 1/2" inches (153 cm) tall, so her scale is about 1/7.5. However, because the base adds some height and because of her large wingspan, I actually expected the tape measure to say that she was slightly *larger* than her listed 1/7 scale when just the opposite is true!

Here is Sakura with a FuRyu prize figure featuring the same outfit, item #314677. That is a fine prize figure, but the Koto Sakura is far superior is every possible area. The FuRyu figure is approximely 1/8.5 scale for comparison.


Sakura with Plum's item #270949 which features a more manga-like Sakura. That figure is 1/7 scale and you can see how Sakura's wingspan makes her look somewhat larger than her true scale.


Sakura with Plum's Tomoka Minato item #339063. The white and pink elements of their outfits make these figures complement each other very well IMO. Plus, Tomoka and Sakura also have some similarities in their overall character design; they're both quite athletic, too. Tomoka is 1/7 scale.


I think these two also look good together. Interestingly, Yami item #300672 is established to be exactly the same height (153 cm) as Sakura. Comparing the two of them, you can see that Yami (who is 1/8) is just marginally smaller in scale than Sakura.


These two also complement each other well. Meruru item #117969 is 1/8 scale.


Overall verdict and enjoyment----------10/10

Arguments for: With her wings and pose, Sakura is sure to be the centerpiece of any shelf on which she is displayed, overall good quality, and if you are partial to anime Sakura, this is almost certainly the best figure of her anime-fied self currently available.

Arguments against: She will also take up a lot of space on any shelf and the elaborate base makes it kind of tough to position other figures around her, the big heavy box means a larger than usual shipping bill.

Sakura has a few flaws here and there, and the big box meant some unpleasant surprises when the shipping invoices started hitting inboxes, but overall this is a pretty amazing figure, and if you are a Sakura fan, I would strongly recommend this figure. If, like me, you prefer the appearance of anime Sakura to her manga counterpart, I will strengthen this recommendation and say that your figure collection will not be complete without this one!

Based on the quality of this figure, I wouldn't mind seeing Kotobukiya try their hand at making more Sakura figures. There's certainly plenty of costumes to choose from, and I wouldn't mind having figures of Sakura...
...in her "bat burglar" costume from episode 7 where Sakura captures the SILENT card,
...in her fairy costume from episode 12 when she and Syaoran capture TIME,
...wearing the Alice in Wonderland costume from episode 24 where Sakura faces the LITTLE card,
...in the red and yellow costume from episode 68 where Sakura meets Clow Reed.

Are there any Sakura figures you'd really like to see? Share them in the comments!

Availability (as of this writing)

Still available new.

As I write this, two of the "big three" shops still have Sakura in stock (she's out of stock at AmiAmi, and available at both HLJ and Hobby Search). List price is 14800 yen, but about 13000 yen plus shipping should do the trick if you're a savvy shopper.

Given the continued popularity of CCS, I'll be interested to see what happens to Sakura's price long-term. There is some evidence that a "big box factor" sometimes is a discounting factor when figures hit the secondhand market, but Kotobukiya's other recent Sakura offering item #236143 has held its value.

If you live in the US, it looks like Sakura is available through Kotobukiya's US store for $149, and several other US shops have her up for pre-order for $140-$150 plus shipping. I paid 12400 yen for Sakura with pre-order discount plus about 5000 yen for EMS shipping, so considering the current exchange rate I was out the door so to speak for about $155 and so it doesn't look like there's a huge discount to be had for ordering Sakura through domestic channels.


If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews you might also find interesting:

Plum 1/7 Sakura Kinomoto (mfc link)
FuRyu Sakura Kinomoto (Season 1 opening) (mfc link)
FuRyu Sakura Kinomoto "Platinum Star" (mfc link)
FuRyu Sakura Kinomoto "Lovely Kitten" (mfc link)
FuRyu Sakura Kinomoto "Cheerful Pink" (mfc link)
Sega Sakura Kinomoto (mfc link)
Sega Tomoyo Daidouji (mfc link)
Plum 1/7 Tomoka Minato "Wedding" (Ro-Kyu-Bu!) (mfc link)
Aquamarine 1/8 Konjiki No Yami (To Love Ru Darkness) (mfc link)
Phat! 1/8 Merurulince (Meruru) Rede Arls (Atelier Meruru) (mfc link)

Комментарии (7)

04 дня назадbuttburglarrrbuttburglarrr
If anyone is wondering, this figure by itself had 5400Y EMS shipping for me from Amiami. She arrived in a week's time.
05 дней назадvictorvipervictorviper
sanzo_reload (5 дней назад) #21270881*gaps* 5000 yen for the shipping *faints*
My absolute favorite part is "Kotobukiya for their own inscrutable reasons puts a tiny little star-shaped window there". LOL
Anyways, thanks for the really nice review and congrats on adding this beautiful figure to your collection!

5000 yen for the shipping is a little bit of a guesstimate; I had this figure and a little prize figure shipped together and the total shipping was 5900 yen.

Anyway, thanks for the nice comment!
05 дней назадsanzo_reloadsanzo_reload
*gaps* 5000 yen for the shipping *faints*

My absolute favorite part is "Kotobukiya for their own inscrutable reasons puts a tiny little star-shaped window there". LOL

Anyways, thanks for the really nice review and congrats on adding this beautiful figure to your collection!
05 дней назадHeldrikHeldrik
victorviper (5 дней назад) #21243583Thanks for the comment. I'd like to see Sakura get *more* awesome figures, as there's really not that many figures available of her considering the popularity of the franchise.
With picture #1759305, that is exactly what I was going for :). Plus, the way Sakura has her hand on her head, from behind it looks like she's a little bit puzzled by what she's seeing.

That's truly a shame indeed, but you know, quality is generally better than quantity. I'd like to use Arthuria/Seibhurr as an example, but the fact is that, if she indeed has truckloads of figures, most of them look good, so it'd be a null and void one.

Great minds think alike, I see. Congratulations, you nailed it perfectly.
15 дней назадvictorvipervictorviper
Aimathyst (6 дней назад) #21236832I've never read/watched CCS but I would still get this figure just for its sheer cuteness and dynamic beauty! Wonderful review :)

If you've never seen the show, you kind of owe it to yourself to at least check it out, as it's a classic. Then again if you start watching the show, then you'll definitely get this figure :).

Heldrik (5 дней назад) #21238893That's a nice review we have here: well written, informative and with a lot of pictures. Great job
It's only fitting that Sakura, one of the most well know Magical Girls, gets an awesome figure like that. I really like picture #1759305, it makes it look like Sakura looks at a movie poster of her "future" Card Captor self.

Thanks for the comment. I'd like to see Sakura get *more* awesome figures, as there's really not that many figures available of her considering the popularity of the franchise.

With picture #1759305, that is exactly what I was going for :). Plus, the way Sakura has her hand on her head, from behind it looks like she's a little bit puzzled by what she's seeing.
05 дней назадHeldrikHeldrik
That's a nice review we have here: well written, informative and with a lot of pictures. Great job

It's only fitting that Sakura, one of the most well know Magical Girls, gets an awesome figure like that. I really like picture #1759305, it makes it look like Sakura looks at a movie poster of her "future" Card Captor self.
16 дней назад (6 дней назад)AimathystAimathyst TOM Affiliate
I've never read/watched CCS but I would still get this figure just for its sheer cuteness and dynamic beauty! Wonderful review :)



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