Shirai Kuroko – A Certain Maid Outfit Teleport by Kotobukiya
I’ve been meaning to review this figure for a while now – over a month in fact. So finally here she is, Shirai Kuroko Maid Ver. by Kotobukiya. She’s one of those figures I wouldn’t typically pick up but as luck would have it I managed get her super cheap. Kuroko here is based on a poster from Nyantype 03/2010 edition which features both herself and Misaka in maid outfits. Kotobukiya have also released Misaka Maid ver. from this poster as well. Read on to see more of Kuroko.
For those unaware of the characters origins Kuroko first appeared in Toaru Majutsu no Index first season as a side character during the Sisters arc. Since then she’s made frequent appearances in the series as well as becoming a main character in the spin-off title Toaru Kagaku no Railgun. She first comes across as your stereotypical oujo-sama, but as the series progresses you begin to see more of her marvelous character. Character development is something Index does quite well, minus Touma. One of her more interesting quirks is her intense love for Misaka which usually lands her in trouble as she attempts to manhandle the poor girl. She has the special ability to teleport any object she touches, including herself, provided it is within a certain range and weight limit. If you’ve not watched Index or Railgun before I’d recommend them, even if it’s just for Kuroko. But I suppose none of this character background really matters since this figure has her in a maid outfit – something we don’t see in the anime series itself.
Kuroko here is one of those figures that falls into “she’s nice, but I’m not mad about her” category. However the price I got her for she was definitely not worth missing. £26 inc shipping – that’s a bargain! I picked her up at the very end of September during the Hobby Search 1/2 price SAL shipping, from the bargain bin at 50% off and using most of my HS points. Most of that £26 was actually the shipping as well.
She stands 25cm including her base at 1/6 scale, about the same height as Kotobukiyas Blanc Neige who was at 1/7 scale. Due to the vertical nature of her stance she doesn’t take up a huge amount of shelf space either, everything is contained within the size of her base.
Kuroko is my second maid figure, the first being Benisu from They are my Noble Masters. Call me crazy but I don’t really find the whole maid concept that appealing. Maybe I just don’t ‘get it’. I also find the outfit rather dull now. Sure it was interesting the first few times I saw it. But once you start seeing more and more characters dressed as maids it becomes repetitive. That or maybe I’ve just become sour from the typical maid character seen in many anime that I’ve been put off the outfit.
So if I didn’t pick up Kuroko for her maid outfit why did I decide to pick her up? The most enjoyable aspect of Kuroko for me has to be her facial expression. Looking at my collection most of them have serious or vacant expressions. Kuroko is just bursting with happiness. The winking eye adds an a-symmetry to her face which I think helps accentuate her happiness. With both eyes open I think she’d have looked more crazy than happy. Her one legged pose is also interesting to look at. It’s full of vitality and motion with her hair and loose fabric circling around her as if she’s just spun round.
Kuroko was my favourite from Toaru Majutsu no Index and the Railgun spinoff, more so in Index. And while the anime was interesting and enjoyable to watch I’ve never had the urge to pick-up any figures from the series. The main issue being that many of the outfits are boring to look at – school uniforms, nun outfits, everyday clothes. Where are the pirates, priestesses (not just copy pasta nuns please) and ninjas? Okay no, please don’t put any of them in Index or Railgun, but hopefully you see my point. On top of that Kurokos’ ability is rather difficult to portray in figure form. At least Misaka has her electricity – how do you show teleportation?
As hypocritical as it may sound I’m glad Kotobukiya choose to put Kuroko in a maid outfit. Sure I may not be a huge fan of maids, but it’s certainly more interesting than a school uniform. How else do you make characters shown in dull school uniforms more interesting? You could go crazy like ToHeart2 has done with their Dungeon Travelers series. Or you could put them in a swimsuit (urgh have you seen the Kuroko swimsuit figure ) or something else. So in that respect the maid outfit is a welcome deviation from her ‘standard’ look.
I’ve been very impressed with Kotobukiya recently. Sure their figures aren’t top tier, but the characters they choose to release and poses they put them in are much more appealing to me. I’d say Kuroko here is the most accurate looking Kuroko figure available when compared to her anime counterpart. Maid ver Misaki on the other hand – eh, no. There are a few minor defects when you look at Kuroko up close. You’ll perhaps notice her skin isn’t smooth and has tiny black specs. These are only noticeable from the camera however – she look perfectly clean with the naked eye. Her hair looks a bit like spaghetti – however I do like how it shows some level of motion. It looks as if Kuroko has just pirouetted round to show off her outfit. This motion is also visible from her clothing with the ribbon at the back of her uniform.
Mmmm, I like the back of her outfit the most. Those laces at her back look great, as do the frills.
Kuroko comes attached to her base already – it’s simply a case of freeing her from the packaging and she’s ready for display. She’s also screwed into her base, just as Blanc Neige was, which is probably to offset any leaning. Which leads to a good point, all that weight on 1 very thin leg. Even with the screw in place I suspect she’s going to be a leaner sooner or later. I can already wriggle her around to shift her distributed weight and she’s typically defaulting towards a forward lean on a flat surface.
Oh lookies – Kurokos signature dark purple underwear. Need a closer look?
Incoming pointless cast-off option. Split Kuroko in half and you can take off the white apron and black skirt. Putting her back together you’re left with a visible break between her top and bottom half. But at least you can see those purple pants better? *Sigh*. The good thing about this cast-off option is it’s completely hidden when fully assembled so at least Kotobukiya haven’t sacrificed quality for this.
So yeah, Kuroko is a nice figure. If I didn’t get her for the price I did I probably wouldn’t have picked her up. She’s got many appealing aspects such as her facial expression, accuracy to her anime counterpart and interesting one legged pose. She’s just not an outstanding figure that I’d rush out to pre-order. The maid theme, while different and interesting when you take into account what other options are available for Kuroko, is not my cup of tea. Saying that it’s not like there’s a whole lot of outfits to coose from given the characters background. And I will admit the maid dress here has been nicely executed. Still despite any hesitations towards ordering her I do still enjoy Kuroko and I’m glad I decided to pick her up.
Here’s some wallpapers to enjoy.
So that’s all the new figures I currently have reviewed – although there is one more on the way hopefully before the new year. Frequent readers may remember when I re-reviewed Yoko Swimsuit ver. I said I might revisit older reviews. Well turns out I won’t need to go back for the figure I intended to redo as she’s been given an alternative colour release. So expect to see her appearing sometime soon.