DISCLAIMER: Today we'll be reviewing Taiga Aisaka in a bunny outfit, so there may be a couple of mildly NSFW shots. Proceed accordingly.
About the character: Taiga Aisaka is the lead character from the Toradora! anime and manga, and she is an archetypal tsundere character. Because of her short stature and quick temper, she comes to be known as the "palmtop tiger". Despite her temper, she is quite popular with her male classmates, yet she doesn't seem to show much interest in any of them until she meets classmate and neighbor Ryuji Takasu. Seemingly able to see through Taiga's abrasive outward persona, eventually Ryuji gets to know Taiga very well; she is actually quite clumsy and somewhat insecure about herself and as the two of them get better acquainted, Taiga's personality appears to mellow somewhat.
Now on to the review.
The front of the box features a large window, a photo of the figure, and the Toradora logo.
The back of the box features photos of Taiga with both display options. Since I don't read Japanese, I'm not sure what she's supposed to be saying in that middle photo.
One end of the box shows Taiga in tsun-tsun mode, along with the Toradora logo once again.
The other side shows her in dere-dere mode.
Overall, the box is attractive, and it won't take up much space for those who like keeping or displaying their boxes. In addition, I do like to display select boxes, and so I'm partial to boxes like this that feature a full panel of artwork. The box measures 18 by 18 by 18 centimeters (about 7 by 7 by 7 inches), and total shipping weight was only 720 grams, so she won't break the bank as far as shipping costs go.
Because of her pose, Taiga doesn't really need a base but QuesQ provides one in the form of a small, furry rug. In the photo below, you can see its texture. It's fairly thick and seems reasonably well-made, but I've chosen to keep it stored in the box. Even inside a class case, I suspect it would eventually attract its share of dust and dirt, and I'm not sure how well it would stand up to being washed. So overall, it's adequate, but nothing special.
Her pose is quite simple featuring Taiga down on all fours, presumably inspired by this image image/xShiroSak... , right down to the purple bunny outfit. It's too bad that QuesQ didn't also make a corresponding figure of Taiga's friend Minori, but I digress. As we've seen, Taiga comes with two interchangeable faces, making her appear to either be embarrassed/irritated by her bunny getup, or she can be made to appear to be playing right along and having fun. Even though the pose is simple, it is quite suitable.
As you might guess from the scores, she is far from perfect in terms of the overall fit and finish. But, first let's see what QuesQ did very, very well, namely Taiga's facial expression.
For those who prefer the tsun-tsun aspect of Taiga's personality, her facial expression alone might justify the purchase of the figure. Note that she is not blushing, so I'm guessing she's not really embarrassed by the bunny getup, but rather she's probably mildly annoyed by something. Her eyes are also very well done, as she appears to be intently looking at something or someone. So, QuesQ did a great job on this aspect of the figure.
A fuller view of her pose. As you can see, the painting on her legs suggests they are covered by some sort of hose or stockings. I think her visual impact would have been greater either with actual cloth fishnets or without the stockings altogether (particularly in the black color variant ITEM #141098 ), but that's probably just a matter of individual taste.
Here we have a close-up of her hands. As you can see, there's a little bit of detailing on her fingernails, but you can also see some rough spots on her cufflinks.
It's doubtful anyone will display her from this angle, but here we get a good look at Taiga's hair (which might comprise about 10% of her body mass). In my opinion, QuesQ did a decent job here. In the anime and manga, it is clear that Taiga has lots and lots of hair, and that her hair is thick enough that there wouldn't be wispy little strands everywhere. Thus, even though it looks a little chunky, I believe it is consistent with her character design.
Here is a view from behind. The small of her back and the slight rumpling of the suit are nice touches, but would the soles of her shoes really be purple? Not owning any purple heels myself, I can't say for sure, but I would have preferred maybe a second color on the soles.
Another view from the rear of the figure. I hadn't really noticed it before, but there is some nice subtle definition on her thigh and calf muscles.
Now, so far we've seen many features of the figure that are most certainly done well. But the scores must reflect that there are some detractors as well, so now let's examine some of the less well-done features of the figure. Here, we can plainly see that her suit does not transition all that well into her flesh.
Here, you can see a spot that is a real mess. There is an obvious gap between her suit and her skin, and the very rough texture in that transition area is apparent. Granted, most people won't have her displayed so this is conspicuous, but all the same one still knows the imperfection is there. In addition, there is something just wrong with her right inner thigh; it's one of those things that once seen, can't be unseen.
Here is probably the biggest issue with the figure. You can see a very obvious flaw in the paint work right in the middle of her bangs. From reading the comments on this figure's page on MFC, I wasn't just unlucky here. It seems that several people have noticed the same flaw with their figures.
Here, you can see some rough patches in her hair.
I believe the photo below practically speaks for itself. If you view the figure from below, her neck looks extremely awkward and her face appears to have very little depth. This is not an issue if she is viewed at eye-level or looking down from above, but this definitely limits the number of ways she can be displayed. In addition, you can see that mine picked up some paint transfer on the chin from somewhere.
But enough negatives for now. If you want to change her expression, it's as simple as popping off her bangs and swapping in her alternate face.
I have to say that her dere-dere expression is just as adorable as her other face.
One thing that prospective buyers should probably keep in mind is that this figure is tiny. Taiga is extremely petite to begin with, and at 1/8 scale, I measure the height of the figure as she is posed (bunny ears included) at just over 11 cm (or about 4.25 inches). The total length of her body from head to toe is about 18 cm. At 1/8 scale, this would make her about 144 cm (4'9" or so) tall, which seems consistent with her appearance and biographical data floating about the internet. So yes, her scale is in fact 1/8.
However, as you can see in the image below, trying to pose her with larger-scale figures (in this case Kotobukiya's 1/6 Taiga) may present a challenge.
If you have other figures in a kneeling/sitting pose, posing her alongside them might help to disguise her small size. On my shelf, she sits next to Etna here. I wasn't even trying to reproduce it, but once again you can see that painting flaw in her bangs!
I think these two also complement each other well.
Another interesting bunny-pairing.
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------8/10
Here, opinions are going to differ drastically. If you're a perfectionist and you demand Alter/Max Factory quality of painting and finish, you might want to give this Taiga a pass. On the other hand, if you can forgive the flaws in the overall finish, her face is so cute and expressive that she is definitely worth picking up. If you are a fan of the character, there really aren't all that many Taiga figures out there, and I have to say this one does the best job in terms of capturing both facets of her tsundere personality.
Availability (as of this writing)
Still easy to find new.
Expect to pay about 6000 yen plus shipping for a new one, or she seems to show up pre-owned fairly often. Expect to pay about 4000-4500 yen for a pre-owned Taiga.
THANKS FOR READING!
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