Today’s review is again, a bit of an oldie, but one of my favorites: Hattori Hanzo from the Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls franchise. There were 2 versions of this figure released: a Hobby Japan exclusive and the version I have here, the standard release. The only difference between the two versions is that the exclusive includes an extra cool twin-sword weapon.
This is our second Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls figure, you can see our other review of Sen here. Since that review, there has been an anime series released and the franchise is still going strong with figure releases by several companies. However, the one that started it all was the Hobby Japan and Alter collaboration, which in my opinion is the best figure line. This particular figure was the 3rd one in the line and was originally released in April 2010, which was unfortunately a month after we had started collecting so when I finally noticed Hanzo, it was pretty hard to obtain her. I won’t go into the details but there were several unsuccessful attempts to purchase her until Zai finally managed to grab one for me for Christmas.
As for the character herself in the anime, shes actually pretty annoying. She’s pretty much Sen’s pet and ‘lover’, gets jealous, pretty much gets beat up a lot, and whines a lot. But I was a fan of the figure before the anime even aired so every time Hanzo got some cool bits where she got to throw her shuriken or her dress blades I’d be all YEAH, GO HANZO! I mean c’mon, dress blades! Plus, she’s one of those fetish mishmashes that appeal to me: maid, glasses, ninja, and big weapons. And did I mention that I loved her dress blades?
One thing about this figure is that its a massive panty shot. The backwards angle Hanzo is at and with her dress floating up as shes ready to throw that giant shuriken, at eye level its a big eyeful of panty. Which is cool except you miss out on all the other awesomeness. The shots above were shot at an upwards angle as you can see. We got around this issue by displaying her on a lower shelf in our display case and it works well.
As you can see, Hanzo’s back is pretty awesome too. She has a very dynamic pose with nice wrinkles on her outfit. The paint is the usual excellent Alter quality with slight shading on both her outfit and skin. On her shuriken I thought the shading was a little odd but its still much much better than a flat metallic color so I won’t complain. It is removable from her hand although as I’m checking it now, it looks like a bit of paint has rubbed off onto her hand so unless you have the limited edition and swap out the shuriken for the swords, better leave it in. Love the ropes on her arms and in her hair scroll thing and like some of Sen’s ropes, these are all hard plastic and well done I might add. You can get a good look at her dress blades here and this was the big selling point for me. They’re really well done. How well done?
You can see slight imperfections in the cut of the blades but cmon, thats pretty freaking amazing. She has three layers of blades that go all around her dress, making it some kind of demented chainsaw thing. The blades themselves are made of ABS I think, they’re definitely light and stiff but not too fragile. I can imagine producing this figure must have been a nightmare but wow, its definitely paid off in my eyes. In the anime she was able to throw all her blades at an enemy by spinning but unfortunately (or fortunately?) these ones aren’t removable.
Here you can see how great Alter is at doing hair. Its broken up into many strands, gives a real feeling of motion, and most importantly, not blobby like so many other figures that attempt this. It actually looks like hair and not tentacles.
Here’s some of the obligatory panty shots and on a figure like this, its hard to not get shots of her panties. They’re actually very plain, the maroon is a nice color but lets face it, a ninja would probably wear practical panties like these. That enlarged bulge does bother me sometimes, I keep thinking: please don’t be a trap. The ninja stocking on one leg and the garter on the other is a pretty cool fashion choice, that would be missed if Hanzo was in a standing pose. Her shoes though, whoahhh. They’re like stiletto getas. You would need ninja reflexes to even stand, but I suppose Hanzo is an elite ninja. You can’t see it well in these pictures but if you look at the ones above, the shoes are half falling off, her heels aren’t touching the shoes. A very nice touch Alter.
Her stand is a simple white disk with the same design as the other Samurai Girls figures, pretty boring. It holds a single metal stick that plugs into a hole underneath her dress and that hold up the entire figure. Time will tell if something will happen but the hole is fairly deep so here’s hoping. The figure was originally supposed to have 2 metal stands and one was supposed to plug into her leg but after fan outcry, Alter decided to change it to its current iteration.
Love the expression on Hanzo, normally I’m iffy about open-mouth expressions because they’re often done badly but Alter did well here. The glasses were beautifully done and I love the way Alter’s done the Hyakka Ryoran eyes. Some people don’t like her large eyebrows but I think they help her look more angry. Again, hair is done well here with lots of strands and actually coming to sharp points instead of blobs.
Hanzo’s box is the same design as the other Samurai Girls’ figures but its a lot bigger, maybe close to twice as large as Senhime’s box. With all those dress blades splayed out and the crazy hair, its pretty understandable. Hanzo retails at 8800 yen and since Zai got it for me for Christmas, I’m not sure how much she got it for. Hanzo is no longer available in the major Japanese retailers, if you’re looking for her, best to look in US stores (I think that’s where Zai found her) or in the secondhand market. Be prepared for a massive shipping bill as well though. I definitely highly recommend her but if you’re looking for another opinion, why not check out Fabienne’s review?
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