Hello you lovable readers! This week once again we shall take a look at the equally lovely Yakumo Yukari from the Touhou games.
I hope you don’t mind though since last time exilehero just did a post about her. After seeing his pictures I really got the urge and got in the mood to shoot this Yukari figure by the rather untested PHAT in my collecting experience so far.
exilehero already talked a bit about Yukari but I will talk about her some more, even if some of it is a repeat... because I can!
Much like with him Yukari is one of my favorite touhous, not my favorite per say but she ranks pretty high. I think she is in my top 3 for sure, possibly second right after my favorite Reimu. I suppose the border team is my favorite among the dozens and dozens of touhous.
My interpretation of Yukari is a bit more towards the darker more cunning depiction of her. While I don’t think she is malevolent it does seem to me that she tends to let others do the dirty work for her. Rather than lying or manipulating someone she gives half truths to steer them in the desired direction. Much like way too many of the Gensokyou residents she seems to be very, very bored and might instigate things to shake up the boredom a bit. I suppose when you are a few millennia old and omnipotent you tend to get bored.
Like essentially every character that I become interested in, it was her because of her music theme. Necrofantsia is pretty high on my list of favorite Touhou songs, it’s among those that I still haven’t gotten tired of yet no matter how much I listen to it.
I really like it, I love how it is a high paced, high energy, rather dramatic affair. It really feels like you are fighting the battle of your life.
You all learned that Yukari is the hidden boss that you get to fight after the hidden boss in the 7th Touhou game, Perfect Cherry Blossom, in last week’s post. Now, I have always found this rather strange, very much strange indeed.
Usually how it goes is like this Stage 1 > … > Stage 6 followed by the Extra Stage once you clear the game without using any continues in any difficulty. Usually the Extra Stage is the apparent hardest stage and boss in the game. Yet PCB has a Phantasm Stage that goes beyond that, harder than hard so to speak. In the game it is described as “planned chaos”.
Never before and never after has there been a Phantasm Stage in a Windows Touhou game. What makes Yukari special enough to be the only Phantasm boss? In addition to that, given the typical power progression in kinda puts her at the top of the food chain.
Well, given spell cards like the infamous Boundary of Life and Death where Yukari just throws faster and denser waves of every type of bullet featured in the game is easy to see as much. Heck at the end of the battle she hasn't even broken a sweat, even the final and extra bosses usually look all beaten up and scuffed from the battle.
This is my Yukari mystery #1.
There is also her informed ability, she has the power to manipulate boundaries which can be applied in a variety of ways. One such application is her gaps, which Yukari uses for instant transportation akin to teleporting. Another example is using a reflection of the moon and manipulating the boundary between the moon and the earth to allow for easy and quick travel between the two. Her powers over boundaries kinda make her a bit omnipotent in my opinion. Yet she lets other people do the work for her when she could probably solve it instantly.
This is my Yukari mystery #2.
Speaking of gaps, why are they so freaky? They have those weird bloodshot red eyes looking from within. Are those eyes Yukari’s? She is a youkai so her true form is probably not that of a young woman. Are the gaps tied at the end with bows just to make them look cute? What in the world is inside those things, is it safe for others besides Yukari to even go in them?
This is my Yukari mystery #3.
Yukari also seems to have been to our side, outside of Gensokyou. In a written supplementary material she has shown knowledge of things such as iPods and Nintendo handhelds, not only what and how to use them but also knowing that they are trendy item in out world.
There are nods such as a Marisa’s description of Yukari using something that sounds a lot like a cellphone to communicate with her servant. There is also the not so subtle spell card where she summons a train in the fighting games to run over her opponents. Does this means she can freely cross outside the boundary that separates the real world and Gensokyou?
This is my Yukari mystery #4.
Yukari sure is a mysterious character, often described as a very youkai like youkai. Yet most of the time she is rather playful and teasing. Good thing there is no truly evil characters in Touhou otherwise Yukari would be one I would be extremely wary of, most depictions of her go for the cutesy and playful depiction.
Which is a bit unnerving considering she is millennia old, I mean an older lady acting like a teenager is kinda weird. Just don’t call her an old hag.
This figure does nothing but show Yukari in a fairly good light though.
PHAT stands for “pretty hot and tempting”, which this figure is a perfect example of. I mean look at her!
That alluring expression, a faint blush, golden locks of hair, an inviting neckline, sexy long legs! Yup, pretty hot and tempting indeed. Actually, this figure does something that I really like, it shows Yukari in an adult appeal rather than a cutesy approach. After all, I always seen Yukari as a mature attractive woman.
This figure is actually very reminiscent of Yukari’s original appearance in when she was introduced in PCB. Phat essentially reused the same pose she had in her game appearance. The only difference is Yukari is missing her parasol and fan. Much like in the game she is sitting in one of her gaps leisurely resting.
How does she even manage that?
The same thing can be said about her clothes, the purple frilly dress, the elbow gloves, the ribbon on her neck, all essentially the same as she looked in PCB. With only a few differences like the corset, the rather open neckline showing Yukari’s ample bosom, and the short hemline showing off her nice slim legs. I like the changes, give her a bit of nice sex appeal.
I found this pose to be quite fun actually, you can go for cutesy thanks to Yukari’s expression and the right angle. However, if you change the angle to be looking upwards you can almost feel like she is literally looking down in contempt. I like figures that give different vibes from different angles.
Speaking of which I always found it quite interesting when in comes to bustlines of the Touhou girls. In the games ZUN did not really draw the girls with any sort of noticeable bustline. However, in fan works you have characters depicted with different sizes, some are flat, some are big, some are in between. I always wondered how such consensus come to pass.
Much like with past Touhou figures you can remove Yukari’s hat. Hats are serious business, touhous still die if they take off their hats, don't take them off. As for this figure, while Yukari looks just fine without it I can’t help but feel she has a loss of identity. Without it she looks like an unknown rather attractive blond young woman. I feel hats go a long way towards a touhou’s identity.
I gotta say though that without it her hair looks really nice, her flocks of blond hair look gorgeous nice accentuated by the red ribbons in her hair. Surprisingly enough though for having so many individual locks of hair PHAT managed to pull it off without noticeable seam lines. Something that tends to be somewhat common when it comes to figures with several individual locks of hair.
You know one thing that I really like about this figure is? It’s Yukari’s eyes, they are nice a violet shade. I always found that a nice nod since her name essentially means violet or so the wiki claims. As the games progressed her eyes changed to yellow or gold, apparently golden eyes are special in Japanese culture.
As for me I would prefer violet, it matches her name and presents a nicer more balanced color palette her.
PHAT seems to have done a good job, never gotten anything from them so I’m happy to have a pleasant first experience.
There was only one big flaw that I found in this figure. There are two pegs on the gap where Yukari’s hands attach to. The pegs are not at the right distance so the arms have to be forced to extend outwards a bit to be able to properly match the holes in the hands with them. Not only that, the hands tend to come out easily since the arms try to return to their original position. Not a major cause for concern since the grove in the gap for Yukari’s tushie and her balanced sitting position keep her in place.
Painting seems fine as well with no problems, everything is line where it should be. I did notice some dark spots but that could just be me failing to clean the figure properly. Besides these are only really noticeable when looked through a macro lens.
In my opinion this is the best Yukari figure around. You read all about ques Q’s last week and while a good enough figure the price of admission is too high. Out of these two I find this figure to be the better made figure while ques Q’s version is more Yukari like.
Other renditions such as Koto’s seemed to be off the mark when it comes to her character in my eyes. With Griffon who pumps Touhou figures like there is no tomorrow I’m very weary. Their own Yukari turned out be very unspectacular.
In the end I say buy this figure if you like Yukari, if you are a Touhou fan, or if you simply like it as a figure. Although for non fans the price might be a little high for a 1/8th figure. If you want it you are in luck since there is a re-release set for November.
Ah! Although I suppose for a lot of people November is probably no good.
Hope you liked reading, more than you probably ever wanted, about my views on Yukari .
Edit: Apparently someone linked this post on Facebook and ended getting a bunch of views. I'm curious, if you come from there mind telling me who linked to the post?