My first new figure for calendar year 2019 is one of my more highly-anticipated preorders, and one that was seemingly delayed forever. So, today we'll be reviewing Rocket Boy's Kurone. If you're reading this, you already clicked through one NSFW disclaimer, but be advised this figure is most definitely 18+, and so most of the shots in this review will be NSFW. You've been warned...
About the character: Kurone is an original character, illustrated by the well-known dojinshi artist Asanagi ENTRY #34518. Since Kurone is an original character, there is not really too much else to say about her backstory, although Native's description of the character seems accurate and is quite funny. They describe her as an "impudent young lady", and as we will see that appears to be a fairly spot-on description of her personality.
Asanagi's original artwork of the character:
I ordered Kurone directly from Native, and her box came wrapped lovingly in tissue paper.
The little envelope contains a postcard with Asanagi's illustration of Kurone. Note that the postcard was not packaged inside the figure box itself.
Even though Kurone is an impudent young lady, she does have a sense of elegance to her and the design of the box reflects this fact. The satin black finish with the silver lettering is definitely a classy design.
Each of the side panels has this very neat silhouette of Kurone. The silhouette has a shiny black finish, and it stands out quite well against the satin finish of the rest of the box.
The back panel is solid black save for some basic information about the figure and the requisite nannying/consumer warnings.
Kurone has a lot of parts, and so the blister inside is fairly jam-packed with stuff. You've got the figure itself, Kurone's stuffed toy/SM practice target, as well as the alternate lower torso and breast parts for the figure. Interestingly, Native wraps the alternate lower torso in opaque black plastic to avert prying eyes, but the alternate breast piece does not get the same treatment!
Rocket Boy also includes a small sheet explaining how Kurone's various optional parts can be swapped in. The process is fairly straightforward, but it's always nice to have such things included with the figure.
Kurone is a large figure, and all her optional parts take up space in the box, so the figure box is large, measuring 38 by 25 by 19 cm. Native packed her in a corrugated box with air packets as cushioning material, and according to my shipping invoice, the total weight of the figure box, the shipping box, and the packing was 1.6 kg. EMS shipping to the USA was 4100 yen.
This is a tricky one, and the grade probably depends on how you define exactly what Kurone's base is supposed to be.
As you can see, Kurone's foot attaches to the base by means of a large metal peg in her mid-heel and a large plastic peg which attaches to her foot. When I took this photo, I was surprised to see that Kurone could actually be made to stand on her own without attaching her to the base! I would not recommend displaying her like this, but I was surprised to see that her weight distribution even made this possible.
Kurone's bear does not attach to the base, so we could debate all day whether the bear should be included as part of the base or not. She's supposed to be trampling the bear with her heel, but I was a little surprised to see that the bear does not actually attach to the base, nor is there any way for Kurone's foot to attach to the bear. Even though her weight is distributed well, the fact that neither her other foot nor the bear attach to the base means that I observed a little bit of wobble when moving the figure around.
However, if you prefer, the bear can also be removed entirely allowing Kurone to be displayed exactly as she appears in the source illustration. The only real difference between the figure and the illustration is the fact that the illustration has her pointing her left foot upwards, while the figure keeps her foot flat so that she will be a little more stable when bear-san is placed under her shoe.
Kurone's pose is very lively, as she's obviously practicing her dominatrix skills and she seems quite enthusiastic in doing so.
Let's have a look at her.
The pose accurately duplicates the source illustration and it's quite lively. One small complaint is that the way Kurone is holding her whip above her head means that her arm obscures her face a little bit from many angles.
Generally Rocket Boy did a fine job on this front, but Kurone has a few quirks of which to be aware. Kurone has three chest options and two lower torso options, and as we'll see, this translates to a few quirks where various pieces of the figure come together.
First, let's take a look at Kurone's face. Her red eyes and her fangs give the impression that she is just a little bit unhinged which gives the character a lot of personality!
The very bold eyelashes are kind of a signature feature of Asanagi's work.
I really like her curly hair. The curls don't quite make it to the point where they could be called drills, but they're in the neighborhood. Anime girls with curly/drill hair tend to be rich or spoiled and so I wonder if that's what the artist was subtly trying to convey.
In the shot below, you can see some sculpting quirks. There's a little spot of paint on Kurone's ear, some excess material on the tip of her hair, and a little bit of a gap where her bangs meet the rest of her head.
Blonde hair + twintails is one of my favorite moe combinations, and Rocket Boy did a good job sculpting Kurone's twintails. They also did a good job with the little pieces of hair on the nape of her neck, and they did a great job sculpting the musculature on her back and arms! Notice for example how you can see the muscle working as she's raising her right arm.
Making her ribbons red was a good choice, as this adds a little color to her black and white outfit, and I'd never paid too much attention to the heart-shaped cutout on her bustier before seeing the figure in person.
I like all the wrinkles and creases in the "skirt" part of Kurone's outfit! It suggests that the material is relatively thick and heavy.
The fingerless gloves are a nice touch, as is the gold ring on the gloves. The gold ring also serves to further play up the impression that Kurone is a rich/spoiled girl.
Kurone's whip is no toy! That long single-tailed whip and the knotted tail means that she means business and this would sting like hell for anyone on the receiving end of the whip!
Do note that the whip comes pre-attached and it appears there to stay. It seems sturdy enough, but as we'll see it also necessitates caution when disassembling/reassembling the figure.
Kurone has a number of possible configurations (large or small breasts), and her default setup is the smaller-chested one. The frilled collar of her outfit gives her a little bit of coverage, but as you can see her nipples will still be visible even in her most covered up state. I might have preferred it if the frill was just a little bit longer, as this would give her at least a slightly less 18+ display option.
I did not notice this until looking carefully at the previous photo, but I was a little negligent about properly reattaching her upper torso after taking it apart, leaving a little gap there. The fit there is OK, I just neglected to give that little extra oomph to get the piece properly seated.
I really like the detail on Kurone's bustier! The eyelets and the lacing are very neat and clean, and I like how the body of the bustier has a satin black finish, while the ribs and the trim have a slightly shiny finish!
Maybe I'm being picky, but those two tabs that keep her torso aligned really stand out! The original illustration *does* have a notch in her bustier right there, so it's consistent with the artwork but I can't shake the feeling that it would look better in 3D if they'd just continued the white trim all the way around the top of the bustier...
Her gloves also have the satin finish.
If you go with the small-chested configuration, then one of the more interesting aspects of this figure will be Kurone's relatively flat chest combined with her wide hips! When this figure was first teased, this particular feature sort of dominated the comments on her MFC page.
Kurone also has very full thighs to go with her wide hips. Also, note that her outfit has ties, ties, ties, and more ties (ties on her collar, gloves, bustier, panties, and stockings!). This gives a very frilly feel to the figure!
Kurone also has a very bountiful backside as well! Since she's got all of her weight on one leg and she's raising her other leg, that asymmetry in her butt cheeks would definitely be there :).
Because Kurone's legs detach, you'll need to use some effort to seat them properly. Right out of the box, her leg was not 100% flush with her body, and so if you're going to just unbox her and display her in her default setup, you may need to take a few minutes to tighten up the connections where the various peices of the figure can detach.
I like her shoes. The shiny black finish looks neat, and the red bows and the white trim further play up the frilly feel of her outfit.
One of the key elements of the figure is Kurone's stuffed bear on whom she's obviously been practicing her kinbaku skills. One neat thing about original characters like Kurone is that you are free to devise a backstory around the figure. Is Kurone an inexperienced girl who is merely interested in being a dominatrix or is she an experienced domme and the bear is just a quirky affectation she likes to keep around?
The ballgag on the bear is of course a very interesting feature (and one which may prompt some double-takes), and the gag is pretty detailed. Generally, ball type gags can be either solid, or as is the case here, can have holes drilled into them. Most of the ballgags seen in anime seem to be the latter; they are generally safer since they allow the subject to breathe through their mouth while gagged and additionally the holes reinforce the submission of the gagged subject, as they will inevitably drool on themselves until the dominant partner removes the gag.
Note the creases in the material where the ropes are digging into bear-san's flesh.
The bear in bondage also sparked a lot of comments when this figure was first teased, but I think it adds some humor to the figure particularly when packaged with Kurone's potentially crazy facial expression.
"Flat chest or big boobs" is one of the eternal anime questions, and Rocket Boy provides two chest pieces so that owners of this figure have an option at both ends of that particular continuum. To swap out the chest piece, her head is removed, and the chest pieces lift off.
Each chest piece has a different frill. If you want to display small-breasted Kurone with her chest fully exposed, you can swap in the frill piece from the other chest part. It took me a minute to figure out that the frill trim can be removed from the chest pieces...
Here is small-breasted Kurone with the shorter frill.
Interestingly, her nipples are quite large relative to the overall size of her breasts. Quite shiny, too.
Here is Kurone with the larger chest piece swapped in.
The nipples and areolae on the alternate breast part are also quite large.
If you recall, lurking in the blister was an alternate lower torso for Kurone with no panties. This part is swapped in by removing her legs, and I found that doing so required a combination of force and finesse (mainly trying to find good spots to hold on to her legs/torso while not damaging any of the delicate little ribbons).
She's not quite as detailed down there as on some other 18+ figures, but she is not Barbie-doll to be sure.
Maybe it's my eyes playing tricks on me, but it seems like her butt seems even bigger without the thong panties!
Kurone herself is about 10.5 inches (26.7 cm) tall. She is listed at 1/6 scale, so this would make her about 5'3"(160 cm) tall, which seems consistent with her appearance. Factoring in the thickness of the base and the way she's got her arm raised in the air, the figure will span about 14 inches (35.5 cm) in height at its tallest point.
These three make a very interesting dom/sub trio. Q-Six's Rie Kawai ITEM #319503 is 1/5 scale, Skytube's Yuki Itoguchi ITEM #464891 is 1/6, and you can see that Kurone might actually look more like 1/5.5 sitting on the shelf because of her arm-raised pose.
Here is Kurone with a figure that seems to appear in all of my comparison shots lately, Kalmia Project's Kotori Takigawa ITEM #454174. These two complement each other well since Kotori looks cute and innocent, while Kurone is cute but maybe not quite so innocent. I'd assume the two of them are pretty similar in terms of physical stature, and Kotori is 1/7 scale for comparison.
These two are another interesting pair. If Marie Rose ITEM #464603 woke up one morning and decided to adopt more of an 'S' type persona, the result might be a lot like Kurone! Max Factory's Marie is 1/5 scale.
The flat chest + wide hips combination is a notable feature of both these figures! Amakuni's Lilith ITEM #582603 is a rather gigantic 1/7 scale, and you can see that Kurone is a correspondingly large 1/6 scale.
These two also make an interesting dom/sub pair. Like Kurone, Daiki's F-ism Shoujo ITEM #422432 is an original character, and it's kind of fun to try to fill in her backstory and imagine what exactly she is up to with that rope harness underneath her uniform. Shoujo-san is a very large 1/6 scale for comparison.
These are two of my very favorite 18+ figures, as they are both full of personality. Kurone gives off a vibe of being a little unhinged, while Rocket Boy's Slingshot Swimsuit Girl projects confidence and assertiveness with maybe a little bit of vanity for good measure. ITEM #464771 is 1/6 scale for comparison.
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------9.5/10
Arguments for: Many. More moe points than you can shake a stick at (cute, blonde, red eyes, twintails, thighhighs, dominatrix), the figure nicely duplicates the source illustration, multiple display options, Kurone is full of personality with her somewhat wild facial expression, the bear adds some wry humor to the figure, stylish and classy packaging.
Arguments against: A few QC quirks (mainly where various parts of the figure can be disassembled) and I would have liked to see a display option where her chest could be fully covered up.
This was one of my most anticipated preorders, and despite a seemingly neverending sequence of delays, Kurone met all of my expectations. She checks so many of my moe boxes and the quirky, wry humor of the figure together with the fact that she has so many display options meant that Kurone instantly found her way onto my favorites list. Highly recommended if you're in the market for an 18+ figure, particularly so if you can appreciate your 18+ figures served with a dose of humor.
Availability (as of this writing)
Shouldn't be hard to find.
Kurone's original retail price was 16500 yen and as with all figures from Native and their various offshoots, you either preordered Kurone direct from Native's online ship or through a proxy/reseller or else you'll be hunting her on the secondary market. Most Native figures have pretty healthy production runs, and so finding one shouldn't be a problem. The only question is whether she'll appreciate in price in the short term. Some Rocket Boy figures can be found for close to their original price secondhand (ITEM #287782 for example), but many of their offerings have gotten pricey on the secondary market (ITEM #549551, ITEM #464771, ITEM #331598). There's been enough buzz around this figure that I'd guess Kurone might see a price increase once she starts popping up on the preowned channels.
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews you might also find interesting:
Max Factory 1/5 Marie Rose (Dead or Alive) BLOG #41521
Amakuni 1/7 Lilith Aensland (Darkstalkers) BLOG #41374
Rocket Boy 1/6 "Slingshot Swimsuit Girl" BLOG #38618
Native 1/6 Nana Chigusa "Red Bondage" (Nana to Kaoru) BLOG #33905
Volks X-Brand Ayu Daikuuji "Black Bondage" (Kimi ga Nozomu Eien) BLOG #30960
Yamato "Tandem Twin" 1/6 Alma BLOG #22092 and Brenda BLOG #22397
Atelier Sai 1/6 Silfietta Lashia (Meishoku no Reiki) BLOG #20914
Real Art Project 1/7 Mars Mukai-San BLOG #25712
Skytube 1/6 Matsuri Tougetsu BLOG #25817
Orchid Seed 1/7 Mimi BLOG #32267
Kurone has all kinds of different display options, so the question is...