So, did you think because Ashlotte has become the figure guy around here, you wouldn’t hear any more figure-related stuff from me? Hohoho, how mistaken you are…
…Though this is a little different, to put it mildly.
Jotaro Kujo is the protagonist of “Stardust Crusaders”, the third arc of Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures. As a delinquent with a good heart, Jotaro is your typical strong silent type character. What isn’t typical about him is his possession of a stand named Star Platinum – a guardian-spirit-like entity with supernatural strength, agility and precision. Though I typically steer clear of shounen fighting manga, Stardust Crusaders was an absolutely magical experience for me. With its not-too-serious approach to the genre, its bold and unique art style, its limitless creativity, and its gripping action, I knew that I had to get something JoJo related after I finished reading. (I actually wrote a review for Stardust Crusaders a long time ago on MyAnimeList.net. It’s one of my less shoddy attempts, so check it out if you’re curious about the manga!)
In the end, the decision boiled down between this Chozou Art Collection Jotaro and the Super Action Statue figure, both produced by Medicos Entertainment. Since JoJo’s art is so detailed, I decided to do it justice by avoiding action figure joints that would slightly blemish the presentation (though the Super Action Statues do a good job of preserving the aesthetics). Now that I have the figure in my hands, I am pretty confident that I made the right choice, as this figure captures Araki’s art as much as reasonably possible in a three-dimensional medium.
Of the many phrases that can be used to describe the art style of the JoJo series, “uncomfortably flamboyant” is probably the most relevant of them all. While the art of part 3 is relatively tame when compared to the flesh fortresses of part 1-2 and the slim, full-lipped boys of part 4 and beyond, it’s still not the kind of manga you want to be caught reading by a conservative father.
Here we have Jotaro striking a very exaggerated pose with his chest pushed forward and violently twisted to his right. The shirt and pants (which is held up by not one, but two belts) he wears looks uncomfortably tight, as his monster pecs, six-pack abs, and as well as his bum crack are clearly visible through them. He’s also got a neck as thick as a tree trunk, with its roots extending into his chest… Did I mention that Jotaro is only 19 years old? Good God, what is his mother feeding him??
Another bizarre point of Jotaro’s design is his hair, which somehow latches onto the back side of his hat like some sort of creeper. I’m sure the folks at Medicos had a tough time figuring out how to make this unreasonable combination work, and in the end, his hat kind of looks like a steady transition from your normal school uniform hat to a fur hat, which then turns into the blue man-fur growing out of Jotaro’s head. The hair looks a little coarse due to the use of highlights, but at the same time the sculpt is pretty detail, so in my book it balances out…
The flowing uniform is another major highlight of the figure. I’m not sure why he has a giant golden chain latched onto his collar (maybe to keep his uniform from being stolen?), but he must be turning with a pretty vigorous force for those giant links to be suspended in the air like that. Similarly, the cape-like overcoat is sculpted with some serious dynamic force that clearly defies the laws of physics. Of course, physics is to JoJo what democracy is to North Korea.
As if a full figure rendition of Jotaro would be too manly to handle, Jotaro’s legs stop right above his knees, at which point a display base depicting Star Platinum’s giant studded fists take over. As if the ten studs on each fist do not make the brutal pain-inflicting nature of these appendages clear enough, the forearms are also enshrouded with a cyclone made of clear plastic.
As the result of Jotaro’s lack of legs, the figure is noticeably short, measuring at around 14 centermeters (5.5 inches). But when you compare it with other 1/8th scale figures, you’ll notice that Jotaro’s bulk sufficiently compensates for his lack of height, which effectively avoids the pitfall of a wimpy appearance.
By the way, there exists another version of this figure which features a black uniform over a grey shirt. Of course, there is no such thing as a set colour palette for Araki’s characters, as he colours them differently every time. Between the two versions, I’d have to say that I prefer the blue/violet version by a significant margin. Sure, a black uniform and a black head of hair make a lot more sense blue, but honestly, this is JoJo we’re talking about, and common sense takes a far back seat to style. In my opinion, the neutral palette of the black version just don’t do Araki’s flamboyant style the justice it deserves.
One the greatest things about this figure is how great it looks from various angles. His flowing coat makes the back view very dynamic, his intense gaze makes the side view equally great, and the frontal view puts his impossible physique on full display. This flexibility allows you to display the figure in multiple angles, which can possibly multiply your enjoyment of the piece.
So, now that we’ve gone over the general sculpt and appearance of the figure, but let’s talk details, as there is plenty to talk about in this little gem.
A quick glance at the figure would immediately reveal the fact that Jotaro is very heavily shaded with darker tones left and right, but the true extent of this is truly stunning. Every fold in the uniform is accompanied by subtle shades of purple, and Jotaro’s freakish chest muscles are even further exaggerated by patches of darker tones. Even his bulging neck and the underside of his uniform are given the full treatment, as well as Star Platinum’s fists
The details on the figure are painted with acceptable neatness. There are some cases of underpainting, as seen on Jotaro’s coat buttons and Star Platinum’s metal studs, but overall there aren’t any significant flaws. The tricky business with the hat/hair fusion is handled admirably well with some highlights on a detailed head sculpt. Another thing that I found impressive was Star Platinum’s fingernails, which are finished with a coat of clear gloss.
Medicos did a spot-on job with Jotaro’s facial expression, capturing silent intensity effortlessly with the sculpt and paintjob (even the individual eyelashes are present!). Like the rest of the figure, the face is shaded with different tones. Even the golden piercing on his ears are clearly discernible – wow.
I do have a couple of complaints, though: the gap between his lips is inexplicably painted blue. Unless he just happened to have recently finished a blue Hawaii snow cone, this choice of colour is pretty questionable, though minor. Furthermore, the eyebrow came out a little chalky-looking due to the light blue highlights, the upper lip has a tiny mysterious dot on it, and there is a noticeable seam line running between Jotaro’s left ear and his hair. Thankfully, none of these flaws are at all major, even when combined together.
The aforementioned seam line problem pops up in other places on the figure, sadly, as the fit between pieces is not nearly on the same quality as the paintjob. The connection to the arms, hips suffer from this flaw, but the biggest of the bunch is found on the coat where the “cape” section is connected to the main body. A short but very visible line breaks up the smoothness of the coat, and a blue slit is visible on the inner side. There are also a number of mold marks visible throughout the figure if you look closely. These break up the smoothness of the paint slightly, but after reviewing a good few figures I’ve learned to overlook these (man, I was really anal about those in the Saber Lily review…).
Regardless of how well-made Medicom’s Chozou Art Collection Jotaro Kujo is, it is pretty far removed from what we usually cover here at Hobby Hovel. However, if you feel like adventuring outside of the usual mecha/bishoujo fare, chances are you won’t be disappointed by this. Fans of JoJo would be foolhardy to pass this up, not only because of the figure’s many merits, but also because of its limited supply. This sculpt of Jotaro has already gone through two regular releases (one blue and one black), and the latest re-release is seems to be running dry, judging from the fact that only 5 of these figures remain in AmiAmi’s inventory as of the time of this writing. If you like what you see here, I’d highly recommend fetching your wallet now, as I wouldn’t bet on the fourth run of this mould.
Looks amazing from virtually any angle
Captures Araki’s art and wild sense of style effortlessly
Superb use of darker tones to create depth
Seam lines are more visible than they ought to be
Side Note: When I first received this figure, Jotaro’s right shoulder had these really distracting marks on it.
I initially thought they were paint scrapes, so I immediately emailed Amiami’s customer service demanding an exchange or a refund, as a couple of weeks has already passed since the package touched down in Canada. This was their answer:
Thanks for your mail. Sorry to hear about the problem with your figure. It is difficult to tell from a photo, but those look like they may be caused by the residual vapors of glue used in the assembly process. Sometimes figures will get a white “mist” or “dust” looking coating on them in the box if they are not given enough time to air before being packaged. If possible, could you please rub the white area with a soft cloth (like a glasses cleaning cloth) even a soft t-shirt? Sometimes that will clear the problem right up. Of course, if those are paint abrasions (again, sorry but its impossible to tell from a photo) we will of course do everything in our power to help rectify the situation.
Please try rubbing the figure just a bit, and then let us know how it goes. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
Surely enough, as soon as I wiped it with my thumb, the residue came right off! Well, that was embarrassing, ^^; but thank you, Mr. Wilson!
Lesson of the day: don’t drop figures. When Jotaro tumbled down my stereo speaker, it landed on my favourite figure and left a mark on her leg! After some freaking out, I ran to the local drug store and resolved the catastophe with some rubbing alchohol. Whew.
Also, there won’t be a weekly highlights entry this Sunday on the account of Ashlotte being away and my insecurity against ranting solo. He told me that he will hopefully be back within the week. Until next time!