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Review: 1/8 Ibuki Suika

Greetings ladies and gents, and welcome to what will hopefully a timely review of a new release, unlike the months old stuff I’ve been chucking out lately! Oh who am I kidding…this is going to be delayed weeks by me dragging my feet on the photography… and there’s also the post-processing after I finally get off my ass and shot her. Oh, and we can’t forget the almost month long bickering between me and Chags about all the little nit picky details of such a simple article! *sobs*

Sigh. Well, putting aside my utter lack of efficient time management, let’s get on with this review of the always adorable little drunkard Ibuki Suika from Griffon Enterprises!

If you didn’t already know Suika, hails from Touhou, which is…errr…ok, I’m not even going to try and sum it up. I’ll just say there’s the long version or the short version. Honestly though Touhou really is one of those things that’s as enjoyable as you want it to be because of the tons of varied content pumped out by the vast and seemingly infinitely talented fan base. I don’t think it’s a lie to say there is literally something for every taste within the great doujin community supporting it.

"If only all of Griffon's figures looked this cute..."

As for Suika herself, she was the main antagonist from Immaterial and Missing Power, game 7.5 in the series. It’s marked with a .5 because it’s actually a sort of spin-off fighting game (though still 100% canon) instead of the typical shooters in the main series and was made by a different group with the aid of ZUN. The plot is largely unimportant, but I’ll just say Suika throws a lot of parties and generally annoys almost everyone along the way.

Suika’s personality can be kinda hard to describe. She’s a jolly carefree drunk most of the time and gets portrayed as mostly harmless or silly in most doujins, but like so many other Touhou characters, things change slightly if you dig past the surface. She has a rather sharp tongue and many characters in the Touhou universe are outright terrified of her strength as she is one of the 4 most powerful Oni in Gensokyo (And “normal” Oni are plenty crazy strong as is.). Also rather well known for her DFC. :p

"You can almost feel the wind blowing through the trees and whistling along the rocks gently swaying her hair."

As some of you may remember I had a rather….mmm lets say not nice opinion of my first Griffon figure, which turned me off on the idea of ever buying one of their figures ever again. But given their status as the most prolific Touhou figure maker and my love for the series in general, it was rather inevitable I’d cave in eventually. So let’s see if my second run-in with this manufacture will be any better!

Now! Unboxing…START! *cues overly-dramatic music*

"METAL!!! More Metal then most mecha toys these days at least, even!"

First impression: REAL METAL CHAINS, YES!!! Even though they resemble keychains, I dig the fact that Griffon actually made them metal instead of some terrible plastic crap. Figures need more metal! The various chains attached to her waist are also metal! Joy! And they even give you that oh so rare itemInstructions” for how attach them!

Honestly though you don’t need the instructions all too much in this case as opposed to some of the more complex cast-off figures. Simply pop the binding on the back of her hair for the square chain, the right gourd holding arm for the pyramid, and lastly the ball one which you don’t even have to remove her arm to slip on!

"She has a lovely face that looks good from many angles."

Well the attachment process isn’t too terribly hard although they made her hands more fiddly then really need be by letting her hands pop off of her cuffs when it really doesn’t serve any purpose to…Should have been glued together and save us the trouble. Also don’t be a dummy like me and try to attach the chains AFTER you put her on her base. *facepalm*

Being a loli character Suika is a small figure only coming up to the waist of a standard 1/8th figure (Not counting the horns.). I prefer bigger figures most of the time, but I really like how petite-looking Suika is, and thanks to how big her dress is she doesn’t feel excessively tiny. I just wish her retail price reflected her small size, though.

There are some nagging issues here and there on her, but on a whole this figure is a lot more well thought-out than my Claudette.

"Sadly, that gourd has seen better days..."

Being the cynic that I am, let’s start off on a lousy point: the sculpt. Suika has a lot of mold lines on the bottom of her skirt. Actually, I wouldn’t even call them mold lines because that’s more about where the molds are joined together, whereas this is more like…mold defects? There’s a lot of messy raised areas all over it, especially on the white portion of the skirt. Her gourd also has a large line running up its side, and oddly enough, the side facing away from the viewer doesn’t have it! Maybe you should have flipped that gourd around, eh Griffon? Asides from that Suika has a few more sculpt flaws here and there, but thankfully they are far less obvious.

Getting past outright errors, her dress is certainly not what I’d call detailed in any sense of the word. Going by the Ribbons, it’s very clear that Griffon’s standards are far from that of Alter’s. Thankfully, the details on Suika are not all doom and gloom! Her hair is fantastic! I mean, wow this is just gorgeous and worlds apart from the disgusting glob that was Claudette’s “hair”. All the myriad of tresses wave about wildly cascading down her back finally all being brought back into order by the tie near the bottom. Speaking of that tie, it’s very nicely detailed, giving off that great rough fabric look. Also the semi-transparent parts of her dress look a great deal more convincing than the opaque parts of her dress.

"She isn't perfect...Heck, parts of her aren't even good. But with shots like this, I can't help but still love her as a figure."

The other strong point absolutely has to be her face. I’ve ragged on Griffon Enterprises many times in the past for making the same boring stale face (and somehow managing to do it while employing multiple different sculptors!), but this is anything but boring. She has this really cute sideways glance going on with her mouth partly open looking like she has just taken a chug from her gourd. Her eyes are excellently painted and full of life, unlike most of their other efforts I’ve seen. If Griffon could make faces this good more regularly for their Touhou figures, I’d be a far poorer man!

Other than that her body sculpt is competent — from what little you can see of it, at least. She has nice slim legs and lovely arms with some armpit action going on if that’s your thing. I’m not crazy about the fact that they fused two of her fingers on the right hand together, and the fingers in general on the right seem a tad odd, but thankfully nothing too hideous.

"Speaking of not good...shame on you Griffon!"

As I always like to say, paint tends to follow the sculpt in quality, and that’s pretty much the case with Suika. Her bottom skirt is, for a lack of a better word, hideous. It looks like a 5-year-olds’ finger paintings or something. Not only is it messy and runs over into the blue but it’s not even consistent. In certain parts they didn’t paint it on thick enough and others too thick! It leaves a really terrible-looking inconsistency especially around the back…yuck.

The rest of her clothes are firmly in the mediocre category with little to no shading or detail. Curiously, the shapes on her chains are really well painted with shading…they shoulda got that guy to do her dress! Her hair and the cloth tie on it it are superb, though! She really is sumptuous to view from behind with all that lovely hair. The skin tones are okay, striking a nice balance between pale and warm, although her left leg had flecks of black on it that I’m going to try to fix.

"Sadly, those are paint flecks not bits of dirt. I'm guessing from when they did her shoes?"

The pose is really great though! You can’t really get more iconic for Suika then having her holding her gourd after just taking a swig with her arm in the middle of being raised to her mouth to wipe it off! I can think of a few poses I’d love to see as well, but this one is just fine for me.

And then of course there’s the base. These things seem to encapsulate all I hate about Griffon’s views on figure making…no matter what the figure or how much it doesn’t suit them, they will always us the exact same black plastic base with metal nameplate affixed to the front. I guess I should be happy they didn’t pick a damn rainbow colored plastic disc as their standard, but come on guys! Is creativity really such a scary thing for you? Can’t you try it? Maybe just a little? It’s not so hard I promise! As it stands, stuff like this just holds them back and will forever make them a second tier maker as far as I’m concerned.

"THE BASE!!! Oh god Griffon, please get some creativity..."

Pros:

  • Fantastic cute face
  • Lovely real metal chains
  • Long, flowing and lovingly-sculpted hair
  • Great pose

Cons:

  • Absolutely terrible paint job in places
  • Excessive mold defects
  • “THE BASE”
"I still hate you Griffon! But thanks for the fig."

So with how harsh my tone was up there, you probably think I’m not crazy about Suika, but honestly I kinda am. They did royally screw up some things, but this is very much a case where the good parts overcame the bad. Specifically she just looks exceptional from a distance with that hair, face, and those awesome chains! The large full multi-layered skirt they gave her also really adds some shelf presence that belies her otherwise small stature.

With that said, this figure could have been far more incredible if Griffon had some decent goddamn quality control. Stuff like her bottom skirt should not happen, because there’s just no excuse for that. Also, why do they shade certain parts of her so nicely and leave the rest so fugly flat?! So yea, Griffon is certainly still mid tier quality along with Kotobukiya, Orchid Seed, and Yamato, but this figure at least gives me a glimmer of hope that they have it in them to make some really great stuff that can rise above their own standard of mediocrity.

Tune in next month when I (hopefully) get Yukarin and discover if Griffon has fixed any of the issues I’ve seen here or gotten even worse!

24 replies on “Review: 1/8 Ibuki Suika”

Heh, the first thing I noticed when I saw Suika was her different face. Once someone pointed out Griffon’s love for somehow reusing the same face for their Touhou figures I couldn’t unsee it. Although they seem to be getting better at it with Suika here and may be Yukari.

So far this the Griffom Touhou figure I like the most, mostly because it actually incorporates the character’s personality into the pose. The rest where kinda just standing there more or less.

Yea same here…When I started looking at them I was like wait…that looks like the same damn face! I realize they need to work fast to push out so many sculpts but geez guys…

Yukari and Suika are defiantly a step in the right direction, but the figures shown in-between and after them haven’t really inspired confidence in them sadly…

Yea thats probably my other big complaint is the posing. They improved that some with the over the top Youmo and Remi, but then they screwed up the faces again so it’s mostly a wash…Sculpting on the clothes also doesn’t seem to be improving much.

Is the base still hollow and unsupported underneath? That bugs the hell out of me on the one Griffon figure I have.

More companies need to get more Touhou figures out. There’s too many characters and not enough figure choices!

Yes hollow as ever! Thats why I said don’t attach the chains afterwards because I felt like I was going to push her clean through the base while pressuring some parts off. >_>

Sad but true…Ques is OK…Koto seems to be picking extremely questionable sculpts though as far as I’m concerned. Marisa and Sakuya were ok, but the rest…

With how nice the Yakumo’s look I have high hopes for Phat’s ones though!

Nice pics Ash! Suika looks really good outside and the soft glow gives it a fairy tale kind of look.
Pity about the crappy paint job though. The white on that dress looks so bad I would have tried to fix it myself, even with my crappy painting skills. But its nice that they put so much motion and wrinkles in her outfit and I’m always a fan of translucent plastic.
Sadly, all the Touhou figs from Griffon haven’t really appealed to me due to their mostly bland faces and seeing the QC here, I think I’ll continue avoiding them. That Koto Shameimaru Aya looks really good though, but I’ve never owned or even seen a Kotobukiya anime figure irl yet xP

Well I’m glad someone appreciates the glowy! (I do go overboard with it sometimes though ahah…)

Yea the paint is…really painful. Thankfully my room is rather dim and I mostly just see her general colors and the metal!

Its unfortunate that Griffon of all makers was the one to sink their claws into the series so fully and I can’t really blame you for passing on them.

Koto figures are…a mixed bag. The only thing I can say generally about them is they’re rarely worth what they ask for them, but a fairly good deal when they drop to around 30ish% off or more. >_>

Reading this reminded me of my reaction to the WIM Miku, except Suika here has a lot more QC issues to gripe about. Still, it speaks to a figure’s credit when it is able to overcome all the technical flaws and win you over in the end, and Suika here seems very successful in that regard.

Great shots as usual, dude — now the prospects of Ashlotte armed with a DSLR is more enticing and intimidating than ever.

Yea it was a pleasant surprise…i was fully prepared to be completely let down, but thankfully I was only partly in the end!

Haha next week…have to give it a spin and see how much I suck with it.

Mmm.. those chains look gorgeous! Lovely photography too, your photos are always so lively and vibrant.

I’ve always liked the look of this Touhou chick and thought she looked great from your photos.. until you ruined my image of it with those dodgy Griffon QC close ups! 😛

Looking forward to seeing a Yukarin review from you, she looked great in her promo shots!

Yea I’ve always loved mixed media figures! Ones with bits of cloth or some other materials…Sadly you rarely see them in figures of this price point. Haha yea I was trying to make them look warm and inviting just like Suika (usually) is. :p

Yea she has all sorts of interesting little design details in here that I love! Haha blame Chags for that though! He wants those ultra detailed close up warts all shots in the main article.

I’m hoping they don’t mess it up…She’s pretty simple compared to Suika so fingers crossed!

I have no problem getting figures from inconsistent makers – I continue to buy stuff from Orchid Seed, Kotobukiya, Volks (okay, their PVC stuff is consistently subpar), and smaller makers, but Griffon is one manufacturer that I avoid. Other than their old Sasara Kusugawa maid swimsuit figure, I don’t really like anything of theirs that I own and they don’t have a whole lot that I like. Suika looks like she turned out alright though, and she doesn’t have that Griffon look – an uninspired pose combined with a vacant mannequin-like stare and a lobotomized leer that tells you absolutely nothing about the character’s personality. Uhh, not that I know anything about the Touhou characters, still. It’s pretty cool that a doujin product can become such a big thing, though.

Yea griffon stuff is decidedly uninspired. Orchid, Koto, and volks have questionable quality like you said, but at least they make an attempt at interesting figures with varied poses and bases.

Griffon though as you say has really blank looking figures that you almost feel like roll off an assembly line instead of being something an individual sculptor lovingly crafted. Maybe Griffon sculptors work under tight time constraints or something…still unfortunate.

Despite the complain about the base, i actually enjoy the simplicity found in it =D and oh god, THAT HAIR, i like that hair! It really looks like its flowing based from the shots you took!

Its sad that griffon’s QC isn’t meeting up to standards after seeing pics of the paint fleck and the skirt D= My biggest complain though is the pose. I know Suika drinks, but they couldve posed her in a more interesting manner (with prolly a better base if thats the case)

I wouldn’t mind the base if they didn’t use the same one for every blasted figure…I think that’s really what gets me and reeks of laziness. The hair though very much is the high point of the figure easily!

Haha well yea not much you can do with drinking poses…I guess they could have made her sitting down cross legged or given her a bit more drunken look. Perhaps in mid sway like her ingame sprites idle animation.

Ah she’s lovely and that was a well made, detailed review 🙂
The pictures were also very pretty with your diffuse glow effect
I think her beautiful hair and the enchanting face make up for the flaws at her dress.
The exposed arms give the figure a petite and cute appearance what I like a lot
If I remember right Griffon’s Flandere looked also quite nice, but I never bought a figure from them so far.

Heh thanks Fab!

I wouldn’t really suggest buying anything from them unless it was a character you really liked or something honestly… >_>

I’ve got to be one of the only people who truly likes Griffon’s figures, seriously. XD Maybe I just enjoy simplicity? And I also happen to like the style of the faces. Dunno, maybe I’m just weird like that.
Anyways, lovely review! Your pictures of her are great, and she looks so cute in them! Especially in that environment~ She’s a very adorable figure for sure! I’m glad you like her~ ^^
What you said about the skirt being inconsistent, I did notice that was true, but I was comparing my Suika’s to your pictures and my Suika’s skirt appears to be a tad bit cleaner… Perhaps some bad luck? oAo
If you do get Yukari, I hope to see a review on her from you soon! Her prototype looks extremely lovely, so I’m going to have faith that Griffon can make the final product just as or almost as good! They really seem to be improving these days!

Ah I’m just a picky grump haha…I know some people like what they do and I’m not one to say YOUR WRONG just because I don’t like it personally. :p

Heh thanks! I was trying to think what suited Suika and all I could come up with was rocks and some greenery ala Youkai Mountain heh.

That honestly wouldn’t surprise me…The fact that mine was just so very bad felt like a Quality Check issue and less of a “They probably all look this bad”. The scary thing about finding a company has QC issues is that you might actually get something thats even worse the next time ahah… >_<

Yea the hopefully aside was me worrying if Griffon would delay her which it seems they haven't! So you can probably expect that review in two weeks time when she arrives assuming customs doesn't hold her up… :p

The outdoor shots are always nice and one of these days I’ll listen to you and take something outside myself. But in the mean time I’ll offer some criticism. I think you should pull back in the outdoor shots some. The close-ups are needed for the review, yes. But just a few gathering more scenery for the lens might be nice, a little more candid in feel or perhaps the illusion of a ‘scene’. I dunno, I don’t do it often enough to know if that’s not feasible but seems like there was more to see in some of the pictures.

All I ever seen come out of Griffon is Touhou and sometimes I’m almost tempted into considering a purchase but I always decide not to when I see their photoshopped pictures. Makes everything look way too fake and I can’t expect any quality out of that. Not that there’s any to begin with it seems. I guess they’re still better than Global and I’m the crazy SOB who bought something from them. Twice.

It would be really interesting to be a fly on the wall in a lot of these companies to understand their decisions and what not. Surely they don’t decide that they’re going to produce crappy merch, they must all have some kind of drive to better their products but something must be stopping them from doing so.

There is no scene there Aka. Basically if you pull back you’ll see its a very tiny little bit of grass underneath a bush with a wall to the direct left basically heh. So yea its all smoke and mirrors…Theres a bunch of ugly houses behind those rocks and other unpleasant looking things on all other sides with the total width of the area being extremely narrow.

But I get what you mean and I’ll be taking more shots in more expansive areas with the new camera…I just don’t like doing it with the compact because of the utter lack of Bokeh. I dislike sharpness!

Touhou is actually the most well made stuff they make for some reason. While I’d rate the Touhou stuff mediocre in general the other things they make are just outright bad in most cases as far as I’m concerned. But yea even then few of them are worth paying full price for.

I don’t know about other companies, but Griffon strikes me as the type thats interested in getting the most amount of figures out in the shortest possible amount of time and because of that the quality suffers…Their sort of like the exact opposite of Alter who takes forever at times, but the quality is consistent ya know?

This is a figure I’ve been eyeing for so long, but unfortunately just don’t have the extra cash to get. She’s quite the cutie. Love her face, her design, and all the details she comes with. Even with little flaws here and there with quality, I like Ibuki a lot, so I’ll still try to get it I guess.

Anyway, gorgeous photos and a very thorough review! ^ ^

Yea even with the flaws she is just so damn cute! Probably going to be my desktop figure for quite some time.

And thanks!

You’re so lucky, by the time I had even heard about a Suika release, preorders for her had either already closed or had been filled. Despite the flaws, I would still buy her, she looks lovely and she’s one of my top 5 favourite Touhou characters.

Kotobukiya is second-tier? I always thought they were pretty good. Not as good as Alter, but still somewhere up there.

@fefde1e0f10ec995fb543d21a2f66a03:disqus Indeed! She’s rather expensive for what you get but yea so very cute!

They’ve gotten somewhat better recently, but I still find they do an underwhelming job on most of their figures especially for the price. They are prolific and do figures from series noone else would ever do, but thats about the only positive in general that I can shot there way.

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