Here I go again with another review of Play Arts Kai figure, the character is Sakura Kasugano, one of my favorite fighter in Street Fighter series! This Sakura came from her appearance in Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, Street Fighter IV is a 2008 fighting game produced by Capcom.. Sakura Kasugano is one of the playable character in the Street Fighter games. Originally appeared in Street Fighter Alpha series, she is a Japanese schoolgirl who has an intense fascination with Ryu. She has managed to copy and learn some of Ryu’s techniques, but really wants him to train her personally. She is the fourth female fighter in the series. Up to the review, Sakura has a standard designed box just like my PAK Solid Snake’s box with the exception Sakura’s box is way more colorful, overally colored pinky & a few white on the upper box. Meh… Pinky again? It does reminds me something when I bought Figma Nene… Much like PAK box, the back view of the box was pretty simple, so nothing really special I think. Except that there’s a picture of Play Arts Kai Ken Masters as the supporting figure series of Street Fighter created by Square Enix. Unlike Jun & Kazuya which the box got their own series number, both Sakura & Ken is marked to be Vol. 04. Sakura’s box is smaller than my other Play Arts Kai figures. Well, it suits to her because Sakura is my shortest PAK figures… Fortunately, despite having a smaller box, Sakura comes with a quite supporting accessories which made her more worth to have… Let’s see what’s inside the box then.
1 extra faceplate, 2 optional hand parts, Hadouken FX part with stand, & pre-assembled display stand. Not so bad afterall, I’m satisfied enough with her accessories although she still need more.
Like her appearance in every Street Fighter games, Sakura typically fights in her school’s uniform, a blue short-skirted, white & blue sailor fuku (seifuku) with the collar popped and red bloomers underneath. She also wears red Converse-esque shoes with Black gray-ish socks, a red top under her uniform, red boxing gloves, a yellow bola tie, and a white headband (given by Ryu before Street Fighter Alpha 2). Funny thing in most of her appearance in SF games, her uniform & skirt doesn’t looked too short like this. In here her outfit is really-really too much showing some nakedness, for example the short sailor fuku is pretty much showing her midriff & the skirt is way too short & tight fitting.. But the rest, she’s fine I think… & the only differences to notice this is her SF4 appearance is, Sakura’s socks are black gray-ish colored instead of plain white like the most of her game appearance & her gloves are different type. Much like other PAK figures she has over 26 points of articulations, & most of her joints were a ball shaped. With this, we can create various pose for her.
Sakura has short brown with a shade of dark grayish hair, & she’s wearing her trademark white with blue-ish shade headband. The paintjob is fine although there’s still a less visible paint transfer & gotta admit for this one, her face is pretty faithful to her game (SF4) counterpart. Except, there’s no cheerful atmosphere on her face, instead she looked very serious like a though girl. Fortunately, she was given an extra faceplate serious with open mouth to create more intense feel during action pose. Well, I think more faceplate is still needed for her especially her iconic cheerful face. But, I’m still satisfied with this, atleast PAK included an extra faceplate for her. How to change the faceplate? Simply take off her fringe & her default faceplate, then insert the alternate faceplate to her hair sculpt & reinsert the fringe again. Pretty much the same like Figma, right?
Her proportions are actually nice, Square Enix really fix the problem on the knee joint. So, Sakura won’t looked too odd if she’s bending her knee. But, there’s always a things bugging in some area, judging from her waist is made too straight forwardly, & it’s glued to her skirt so I couldn’t move her belly backwardly… The paintjob of her is looking good so far, but there’s always a slight paint bleeds & paint transfer in certain part. Sakura’s tight fitting skirt is painted dark blue with a black shade, the sculpt details are very nice judging from the fold & the butt shape sculpt. Her sailor fuku was painted white with blue-ish shade & some dark blue on her collar & it has a quite standard details in my opinion. Her upper yellow bola tie is molded along with her sailor fuku on the blue collar, the tails are overally yellow but there’s a white & blue painted sailor fuku’s collar. The red top under her uniform wasn’t molded together with her sailor fuku, the lower red top can be seen on the upper of her belly. The details on her red Converse-esque shoes are outstanding enough, the paintjob isn’t so bad. Perhaps, this is one of the most detailed sculpt work from her. Her red boxing gloves looks ugly for me, the paintjob was quite a mess & they need more sculpt details. Her headband looks good as well, the tails are much longer than Solid Snake has (as you can see on the back view, long enough to her butt), & it is made from soft rubber.
Much like Solid Snake, Sakura got a movable Head Band tails, we can even rotate it clockwise but, you’ll have to pull off the peg joint on the tail but not completely pulled off in order to rotate it. After rotating to the position that you wanted, you’ll have to reinsert the peg back in again. However, that’s for rotating clockwise but, to make the tail flows backward for Hadouken or running scene, they were unlikely to be recreated. Because, whenever I move them backwardly, the tails just keep getting back down. In the box art there’s one of her photo art that shown her headband can be flowed backwardly for Hadouken scene. I don’t know how did they do that, or maybe the boxart proto figure was given their own specialty to make it movable like that but not in the final product. If that’s true, this will become another new things that I really hate from Square Enix for deceiving me!
Articulations are pretty much the same like Jun Kazama, a movable head that can be rotate 180 degrees & bend down & up. Due to the very short hair piece on Sakura, she could also bend her head’s up & she can also stretch her chest to the back as well.
We can swivel her chest & bend her chest to the side but, the movements are limited. However, Sakura could also bend her head to the side perfectly.
Much like Jun’s arm articulations, Sakura also got upper bicep cut & butterfly joints, so she can do a crossed arm pose perfectly easy but, there’s a limit on recreating close hug arms..
Now, more improved than the previous release like Chun Li, Cammy, & even Jun, Sakura’s legs are pretty outstanding made, the new knee joints looks better. We can create many dynamic posing for Sakura with no awkward looking knee joints. Like Jun, her elbow works pretty easy but, we couldn’t bend them much. Feet articulations works pretty much the same like Jun but, Sakura got a cut joints on the front feets that will allow us to swivel her feets much like Solid Snake one. Sakura can also bend her chest a little.
Like Jun, Sakura’s crotch articulations can do gymnastic split pose as well & she can perform high kick very nicely, even without her display stand she could still balance herself but, not for long. 😛 She can also raise her arms to side perfectly easy & also bend her wrist joints deeper but, the upper bend seems to be limited to do.
Sakura’s default hands are fistful hands, while the extra is a pair of open hands. A very common parts for every action figures accessories, it’s very nice to create many cool pose involving this especially creating Hadouken scenes. Much like Jun, exchanging her hand part isn’t complicated as my Snake. The hand details aren’t that great, I think they still need more sculpt work for intense details. I still prefer my Jun Kazama’s hand. & I don’t really fond on how Sakura’s gloves appeared more like a boxing gloves, somehow they lacks her originality. I still prefer her usual sparring gloves in most of her other SF games appearance which has no flat back for the top part of the glove
Another extra was her Hadouken FX part with the clear colored stand, yes… Another figure included a lifeless FX, but the sculpt is very intense & splendid. I’m loving the coloring between the clear blue shade & the gray shade on the front. With this we can create Sakura’s iconic moves “HADOUKEN!!” But, I wouldn’t mind if they didn’t add this, since I can do CGI FX for her Hadouken (atleast for me).
Just like my Jun Kazama, Square Enix also provided a clear colored display stand for the figure itself on my Sakura, in which included pre-assembled. If you’re clueless how to assemble them, you can read the instruction manual paper. They also provided 2 kinds of stand tweezers, a big one & the small one. The big one, doesn’t really necessary to use for due to her small body, so I’ve always uses the small one for Sakura. Actually, without the display stand Sakura can still stand with no problem for me, except when I’m going to create some pose that couldn’t balance her body.
To height comparison, Jun is a bit taller than Sakura. Thank God for that, because before getting her I have a bad feeling that Sakura will be taller than Jun. Since I’ve saw on some reviews, most of PAK SF looked taller than Jun. Especially, PAK Chun Li is incredibly taller than Jun. I’m relieved that Sakura appeared like how high school girl’s height supposed to be. But, Sakura’s hands are alot bigger than Jun, perhaps due to her gloves. Also, their skin color are different which Sakura appeared to be more fleshy than Jun’s pale skin. So in other words, it won’t do any good looks for swapping their head & even their lower arms… Well, that’s too bad, I was expecting to be able on swapping them & creating younger version of Jun Kazama.
Sakura is my 3rd owned Play Arts Kai figure. Overall, I’m quite satisfied on her… She’s one of my favorite characters from Street Fighter Franchise. If you ask me recommended or not, I can say yes. She’s recommended one especially for a Street Fighter’s action figure lovers. Besides, she was included with a quite needed accessories to recreate many scenes & her proportions were atleast better looking. So, I think she’s worth to have, but as usual PAK will never let me to stop talking about the trade-off. Now, I’m waiting for Juri & Elena.
Pros: I really proud on SE this time, they finally fix the knee joint on Sakura. Sakura’s proportions looked far better than my Jun Kazama. Just like Jun Kazama, another interesting things that she’s not hard to stand without stand, even in some certain action pose I’m not having trouble balancing her body.
Cons: Her midriff was made sticky to her skirt, articulations on her trunk are hard to do since I couldn’t swivel her upper body perfectly. Her faceplates was easily off & loose, especially whenever I bend her head down. But, gladly her fringe doesn’t loose so it can keep the faceplates from falling off. Her headband cannot be move it backwardly, & it is quite dissapointing. I tried my best but, the tail’s just keep getting back down. I’m not sure if her headband can be movable like that or not, but if it’s not SE really dissapoint me for deceiving me & people by showing the boxart of Sakura’s backward flowing headband. Lastly, the packaging still sucks, because they didn’t put some part correctly to the blister box before I opened them. Perhaps, this is one of the problem that SE still haven’t fix from PAK’s packaging but, I’m just begrateful that none of my part suffer the same problem like my Solid Snake’s SOCOM Suppressor.
Small Parts: 3/5
Accuracy sculpt: 5/5
Poor Sakura… Don’t worry, Shenron will revive you for sure!
OH, WAIT?! There’s more?!
What the hell…