Review: Kotobukiya’s Horo

This review has been a long time coming. I’ve set it aside for another day a few times, saving it for later always. I kept choosing to do this because she’s probably my favourite figure so far and wasn’t quite sure how to present that. Not only is she Horo, one of my favourite characters, but she’s done rather well in this figure. She’s also the smallest Horo I own so far coming in at 1/8th scale.


Playing Favourites

Well, as I’ve spoiled in the first paragraph, this figure is my favourite. I’ll admit to there being some bias here as Horo from Spice and Wolf is perhaps my favourite character in an anime. So if we remove that bias, does this figure still maintain it’s appeal and high rating? I would like to think so, but lets see.

The paint work on this figure is pretty decent, no obvious defects. However it’s quite a bland scheme and there’s very little depth to it. Not much shading, and the differences in colour you may see are likely due to shadows more than anything on Kotobukiya’s part. There’s some shading in her tail and shoes however. Odd of them to shade the shoes I think, her tail definitely as it’s an important part of Horo, but her shoes they’re pretty bland anyway. Perhaps it was done to spice them up a little bit. Lastly, the paint work in and on her ears is pretty well done, there’s light brown where there should be, unlike Cospa’s Horo which lacks this detail entirely.

figure-kotobukiya-horo-09Despite the blandness of the colour scheme chosen, the colour of her hair and tail is rather appealing and stands out quite well against the green/brown dress. Her skin colour is also well chosen, while lacking in shading details, it’s soft pale colour fitting of the harvest goddess.

Less is More

Shoukaku Kitaike has done himself proud in his sculpt work for this figure. While an overall simple appearance, there’s enough detail in the right places to make it a fun and appealing pose. Horo’s flowing hair out behind her in a natural manner, unlike TAKI’s Horo whose design has her hair clumped in an unnatural manner. I also rather like the choice of undergarments under her dress, very old fashioned, befitting of the time period in which the series is set. Other notable bits of detail, is the hole in the back of the dress allowing Horo’s tail to protrude. The wrinkles formed around this spot are effective, as are those in her shirt. Like the Cospa figure, the clothes under the dress dip under her tail, though since in this figure it’s her undergarment’s we see the top of the crack of her bum. Though due to the way the tail is attached, it ruins what would otherwise be appealing.

figure-kotobukiya-horo-19There are some downsides due to the molding process, seams, always with the seams. They’re quite hard to hide I know, but they’re rather visible in places on Horo’s dress. Both sides where the dress is joined, all the way down there’s a visible seam. The ones in her arms I can play off as “detail” as they’re sleeves and need to be sewn together, but those in her dress are too poor to be “detail”. The worst seam though is in her tail, I’m not sure why they could not have molded it in a single piece, but it’s two parts joined together, leaving a nasty seam.

Left Overs

The left over details, such as her eyes, face, base and necklace. The wheat filled pouch around Horo’s neck is mildly detailed, however and interesting bit is the string used to hold it around her neck. It’s actually string, though the pouch does not move. It seems like a nice touch, though since it’s 1/8th scale, it seems like it’s frayed a little and would burn to wear. But perhaps I’m nitpicking and should just appreciate the thought instead.

figure-kotobukiya-horo-12Horo’s eyes seem to be designed quite well, they have a suitable red and a nice black border around like them Horo’s design in Spice and Wolf season 1. However her face still doesn’t seem to quite match the animation, which is what it’s trying to copy I imagine. As she looks nothing like the light novel’s illustrations or the Manga design by Koume Keito.

The base on which Horo stands seems to be in conflict with the figure. I feel it stands out far too much with it’s dark solid colour contrasting with the figures overall light appearance. The yellow material used on it is supposed to in some way represent the wheat fields she presided over. But if you touch it, the only thing you’ll think of afterwards is dead sun-burnt grass. If Horo was looking after a field of grass it would not be dead and sunburn and have a sharp rough texture like this. Again, maybe I’m just nitpicking, because at least it’s more creative than many other bases.


I feel bad being so hard on Horo, though I’m sure I could have been harder on her. The defects in this figure feel so minor to me that I almost never see them. So hopefully I pointed them all out, but feel free to mention any that you see. But whatever you do, don’t make me hate this figure!



  • Reasonable paintwork
  • Simple yet attractive pose
  • Her tail is pretty good
  • It’s Horo!


  • Perhaps a little on the small size
  • Burnt dead grass base
  • Some visible seams
  • The fit between her torso and dress is a little loose



  1. Rico-sama says:

    Haha, yeah, when I saw the way the tail connected I was like O.o

    This was the Horo I saw for $150 at Otakon last year. I didn’t get her because I didn’t feel a Kotobukiya figure was worth $150, and your review kinda reinforces that for me.

    She’s got a really cute face though. That alone almost sold it for me.

    • Aka says:

      $150?! I purchased this for considerably less than that! Though still perhaps $10 more than it’s really worth if I didn’t like the character. I believe she was in around the $70 mark before shipping.

      Would be nice if Horo didn’t have a big hole above her bum 🙁 But with the dress on you can’t see it, so all is well with the world.

      • Rico-sama says:

        She may have been closer to $100 now that I think about it. The same both had the Enterbrian Yoko for $150, so I might have gotten the two confused.

        • Aka says:

          I suppose that’s more resonable than $150, but still quite expensive. Though I suppose $70 + shipping gets close to $100 anyway. I do think she’s more of a $50-60 figure. But she is cute, and I love me my Horo.

          Of the 3 released, she’s definitely the best Horo thus far. That definitely plays a part in my opinion, having purchased the other 2 variations first. TAKI (ew quality), Cospa (bad face), then Kotobukiya (yay!).

  2. Leonia says:

    Nice presentation with beautiful pictures. But I prefer the recent Good Smile Company version ^^ Thanks for this shooting ^^

    • Aka says:

      Thanks. I have the GSC version on order but have yet to receive her yet. So I don’t have much of an opinion yet. She looks quite good, though the removable ears add a strange look. Maybe I’ll keep the hat on, who knows.

    • Rico-sama says:

      I have the GSC Horo on order too. She should be arriving at the end of June, but the place I order from has been spotty with shipping lately.

      • Aka says:

        Nice Rico, I was hoping mine would ship sooner than that. Probably wont though 🙁 Currently scheduled to arrive at the company I purchased through at the end of the month, then ship here.

        I’ve since decided to start purchasing straight from Japan. But I still have a bunch of pre-orders with the current place.

        • Quazacolt says:

          agree with ur future choice, straight from japan is the way to go especially if ur impatient on figure releases. GSC horo was released end of april and by early May almost everyone already gotten their share 😛

  3. Aka says:

    It appears there’s a re-release of this figure out in July for ~$50 USD. At least that’s the impression I get from this link.

    • Quazacolt says:

      ami ami dont ship internationally IINM.

      one can go for HS/HLJ/PA, HS/HLJ is based on yen which is ~5-5.8k yen + shipping. while play asia (hong kong based, however they get their figure almost always the same day as japanese release or latest is around 2-3 days delay) is on 70USD excluding shipping.

  4. Aka says:

    Quazacolt, thanks for all the replies.

    I didn’t link Ami Ami as a shipping reference, it was just the first site I noticed that had the re-release of Horo and linked it as evidence of such.

    I like the GSC Horo but I do not think it’s the best so far. Because in my opinion GSC is just doing a better job than Cospa. They’re too similar and that takes away from GSC’s originality. I would prefer if they’d tried to do something different.

    Additionally, I also prefer the anime version of Horo to the light novel version. However I still feel this Horo is the cutest out of the 4 released so far. Maybe I’ll change my mind when my GSC Horo eventually arrives, but this is how I feel right now.

    Oh yeah, what do you mean by poisoned? I’ve seen Azure Toy Box’s pictures, I usually visit them via foo-bar-baz. Azure Toy Box is always taking their Kotobukiya Horo everywhere with them. It’s always interesting to see where he takes her. I’m much too afraid to take any of my figures with me anywhere. They cost too much to get over here.

    • Quazacolt says:

      no problem 🙂
      since you’ve already got GSC horo PO’ed as well, all’s thats left is for her to arrive to you 🙂

      if i can make a summary of her, its basically taki’s horo “gimmicks” (well you cant cast her off completely, but you definitely can play around with her clothing)combined with cospa’s clothing and koto’s facial/hair, with a slight change that it is the anime version of horo over the manga/LN version that koto is based on.

      in terms of originality, you’re probably correct, it isnt much. However in terms of figure quality, detail, and accuracy, simply nothing at the moment beats it. There are a total of 4 (5 if you count cospa limited alternate color version) official horo PVC ever released (excluding resin/GK) and 2 of them are from “sub-par” companies while GSC is a “big 4” company (again, koto following the manga just isnt my taste ^^). as mentioned on the other post, the “big 4” companies are GSC/Max Factory/Alter/Kotobukiya. In terms of figure detail/quality, they will be the companies in the lead when it comes to new painting/shading/gimmicks. (although if ur a fan of cast off, you may want to look into megahouse, or Alpha omega, which is alter x megahouse)Of course, their figures are also amongst the most expensive as well 😛

      “poisoned” is basically a general term amongst figure collectors (at least locally :P) to describe how “tempting”/”tempted” one is regarding a specific or multiple figures. (or any items in general)
      eg: 1) “im so poisoned into getting that new figure after seeing pictures of it” 2) “oh noes hes spreading poison by linking those new figure reviews”

      and yes, the only reason im getting koto’s horo is thanks to azure toy box ^^
      ive also had plans to make her some custom clothing just like he did

      • Aka says:

        I’ve got figures already from 3 of those manufacturers, and a Max Factory on the way. I also have 2 Alpha x Omega figures, Yami (Not reviewed yet) and CC. I haven’t noticed any cast-off stuff with Alpha-Omega?

        After the TAKI incident I did some research on which companies I should buy from, so I try and stick to them for the most part which are the same ones you mention. I also have many a place to find reviews and pictures now, so I feel more confident in my purchases.

        Currently I think GSC is my favourite just based on the number of figures I have from them and have pre-ordered.

        Thanks for the explination on poisoned, I’ve never heard it used that way before. Seems very much a local slang to where you are.

  5. Quazacolt says:

    AO figures are sculpted by alter, and alter figures in general dont have cast off features 😛

    well GSC definitely hold (AFAIK) a huge portion of the PVC figure market. a huge part of it imo is thanks to their international site and of course, Danny choo behind the works of it 😛

    well im not entirely sure if its a local, more towards an in-house “slang” amongst figure collectors XD

    • Aka says:

      That’s what I thought about Alpha x Omega, but this line made me think otherwise and question.

      Quazacolt: (although if ur a fan of cast off, you may want to look into megahouse, or Alpha omega, which is alter x megahouse)

      I suppose I’m not ‘in-house’ really, I collect but I’m not into the whole scene yet. I started this site up again to post some reviews because I couldn’t find a lot of english sites with good pictures. But I never really tried to get into the scene yet.

  6. Quazacolt says:

    haha my bad on including AO, and actually, ive even done a brief lookup and AO didnt really have any castoffable figures too. One thing for sure though, look at megahouse’s Queens blade series 😛
    or a majority of their figure release for that matter LOL!

    dont worry though, give it some time and you’d fit right in. 😉
    heck, if you’re REALLY bored and want to have a place to spam, feel free to visit’s chat box 😛
    just register and head to the lounge and enter chat (cafe@TFM)

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