Review: Kotobukiya’s Aisaka Taiga (Updated)

Last week while I was working crazy hours, a tiny little package arrived with my name on it. The tiniest package I’ve received yet in fact, so tiny. The package inside was yet smaller again, measuring in at 12 x 14 x 12 cm. What was contained inside this tiny box was a tiger that fits ever so nicely into my palm, a palmtop tiger if you will, and Drossel’s new pet.

Updated with some additional thoughts at the end.


Aisaka Taiga comes from a series titled Toradora! which started as a light novel series, became a manga serialized in Dengeki Comic Gao!, which then moved to Dengeki Daioh and finally, was made into a 25 episode anime which aired in the fall of 2008. The series also has had an internet radio show and a visual novel.


This particular iteration of Aisaka Taiga as sculpted by Hidemasa Kiyohara takes after her manga character design by arist ‘Zekkyou (絶叫)’. As you may have noticed, Taiga’s a bit, well… she’s small. As she sits she measures in at around 8 cm in height from head to bum, considering she’s a 1/8th scale figure and doing a bit of math I guestimate she’d be around 138 cm tall in real life. Quite a shorty!


Taiga was an exclusive release to Dengeki Daioh magazine and was produced by Kotobukiya. Her MSRP was ¥5,400 / $65 CAD, however due to her exclusivity a proxy service was required to purchase her. Using such a service inflates the price considerably due to how the process works and the additional fees required. Something that pains me a little about this process however, she can be had for $10 less than I paid total via eBay. But of course there was no guaranty 5 months ago when I pre-ordered her that that would be the case. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

How’s she look?



Perhaps that was too short an answer, but you know it’s true. Taiga definitely does not look like she’s 17 years old with that cute little girls swimsuit on and her small stature. One might argue she looks perhaps 12 years old and still in elementary school. The addition of the innertube certainly doesn’t help either as it adds to her young appearance. But none of this matters, because she’s adorable.

Her left swimsuit shoulder strap appears to be slipping off rather adorably, her two piece reveals a cute little tummy and she’s sitting cross legged holding her dainty little feet. I think I feel a HHNNNNNGGGG coming on, so moé I’m going to die~

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*clears throat* Sorry about that, where was I. Oh yes, the sculpt work is quite decent on Taiga, she has a decent amount of detail for her rather small size and her pose and posture seem quite realistic. The way her feet curl as she crosses them, and the arch of her back with a hint of bum, all quite well executed. No complaints here.

Kotobukiya has done a decent job on her paintwork as well. While her skin lacks depth its tone is pleasant and seems evenly applied throughout without any one bit more or less shiny than the rest. The only parts of her that have multiple tones and shading are the frills on her swimsuit and her hair. I think this is more or less what you can expect from Kotobukiya, consistency but nothing overly special. One nice touch I noticed though was light pink paint on her fingernails and toenails. Not the most noticeable of areas to apply detail to but nice regardless.


Taiga isn’t without her flaws though, I mean this is Kotobukiya. On her left side under her swimsuit top you can see what looks to be an injection point. It’s a lot more subtle than I’ve made it appear in this picture but I wanted to make it a bit more obvious to see. Another flaw, also on her left side, is a shiny mark that looks like perhaps someone spilled a little bit of finish onto her. And again, on her left side there’s a gash in her leg which I honestly did not notice until the macro shots so I don’t worry much about it. Lastly, there’s a finger print on Taiga’s innertube where a worker who should have been wearing gloves applied the decal. I suspect this could also be the same person who spilled the bit of finish onto Taiga’s back, as I can’t wipe off the mark.

One minor note before the close, Taiga comes with no base, nothing at all to put her on. I’m pretty sure of this, I could be blind as I’ve checked the box numerous times and found nothing resembling a base. It’s not a huge issue since Taiga doesn’t require one to sit down, but I feel it would be nice to place her on something because I fear that in all my moving of things all the time, she’s going to get scratched or worn. You may notice in some of the macro shots of her feet and under her legs there’s lots of dust, I suspect a base would help here as it’s easier to clean a base than it is to clean everything else in my room.

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She looks great!

Overall I’m pleased with the figure, despite the exorbitant amount I paid for her given her original price. She really matches up well with the piece of artwork she was designed after, there are some minor differences such as in the artwork her left strap is falling off more, and her face is less pointy, and her arms closer together, and her eyes smaller… ok ok there’s many differences. But despite them all I feel she’s a good 3-dimensional representation of the 2-dimensional picture. Not perfect, but I think represents Taiga very well and in a much cuter way than all the other figures available. If Taiga hadn’t been an exclusive and were widely available she would have been a great buy, but due to her exclusive status and raised price I’ve had to add a modifier to the score below. Poor Taiga, adorable, but in the end, an average score.

So moé~~~



While writing up what was supposed to be a short review on for Taiga, I noticed something of importance that I missed during my initial review here. Compare the hair from her promo shot to the hair I received. I’ll note that the Official shots show the hair I received, but the promo shot on which I based my purchase was far better. I wont adjust scoring or my opinions. But it is definitely worthy of note and does disappoint me.


A Thank You

A big shoutout to Drossel for helping out with the photography this time around. She did a great job and overcame many obstacles! Good girl!

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  • Adorable
  • For her tiny size, she’s pretty well sculpted


  • Tiny! Literally palmtop Tiaga
  • Paint work doesn’t match the prototype very well at all
  • Exclusive, bumped the price up way too much
  • Some molding scars



  1. Leonia says:

    OOhh ! I’am jealous, I am waiting for her so much (she will be mine this week probably). She is really cute, adorable. I love her swimsuit (I want the same) and the buoy (It’s the good word?)is so kawaii ^^ Your picture are beautiful Aka, congratulation !!!

    • Aka says:

      A Buoy in English is generally used to describe a floating object in the water that directs boats towards or around hazards in the water.

      But it works in your sentence as well due to it’s various meanings. Generally people will just call it a ‘tube’ though I’ve been calling it an innertube, such as the tube inside a tyre.

      Whatever floats your boat!

      She’s definitely cute, I wish though that a better company had taken her onboard, just due to the little defects I mentioned and the lack of shading. But that’s not to say she’s not great, just that I think she could have been better.

  2. Rico-sama says:

    Drossel captures my feelings about Taiga perfectly. Awww.

    Taiga looks to be simply a wonderful little figure. It’s unfortunate that Kotobukiya will sometimes not carry through on skin finishing, but like you say the overall shade is pleasant. Does she stick out from the others in your collection because of that lack?

    Really odd she didn’t come with a base. I think you’re right in saying it doesn’t really matter, but a number of figures in similar scenarios (swimsuits and/or sitting down) have come with bases. Some of those even done by Kotobukiya.

    You really have an eagle eye for defects, you know that? You say it’s the macro but I think there is more to it than that. Almost like you’re trying to convince yourself to stop buying these wonderful little figures! I see through you!! 😉

    LOL, I kid, I kid. Great photos. What did you do to make the base semi-reflective like that?

    PS. She’s on eBay, you say? 😀

    • Aka says:

      Recently I’ve been shooting on a piece of plexiglass from an old picture frame we’re no longer using. It creates a nice reflection. I got the idea when shooting pictures of Alpha x Omega’s CC as she has a clear plastic base that would always reflect her bum. So I thought hmm… where can I get something like that, searched around the house and came up with a picture frame.

      I have to be careful how I shoot though and place lighting correctly. The plexiglass will reflect anything. Additionally if the lighting is wrong, you’ll see the edges of it and it’ll ruin my infinity line.

      Taiga does stand out, but not due to her skin tones or anything like that. She stands out because she’s fricken small! With her sitting down like that she’s smaller than even figmas. She looks very much like a child compared to the rest. Even when compared to another short/loli figure, Melissa Seraphy. If you imagine Taiga standing, she’s definitely shorter, at least in my imagination.

      Did you notice in the gallery how after Drossel hugs Taiga, she steals her innertube and uses it herself? It doesn’t really flow that way in the actual post though.

      I think I am subconsciously trying to convince myself to stop buying. But don’t worry, I wont listen.

      Yes, I saw Taiga on ebay when posting this article. She’s not cheap, but she is cheaper than what I paid by $10 or so. At least as of posting this article.

      • Rico-sama says:

        That’s a neat little trick. It really adds a classy look to the (otherwise kind of boring) white background.

        I did see that! What you do with Drossel and the amount of character you put into her when you do your galleries give her so much character. I have no idea if that lovable piss-ant show-boater you make her out to be is really her character or not, but that’s what I think of every time I look at her on my desk. You’re pretty much the only reason I bought one for myself, lol.

        I hope you won’t listen to your subconscious, so I’m going to keep egging you on. Just in case. 😉

        • Aka says:

          Egg all you want, or don’t, I think I’m in for life. Recently I think I’ve convinced myself that I like figmas too.

          I definitely portray Drossel in an entirely different character than I remember her being in the series. You can watch it btw, it’s quite short, it’s maybe a little longer than a single normal anime ep. I think I just do with Drossel what I would like to do myself 😉 (I can’t remember what I’ve done with her and how bad that remark will come off on me now lol).

          • Rico-sama says:

            YES! Next you need to convince yourself of the awesomeness of Nendoroids! 😀

            I figured you were portraying Drossl differently. I think I’ll hold off on watching Fireball – I’m perfectly content with Drossel being what you’ve made her to be.

          • Aka says:

            No. Figmas always had this one thing in the back of my head “they’re poseable” to egg me on. But Nendoroids suffer the same issue that any chibified character does for me. I can think they’re cute in some ways, but I find them mostly distasteful. So I don’t think I’ll ever convince myself of them.

            I did consider buying the Horo ones, but only for a sense of completeness in my Horo collection. But that would also mean buying other things, like the Horo doll and that terrible cold cast nude Horo by whatever company that is. Another request I have, a Horo Dollfie. Sure then my friends can actually make fun of me for collecting and playing with Dolls but well, it’d be awesome. Though stupidly expensive!

            lol thanks about my portrayal of Drossel. I never really thought I was building up a character for her. Now I feel like I have to be more conscious of the what I make her do.

    • Guy says:

      Your version of Drossel is somewhat silly and goofy, I think if you’ll think of her portryal you’ll lose her charm, let her keep doing the stuff she does 😉

      • Aka says:

        Probably for the best, if I started to think about it I’d over analyze and refrain from a lot of stuff probably.

  3. Guy says:

    I agree, the only real word that comes to mind is “Adorable”.

    In my reviews, I don’t do an average, but “overall”, and as such, Satisfaction has a much higher weight than most other things. Even if it’s technically superb, if I’m unhappy with it, I’d get rid of it, and vice versa.

    She’s so adorable 🙂

    Toradora! is the next anime on my watch-list, or I might finally start Gunslinger Girl instead. We’ll see.

    • Aka says:

      I never finished watching Toradora, and I don’t like Taiga’s character lol… but this figure’s adorable.

  4. Lylibellule says:

    Small but soooo cute. I like her face and the buoy that seems real.

    Personally, I do not mind that there is no base provided; I certainly exposed Taiga without this base … except, if this base was special (sand)

    It is unfortunate for you to have this finger print and the shiny mark.

  5. Lylibellule says:

    Forgot: Your Photos with Drossel are really original. I appreciate your ideas;)

    • Aka says:

      Thanks, bordom does wonders for creativity! lol

      It’s not really an issue the finger print, it’s not even obvious enough that I could get a photo of it. But I can still see it myself. The shiny mark though is a pain, you can see it even with the innertube on her. Bleh.

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