I’m not really into the Star Wars extended universe, but I was intrigued when Kotobukiya announced their Jaina Solo ARTFX statue. Despite being modeled on a Shunya Yamashita design, Jaina is branded as an ARTFX figure and not as part of the Bishoujo line. Unlike other Yamashita designs, Jaina’s design is rather conservative. She’s not showing a lot of skin, or even striking one of those poses designed to make Hawkeye look silly. I’m guessing it’s because of the Star Wars license – gotta keep it kid friendly – but I think the result actually enhances the appeal of the figure.
In case you’re not aware, Jaina Solo is the daughter of Han Solo. I’d like to think some of Han’s badass genes continue on in her, but this figure certainly doesn’t capture that side of her. It shows Jaina foremost as a pilot, but you’ll notice she’s also got a lightsaber hovering above her hand. As I mentioned, Kotobukiya did not go the overt sex appeal route with her. She’s got a form-fitting tank top, but nothing too risque or raunchy. Her pose is one of confidence at first glance, and you might imagine she’s tossing her lightsaber up almost like a toy. On further inspection, though, her expression is more like one of surprise. It seems like she’s just beginning to master her force powers, and is joyful about it.
Whatever your interpretation of her expression, I think she’s got an extremely cute face. Shunya Yamashita is of course known for the Shunya face, and Jaina definitely has one of those. Kotobukiya’s interpretation of the Shunya face isn’t always spot-on, but in this case it’s pretty good. A good face is crucial for a figure as it naturally tends to be a focal point for your gaze. You don’t want a face that’s misproportioned or worse, one that looks derpy. For Jaina, you can’t really look at her face from her right because the hair gets in the way. From her left, there’s an unfortunate seam where the head connects to the neck. From straight on and slightly below, though, she’s cute as a button.
Jaina’s outfit is not something you often see on Japanese PVC figures. Usually they’re designed to show tits and ass, or at least some thigh. Jaina shows none of those – not even any cleavage – but something about the figure is still undeniably sexy. I think it’s the way the tank top wraps around her midsection. The sculpting of the folds around her waistline are extremely realistic, and I love the way you can just make out her abs. Her legs are entirely covered by her flight suit, so you don’t really get any look at her thighs or butt. Instead of drawing attention to sex appeal, the outfit creates an impression of strength, and I find that appropriate for the character. After all, she’s the daughter of Han freaking Solo.
Overall the build quality is just decent. Obviously the main sculpt is great, but the lightsaber really lacks definition in the detailing. Kotobukiya’s Vash figure has a similar problem, where his gun just looked like a blob of plastic. The paint job isn’t super clean; I noticed some splotches on the helmet and some stray marks throughout her outfit. The figure didn’t come with a premium price, so I’m willing to overlook these minor problems. They aren’t worse than on the typical Bishoujo-line figure.
I don’t normally talk about the packaging, but I thought it was pretty cool in this case. It’s just a black box, but looks pretty classy. For some reason, Jaina comes with her torso detached from her legs, and both hands detached from the arms. The assembly is painless but it was weird to see through the box window that Jaina was basically just a handless torso. Her lightsaber looks like it’s floating, but actually attaches to the right pinky via the smallest peg you’ll ever see. It’s fairly easy to dislodge so be careful what it bumps into. Kotobukiya also included two swappable inserts for the base. You can use either the normal Star Wars logo or a logo that resembles the patch for Jaina’s fighter squadron.
There aren’t a ton of figures in my collection that a prudish person would feel comfortable around, but Jaina Solo would be fine in any household that appreciates Star Wars. That’s what I appreciate most about this figure. You don’t need the girl to be thrusting out her butt and chest to get across the idea of cute and perky. I like ecchi figures as much as anyone, but it can also be refreshing to see a more normal one like this.