Shinobu – Bakemonogatari – GSC

Today I will talk about Shinobu from Good Smile Company, as you might know she is based on the Bakemonogatari anime/light novel, some people still haven’t watched it, how weird ;p

Bakemonogatari was well received by the audience and manufacturer GSC turned all of the 6 heroines of the show into 1/8 scaled figures, they were all based on the Blu Ray/DVD front cover illustrations. Other Companies like Kotobukiya or ALTER also made nice figures of that franchise, but from my impression Good Smile Company offered the better looking figures, overall. I was tempted to buy the figure of Kanbaru, but I was doomed by the sold out tag, actually I wanted to wait for a price discount. Unfortunately that never happened.

A few more months ago a prototype of Shinobu was shown at Wonderfestival. I really liked the cute appearance of her sitting on a donut pile with a motorcycle helmet. I waited for pre orders being opened, her price was quite good and I better not wait for the sold out curse.


For this shooting I wanted to recreate something like in this illustration and did some arts and crafts, I bought a cheap medium density fiberboard and cutted out an rectangular shape, I used some adhesive tape to cover the holes in the board and sprayed everything with grey to get the run- down cram school look, the other props were already in my posession so I was good to go.

I wanted to test my newly aquired wireless PixelKing TTL flash trigger and so I didn’t use my 60×40 softbox lamp this time, instead of that I’ve used a combination of natural light, my now wireless external flash and my little automatic slave flash. It worked surprisingly well for a noob.




Anyway in Bakemonogatari, Shinobu is a cute little vampire girl, she was a grown up vampire lady before, but she was somehow turned into a small girl, the story about the true reason behind it will be revealed in Kizumonogatari. Being turned into loli might be a reason for her mainly gloomy and bored appearance in Bakemonogatari, she didn’t even talk in any episode.

The reason for buying this figure was actually based on the design than my liking towards the character. In the Nisemonogatari adaption of the Monogatari novels, it seems Shinobu got used to her new self and cheered up, it was a big surprise as she started talking, she’s naughty, but enchanting at the same time. I hope GSC will make a figure of her like this in the future as well.





On top she is wearing this great vintage helmet with cool brown straps and a goggle part, painting and shading on it are top notch, as little extra you can take it off. Beneath you see her long blonde hair, the tips have a interesting comic banana look, the strands and bangs in her face are clean and detailed and show some sublime orange shading.

The face of Shinobu turned out very nice it’s really cute how her eyebrows shine through her bangs. She also has beautiful detailed eyes, BUT the fact that the figure is based on the Blu Ray DVD front cover illustration  she differs to her appearance in the anime. The eyes are red instead of a gold yellow tone. In the anime they gold/yellow all the time, I’ve checked this to be sure.

On her cheeks she has rosy marks which give the face a very lively expression, have you also noticed her spiky ears kawaii! The face is overall very well recreated. In her mouth she has a soggy donut. Good Smile Company also created a little extra here, the donut comes off, but it leaves no silly looking gap, there is a fully sculpted mouth with upper front teeth lines behind it. That way she looks a bit like “Hau Hau buy me donuts, my master!”




Shinobu is wearing a light pink summer dress with a white petticoat inside. The fit and sculpting of it are nothing less than great, the shading on it is also great, I’ve never seen such a realistic looking shading on a dress before, it looks really pretty. Shinobu also has a little bit erotic going on with dress and the ribbon hanging down between her legs. Some people proofed (R18) that the dress is castoffable with some force, but the mere thought of it is just wrong in my eyes XD

As to be expected from a 1/8 scaled loli figure, Shinobu is small if not even tiny, but she’s very detailed nevertheless, the little toes and fingers have sculpted nails. In the right hand she is holding a donut, which can be turned a bit in her hand. Her pose is also very well done with her arms placed backwards and the bent legs sitting, she looks good from many angles.






Hahaha you are probably wondering where I hid the pictures with Shinobu and her base, but rest assured there is also a base included and some pics are below this block. As I’ve mentioned earlier the base is a pile of donuts on close view the shading on it looks a bit blurry, somehow like donut mud, but overall it looks good. As last figure from the Bakemonogatari anime (I doubt that GSC will ever make a Araragi figure, unfortunately) it is very fitting that traits of all the characters are incorporated next to the donuts. There is Araragi‘s hair with a stapler at his ahoge and the fried egg hairclips from his sisters, Hanekawa‘s cat ears and glasses, the bandage arm of Kanbaru, Hachikuji’s backpack and Oshino‘s shoe , but I can’t remember the yellow flower?




Final Words

Well, what should I say, I think I never had so much fun with photographing a figure from Good Smile Company before, ok I don’t own that many figures from them to tell you the truth, but anyway this was a convincing figure for me and I’m very satisfied with the final product. Shinobu is a great figure in a cute yet cool looking dress, everything on her is done in a very detailed way.

The base has an interesting design and the opportunity to display her in different places, without her base is a nice gimmick as well as the helmet and donut in her mouth which can be taken off.

At first I only bought her for the cute and interesting design, but after watching Nisemonogatari I even found a liking to her character, which increases the value of the figure for me in this case.

Another (sweet) english review can be found at neathgrim and a japanese one at figuephoto2





34 Responses

  1. feal87

    Oh hell, I was here watching the pics from like 15 minutes…Shinobu is so damn awesome in this figure rendition…:Q__

    I decided I’ll take her home! 😀

    • wieselhead

      So you liked them, that’s good to hear, this Shinobu turned out so nice.
      I couldn’t ask for more, well yellow eyes would have been nice.
      A wise decision (•̀ᴗ•́)

  2. Hoshiko

    Gorgeous photos! That’s very creative. It did well in reminding me the old building she was in in Bakemonogatari. I like shinobu-gsc-17.jpg the best!

    The actual stand kind of creeps me out. Especially Kanbaru’s arm sticking out of nowhere >.<

    • wieselhead

      Thank you very much.
      Sometimes I just have to make special props for the figure to make an interesting shooting, it’s fun ^^
      The arm adds some creepiness to the figure, like in a mummy horror movie XD Well, aside from all the cutenes Shinobu is still a vampire

  3. Ashlotte

    Yea like you said I really want a figure based off of her from the second season really badly. >_<

    This one just reminds me that aside from her one moment of awesome she just stood around like a deaf mute for the entire first season which makes me sad… T_T

    Also sad she doesn't have the bandaid panties!

    • wieselhead

      It’s been some time since I’ve seen such an enchanting and interesting loli character like her (>◡<)
      I want her in that pure white dress and with golden eyes.

      Yeah I think she was just depressed at that time, or Oshino did bad things to her TT.
      But otherwise they couldn't pulled off this surprise moment in Nisemonogatari.

      Well, GSC puts Miku into panties which are a few more sizes too small, but they would never do bandaid panties

  4. Visual Fanfare

    Sweet pics! I really like what you did with the setup, it’s very nice and helps the overall presentation of the figure. I think it looks so much better than the pile of donuts. I was wondering how come you didn’t show the pile of donuts till I read to the end. LOL

    I’m not familiar with the character or the series, what’s up with that creepy hand sticking out of the pile holding on to a donut?

    I really like picture 09 for some reason, particularly the way her eyes are staring right at the camera. Plus the 1/3 composition worked out really well, looks like a perfect portrait photo to me. =)

    I don’t have any Bakemonogatari figures, but I’ve always thought about picking one up just so I could throw this little YouTube tidbit in there: I think Ikura (Danceroid) did the best job with this dance routine – couldn’t stop watching this dance, just looked really fluid. LOL

    While I don’t care much for casting off what’s not supposed to be, it’s always nice to see that these figure manufacturers actually complete the entire figure, even the parts that are blocked off or not supposed to be seen.

    Great review, keep them coming! 🙂

    • wieselhead

      Oh thx Im glad that you like my pictures.
      It was good that I already developed the idea for the shooting beforehand and Im glad that it turned out like this.
      Haha I wasn’t that excited by the base to use it all the time, it looks good, but overall I liked my setup more.

      Ah that’s the cursed mummy paw from Kanbaru, it covers her hairy monkey arm, her curse was lifted, but her arm stayed like this.
      Oh lord a real life twintail goddess… Ah yes the dance looks also cute as well as the girl (●’◡’●)ノ♥

      It was rather interesting to see her that well made underneath, they could have done it in an lazier way, I guess

      you make me blush, thank you very much. I’ll do my very best.

  5. fabrice

    Probably the best from GSC out of all the other Bakemonogatari, ones, well maybe i would have said the same thing if they just came out lol

    they are all wonderfull, they really follow the exact illustration and the cover from the BD. Im glad to say that i got all of them now! YAY!

    They look wonderful except that Hitagi is the only one that looks off as she as a clear transparent base compared to the rest who has a more “realistic” base. some not even like this one.

    Nice pictures, love the idea of her sitting on top of the wall or window, gives that realistic view too haha i shall give her a donut 🙂

    • wieselhead

      Hi fabrice (⌒_⌒)

      *hahaha* No, not for me she’s the best, second one would be Kanbaru which I don’t own unfortunately.
      Congratulations for completing the set, must be nice to have them all.

      there are always people that are nagging about everything, Hitagi was nice with her transparent base and all the school utensils.
      Thx a lot, I enjoy building such things for the figure shootings, even though I don’t do it for every figure ^^ You won’t seduce her with your donut :p

  6. Miette-chan

    I’m sorry for being weird, I have yet to watch Bakemonogatari and now Nisemonogatari. =_=’

    … but oh boy, this is my favorite figure from GSC’s Bakemonogatari line, really, really wish I didn’t follow the “only buying from things I watched or played” rule. If it wasn’t for that Shinobu would probably be in my possession.

    I think the one thing I dislike is the base. While I think it’s rather clever from the source material point of view I think it’s kinda ugly. Plus with Shinobu’s position it’s easy to display her in a variety of interesting locations.

    These pictures are really nice, I love the idea of a diorama. I also never thought of combining natural light with artificial light always go for one or the other. Should make more use of stuff like that, specially since lately I think my pictures are a bit boring.

    • wieselhead

      Don’t worry, but you should really consider to watch Bakemonogatari sometime ^^

      Thats a good rule for preventing you from buying too much, but at the same time you’ll miss some really pretty figures.
      I don’t care if I know the character, it is nice to know what a character is like, but the main focus for my purchases is the look.

      I can somehow agree with your opinion, maybe the base is a little too attention grabbing, the figure should stay in the main focus.
      Personally Im no big fan of it nor do I reallydislike it. Its good to have the choice about using it.

      I don’t feel like Im in the position to give advises in figurine photography, but it’s important to try a few things so that you feel more satisfied with the outcome.
      Some people enjoy doing pictures of figures in front of a one colored background and others want to place them in some sort of environment to tell a little story.
      I don’t think that your pictures are boring, I liked the Gunslinger Girl or Tenshi pics and not to forget your cool figma stories which I honestly enjoy a lot (。◜◡◝。).
      Maybe you should combine scale figure shootings with some of these creative ideas from the figma stories and add some objects around the figure.

  7. Tier

    Shinobu is adorable; she’s cute enough by herself but the doughnut in her mouth and the oversized motorcycle helmet really push it over the top. I don’t own any Bakemonogatari figures – at least, I don’t think I do, though I was cleaning out my closet a couple of weeks ago and I found some figures (still in their boxes) that I didn’t even know I bought – but I think Shinobu is the best one I’ve seen. One of these days I ought to watch the show since people seem to like it a lot and well … if I can finish something like Guilty Crown, I ought to be able to make the time to watch at least the first twelve episodes of Bakemonogatari.

    • wieselhead

      Haha yeah the helmet is damn great, it adds something really cool to Shinobu, thats not rue, I know at least that you own Nadeko Sengoku ;p
      *lol* really ahaha Im curious about your forgotten figures, maybe you have something I’d love to own 😉

      Oh my … Guilty Crown was quite a pain overall, I watched it to the end, but I felt like I wasted some precious anime time on it (‘ ω´)
      Actually It are a few more than 12 episodes, don’t forget the bonus episode about Tsubasa, they conclude the Bakemonogatari story.

    • wieselhead

      thx a lot
      Unfortunately the shop where I found her didn’t reply 🙁
      On ebay she’s too expensive at the moment.

  8. BioToxic

    I’ve still to watch Nisemonogatari so I’m not sure how Shinobu changes between the first and second season. All I really remember about her from the first season is her sitting in a corner scowling and looking all gloomy. I think at one point she munches someones neck but I forget :\. It’s interesting then that GSC have gone for a more happy looking expression since from what I’ve seen of her it’s at odds with her character. Although if they’re following the BD covers there’s really no argument there – which is probably why her eyes are red instead of yellow too.

    I like how you can remove her helmet, although I think I prefer seeing her with it on. The donut removal doesn’t look as good. Her expression reminds me of a baby chick wanting to be fed.

    I quite like her base as well. It looks more like Cheerios that have been sitting in milk for too long than a pile of donuts though. I like all the little references embedded within it too, the ahoge stapler, the arm etc; although I can equally see why that’s kind of creepy.

    I really should get round to watching Nisemonogatari – especially if GSC are planning to continue making figures from the series. As you say their whole Bakemonogatari line-up is probably the best out of all the manufacturers so I’d like to see that continue, maybe even pick one up myself.

    • wieselhead

      It’s not as good as Bakemonogatari, but if you liked the characters before it’s nice to see them again ^^
      There is a lot more fanservice now, well it’s mainly with the young girls involved, unfortunately.
      I guess you will be surprised by her change for the better, she became so cool and adorable.

      Haha the helmet is awesome, with donut it looks better, but it’s good that the option was included, without the donut she has a quite hungry look, but from most angles it looks good as well.
      Exactly my thought the donuts on her base look like a very soggy kind of pastries, a fresher look would have been better 😀

      Maybe you will find something nice in a new figure line up, Shinobu is my favorite so far, I also liked the Kanbaru figure, but couldn’t aquire her.

  9. Nopy

    I bought Shinobu for the cute design too, but I ended up liking her quite a bit in Nisemonogatari. Mine came with a bit of discolouration on her shoulder so I was a bit disappointed with that. Otherwise, I love this figure.

    • wieselhead

      Definitely a good choice ^^ She was so cool In Nisemonogatari and adorable on top of that.
      Ah thats bad luck, sometimes these things happen in mass production, what color is at the shoulder?

  10. softz

    Nice! Lovely!

    Fabienne, you’ve got a nice reconstructed scene there. There is only one word for you. “Wow!” 😀 Your creativity has really boosted a lot huh.

    Also… I’ve not watched it.. Oh no! I’m weird! …. LOL!

    And, if you are a noob in photography… what are most of us out there? Noober?? Hahaha 😀

    Great job!

    • wieselhead

      thank you (⌒_⌒)
      Ahaha it was convenient that I had the right idea at the right, shooting this cute figure in front of a white background wasn’t what I wanted.
      No no that was just a little yoke, but watching it would be a good idea 😉

      Everybody is a noob somehow, there’s this saying “There’s always a bigger fish”
      thx a lot for stopping by again softz

  11. Xine

    Very creative set, nice backdrop and props. Shinobu looks really cute and I think her original base looks cool as well with all the characters’ attributes blending in. ^^

    • wieselhead

      Hi and thx a lot, I’ve put some more thoughts into it than usual and it paid off.
      Yeah she’s a wonderful figure and her base is a nice plus.

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