Series: DEAD or ALIVE figures
Manufacturer: Epoch

These have been out for some time now, but I finally found them at a discounted price, so I got the two nicest ones. I've actually wanted Kasumi for sometime, since she's voiced by Sakura Tange, aka Sakura from Cardcaptors, which I'm a big fan of. The silly whims of fanatics. :-)

Kasumi is the one in blue, and Lei Fang's in red.

The figures are based on Tecmo's infamous 3D fighter DEAD or ALIVE. The fame of the game is not so much due to the fighting engine, but the virtual peep-fest that it is. Weaved into the fast and furious gameplay are tons of cheap panty shots and boob bouncing. But enough about the game. The figure series consists of 5 characters: these two, Tina, and 2 guys whom no one really cares about.

The likenesses of the figures do look a little dopey, but upon comparison with the CGI models they are quite accurate. 

I did however do a little tweaking on Lei Fang's head. I cute a few small notches into her fringeline so that her hair wasn't so static looking, and repainted her eyes slightly. 


Unlike most other current Japanese figures, Epoch's tried to give this series a high count of articulation points. Both girls have 18 joints, which includes ball-jointed shoulders and hips. Both girls are nearly identical in joint placement, with one small exception. Kasumi has a swivel joint where her leggings meet her thighs. Lei Fang, probably due to her bare legs, has the swivel joint at her ankles instead, where the sandal string is. It does make quite a difference. Kasumi seems to be more balanced overall, and has less trouble doing half-crouched poses.

Some other features includes interchangable fists. Both girls come with one set of clenched fists and one set of open hands, both of which pop in and out of their designated sockets with little problem. Kasumi also comes with an added accessory of a short knife sheath, which fits snugly on her back. Neither of her hands can hold the knife, tho.


The girls in this line also have one more added feature. It's not stated on the packaging but one Japanese magazine reported it to be a "secret" feature. Soft Boobs. You read that right. The chests of the girls are made of a flexible rubber like material that's supposed to fulfill the fanboy's dream of squeezing the bouncing boobies the game is famous for. Well, it sucks. It's not soft rubber, so it's like squeezing a fully pumped car tire. What fun. Sorry to disappoint any perverts out there who were looking forward to this.

I'm just worried about how well the material will stand the test of time. Rubber usually breaks down, becoming brittle and cracking. I would have much preferred plastic. Stupid Japanese ideas. 

Lei Fang does score points over Kasumi for hiding articulation. Her skirt helps to hide the hip joints, which is a good thing, because the hip and the leg pieces do not sit snugly, leaving a hideous gap in between. This is not a problem when they are in crouching positions, but when Kasumi stands straight it's very obvious.

However, overall they do make pretty good figures. They're pretty good in terms of poseability, and their construction and sculpting are of pretty high quality. If there's any problem, it's that the plastic rivets holding their knees together can get pretty unstable.