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Second hand waifus deserve a second chance at laifu!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters - Black Magician (Kotobukiya)Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters - Black Magician (Kotobukiya)

MaakieMaakiehace 5 añosReview
! Sorry for the wall of text in the beginning! If you want to see the figure + pictures and not the background information, you can scroll down a bit. ;) !

Welcome to my review! Today I will be talking about a figure of Black Magician ENCYCLOPEDIA #21538 from the series Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters ENCYCLOPEDIA #22169 ! This figure is made by Kotobukiya ENCYCLOPEDIA #7621 and shows Black Magician in his original card design color scheme ITEM #91372 .

I will start off with telling some more about his background.


Yu-Gi-Oh! is a manga series created by Kazuki Takahashi. It tells the story of the young boy Yuugi Mutou who lives together with his grandfather who owns a game shop. From a young age Yuugi has always been playing games by himself, since he gets bullied a lot at school. One day he solves an puzzle that turns out to be an ancient artifact from Egypt! The artifact, called the Millenium Puzzle, gives him a wish, Yuugi being a lonely boy, wishes that he would get friends. The artifact makes his wish come true, but in exchange a spirit can take over his body whenever he wants! This spirit is called "the other Yuugi" or "the dark side of Yuugi" and is the complete opposite from the Yuugi that has solved the puzzle. The other Yuugi loves to play Shadow Games, which makes the losing player in the game lose something that is very important to them... Later on in the series, Yuugi gets on better terms with the spirit inside him and they can talk together or change the host of the body at will.

The original series (manga 1-7 and the first televion anime) is about a lot of different games, mainly played as "Shadow Games" by "the other Yuugi". The second adaption of the series (manga volume 8 and further and the anime called Duel Monsters) almost completely focusses on an extended version of the cardgame that gets introduced in the beginning of the series.

The Black Magician is a character that is very dear to Yuugi. If I would really explain this characters origin, I think I would spoil to much of the plot of Season 5 of the series. To keep it short and non-spoiler, the Black Magician is a card used a lot in Yuugi's trading card deck. It saves the game a lot of times and later on in the series, there is also a introduction of a female apprentice of Black Magician, she is called Black Magician Girl ENCYCLOPEDIA #4189 and a few years ago, also got her own scaled figure ITEM #42095 .

Black Magician or Dark Magician?

As some people probably have noticed, this character goes by two names, Dark Magician and Black Magician. His original Japanese name was Black Magician, which stands for the Black Magic he uses. However, when translating in America they were afraid of using the the word "Black" in his name, thus he was renamed in the series and on the English trading cards to Dark Magician. Personally I prefer to call him Black Magician since that is his original name and that's the way I know him best from watching the original Japanese episodes.

The reason why and how I got him

I have been a huge Yu-Gi-Oh!-fan from the first moment I saw Duel Monsters dubbed on local television. After only airing 2 seasons they stopped showing it here, making me interested in more! Since in the meantime I already started watching anime in Japanese, I decided to also watch Duel Monsters in Japanese. Later on, I found out about the original series before Duel Monsters and watched that also, and I ended up really liking the originality in all the Shadow Games that were made. During my teens I collected quite some "toys" that were sold locally from Yu-Gi-Oh (and yes, I know, I should really make some time soon to upload all those to the database). When they announced the trading figures and the first scaleds in the One Coin Grande and ARTFX J line from Kotobukiya, I was so amazed and happy! I never expected a series I loved to get figures after the airing stopped 6-7 years ago! As excited as I was I decided for myself to pre-order all the items they were making from Yu-Gi-Oh! Now we are around 3 years later and Kotobukiya has made 22 trading figures, 10 scaleds, 1 action figure and multiple characters as scaleds announced. My goal is to collect them all. And except all the recolorings/exclusives, I own them all at the moment with the exception of the ones that I have on pre-order.

Original art

When the figure of Black Magician was announced, they showed him with the following artwork and coloring:


However, when the first colored prototype was shown, they gave him the coloring he has on one of the original trading cards:


This angered quite some fans from the anime and got a lot of discussion about what his "real" color is. Later on, Kotobukiya released an (expected) recolor of Black Magician with the colors he has in the anime: ITEM #144474

Looking at the posing of the original art, Kotobukiya sticked to it quite good. I like it a lot myself too. When it comes to the coloring, I expected the normal release to be the purple/anime one (just like a lot of other collectors), but I have to say that when I saw the first colored pictures of this figure I really liked the usage of colors. To me the anime version stands out less.

The Box





His box is very big and square (for that reason most shops will only ship him EMS). The box has a lot of purple and blue and quite some windows to get a good look at him!


A nice part to look at on the box, is for me the part where Kotobukiya explains the reason for the ARTFX J line.

First Look





As you can see there is a lot of space for him in the blister and he has a lot of plastic sheets around him to protect him from paint transfers. The bonus item "Pot of Greed" has his own place in the blister.


Inside the box there is also an instruction sheet for Black Magician. It's quite useful, since it can be confusing how he needs to be put on his base (I will explain later on in the review). Sorry for the blurry picture, I can't retake the picture atm.

Extra - Cellphone Hanger - Pot of Greed

The people that have bought the first release of this figure, get a bonus: A Cellphone Hanger from the Yu-Gi-Oh! card "Pot of Greed". At the moment of writing, there are no re-releases of this figure, so all available Black Magician's should come with this extra.


Just look at his vibrant colors and huge grin! An amazing amount of detail for something so small!



Unfortunately on the back, the left- and rightside there are some big seamlines to be seen and some small painting errors. But looking at how great the front of this hanger looks, it's all very acceptable to me!


Something very nice I think is that the jar is actually hollow inside.

Instructions of how to put together and the base


Black Magician comes with above base. Which is an amazing one in my opinion. The details and coloring are great and they fit the character well!


With this base, you get this...how to call it...square-swirled part that clicks into the middle. The coloring of it is great!


I really like how it looks almost transparent at the top!



Black Magician's staff also has a nice detail, just like the gems on Black Magician Girl, his staff has a transparent ball in it, which shines up with great colors when held into some (sun)light!


Unfortunately I have a small scuff/paining error on the backside, but I think that's a specific mistake to my copy of this figure.


The staff comes in two parts and they have to be put in seperately in Black Magician's hand.



When putting Black Magician himself on his base, the top part of the base has to be shoven under his cape. Next to that his right foot needs to be set on a small part at the bottom of the base. That being said, the figure actually leans with the weight of his bottom and the weight of one foot on the square-swirl part of the base. He looks quite sturdy to me, because the tightness of the cape keeps him in place, but for some reason it doesn't feel really safe...probably because of the lack of pegs.

The Figure

And now, when he's all put together!





I got to say that he looks very big and impressive!

Looking at all the details!



I wanted to start with looking at his face. The detailing looks amazing there! I love how his face stands out being matte compared to the rest of him being very shiny!

His eyes are nicely put on decals, and he has a pointy chin, faithful to his original design.


It's a bit hard to get on a picture, but he even has an adam's apple!

With close-ups like this, you can also see a bit of small painting errors in his hat, that are otherwise very hard to spot on this figure!



Black Magician's hat is a real eye catcher. Mainly because of it's size, but the overall shape is in my opinion also very interesting. It reminds me to a trap mechanism around the head. The amount of layers also makes it very high detailed.


On the backside you can see that his hat is connected to his chest armor (to call it like that).



His chest armor is a bit of a darker and shinier type of blue than the cloth he is wearing.


Unfortunately I have quite a big painting error on the backside of his armor. I think it's specific for only my copy of him. It looks quite small on the picture, but on the figure itself it grabs quite some attention. What you can see here is what I think a blotch of paint which happened during the airbrushing of this figure. The paint itself also sticks out. I'm afraid to remove it, because if I do that, then I would have to repaint this part.

Something else you can see very well in this picture is the seamline. They have been filed quite good and are hard to see on Black Magician unless you look at him from very close. I think they did a pretty good job in hiding the seamlines!


One of the details is his armor are the double shoulders. Personally I always compared them a bit to wings, to me they look like small fairy wings!


Even underneath his shoulders/wings, they have thought of putting all the details there.



Black Magician clothing is very tight on his arms, giving you a good luck at his muscles. There is a seamline and there are some small painting detail errors to be seen, but overall very acceptable.


His right hand is clasped very firmly around his staff. The way he holds the staff is quite natural. There are nice details in his hands, such as his knuckes.



His left hand is open, so a bit easier to look at and to photograph. Here you can see the knuckles again and they have painted his nails, which have also been sculpted ver nicely. The detailing is very intricate, but what I like the most is that his hands still look very manly and not too feminine.



The cape Black Magician is wearing has a high amount of details, mainly when it comes to wrinkles. They have also used a lots of different types of blue paint to create shading.



Something that deserves also some special attention is the detailing on his knees and lower leg. It's a very nicely sculpted swirl that goes all the way to his feet.


At his feet these details stop as you can see that underneath his soles, they are not present.

His feet by themselves also have very good detail, you can see creases in the fabric around his ankles and there are multiple shades of blue used.


As explained earlier, the square-swirl of his base goes inbetween his behind and his cape. So you can't really see much of what's going on there when you have him displayed, but since I want my reviews to be as in-depth as possible...


When you have Black Magician not on his base, you can see quite a bit from his behind and crotch-area. The gave him a small bulge and the fabric around his behind is very thight, but there is not much to see. It's quite clear that they didn't want to put too much detail there. It's also quite understandable since it's harder to get a "panty shot" from him because of his base compared to female figures where you can just glare underneath their skirt/dress.


And that finishes up this review from Black Magician!

Summary or tl;dr

- Nice box with a lot of colors. It's a bit big, though (forced EMS shipping), but keep in mind this is also a very big figure.
- The Pot of Greed is a very detailed and nice bonus!
- Great looking base, although I have my doubts about the safety of it in the future.
- Amazing details in the sculpt (adam's apple in his neck, knuckles on his hands etc.)

- Some painting errors here and there. Overall to be expected, but of course would have loved to see less!

- The only real negative for me is one big "blotch" of paint he has on his back. But I also think I personally got unlucky with my copy of this figure and probably other owners of this figure don't have this problem.

The Scores
Looking at this figure, it would be hard to make an even more amazing representation of this character!

Sculpting 9/10
A lot of details in his sculpt, mainly his hands and the fact that he has an adam's apple amazed me!

Painting 8/10
There are quite some pink detailing-lines painted not very neatly and my specific copy has a big blotch of blue paint on his backside. Overall the painting was done very nicely, especially if you look at the fact that he is almost completely blue and they used a lot of nice shading.

Posing 9/10
Very in-character and a good representation from the original art.

Base 8/10
Amazing looking base, but I'm not completely sure about the safety of the figure on it...only time will tell. Until that time, it looks great!

Packaging 8/10
Very big, but nice design! Figure is very safely packed in the blisters.

Extra - Pot of Greed 8/10
Although not flawless, this little extra looks amazingly detailed and has outstanding colors!

Enjoyment 9/10
This figure is from one of my most favorite series and close to flawless. So I'm very happy with him!

And to finish it!

Here is how she stands in my current collection!


Together with Black Magician Girl.


With all the Yu-Gi-Oh! scaleds from Kotobukiya.


In my collection of all Yu-Gi-Oh! Kotobukiya figures.

For those who read all this way, Thank you! My next review will be about this trading figure: ITEM #2183 With this set I personally had the feeling that there were not a lot of detailed pictures and reviews out there, so I hope this can help! I hope to finish that review up in a few weeks! I will also soon make a review from the scaled figure from Jounouchi Katsuya ITEM #119375 from the same series as Black Magician!

I hope you enjoyed this review, you could also check my other reviews when interested! Here are a few of my recent ones (the list is too long to completely put here):

Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai - Takahara Ayumi - EX Figure (SEGA): BLOG #11426

Mecha Musume - Me 109E-3 Luffwaffe Mascheneung Fighter - 19 (Toranoana): BLOG #11083

Peace@Pieces - Momose Hikaru - Death Cloth Ver. (Alter): BLOG #10490

Touhou Project - Konpaku Youmu - Nendoroid #141 (Good Smile Company): BLOG #10308

Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny - Sonsaku Hakufu Black Version (Wani): BLOG #10195

Star Ocean Till the End of Time - Roger S. Huxley (Kotobukiya): BLOG #10095

All pictures in high resolution and some extra pictures not used in the review will be uploaded here later today: profile/Maakie/...

Thank you for reading this review!


View spoilerHide spoilerAnd since you guys have probably also seen a lot of blue and maybe feel like making a music-nostalgia-trip:

The clothes of the band and the CG-graphics...ahhh, good times.
9,908 hits • 24 comentarios




syunrii (hace 5 años) #2002964I was having a really hard time debating between which Black Magician to get even since the Anime ver was announced. I liked your review, because your pictures showed me what he would basically look like in person, versus a lot of the stock photos that made him kind of too saturated in color.
I think I will go with the original Magician :) I do agree with you that he does looks quite marvelous, especially in your Detolf.

When I got Black Magician, I also thought that his colors are quite different from all the promotional pictures I have seen! During the time pre-orders were open, I doubted a lot between this version and the purple/anime version. I'm glad I have chosen this version, I have seen pictures and a review from the other version, but I think the colors don't look as well together as with this one. :)

Just because of his size and posing he is really an eye-catcher in (almost) every collection I think. :)
hace 5 años
I was having a really hard time debating between which Black Magician to get even since the Anime ver was announced. I liked your review, because your pictures showed me what he would basically look like in person, versus a lot of the stock photos that made him kind of too saturated in color.

I think I will go with the original Magician :) I do agree with you that he does looks quite marvelous, especially in your Detolf.
hace 5 años
VioFitz (hace 5 años) #1933876Flashy box + Intense details + intense review = Bloody Marvelous!!

Thank you very much! :D

The box and inside of the box are very flashy, haha! But it all fits Black Magician very well! ^w^
hace 5 años
Flashy box + Intense details + intense review = Bloody Marvelous!!
hace 5 años
NessaPie23 (hace 5 años) #1901339loved this! Great Review!

Thank you very much, glad you enjoyed it! ^w^
hace 5 años
loved this! Great Review!
hace 5 años
Kuuga (hace 5 años) #1872213its very good review for a very good item

AnipleX (hace 5 años) #1872890great review, great item, great collections

Both of you: Thank you very much! And I hope you also support my reviews in the future! ^w^
hace 5 años
great review, great item, great collections
hace 5 años
its very good review for a very good item
hace 5 años
raptorx (hace 5 años) #1867674Haha, I agree with you on that. They are super cool and all, I just cannot afford paying several hundreds for them XD (though, maybe I could if I didn't spend so much on cheaper stuff ;) )

Hrmmm if I would save money or take money from my savings account I could pay that, but I don't think they are worth it for me. xD

Maybe in the future when I have a better paying job it will be easier for me to throw money around. xD

shinhawk (hace 5 años) #1868372Thank you for the review! I was having trouble putting him on the stand and I was afraid I might break something I wasn't careful. The pictures you provided made it a lot more clear, so now not only is he sturdy, but he's not leaning over too much!

No problem! I'm glad it helped!

I decided to explain the way he is put together, since I think a lot of people would have problems with it! It's not really clear how it's put together and I had to study the instruction sheet quite a lot myself too! >.<
hace 5 años
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Second hand waifus deserve a second chance at laifu!

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Welcome to my figure-blog!

I mostly write reviews for this blog, since I like to read and write those kind of articles the most! I also think of them as very useful for other collectors and Japan enthusiasts!

Next to that, I also write tutorials for GK's, loot blogs, cosplay and convention-related articles and guides for hobby-related subjects...just take a look! :)

I hope you enjoy my articles and feel free to rate and leave comments! \^o^/

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