So here are my first impressions and some pics.
I was pleasantly surprised when I unboxed it to find that the finish of the blade was very good, especially for a knife in this price range. Yes, the spine could be rounded, but a few minutes with some wet/dry will fix that. The nashiji finish is smooth and matte, unlike other knives at this price point like the Tanaka ginsanko series.
The handle is functional, and the little step from the ferrule to the handle is,in my opinion, cosmetic. In actual use, it is hardly noticeable. A little beeswax or epoxy will do to fill the gap between the tang and handle. The length of the emoto is perfect, providing a perfectly sized gap for your finger.
The OOTB edge was acceptable, though not outstanding. Most knifeknuts will take it to the stones immediately, and I was no exception. The aogami core took a nice edge in a few minutes. Time will tell about edge retention.
As others have noted, it is a stout little knife, well suited to break down chickens. The profile is not quite that of a honesuki, so it is not a direct replacement for one.
As expected, the geometry wedges somewhat in carrots and potatoes, but it's not really intended for those tasks. It's a little long for in hand work, but I did peel several peaches for cobbler and it worked well for that. It's also a pretty good knife for hard cheeses.
Thanks, Mark, for the opportunity to try it out for a great price.