Monday 3 October 2011

1/8 Tenshi (GSC)

Who is this mysterious, shadowed figure? I know, I know, I'm terrible at suspense. I probably shouldn't give away the answer in the title, but hey, 20/20 hindsight, right?

Oh Angel Beats, what am I supposed to say about you? Good conception, bad execution? Nice music, horrible pacing? Plot-hole-galactica? Nevertheless, I watched the entire show through, thanks to this beautiful girl.

When Tenshi was first announced, I scoffed at her blandness, and yes, she is bland, but something compelled me to buy her anyways. What was this awful force of persuasion?

Wings, of course. I'm a suck for wings.

Let's admit it, no one really care about boxes. They're rarely the work of aesthetics we want them to be, and they exist for the sole purpose of padding our precious figures. Tenshi's box? Just another box. A purple box. It's got feathers on it. I guess it's kind of pretty.

Tenshi descends from the sky, her kindly expression a mask for her iron badassery.

How cool would it have been for Tenshi's base to be a water ripple (or a sound ripple)? Unfortunately, we just get a plastic circle. Ah well, can't have everything. The red Angel Beats logo stands out against the immense crush of boring.

I say this a lot about figures, but Tenshi's face is spectacularly rendered. GSC managed to nail her expression down cold. I would have liked to see her all deadpan (along with a pair of wings and dual hand-sonic blades), but this gentle rendition of Tenshi is almost as good. She's a cute character, and this face does her justice. I don't normally go for generic doll-faced characters, but Tenshi also eats lead like a boss, and that makes her less Cute Little Girl than Pure Awesome.

She's got lovely gold eyes and equally lovely angles.

Tenshi has more lean than I'm comfortable with. For no reason other than pure inattention, I didn't notice her delicate tilt in stock photos. I hope it doesn't become a full-fledged problem in the future. Her folded hands may be an attempt to create a prayer-like pose, but it looks more like she's about to show you a frog she caught on a camping trip (or something of the sort).

"Hey, want to see what I found?"
Tenshi's wings are removeable. They slot into several holes in her back. They're difficult to get in thanks to the flimsy quality of her wings (more on that later), but relatively easy to pluck out. Tenshi without her wings seems rathersmall. She takes up less room, but her bouyant pose doesn't make much sense without them.

She's floating by pure force of will.
Without her wings, you can see the bullet holes in her shoulders, which might be perfectly in context given this series. Unless you're going to display her facing a wall, they can't be seen. Even from the back, her hair covers them at most angles.

On the bright side, wingless Tenshi gives us good view of her profile. She's just as cute from the side as she is from the front.

Tenshi has lovely, lovely lavender locks, both beautifully sculpted and painted. Although I would prefer Tenshi's hair to be whiter, I can't deny GSC's done a wonderful job on shading.

Unfortunately, they've also shaded Tenshi's seam line. Why, GSC, WHY? As though her seam line wasn't disruptive enough without emphasis.

It doesn't appear too bad here though.

Tenshi's not the most colourful girl in the world with her brown-white colour scheme. Placed among other figures she tends to fade into the background. Although she's obviously well-made, I can't seem to get excited about her. GSC did quality work on her sculpt and paint job, but I'm just not wowed.

Tenshi has all the right details. Her buttons are emphasized, her folds are in place, her collar area is well defined. It's too bad she's plain by design. I can't help thinking they could have snazzed her up with an action pose. Unlike Angel Beat's Yuri, who looks happily ready for battle, Tenshi's justfloating there.

It's all there, and yet...
There's been some grousing about her skirt. She's almost pulling a Marylin Monroe. Does it defy physics? Maybe a little, but Tenshi as a whole already defies physics, so I don't much mind. I actually like the skirt. Skirts are so standard on schoolgirls that they've faded into generic cliches. It's nice to see one doing something unexpected.

Besides that, it has depth and motion. It might be my favourite part of Tenshi besides her beautiful face.

Now, finally, to the wings. After all, I was going to pass on this figure until I saw the wings.

Well, Jenn, do they fill the wing-shaped hole in your heart?

Both yes, and no.

First, I'm rather fond of how they frame her. It's like having your own personal pinioned curtainsthat also gives you the power of flight. They're appropriate. She's Tenshi after all, and what's an angel without wings?


Second, I'm loving the partial transparency. It allows for some spectacular light and colour play.

Now, onto the nasty bits.

I assume Tenshi's wings were a last minute add-on, and they look it. They're made of cheaper, low-quality plastic and painted with a single white-ish coat. The paint even feels scratchy, like the stuff you get out of spray cans. There's no shading whatsoever. Luckily, there's some faint attempt to sculpt feathers into her wings, which gives it some definition, but again, the sculpt is rough and child-like.

Overall, they look flat andfranklylike attachments rather than a natural part of the figure.

Despite their general grossness, I still opt to keep Tenshi's wings on, if only because her pose looks weird without them.

What can I say? Tenshi is a well made figure. I'm just not as blown away with her as I should be. Despite my best efforts to be impressed, she's just so "meh". Must be the dull colours, or the passive pose. That being said, she's a good figure for her price. You can still find her at AmiAmi.

Do I recommend you get her? Only if you're a fan of her character. Otherwise, you'll probably just be throwing away money.

The Run-Down
Packaging: 5/10 (A box)
Base: 5/10 (Boring)
Pose: 5.5/10 (...Boring)
Sculpt: 8/10 (Loses points for the wings, otherwise perfect)
Paint: 7/10 (Shaded seam line and flat wings; Great job on the skirt though)
Overall: 6.5/10

Company: Good Smile Company
Price: 5524 yen
Purchased from: AmiAmi

Much love,


  1. I'm a sucker for wings too, that's why I bought the figurine myself. Very nice review as usual. :)

  2. I will throw bags and bags of money at wings. Good to know I'm not the only one.

    Thanks for reading!