Sunday 29 April 2012

1/8 Misaka Mikoto (GSC)

It's about time I got to reviewing some older figures! My backlog on reviews is so stupendous it pierces the heavens (What? Nevermind). So without further ado, here is a retro-review for your enjoyment!

Misaka Mikoto is a small girl who fights gundams with her bare hands. That alone makes her awesome. Unfortunately, Misaka Mikoto isn't the most colourful person in the world, and her bland design translates to an equally mundane figure—or does it?

Yes—yes, it does. Being a GSC, Misaka is obviously high quality, but she lacks pizzaz. I feel she'd be much better if she had, oh I don't know, a single white streak in her hair or something equally cliche.

Misaka is from Toaru Majutsu no Index, which, to put it gently, was terrible. SHe was the only female character that didn't bore me to death or make me want to shoot myself. By proxy, that makes Toaru Kagaku no Railgun better, if only to watch Misaka's many, many fight scenes.

Misaka is a small girl, and comes in a small package. It's about the weight of a nendo box, and not nearly as wide. With a simple, blue-white scheme and somewhat awkward looking sparks it's not the most elegant box in the world. It does it's job, which is admirable in itself, but not very interesting.

I managed to snag Misaka on sale a long time ago. Thank goodness she was 50% off, since she's really, really petite. Paying full price for such a diminuative figure might have killed me a little. To demonstrate her puniness, here's Misaka chillin' with Senjougahara (who is not particularly large for a 1/8 figure herself).

Despite her tininess, she does appear proportionate, being younger than Senjougahara and all.

Onto the 360! Misaka's colours may be on the boring side, but her fluid pose is catchy. She's caught in mid-twist, ready to railgun some unsuspecting hap into oblivion. She's got a bit of sass in her step, and that appeals to me.

Like a cyborg, Misaka comes with interchangeable parts. Her regular pose makes her look a bit like she's doing the chicken dance, so I prefer to display her in "sword mode". I find "sword arm" adds more twist to her pose, especially when viewed from the side. Plus extra weaponry never hurts (ha, Jenn made an irony).

Misaka can stand without her base, which is good if you (like me) find her base unnecessarily distracting. It has the same design as the coins Misaka uses to railgun shit cars, but its high contrast and thick lines are incredibly distracting. And really, it doesn't look like a coin. I wish they had gone with a clear plastic base, or even a plain white one, or something more inspired than a flat piece of plastic with a picture of a crown (hard to imagine, I know).

If there's anything GSC is known for, it's high quality, and Misaka is no exception. I wanted to set her along some broken concrete, but couldn't find any leftover rubble in my house. Instead, I propped her up on Black Rock Shooter's base and threw some potpourii at her (she smells fantastic now). The result is less than what I'd hoped, but I'll retake the photos as soon as I can find some good, old-fashioned cinderblocks.

For a small girl, she looks badass with a sword. The notion of drawing iron from the ground to make a sword is an interesting one at least. Nevermind the impossibility of it. Kudos to the show for that one!

The sword has beautiful texture. The point is actually quite sharp. Makes a good poking stick. Good and fatal, that is. (I'm not joking, I poked myself a few times and it stings like a muthaf---er).

Even from a distance, the attention paid to Misaka is obvious. Kudos to GSC for bringing her uniform to life. Both her sculpt and her paint job are fully realized. Misaka has rich shading as far as brown goes. It's like GSC purposely compensated for her boring character design with a top-notch paint job. What parts of her that do have colour (namely her school logo) are made to pop.

There's no sign of paint bleed anywhere. Her lines are deliciously sterile.

Her folds give her shape and movement, and look! Puffy socks! She's such a kid. Puffy socks, really.

Interested in seeing up Misaka's skirt? Too bad.

Dang, foiled again!
Misaka sensibly wears a pair of shorts under her impossibly short skirt. How very prudent. It may be a little disappointing to pantyshot fans, but that's getting away from the point. I love it when companies stay faithful to characters, and there's no truer testiment to faith than withholding a panty shot to portray accuracy.

She's the only anime girl I know of that wears shorts under her mini-skirt.

Panty shot DENIED.

One aspect I love about Misaka is her face. She has a wonderful, heart-shaped face with soft angles, and crisp eyes. She looks younger than she does in the series.

Misaka is all serious. Seriously cute that is, until you get a face full of iron. In retrospect, her expression isn't exactly a sound reflection of her character. Given her pose, I would have preferred to see her with a psychotic smirk, but it's understandable why GSC opted for the generic determined face. They have sales to worry about, and stats indicate crazy faces just don't sell well (just look at Kotobukiya's Misaka).

Despite her good points (and there are many), Misaka has a few sculpting flaws.

Her bangs pop more than they should, and not in a good way. It's obvious they were a separate piece altogether. There's also a seam where her hair is pulled back along the side. The skeptic in me wonders if GSC could have blended the seam with the fall of her hair, but who am I to judge? (Oh right, a consumer).

In comparison, Penguin Parade seems to do a better job at rendering her hair.

Strangely, Misaka also suffers a horrid seam line under her hair. The extra part's supposed to make her hair look full, but it just comes off as chunky. Fortunately, it's hidden from view at most angles. My guess is not too many people will spend much time staring under her hair anyways.

Am I super happy with Misaka? Eh. Like with GSC's Tenshi figure, I can't shake off the feeling of boring when it comes to Misaka. There's no denying her quality, but she disappears in a crowd. She's also smaller than I'm used to, although in comparison, Triela and Miku-lat are both equally slight.

Given the chance to do it all over again, I probably would not have purchased Misaka despite my fondness for her character (I would save up for a big, beautiful figure that embodies the rainbow). However, given reality, I'm not disappointed with her purchase. She's a great piece with excellent paint and movement. Her skin tones are also wonderful. Many figures suffer from being too pale, or too yellow, but Misaka's skin is peachy full.

And she shoots lightning. Come on, you can't say that's not cool.

Currently, this Misaka is sold out everywhere, but she does tend to show up on Mandarake at a very reasonable price. That being said, there are other versions of her out there that look equally appealing. Penguin Parade's is one. Kotobukiya's maid version is also promising. It's strange that such a bland character would be immortalized by so many companies, but then again, it's not like companies haven't jumped on a bandwagon and ridden it dry before (I'm looking at you, Saber/Miku clones).

The Run-Down
Box: 5/10 (Not very excitingt all)
Base: 4/10 (Too distracting)
Pose: 8/10 (Lots of movement, looks good from all angles)
Sculpt: 7/10 (Loses some points for hair seams)
Paint: 9/10 (Wonderful for what it is)
Overall: 7/10 (She's great, but so dull)

Manufacturer: Good Smile Company
Price: 5800 yen
Purchased from: AmiAmi

Blasting off again!

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