Monday 1 October 2012

1/8 Panty Anarchy (Alter)

"But that's why I can't let myself be weighed down by fuckin' regrets. A bitch lives as free as a bird that can never be caught." -Panty

Oh, Panty, sing me a rainbow one day, will you? Your little silver tongue  astounds me with its venturesome verbiage.

When Alter unveiled their Panty figure there was swooning all around. She's beautiful, fans concluded, but what else did we expect? She's certified Alter.

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt was "Allegedly created when the crew headed to a spa for a get together and got drunk while telling stories to each other. They found the ideas hilarious and used that for the show." (Thanks,!) Sounds legit. Is there any other way to come up with show ideas these days? Corporate brainstorming? Please. How passé.

Panty & Stocking is a a real FU to censorship. Tactless shenanigans all around! It's like Cartoon Network bred with parody bred with pop-culture to create a gross lovechild you can barely look but can't help watching. I have a lot of love for both sisters, but Panty edges out Stocking by a slim margin. Her loud-mouthed foulness is amazingly refreshing. So when Alter and GSC both announced they were throwing their might behind the character, I did a jig and fist-bumped the room.

Panty comes in an uncorrugated, phallic box - wait, what? It's not? Her box is decent? What sorcery is this? The shock of having something so wonderfully girly is too much for my corrupt heart to take. No lewd stencils anywhere. All it has is professional colour cohesion and a lovely wrap-around window.

Alter is a shy company when it comes to anything inappropriate, and Panty's inoffensive pose reflects their reserved nature. This Panty's pose is about as innocuous as they come. She's not even going commando!
For someone with lavicious hobbies, Panty has modest proportions. Unlike Stocking and her mighty bazongas, Panty has the body of a long distance runner. She's probably a B cup at most, but at least she's got a great personality. Right? Right?

I was worried how Panty's sparkly transformation self would translate into 3D, but Alter did a good job capturing her likeness. Panty has a mature, chic face that belies her usual, outrageous behaviour. Her eyes are gorgeous, and nothing really tops elegant blue eyeliner (except, possibly, a well-executed red eyeliner).

It goes without saying that Panty is damn professional. Even by Alter standards, she's up there. Her pose might be lacking, but her sculpt is brilliant.

Take a look at her hair. I tried to count the strands, but my puny math skills aren't refined enough to manage it. Panty has some of the most detailed hair sculpts I have ever seen. It rivals even Native's Collet`s, who has one of the best hair sculpts out there. Panty has couple of seam lines, but they're cleverly hidden and next to invisible.

Can YOU spot the seams?
Panty is depicted in angel form, complete with exposed midruff, puffy skirt, and gold bling. Naturally, Alter gets everything right. Every wrinkle is in place. Every ruffle is carefully placed. A quick look at her top reveals they have the art of plastic, elastic-physics down cold.

In terms of variety, Panty has the same maximized material coveage as Houmei, with opaque, semi-transparent, and transparent plastics rolled into one cohesive sculpt. I adore her skirt. The ruffles are glossy. Neat. Her skirt also happens to be mobile. It's not directly connected to her, but it's not exactly removeable either. Why? No idea. The world of figures is fraught with mysteries.

The two chains on her skirt are real chains. They're real fun to fondle. Smooth too.

Statistics reveal the two most difficult colours to shade are black and white. Colour purists will jump me for having the alacrity to label black and white as mere colours, but I stand by my statement. When I first saw Panty up close, what struck me most wasn't the amount of detail she has (which is generous) or her super-clean sculpt (which is expected), but her subtle and masterful shading. In the few art classes I have ever taken, I learned that it's damn difficult to make white look good with any sort of shading, least of all grey, which makes it dingy. Fortunately, team Alter are more advanced in colour theory than I, and managed to apply just enough blue to make Panty's whites look Downy clean.

But it's not just the excellent shading of her outfit that impresses me. If you look closely, you'll notice she has ethereal, awesome tints everywhere. Even the camera doesn't quite capture all the subtleties of her paint job.

There is a question pondered by figure philosophers everywhere: Which came first, detail or Alter? Most agree it's impossible to tell. We only know that they are intricately entwined. Alter is detail, and detail is Alter. If an Alter figure doesn't have detail, it's because of the character, not the company. Panty is no exception. 

The tiny pair of wings on her index ring is ballsy, considering how easy it would be to breathe and ruin everything. And that red line around the second ring of her middle finger? Same story. Even a heartbeat would ruin it. How is such precision humanly possible? Are Yagyuu Toshiyuki and Tanaka Masanori secretly robots?

At times like this, I have to remind myself Panty is only 1/8. I have trouble painting my 1/1 fingernails, nevermind something that's 1/8.

Ok, enough well-deserved sucking up. Alter gets a lot of love for being neurotic perfectionists who don't give a damn about deadlines. Mad respect and props all around, but there are a few of minor errors on Panty, which I will now state and subsequently downplay.

1. She doesn't exactly fit on her base---her heel juts out. Nevertheless, she stands, and that's what matters.
2. The sculpt around Panty's neck brace is odd, like her severed head is balanced on a gold coaster which is balanced on a body. Nevertheless, it's not apparent from a distance.
3. Her left hand doesn't fully connect with her waist, giving the impression she is bro-fisting her own stomach. Nevertheless, she still...looks good...? (Ok, so I couldn't really downplay this one. It's just an imperfection).

Oh, and her wings seem to sprout from her hair, but that's totally fashionable these days. Believe me, I know. I just got a pair myself and they're totally doing it for me. They're not attached to her body in the anime either, so it's totally cannon. To be honest, I forgot about her wings until after I finished the review. This entire section was inserted post-mortem.

As an aside, halo-on-the-ground base would have been awesome.

I have an awkward relationship with semi-transparent hair. It's great for lighting effects, but unless the figure's in front of a spotlight, it's slick and kind of gross. Details don't hold. Weird stuff sticks to it. Blarg.

But Panty's semi-transparent hair is uniquely rendered . Rather than stick with a flat, single-toned paint, they have given her hair a glittery sheen. Just slightly. Just enough to bling her up another level. I can`t seem to capture it on camera, so you'll have to take my word.

Cute story. One summer afternoon, I felt the need to enlist my friends as one-day labourers. The plan was to have them cheerfully and altruistically build some shelves for me - which they did, with more cheer and altruism than I expected. Of course, wrestling with large panels of wood is not an activity figure collectors engage in often, and we exhausted ourselves most modishly. During one prolonged break, Suich asked to see some of my figures. With general abandon, I hurled some in her direction in an excessive gesture of welcome. Panty happened to be one of them.

"Oooh," Suich said, picking up Panty and fondling her leg, "she's so smooth,"

"Yes," I said, somewhat amused by her tactile observation, and fought the urge to make a lame reference to Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, "they're all pretty smooth. You didn't know?"

"No," she said, in a way that subtly suggested I was ignorant for asking, "I usually get prize figures, remember?"

Right. I've been spoiled I've been by big companies like Alter and Max Factory, that much is clear. As much as I grouse over inperfections, the quality of these figures are high - very high. I was reminded again of why I am willing to spend so much time and money hunting down good figures. Nothing like some good, old fashioned relativity to kick some appreciation into your gut. We felt up figures for a while and continued with our sexy and luxurious self-building activities.

Like with all beautiful figures, I found Panty exceptionally easy to shoot. There is no bad angle on her. Seriously. I tried to find one. I failed - gleefully.

Given the popularity of Panty & Stocking, I hope to see more companies take a go at the sisters. Their potential is massive! Both their wardrobes contain at least a dozen distinct outfits. I would love to see a scaled cop Panty hit the market.

I mentioned previously that GSC is taking on a Panty of their own, but it's difficult to imagine how they'll top Alter's version unless they absolutely destroy the pose. Personally, I'm waiting for them to unveil a dual-gun Panty. You can't go wrong with more weapons.

Panty's price seems to have shot up since her release, which isn't surprising given her quality. She pops up on Mandarake once in a while, which is a moot point, since everything pops up on Mandarake eventually. Rulers of time and whatnot. You know how it goes.

Sometimes Alter does such a good job on a figure it's only possible to critique what they haven't included. In Panty's case, it's a strip pole (obviously), and colourful disco base. But even without such garnishes, Panty is damn near perfect. A no brainer for fans of the series.

The Run-Down
Box: 6/10 (Pleasant)
Base: 5/10 (Does its job without being an eyesore)
Pose: 7/10 (Reflects the artwork, but not very exciting)
Sculpt: 9/10 (Almost perfect, a few tiny quibbles here and there)
Paint: 10/10 (Godliness)
Personal Enjoyment: 8.5/10 (Can't really go wrong with Panty)

Manufacturer: Alter
Price: 7800 yen
Purchased from: AmiAmi

Winter is coming,


  1. Oh boy, I can feel it, the worse thing that can't happen when I go look at a review of a figure I do not own. Regret.

    I should have known better, it is Alter who made this figure after all. When I first saw it I thought it was nice but underwhelming. I blame that I hadn't seen a close up look until now but now I can't help but wish I had bought Panty when she was released.

    1. We're in the same boat! Figure photos are my greatest weakness. If I had a dollar for every figure I bought because of nice photos, I would probably have enough for another figure.

      I had a 'meh' reaction when I Panty was first announced too. No strip pole, way plain base---she could have been so much more exciting. But I love Alter and I love Panty, so I figured, why not? Now I'm glad I went for her.

      Thanks for visiting!

    2. She looks very good, from the front and the back as well.
      The skirt is just lovely (●'◡'●)

      I liked how you've pointed out all the details of her like the rope around her skirt or the ring beset fingers I like this kind of gloves

      Seems like Alter created another very nice statue again.
      Now, where is your Panty GSC? - better give it up ;p

      Well, I just ordered Stocking, which should arrive this week, hopefully ^^

    3. GSC better amp up their game with their version of Panty, but they seem busy making all sorts of other characters. It's been over a year and no prototype yet. I like to think they were intimidated by Alter's rendition. =P

      I can't wait for Stocking to come in, but mine's stuck with all the rest of my Oct. orders so I won't be getting her for a while. Panty will just have to be lonely for a little longer.