Isn't she lovely? Here comes everyone's favourite sweet-loving, ghost-shaggin', big-breasted, gothic lolita angel sister. Now if you've been following, you'll know I prefer Panty to Stocking, but Stocking is just too damned beautiful to pass up. Besides, they're a pair. One without the other is like Sherlock without Watson, functional, but not nearly as entertaining.
Anyone who knows me already knows I love Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt. Nevermind their vulgar shenanigans, there's something attractive about their pastiche style. Besides, catching references makes me feel clever, and that fans my huge ego. It's astounding how many cultural nods they give. Makes me believe the producers weren't only drunk when they concieved the show, but drunk to the point of omniscience. Take a look at PSG's less-than-2-minute long music video. In that segment alone they reference Elvis Presley, KISS, The Beatles, Lady Gaga, Gorillaz, t.a.T.u, among others that I probably didn't catch. Nice.
Stocking is the much beloved, little Anarchy sister. Her quiet, badass attitude, punctured by episodes of scathing sarcasm, endear her to many. Sure, she's not as loud and memorable as Panty, but it's hard to say no to a girl who deflects bullets with her swords.
Let's dive right into the review.
Stocking comes in a wide-open box with a large viewing window. I usually don't have anything nice to say about boxes, but I rather like Stocking's. Most boxes with pastel colours look like a cotton candy cart accident (try saying that ten times fast), but Stocking's manages to pull it off, polka dots and all.
When Stocking's unpainted prototype first came out, I was shocked by her chunkiness, and I mean that in the best possible way. Stocking is stacked. She has all the TnA that Panty lacks, plus a little extra (look at those nice thighs). And Stocking is heavy. Little wonder too. She's 90% hair. Given her wee, delicate feet, I was nervous her ankles would snap. They didn't, obviously and thankfully, or this review would be filed under Oh Noes! On the bright side, she has none of the base problems that Panty does. All the pegs and holes fit right together.
Both Panty and Stocking have relatively uninspired poses, but I like Stocking's pose marginally better than Panty's. The slight cock of her hips and hands lend her a sense of delicate femininity that Panty lacks. And yes, she has hair-wings. High fashion, my friends, high fashion.
Similarly to Panty's base, I wish Alter had been more creative. Halo-base maybe? Disco lights? Ah well, I guess a blank circle with the PSG logo isn't completely lacking in creativity. Oh wait, it is.
Stocking's sweet expression belies her gluttonous, snarky personality. Don't be taken in! She's just as callous as her sister! Alter did a decent job on her face, though she does takes on a rather simian appearance from some angles. It looks like they put her nose and mouth just a little too low. I want to take her jaw and shunt it up a couple of millimeters. Compress her face a little. Could help. Maybe.
Unlike Panty, Stocking has no eyeshadow! Just to be sure, I watched her transformation scene repeatedly (it was research, I swear), and waddaya know, no eyeshadow. Verisimilitude. Not laziness.
Stocking is the bustier of the two sisters, presumably because Panty burns substantial fat shagging Daten City while Stocking hangs around, padding out her bust with cake and candy. If I had fat distribution like Stocking, I'd stuff myself with sweets too. If only reality weren't so stingy.
Stocking's bust is so amazing I had to dedicate an entire paragraph to it. I have a few arbitrary rules when it comes to collection, one being "Don't get figure with boobs bigger than their face". Namely because they creep me out. I mean, turn down your headbeams, lady. Please. And Stocking's bust-to-head ratio comes pretty close. What size is she anyway? "F"? Actually, the better question is, how far does the alphabet stretch when it comes to bras? I saw a size "I" once and freaked out. The thing could have been a hammock for all I knew. Anyway.
Whatever her size, the sculpt around her breasts is super-duper. There's just enough buldge to make them look soft and pliable. They look cushy don't they? Her corset must be magical to hold up such substantial ladies. Or maybe the straps are metal. Either works. As an aside, I also love that Alter sculpted her collar bones. It's little details like that keep them in my good books.
Stocking seems to be designed with hardcore anime fans in mind. Just look at her "moe" points! Thigh-highs, lolita dress, corset, big breasts. Ah, I remember a time where I was big on gothic lolita. Now my heart belongs to steampunk, but gothic lolita will always ignite a small flame of nostalgia deep inside.
As with Panty, Alter did an amazing job on Stocking's skirt. It reminds me of a frilly souffle. I especially love the way her hand makes an indent. Unlike Panty's, Stocking's skirt is fully attached, with zero wriggle room.
Stocking wears underwear that matches her eyes! Strangely enough, she also appears to have a statistically significant buldge. Given the—oddness (and that's putting it lightly) of this show, I wouldn't be surprised if she turned out to be the trappiest of all traps.
Ignoring her questionable anatomy, take a gander at the way her panties bunch up around her glutteal cleft. Nice of Alter to give us some detail where the sun don't usually shine. Thanks, Alter!
Of course, as with all Alter figures, Stocking is not without detail. Unfortunately, not all the details are as crisp as I want them to be. The ruffles on her skirt are wonderful, and the cleanness of her nails and bracelets are well received. However, there is some paint bleed on her corset, and the area where her torso meets her skirt isn't completely clean. Makes it kind of obvious how she was assembled. Sort of looks like she was sliced through the waist and hastily stuck back together. Yipes.
Strangely enough, it's the small things that get me sometimes. As much as I love Stocking's giant hair and cutesy outfit, my favourite part of Stocking is actually her droopy socks. Droopy socks are adorable. Uncomfortable, but adorable.
I love Stocking's hair. Undertones all the way. Before I even watched the series, her unique hair caught my attention right away. It apparently resembles the hair of a certain Pony. Not that I watch My Little Pony or anything, ahem.
But after seeing the incredible detail in Panty's hair, it's a bit disappointing to see Stocking's hair resemble one big gumball. It's so plain and reflective it might as well be Lego. Her bow doesn't look like a bow at all. It looks like a piece of candy. I would have loved to see a few scrunches here and there. Maybe some pull lines around her bow. You know, something to show that it's hair rather than gum. It gets more interesting the lower we go, but not exactly better. By the time we reach the bottom, it's less gumball than laffy taffy. Seriously, staring at her hair makes me want to grab my piggy bank and run down to the nearest penny store for some good, old fashioned sweets (oh god, I just sounded really old, didn't I?).
The blandness of her hair could have been forgiveable had it actually been done to the high Alter standards I've come to expect. I'm a forgiving soul. I'll let some things slide, sometimes, especially if I understand it's a one-time thing. But besides being simple, the paintjob on Stocking's hair is also sloppy. Close inspection reveals paintbleed abound, especially where blue meets pink. It's like they used the wrong sized brush. The texture of her hair isn't the smoothest either. You can feel the grains. My Stocking even has a few scuffs.
But hey, no seam line across the bangs! That's always a plus!
|It's difficult finding small brushes, huh?|
The lack of strip poles is a big disappointment in both figures. Fortunately, this can be remedied with the common, metal (chop)stick.
Ok, so maybe I'm being a little hard on Stocking. After years of collecting, I've seen way worse. Even doing subpar work, Alter manages to beat out contestants like Kotobukiya and Ques Q. It would be a lie to say I'm completely neutral when it comes to reviews. I'm disproportionately harsher with more expensive products, and less forgiving of well-established companies (Alter included). Some seam lines are ok if the figure is mad complex to begin with. Likewise, simplistic figures better be
Anyhow, I digress. Back to beautiful, busty Stocking. Her bow looks a bit like cat ears, huh?
The Anarchy sisters together! Side-by-side, the difference in their skin tones becomes obvious. Panty is warm where Stocking is cold. At first glance it seems Stocking has less shading than Panty, but I think it's just a matter of tone. I want to say something cliche, like "Oh look, they're like the sun and moon!" but decided not to, except that I just totally did (damnit).
Ever wonder how glorious these figures would be if they didn't dink around with cute cartoon wings and gave them full-scaled angel wings? Yeah, so did I.
Oh my, now I'm feeling a hankering for angel wings. Let's try another one! (Forgive the terrible lighting. Photos taken on whim are mostly crap, with some exceptions. This one is, unfortunately, not an exception).
|No, I didn't butcher Gwendolyn. It's the magic of PS!|
AmiAmi, if anyone's interested. Apparently her widely known bang bleed problem turned most people off this beauty. Would I pass on her given her flaws? Not at a bargain price, no.
Still on the fence? Visit Wiselhead for some kick-ass photos. That ought to convince ya.
Box: 7/10 (I quite like this one)
Base: 5/10 (talk about Plain Jane)
Pose: 7.5/10 (Cute and girly)
Sculpt: 8/10 (Slightly too-long face, some roughness in hair)
Paint: 7/10 (Sloppy hair, some roughness)
Overall: 7.5/10 (She has presence, but isn't Alter quality)
Price: 8800 yen
Purchased from: AmiAmi