Wednesday 14 September 2011

1/8 Asuka Langley Shikinami Test Suit ver. (Alter)

Ah, Evangelion, the series that keeps on giving—and giving and giving.

There are dozens of Asuka figures out there. What drew me to this one? One word: Alter. Seriously, is there anything this company does that's not amazing?

It's been ages since I watched Evangelion, and all I really remember from it are a multitude of seriously fucked up characters, classical music, blatant
religious symbolism, and an incredibly ambiguous ending. Oh, and Asuka getting

speared through the head.

Despite her brattiness and messed up psyche, Asuka's remains my favourite Eva pilot. She's tragic and twisted and contrary, but understadably so. Of all the children, I sympathize with her the most. Oh, and she adds humour to the show, and humour, ladies and gentlemen, is a highway straight to Jenn's heart.

Asuka's box has a futuristic feel. It's made mostly of clear plastic that does have a tendency to bend, but aesthetically speaking, I like it. The box offers a full view of Asuka inside.

Since the new Evangelion movies, Asuka has acquired a new, highly contentious test suit. The general consensus seems to be that it's tacky, badly coloured, and nowhere as streamlined as her old suit. Then again, there were no test suits in the original series, and if I remember correctly, they did all their testing nude.

I'm going to go against the grain here, and say I think it looks good. I like that they'd broken up all the red with a refreshing douse of orange. In some ways, it complements her hair. The original plug suits were nice but—orange boob pads, seriously?

Asuka sits on a pile of floating wreckage, supported by a single, industrial beam. Does she wobble or tilt? Wobble, sure, but Asuka's balance is so well calibrated that I've had no problem with tilting so far. Kudos to Alter on that one. Her base is a transparent orange circle.

Unfortunately, Asuka is tightly attached to her twisted throne of steel and stone, so it might be awkward trying to shoot any horizontal poses.


 As per Alter, it's all about the details. Asuka's latex-like body paint—I mean suit—might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but just take a gander at those beautiful wrinkles! I've never seen such detail worked into an Asuka figure, but trust Alter to amp up the quality.

And while you're at it, take a good look at the curvature of her body, that delicious arch of her back. Alter, hats off to you, you truly are a great among greats when it comes to sculpt.

After all that praise, I'm going to backpedal and voice one small complaint. The mid-section of Asuka's suit isn't as transparent as I would like it to be. Granted, many companies seem to have trouble conveying the see-through quality of her suit, but Alter did not do as good of a job as, say, Wave, of getting it across.

Asuka gazes to the horizon, hair touseled in the wind. What does she see to provoke such a genteel expression? Damned if I know.

Take a look at those opulent ginger locks. It's is full-bodied and thick, and so luscious. Most figures sport elegant hair that breaks into equally elegant lines, but Asuka's hair conveys a certain realitistic quality that makes it stand out among others. It clumps where it should clump, and splits where it should split. The pull-lines leading to her twin tails are a very nice touch. She's got serious "whoosh" going on.

 Alter's Asuka is sculpted by Toshiyuki Yagyu, who seems to have a knack for hiding seamlines. One of my main complaints with figures is the horrible chasm running between their bangs and head. Much to my delight, no such line plagues Asuka's hair. You have my eternal gratitude, Mr. Toshiyuki Yagyu, for proving hair can be successfully sculpted without unsightly seams.

Asuka's skin is shaded minimally, but I don't mind. It helps the contrast between her face, hair and eyes (redheads are generally pale by nature, are they not?).

Look ma, No lines!
Asuka's expression is uto menfamiliar. Has she ever seemed so at peace in the series? If so, I missed it. Most of Asuka's smiles can be classified as smirks, sneers and grins. Even her smile in the newest movie seemed blemished with something akin to loneliness and regret.

Does this expression suit her? Not completely. It might be nice to see her looking so serene, but there's a certain blankness to her eyes that makes her seem, well, vacant. It's rare for a company to get Asuka's expression dead-on. They tend to make her too happy, too coy, or too derpy (yes, derpy). Granted, she doesn't always make the most appealing expressions, but I wouldn't mind seeing a toothy snarl on that face of hers. The best representations of "Asuka" I've seen so far in terms of expression are Wave's apron Asuka and Max Factory's upcoming test suit figure.

Asuka, Zen Mode activated!
One minor complaint I have about Asuka's face (besides her expression), is that its proportions seem—off. Sure, they've copied Eva's style by adopting the wider faces and thinner eyes, but Asuka's face does seem just a little strange from certain angles. It could be the nose. It seems to protrude just a bit too far out. Her cheekbones, in contrast, don't seem to protrude enough. Or maybe it's her slightly-too-large ears...

Then again, I could be imagining things. She seems to appear fine in most photographs.

A little TOO wide? Or just my imagination?
The paint job on Asuka is gorgeous. For a figure with so many thin, straight lines, I'm surprised there are no slip ups.

Actually, I lied.

I'm not surprised at all. For a moment I forgot which company we're talking about. It's Al-muthafuckin'-ter for heaven's sake! Of course the paint job's going to be spectacular. Her suit is pearlescent and shiny. The shading is especially nice on her legs.

You can see the cleats on her shoes too.

And of course...


Wow. Just wow. Don't you just want to reach out and shine those pearly tomatos? Asuka is certainly a precocious teenager.

What can I say? I adore this Asuka. Her bright colouration and sensual pose (seriously, this girl is nothing but curves) really catch the eye. Even placed among a dozen other figures, Asuka demands attention. You can't go wrong with Alter, after all.

If you missed her, you're in luck! It looks like this figure is rearing for a re-release sometime in December. Would I recommend this figure? Absolutely. She looks even better in person than she does on camera, and boy, does she look good on camera (even with a crap-shack like mine she manages to be amazing). A definite must-have for Asuka fans.

The Run-Down
Packaging: 7/10 (I rather like the all-plastic look)
Base: 6/10 (Matches well, and elevated)
Pose: 10/10 (Oh so beautiful)
Sculpt: 9.5/10 (The face is off just a bit)
Paint: 10/10 (No flaws whatsoever)
Overall: 9.5/10 (Awesomeness embodied)

Company: Alter
Price: 7800 yen
Purchased from: Amiami


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