Friday 16 September 2011

1/8 Senjougahara Hitagi (GSC)

Hey there, beautiful audience. Your humble servant is here to serve you another delicious dish of figure goodness!

Who are we sampling today? Can you guess? Are you excited? Good then. Let me plug a great little series called Bakemonogatari.

Now, I can't in fair conscience say Bakemonogatari is my favourite show of all time, but in terms of entertainment factor, I was highly impressed. The premise is simple: former vampire Koyomi Araragi meets and helps five girls break away from various 'apparitions'. Nothing special, right?

Right—until you begin to watch.

Then the uniqueness of this show hits you with the gusto of a hungry monster truck. The show appealed monstrously to my inner academic. It's incredibly self-aware, brimming with delicious meta-analysis, postmodern, and pastiche. This was one show where nothing ran in a straight line, and every line could be interpreted from three directions. Given the lack of action (what little there was was animated spectacularly), I was surprised to find myself so enamored. The colours, the jumping styles, the punning, the conversations, everything was just so weird. Naturally, I had to keep watching.

Bakemonogatari is one of the few animes with truly great dialogue, most of which, are spoken by this character:

That's right, the eloquent, elegant, sharp-witted, sharp-tongued, hyper-sexual Senjougahara, perhaps one of the most interesting and surreal characters to grace the anime world. Senjougahara fascination? I'm all for it. There's nothing about her that's not fascinating.

When Good Smile Company first announced their Senjougahara figure, I was immediately hooked, but her retail price (+9000 yen) had me scrambling for cover. No amount of fascination could bring me to spend so irresponsibly.

Then HobbySearch dropped her in the bargain bin.

So here we are.

Our lovely lady's box is rather aesthetically appealing with its purple-white-black colour scheme. The windows are large, and I must admit, a little flimsy, but never fear, it does its job.

Here is the standard, 360 degree view. Look at that expanse of beautiful purple hair.

Senjougahara flirtaitously lifts her skirt to show off her delicious upper-thigh (just look at that knowing little smirk). How much higher will that skirt go? Only Senjougahara knows. Would you dare approach? The cascade of stationary weaponry might convince you otherwise. Careful. She'll staple you good.

What first snagged my attention about Senjougahara was the sheer amount of (excuse me) crap falling from her skirt. Just where does a girl keep this horde? I don't buy the excuse that she simply finds good places to hide them. I'm of the opinion she's smuggling an interdimensional vortex in there.

Despite how she carries her weaponry, GSC did a glorious job on the base. The stationary is connected in discreet ways and held by two transparent pegs. Several objects are attached directly to her skirt. All together, the illusion of falling stationary is truly exceptional. Designed as such, the base does requires some assembly (and a detailed instruction guide to boot) and the pieces are incredibly fragile. I spent a good half hour rotating and jamming parts together, all the while terrified they would snap on me.

Not to be left out, the individual pieces are also detailed. The tiny rulers have tiny measurements, the puny exacto knives are painted with a metallic sheen, and the wee staplers are decorated with wee realism (the scissors and exacto knife in the second photo are free-range ornaments. You can position them to your will).

Despite its good bits, this figure does have some hefty criticism levied against it.

There has been ample grievance in respects to Senjougahara's face, and I can see the validity in every complaint. From certain angles her face is --- odd, to say the least, if not downright unappealing. From the back, her saucy smirk and half-lidded eye work well with her teasing pose, but straight on, her expression becomes rather off-putting.

Not bad.
I'm not a face specialist, but even I know something's wrong. As highly as I respect GSC, they dropped the ball on her face (maybe literally), and I am not pleased.

It's all about angles, really
One more mark against Senjougahara is her stance. Rest assured, I love the unique pose, but it does restrict her angle compatability. Her appeal lies in her backwards glance. Other angles are rendered moot. Being as such, the details put into her front are easily obstructed, and boy, is she detailed.

Just look at the care they've put into the wrinkles on her shirt! Look at how it clings so lovingly to her body. I could have sworn she was wearing a wet shirt (mmm, wet shirt). The shading on this figure is absolutely phenomenal, and those pens sticking from her pocket are just darling. The way they make the pocket bulge is a detail I adore. While you're at it, take a look at her nails too. Must be tough painting and glossing a fingernail on a figure that's scaled back eight-fold.

Her skirt is sculpted with utmost care. Just look at how it realistically it folds (and how it tucks snuggly under her bottom).

What if you're not a fan of stationary?  Never fear, GSC to the rescue!

Senjougahara also comes with a secondary skrit (that's right, folks, she's cast-offable from the waist down). Strangely enough, her skirt is also attached to her hands. To switch skirts, you have to remove her hands. Is this creepy? Just a little. Not too different from pulling her apart at the waist to exchange skirts...but still.

"Streamlined" Senjougahara comes equiped with two fearsome staples. Clip clip.

She looks top-heavy without her stationary. Or perhaps I'm just biased. "Streamlined" Senjougahara certanily doesn't have the same appeal, and her slightly-too-long forearms seem especially disporportionate without the flared skirt to distract me. The two empty peg-holes are also rather offputting. That being said, it's not all negative. "Streamlined" Senjougahara does allow an excellent view of her well-defined legs. Just gaze at the sculpt and shade of her knees!

Oh, and just in case you're wondering (because I know many of you are).

Senjougahara wears pale blue stationary panties with just the slightest ruffle. Cute? Oddly, yes. Fitting? Indubitably! 

Does this Senjougahara have its flaws? Sure it does. Is she still an excellent figure? Of course she is. Because I snagged her on sale, I can't say if she would be worth 9000 + yen, but at the price I paid, she's a definite bang for my buck (that sounds dirty, but I swear, it wasn't meant to be). How does she compare to the Senjougahara's of other companies? Well, Alter's version may give her a run for her money, but I can say with definity that she trumps Kotobukiya's quality wise (review pending). I certainly enjoy her immensely, and she would be an excellent addition to any Bakemonogatari fan's collection. Jenn gives you her word.

The Run-Down
Packaging: 6/10 (Not bad, rather attractive colours)
Base: 8/10 (I love it)
Pose: 8/10 (Very unique, but lack angle compatability)
Sculpt: 10/10 (Beautiful)
Paint: 9/10 (With the exception of her face, I'm very fond of the paintjob)
Overall: 8.5/10 (Lovely)

Company: Good Smile Company
Price: 9334 yen
Purchased from: HobbySearch


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