Astro Toy with Rob Bricken: Revoltech Haruhi Suzumiyaby Rob Bricken, May 17th 2009
Confession time (yet again): I'm a sucker for anime girls in bunny suits. It's really Daicon IV’s fault; it was one of the first anime videos I ever saw and rocked my world (still does). And while I don't approve of statues of nekkid anime ladies in various states of distress — or figures with soft, squishable plastic breasts — or mouse pads with breasts or pillows cover with mostly nude anime girls on them — I enjoy the bunny girls. I'm only human.
Confession #2: I wasn't particularly excited to review another Revoltech figure, or a Fraulein Revoltech figure, having just reviewed Gurren Lagann's Yoko back in February. I figured you'd guys would be tired of ‘em too. But alas, the Revoltech line is still dominant when it comes to anime action figures with a selection of characters second to none. Plus, they're cheap, and fit in my toy reviewing budget (and your toy buying budgets, I'm guessing). So to make a long story short, I picked out the new figure of Haruhi in a bunny suit.
I'm glad I did, because this thing is different enough from the Yoko figure I reviewed back in February that it merits its own article, and points out some interesting things about the Fraulein Revoltech line — namely that other than a few of the trademark Revoltech ball joints, there are no parts reused in figures. Look closely at the image above, and you can tell that Haruhi's legs are far slimmer than Yoko's, while her head is significantly bigger. The torsos are completely different (more on that in a minute), and even Haruhi's arms are slightly shorter than Yoko's, for god knows what cost when they could have just reused old molds.
Basically, Haruhi is an all-over upgrade of Yoko: Let me start from the bottom. While Haruhi's ankle joints are the same (a tiny, Revoltech standard ball-joint), her upper thighs have two part, which allows the lower leg to twist. It might look a little ungainly when Haruhi is standing, but when she's sitting down as per the above pic, it's just about perfect.
Haruhi has the same upper thigh and ass joints as Yoko, meaning that when her legs are perpendicular to her body, there is an unsightly gap created. Happily, the fleshy knobs that Kaiyodo so oddly left flesh-colored on Yoko are the same color as Haruhi's pantyhose. The real upgrade is in Haruhi's torso. While Yoko had two pieces — a top half and a bottom half, hidden at her bikini top strap — Haruhi has three separate pieces, articulated at her waist and bust for a much greater range of movement. Now, it's not perfect, because it's much better at letting her arch backward instead of leaning forward, and can actually look more weird than good if bent too far. But interestingly, the front of Haruhi's stomach is still One Piece by itself, so that you can't see any unseemly joints from the front. Overall, I think it's very well done.
Now for her top half, Haruhi has the same great shoulder joints as Yoko which allow her to push her shoulders forward coquettishly; I can't tell quite why, but they have a slightly better range of movement compared to Yoko's (I think it's due to Haruhi's overall smaller arms). Obviously, the cunningly created elbow and wrist joints offer a wide range of positioning, allowing Haruhi to rock the heck out as needed.
Haruhi's noggin is her biggest problem, which is why I've saved it for last. Basically, her head is huge. I don't mean this as a slight; check out the character designs, and it's obvious the Fraulein is perfectly in scale in terms of cranium to torso ratios. But Haruhi can barely do more than twist her head, and this also means that the Haruhi's toy's head weighs pretty much the same as the entire rest of the figure. This is not at all helped by the fact that Haruhi is almost half the size of Yoko everywhere else (see the comparison above). You'd have a better chance of getting a feather to stand upright than Haruhi. You will have to use the included figure stand or have her sit like in the pic up top.
The other accessories include the guitar (above), an SOS-Dan recruitment sign (below), three faces: happy, looking left and mad, and 12 different hands in pretty much every way you'd need, including one holding a guitar pick and one in the Hare Hare Yukai pointing position. It's a little absurd, actually.
So overall, I'll say Haruhi is a marked improvement over the Yoko figure I reviewed back in February, and I liked that figure a lot. Now, I know when you get into the realm of sexy figures — and I'm not going to try and deny that bunny girl Haruhi isn't on the fringe of that — you by necessity get into the argument of form vs. function. Most people in Japan prefer the form, in that they prefer posed statues and figures with no unsightly joints. But if there's a decent action figure available, I'll take function every time. I love that I can have Haruhi change her expression, sit down, or rock the hell out (plus, I can give her a gun and let her terrorize my other toys). You have to make your own call, of course, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to be disappointed with the Haruhi Fraulein Revoltechs, and I bet that includes the also available Witch Yuki and Maid Mikuru figures. Frankly, she totally doesn't deserve a Krauser attack, but since he's been sitting on the sidelines the past few weeks, his horrible rampage could no longer be denied.
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