Astro Toy with Rob Bricken: Meiya Mitsurugi Figmaby Rob Bricken, Oct 18th 2009
Series: Muv-Luv Alternative
By: Max Factory
Hello, folks! I thought it was time to check back in with or plastic friends in the Figma line. As any regular Astro Toy reader knows, the Figma and the Revoltech lines are two of the most prolific (and reasonably priced) anime toylines around, so I think it's worthwhile to keep a periodic lookout on both of ‘em. And what better time to do that with a Figma figure from the hit Muv Luv series?
Yes, the Muv Luv series, an epic adventure of sci-fi and muvs and— oh, I can't even pretend I know what the hell this series is about. I've read the Wikipedia page for this PC adventure game series, and I just get more confused each time. Heck, I can't even tell if Muv Luv is eroge or not (the answer, as best as I can tell, is “sometimes”). All I know is that Meiya here is from Muv Luv Alternative, one of the many alternate retelling of the original Muv Luv epic, and that's only because it's printed on the packaging.
I also know Muv Luv sounds incredibly dirty. Just sayin’.
So the figure? Pretty nice. I was originally attracted to it as one of the few female characters that entirely clothed — and whose form-fitting combat suit has no skirts, tiny little ties, or designs that call attention to the breasts and nipples. Frankly, Meiya is wearing what Motoko from Ghost in the Shell should be wearing, had lingerie not become the official uniform for female operatives of the Public Safety Commission in 2018. Sure, the massive scrunchie holding her hair back is exceedingly goofy, but that's about it, and I dig it.
Figma is still the perfect line for those who want a good mix of accurate sculpting and considerable articulation, but aren't going to freak out if neither is perfect. Meiya has the standard ball-jointed neck, shoulders and hips, a very subtle double-hinge on the elbows and knees — which gives more movement range than a simple hinge would, but is constructed so that it stops before the joint would be exposed — and finally, simple hinges for wrists and ankles. The boots and gloves Meiya wears only allows her hands and feet to move forwards, which isn't great. But it does allow her to make a pretty good zombie pose.
As usual for Figma, there are no joints in the stomach, and the one point of articulation is designed under the chest (yes, and boobs), offering a touch of movement forward, backward, and to the sides, but very little. It's that attempt to have accurate design and as much articulation as possible that I mentioned before, and that I like so much about the Figma series. Want another example? Let's look at her butt.
See? Max Factory wanted to make sure Meiya's butt was not marred by any unseemly articulation. So they sculpted the butt first, blocking a lot of her thigh movement, but then tried to pack as much articulation in her hips as they could. But the butt came first.
Between her outfit and her ridiculous, Yu-Gi-Oh!-esque haircut, you can't see much of Meiya's face. She does have an alternate face — one with an open mouth, seen above (the closed mouth version is in all the other shots).
Which brings us to the rest of the hair, and, just as importantly, her massive, massive scrunchie. Now the hair has its own point of articulation — although it's below the strange 90-degree turn that her hair makes, leaving a sharp corner, even if her ponytail is theoretically flying in the breeze, which I think is exceedingly odd. Still, it's better than the scrunchie, which has no articulation whatsoever (it rotates, however, which I doubt is intended as a bonus). If you want those long straps to flow gracefully behind her, well... too bad. The only way to get them to angle away from her body is to tilt her head down.
The other problem with her hair is that it interferes with the Figma stand, an absolutely vital accessory if you want Meiya to do any cool poses (she stands on her own perfectly fine, but like her ponytail holder, it's gotta be straight or not at all). It's not the most aggravating thing ever, but if you want Meiya's feet to be on the ground while on the stand, the support bar has to be angled like in the picture above, and the ponytail can't get any closer than that.
It's hardly a dealbreaker, especially when among Meiya's accessories — which include six alternate hands and that second face — include a sword and sheath, and the sword can actually fit in the sheath! I love that, and so many toy companies cheat by using a removable hilt that comes off the blade and attached to the sheath. The only annoying bit — and I'm assuming this is how it is in Muv Luv alternative — her sheath doesn't attach anywhere on her; she just has to carry it around. Although I guess that does allow her more access to her sword, which can be useful.
Overall: It's an excellent figure, and unless you live only for massive articulation or seamless accuracy to the origin character design, it's an exceedingly well-done marriage of both. I may not luv it, but I do muv the hell out of it.
Looking to pick up one for yourself? Here's some links!Rob Bricken's bitter, needlessly mean-spirited thoughts on toys and many non-anime subjects over at ToplessRobot.com (which is safe for work).
discuss this in the forum (9 posts) |