Astro Toy With Rob Bricken: Evangelion Aerocat EXby Rob Bricken, Jan 25th 2009
REI AND ASUKA
Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Toyline: Evangelion Aerocat EX
Cost: ~$20 each
Greetings, folks! Welcome to the long awaited return of “Astro Toy!” I'm sorry for the long delay, but as it turns out, I can't write my column if certain online stores DON'T SHIP ME THE TOYS I ORDERED. Suffice to say, I ordered from a certain site, and they kept my order for an extra three weeks after all the items had arrived in stock before shipping them to me. I have no idea why. I shan't name the store, because they've generally been good to me, and I'm giving them another chance.
On the plus side, for all eight of you regular readers, I'm proud to announce that “Astro Toy” is going weekly! Yes, every Sunday, you'll be able to read my adventures as I check the very few decent Japanese toys and statues and gashapon I can afford, talk happily about them, and many more articles where I bitch and moan, because there's always a much larger pile of terrible and shameful products which somehow always seems to fall within my price point.
I'm including these Evangelion Aerocat figures in the latter category. I'd also like to announce them as the most hideous, awful toys I've yet reviewed for “Astro Toy.” Now, I've seen a lot of goofy-ass Evangelion figures in my time, all of Rei and Asuka, natch. I've seen Ninja Rei and Asuka, Military Rei and Asuka, Maid Rei and Asuka, and so on. And I've seen countless perverted Evangelion figures of Rei and Asuka in various states of undress, all officially licensed by Gainax. I figure at least 15% of the Japanese toy market is made up of incredibly stupid and/or perverse Evangelion figures.
And yet, I have determined these two Aerocat figures are the still the worst Eva figures I have ever seen. Now, they're really figurines, since they don't move at all. And given the hooks on the back of the package—and the fact they're made by Sega—means that they're also almost certainly UFO Catcher prizes, and thus probably not as quality as regular figures. I was prepared for that. I was not prepared for the shame.
Because there is so, so much shame in the figures. Now, I'm dead certain there have been Evangelion cat girl figures before—probably several. But none of them could be as heinous as these. For my sanity's sake if nothing else, let's go through the regular problems first.
They look nothing like Rei and Asuka. That's some seriously generic anime face there. Now, I'm not some purist that demands that everything look like Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's original character designs—I own and enjoy those Eva Pinkys from a few years ago—but given how wildly these figures deviate from anything recognizably Evangelion, it would be nice if at least the faces matched the characters. Asuka's no better:
Yes, while it's slightly amusing that Asuka has a taiyaki in her mouth (cats like fish! And she's a catgirl! BWA HA HA HA) I still don't know how many people would guess these are Rei and Asuka if they didn't see the outfits first, although since the outfits cover less than 30% of their bodies, that also takes a minute. It might be tough to tell from the pics above, but these figures are wearing barely anything at all, and this is not particularly sexy.
Let me explain. Look, I understand the culture of cute, and I understand the culture of sexy. Those military and ninja and chef figures of Rei and Asuka I mentioned previously? They were all cute or sexy, and I was more or less down with that. Certainly I've bought some gashapon of anime gals in swimsuits in my time in Japan, although I was usually drunk when I did so. Now generally, the cat girl falls squarely on the cute side of things, which is why they tend to have big cats ears and wear bells and have only four fingers on their hands.
But when you have things that are supposed to be cute wear so little, things don't get sexy, they get weird. See, while both Rei and Asuka's upper chestical region is properly covered, their lower halves are not so lucky. Don't believe me? Let me submit the first item of evidence:
Yeah. First of all, recognize that Rei is not wearing a thong, but it's just a device to attach her cat-tail designed to look like a thong. A thong would actually cover up her ass. You might not be able to tell from this pic, but the strip that actually does swaddle her ass ends immediately where you see it, meaning it essentially covers her sphincter and nothing else. (Also, I have no idea what is up with the ass-shields, but I don't think I approve.) She is wearing panties, thank god, but that presents its own problems, as we can see more clearly on Asuka.
Asuka is, in the words of that bon vivant Crow T. Robot, “presenting like a mandrill.” I suppose the general arched back and ass raised is an authentic cat position, but again, when a human is put in that position while wearing ludicrously small underwear, you've lost all sense of cat-ness, and replaced it entirely with horrible-slut-ness. More distressingly, if you look closely, you can tell that Asuka has had cameltoe sculpted in, and I'd like to @#$%ing kill everyone involved in making this figure. (Incidentally, Asuka has the same ass-shield, but half of hers broke off in shipping.) I assure you, Rei has the same unfortunate detail.
Overall, the problem is this—the figures are too cute to be sexy, and too sexy to be cute, so they just end up really disturbing. If the figures had been made with more realistic faces and the appropriate number of digits on each hand, they probably would have been all right. Or if they had not dressed like psychopathic sluts from a college production of Logan's Run, they probably would have been adorable. As is, the cute/sexy combo is just disturbing, which is one of the (many, many ) reasons lolita-stuff is so horrible and awful.
It's made worse by the fact that this is totally on purpose. Obviously, the cameltoes were put there by some sculptor intentionally, loathsome at it might be. And it took me until I opened the figures’ packages and saw them from all angles, but I'm 100% convinced Rei and Asuka have been sculpted in two of the three basic sexual positions. Yes, Rei is vaguely posed like a beckoning-cat, but much more so like she's on top. As mentioned earlier, Asuka is mainly just plain sticking her ass out in the air. One assumes a Missionary Misato was planned for the line and canceled at the last minute. Oh, and just in case you missed any of these subtle clues, Rei comes with a pet dish, containing a small amount of milky liquid.
I hate these things infinitely. There is no justification I can determine for ever owning them. Listen: If you want a slutty Rei or Asuka figure, buy one of the many, many figures them naked. Do not spend your money on this crap. Man up, and just go for what you really want, because that's less horrible than this. Frankly, you'd do better to get some of the mountains of hentai Evangelion doujinshi out there where Rei and Asuka have horrible tawdy sex with other Eva characters—or some of the hentai PC games, made by Gainax—instead of buying the naked figures, because then they're actually doing something, and you have the ability to hide the doujinshi under your bed when people come over. All buying these Aerocat figures do is proclaim you to be a pervert without even the dignity to just buy porn.
Meanwhile, these things go where they belong.
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