Like seemingly everyone else in the world of anime fandom I am currently engrossed in the saga of Code Geass, and while I tend to favor Viletta and Cornelia over Karen (I’m not calling her “Kallen”, damn it) in design terms, when this figure came out I knew I had to get a hold of it. For science. How does the first entry in what is sure to be a long series of Geass figures stack up? And more importantly, is the Resistance so cash-strapped that it can’t afford underwear for its members? Read on…
Original Design: Clamp / Kimura Takahiro
Source: Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion
Materials: PVC (body) ABS (base)
Release Date: March 23rd, 2007
Price: 3,885 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: Hobby Link Japan (backordered)
I had read about this figure back when it was announced last fall, but that was before I’d started watching Geass, and while this “Karen” girl looked attractive enough I wasn’t in a position to reserve her in the short period that shops were taking preorders. While watching the show I realized I’d made a terrible mistake. As both a nice-looking figure and one laden with symbolism as the first Geass offering on the market Karen suddenly became a much hotter commodity. Following her release (in very small numbers, according to Akiba Blog), last week I took the plunge and snagged her on Yahoo Auctions.
- The sculpt is a surprisingly dynamic pose for a first release based on new IP. Speed to market was obviously the emphasis here, but not too many corners were cut in the process.
- The sculpt is faithful to Karen’s original design, even de-Clampifying her a bit and padding her in areas that add to the whole balance quite nicely. Forget for the moment that she seems to be missing a ribcage – where are her panties?
- It may just be the kneeling position, slim limbs and elongated torso that come with Clamp’s designs, but she seems a bit small for a 1/8 scale figure. Prior to getting her in tonight I thought she’d be bigger, and though the pictures don’t show it very well this is a modest-sized kit. I can’t complain about the price point, but the concept would be better served by a slight size upgrade.
- The coloration is serviceable, looking fine from a distance of a foot (30cm) or more. The dark blue trim is the usual suspect when it comes to sloppy/uneven detail work. The skin is nicely toned, though the casting blemish on the upper right leg detracts from overall appeal.
- The sculptor isn’t credited anywhere – not on the box, not on the official site, not on online shops. One of the things that distinguishes figures from other toys in my mind is their pedigree; not crediting the sculptor is doing a disservice both to fans who care about this sort of thing and to the creative mind behind the kit.
- I don’t have the photography situation stabilized in my new place yet, and this review suffers for it. I’m working on the best way to get things set up for future reviews, and they should return to a more polished and consistent (and better color-balanced) look within the next few installments.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
A generally satisfactory first effort in a line of kits that will assuredly be both long and wallet-leeching. As Megahouse is a subdivision of Bandai (who produce Geass) we can no doubt expect some superb entries into their Excellent Model lineup in the coming months, but until that time I’ll be happy to have Karen and her scantily-clad posterior to keep me company. :3