When a trio of Sekirei figures were announced at Wonder Festival Summer 2006, despite the good-looking prototypes available at the event I wasn’t particularly interested. That all changed when I picked up the manga that was their source, and realized that Gokurakuin Sakurako‘s delightful little bundle of fanservice and moe was more than I had given it credit for. Does Movic’s PVC rendition of Musubi do her manga counterpart justice? I’d answer that with a resounding YES, but don’t take my word for it – read on!
Original Design: Gokurakuin Sakurako (Sakura Ashika)
Sculptor: zenko (Iousen)
Source: Sekirei (manga)
Scale: 1/7 (23 cm tall)
Release Date: mid-February, 2007
Price: 6,090 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: Hobby Link Japan (discontinued)
Musubi is the main heroine of Gokurakuin Sakurako’s Sekirei manga, the story of a tournament organized by a megalomaniac Japanese business tycoon between genetically engineered magical girls (“Sekirei”) and their male human counterparts (“Ashikabi”) to whom they are bonded. The story centers around protagonist Minato, a typical Japanese pre-college rounin who becomes involved in the tournament when Musubi chooses him as her Ashikabi at the beginning of the first manga volume. I’m planning a more thorough review of the first three volumes soon so I’ll leave a more thorough description for then, but imagining a moe harem version of Ikkitousen with a few random shoujo / boys love elements thrown in (the author is more widely known for her work on the Category: Freaks manga, after all) wouldn’t be too far off.
- Lively, energetic, inexperienced and rather simpleminded, Musubi could be described as the Massugu Go! personality type. While the pose could better reflect this, the fidelity to her original design, especially the face, helps her character shine through in this sculpt.
- This is one of the nicest torsos, both back and front, that I’ve seen on a figure in awhile. the attention to detail of her Sekirei tattoo and the great shading on the bust make this a no-brainer for those interested in liberating her from her kimono. :3
- As mentioned above, the pose isn’t perfect. It does the job, but Musubi in her manga incarnation wouldn’t be so coy as to make a nyan~ cat gesture like that; her specialty is hand to hand fighting (punching the heck out of things, specifically) so she’s much more likely have her fists raised or tucked by her sides in a determined gesture. Still, it’s hard to find fault in that innocent yet provocative forward lean…
- It seems that the bulk of the sculptor’s attention settled on her bust with relatively little left over for the hips; the shape is fine, but those panties aren’t. It’s understandable that Musubi would go with simple white, but from certain angles they look like a thick, solid brick of panty.
- The removal of PVC clothing seldom goes without a hitch, and Musubi’s kimono is no exception. While a relatively easy “cast off” job compared to many other figures, scuffs and abrasions still result when sliding the top off around her hair and neck. Quite vexing, but given laws of physics and engineering it’s an inevitable result that doesn’t affect the figure’s final score.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
A high fidelity kit with great attention to detail and an attractive coloring job, the average pose and awkward presentation of the underwear (that thing is a scant two steps away from a diaper, I swear) lower this from a perfect 10. A bit more attention could have been paid to the boots as well, but who’s looking? I just wish someone would come up with a PVC coating that would avoid those scuff marks in the casting-off process…
A final note: two other PVC figures were recently released in this series, Kusano and Miya. If this were a perfect world both would be in my possession; sadly they are not, and probably won’t be for awhile (unless I can find them somewhere for really cheap). Prioritizing figure purchases is cruel and unusual self-inflicted torture, indeed.