As a diehard fan of Uno Makoto’s designs and his recent work on Witchblade in particular I’ve been trying to snap up related figures whenever possible, and with Alter’s reputation for quality their take on heroine Masane’s ultimate Witchblade transformation was too tempting to pass up. How does she rate next to Kotobukiya’s version of the same subject? Not too shabbily at all…

Original Design: Uno Makoto
Sculptor: Tanaka Touji
Source: Witchblade (anime)
Scale: 1/8 (25 cm tall)
Materials: PVC, ABS
Release Date: August 30th, 2007
Production: Alter
Price: 6,800 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: [KNC] [HLJ] [HS] [TL] [AAA]
Support HD!: [PA]


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Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Amaha Masane (Witchblade powered up ver.) PVC from Witchblade

Masane is the heroine of 2006’s Witchblade anime, an original Gonzo production based on the Top Cow American comic franchise by the same name. Her appeal as a subject for figures is due in large part to her sensuous Uno Makoto designs, fidelity to which is likely to be the deciding factor in their appraisal.

This figure is based on Masane’s powered-up Witchblade incarnation that appears toward the end of the series. Original design below:

Witchblade TV anime powered up version original design from Uno Makoto

Alter has done a whole lot right with this figure, starting with the sculpt. While it’s not the most dynamic option for a Witchblade figure, it’s a pose one can easily imagine for the victorious Masane after slicing several enemies to ribbons and moving on to deal with more. Beyond the basic pose the devil is in the details, and this is a very becoming devil indeed. Witchblade has “blade” in her name for a reason, and the hallmark slashing protrusions are rendered here with exquisite detail from the talons on her fingers to the plate-like spikes on her shoulders and the double-bladed scythe emerging from her forearm. The “organic weapon” aesthetic of the character is clearly preserved.

While not realistic in terms of supporting the weight of her upper body, I like the effect of the exaggeratedly narrow ankles and calves, giving plenty of opportunity to flare out at the hips and create a very becoming combination of curves. The face is one of the most faithful reproductions I’ve seen, managing to retain its otherworldly beauty without becoming too feral.

Turning to production quality, typical Alter craftsmanship manifests itself here in the exquisite shading on the red parts of the costume and the hair. The skin could use more shading, but as not much is shown it’s an acceptable omission. Past Witchblade figures have proven to have notoriously difficult trim work, and this is no exception, but it’s generally done well here despite some visible clipping over the skin. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the production of this kit is the variety of plastics used for various parts (torso, arms and legs, hair, blades), with variously stiff and pliant PVC used based on the dimensions and function of the piece in question.

While it doesn’t quite break into the stratosphere of epic figuredom this is overall a very solid offering from Alter, and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to Witchblade fans, devotees of kickass heroines, and figure collectors in general.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

+ great sculpt
+ overall superb attention to detail
+ precision use of plastics allows for sharp contours not present in other kits

o decent paint job, but some flaws in the trim
o pose could be a bit more exciting

– slender legs could lead to eventual figure droop

Good news for those thinking of picking her up: if you’d like to support HD, as of posting she’s still in stock at Play Asia! Pricewise, HLJ seems to be the best deal around.