Izuruha is one of those figures that Hobby Japan puts out on a regular basis to sell their magazines. The only way to get them is to clip out a stamp from a page of the magazine, tape it to a card with your name and address and send it in, thus guaranteeing that you spend an additional 780 yen for the magazine above the price of the figure (and exorbitant postage). I’m guessing they did quite well by this particular piece of promobait, as nothing beats a full castoff for drawing the eye to an unknown character with a vaguely seedy design; I was among the legions hooked in by the promise of leggy PVC, so here’s the HD take on what is admittedly a very nice item indeed:

Original Design: Ogasawara Satoshi (Wikipedia)
Sculptor: Kibayashi Norio (Eye Up) (Amiami search)
Source: Ru/Li/Lu/Ra (manga, TRPG)
Scale: 1/8 (20 cm tall)
Materials: PVC
Release Date: October 20, 2007
Production: Hobby Japan / Megahouse / Eye Up
Price: 6,800 JPY (7,800 JPY w/shipping and handling)
Current Availability: Play Asia


Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra

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Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei 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Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra Heisei 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Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra

Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra

Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra

Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra

Heisei Democracy figure review: Hobby Japan's Izuruha from Ru/Li/Lu/Ra

I’ll make it quite plain from the start that I know absolutely nothing about Ru/Li/Lu/Ra, neither the manga nor the game, and other than halfheartedly glancing at the Wikipedia entry I can’t bring myself to seek further enlightenment. Izuruha herself is only mentioned in the entry once, and in passing; aside from sharing a name with (but no relationship to) Alfred Izuruha her identity will remain veiled in mystery.

This figure, on the other hand, is easy to take an immediate and absorbing interest in. Design-wise I initially thought she was a creation of Gundam SEED artist Hirai Hisashi, but was disabused by the official Ru/Li/Lu/Ra site – apparently while sharing a nearly identical style, Ogasawara Satoshi is in fact the artist in question. Over the long string of mediocre mecha shows of Hirai design I have come to want to bash him on the left frontal lobe until he figures out how to draw a different face, a face Ogasawara seems unable to deviate from. Alas.

Fortunately for Izuruha-chan an inspection that starts at the face quickly descends lower, to regions where the artistic stylings of the sculptor really come to the fore. Known primarily for his earlier work for Megahouse on their Queen’s Blade line Kibayashi Norio really shines here, presenting a pose almost classical in its dynamism and lines that flow together in something of a cheap, miniature, plastic, anime-style Venus de Milo. The single piece PVC cast of the body lends to this feeling of deliberate sculpture, and is really a step up in PVC production; a pity we’re only likely to see it on figures such as this where all surfaces are easily accessible for painting.

I would venture to say that there are virtually no flaws in the production of this kit (aside from a couple of scuffs and the faintly visible mold line); Megahouse has proven its consistently high quality of craftsmanship and ability to produce gorgeous castoff figures over a long run of recent success stories. Where the figure really flags, if at all, is in the initial conception; the Hirai-esque face design is frankly plain and boring. I’m almost tempted to find another 1/8 scale character with a similarly removable head to serve as a replacement. The costume could use a bit of work as well; the whole thing is almost overwhelmingly yellow. I suppose that’s the desired effect, but still.

All things considered this is a really gorgeous kit, only slightly marred by a poor choice of subject; one I’d recommend to any ero PVC collector, and if you happen to like Hirai’s designs so much the better. Tracking it down now will be the real trick, alas…

Overall Score: 9/10

+ amazing one piece PVC sculpt
+ superlative Megahouse craftsmanship
+ one of the most beautiful castoff jobs ever

o mediocre face design
o average color scheme
o who is Izuruha anyway, and why should we care?

– high price, lack of availability beyond mail order

Play Asia did have the figure in stock briefly, but as of posting she is sadly no longer available.