Starting with the factual propositions that a) Kimura Takahiro is a character design god and b) far too few of his characters have been actualized in figure form, it follows that a Max Factory incarnation of Gun x Sword’s Fasalina (especially one in this particularly enticing pose) would be a highly anticipated item. With the actual figure in hand, however, I must say that my expectations were not entirely met – read on for the hot but slightly disappointing details:
Original Design: Kimura Takahiro (Wikipedia)
Sculptor: Kitade Masahito (Amiami search)
Source: Gun x Sword (anime)
Scale: 1/8 (23 cm tall, staff included)
Release Date: October 24th, 2007
Production: Max Factory
Price: 6,800 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: [KNC] [HLJ] [HS] [TL]
Support HD!: [PA] [YA]
Fasalina is a minor heroine in Gun x Sword, but as the designs of the more central Carmen 99 and Wendy didn’t quite do the trick for me she was the one I ended up settling on as the best of the female cast (visually, at least). Designs for this figure were rendered specially by Kimura himself, and the prospect of the well-endowed, pheromone-laden Fasalina in such a pose sent all sorts of happy thoughts through my head when she was first unveiled in Hobby Japan last year.
Fasalina design illustrations
This anticipation was tempered somewhat when I was first able to see her in person back at WHF Ariake 16 last spring. With a woman of her proportions size really does matter, and when minus the staff she doesn’t even clear 15 cm in height it’s hard to feel the proper weighty presence that she ought to have.
When she arrived at the door a couple of days ago and I took her out of the box there was another ungentle awakening. Where was the much-vaunted Max Factory production quality? Solid blocks of color with minimal shading, the staff being uncooperative when inserted into her grip, minimal variation in textures both in the sculpt and the paint finish, and some slightly dodgy trim work leaves an overall impression of a budget job. This is a competently produced figure, but one largely lacking in the trademark “extra something” for which Max has been known.
Ways in which the figure could be improved would be scaling up to 1/7 or 1/6, producing a soft/flexible chest part that could wrap around the staff without drilling a hole through it (sure it’s a gimmick, but it would actually make sense for this figure), use of a greater variation of shading (especially on the skin) and gloss/matte paint finishes, and the addition of more anatomical detail to the sculpt.
Com on, Max – you had the rare chance to produce an amazing figure based on a busty Kimura design, and you didn’t live up to what we all know you’re capable of. Kimura deserves better, and so do us fans. This would be a satisfactory figure coming from another, lesser maker, but from you I expect better.
Overall Score: 6.5/10
+ original Kimura design
+ the sculpt is a faithful reproduction (if small)
o small scale doesn’t convey physicality of the character
o average paint job with little shading or finishing variation
– staff is very difficult to position correctly, both in upper hand and cleavage
– disappointment of high expectations
As penalty, Max, you must retroactively produce 1/6 scale figures of the entire female cast of every Kimura designed show ever, starting with Godannar. I expect one release per month until the supply of characters is exhausted or you go out of business. Now hop to it! >:O