When we first came across this kit last November I was excited by the prospect of a Bible Black figure coming from a maker other than the infamous C-Works. As the flagship release from a maker new to the scene I felt Miyabiya’s Imari was worth checking out, and the previews painted a guardedly optimistic picture of what lay in store – but just how does she stack up against the competition? Read on!

Original Design: Yoshi-Ten, Sei Shoujo
Sculptor: Souden Sonamae (装電備前)
Source: Bible Black vol. 3 (eroanime)
Scale: 1/8 (15 cm tall)
Option Parts: removable bra, skirt
Materials: PVC
Release Date: March, 2008
Production: Miyabiya
Price: 5,040 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: [KNC] [HLJ] [HS] [TL]
Support HD!: [PA] [JLIST] [YA]
Related: Bible Black – The Game, Miyabiya’s Takashiro-sensei


Heisei Democracy figure review: Miyabiya's Bible Black Imari Kurumi

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Heisei Democracy figure review: Miyabiya's Bible Black Imari Kurumi

Heisei Democracy figure review: Miyabiya's Bible Black Imari Kurumi

Since its initial release in July of 2000 Bible Black has become one of the most storied franchises in eroge history, boasting an extensive list of anime conversions including an original six-episode OVA series, two episodes of “gaiden” side story material, a two episode fetish short, and a new six-episode OVA (新・バイブルブラック Shin Bible Black) that continues the story of both the game and the original anime series. For those wanting to go to the source, the game was recently released in English by Kitty Media.

Through all of the game’s various adaptations the character of Imari remains at its core, the girl next door who is sucked into darkness in the first OVA and returns in the second series possessed by the ancient evil that consumed her. This sculpt is based on the illustration of Imari on the Region 2 cover of the third volume of the original Bible Black anime series:



Sculpt

Souden Sonamae is a new face on the sculpting scene and this is his first commercially reproduced sculpt. It’s not going to win any awards for brilliance of execution, but is a generally passable piece of work in most respects; on a macro level the pose is a faithful reproduction of the original illustration, which while obviously not drawn with the intent of serving as a template for future figures is a decent basis for the design.

At the smallish 1/8 scale the detail work is also passable. The face sculpt is a bit weak from some angles, and the amateurish technique of sanding over grooves in a flat surface to create texture was obviously employed on the back of the hair and the rear side of the panties. Not as bad as I’ve seen in some sculpts, but not an incredibly convincing portrayal of the interaction of thin cloth or hair with skin.

All in all a sculpt that’s on the weak side of decent, with a few minor charms (the chest sculpt is nice, as is her uniform top, and I’m partial to the hands as well) and a few minor blemishes (neck is oddly long, weak face sculpt and hair) that even things out without being deal makers or breakers.

Production

Miyabiya’s production is adequate, but not stellar; it feels like they invested about as much as they should given the quality of the sculpt. Casting is unproblematic, with few visible seams or mold lines (other than at the shoulders, but that’s a sculpting issue). Detail work is crisp, except where it’s sanded over (again, a sculpting issue).

The paint job on the kit is surprisingly rather interesting. There is the odd choice of a high gloss finish for the bra, the distressingly All-Bran style paint job of the hair, the amply shaded uniform top, and the sparing shading on the skin (it could use a bit more, though the nipples are done rather nicely). What really caught my interest though is the way the trim work was executed. On the back of her collar, on the cuffs of the uniform and in other locations the trim paint job is incredibly crisp, and obviously not done directly by hand – this isn’t the first kit I’ve seen such work on (Orchid Seed’s Strawberry Kanu springs to mind) but it’s an effective use of a technology that seems to be becoming ever more refined.

Conclusion

If I had to sum up my impressions of Miyabiya’s Bible Black Imari Kurumi PVC in a sentence I’d say it’s a better than average production job of a slightly worse than average sculpt. Not too bad for the first offering from a rookie maker, and when seen in comparison to the Imari we reviewed at this time last year a compelling case emerges to recommend her. As a standalone kit she might not be much, but for Bible Black fans (and fans of Imari in particular) this is the best thing to come along in a long, long time.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

If you’d like to support HD with your purchase, Imari can be had either at J-List (now in stock) or at Play-Asia (May reissue). Links to other retailers are available at the top of the post.

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