As the maiden release from rookie figure brand First Class, the first Yuria 100-shiki figure to be mass produced, and the first figure to ship with this particular LED light-up base gimmick, I opted to make the purchase despite some initially questionable preview images at Amiami and elsewhere. While I was ready for the iffy sculpt and cast quality, I wasn’t expecting some rather more substantial deficiencies in the kit that makes this sadly one of the year’s most disappointing releases thus far. Read on for the unfortunate truth: Update: it turns out the packaging did contain a support intended to prop the kit up after all; I’ve revised the final score slightly as a result, and details can be found at the bottom of the review.

Original Design: Hagio Nobuto
Sculptor: OZMORE Koubou
Source: Yuria 100-shiki (Yuria Hyaku-shiki, ユリア100式) (manga)
Scale: 1/7.5 (19 cm tall)
Option Parts: LED base, castoffable skirt, blouse
Materials: PVC
Release Date: February 1st, 2008
Production: First Class
Price: 7,140 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: [HS] [TL]
Support HD!: [PA]
Related: Yuria 100-shiki manga


Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki

Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki

Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki

Heisei Democracy figure review: First Class's Yuria Hyaku-Shiki

Yuria Hyaku-Shiki is the heroine of the manga that bears her name, an ecchi seinen romantic comedy serialized in Young Animal magazine. Her name translates to “Yuria Type 100”, as she is the 100th iteration of an experiment by a mad scientist who is striving to create the perfect Dutch wife. In Yuria he has finally created an artificially intelligent nymphomaniac android companion, but due to a series of mishaps she escapes his laboratory and ends up living with the manga’s protagonist, Shunsuke – who, it turns out, is engaged to be married. The manga plot revolves around the scientist’s attempts to reclaim his wayward invention, Yuria’s attempts to be “imprinted” by Shunsuke, and Shunsuke’s attempts to remain faithful to his prudish wife-to-be.

This is the first Yuria figure to come on the market; the second was announced by Yamato at WHF Ariake 17, and is scheduled for release in September.


Yuria in figure costume,
taken from the official manga site

Sculpt

When the First Class brand was unveiled at Dream Party Tokyo 2007 Fall and we got our first glimpse of this figure I was pretty happy. Moeyo’s pictures made her sculpt look at least competent, if not a carbon copy match for the original design, and combined with the castoff, lighting base, and the curiosity inevitably sparked by the emergence of a new brand, I thought it would be a fun kit to check out.

Somewhere between October and Yuria’s release in February something changed. I’m inclined to lay most of the burden on the production side, as the initial sculpt really doesn’t look that bad; it is however inescapable that the kit has some anatomical issues, particularly in the face. Other than the awkward face sculpt things aren’t terrible, and I won’t write off future work from OZMORE Koubou just because of one rather weak kit; it seems he does have some genuine talent. I’m hoping First Class will improve their production methods before doing another one, though.

Production

Casting

Where to begin… the most obvious of the many problematic issues here is the critical failure of precision casting on the head. You can have the sharpest of details everywhere else on the kit, but if you don’t get clean lines on the face and hair sculpts your kit is going to be in serious trouble, and Yuria seriously is. It looks like they made her hair out of Play-Doh and cast her face from a worn steel die, any sort of clarity buffed smooth in a way that makes her features indistinct and toothless. I was somewhat prepared for this by seeing Amiami’s preview shots, but the first encounter with the real thing was still a shock.

Below the neck the casting job isn’t too bad. Details on the dress, panties, stockings and hands are passably rendered, and there aren’t any hideous mold lines or seams. It would be an unremarkable casting all around if it weren’t for the face and hair.

Paint Job

Yuria’s paint job is sub par, but not to the tragic extent of the face cast; shading on the skin and costume is decent, and the small amount of detail work is executed with tolerable accuracy. My biggest critique would be the choice of finishes, which contrast an unhealthy semi-gloss for the skin that makes her face look even worse with a uniform matte on the shoes and stockings that makes the shoes look cheap and “painted on”, if that makes sense.

Other Issues

Even with these production issues the kit could still charitably squeeze by with a passing grade, coming as it does from a rookie maker who can’t be expected to get things perfect on the first try. What ultimately drops her to an “F” is the outright omission of two key components of the kit: a mechanism for attaching her to the base, and batteries.

That’s right – the kit’s biggest gimmick, the LED base, is also its cause for epic failure. On those heels in that pose there’s no way she could stand on her own without support (the photos above where she’s standing alone are shot with her propped up against the back wall of the light box), and yet the package contains no mechanism for attaching her feet to the base, or holding her around the hips in an upright position, or anything.

Also, if you’re going to advertise a lighting base, you’d better make damn well sure that the thing can light. I don’t have any batteries laying around to test it so I don’t know whether it actually works, and that’s why it’s not lit in the review, but also – I reviewed the contents of the box, and as is the item does not perform as advertised. In no literature or product description for the kit does it ever mention that batteries aren’t included, until you get your hands on the box where it’s written in small red letters. That’s a sure fire way to make enemies of customers who trusted you enough to preorder.

Conclusion

I want to like First Class. Really, I do. They had a great display at Wonder Festival, I talked to them there, they were nice guys who seemed like they were trying really hard to get a new figure brand off the ground. They have a great-looking future lineup. But after the disappointment that was their Yuria Hyaku-Shiki I’ll be thinking long and hard about ordering another figure from them, especially one with a “lighting base”. 7,000+ yen for a kit and I expect some damn batteries.

I hope First Class takes lessons learned from this kit seriously to heart.

Overall Score (updated): 5/10

If you would like to purchase First Class’s Yuria Hyaku-shiki, you can support HD by picking her up at Play-Asia. Other retail options are listed at the top of this post.

April 13th 2008 Update



After thinking about it and looking at some other pictures of Yuria online I realized that she might have come with a mechanism to prop her up after all, and looking through the packaging I realized I’d simply missed it (a clear base in a clear plastic package, but still, I’m an idiot).

The fact that they did actually include something intended to enable her to stand upright on the lighting base has caused me to reconsider that aspect of the review; I’ve added an extra point to the overall score as a result. However, the supplied support is too small to counter the unbalanced, top-heavy sculpt, and it’s not actually capable of holding her up, making it nearly as useless as if it hadn’t been there. Despite this omission from the initial review my disappointment with the kit still holds largely unchanged.

Apologies for the error and misrepresentation, I’ll continue try ever more strenuously to avoid overlooking such things in the future.