The combination of a Yoshizawa Mitsumasa sculpt and a Yamashita Shunya design is enough to evoke a Pavlovian drooling response in many figure collectors, myself among them. Formerly available exclusively in limited resin kit form, the announcement from Yamato at last summer’s Wonder Festival that the Yamashita / Yoshizawa team’s coproduced Ayanami Rei would be coming in PVC was incredibly welcome news. Following shortly on the heels of other significant Yamato releases last December Rei was lost in the shuffle here at HD, but we’re happy to finally be able to bring you a review of this great figure!

Original Design: Sadamoto Yoshiyuki, Yamashita Shunya
Sculptor: Yoshizawa Mitsumasa (Reflect)
Source: Neon Genesis Evangelion (anime, multimedia empire)
Scale: non- (26 cm tall)
Option Parts: none
Materials: PVC
Release Date: December 29th, 2007
Production: Yamato
Price: 7,140 yen (tax included)
Current Availability: [KNC] [HLJ] [HS] [TL]
Support HD!: [PA] [JLIST]
Related: Rei at J-List, Eva at YesAsia, Evangelion 1.0 Limited Edition Theatrical DVD, download Rei doujinshi (How To)


Heisei Democracy figure review: Yamashita Shunya's Ayanami Rei

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Heisei Democracy figure review: Yamashita Shunya's Ayanami Rei

Heisei Democracy figure review: Yamashita Shunya's Ayanami Rei

Ayanami Rei is a character who truly needs no introduction; her Wikipedia entry says far more about her than I could conjure off the top of my head, and even if you’ve never seen Evangelion I doubt there’s anyone reading this site who is unfamiliar with her now archetypal short blue hair and red eyes.

Yamashita Shunya’s depiction of the character falls about as far afield from her original design as can be imagined, depicting her as a voluptuous woman with refined features uniquely belonging to his style. Looking at his illustration it’s hard to remember that this is the same character invented by Anno and Sadamoto over a decade ago.


Ayanami as conceived by Yamashita Shunya

Sculpt

Yoshizawa Mitsumasa and Yamashita Shunya are a match made in heaven, as far as I’m concerned. Setting aside a critique of Yamashita’s conception of the character for the moment (a critique which can certainly be made), Yoshizawa manages to refine Yamashita’s Ayanami illustration even beyond the original to the point where it attains a unique, statuesque beauty of its own, accentuated in the subtly erotic pose that, while stationary, breaks symmetry in incredibly pleasing ways.

Yoshizawa is so good at adapting Yamashita’s designs it’s hard for me at times to remember that they’re two distinct individuals, but there are sculptural elements here that would probably not be found if Yamashita decided to set up shop on his own. The face is slightly more angular, the features more refined, and the body elongated – both torso and legs proportionally longer than the original.

These slight liberties taken with the sculpt don’t detract from the original design in my opinion, but would be better presented in as an exact duplicate of the original kit upon which this PVC version is based – the bandages provide balance and an illusion of volume that really fills out the kit, and it’s a shame Yamato chose not to include them here.

Production

Yamato has done a commendable job here, with solid casting work – though the pose and tight-fitting costume leave her vulnerable to visible seams, especially in the armpit area and the zettai ryouiki zone. These do not particularly detract from the overall look of the kit, however. The casting job preserves detail well, with very few visible mold lines.

Due to the requirement for a large amount of detail work in the paint job it ends up showing a kind of uniform roughness when viewed at extreme closeup, but the overall effect when viewed as a whole is pleasing and consistent. A great job is done on the face in both paint and casting, with just enough subtle skin shading. The finish shows very effective use of contrasting gloss (plug suit) and matte (skin, stockings, panties, hair, etc) finishes as well as semi-gloss on the green bits and backpack unit.

Conclusion

Yamato’s Yamashita Shunya-designed, Yoshizawa Mitsumasa-sculpted Creators’ Labo CL #015 Ayanami Rei PVC figure is objectively speaking a very solid kit. She holds up well to scrutiny from a variety of angles, and boasts a killer combination of design and sculpting prowess that leaves the entire responsibility for the finished product in the hands of the producer. Yamato does a good, if not stellar job here, certainly good enough to recommend to anyone tempted by the concept of a Rei who looks nothing like Rei and everything like a Yamashita Shunya painting. My only regret is the lack of bandages from the original, but perhaps Yamato has that in store for a future alternate version… I don’t expect we’ll see the original resin’s castoff feature any time soon, though.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

If you would like to support HD with your purchase, Yamashita Shunya’s Ayanami Rei is currently available at J-List. Other retailers are listed at the top of this post.

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