When we first came across Orchid Seed’s Anna last October I was clueless about this blond clone of a certain pink-haired Gainax android, but as I began researching her background for this review I realized that not only was this figure an atypical representation of the game from which she’s derived, but that the game itself looked really cool. This isn’t a review of the game, of course, but of a figure that I still maintain is very cute – though perhaps not quite one to make the cut for those of us on an increasingly tightening budget. Read on for details:

Original Design: Oosaki Shinya
Sculptor: Ogawa Keiichirou
Source: Gekkou no Carnevale (eroge, manga, novel)
Scale: 1/7 (23 cm tall)
Option Parts: castoffable apron dress
Materials: PVC
Release Date: April 16th, 2008
Production: Orchid Seed
Price: 6,800 yen (tax included)
Current Availability: [KNC] [HLJ] [HS] [TL]
Support HD!: [PA] [JLIST]
Related: Oosaki Shinya’s Abandoner (How to Buy), Gekkou no Carnevale Drama CD, Sumita Kazuasa’s Gekkou no Carnevale manga vol. 1, Gekkou no Carnevale Visual Fanbook


Heisei Democracy figure review: Orchid Seed's Anna from Gekkou no Carnevale

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Heisei Democracy figure review: Orchid Seed's Anna from Gekkou no Carnevale

Anna is the heroine of Gekkou no Carnevale, the January 2007 released Nitro+ eroge set against the backdrop of a supernatural version of early to mid-20th century Italy. The protagonist, an ex-mafia werewolf turned cab driver, finds Anna, an android, in a garbage heap at the beginning of the game. In looking into the background of this figure I found myself caught up by the game and now I really want to track it down and play it, though sadly it seems to be currently out of print. The designs are from from Oosaki Shinya, who also illustrated the fantastically beautiful Abandoner in 2004.


Heisei Democracy Figure Review: Orchid Seed's Anna from Gekkou no Carnevale

Anna as she appears in Gekkou no Carnevale

Sculpt

As the first known commercial work from sculptor Ogawa Keiichirou I was curious to see how his interpretation of Anna would fare. The result is a bit of a mixed bag; while the pose is fun and dynamic some aspects of the anatomy seem a bit off (the barrel-shaped thighs in particular). Despite this her body lines flow pretty well, and while the combined interpretation of the mouth and nose leave the facial structure a bit weak and there’s very little definition around the stomach and waist I’m left with the general impression that he knows what he’s doing, and the overall effect isn’t at all displeasing.

Nono vs. Anna

Other than the moderate anatomical weaknesses outlined above the sculpt has two issues worth mentioning; one is the seams where the arms are connected to the torso, though this may be purely a production issue and not originated with the sculptor. The other is the inescapable resemblance of this figure to Nono, protagonist of Top wo Nerae! 2. The likeness is so similar that it seems this figure could be more closely modeled after the Gainax character than the one from the Nitro+ game, though this is probably due more to the similarity of their design than a conscious decision on the part of the sculptor. Still, it seems to me that to really accurately grasp the subtleties of a design like Anna’s requires a somewhat more seasoned hand.

Production

Pretty standard Orchid fare here, though a couple of the production elements stand out. The casting is decent, with the notable exception of the seams at her shoulders; the arms aren’t removed as part of the castoff process, so it seems to me they could just as well have cast her upper body from a single piece of plastic and avoided those ugly seams. On a positive note, great care was taken in producing the inner lining surface to avoid leaving behind marks during the (slightly complex) castoff process.

The paint job is solid and generally pleasing, with the lack of intricate detail work required making it hard to criticize overmuch in that department. Printing on the eyes and the apron are both well done. The skin isn’t as waxy as some past Orchid sculpts and has a bit of subtle shading that’s a welcome step in the incremental evolution toward better quality; there isn’t a huge range of gloss levels to the finish, but what’s there serves to express surface textures effectively. The oddest part of the kit’s color scheme is certainly the nipples, which combined with the indistinct contour of the sculpt make them appear censored by a blur filter when photographed. I can reaffirm that it’s the actual look, and no post-processing occurred.

Conclusion

Orchid Seed’s Anna from Gekkou no Carnevale is a decent figure, though one with a few shortcomings (dissimilarity to original design, shoulder seams) that make her a bit tough to recommend when compared to similar fare. If you’re looking for a serviceable castoff figure without many surprises and you like what you see here I think she’d make a fine addition to your collection, but those of us pinching pennies these days and with no particular knowledge of or affinity for the character might be best served to keep our wallets in our pockets.

Overall Score: 7.5

If you would like to support HD with your purchase, Anna can be had at Play-Asia and JLIST. Other retailers are listed at the top of this post.

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