When we first saw her in prototype at Wonder Festival last summer and later learned of her castoff potential, a preorder was mandated by some sort of federal law. With two of the top figure makers in the business collaborating on the project and a price that shouts rude epithets at the rising cost of oil (not to mention her demonic good looks), who could possibly resist Shizuka’s allure? Not me, which is why I am making this post:
- Product Title: エクセレントモデルCORE クイーンズブレイドEX 甲魔忍軍頭領シズカ – Excellent Model CORE Queen’s Blade EX Koumaningun Touryou Shizuka (Superior Demon Ninja Warchief Shizuka)
- Original Design: Eiwa
- Source: Queen’s Blade Bitoshi Gaiden #1: Musha Miko Emaki (picture book / drama CD)
- Scale: 1/8 (22 cm tall)
- Option Parts: detachable dagger and scabbard, rotating left arm and wrist joint, castoffable top and skirt
- Materials: PVC
- Release Date: April 29th, 2008
- Production: Alpha Omega (Alter/Megahouse)
- Price: 5,775 JPY (tax included)
Shizuka is described on the official Queen’s Blade site as:
The genius ninja leader of the Koumaningun (“Superior Demon Ninja Army”), the most feared ninja clan on Hinomoto [ed. the Queen's Blade universe equivalent of Japan]. She was trained in the highest ranks of a ruthless combat style that gives no regard to the life of oneself or ones’ enemy, but at heart she’s more pragmatic than evil.
As a character she appears exclusively in the Tomoe-centric Queen’s Blade Bitoshi Gaiden: Musha Miko Emaki (“Queen’s Blade Beautiful Warrior Side Stories: Warrior Priestess Picture Scroll”). There are no plans to produce a Shizuka-themed Queen’s Blade combat artbook at this time.
Original Bitoshi Gaiden figure source images
Tanaka Touji is a veteran sculptor who has produced several fine kits in the past, including Alter’s powered-up Masane and their recently released swimsuit Nagato Yuki. It comes as little surprise therefore that the sculpting work on his rendition of Shizuka is first class, and indeed an astoundingly accurate rendition of the original Eiwa illustration upon which it is based. While her design isn’t my personal favorite, as a fan of both Eiwa and Tanaka’s work I can’t help but admire the artistry present here – there’s really no criticism to be had beyond issues of pure aesthetic preference.
There are only two flaws I could find in the kit’s production following a standard inspection, so I’ll get those out of the way first: there’s a hairline seam that extends away below her right breast (visible here), and some slightly dodgy trim work on her underwear (visible here).
Otherwise the quality is near perfect, much in keeping with previous Megahouse Queen’s Blade releases. An examination of the kit makes me wonder just how much Alter was involved; the packaging is conceptually identical to Megahouse’s QB releases, as is the figure’s execution – the choice of paint finishes and the casting technique seems pure Megahouse. It may be that Alter simply lent out their sculpting staff for the project and otherwise left well enough alone. Regardless of their level of input, the result is pretty damn awesome.
I have to thank the new holy alliance that is Alpha Omega for making the job of a reviewer so damn easy, as it’s simple as putting two and two together to recommend their Queen’s Blade Shizuka PVC figure to just about any collector on the market. While the design doesn’t quite click with me personally it’s still very solid, with impressive levels of artistry on display that show through unimpeded by significant flaws in the production process (beyond the two mentioned). Combined with the very reasonable price this is a figure that makes a compelling argument even without knowledge of Shizuka’s background, and for a Queen’s Blade fan… well, I’m preaching to the choir.
Overall Score: 9/10
If you’d like to support HD with your purchase Shizuka is still available at J-List! She’s at YesAsia, though I can’t recommend their prices. You can also go to the source at J-List for both the Musha Miko Emaki and Tomoe Queen’s Blade books; other Shizuka retailers are listed at the top of this post.