Back when I did my feature on S.H. Figuarts Sailor Moon, I recounted how I originally got into anime back around the mid 90’s. I can’t say as I have that same passion (or obsession) for anime these days, but lately I have been spending a lot more time chilling out with a drink in front of Crunchyroll and one of the series I quite enjoyed was Muv Luv Alternative Total Eclipse. I found a lot of the characters endearing, the BETA are creepy as all hell, and the mech fights are just plain fun. I knew that Kotobukiya did statues for this series because I’ve spent some time admiring the pictures of them over at Tyjos’s Space (man, that dude has some great stuff!), but I decided that I was only going to go in if I bought (all three) as a set, and my monies always seemed to be going somewhere else. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when Entertainment Earth had a sale that put these ladies at almost half off, and I just couldn’t hold out anymore. Today I’m kicking off the Muv Luv Love with a look at Yui.
Dang, this is a big box, but then at 1:7 scale, Yui is a little larger than even the tallest of my Koto Bishoujos and a lot larger than the 1:10 scale ArtFx+ pieces. Size notwithstanding, if you own any of Koto’s PCV statues, then the packaging here should be fairly familiar to you. You get a big window on the front giving you a peek at the statue between her clear plastic trays with a cut-out in the top tray to give you a better look at the face. There are additional windows on the sides and top panel to let more light in. Surprisingly, there’s no art from the show, instead the box is decked out completely with photos of the actual statue. I don’t think it’s as artsy as the Bishoujo packages, but it is collector friendly and it certainly gets the job done.
Ah, is there anything better than the fresh smell of a PCV statue coming out of the box? I think not. Once out of the box, Yui requires a little bit of assembly. First, you have to plug the figure into the base via her right foot. She attaches very easily and her left hand serves as a guide as it comes to rest right on the crumbling concrete wall and is also secured by a tab. Next, you slide her katana sword into her hand. Again, it goes in nice and easy. Lastly you get a few extra pieces of individually wrapped concrete debris that you can place on the base wherever you want. For now, I’m opting to leave them out.
And there we have Yui Takamura, descendent from a noble line of Samurai, member of the Imperial Guard, and looking mighty hot in her pilot suit. The composition of the statue places Yui taking a moment out of action to mug for the camera. She’s leaning on a piece of destroyed concrete wall with her left hand and her right foot is slightly up. Her right hip is thrown out and she holds her trusty sword at her side. I like it a lot!
As is emphasized in the show, the rubbery pilot suits are skin tight and basically vacuum sealed onto the wearer’s body, which leaves very little to the imagination. What I really like about it is that the suit design contrasts all the copious curves of Yui’s body with some more angular pieces, particularly in the boots, hips, and shoulders. It’s a design that accentuates the idea of pilot and machine working together. As Yui herself would point out, “The horse and the rider are one!” Plus, Yui’s got a really nice ass.
The deco here reflects the rather distinctive coloring of Yui’s pilot suit, which includes the black, purple, and yellow that matches her Type 00 mech. There’s a nice variation in paint finish on the figure, with the black parts having the most brilliant sheen and consequently creating a spectacular effect on her chest area. All of the paint lines are incorporated into the sculpt, which gives the suit a nice, complex look and helps to keep the paint lines clean.
The portrait is excellent, although I’ll confess I find Yui’s face to be overpowered by the incredible job Koto did on her wild mane of hair. The windblown look is nothing new for Koto, they often do it to death, but Yui’s hair is just majestically blown out everywhere and it looks incredible from every angle. The lower part of her face is framed by the chin piece and the paintwork on her large eyes is impeccable.
Yui’s katana is cast in fairly soft plastic, but it’s rigid enough to keep the blade from warping. There’s detailed sculpting on the grip’s wrapping and decorations on the tsuba. The hamon line on the blade is also painted.
The base is a realistic slice of a crumbling urban setting. The cross section of the broken concrete looks particularly good as do the craters and fissures running throughout the wall. While the base itself is rather shallow and hollow, the wall pieces have a lot of weight, adding a decent amount of heft to the piece.
Even with dozens of their pieces in my collection, Kotobukiya still manages to impress me with every new statue I buy, and that remains to be the case with Yui here. This is a gorgeous statue with all the wonderful design, sculpting, and paintwork that I have come to expect from these craftsmen. It’s true that I was hesitant to invest in a new line of statues, but now that I’ve got her on my shelf I’ve got no regrets. She’s a great piece for fans of the show or just anyone who wants to grace their shelves with a hot chick in a mech pilot suit. Next week, I’ll keep the Muv Luv love going with a look at the first of The Scarlet Twins… Cryska.