If you were with me last Saturday, than you already know I recently discovered the wonderful world of Taito’s Prize Figures. My first look at these featured Sinon, as a Cait Sith Master of the Bow, from Sword Art Online II. Today I’m checking out Asuna, and this is a particularly cool piece. There’s been countless figures based on different versions of Asuna throughout the series, but this is the first one I’ve come across of her in her original Aincrad outfit before she joined the Knights of the Blood Oath and donned their spiffy uniform.
Like last time, this figure comes in a fully enclosed box with perforations on the sides to punch out if you want handles. The box gives you some colorful pictures of the statue on all sides, but if you want to see exactly what you’re getting, you’ve got to open this baby up. Inside, the figure and base come wrapped in plastic. Just peg the figure into the base and you’re all set to go!
Asuna measures just about 7-inches tall if you include the base and looks fantastic. Again, this is the costume she wore at the beginning of the series, so it didn’t get a lot of exposure. Indeed, a lot of the time we see her in it, the brown cloak is wrapped around her and the hood is up. Her outfit inside consists of reddish-brown boots with buckles at the ankles, which are nicely painted with silver fixtures. Her white stockings have a little range of color in them to expose a little of the flesh tone that underneath, She has a little red skirt with sculpted pleats, and finally a white tunic with painted brown borders and a sculpted belt at that waist. One little touch that’s really nice is where her sleeves are open and you can see her exposed arms inside. For a figure in this price range, that’s a rather unexpected detail.
Asuna is posed leaning forward with one leg drawn back the other and her arms drawn up to her mouth and holding one of those cakes that was a common focus of one of her first meaningful exchanges with Kirito. Her fencing sword is mostly obscured by her cloak, but the hilt is visible peaking out beside her left elbow. I really enjoy how much work went into sculpting a weapon that isn’t obviously on display.
The brown cloak is sculpted to billow out a bit behind her and a good deal of it is obscured by her voluminous reddish-orange hair. From the neck down, the paintwork on this piece is really tight, far more so than the Sinon figure I looked at last time. There’s virtually no slop or bleeding and even though a lot of the colors are rather muted, the coloring is still exciting to me.
The portrait is excellent, with Asuna’s big eyes printed perfectly and you can see her ears peaking out from her hair. Her mouth is partly open as if she’s about to take a bite of her meal. The hair, however, is what really shines here. It falls over her forehead, frames her face and than cascades down her back. You also get a pair of strands down the fronts of her shoulders reaching all the way down to her skirt. Really nice work!
The base is a simple white disk with a wedge to support her raised left heel. I have no issues with the plain bases in this series, but I’m wondering if I would have preferred a black disk here so that they would all match. Then again, this one accentuates the white in her stockings and tunic, so maybe Taito knew what they were doing here.
For a Prize Figure, the sculpting and paint on this piece are both top notch and the $30 I paid for her feels like a fantastic deal. Sometimes collecting these cheaper figures can feel like slumming it when compared to the really good expensive stuff, but this was a case where I really don’t see all that much of a difference. This was also a case where I have literally not seen this version of the character produced anywhere else in a premium release, so if this is indeed the only way to get her, collectors should be happy to know they did a fine job with her. Next Saturday, I’m going to give Sword Art Online a little rest and move on to some figures from one of my more recent anime obsessions… KanColle!