KanColle: Aircraft Carrier Submarine I-401 (Day Off Figure) by Taito

Hey hey, it’s Saturday. Anime Saturday. And that means more KanColle! Ok, I’m done rhyming now. I had originally planned on looking at a new Sailor Moon Figuart today, but time caught me up, so I had to fall back on another Prize Figure from Kantai Collection. This Saturday, I’m back to Taito and another “Day Off” Figure, and like the last “Day Off” Figure, this one is from the Kantai Collection video game and not the Animation Sequence. She’s Aircraft Carrier Submarine I-401… but you can call her Shioi!

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As usual, Taito presents the figure in a colorful, fully enclosed box, which gives you plenty of shots of the figure inside. There’s not a lot of English, but the figure is identified on the top panel. I have to say I think this box is especially cool. There’s something about the art style that makes it look like a vintage pin-up and reminds me a bit of the old Vargas Girls art. As a character from the game, I’m not as familiar with her as the anime characters, but I tend to go in and read some of their dialogue as an indicator. In this case with phrases like, “CAN I DIVE YET? CAN I DIVE YET?” and “Please don’t touch my hangar tubes that much!” indicate that she’s adorable.

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It doesn’t take long to get Shioi ready for display. You just peg her feet into the base, peg her submarine gear into her tushie, and peg each of the tiny planes onto the carrier deck. Toss the tiny crab (which I already lost!) onto the base and she’s ready to go! The “Day Off” figures are pretty self-explanatory, as they depict our fearless Fleet Girls enjoying some down time. In this case, Shioi is strolling along the beach in a one-piece swimsuit with a cover up that resembles the school uniforms they usually wear. She shoots a side glance as she brings a bottle of icy cold water (or perhaps Ramune?) up to her lips. The sculpt here for the costume is very simple, but the colors are excellent, particularly the soft skin tones, the deep blue, and the bright white of her cover up.

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I was particularly anxious to get this statue because there aren’t any submarines in the anime and that seems like a missed opportunity. At the same time, I get excited whenever I see a reference to the Japanese I-400 Sub Aircraft Carriers, because they’re such a wonderful curiosity. As I understand it they saw virtually no action in the war and even as someone who enjoys doing a fair amount of reading about WWII, I rarely ever encounter any mention of them. The very concept of a submersible aircraft carrier still sounds like something out of science fiction. It’s just damn cool.

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The sculpt for the submarine component is solid but not exceptional. It looks a little soft, and there isn’t a whole lot of detail on it, but there’s enough here to get by, and it’s perfectly acceptable to me for a figure in this price range. On the other hand, they did a very nice job sculpting the three tiny Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft that perch on the launching gantry. Most of the Sub Aircarft Carriers were designed to launch recon planes, but these babies were meant for attack!

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The portrait here is very simple and functional, She’s cute, but nothing fancy. Shioi features large brown-printed eyes, short hair, and a wide smile. Her bottle is cast in translucent blue-green plastic.

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While the majority of the Taito Prize Figures in my collection have simple, featureless bases, Shioi’s is crafted to look like a stretch of beach, half sand and half water. The water surface has sculpted ripples and is cast in transparent blue plastic with the sand painted and textured. I haven’t lost hope in finding that tiny crab, but alas he remains MIA for this review.

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The I-401 “Day Off” figure set me back just under $20 shipped and I’ve got no complaints. In terms of sculpt, Shioi herself is probably the least impressive of my KanColle Taito figures. There’s nothing bad here, but the sculpt just isn’t quite as sharp and detailed as the others. On the other hand, the paint is quite solid and the execution of the submarine component with the planes and the beach environment on the base takes what could have been a very average figure and raises it up a couple of notches. Not too shabby!

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