What? A rare Anime Saturday with no Kantai Collection? I know, right? Well, don’t worry my personal KanColle love fest will return, if not next week then soon. In the meantime… it’s hard to believe that it’s been exactly a year this week since I last looked at the S.H. Figuarts Sailor Moon line. And yet, that’s about how long it took me to finally get one of the last Sailor Scouts I needed. Sailor Pluto has finally landed, weighing in as the eighth figure in my collection and I’m rather excited to revisit this great line and check her out! “Pluto Planet Power… MAKE UP!!!”
It’s been a while, but the package hasn’t changed. The figure comes in the same compact and colorful, little window box with plenty of pictures of the figure and the accessories. The side panels also identify the figure, so if you’re like me and have a lot of these boxes lined up on the shelf, it’s easy to grab the one you want. There’s also a fairly decent amount of English copy on the box, making it friendly to us Western collectors. Finally, everything is collector friendly, which is great, because even when I have the figures on display, I use the boxes to keep all the extra bits and bobs organized.
It’s safe to say that I’m not nearly as familiar with Pluto as I am the earlier releases. My exposure to Sailor Moon comes strictly from the anime and Pluto was a late arrival. Nonetheless, I dig her a lot. Obviously the costume is quite similar to the other Scouts, and Sailor Moon’s in particular. The boots are almost identical in sculpt, only without the crescent moons on below the knees. Other slight differences include Pluto’s top being sleeveless and her collar not having the same clear sailor motif. The black and white of her costume is quite striking and rather distinctive when compared to the more vibrant colors of her sister Scouts. The brown bows are a bit of an odd choice, but they work, and I love her long green hair. The deco is rounded out by the bright red stones on her chest, tiara, and earrings. Paint has never been a big issue on any of these figures for me, but that having been said, Pluto’s paint is among the best in my collection. With the exception of a little bleed around the top of the skirt, I’m hard pressed to find anything to nitpick here.
I don’t tend to run down the articulation on these figures, because Figuarts are generally all very similar. Suffice it to say you get loads of rotating hinges, and most of the joints are designed to pull out, rather than break. Articulation is generally excellent, although the skirts on the Sailor Scouts do tend to inhibit some of the hip movement. Also, the shoulders on my Pluto feel a little stiffer and more restrictive than my previous Scouts. Neither issue is a big deal though, and these figures are always so hard to put down, once I start messing around with them.
Of course, you get the usual collection of hands and a total of four portraits. The faces include a shouty face, a concentrating with closed eyes face, and a slight smile and a neutral face, both of which are so similar, I’ve got to really look to tell them apart. The hands come pegged onto the usual hand totem pole for easy organization, and there are a lot of them! You get relaxed hands, closed hands, splayed hands, fists, hands designed to grip her Garnet Staff, what I like to call hocus-pocus hands, and a right hand pegged to hold the Garnet Stone without the staff.
The Garnet Staff, which she uses to guard the Space-Time Door, is just a lovely piece of work with the key-like teeth sculpted on the sides. It features some beautiful metallic paint and as I’ve already shown the head piece comes off so she can hold it separately. The bottom third of the staff also disconnects to make it easier to slide it into her grippy hands. One of these hands was open and one had the fingers connected. I opted to slit the connection on those fingers to make it easier to fit it into that particular hand.
Of course, Sailor Pluto comes with the same style of crystal heart-shaped stand as all of the previous releases, and that leads me to my only complaint about this figure. Her copious amount of hair doesn’t make it easy to get the stand connected to her waist. In the past, like with Sailor Mars, Bandai has compensated by allowing the hair to part in the middle and get the stand through. In this case, the hair is one solid piece, and only articulated at the top. You can swing it all the way to the right or left, or you can pull it away from her back, but then you’re getting into a situation where the neck is articulating downward too. The above two shots illustrate that it is possible, but in all the cases where I was going for a fairly static and relaxed pose, I was content to just lean her up against the stand, rather than use it properly.
It’s been two years now since I started collecting this line and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be re-visiting it. These figures have been a delight since the beginning, and I probably enjoy this line a lot more than any middle aged male has any right to. In fact, since playing around with Pluto, I’ve already gone back and picked up one of the very few I’m missing, Sailor Venus, and I’m once again eyeing Tuxedo Mask. It’s also been a while since I’ve dipped my toe back into the anime series, but playing around with Pluto has me hankering to go back again for a re-watch, or maybe even give Crystal another go.