Figma “Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse” Yui Takamura by Max Factory

Anime Import Week is entering its final phase as I’m finishing it off with two Figmas from two anime series for which I have a lot of affection. Today’s, however, is one that inexplicably none of my anime-watching friends (OK, all three of them) have ever seen and that is the excellent Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse. Previously, I’ve looked at three pieces of merch from this series in the form of Kotobukiya’s 1/8 Scale Statues of Yui Takamura, Inia Sestina, and Cryska Barchenowa. Today I’m checking out Figma’s version of Yui.

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The packaging is pretty standard stuff, especially if you have a few Figmas in your collection. You get a window box that offers a good look at the figure and I love how the side panel of the box displays artwork of the figure for easy reference, because I tend to keep these lined up on a bookshelf. As far as packages go, it’s simple, attractive, functional, and collector friendly, so what more could you want?

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Inside the box you get the figure, two additional portriats, two swords (one in scabbard and one out), a sprue of three additional pairs of hands, a figure stand, instruction sheet, and the ubiquitious Figma Ziploc bag for the extra parts.

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Yui comes clad in her Type-00 Fortified Pilot Suit, which is recreated here in splendid detail. It’s a design that manages to preserve her shapely curves and yet adds on some more angular armor bits in strategic places, like her boots, wrists, and shoulders. Every part of the suit’s detail, including the panel lines, are part of the sculpt and the mustard, black, and purple paint is beautifully applied with just the right amount of sheen. The only quality issue I can see on my figure is a little nick to the paint on her left knee.This is easily my favorite, and arguably the most distinctive, TSF pilot suit in the series, and this figure nails the look perfectly.

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Yui’s portraits include a somewhat passive face, a slightly sad face, and a shouty face, all of which include the sculpted chin and cheek guards from her suit. The hair is cast in a very soft plastic, which is very helpful since there’s a lot of it and some of it cascades down the front of her shoulders in two strands. It still makes it a little difficult to get a full range of motion out of her neck articulation, but I’d like to imagine the suit would have had some restrictive tendencies as well.

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The hands include a pair of fists, a pair of relaxed hands, and two pairs designed for holding the sword, one rather tightly and another angling it.

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Lastly, we have the two versions of the sword. The unsheathed version features a silver blade, although no painted hamon line, and a nicely detailed grim and tsuba. The version in the scabbard has the option to pull out the hilt piece if you want her holding both the loose sword and the scabbard, which is a great little touch. The scabbard doesn’t attach anywhere to the figure, but then I don’t remember her ever actually wearing it, so I’m going to say that’s accurate.

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The figure stand is typical Figma fare. It’s functional, but I tend to find these stands to feel rather cheap, particularly in the base. I’ll also note here that the peg that secures into the back is not a good fit and I really have to twist it and apply a lot of force to get it in far enough to support the figure. In this regard, I tend to prefer the quality and design of Figuarts stands over these.

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I’ve had my eye on this figure for a while now and only recently pulled the trigger because she turned up at a great price on Amazon, which put her at under $40. Yeah, I already have Koto’s superb statue of her, but she’s a great character with a great design, and ultimately I decided that I needed her in poseable figure form as well. I don’t believe that Inia ever got the Figma treatment, but Cryska did, and I’m certainly satisfied enough with this figure that I can easily see myself picking her up at some point down the line.

Muv Luv Alternative Total Eclipse: Inia Sestina Pilot Suit Statue by Kotobukiya

I promised myself I would try to put some things to bed before the end of the month and that included wrapping up my look at Kotobukiya’s three statues based on the anime series Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse. I started with Yui back in September and then Cryska and now it’s time to look at the younger half of the Scarlet Twins, Inia.

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By now we know what to expect from the packaging for this line. The box features windows to let you get a peek at the statue inside and the deco relies on pictures of the statue itself, rather than any character art from the anime. It’s also worth noting that these boxes are a lot less Western-friendly than Koto’s Bishoujo and ArtFX+ packaging. In other words there’s very little English apart from the name fo the series and statue. Because of the orientation of the statues, Yui’s box was very tall, Cryska’s was landscaped, and Inia’s is a little bit in between. As always, the box is collector friendly and the statue comes wrapped in plastic and between two clear plastic trays. The only assembly required is attaching the figure to the base.

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The composition of this piece has Inia sitting on a little mound of shattered concrete rubble with her legs out in front of her. She has one hand resting on the base and the other drawn up to her left shoulder. I think it’s a great pose because it shows off the suit really well and compliments the other two statues beautifully. Inia is the youngest of the three ladies, and it’s reflected in her slightly smaller stature, but not so much in her rather outrageous measurements.

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The Crimson Twins are co-pilots and as such their pilot suits are designed en suite making them almost identical. The only profound difference that I can see is that Inia is missing the pauldron that’s present on Cryska’s left shoulder. Otherwise, you get the same great contrasts of curvy skin-tight latex with the bulkier boots and a few slightly armored bits here and there. I liked this suit a lot on Cryska and it still looks great on Inia.

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The portrait here features Inia’s unmistakable wide and innocent eyes that reflect her younger age. Despite having nearly identical suits, there’s certainly no mistaking which pilot is which. The face sculpt is intentionally soft, as with the other two statues, but the paint used for the eyes is sharp and immaculate. Inia has much longer hair than Cryska and Koto went all out showcasing that. They do love their windblown hair effects and in this case I think they outdid themselves. It splays out all around Inia’s back almost like a cape and it looks fabulous. I especially like the one collection of strands that snakes across her front just below her chin. Inia’s hair is the same pale purple as Cryska’s, but it has more of a silvery metallic sheen to it which looks great.

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Speaking of paint, the deco on Inia’s suit is identical to that of Cryska’s. You get the same slight matte purple and black along with high gloss pale blue and some mint green accents. Once again, the paintwork here is excellent just about all the paint lines are incorporated into the sculpt, making them sharp and better defined. It’s not as flashy as Yui’s suit, but it sure does look nice.

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While the bases of the three statues are not inter-connective, it’s obvious that Koto designed these three to display together. Besides the three bases sharing the same appropriate ruined concrete theme, each statue is orientated to a different height from Cryska lying on the ground to Inia reclining on a wall, to Yui standing straight up. It’s a nice bit of planning and I’ll confess that had Koto not done such a great job of coordinating the three pieces, I may have been content to just buy Yui. Of course, if you just fancy the Scarlet Twins, they look mighty good together as set too, but… aw, who am I kidding? I was always compelled to get all three. Unlike Cryska, Inia actually does get secured to her base via a tab in her left hand.

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If you’ve been kicking around FFZ for any length of time then you probably already know that I’m an unabashed Kotobukiya fanatic. They do amazing workmanship for reasonable prices and they often touch on many of my favorite properties. When I first saw that they were working on statues for Total Eclipse, I knew I was going to have to pick them up. It took me a little while to get around to it, but now that these three ladies are on my shelf I’m so very glad that I did. Kotobukiya also released an additional two pilot suit statues from Muv Luv Alternative, although not from the Total Eclipse series: Meiya Mitsurugi and Kagami Sumika. Unlike Yui, Cryska, and Inia, these are characters that I’m not as familiar with, but I’m still considering adding them to my collection because I think they would look great with the trio I already have. Of course, Figma has also produced some figures based off the ladies of Total Eclipse, but that’s a rabbit hole I’m trying to avoid.

 

Muv Luv Alternative Total Eclipse: Cryska Barchenowa Pilot Suit Statue by Kotobukiya

Last month I took a look at the first of Kotobukya’s 1:7 scale statues based on the lovely lady mech pilots of Muv Luv Alternative Total Eclipse. I meant to get back to these sooner, but my receivings pile runneth over and I’ve had tons of new stuff to look at. Let’s remedy that today by checking out my second acquisition in this line, Cryska Barchenowa, the elder of the infamous Scarlet Twins!

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Cryska comes in the same style window box that we saw last time with Yui. The deco is more pink than yellow and the box is landscape orientated to reflect the horizontal composition of the statue. There’s no character artwork from the series, instead the deco relies solely on photos of the statue. I suppose that’s appropriate, since the windows are rather small and so you don’t really get a good look at the entire piece until you open up the box and get her out. While the box is bi-lingual up to a point, it isn’t as Western friendly as Koto’s Bishoujo and ArtFX packages The statue comes nestled between two clear plastic trays with some minor set up required. All you need to do is put the gun in her hand and lay the figure on the base. As usual, the box is totally collector friendly.

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The composition on this piece is an interesting choice. Cryska is reclining on the ground with one hand propping her up and the other holding her sidearm. I like it a lot, but one could argue it doesn’t necessarily suit Cryska’s cold and strong-willed personality. On the other hand, the addition of the gun helps bring it back home and gives me the vibe that this is her posing for the TSF Pilots Calendar. Hey, in the series, the pilots all went out to a tropical island for a photo shoot, why not do one in their suits as well? Either way, it’s certainly a fine display of cheesecake, although not nearly as gratuitous as Koto’s last treatment of Cryska clad only in a red bikini and stockings.

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As with Yui, Cryska is tightly encased in her pilot suit, which is a tantalizing mix of skin tight rubber and somewhat bulkier armored parts. In this case, however, I think Cryska’s sensuous curves far outshine the downplayed angular bits that make up her boots, gloves, and shoulder armor. Plus, Cryska’s two greatest assets are pretty much staring the beholder right in the face. Best not to linger, she is an Esper after all and she knows what you’re thinking. Still, the contrast works beautifully and I like to think that the design reflects the synergy of pilot and machine that is stressed so much in the anime.

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The portrait here is quite nice, with Cryska’s face beautifully framed between the chin guard of her suit and her tussled purplish hair. Yes, I really love how they did the coloring on her hair. Her large eyes are beautifully painted as well.

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Speaking of which, the paintwork on this statue is gorgeous. The base color of the plug suit is a very pale purple with a brilliant glossy sheen. Next up you have a matte purple for the legs and armor bits and trim. The arms feature both matte black and navy blue, and there are some mint green points located around her armor. I also can’t help but love those suggestive tattoo-like markings down near her nethers. The geometric patterns on her back and butt are quite nice too.

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Cryska’s base simulates ruined concrete and perfectly matches the style of the one used for Yui. This one isn’t as elaborate as it just has one small piece of wall jutting up. Also, unlike Yui’s base, this one has no pegs to attach the figure to. She just lies right on top of it. You do still get some pieces of rubble to place around the base if you so desire. I’ve opted to leave these out for the time being.

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Cryska retails for about $80, which granted is considerably more than Koto’s Bishoujo offerings, but I still think it’s well worth it for the quality and craftsmanship that you’re getting. Since buying these statues, I’ve been having a blast re-watching this series on Cruncyroll, albeit with my busy schedule, now I’m reduced to just a couple of episodes a week so it’ll take me a while to finish it again, but I’m enjoying it every bit as much as I did the first go round. Cryska is a great character and her mysterious nature was a big part of what kept me coming back for more during my initial viewing. Koto produced a beautiful statue here, which makes a fine stand-alone piece, but really begs to be displayed with the other ladies. Speaking of which, next week I’ll circle back and check out the other half of the infamous Scarlet Twins, Inia.

 

Muv Luv Alternative Total Eclipse: Yui Takamura Pilot Suit Statue by Kotobukiya

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.