Strike Witches: Perrine Clostermann 1/8 Scale Figure by Furyu

It’s another beautiful Anime Saturday here at FFZ and while I’d like to say I’ll be spending it split between anime watching and video gaming, the truth is I’ll be working most of the day. But at least I can still enjoy a little of the morning by having my coffee and checking out an anime figure. This time I’m going with another of Furyu’s “High Quality” Strike Witches.

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The package design is similar to the Charlotte Yeager figure I looked at quite a few months back. The figure comes in a colorful box with windows on the front and top. There’s very little in the way of English here, but at least it tells you who the character is and the name of the series. Although, if you didn’t already know that, I don’t know why you’d be buying this. While the packaging is collector friendly, the cardboard on these boxes tends to be really flimsy, so I don’t know how well these will hold up to storage. The base requires some very simple assembly before Perrine is ready for display.

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And here she is all set up and looking fantastic! If you aren’t familiar with the anime, Strike Witches follows the adventures of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, comprised of young women who cast magic, have animal ears and tails, and fly around with pants that look like WWII fighter jets. They’re also our last line of defense against an alien invaders.

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Perrine is smartly dressed in her military-style blue tunic with gold buttons and striping on the sleeves. Her outfit consists of a fairly simple sculpt, but you do get some appropriate wrinkles, pockets, and the aforementioned buttons. The top features a slight billowing effect to suggest that she’s flying up high in the air and adds a little energy to the piece.

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The portrait here is pretty good. I like her surprised expression and they did a wonderful job with her glasses. The bright yellow paint on her wild, windblown hair is a bit splotchy in some places, but it’s not terrible. Her eyes are perfectly printed with an unusual yellow shade that matches her hair. Perrine’s familiar is the French Chartreux cat, so she has black cat ears popping out from her hair and a long cat tail protruding from under the back of her jacket. The tail is tastefully done, which is surprising when you consider how much fan service is in this series. Seriously, if you ever want to die of alcohol poisoning just play a drinking game called shot for panty shot. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Perrine’s Striker Unit is modeled after the French Arsenal VG-33 light fighter. It’s not an aircraft that I’m all that familiar with, certainly not as much as Charlotte’s P51 Mustang-inspired gear, but it looks great. you get some deep cut panel lines, details in the engine, and a grey and olive green camo deco. The props are cast in a clear plastic and they do spin.

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When not casting her formidable lightning based magic attacks, Perrine is partial toward wielding a Bren machine gun. The weapon is recreated here with a very detailed sculpt and nearly perfect paint job. It’s also easily removable from her hand so you can inspect it all over or even let a similarly scaled figure borrow it for a while.

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The base here is pretty much identical to the one that came with Charlotte. It uses a cup to cradle one nose of the Striker Unit and a clip to hold it further up. Oddly enough, I find the figure stands a little better if I don’t actually clip it to the leg, but rather just rest it there.

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I don’t know why it took me so long to come back to this line. I was very pleased with my Charlotte Yeager figure and this one makes me just as happy. In addition to enjoying the anime a lot, I really dig the contrast on these figures between the cute girl designs and the hyper realistic military hardware. The sculpt and paint on this figure are both remarkably good, especially for a piece in this price range. Yup, at $25 shipped, I’ll buy figures like this all day long and worry about where I’m going to find room for them later.

Strike Witches: Charlotte Yeager 1/8 Scale Figure by Furyu

It’s been a bitch of a work week for me, but now it’s Saturday and that means I get to open another anime figure! Today I’m trying to mix up the nearly unending flood of Kantai Collection with some Strike Witches. Because what’s better than a bunch of chicks with warship parts stuck to them? A bunch of magical chicks with animal and fighter plane parts stuck to them! OK, not really better, but still plenty cool! There’s a fair number of companies that have done Strike Witches merch, but today I’m checking out Charlotte Yeager from Furyu.

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The packaging is pretty typical for this kind of thing. You get a window on the front and top panels and shots of the figure on the side panels. I particularly enjoy the 501st Joint Fighter Wing / Strike Witches insignia on the bottom. Alas, my box is really beat to hell. Apparently good packing is a trade off for bottom feeding on the price. But, so long as it’s authentic and not a bootleg, I don’t care. Charlotte comes between two plastic trays and there is a little bit of assembly required on the base as well as putting her Browning Auto Rifle in her hand. I’ll confess, I was pretty surprised at the size of the box and figure when I got her. At $23, I wasn’t expecting a full 1/8 Scale figure of this quality.

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And what a beauty she is! Shirley dons her brown jacket, green tie, and very little else besides her Striker Unit, which is based on the P51D Mustang. She poses proudly with her left hand on her hip, her Browning Auto Rifle resting on her right shoulder and her chest puffed out. Little details like her belt buckle, the wings pinned on her chest, are nice touches. The girls of the 501st don’t believe in pants, which helps facilitate the copious amounts of fanservice shots that pepper every episode. I’d suggest a drinking game based around that, but it would probably kill me, and I ain’t no lightweight when it comes to booze! The M1918 BAR is a separate piece that fits in her hand. It’s not easy to get in there, so I doubt I’ll be taking it out again. It is a nicely sculpted and painted piece, but the barrel is made of pretty soft plastic that is prone to warping.

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Her portrait is solid, although the skin tone on her face and elsewhere is a little pale and flat. It just doesn’t have that soft and realistic skin coloring that I see on a lot of better statues. She does have perfectly printed eyes and a cute little smile. I think they did a very nice job on her hair, which blows off to her side, and is, of course, topped off by her rabbit ears. I never did quite understand why she doesn’t sport a little cotton tail instead of the rather long bushy one she has, but to be honest, I’m willing to suspend a lot of my questions while watching an anime like this one.

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The paint on the upper body isn’t terrible, but there are a few flubs here and there. There’s an obvious spot on a couple of her blowing strands of hair, the necktie could be a little sharper, and there’s a little bit of spray here and there on her jacket. These things would be unacceptable on a higher end piece, and to be fair companies like Taito and SEGA can pull off better paint at this price point, but I’m still really picking at things.

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Down below, the Striker Unit mostly impresses with sculpted and painted panel lines and rotating propellers. In fact, there’s only one area where the paint lets me down and that’s the black and white stripes on her left knee area. They’re notably fuzzier than the ones on the right. Other than that I love what they did here. The silver paint looks particularly nice and shiny and the registry numbers and star emblems are sharp, as is the yellow and orange deco near the props. I like the fact that they went with actual propellers, rather than the clear discs to make it look like they’re spinning fast. I just prefer it this way. The base is clear plastic and designed to hold the figure and be noticed as little as possible. The simple disc cradles the left tip of her Striker Unit in a little cup while an arm holds the inner leg. It works well and allows the figure to be removed and held fairly easily.

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While there are a few areas for improvement here and there, it’s hard to complain when you’re talking about a fully scaled 9-inch figure for under twenty-five bucks. And as far as the few areas of problem paint, well that could admittedly just be on my piece. It’s not like I can go into a store and scrutinize three or four different ones and choose the one with the best paint. The truth is this is a great looking piece and she has definitely encouraged me to continue collecting this line. I don’t have the budget right now to be hunting down the Bandai or Figmas of these characters, but Furyu’s line will do quite nicely.