Monday 13 October 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Ryuko Matoi

Figma Ryuko Matoi

It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since Kill la Kill first starting airing in Japan and there's been barely any poseable figure releases. Nendoroid Ryuko and Mako did fill in a little bit of the gap, but they're still a long way off a properly poseable release. So naturally the ones to fill that gap are Max Factory's Figma line, who released their version of the show's protagonist at the end of September 2014 (following a month delay). Unlike the Nendoroid this version of Ryuko Matoi in full synchronisation mode with her Kamui Senketsu. So as you can expect, it may be a little bit risqué for casual figure collectors...

Box Front view

Box Back viewInsert trays

Since the Figma boxes have all started becoming identical there's been far less to say about them each review, but luckily Ryuko's packaging manages to capture a little bit of that Kill la Kill charm in that uniform design. Other than the very appropriate black and red colour scheme, it also features a bunch of red thread lines going across the black section - much like the ones that are plastered all over the show's opening. It's simple, but enough to make it seem more like Kill la Kill packaging rather than just a standard Figma box. Inside there's actually two trays to house the figure and all its accessories, along with the two things you'll find with every Figma release - an articulated stand and ziplock back to keep the pieces in.

Out of the box!

Figure front viewFigure back view

Back shot poseCovering up

As I mentioned earlier this release is of the fully synchronised version of the Senketsu battle suit, rather than a standard uniform version or the first-appearance version of the battle suit. Differences between the first appearance and fully synchronised versions include longer eye-pieces, spikes around the braces/skirt and more flowing hair on Ryuko. Also, being the battle version expect a lot of skin. Oh yes, there's butts and boobs aplenty with this release.

Fanservice aside, Figma have done a pretty solid job with the overall sculpt of the figure. The colours are all nice and bold, and little details such as the scar on Senketsu's left eye stand out surprisingly well (arguably more than they did on the show itself). Articulation is as great as ever, with Figma thankfully continuing onwards with their use of the excellent ball-jointed hands seen on the Attack on Titan releases rather than going back to the classic hinged hands. Consider the lack of clothing around the figure, they've also managed to get a surprisingly clean look out of the whole thing - particularly in the hip area.

The only real issues to make a note of are the feet and the braces connecting the top half to the skirt. The latter do restrict the waist articulation a little bit, so if you aren't careful will snap. Not a huge deal if you pay careful attention when moving the waist, but definitely something worth mentioning. Meanwhile the feet are only an issue because they're high heels. So don't expect to get much dynamic posing out of the figure without the stand around for additional support.

Scissor blade!Ready for the kill

More posing funTaking a breather

As Kill la Kill progresses and Ryuko and Senketsu learn to properly harmonise with each other Ryuko gains a few new weapons and power ups, but this figure is strictly limited to the things she uses most. Accessory wise we have five pairs of hands (closed fists, open hands, two sets of grabbing hands of varying grip and posed pair that I'm not quite sure the relevance of), three changeable faces (smiling, shouting and wincing) and of course - the red Scissor Blade. There was no way this figure was going to come without Ryuko's signature weapon, and like the Nendoroid version has been nicely sculpted out of solid red plastic. While it lacks the glossy finish of the Nendoroid version, it's otherwise pretty much identical - no paint apps to speak of but a great sculpt.

In terms of extra things that could have been included I don't think there's a whole lot else she could have come with (claw hands would have been nice but they're tied in with the Senketsu Senjin form). Personally I'd have preferred a stern face over the wincing one, but it does make for a little more variation I guess.

Decapitation mode

More decapitation modeThe final blow

Finally there's the matter of that secret second tray hiding at the back of the box, which houses Ryuko's final accessory - the 'decapitation mode' of the scissor blade, where it unfolds into a long two-handed sword. It's an impressively sized weapon, and side by side is actually longer than Ryuko is tall. Like the standard blade it maintains the scissor aesthetic by being completely flat on one side. While it is possible for the figure to hold the blade in one hand I suspect in most cases where it isn't being dragged across the ground will also to balance issues without the aid of a stand. Especially since standing is hard enough without it as it is.

As is the norm with most Good Smile Company releases these days, those who purchased her from their online store would have also received an additional accessory in the form of a plastic "cut out" of Mako. Nifty, but nothing worth shelling out extra especially for I think.

Together with the Nendoroids

With Nendo Mako's Guts accessoryMore posing fun

All in all it's a pretty solid Ryuko figure and definitely something fans of the series should consider picking up. It's just missed out on top marks due to the braces potentially being an issue, and being the version of Ryuko that may not be suitable for everyone. Given that Kill la Kill is full of suits like this part of me thinks "well what did you expect?" but at the same time I recognise that watching something is very different to displaying it for all to see. Hopefully Max Factory will think to appease fans by bringing out at least a standard uniform version, but part of me also expects that to come with the words "Wonderfest exclusive" in tow. However given that battle mode Satsuki is the only other one definitely coming in the near future (and even she hasn't got a release date yet), I do wonder just how many Kill la Kill figures we'll be seeing from Figma before they move on to the next big thing.

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