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Magic Knight Rayearth - Umi Ryuuzaki (Break)Magic Knight Rayearth - Umi Ryuuzaki (Break)Review

Ruben77Ruben775 år siden
MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH
Umi Ryuuzaki
(Break Prize)


(This is my very first review, so please forgive the mistakes ^^¡)

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Magic Knight Rayearth fans have had a hard time in terms of figures. Besides a couple of toy-like releases and a set of fashion dolls in 1995, no proper official figures of the show have been released in the past 20 years since the show was first aired.

Some small merchandise like keychains, clear files, charms, and other minor gimmicks have already been released recently celebrating both the 20th anniversary of the title, and Nakayoshi’s 60th anniversary. This set of prize figures are (by the time being and until Figma releases their own set) the most prominent object released to the public.

Released on July 25, 2015 (just four months ago), Umi Ryuuzaki received the honor of being #1 in the set. We’ll have a look at her.


Box
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Sadly, Umi’s box is nothing special. A plain, simple, and not so pretty box that leaves something to be desired. On each side of the box a photo of the figure can be seen. The top and bottom lids have a plain rendering of Umi’s mashin symbol surrounded by what seems to be stock floral ornaments. The back just shows the usual information and the same front/back photos.

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Let’s be brutally honest: it looks like an amateur designed the package in half an hour; it’s far from attractive. One wonders why the classic Atsuko Ishida illustrations, or any of the usual CLAMP ornaments weren’t used. Even the base in the photos is an awfully bad attempt at Photoshop.

Being a fan of Magic Knight Rayearth for 20 years, the treatment given to the box really hurt me :( Even the old fashion dolls had a better box. This set of figures deserved better.

One can easily understand why the cheap exterior prevents so much.

Interestingly, Kodansha’s sticker shows “2014” as Copyright notice:
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The “Nostalgia Girl” badge actually hits hard, as one tends to forget the beloved series is far beyond in time, and not many anime fans nowadays recognize it:
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Packaging
Fortunately, one thing is what the box looks like outside, and another one what it contains.

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The base is protected with a simple plastic bag

The sword is carefully protected with a sturdy cardstock piece plus a plastic bag:

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Umi herself is carefully wrapped in bubble plastic, and inside she’s protected by another simple plastic bag. An additional small plastic piece prevents paint transfer on her right arm:

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The not-so-well-thought exterior of the box had me thinking. But I was relieved when I opened the box. All this guarantees the figure arrives in excellent condition. Mine didn't have any scratches or suffered any damage at all.



Pose
She looks like a model” is the first thing we get to know about Umi in the manga and in the anime. Being so tall, slender, and having a long blue mane, Umi is very attractive, despite not being a model but a regular 14-year old school girl. Her design allows for a myriad of nice illustrations.

The pose chosen for this figure is largely based on a promotional Atsuko Ishida illustration for the anime that was used on many merchandise items back in 1995. For a Rayearth fan, this certainly one of the most iconic Umi images, and a pleasure to see it rendered in 3D form. Only a full-armor version, or a goddess attire version could surpass it. But don’t forget this is just a prize figure with no higher pretensions ^^¡

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The pose is at the same time dynamic, fierce, and elegant. A proper rendition of the character.




Sculpting
The comparison above clearly shows the strengths and weaknesses of the pose, and also of the general sculpting. It is a great approximation to Ishida’s rendition of the original CLAMP design. But it isn’t completely faithful to the source artwork: reason being that for some reason the sculptor decided to incorporate elements from the original Mokona Apapa’s illustrations.

It’s true that the handle of the sword, the necktie, the boot ornament, and the face expression are all different in the figure, and do not correspond to what is seen in the promo image. But… yellow was the original color of the necktie in all of the manga and artbook illustrations (while orange was used only in the anime images); the boot ornament is also very faithful to the original manga illustrations. The handle of the sword in the figure is practically identical to Mokona’s drawing, and directly taken from the production sheets (that can be seen in the Materials Collection Book). And Umi’s face is softer in the figure, which is also closer to what was seen in the manga, and more appropriate to her personality. Even the ruffled petticoat is quite close to what was seen in the manga.

In other words: the sculpt’s greatest sin is also its greatest achievement: a mixture of one of the most iconic images of the characters drawn by the anime character designer, with many elements borrowed from the original CLAMP artwork.


Seam lines:
Actually, they are almost invisible. They are there, but are so subtle, and carefully placed, that they are the last thing you think of.

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The most noticeable seam in my figure is in the hair, shown right on the center of the photo above.

You can also note the shading of the hair



Details:
You will see more in the photos below. Just let me say that even her small fingernails are sculpted, which is a nice touch:

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The Hair
The most controversial feature of the sculpting is –without a doubt– the hair. Sadly, and as much as I love Rayearth and all its characters, there is nothing I can say to alleviate the fact that Umi’s hair is an incomprehensible failure.

At least it is wavy and wild, like a fiery sea when a water dragon sprouts from the depths. But it could have been much better. By trying to be faithful to the original image, the sculptor didn't realize it was a dangerous approach. Either that, or he/she just can't sculpt hair.

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I tried hard to find a good angle. But no matter what I did, I ended up looking at a poorly rendered PVC version of Medusa’s hair. Which is very sad. I could give a8 or 9 to all the rest of the figure, but the hair needs a different category on its own. I cry to see this was an incredibly lost opportunity to create something beautiful.

Critics of prize figures will undoubtedly sign at this hair for years to come to justify their point. And defenders of this line of products will have a very hard time convincing others that despite this bad hair day, there may be some good points too.



Painting
Paint is actually very good.

There is a very nice white satin finish on the boots and armor. The gold trims are very well applied with little smudge or bleeding.

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Love the realistic wrinkles on her boots!

And even when there are defects, they are small and only evidenced by the use of macro photo, and not easily seen to the naked eye from a distance.

The matte paint used on the clothes is a great election, and gives them a more realistic feel. There were no stains, paint transfers, or chipping anywhere.

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The metallic paint used on her sword is of very good quality.


For a cheap product, this actually was a good surprise. The end result is very decent.

You just need to put your fingers on the nicely painted boots, or feel the clothes. The textures are more than I expected from the internet photos.

Sadly, the only shading is on her head. A bit more on her clothes and skin wouldn't have hurt at all, but I guess they decided to keep it simple. After all, this is just a prize figure, not a scale figure.


Scale
Talking about scale, Umi's official height is 158 cm (5' 2'')
This figure is difficult to measure given it's dynamic pose. But she's about 18 cm, which makes for a roughly 1/8 scale (actually, closer to 1/8.5).



Now, photos!

The poor base actually stands our if placed against a contrasting dark color. Otherwise it will be very dull.

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This is how you disassemble the sword in order to slide it through Umi's fist. A bit of hairdryer is a good idea both on the sword and on the hand:

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If you have the Materials Collection book, just look at the page with the swords designs, This is almost identical:

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Beautifully sculpted skirt:

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Panty shot!!
Not really. Fanservice was unknown in Rayearth (don't forget it was serialized on a young girls' magazine). Pettycoats and ruffles were to be expected. And is actually nice to see in this figure.

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Even the jewel on the back of her shoulder received proper attention to detail.

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More shots of the sword. A great detail and nice painting.

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This was the plastic protection on her arm. But you can also notice some details: the buttons of her jacket, the mouth, and the nicely painted eyes. Even her little right finger is raised just like in the source artwork!

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And now a 360º:

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Enjoyment
I was afraid at first. After all I've read about prize figures my expectations weren't high.

The early photos of the prototypes were good, but didn't show much. And the photos of the boxes were just unattractive. Official images were not the best.

However, this is the first time the Magic Knights get a figure. There isn't much to choose from, actually.

Only after I had them in my hands, I could see this figures aren't bad at all. Actually they're really good. The prize paid for them is really worth it. The finish and the details are satisfactory.

This incarnation of Umi is a nice addition to any collection. It may lack the fine detail and shaded paint of a more expensive scale figure, but its pose and quality is good to give her a chance.

If you are a Magic Knight Rayearth fan, you will surely love this set of figures. Umi is great despite her hair (ouch, her hair!). Even if this is not your favorite character from the show (as is my case), she's a pleasure to the eye, and she's portrayed in a way we fans remember her.

I'm not sure if the appeal to nostalgia, the pose, or the shiny metallic paint of the sword may bias my judgment. Quite probably (as it is the case almost always with the things you love XD ). What I'm sure is: I don't regret having bought her at all. I would buy her again, and I will always look at her with satisfaction.



So thanks everyone for reading :)

Shine on, and try to believe in Clef!

[R.M.]


PS: I will be reviewing Fuu and Hikaru from this same set in the near future, so stay tuned!

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Reviews of this set of figures:

Break figure - Umi: BLOG #23615
Break figure - Fuu: BLOG #23920
Break figure - Hikaru: BLOG #24054
7,053 treff • 0 favorit11 kommentarer

Scoring7/10

Sculpting
Painting
Posing
Base
Packaging
Enjoyment
Box
Hair

Kommentarer11

Nice review! Her hair is indeed horrendous, but I love the details on her sword and she looks good for her price overall. :)
5 år siden
mukyuu5 år siden#3379739She is really great! I would love to own Fuu as she was my fav Rayearth. Her hair reminds me of a Medusa though lol.
Yes, Umi is wonderful. Fuu too, they're pretty good figures. I loved Rayearth (and still do!). I'm so glad this figures came out, they a great addition to any collection.
5 år siden
Lina5 år siden#3379528She is so pretty, but yikes! That hair is quite scary. I definitely plan on getting all three eventually as I love Rayearth. Thanks for a wonderful detailed review! I can't wait to see your reviews for Hikaru and Fuu! <3
Thanks for your words. The other reviews will come soon. I just need some time to take the photos. I plan to make the review as as they were released. Next's Fuu, and finally Hikaru ;)
5 år siden
Elam5 år siden#3379527I can't beleive you gave such low marks for a prize figure. At least the base has her crest and not just a plain white base. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading your review. I feel your fondness for the series :)
You are right. Maybe I was too hard with the base. Should have taken that into account, since there are much simpler and plain bases. Thanks for pointing it ;)
Actually, Rayearth was the series that introduced me to anime 20 years ago!
5 år siden
victorviper5 år siden#3379245I like how some of the "severe" elements of the character design translated into figure form, but that hair! Various terms came to mind when I saw her hair---spaghetti, mop head, tentacles...
I'll be interested to see how Fuu came out, as she was always my favorite cast member.


I also thought about tentacles, but then I should have marked the photo as NSFW XDDD

Fuu will be next! She's a fine figure too. I'm happily surprised with this set :)
5 år siden
OceanRoost5 år siden#3379111I'm glad to see someone review these figures! When they were first announced I pounced on them as soon as I saw them. I even ended up stalking the auctions for them for a few days after there releases. It really is nice to see old clamp series getting some modern day love. (maybe we'll get some clover merch at this rate.)
I personally loved the hair on this figure though. Where I have her seated, on the top of my detolf, she looks so dynamic. It makes the figure look like it has more movement than it already does in my opinion. Though I could just be biased because I love crazy monster hair.


Monster hair! I should have used that expression XDD
I know I'll get used to this figure, she's very good, and certainly looks very dynamic, which is a plus. :)
5 år siden
She is really great! I would love to own Fuu as she was my fav Rayearth. Her hair reminds me of a Medusa though lol.
5 år siden
She is so pretty, but yikes! That hair is quite scary. I definitely plan on getting all three eventually as I love Rayearth. Thanks for a wonderful detailed review! I can't wait to see your reviews for Hikaru and Fuu! <3
5 år siden
I can't beleive you gave such low marks for a prize figure. At least the base has her crest and not just a plain white base. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading your review. I feel your fondness for the series :)
5 år siden
I like how some of the "severe" elements of the character design translated into figure form, but that hair! Various terms came to mind when I saw her hair---spaghetti, mop head, tentacles...

I'll be interested to see how Fuu came out, as she was always my favorite cast member.
5 år siden