Spring break has just begun, and Usagi is on fire! Because what’s a better mental image than burning bunnies? Here we have yet another long awaited review. In fact, this is so old that I took the review photos before winter, and wrote the first half in December. Anyway, let’s get this review going!
Today’s subject is figma Black Rock Shooter Animation ver by Max Factory!
Ever since her appearance as a character drawn by Huke and in the music video bearing her name, Black Rock Shooter has been a popular internet character. Because of this popularity, Black Rock Shooter has appeared in an OVA,multiple games, and manga. And since her origin was a simple drawing, writers have taken the liberty of creating multiple backstories where Black Rock Shooter is anything from Earth’s warrior to an embodiment of emotions. This particular incarnation is from the eight episode Black Rock Shooter TV anime and is the third figma redesign of her in her iconic costume.
The original OVA Black Rock Shooter(BRS) figma was one of my first figmas. I thought a lot before preordering, and stared longingly at the preview pictures before receiving her. Surely it’s those fond memories that drive me to buy every new BRS figma regardless of how similar they are.
Although I didn’t mind the OVA, I was not a fan of the anime. Like the OVA, the BRS anime depicts the entire Black Rock Shooter world as an alternate universe where the fights of BRS and her enemies mirror the real life interactions among several middle school girls. But whereas the OVA at least had likeable characters and awesome designs, the anime was over-the-top in both characters and designs. Rather than a serious battle, the anime comes across as an angst ridden drama that is very difficult to take seriously. When the BRS figma line first began, I intended to collect everything, but after figmas from the anime began to go on sale, I decided to stick with only the characters I like and forget collecting them all. Since Black Rock Shooter is an old favorite of mine, I made sure to at least get her!
Now let’s look at her box.
It has the checkerboard pattern that adorns previous BRS figma boxes, but this time adds a grungy effect.
The anime version of BRS retains her original look while adding some new details. It’s also noteworthy that the scar on her stomach has been omitted. I wonder why the anime decided to do this…
The top part of her coat is made of a noticeably rubbery soft PVC while the bottom is normal hard plastic. I’ve always had a thing for long black coats.
I like what they did with the triangular coat tails. They remind me of stained glass.
Her hair is black with a lovely blue gradient.
One pigtail is intentionally longer than the other.
The hair sculpt is extremely pointy. That isn’t bad, but care should be taken not to allow her hair to snag and potentially break on anything. The pointiness is also responsible for a little paint glopping in corners.
*Note* The white streaks are from tissue paper I used to clean her hair*
Both pigtails are jointed.
The joints allow her hair to move to the sides
Because the upper coat is made of soft PVC, the paint is very sloppy. I imagine it’s difficult to paint soft PVC, but still, this sloppiness is not appreciated.
Another issue with the soft PVC coat is that the malleable plastic is more susceptible to warping. I’ve noticed that having her is certain poses causes the coat to rise a little. This is not severely damaging to the figma, but may be annoying for certain owners.
On a good note, I do like her double belt. I’d say it’s much more stylish than the plain old man belt original BRS had.
More sloppy paint. You can see from pictures taken farther away that it does not look so bad from far away, but I’ve seen figmas that look much better than this one up close.
Yet another issue exemplified by this image? Dust. Because the soft PVC is stickier, it accumulates dust very easily. There’s almost always a layer of dust on her coat.
But what I find slightly disappointing is the lack of treads on the bottoms of her boots. I’ll admit that to criticize the figure for this is an extreme case of nitpicking, but after the anime opening prominently featured a star pattern on the undersides of BRS’s boots, I’m surprised that this detail was not included on the figma. It’s not impossible either since both Mayoi Hachikuji and Karen Araragi have patterns on their shoes.
One of the benefits of Black Rock Shooter’s design is that it adds to her pose ability. Without a skirt, she is able to accomplish leg poses that most figmas cannot. She can even do a split!
The coat prevents her from sitting on chairs with a backing though.
But Black Rock Shooter would be no fun without her accessories!
She also has two faces.
Serious and sideways serious…
Although I find her blank stare endearing, when compared to her predecessors, this Black Rock Shooter does not have an impressive selection of faces. This is most likely due to her blank(even by BRS standards) personality in the anime though.
If you’re put off by this Black Rock Shooter’s apparent lack of variety, be aware that she does have her own unique perks.
My personal favorite addition is this hood!
The hood is a separate head, so to attach it, simply pop off her old head and the hood around her neck, take off the front of the hood to insert her face, and plop it back on to have a hooded Rock Shooter.
As much as I love this addition, it does have it’s problems. The first is that her head is permanently looking down which forces you to photograph her from below when wearing the hood if you want to see her face. The second is that darn soft PVC again. For whatever reason, the front of the hood is made of it, and makes it an awful dust magnet.
Black Rock Shooter is an action character. In fact, all she does in both the OVA and anime(whatever happened to the English release of the game?) is fight, so the figma just has to have a few weapons!
This figma features both of Black Rock Shooter’s well-known weapons. And since they’re from the anime, they’ve been re-designed!
What differentiates this version of Rock Cannon is it’s ability to expand. By pulling on the “arms” of the cannon, you can make it look like this:
Although this cannon is shorter than others, I actually prefer it this way as the decreased length makes it much easier to maneuver. I was having a lot of fun posing BRS with the cannon…until the handle broke. I must have pushed a little too hard on her hand because the cannon’s handle just came off. This was my fault, and I can always glue it back, but this is a shame.
Now that we’ve seen everything Black Rock Shooter comes with, let’s take her out for a photo shoot!
Like I mentioned earlier, Black Rock Shooter is an action character. In my time collecting figmas, one of this things I’ve learned(mostly from owning Sabers) is that I am positively horrible at making action poses. I tend to prefer the “Standing with a sword” look, and cannot create a decent fight scene for anything. But something that became very apparent during my shoot for this figure is that she is astonishingly easy to pose. I believe it’s mostly due to the hood, but I found her very easy to pose and was actually able to make her look cool. This was confirmed when I attempted to pose my other Black Rock Shooter figmas, and failed miserably.
In spite of the complaints about sloppy painting, dust, and poor choice of face, this is my favorite Black Rock Shooter figma. The hood and cannon totally make up for her flaws, and I had tons of fun posing her. Whether you’re an old or new collector, I’d recommend her!