Today was yet another beautiful day. The birds were birding, the sun was sunning, and my allergies are really acting up. How strange, I never have allergies. Maybe I should form a contract to get rid of them for good! Speaking of contracts, it’s time for yet another Madoka Magica related review! This time, I’ll be looking at figma Sayaka Miki School Uniform version by Max Factory.
Due to the nature of the character, this review will contain spoilers for Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Please proceed with caution if you have not watched it. Actually, go watch it now. It is very good
Sayaka is a carefree middle school girl who is a fond friend of Madoka Kaname. But not everyone can be carefree and healthy as she is. Sayaka’s dear friend Kyosuke Kamijo was injured and told he could never play violin again. To make a miracle happen, Sayaka tosses aside her happy life as a normal girl in exchange for the role of a witch-fighting magical girl all in the name of love and justice. Yet the life of a magical girl is not simple as it seems. Behind the glittery façade is the miserable truth just as behind Sayaka’s pure white cape is a soul plagued with darkness. This is the eventual fate of a magical girl, and Sayaka’s succumbing to this fate is just one drop on the pool of tragedies that is Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Madoka Magica has a special place in my heart. When I first begun watching anime(about five years ago) , I decided to get the classics out of the way first. This often included magical girl series which meant fifty episodes of Cardcaptor Sakura and two hundred of Sailor Moon. I enjoyed these animes, but after being inundated with “Lovey dovey we never fight because everybody can be our friends every episode is the same bratty children I love you”(this is mostly Sailor Moon) for so long, I’d about had enough of magical girl. And after hearing what a friend said about Shugo Chara, I’d determined that once you’ve seen on magical girl show, you’ve seen them all. Then Madoka Magica came along. The show had the fluffy cute costumes that define the magical girl genre, but the story was unexpectedly grim. Not only did the typical pet turn out to be an emotionless alien with no regard for human life, characters died and stayed dead. I would not venture to say Madoka Magica is a landmark series that has changed the face of the magical girl genre(although it’s popularity does suggest that), but for someone like me who is tired of all that love and friendship power, this series was perfect.
I do not usually watch shows multiple times, but I always find myself returning to Madoka Magica for those few parts that remind me why I love the show. One of those parts is the Sayaka saga(Sayaga?). The moment when Sayaka’s soul gem finally cracks and when Madoka and Kyoko venture into Octavia’s barrier on the slim chance that they might save her along with the full weight of Sayaka’s unrequited love and sacrifice gives me a reason to watch the show all over again. As I mentioned in my Mami Tomoe School Uniform ver review, I’d almost lost hope that this figure would come to be. So when Sayaka did go up for preorder, it was an instant buy!
Sayaka’s blue box is the standard figma size and is covered with stars and swirls. Light blue is my favorite color, so I find this box very pretty!
Like the girls before her, Sayaka is decked out in the Mitakihara middle school uniform. I used to not like it, but I suppose it’s grown on me.
It was very hot when I took these pictures…
In Sayaka’s seafoam hair is a gold clip which is the only thing to distinguish her short haircut from that of a boy’s. The clip is painted with gold metallic paint which provides a much better effect than flat paint would.
Her skirt has been sculpted to give a windblown effect.
Sayaka’s stand fit into her back with ease. That’s always nice.
Now let’s move onto what makes a figma: the accessories!
Sayaka comes with three faces:
mischievous, sarcastic, and afraid
I will not deny that I love all of these faces, but were they really the best choice for Sayaka? Sayaka was happy and funny, but that was only at the beginning. She spent the majority of her time on screen severely depressed, so why don’t any of her faces reflect that?
She also has several pairs of hands.
Top row: open, fists, pointing
Bottom: gripping and a different gripping hand.
*I found a ring hand with Sayaka’s accessories, but think it belongs to Mami and ended up there by accident. So until I can confirm whether or not that hand comes with Sayaka, please excuse it.*
Of course there’s so much more to Sayaka than hands and faces, so let’s look at her character specific accessories!
First is our good old friend: the blue school bag!
I bet there’s a just box in the factory filled with these things…
Next is Sayaka’s first weapon: a baseball bat!http://
This is what Sayaka brought on her very first witch hunt with Mami and Madoka! How…dangerous.
The bat is a pearly gold, so I suppose it wasn’t supposed to look like wood.
Next is an enhanced version of Sayaka’s bat.
Tada! This is how Mami made it look once they entered Gertrud’s barrier! How…dangerous.
Sayaka’s final accessory is an optional hair piece.
In the Puella Magi Madoka Magica movies, Sayaka’s magical girl design is revised to include a gold clip. The clip helps to reinforce her musical theme while reflecting the one she wears with her uniform.
Putting the new hair piece on magical girl Sayaka brings her up to date! Sadly the color or the new piece does not quite match up which makes the new addition more obvious than preferred.
Also note that Uniform Sayaka’s faces are interchangeable with magical girl Sayaka’s.
Now that we’re acquainted with Sayaka, let’s have some fun with her!
Sayaka is a good looking figma. She is good quality and poses well, but if my meager photo shoot says anything, her playability is lacking. Looking at her faces and accessories leads me to suspect that this figma is meant to represent Sayaka before she became a magical girl which is ok, but misses out on the meat of her character. No crying face, no psycho face, no tainted soul gem? This figma is good, but I feel they missed the opportunity to make it great.