Today we’ll be looking at a figure who’s review I began in November. Whether it be because of the large number of pictures to go over or because I have a lot to say in this review, I’ve just not been in the mood to complete it. But now that it’s summer time and I really want to bulk up my review section, I suppose this is the best time to continue. So let’s take a closer look at Goodsmile Company’s 1/8 Inori Yuzuriha.
Inori hails from Guilty Crown–an anime that although blessed with excellent animation, designs, and music, failed where it matters: plot. Inori herself seemingly has everything. She’s beautiful, enigmatic, barely dressed, and has the voice of an angel. Unfortunately poor execution plagued the Guilty Crown project like a disease(a shiny crystal disease to be specific) because Inori is about as interesting as a doorknob.
When I first began Guilty Crown, I was immediately drawn in by the first episode. My disdain for anything mecha was overridden by the flashy action, the introduction of a singing heroine(sometimes I wonder why there aren’t any anime musicals), and the protagonist Shuu’s mysterious power. But as the show progressed, more questions were raised than answered(the answers weren’t always satisfying either), Inori proved to be rather bland, and I soon began to hope for Shuu’s painful demise. Even the few glimmering specks of potential that existed within the show were exchanged for a convoluted mess of fanservice and plot scraps. Guilty Crown was hyped as the season’s biggest hit, but prolonged exposure revealed it to be far from a success with me and many others.
I’m aware that these are hash words, and not everyone will agree with me. I am by no means an anime reviewer, and I do not intend to provide a proper evaluation of Guilty Crown. But what I do want to communicate is that I was disappointed. Seeing a bad anime go down in flames isn’t much of a loss, but to watch something that seemingly has everything needed to succeed is a shame. The reason I wanted to include my experience watching the Guilty Crown anime is because I’m afraid it parallels my experience with this figure.
When inspecting figures I receive, I prefer not to compare them to the prototype. A prototype is a one of a kind works made by professionals and kept in pristine condition for display and advertising purposes. Obviously the final product which was mass produced in a factory won’t have the master quality of the original. This is the reality that figure collectors accept and deal with because we trust that what we receive will be reasonably close to what is advertised(especially with a top tier manufacturer). But there are times when this trust is betrayed. Whether it be due to a simple slip in quality or blatant lack of care, the subtle charm that exists in the prototype is sometimes lost in mass production leaving us with a botched product and the nagging feeling that we’re missing out on what could’ve been.
After beginning my collection, I long avoided the allure of scaled figures. Although the figures were lovely, I could never justify the hefty prices and stayed away from them. My opinion changed with the reveal Goodsmile Company’s 1/8 Nessa(who I’ll review one of these days) who began my small scaled figure collection and proved to be an excellent model for spring photo shoots. With a new appreciation for these expensive beauties, I decided to keep an eye on Wonderfestival and only purchase what gave me that same “doki doki” feeling as when I first saw Nessa. That was when I was introduced to Inori.
Inori’s figure had previously been announced, but this was her first appearance as a sculpted and painted prototype. Inori was a highlight of the event and eventually preorders began. Here are the official images of the prototype:
Inori is posed as if in mid leap. Notice the slight transparence of the scarf lightly swirling around her. Inori’s bubblegum pink hair creates a lively contrast with her autumn red costume.
Inori is so magnificently vibrant that it looks more like she’s made of sugar than plastic.
Special attention is paid to the gentle face and glossy plump lips.
What we’re presented with is a figure of a beautiful young lady who appears to be frozen in time. Yet in spite of her situation, this mysterious floating princess’s face retains some semblance of comprehension leaving us to ponder along with her. To me this figure communicated grace and mystery, and after about a week of deciding, I placed my preorder for what equated to a little over $90 with shipping. With these things in mind, let’s proceed with the review.
Note I photographed this figure before receiving my SLR. Please take that into consideration.
Taking cues from Inori’s costume, the box combines orange, yellow, and black with a honeycomb design. The colors are dangerously close to pushing into Halloween territory; something which already jars with my graceful princess idea of the figure.
One of the first things I noticed when I removed Inori from her box is her size. She’s tiny.
Here she is next to Caster, a fellow 1/8th scale that was produced by Phat Company(who’s review I will be posting later this week).
Caster towers above Inori. I’d like to think that this was a bad combination of Inori being a petite little flower and Caster being some oversized fox from your nightmares, but this is not the case because the discrepancy in size was the same when I compared Inori to Nessa and Momohime(who are also 1/8 scale).
To be fair, this figure was sculpted by Sakurako Iwanaga(figures like Racing Miku 2010, Lacia, World is Mine Miku, Birdcage Girl, and Love is War Miku also grace their resume) who tends to produce smaller sculpts, and the figure’s measurements were available long before release, but that Goodsmile Company listed it as a 1/8 and charged 1/8 prices for it is hard to believe. Also true is that I had all of this information in front of me, and still decided to buy the figure…we’ll talk more about that later.
Now let’s take a full tour of Inori!
Since color seems to be a controversial subject for Inori, I decided to use a plain white background(AKA the bathtub) instead of my usual setup. This was before I had a proper camera and flash, so please excuse the shadows.
So far the pose looks good. But details are what matter, so let’s look at her more closely.
From here, her lips are very obvious. Unfortunately the gloss present in the prototype is absent which eliminates some of their appeal. I feel that some color on the lips and cheeks would really liven up her face.
Creepy as it may sound, I like how her thighs appear squished by the leggings. It adds some great realism to the figure, although I imagine it would leave some painful marks on her legs at the end of the day.
The “flaps” on her legs appear as if they are peeling off(in a good way). I like that they were applied as separate pieces to her legs rather than merely sculpted on. But do notice the small scuff near her knee.
The base is slightly disappointing. Considering how expensive she was, I was hoping for a really neat base to justify the price. Instead we have a blue disc which frankly clashes with her outfit. I’d like Inori to be the center of attention, but it feels like she’s fighting with the base. I think something reminiscent of the Guilty Crown crystals(whether they be purple like in the show or light blue like in the first opening) would have been better.
Although the base is not to my taste, it certainly is stable. Inori’s leg is made of sturdy plastic and a metal screw plugs into her foot thus holding her in place. She doesn’t wobble as is more stable than Caster.
Now that we’ve inspected Inori, let’s see how she holds up during a photoshoot!
Partially due to the cold weather at the time, these photos were taken over a few days. There was little nature to incorporate Inori into, so I did my best with what was available.
My relationship with Miss Yuzuriha is a rather complicated one. While the review shots remind me why I dislike the figure, looking at the outdoor pictures almost makes me love her again. In fact while I owned this figure, I was in a constant battle with myself. Fond memories of the prototype I so desperately loved encouraged me to overlook the blaring mistakes of what I had received instead. I sincerely wanted to like her, but just couldn’t. And in the end, that nagging feeling won and I have since sold Inori. But do I feel that the person who bought Inori was ripped off? No. I sold my Inori for less than I paid and I feel that that price was much more suitable for a figure of this quality. Inori can now be found for as low as 4000 yen which is closer to what the figure is worth. I remember seeing this figure’s price drop before I had even received mine and feeling like I’d made a mistake by purchasing her so soon. A customer should never look to the arrival of their purchase with fear. This figure is merely a shadow of what it could have been and even her small size(which was known before the figure was released) would have been excusable if her quality had been closer to that of the prototype.
Inori Yuzuriha is not for me, but that does not mean she isn’t for you. Even with her flaws, I’d say this is the best Inori scale on the market(the nendoroid is darn cute too), and considering her steep discounts, Inori just might be worth it. But for retail price? Nope.
My view of Inori is forever skewed, and not even pictures from my favorite figure photographers can change that. And although I know this was a bad case, I will most likely not preorder a scaled figure for a while. I wanted to like this figure, but just couldn’t