Asuka and Rei have been put in a lot of ridiculous outfits: maids, racing queens, biker gear, cops in miniskirts ... but out of all of the "out of character" outfits, I feel like the ballerina outfits they were portrayed in in this piece of official art seemed to fit them best. Asuka is fiercely competitive and Rei is docile and does what she is told. It's really not hard to imagine either of them donning tutus and spinning around on stage!
When Kotobukiya announced that they were turning the original illustration into figures, not everybody felt they were entirely in character, but I suppose you can't really please everyone! I've loved them since they popped up in trading figure form a while ago, and I was thrilled to finally be able to own larger scale figures of these beautiful ladies. So hit the jump to sneak a peak on their ballet practice!
Asuka and Rei have, not surprisingly, matching boxes. The design is very minimal, but the figures themselves have quite intricate designs so the black lines frame them quite nicely.
Since Rei was the first of the set to be released, let's start with her! She of course comes with a base, but we'll get to that when we go over Asuka.
Rei's pose is slightly altered from the illustration, but only to fit better in three dimensions. She looks exceedingly graceful, with her limbs placed oh-so-delicately against the ground. I heard some concerns that these gals looked washed out in some of the color sample pictures, but in person they are quite vivid: Rei's skin is of course pale, because it fits her character, but the whites are quite bright and the blues are very vibrant.
Rei's face is beautiful, though it does not exactly match her anime style. It definitely matches the illustration, however, which is exactly the point of having a figure based on an illustration!
A lot of clear material was used in the production of both Rei and Asuka, but not so much that it is overwhelming. For instance, the "feathers" on Rei's top are made of clear PVC, but white paint was overlaid on top to create a subtle effect that mimics tulle.
The tutu is also made of clear material, but it is soft and flexible so you do not have to worry about it breaking. The ruffles are very well sculpted, especially taking into account the soft material they are made out of. The two layers give a nice illusion of fullness, and the pale white color brings out the subtle warmth in Rei's skin tone.
My favorite detail on Rei is the ribbon on her neck and the buttons on her back, and the nice effect the two create together. It's very elegant, and it's the subtle details like this that add to the overall quality of the figure.
Asuka is my favorite of the two, but that is probably just because I like Asuka's character better. But I do like her pose, as it seems more ballerina-ish of the two. Rei looks like she is warming up, but Asuka looks like she is performing.
Asuka's face seems to mirror her anime style more closely, yet it keeps the angular style of the illustration. I love the tiara they gave her, and the trailing twintails. The ties holding them up are made of the same clear material as much of Rei's outfit, so it adds to the breezy quality of her appearance.
Asuka's outfit is a lot more intricate than Rei's, with the criss-crossing ribbons down the front and lots more ruffles. The paintwork is very smooth, with minimal shading that matches the simplicity of their outfits. I think if there was a lot of shading on Asuka's bodice, it would definitely distract from the overall look of their outfits.
Unlike Rei's tutu, Asuka's has a red trim to match her bodice. The linework is perfectly smooth, with no paint overlap or blurred lines.
Asuka's hands are wonderfully sculpted, and so delicate looking. In fact, the overall impression both of these figures give is that they are very delicate. With their petite frames and the careful placement of their arms and legs, they seem far more fragile (in terms of their form, not if they will break or not!) than most figures.
Asuka's foot is screwed into the base, so she is very stable even though all of her weight is on that one foot. The base itself has a diamond-like pattern with colors that match her outfit perfectly.
And here are the two of them together! As you can see, Rei comes with a matching base. She doesn't have any pegs, you just put her on and situate her at Asuka's feet. The bases interlock, and look very nice when you display the two together!
These girls make a lovely pair, and I recommend them either as a set or as individual figures. Sure, they're not entirely in character, but they are elegant and make a beautiful display. If you're an Evangelion fan, or a fan of girls in tutus, these are definitely a must-get!
Thanks as always to Stephen Donaldson for taking these pictures. If the location seems familiar you might have seen it in a recent movie called ... BLACK SWAAAAAN. I live only a few blocks away, and it was just too tempting not to take my ballerinas there. Funnily enough, one of the ballerinas who works there came out from practice during the shoot and really loved both of them. That's right, they have the stamp of approval from a real-life ballerina!
[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with these review samples]
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