I love RPGs, but sadly, school and work keep me so busy that I often miss out on some of the good ones. Odin Sphere was definitely one of those games that slipped under my radar. After purchasing Mercedes, I became intrigued by the style of the art and found myself pre-ordering not only the re-release of Gwendolyn, but also the second run of Yamato's Velvet. I still have yet to play the game these lovely ladies are from, but after getting Velvet, I think I might just have to.
Hit the jump to check out our review of this gorgeous princess!
Velvet's box is pretty standard, and is quite honestly plain. It seems like box designs have been getting better and better recently, but Velvet definitely falls short on that front. No big deal, though, as boxes are quickly put up in my attic after I open the figure. Velvet is not shown in her box here, because as you may know I take figures out the moment I get them. I do not wait until the photoshoot, even if it is later in the day, because I want to "get to know" the figure before I write up the review. And Velvet's chains are hard to get back in correctly, so we left her out.
I have one other Yamato figure, Amanda, and while she is a very nice figure, the quality on her is honestly not up to the standards set by the top-tier companies. Even after seeing pictures of the first-run Velvet I did not quite believe that she would come out looking so amazing. Well, I was about as incorrect as it is humanly possible to be. Velvet is nothing short of breathtaking in almost every aspect.
Let's start with her face. I feel that faces are one of the most important parts of a figure. The face can make or break a design, and Velvet ... well, one look at her and I was in figure-love. The vivid purple eyes looking backwards, her perfectly proportioned features, the delicate angle of her titled head: Velvet's face is perfect.
From the back, Velvet is just as enchanting. You get a better view of the folds in her skirt and her elegant stockings, plus you can really make out the wide arch of her hood. Of course, I could never display her like this as I am too fond of her face, but it is nice to know that she is so detailed from every angle.
Velvet was sculpted by BUBBA, one of the true masters of the craft. Her hood is a great example of how talented he is. The folds and curves are executed magnificently and give a sense of realism to an otherwise very unreal looking character. The shading on the hood adds depth and contrast, and is done so well that it seems natural. It was only upon close inspection that I realized the "shadows" on the hood were not from natural light, but from shading.
Though Velvet's hair is mostly concealed by her hood, parts of it peek out through the sides. I am not sure how exactly to classify her hair, it seems to be in sort-of pigtails with a knot in the middle. In any case, it looks great on her, and it is certainly a unique style. There is not a lot of shading in her hair, but the fantastic sculpt makes up for that.
Velvet is wearing a very skimpy outfit, but the fabric around her waist and the puffy sleeves and fringe around her top really give the illusion of her being fully clothed. Velvet herself is a skinny girl, and if she was real I am pretty sure she would need some cheeseburgers, but the stylized look she has makes her thinness seem natural, not creepy.
Velvet comes with some little plastic hooks to put the chains on, but I decided to simply wrap them around her wrists instead. It leaves no paint residue, and honestly it just looks cooler to have them wrapped like that. They are firmly attached and do not slip, so if you are not in the mood to work out how the plastic things work, this is a viable option.
The chains are nicely done and have a distressed finish that makes them seem battle-worn. They seem very solidly constructed, and I can't imagine them breaking any time soon. The crystals are made of clear plastic that reflects the light nicely and is a pale shade of red that compliments her outfit.
The front of Velvet's outfit is really just some fabric wrapped around her waist, and I can't imagine how it covers her when she is standing upright. It does the job when she is bent over, though, so I suppose that's what counts. The sculpt here is incredible, it actually looks like real fabric. Shading, like on her hair, is virtually nonexistent, but on black material like this it is not really necessary.
The back of her skirt is even more detailed. It has a nice flow that makes it seem as if she just turned around, and the shading here is similar to the work done on her hood. The paint on pretty much every inch of Velvet is phenomenal, up to the level of quality produced by companies like Alter and Max Factory. This was a pleasant surprise, to say the least, and Velvet is pretty much flawless in this area.
Velvet's hands are the best I have ever seen on a figure. They just look real. All of the details you would find on a real hand are here, shrunk down to 1/6 of their regular size. It really is quite astounding!
Velvet's stocking give her a sexy, almost burlesque vibe. The soft brown/nude color they used is perfect, and it really looks the way actual stockings do over skin. However, this is also the one area of Velvet where I found some small issues. In one spot, the stripe does not entirely match up with the sculpted line it should be on and curves in the opposite direction for a bit. However, this is really nothing to complain about as you can only tell if you are looking for it.
Velvet's base is wonderfully intricate. The surface is painted to look like marble, and the edges have a tarnished metal look to them. Good bases really add a lot to a figure, and this is especially true with Velvet. She has an almost antique-like feel to her. There is one issue with the base: her feet tend to pop off quite easily when you move her. I wish there were additional pegs in her heels, just to give her some extra stability.
Velvet's skirt is removable, but getting it off is a pain in the butt. She comes apart at the top of her torso under the shirt, so you have to pull the skirt all the way up. It is very flexible, but it doesn't fit neatly over her body. You have to wrestle with it, and I doubt I will ever do it again as I am worried about paint rubbing off.
They did go through the trouble of giving her some very classy underwear, so it is worth doing at least once. Even here the paint is perfect, and I love how detailed her panties are. It's always nice to see a company put so much work into "hidden" areas of a figure. But that smudge on her butt? It's from taking her skirt off. Easily fixable, but annoying nonetheless.
Velvet may be rather pricey, but I highly recommend her. She has quickly climbed the ranks and become one of my all-time favorite figures. She is drop-dead gorgeous and perfectly detailed, so if you are thinking about ordering her, I would not hesitate! She is still available at HobbySearch for 8,330 yen.
Thanks to Stephen for taking these pictures! I think they came out exceptionally well this time, so make sure to check out all the extra ones in the gallery! And of course, thanks to my mom for letting us borrow all her stuff for this shoot, and also for keeping around crazy/awesome things like an entire hawk wing. In case you were curious, the paraphernalia used in this shoot consists of a ton of old books, my mom's rose-gold wedding ring, an antique Russian cross, some cool glass triangle, a feathered headband (mine), multiple bits of assorted jewelry, a glass vase, the previously mentioned wing, and a little Buddha.
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