Click on the following links to see pics of the figure out of the box (opens in new window)
I have yet to watch or read Tenjho Tenge and my initial reaction at some of the publicity shots were that Oh!great's buxom designs were a little, err, over the top... Sometimes though you see a figure that you just have to buy, and for me this was one of those times.
This figure is just stunning. No other word can be used. Model makers extraordinaire Kaiyodo have really excelled themselves with a figure that looks as good as many statues that cost ten times the price.
This figure of buxom sword wielding schoolgirl Aya Natsume comes fully painted and assembled with a sturdy black display base and stands at an impressive 8" (20cm approx.) tall. Aya is depicted in her school uniform of a figure-hugging blue blouse with a red bow, excessively short skirt and loose socks, with her sword drawn and her long hair wheeling about her. The pose is excellent, evoking the character's sexy but deadly look perfectly, but what is really awesome about this figure is the detail.
The fact is the figure is made from plastic, but it is so good that it looks for all the world like it is made from polystone or resin. The level of detail in the sculpting is jaw-dropping, from the rucks in her socks to her skirt's pleats and her long, windswept hair. The level of detail in the clothes especially gives the figure a level of realism and quality that you rarely see in mass-produced plastic models, and the painting and design is superb. There are some flaws when you look closely (as you would expect from a plastic figure) - such as visible join lines in the hair and very light casting lines - but what really impresses me is how the pose of the figure actually obscures most of them from view on all but the closest inspections. The only exception to this is the join line across the head where the hair and fringe connect, which is pretty noticeable but a very common problem with anime figures.
My only other (minor) gripe is that the figure's feet do not stand flat on the base, something I thought was particularly annoying until a glance of the picture on the box proved that they were supposed to be like that, and I realised it wasn't that noticeable anyway. The figure does seem a bit loose on the base but is actually surprisingly stable, and the glossy base itself doesn't look anywhere near as tacky as you think it will. The thing is that most of the gripes with this figure are minor at best. The sculptor seems to have even compensated for most of them with the character's pose, and they are more than outweighed by the pluses.
This figure is, plainly and simply, the best anime figure in this price range that I have had the pleasure of seeing. The level of detail in the sculpting and painting is something to marvel at and sets a new benchmark for quality at an affordable price. Forget pretty much any other anime statue or figure you have seen, this one blows them out of the water. Affordable and superbly made, this figure is absolutely stunning - do yourself a favour and buy it.
Just a plastic base for the figure, which suite the model far better than you think it will and is pretty stable too.