So normally I’m not really a fan of the Black Rock Shooter series. I suppose the reason for this is the same reason I’m not all that much of a fan of Hatsune Miku (despite writing a ~15 page report on her[/url]). Back when “Hatsune Miku” gave reactions of, “Who’s that, a new anime character?”, Kagamine Rin and Len hadn’t been born yet, and searching for “VOCALOID” on YouTube yielded less than 100 results, I came across a video on NicoNicoDouga of a Miku song coupled with some pseudo-animated artwork by a Pixiv artist. That video was ryo’s original “Black★Rock Shooter”, featuring artwork of an unnamed character drawn by artist huke.
– Type: Figma + Artbook
– Character: Black ★ Rock Shooter Beast
– Version: Limited Edition
– Series: Black ★ Rock Shooter
– Company: Good Smile Company (artbook), Max Factory (figma)
– Artist: Huke (artbook)
– Sculptor: Masaki Asai (figma)
– Release date: 2012/01/30 (Limited)
– Pages: 240 pages, A4 (artbook)
– Specs: Non-scaled, PVC, H=145 mm (5.66 in) (figma)
– Price: ¥6476
– JAN: 4582191966670
– Catalog No: ANZX-6455
YouTube reprint with English lyrics
At the time, I thought, “meh”. Wasn’t the best of ryo’s songs and while the art style was unique, I didn’t think much of it. Fast forward a few months, tons of “Hey, is that Miku? No, that’s Black?Rock Shooter!” comments popping up here and there. Fast forward a few years, BRS had developed its own fanbase. I rewatched the original video and a few 3DPV versions. Still, “meh”. Out came the pilot OVA. Then out came a full OVA. Then out came a full TV series, the game, and all the figurines/merchandise, and pretty much anything and everything that could be milked. Suddenly there was a Black Rock Shooter, a White Rock Shooter, and Insane Black Rock Shooter, and a myriad of different characters spawned from a few conceptual character designs huke had drawn years before. It was quite startling. And I even then, I was still “meh”.
Until I came across pictures of Black Rock Shooter Beast. There was something about the character design that interested me. Maybe it was the blue crown, or maybe it was the sword. Or maybe it was the fact that it didn’t have ridiculously long and spunky hair like all its other lookalikes http://myfigurecollection.net/picture/506961). Well, whichever it was, it interested me enough for me to look around for if there was any PVC figure of her planned. There wasn’t any, and so it didn’t make my wishlist. A while later, I discovered that huke also happens to be the artist behind Steins;Gate (after seeing http://myfigurecollection.net/picture/247389). I had watched Steins;Gate with my underclassmen in univ but had never played the visual novel. And so interest arose again slightly, but still not enough to warrant a wishlist addition.
So how did I end up buying this? Impulse buy xD Long story short, I was wandering around killing time (I had accidentally arrived a few hours early to an event) and decided to drop by a local anime store that I had just heard about a while back (the “store” actually turned out to be the owner’s home plus a huge warehouse). The owner and I chatted for an hour or so while I went through his stock, even though I knew I wouldn’t find anything I wanted (ever since I started figure collecting seriously, I’ve focused only on completing my TYPE-MOON collection http://myfigurecollection.net/list/13040 with anything non-TYPE-MOON pretty much being impulse buys). I ended up coming across this sealed BRS Beast figma + BLK artbook set and impulse bought it (along with a cute Chocobo plush http://myfigurecollection.net/item/111570 as a gift for a friend). While the $120 price tag (after the owner knocked it down from the marked $150 for me) is definitely far more than what it would cost to get from Mandarake (with shipping), it was a nice experience going through the warehouse and I don’t mind spending a bit extra supporting fellow collectors (he showed me his Dizzy http://myfigurecollection.net/item/42026 in his private collection but was unwilling to part with it).
tl;dr story: I came across an anime hobby store while wandering around and impulse bought this. While I haven’t made a habit of writing reviews yet and I’m sure this figma/artbook has been reviewed 4532452423 times already, I wanted to experiment a bit with my (relatively new) camera and learn to do some figma posing (I usually don’t collect figmas, previously only having a few Neco-Arcs and one random Mari because I didn’t realize it wasn’t a PVC figure when I bought it in Japan). So here’s my review/photo gallery, enjoy! ~Keripo Box
The set came in a sturdy cardboard box with some simple text and designs on both sides and a sticker of the US wholesale distributor, AAA Anime, on the side (not photo’d). Simple box, nothing much to say about it.BLK Artbook
This artbook is HEAVY! At 240 thick coloured pages, its only rivaled in my collection by the TYPE-MOON 10th Anniversary Phantasm art book http://myfigurecollection.net/item/119286 with its 400 pages (which are thinner though, so they both end up having roughly the same dimensions). The artbook has three sections: Black Rock Shooter, Steins;Gate, and Others. The Black Rock Shooter section also had a few pages at the end for the Black Rock Shooter Beast character, including a picture of the figma itself. Really felt like it was added in just so an exclusive figma could be produced and packaged together to be sold. I’ve already seen most of the BRS artwork, but having not played the Steins;Gate VN, much of that section was new to me. The Others section was quite random, with some designs looking as if they were BRS characters that didn’t make the cut. The only picture of note to me was one of a pink-haired loli maid wielding a machine gun. I had used that artwork before in one of my old gamin forum sigs (the game in question was Forsaken World closed beta and the crappy forum sig can be seen here: http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b334/Keripo/Avatars%20and%20Sigs/RageQuitMoonlite.jpg).Black Rock Shooter Beast figma
The figma was far lighter than the book. I don’t collect figmas so I don’t know much about them, but judging from pictures I see on MFC, it seems pretty standard fare.Figma posing
I had a bit of fun experimenting with my camera (Sony DSC-RX100) for this. I had just finished reading a basic photography book and was trying to take pictures in the various different manual modes (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, etc.) and the BRS Beast figma provided the nice dynamic poses that I wanted. I also found that I could prop up the thick white cardboard sheet (that came with the two A3 posters from the TYPE-MOON Fes BD set http://myfigurecollection.net/blog/6303&blog=1) and use it as a background for clean review-style shots.
After much experimenting though, I concluded that my photography skills aren’t good enough to produce anything better than what I could get from the camera’s Auto mode (which, instead of setting a dial for aperture and exposure for example, you set a dial for “Distance” and “Brightness” and the camera auto-calculates all the parameters for you). All the shots in the last section were in Auto mode with some setting tweaks. Oh well, at least the shots turned out nice. I think. Please let me know, this is my first time posing and photographing a full body figma.