This came in one of the huge AmiAmi boxes that I finally got around to unboxing along with the rest of my June 2014 backlog loot. I’m a huge fan of mechas and mechamusume, so I was pretty excited way back when AmiAmi Zero announced their Infinite Stratos line (though right now all they have is Akatsubaki and Blue Tears). While I was ultimately quite disappointed with the show (especially its sequel, “Infinite Fanservice 2” as I call it), the IS designs are apparently inspired by various Mobile Suit Gundam designs, with Akatsubaki very likely inspired by the ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice from Gundam SEED Destiny (to complement Byakushiki, which was inspired by the ZGMF-X42S Destiny).
I’m a 4th gen IS and technically the most powerful in the world yet I still get my ass kicked in Infinite Fanservice 2… orz
I haven’t really been posting many figure reviews lately as I’ve found them quite time-consuming, but you can check out my previous reviews here or just browse through my Flickr sets.
– Type: PVC Figure
– Character: Shinonono Houki
– Version: Akatsubaki ver
– Series: IS: Infinite Stratos
– Company: AmiAmi Zero
– Sculptor: Me-n
– Release date: 2014/05/30 (Standard)
– Specs: 1/8, PVC, W=550 mm (21.45 in) L=420 mm (16.38 in) H=350 mm (13.65 in)
– Price: ¥18857
– JAN: 4902273017371
– AmiAmi products page
– MyFigureCollection entry
– Suruga-ya entry
– Yahoo Japan Auctions
*Note: Like GSC’s Madoka, the price of this figure drastically dropped after release date due to its huge box size, so make sure to hunt around for the best price!*
The box, which is hugeeeeee
There’s an entire 4 layers of blister wrap stacked on each other – The figure + katanas, the wings, the bits, and the stand.
All the pieces layed out flat. Surprisingly, the box did not come with any instructions manual, so I had to guess and figure it out myself. Turns out, the instructions manual is actually available online on AmiAmi’s website as a PDF, but that was nowhere indicated on the box nor on the English AmiAmi page (or I just didn’t notice it).
Lets go through all the parts first, starting with the main figure of Shinonono Houki. The figure sculpt quality and paint job really blew me away. Sharp well defined edges (dangerously so rather, poked myself quite a number of times, especially on the claws), smooth metallic paint, vibrant colours, really nice pose. I was really impressed by the quality. The face looked a bit dull, but I bought it for the mecha, not the character.
Next comes the armour pieces and bits. Like the figure, they’re really sharp and nicely painted. I was really careful with handling these cause it kept feeling like I would accidentally crack/chip something.
Akatsubaki’s two katanas, Amatsuki (short one) and Karaware (long one). They looked pretty decent, though not as nicely detailed as Kotobukiya’s Ryougi Shiki’s.
Finally, the stand. Pretty cool array of hexagons with some silver text on them. The metal poles will be used for holding the figure up – not so convinced they’re all that sturdy…
The first thing I did (remember, didn’t know there was an online instructions manual at this point) was attach the back booster/frame to Houki’s back. Turns out, someone screwed up with the mold as the connector piece does not fit at all. It’s a standard rectangular block with a pin/nub in the middle, but the middle piece was misaligned by quite a bit (roughly 2-3mm). This meant that even though you could insert the pin, the rectangular block was offset and wouldn’t fit. Given that it’s an offset problem rather than an angular one, I don’t think even a hairdryer would be able to fix it :( You can see the gap if you look closely from the side, but it does hold (loosely). I just wouldn’t shake the figure too much once you get it attached.
Next comes the armour, or “butterfly wings” as I would call them. Each wing consists of two parts, which join via a snuggly fit connector piece.
The wings attach to the back frame via a similar connector piece. Since the back frame is a bit loose, I ended up detatching it first, connecting the wings, then reconnecting the entire unit back on. It was quite the delicate job.
Akatsubaki with its armour attached
Next came attaching the katanas. Unfortunately the claws were not sculpt in a way to securely grasp the katanas, so you had to be a bit creative in getting them hold in place without slipping off. Also make sure not to force it and try slipping it in at different angles. The bottom katana slipped in just fine…
But the top one ended in disaster, with the claw’s thumb cleanly snapping off with the slightest nudge. Luckily, Krazy Glue came to the rescue and I was much more careful the second time.
Oh, I almost forgot. The obligatory panty shot. Although like most of the Strike Witches/Pantsu Witches figures, they’re not exactly hidden or covered in any way…
Now lets try connecting it to the base. The metal pins connect to the feet, then connect to the base. Again, no instructions at this point, so I had to trial-and-error.
Yes, the pins connect behind the figure, and yes, the centre of balance is infront of the metal pins. Meaning the figure’s weight is not supported at all, but rather in forward lean. The only thing stopping it from tipping forward is that the pins are connected to a ridiculously wide base. The stress here is perpendicular, horizontal stress at the point where the metal pin connects to the base, and that part isn’t exactly too deep nor well reinforced. Pretty poor design I must say :( Lets hope the base’s plastic material is sturdy and doesn’t crack too easily.
Alright, confident enough to attach the armour/back frame
Now comes the two huge bits (detachable flying armour pieces – its a Gundam term I guess). They attach directly to the base via the other two metal rods. Based on the promo pics, they are both meant to be angled outward rather than match the direction of the wings.
On top of the huge box, to give you an idea of scale
Moving it from the bedroom (where my photography corner was) to the living room was pretty tense, as I swear things were going to fall apart once I picked it up. Just make sure to lift it from the base and hold it level.
Due to the outward facing bits, Akatsubaki definitely won’t fit in a Detolf shelf (unless you remove the bits or angle them in an awkward way), so I placed the figure on top of one of my Detolfs, along with all the other “takes up too much Detolf space” figures. I do plan on getting all the AmiAmi Zero IS figures and having them line the top of my Detolfs, but for now, it’s still a waiting game on Blue Tears‘ release date >_< Omake Uh oh, Arc found it... What are you doing?... ...I need to find you some proper 1/3 scale katanas one day... An MG XX-02 Akatasubaki ~Ver KA~ model kit? I could only wish... ~Keripo Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157645288356759/ MyFigureCollection: http://myfigurecollection.net/blog/15743