Who can forget the promise? We heard it over and over, always hoping that the next time would be the time that the promise was kept. Yet we were always turned away, disappointed. Who could forget it? “Service, service!” she promised, but we never got it. Instead, we got some strange Judeo-Christian imagery, several examples of very bad parenting techniques, numerous blatant violations of UN law governing the deployment of child soldiers, and emo kids before the world knew what emo kids were. Screw all that, I want my fanservice.
This figure of Misato Katsuragi is an original sculpt by E2046. They’ve also done a version of Asuka, both figures obviously being inspired by the Rei Ayanami figure based off of a Shunya Yamashita drawing, sculpted by REFLECT, and sold by Yamato. Looking at my site stats, that review is peculiarly one of the more popular ones that I’ve done, which suggests that there’s a market for this sort of style. (Incidentally, going through my early reviews makes me want to torch this site’s archives.)
I recall that there was a bit of consternation on the E2046 forum when this figure was unveiled, and I don’t suppose that’s all that surprising. For one, she arguably doesn’t look a lot like Misato. Misato is usually depicted with black hair and wears a crucifix. For another, E2046 calls this figure the “plugsuit version” and Misato, being well out of her teens, obviously never wore a plugsuit. And while Misato was a temptress and a tease, one probably wouldn’t call her slutty. By anime standards, anyway; there are a lot of things and behaviors that are acceptable to anime fans but would make other people wonder what the hell is wrong with these weirdos.
On the other hand, hair color is one of those continuously variable things in anime. Misato’s hair is usually given a purple sheen which could plausibly be interpreted as its actual color. Furthermore, she’s not the worst offender in this respect by any stretch: Asuka’s hair has gone from brown to red to blonde to everything in between. Even Rei is no exception; a quick look at some of her figures reveals her hair’s variegated hues in all her incarnations, with more kinds of blue than Miles Davis. And her outfit here is dictated by theme, and as Misato typically wears a short dress as her work uniform, it is not completely out of place.
And yet you protest, “This still isn’t Misato, this is just some loose woman cosplaying as her!” Okay, okay, I can dig that. Some people won’t like this figure’s style or that of Yamato’s earlier Rei Ayanami. Some people aren’t going to like Misato being squeezed into a slinky, bottom-baring minidress, particularly since, other than a suggestive photograph shown in the first episode of the television series, she hasn’t been sexualized to nearly the same degree as the younger female cast (and arguably Shinji and Kaworu, too). Some people just don’t like anything that deviates from a character’s canonical appearance and personality. That’s all fair. There are obviously some tremendous liberties being taken with the character, and no doubt those will not be acceptable to everyone.
This version of Misato is listed as 1/6 scale and stands about 24.5 centimeters tall, actually putting her closer to 1/7 scale. That’s fine, though, since that nearly matches the size of Yamato’s Rei. My figure came with no problems or damage. There’s not much that needs to be done to set her up; just pop on her bust plate and head, set her onto her base, and you’re good to go. More on that first thing in a bit.
Her face has been given a relatively realistic sculpt which makes her look as young – if not younger – than Yamato’s Rei. I think her face is very pretty but seeing her as a contemporary of Rei rather than her elder is a bit off-putting. She does show quite a bit more skin than the First Children, though, with some very sexy underboob flashing out. She’s carrying a pistol of made-up manufacture; I think it would’ve been nice if it had a laser sight or something to make it look a bit more high-tech, given her futuristic clothing. Unlike REFLECT with their forthcoming Asuka, E2046′s sculpting team has given Misato a fine behind, which is saucily tilted towards observers in her best viewing angle.
The paintwork is quite good for a hand-painted figure, with her outfit given a latex-like sheen. Her skin also gets the glossy treatment, which makes Misato a bit difficult to photograph. She’s put together well but up close, some of her joints are visible, particularly around her right thigh. That’s not unusual for a hand-built figure but it is noticeable.
Misato gets to stand on this oversized base, which seems to depict the front view of one of the Evangelion mecha units. It’s got an abstract raised pattern covered in a chrome effect, which looks very nice. Presumably this base is meant to match with E2046′s Asuka figure but as I do not own that one, I can’t say for sure.
E2046 is staffed by perverts at heart and so Misato’s bust plate can be removed to free her breasts. I’ll refrain from inlining the pictures to keep this review marginally work-safe but you can click here and here to check out her goodies.
I think this is a great figure, though I wonder if my opinion may be in the minority. Me, I’m not too bothered by alternate adaptions of characters. Part of that is because I’m a fan of American comics, and almost no major comic book characters have a canonical look – not even Batman or Wolverine. I also enjoy seeing alternate takes on characters; for example, I’m not all that a big a fan of Miku Hatsune’s rather derivative default appearance, but I love the different looks that she’s been given, particularly the more realistic ones like Max Factory’s VN02 figure and her Miku Append persona. I’d like it if PVC figure makers deviated from the original source artwork more often rather than slavishly trying to reproduce the most faithful rendition possible.
And there’s also my fondness for sexy anime women, which I readily admit to. I certainly have no objections to Misato slithering about in a fetishistic sheath dress and as I like Yamato’s earlier Creator’s Labo figure, I think this figure is a very nice complement to Rei. I’m not so certain she’ll go as well with Yamato’s upcoming Asuka, but as my hesitation with respect to that figure is increasing as time passes, that may be a moot point. I wonder if E2046 will roll out a version of Mari in this theme?