It’s time for Christmas in July, courtesy of Kotobukiya. It might seem odd to release a Santa-themed figure in the middle of the year, particularly one of a Soviet commie, but the timing is nonetheless auspicious as Total Eclipse is in the early stages of its anime run and many viewers seem uncertain as to just what to make of it. Even so, I think most people can agree that the female characters are very hot and are worthy of having figures made of them.
Cryska is one of the main characters of Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse. Originally a written story serialized in the magazine Tech Gian, it has received a currently-airing anime adaptation. A Soviet mecha pilot, thus far she has shown herself to be humorless, mission-driven, and enigmatic. She comprises half of the duo called the “Scarlet Twins,” her counterpart being the more lively but no less mysterious Inia Sestina. Kotobukiya also released a figure of Inia last month, but I ordered it from a US-based store so I won’t be getting it for a few more weeks.
I’d been looking forward to the Total Eclipse anime for some time, being a fan of its art style and world design. The first couple of episodes were promising – particularly in the uncompromising brutality the second episode depicted – but the last few episodes have been something else entirely. I guess I wasn’t completely surprised – I knew a beach episode was coming, having seen a ton of art of the Total Eclipse characters in swimwear – but I was still taken aback by the abrupt shift in the storyline’s tenor. However, I guess nobody should be shocked because Total Eclipse is playing out exactly according to convention. There’s the hotheaded, snarky, conflicted main character in Isamu Dyson – err, I mean, Yuuya Bridges. There’s the perverted, peeping Tom sidekick. And of course, there’s the harem of busty, sexy women, with Yui and Cryska calling Yuuya “kisama” while blatantly desiring his sperm.
The show features a surprisingly heavy emphasis on nationalism – appalling might be a more appropriate word, given that the alien antagonists are bent on killing and eating everyone and that nationality presumably has no effect on flavor. One would hope that humanity would move past its differences and unify itself to prevent snack-time extinction. But no, much of the early part of the show portrays the reluctance of the characters in putting their cultural baggage aside.
The race squabbling has already taken up way too much of the anime’s time, but I have to admit that I find it fascinating on a personal level. Being Yonsei Japanese, I’ve been interested in how Japanese people react to foreign-born Japanese, pretty much ever since reading Rising Sun as a kid. I can also relate to Yuuya’s internal bias; I’m also half-Korean and grew up in Seoul, and I could not wait to get back to the States. Despite living in Korea for over ten years, I refused to learn the language, to eat most of the food, and to become interested in Korean culture. That said, I was twelve years old when I left Korea and my feelings have changed since I’ve gotten older (though not necessarily more mature; it would be difficult to ascribe maturity to myself, given that I run a website with pictures of half-naked dolls wrapped in toy tentacles). Given that the Total Eclipse characters are adult, battle-hardened military personnel, one would expect that they would act in a more disciplined manner. Hopefully this plot thread will run its course soon.
(One last note about the anime: Yui sure is cute gimping around on a bum ankle. She reminds me a lot of Junko Hattori from Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Mao – and given that that was a wacky harem comedy, that is perhaps not the sort of characterization the Total Eclipse producers ought to be shooting for.)
This figure of Cryska is based off of artwork by Miyata Sou, the artist responsible for much of Total Eclipse’s artwork. Or rather, formerly responsible; he got himself fired from Age Soft a couple of months ago. Too bad, I liked his pictures.
Cryska is manufactured by Kotobukiya. This particular product is labeled “Guren,” which means something like “red lotus flower.” She’s sculpted in 1/7 scale and is about 13 centimeters tall, making her a close match to Kotobukiya’s Yui Takamura figure. Like some of Kotobukiya’s figures, she comes with a special base; in this case, a soft, circular cushion.
In keeping with the Christmas motif, she also comes with a fuzzy Santa hat. It’s a bit oversized – though it probably has to be, given the bulky nature of anime hair. I like its large size; it makes it look a lot cuter on her.
Speaking of cute, the original artwork shows her looking very cute, with doe eyes and a shy smile. The figure, however, offers a slightly different take. Cryska looks like she’s trying to strike a pinup pose but isn’t really into it, as if she can’t quite overcome her inhibitions. She looks very sexy and given that she seems to not be a very personable individual, her look is more faithful to her character.
The figure comes with a couple of fuzzy white lengths of pipe cleaner that can be wrapped around her neck. Her head actually comes off to make them easier to apply. One length is shorter than the other so you can pick what sort of look you want Cryska to have. They’re supposed to look like a fluffy white scarf or boa or something but personally, I think they look very much like pipe cleaners so I put them back in the box.
Cryska – and Yui – are known for their killer bodies, with narrow waists, big boobs, and shapely buttocks, and all of that gets emphasized on this figure. She’s proudly displaying her breasts, which are perhaps this figure’s most prominent aspect. They are certainly impressive.
Her backside is also highlighted, and it also looks great. I like her high-cut style of bikini bottom, much more than I like the low-rise style a lot of anime girls wear. Also, it’s nice to see that her swimsuit actually fits her; a lot of anime characters seem to wear swimsuits that are two or three sizes too small.
Personally, I’d prefer that she be wearing her pilot suit but beggars cannot be choosers. She does fill out that bikini very well, though, and I can’t even say it’s an inappropriate look for her, being that the anime has already dressed members of the female cast up in a catgirl maid outfit and Japanese school swimsuits. There was also a curious incident where, in a bit of chain of command-sanctioned sexual harassment, Yui got put into a bikini herself.
Taking off Cryska’s hat reveals the navy blue clips that she and Inia wear on their heads. It also makes the up-turned ends of her hair much more noticeable.
This figure of Cryska is very sexy, and her clothing hits on the swimsuit-with-thighhighs fetish that I have. Actually, Cryska’s design hits on a number of fetishes I have and so it’s a figure that I like a great deal. Her evident discomfort combined with her skimpy costume make her look adorable, even though her look and personality suggest that she’d want to kill you afterwards. I’m looking forward to getting Kotobukiya’s Inia soon.
If anyone is interested in getting her or Cryska, and if you’re in the United States, I’d get her from a US retailer like Big Bad Toy Store or something; she’s a lot cheaper there than ordering her from a Japanese store. Plus, Kotobukiya’s US branch always writes the best ad copy for their products.
For another review of Cryska, check out Biotoxic’s Blog.
Here is Cryska together with Yui.
And here’s Kotobukiya Cryska with Alphamax Cryska.