After looking at Motoko last time, today we’ll be looking at Angela Balzac, another highly-skilled, scantily-clad female operative from a science fiction series. This character comes from a much more contemporary series, though it has something of an old-school feel about it.
Rakuen Tsuiho – Expelled From Paradise in English – is an original, feature-length anime film. It takes place in the far future, when humanity has separated into two groups: a digitized society that dwells in virtual bliss in the computers of DEVA, and their flesh-and-blood counterparts living on the sun-scorched, wind-blown surface of the Earth, eking out a meager existence amidst the wreckage of civilization. Following a number of data breaches in DEVA’s systems, Angela Balzac, a highly-trained but somewhat inexperienced agent, arrives on the Earth to search for the mysterious and elusive hacker. Once she arrives, she finds that the sensuousness of flesh and emotion offers a compelling alternative to the antiseptic, anodyne sterility of posthumanity.
Expelled From Paradise is by no means original and is sorely lacking in storytelling ambition, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The characters were appealing, with Angela’s design being particularly attractive, which of course is a major reason we’re looking at this figure. On the downside, the plot is entirely derivative, with the computerized Eloi being predictably portrayed versus the human Morlocks of the Earth, and the running time seems too short for the show. The animation style is unusual, with the characters being computer-rendered in the same manner as mecha in anime, and this can make them appear robotic at a quick glance. Nonetheless, you get used to it quickly, and although the story is fairly straightforward, it reminds me a lot of some of the shows I liked in my younger days, including Robotech (particularly the third generation, or Mospeada) and a long-forgotten title called Iria: Zeiram the Animation.
This figure is manufactured by Alphamax in 1/8 scale, standing about 20.5 centimeters in height. She requires minor assembly, in that her twintails are separate pieces that have to be pushed into her head. It’s mostly a straightforward process but a small instruction sheet is provided to show how to do that. One odd thing I noticed is that both hair parts seem to use the same size and shape of peg, so it could be possible to fit her right twintail into the left side of her head, and vice versa; it’s a good idea to make note of which twintail is supposed to go into which socket.
Angela Balzac is designed by Saitom, the alias of Masatsugu Saitou. He’s come into prominence of late in the figure world for his work on Angela, Miku Hatsune (for her 2013 Good Smile Company Racing version), and for a couple of porno figures by SkyTube and Native. He also designed the Mage from Bikini Warriors, though his work there is a little different from his usual style, with the mage having a noticeable upward slope to her eye shape (tareme, to those in the hobby).
Angela wears an extraordinarily tight, high-cut thong leotard, which is reminiscent of the costumes worn by anime heroines from the 1980s and 90s. She’s obviously designed to be attractive and she fills it out well.
She is presented as a hot-tempered girl in the anime but she has a fairly staid expression here. She has a distinctive haircut, with a bowl-shaped style accented with two giant twintails. Her hair ribbons are big green Xs, which combined with her outfit colors almost give her kind of an Xbox 360 mascot look; it wouldn’t be hard to imagine her being Microsoft’s representative in a Neptune game.
Her pose looks good, though it does appear a little odd if you study her and wonder what exactly she’s supposed to be doing. The answer, of course, is that she’s showing off her curves and the length of her body. Although Angela’s sex appeal wasn’t a major factor in the anime (a peculiar thing, given the prominent place fanservice is given in so many contemporary anime), it’s a big part of this figure, with Angela arching her back and pushing her ass out.
And her backside certainly passes inspection. It’s a little unfortunate that one of her twintails obscures part of the view.
Japanese character designers often don’t emphasize the buttocks as much as the breasts, and this tends to carry over in figure design, too. However, it looks like the sculptor took special care to make Angela’s ass appear even larger than it should, which is a really great thing.
Refocusing on things that are less erotic, here’s what she’s holding in her hand; it’s some type of high-tech monocular.
On the technical side of things, Angela looks very nice. Her leotard has a pearlescent sheen to it, which gives it a high-tech look and strongly draws the eye. Ranking figure manufacturers relative to each other is a common activity amongst figure collectors and though I don’t really like to partake in that activity, I think Angela stands quite well amongst figures from the upper tier of makers.
I like this figure a great deal. Part of that is from Angela’s design, which is already very appealing, and part of that is from Alphamax’s presentation, which emphasizes her best points. This is a great figure that further establishes Alphamax as being a highly capable figure maker.