We looked at Illya last time, so logically, today we’ll be looking at her counterpart, Chloe (sometimes romanized as Kuro, which I think sounds better and is thematically more appropriate, but nobody consulted me). We’ll keep this review brief as almost everything I thought about Illya applies to Chloe as well, so we’ll just touch on the high points.
When we’re introduced to Chloe, she is presented as a mysterious adversary to series protagonists Illya and Miyu. However, in the timeless and hoary tradition of magical girl anime, her antagonism is blunted by the wily seductions of friendship – and, in this case, family ties of sorts – and she becomes a gal pal to our heroines. I guess that’s sort of a spoiler but the box gives away her surname, so I suppose it’s not that big of a revelation.
Chloe is sculpted in 1/7 scale, just like Illya, and she’s about the same height, which makes sense since they are something like two halves of a whole. She comes with a little heart thing which she can hold, but aside from that, she’s ready for display right out of the box. While her costume is scant, no castoff option is available unless you know a skilled figure modder.
And I suppose we can start with her outfit, which is agreeably abbreviated. In keeping with the theme of contrast, while Illya’s bikini bottom is undone, Chloe’s top is untied. There’s obviously not a lot to see, as neither Chloe nor Illya sport impressive racks, but it’s a cute touch anyhow.
Speaking of contrast, I suppose that might be why Miyu isn’t represented in Amakuni’s product lineup. It’s a bit unfortunate since I like Miyu, but I guess it makes sense that she’s not here.
While Illya gets to carry a star, Chloe carries a heart. It simply slides between her fingers and it stays in place reasonably well. It looks like fairly cheap translucent plastic, which is really all that it is, and personally, I don’t think it looks all that great. However, Chloe’s hand positioning doesn’t make a lot of sense without it, unless one assumes she’s gesturing some sort of gang signs.
Chloe seems quite happy to be standing around with her swimsuit falling off of her, as opposed to Illya’s bashful, nonplussed expression. Her wink looks a bit odd in figure format – I think it’s one of those looks that works better in 2D art than 3D – but I wouldn’t say that it looks bad. She’s very cute, and the combination of her orange eyes, pink hair, and her sassy sideways ponytail is quite striking.
Again, there’s so much that’s so wrong with both Chloe and Illya, but sexualization of underage characters is hardly a novel concept in anime culture. It’s a little shocking when this concept is observed in a three-dimensional format rather than on a computer screen or in a manga volume, but then, figures – and anime in general – have been racing towards more tantalization and more lewdness and more outright perversity over the last few years. Things that would otherwise be taboo – incest and sexualization of underage characters among others – are commonplace these days, so neither Illyasviel’s nor Chloe’s appearance bothers me too much, except for the sculpting of their stomachs. Other than that aspect, the only thing I’d like for Amakuni to have changed would be to have made them larger.