Once upon a time there was a porno game called Fate/stay night. It was very successful, spawning a vast multimedia franchise. Over the ensuing years, its naughty parts were quietly played down. It thus gained a reputation for presenting its plot with dignified, sober gravity, and this story was breathlessly analyzed by its many devotees across an uncountable number of internet posts. Some might label all that as being obnoxiously pretentious but nobody can deny that Fate/stay night is a transcendant title.
That said, no matter how fervent the fanbase, puritanical portrayals don’t move swag. Type-Moon is presumably aware of this, which might explain why the older (in franchise terms) version of Lancer got little love from goods manufacturers while Scathach and a number of new, sexed-up female characters from Fate/Grand Order are all the new hotness. It is perhaps a bit unseemly, but nobody can claim to be surprised, either.
Fate/Grand Order is apparently some sort of Android and iOS game involving characters from Type-Moon’s flagship franchise. Having not played it, and having no interest in downloading it, I’ll leave it to others to explain what it’s about. From what I do know, Scathach here is the mentor of Fate/stay night’s Lancer, and she is also apparently a talented and enthusiastic combatant.
This figure is manufactured by Plum and stands about 23 centimeters in height from the top of her head to her toes, not including her ahoge. She’s 1/7 scale, which is agreeable as there are many other figures from the Fate/stay night series that are of similar size, so Scathach won’t look out of place when displayed with her castmates. Minimal assembly is required to place her spear in her hands; an instruction sheet is provided to show how that’s done. No additional accessories are included.
This is the first figure of Scathach to hit the marketplace, and this uniqueness coupled with the manufacturer’s mixed track record invites additional scrutiny. An initial pass indicates that this figure looks good, though I’ve read reports from people whose figures arrived decapitated in the box; the ire provoked by purchasing a figure in such a state would be completely merited. Happily, my figure shows no such damage. This is a particular heavy figure, for what that’s worth; probably not very much but I tend to think that denser, more apparently-solid objects feel better made. There’s obviously a lot of subjectivity to that but it was something that I felt was reassuring, as I wasn’t certain what to expect from this figure.
The design of this figure is based on an illustration but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything either, as there is typically some variance between the two-dimensional artwork and the three-dimensional sculpt. Such is the case here, where the artwork shows Scathach flashing a smile, but not the sort of smile that invites amity; if anything, it’s the sort of smile that conveys her confidence that she can kick your ass. The figure’s expression, in contrast, seems to have a greater sense of friendliness to it, and combined with her pose, it looks a little contrived, as if she were grinning right before her picture gets taken (which, admittedly, is basically what is happening here).
That’s not to say that I think it looks bad; actually, I think I prefer it this way, as I like the juxtaposition of her combative stance and her cute, girly smile.
One of the great draws of Scathach’s design is her skintight bodysuit, which she doesn’t so much wear as she’s been vacuum-sealed into it. Her suit is a distinctive mauve color done with a matte finish. Her outfit is accented with a purple layer reminiscent of a babydoll and panties, which looks very attractive.
Her suit hugs her body in all the right ways, which means her breasts are a prominent aspect of this figure. Many of the principal Fate/stay night characters don’t have exceptionally large racks (or they happen to be male), so it’s nice to see a character from this franchise be particularly gifted in this respect.
Scathach is clutching some sort of spear, which I would guess has a proper name. Or somesuch. I recall seeing artwork of her wielding two spears, but you only get the one with this figure.
Her pose is also quite appealing. Her feet are set wide apart, emphasizing the length of her legs, and her raised left arm thrusts her breasts out while tilting her body, giving her breasts a sexy, asymmetric look that contrasts with the tilt of her head. One odd aspect is that there’s no directionality to the way her hair is billowing out behind her; it looks like a gust of wind is blasting from directly under her or something.
In a technical sense, Scathach looks quite impressive to me. The airbrushed shading on her suit is heavy-handed but in an attractive manner, and the flat finish is nicely accentuated by the satin finish of the darker elements of her clothes. I didn’t notice any outstanding manufacturing problems, nor did anything else like conspicuously awry.
I think this is a particularly good figure, even though I haven’t loved all of the figures that I own from Plum. The likeness is reasonable, aside from her facial expression (which admittedly could be considered a very significant deviation from the source art). The execution in terms of paint and sculpt is solid, with no major problems. And of course, considering her muted color scheme and her static-yet-dynamic pose, Scathach’s very attractive character design is the main highlight here. The question, of course, is whether any manufacturer will make a better figure of her; there will certainly be more, quite probably from Alter and Good Smile Company. I’m inclined to think that they will – and yet, Plum’s figure sets a high bar for all the others that will inevitably follow.