Despite being a longtime fan of JRPGs, I didn’t play a Tales game until Tales of Vesperia was released on the Xbox 360. I enjoyed it a great deal, and I was happy that its later release on the PlayStation coincided with a plethora of figures from Alter. That satisfaction subsequently evaporated when they never released a figure of Judith, undeniably the best character in the game. Nonetheless, I’ve since bought a few of their figures, including Milla Maxwell, who looks very nice, and Alicia, whose low-key role in Tales of Zestiria kindled its own form of discontent. I’ve also obviously bought this figure, which is from Kotobukiya, curiously, rather than Alter.
Velvet Crowe is the protagonist of Tales of Berseria. That’s something of a departure from the norm for Tales games – and JRPGs in general, in fact, as most such games feature young males in the starring role. There have been more frontwomen in games in recent times, however, which is a nice change. Indeed, Velvet and Milla have been the main characters of two of the most recent Tales games, and the selection of female leads was fueled no doubt not just by an eagerness to rectify this gender inequity but also by the massive commercial opportunities afforded by attractive female characters.
This figure is manufactured by Kotobukiya in 1/8 scale and stands about 19 centimeters in height. This is not a large figure and Velvet’s relatively realistic body proportions (that is, her head isn’t gigantic) means that this figure looks even smaller than it is. That said, while I don’t have Milla handy for a size comparison, she might look okay next to Alisha, which was also a fairly small figure, as I recall. Like many Kotobukiya figures, Velvet comes already attached to her base; virtually no preparation is needed to get her ready for display.
Velvet actually came in two editions; the standard edition, which is what I have here, and an exclusive edition sold by Kotobukiya directly. The limited version featured an additional left arm, which looked rather oversized and demonic. I didn’t really care for that so I skipped that version.
Bandai Namco went with an interesting design for Velvet; rather than go with a refined and elegant appearance, Velvet looks grim and disheveled. Virtually none of her clothing is intact; her shorts, vest, socks, and coat are all badly tattered, making her look sort of like a particularly well-armed, medieval high school delinquent.
Her face emphasizes her particular cheerlessness as she conveys no particular emotion; neither happiness nor sorrow nor anger.
Despite her dour demeanor, the rest of the figure is rather more energetic. Her wideset stance gives her a threatening look – and emphasizes the length of her legs. Her massive ponytail is whipping around and her coat is splayed out behind her like a pair of wings. All in all her pose presents a nice contrast to her stoic expression.
There’s a peculiar and ongoing war in the entertainment industry against scantily-clad female characters, but fortunately Bandai Namco has ignored all the whining and given Velvet a sexy appearance. She’s showing a lot of bare skin, with exposed midriff, underboob, and thighs. Her shorts also have an interesting cutout in the front which plunges down towards her crotch; it doesn’t look like she wears any underwear, which is kind of neat.
A couple of other interesting aspects to her design are her weapon, which is a blade projecting out from her right forearm …
… and her left arm, which is wrapped up like that one Bakemonogatari character. It can apparently transform into some sort of gigantic demon-looking arm, which was incorporated into the limited edition version of this figure, as previously mentioned. Having not played the game I’m not sure what the significance of her transformed arm might be, but I don’t think it looks particularly attractive.
This is a great-looking figure that more than does justice to Velvet’s appearance. She looks fierce and sexy in equal portion, and her defiant stance shows a measure of aggression in spite of her dispassionate gaze. Pretty much the only thing I don’t care for regarding this figure is its size; it could stand to be a bit bigger, particularly since this figure received a fairly high price tag (it’s even more expensive now, admittedly). Nonetheless, I like this figure quite a bit; Kotobukiya did a fine job here.