The first computer I ever used was an Apple II+ clone. By today’s standards, it is prehistoric in performance, with a 1 MHz clock speed and 48 KB of system memory. The particular computer I had featured two full-height 5.25″ disk drives which emitted a particularly loud series of clicks when in operation (I found the noise peculiarly soothing). Its built-in BASIC interpreter was amusing, and I spent many hours playing games like The Bard’s Tale and Wasteland, but otherwise it wasn’t a very useful computer. Certainly it gave me no idea of what computers would allow people to do twenty years later. However, I loved that ancient machine. You remember first things fondly, and sentimentality always cloaks their limitations, deficiencies, and flaws.
Like my old computer, I think this Kanu Uncho figure is great, not because it’s a beautiful figure (it’s definitely not), but because it’s the first one I owned.
Coming from Yamato in 1/7 scale, I acquired this Kanu on Christmas of 2005. There weren’t many figures then – Alter didn’t even exist and Max Factory seemed like a high-end boutique brand – and those that were around were usually small, non-scale figures about the same height as an old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy. Yamato gets a mixed reception these days, but I had a couple of their transformable Macross toys and those were some of the highest quality VF-1 Valkyrie renditions available. Since I already like their products, I decided to pick up this figure.
Figure sculpts were decidedly more conservative then, and I remember being surprised that Yamato would market such a risque figure. Who can forget the ad copy that spoke of “the enormous talents of this lovely young lady”?
Her face looks rather strange. It definitely doesn’t look like her manga or anime counterpart, although as I recall, the Kanu in the first season of the anime didn’t look that great either. I think it’s the mouth that causes the problem; it’s oddly-shaped with visible teeth, and here she appears to be snarling. Or maybe it’s because you can see both of her eyes; the hair-over-one-eye look is something of a Kanu trademark.
Her skirt isn’t attached to her body, and it can be slid up to her waist if desired. There’s no real point in doing so though. I don’t know why they cast the skirt as a separate piece; perhaps it was easier to manufacture the figure this way or something. It can be cut off, but there’s not point to doing that either, as Yamato didn’t bother hiding the seams joining Kanu’s legs to her torso. Cast-off figures didn’t really appear for some months after Kanu’s release.
Here and in the manga, Kanu is presented as dark-skinned, but the anime and subsequent figures have curiously cast her as being much more pale, possibly because she has arguably become the principal character of the franchise. I like her better with the darker complexion.
Her polearm doesn’t attach to her either; you just balance it on her hands. Generally this works out fine, but I tend to knock it away whenever I move her around on the shelf because it’s so long.
Paint is not super fantastic, and she has a particularly prominent light-colored halo rimming her head. Seam lines are also highly conspicuous. Despite these technical problems, I think this is a great figure. She looks sexy, the size is good, and she got me into this deeply rewarding and horrifyingly expensive hobby.
I should have spent more time dusting her off. I wiped her down and blasted her with a can of compressed air, but I guess three and a half years’ worth of dust doesn’t come off without a fight.