I’m a bit surprised that Ga-rei Zero hasn’t received more love than it has. It’s got sassy sword-swinging schoolgirls in short skirts, strong lesbian undertones, solid animation, gore in plenty and an impressive body count to accompany the violence. It’s exactly what I’m looking for in an anime series.
Actually, I guess maybe it isn’t that surprising that Ga-rei Zero hasn’t received more love than it has.
Kagura Tsuchimiya is one of the two main characters of Ga-rei, the manga from which the anime is derived. Ga-rei Zero is actually a prequel to the manga, and so Kagura is ostensibly its central heroine. The core theme of the show is her growth from a pacifistic neophyte combatant to a hardened, battle-tested warrior. Or an ersatz approximation of something resembling such.
Her development isn’t entirely convincing, but we shall have to take it for what it is. In my view, she is not nearly as interesting a character as Yomi, and itâ€™s curious that despite being an intrinsic participant in the show’s principal storyline, she doesn’t really serve much purpose other than to consistently display a freezing of the nerves when decisive action is called for.
This figure is brought to us courtesy of MegaHouse. She’s sculpted in 1/8 scale and at around 18 centimeters in height, she’s on the low end of that scale. A very annoying aspect of this figure – and one that is becoming increasingly common – is that she was only sold at Digitamin, a Japanese hobby retailer. This meant that I had to go through a proxy and as usual I went with M-World Service.
Unlike the other MegaHouse figures I own, Kaguraâ€™s design is very simple and doesnâ€™t require much in the way of assembly. Her only removable parts are her sword, which separates into two parts so that it can be placed in her hand, and her base. Her sword is all wrapped up, but itâ€™s presumably Michael 12 or 13.
Her base is a black rectangle and is meant to mate up with Yomiâ€™s. Itâ€™s about 5.125â€ by 3.3â€, which puts it close to the golden ratio. Kaguraâ€™s base gets half of the showâ€™s tagline as well as its logo.
Kagura is depicted in a playful pose taken from the showâ€™s opening sequence, and it fits her youthful personality well. She displays her school spirit by wearing a standard sailor blouse and a miniskirt which, contrary to what one might think, makes it annoyingly difficult to get a good pantyshot photograph.
The paintwork is pretty good; itâ€™s not fantastically impressive, but it looks alright. The sculpt is similarly decent; again, itâ€™s not going to drop jaws, and it probably wonâ€™t even compel people to buy this figure, but it is an accurate and appealing representation of Kagura. Her hair could have been a bit more detailed, I suppose; the back of her head looks a bit like a brown helmet.
I usually buy figures because I like the character designs rather than because I like the characters themselves, but Kagura and Yomi are exceptions to my convention. I enjoyed Ga-rei Zero and I knew I was going to buy these figures as soon as I saw them. This rendition of Kagura isnâ€™t the most technically astonishing figure around – Kagura looks like a fairly generic schoolgirl – but I like it a lot anyway. Given the hoops that anyone outside of Japan will have to jump through to pick them up, I would imagine that the only people who are going to import Kagura and Yomi are going to be fans of the show and for those people, MegaHouseâ€™s figures are solid renditions.
You might get the feeling that youâ€™ve seen Kagura somewhere before, and youâ€™d be right. She has a strong resemblance to Yurie from Kamichu! and Ryoko from Zegapain. Same brown hair, some haircut. Sheâ€™s got Yurieâ€™s eyes and Ryokoâ€™s skirt. She even took her socks.
Next review up will of course be Yomi; I couldnâ€™t buy one without buying the other, could I?