Alter released their second Rei Ayanami figure back in 2008. Collectors waited for an Asuka counterpart but none was forthcoming. That was strange because when you have Rei, you have to have Asuka too. They need each other, like Mario and Luigi, peanut butter and jelly, Asians and rice, schoolgirls and tentacles. Time passed and Alter’s Rei faded from memory until they finally got around to making a movie version of Asuka. And yet, it doesn’t really feel like a counterpart to me. She’s stylistically dissimilar from Rei – she’s got a perch of stone and twisted metal rather than just a flat black plate to recline on, and from observing her, it’s easy to discern how Alter’s production quality has improved since Rei’s release.
I have yet to see the movies and so this version of Asuka is something of a stranger to me. She’s got a new name – Shikinami, which means “rolling waves.” She takes her name from a Fubuki-class destroyer, a sister ship to the Ayanami. The Shikinami served the Imperial Japanese Navy until September 1944, when she was sunk by the USS Growler, roughly between Hainan Island and Luzon.
Besides the new name, Asuka’s also got a new suit, which I’m definitely not a fan of. The original Eva plugsuits are a classic design, iconic and an integral part of Rei and Asuka’s character designs. The new test suit is form-fitting, like the original suits, but is much less flattering. It’s got a red and green color scheme, a combination that works only in the context of Christmas. When I try to decide whether a pair of colors works well together, I try to think of a sports team that uses those colors. I’m familiar with the colors of a couple hundred teams but I can think of only one that used those colors on their main uniform. She’s also got this unsightly wifebeater-shaped orange part chopped out of the torso. It reveals the top of her ass crack, which I suppose some might find sexy but doesn’t appeal to me. The test suit looks like a mashup of a bodysuit with an archetypical school swimsuit, and the result is a ghastly mess that suffers badly compared to the sleekness of the original. It makes me wonder why they even bothered changing it.
Asuka is sculpted in 1/8 scale and stands about 22.5 centimeters tall overall. The figure is attached directly to the faux wreckage, so you can’t pull her off to have her lie down on something else. A metal offset is provided to attach the figure and girder combo to the circular orange base.
Alter has done a very nice job crafting Asuka in a style reminiscent of the source material. She’s got the broad face, pointed chin, and wideset, oval eyes characteristic of the Evangelion character designs. Admittedly, from some angles her head and face look a bit simian, though perhaps that’s just my imagination.
No figure makers are as ambitious or as attentive to detail as Alter, and they’ve done a typically fine job with Asuka. Paintwork is clean and bright, with her suit sporting a very attractive latex-like sheen. She’s got a lot of details to admire, such as the way her bangs are layered, the wrinkles in her suit, and even the cleats on her soles. Someone’s going to have to tell me why she’s got those protrusions coming out under her feet.
Alter typically does a nice job sculpting the backsides of their figures but they’ve gone above and beyond for Asuka, lavishing extra special love to Asuka’s hips and rear. And I supposed they’d have to, given the way her suit is riding all up in there. The sculpt of her butt is marvelous, as is the painting – they’ve added some conspicuous shading to bring her ass to life, which looks fantastic. Her hips are equally praiseworthy, turned almost perpendicular from her body to show off some very sexy curves. Alter truly deserves all the plaudits they might get for these aspects of the figure.
The base also looks great. It’s not all that complex but its flat, industrial texture contrasts nicely with Asuka’s techno-fetishistic costume. The desolation and ruin it represents also give counterpoint to Asuka’s shy, good-natured expression.
Speaking of which, I have to admit that Asuka’s pleasant smile and demure look are also unfamiliar to me. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the television show, but the things about Asuka that stood out to me were her making Shinji cross-dress for one of her earliest missions, her lasting psychological damage that never scarred over, her slapping Rei upside the head in an elevator, and her last stand against a host of mass production Eva units. I associate her with tragedy, pain, and in the end, dying alone in terror and agony. I’m told that her movie version alters her personality somewhat, so I suppose her friendly, agreeable look might make more sense to me once I get around to watching them.
One reason I haven’t yet watched the movies is that they don’t seem very necessary to me. The TV series isn’t that old, and while the endings were ambiguous and not all that satisfying, they did at least bring some closure to the narrative. Rebooting the franchise seems to be motivated mostly by commercial concerns, since there’s a whole generation of consumers who aren’t familiar with Rei and Asuka. Why bother developing new and potentially unprofitable characters when you can just reprise old and successful ones?
I guess it could be worse. The movies seem to have gotten a positive reception so I’m sure they’re not that bad. A bad remake can be completely soul-crushing. For example, a while back I learned that some singers decided to update the classic song “We are the World” – my first favorite song – to reflect 21st century sensibilities. When I listened to this new version, I was infuriated that UNESCO hasn’t yet classified that atrocity as a crime against humanity. Some things just cannot be forgiven.
Judged on its own merits, Alter’s homage to Asuka is a fine figure. Her pleasant smile is appealing and her 14-year old curves look fantastic. Her ass is particularly gorgeous, but there’s a lot more to like about this figure. It’s a very accurate rendition of the original character design and the juxtaposition of a lithe young girl recumbent upon twisted stone and steel comprises an evocative contrast. The only thing I have to complain about is my dislike for the test suit, but I suppose I’ve done that vociferously enough already, and I’ll simply just say that this is a great figure. Is it my favorite Asuka figure of this year? That’s a good question; I’m not sure if I like Yamato’s version better or not. One thing is for sure: with those two figures and Kotobukiya’s 1/6 scale test suit figure already released and with Wave scheduled to release a very cute figure of her in a cooking apron, it’s a good time to be an Asuka fan.
For another review of this figure, check out foo-bar-baz. I’d link more except that’s the only one I’ve seen. Where is everybody?
I like Asuka, but she’s not a character I obsess over – I don’t think she’d even make my list of top ten favorite anime characters. Though maybe she would; I’d have to think about it. Let’s see … Yomi Isayama, Mireille Bouquet, Iria, Miriya Sterling … gee, I’ll have to think about this some more. Anyway, I own a few Asuka figures even though she’s not in my most exalted pantheon of favorite characters.
I really liked this figure, but when I was trying ton control spending months back, it ended up on my canceled list. I regret that a bit now, but I’ve seen it in the AmiAmi bargain bin, so I’m not overly worried.
Great review as always, and I agree with you 100%; that’s quite a glorious ass.
I think the one that’s in the bargain bin is Kotobukiya’s version. It’s a really nice figure too, though, from what I’ve seen, and a good bit bigger than this one.
Wow, that’s a lot of Asukas lol. The only character I have multiple versions of is Saber, for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear to me.
I actually scooped up kotobukiya’s Asuka from AmiAmi; I don’t have an Asuka yet, and I can’t resist a good discount lol.
Yeah, I didn’t even think I had that many, since I’ve got them scattered all around. I guess there are just a lot of Asuka and Saber figures out there. Hmm, you know, I talk about Rei as being the main girl of the Eva franchise but I’ve only got six Reis to seven Asukas.
Nice review. Alter’s Asuka is very nice and I am still waiting for mine to arrive. Alter does really give Asuka a nice ass. Dat ass!
Oh btw, nice collection of Asuka. I do wish I have your red “Asuka on bike”. It looks better than the black/ right one (bike).
I’ve noticed that you can always count on Alter to sculpt a nice backside. It’s a shame more companies aren’t as attentive as they are in that respect.
Thanks XD I gotta make some room on the shelf so I can put them up together, they look pretty good side by side.
“The sculpt of her butt is marvelous, as is the painting â€“ theyâ€™ve added some conspicuous shading to bring her ass to life, which looks fantastic.”
I laughed out loud. Oh Tier, what would I do without the regular doses of your lovable perversion? The thought of Asuka’s ass coming to life a la Frankenstein cracks me up to no end…”IT’S ALIVVVVE!!”
I understand your apprehensions against the movies. If you feel that strongly about the original, perhaps it would be a good idea all of the movies have been released and refer to some trusted opinions then. Even though I found the first two to be enjoyable, things may very well take a nosedive later on. Besides, the movies are a tumor growing out of the original series + EoE. They may be harmless or even highly fashionable tumors, but the fact remains they are additions that are not part of the original design. Still, I can’t imagine turning a cold shoulder to the existence of the movies altogether, and the longer you wait, the more likely you’ll be spoiled…bah, if only we had the ability to manipulate our own memories at will!
Given your distaste for the test plug suit, I’m surprised you bought the figure in the first place. You even dislike like ass crack, which to me is the biggest selling point of the figure. But then again, if we were rational animals, we probably wouldn’t be collecting figures in the first place, hehehe.
Anyhow, thanks for another delicious combo of a fun read and pretty photos! I love your home-grown debris. The lighting seems a little harsh in some places — did you have a sunrise effect in mind?
I’ll probably watch the movies sometime, I’m just pretty lazy with my anime viewing habits and Evangelion isn’t one of those shows that I’m in a big rush to re-live. I’m assuming the movies don’t significantly change the characters, anyway. But yeah, as you say, I’ve already kinda heard of some of the events of the movies so I figure I ought to get around to watching them. Maybe I’ll see if Best Buy has the DVDs this week (I doubt it, they seem to be phasing out the anime section at my local store).
Yeah, I didn’t intend to get it at first. I wouldn’t have gotten it if it weren’t made by Alter. Mainly I liked her pose; it’s a striking figure and the technical quality is as good as expected. Still, I’d like it much better if she were in her original suit. Or a variation of the suit that Yamato gave their Creator’s Labo figure but I guess that’d be asking for way too much.
Nah, I wasn’t going for a sunrise effect, I was thinking more of something like a streetlight, which is hard light. Soft light wouldn’t get the feel that I want; I’ll use soft, wrapping light for a cute schoolgirl with a big smile and pigtails but for a soldier girl in a skintight suit laying on a shattered steel girder, I want hard light overhead and rimming her body.
I have her too and must say she is really nice.
I can say I’m a fan of the series. So when I saw her before watching Rebuild of Evangelion 2.22 I wanted to have Asuka Test Plugsuit.
Btw: I want to say that the is wearing only time this testplugsuit. She was gonna reactivate a new EVA. But I won’t spoil you. I would you suggest to watch the movie. There are some really changes in 2.22. I’m already can’t wait for the next movies.
Back to the figure, I like her colors too. So shiny, I like the details, I like how ALTER made her body. And yeah – that ass is yummy!
Nice pictures you made there. I like the last second one very much. Have to do a shooting soon too.
Only once? I guess I can dig that. Yeah, I’ll have to give the movies a watch sometime, the Evangelion franchise is too iconic to ignore them. Plus I gotta learn who this Mari person is one of these days.
I’ll look forward to seeing your pics!
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeexcellent pics in this batch – quality really came out great! The review was definitely interesting as well – Asuka looks really good here with the rocky background that you did. I was thinking of setting up a background like this for the Aegis photos, but had no idea how to get it created. lol
Thanks! Is that Cospa’s Aegis that you’re talking about? I was thinking about getting her since I really liked Aegis’s character in Persona 3 but the price was a bit too high, particularly since I wasn’t familiar with the manufacturer.
I wish I built more rocks but I got tired of mixing plaster and painting it up. I’ll have to save all these shards and fragments so I can use them the next time I want to use a ruined, rocky background.
Yeah, the Cospa Aegis!
Maybe I’ll just go outside and pick some rocks. 😉
A good plan, I’ve done that myself XD Though they were too big for the figure, in retrospect … that was with Daiki’s vol. 13 cover Kanu Unchou, and looking at that review, that’s one that I would really like to re-do cuz I know I could do a much better job with it now than I did back then.
Oh my god! I suddenly regret canceling my pre-order for this figure.
She’s still in stock at Hobby Search so maybe you can get her at a discount in a little while. It seems like nearly every figure I buy and review gets thrown into the discount bin with the quickness; let’s see if Asuka follows the trend.
I like Asuka’s test suit, actually. I was never that fond of the original suit. All that red wasn’t as flattering as the whiteness of Rei’s suit.
The butt Alter gave her made me re-arrange where I was going to put her. Anyone walking around in my apartment, to and from the bathroom, would just instantly focus on that ass. It would be unavoidable being at eye level, causing people to bump into a chair or something. It really does draw attention to itself.
I have the first movie, but haven’t watched it. I’ve rewatched the series a couple of times. I’ll eventually watch the movies, but don’t feel a pressing need to do so just yet. I guess the name change has me a little curious, but haven’t don’t any research on why it was changed or if it significant.
I think the main thing I dislike about the test suit is how its cut doesn’t follow the lines of her body like the old suit did. The old suit had these lines and counters that looped around the shoulders and hips, while the test suit is kinda blocky and squared off. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of the archetypical school swimsuit either and that significantly influences my feeling on her new suit.
They really went all out with her backside. I’ve got Metatron in front of me here and she’s been in front of me since I got her, and I didn’t think Alter could improve their work with respect to the rump, but man, Asuka’s ass is a work of art in itself. It’s funny how it literally stops traffic at your place.
I’m guessing the name change was just to bring her closer to Rei, though it still doesn’t seem necessary to me. I’m curious as to who Mari is, though, since while she’s gotten a lot of merchandise, I can’t discern anything about her personality or background from them. I get the impression that she’s sort of the inscrutable type, from the hints I’ve read across the interwebs, so I’m looking forward to learning more about her. I just need to make some time to get the DVDs and watch them; there’s never enough time, even when I’m on vacation from work.
Yeah, usually only one of my friends pays attention to the figures, but her butt definitely drew attention. 🙂
The straight lines are what I like about the test suit. To me the old suit was very late 80’s, “french” cut bikini as opposed to a line across her hip that’s more current in cut.
Haha, that’s awesome. I usually ask my friends for help making purchasing decisions but I don’t think they pay a ton of attention to the stuff I get, probably because I get so much of it that it loses its impact.
Yeah, I like that high-cut look, I wish it hadn’t gone out of style. I’m noticing a lot of character designs have that lower cut meant to go with low-rise trousers but that’s not a look I like as much. I’m also hoping shiny leggings come back into style for girls going to the gym but I’m not getting my hopes up on that.
If I recall correctly, the name change has to do with bringing her in line with the others. Her original name, Soryu was a Japanese aircraft carrier, where Ayanami was a destroyer, different ship classes. With the introduction of Makinami we had two destroyer class ships and one carrier, so changing her name to Shikinami brought her in line. That said, Illustrious is a carrier as well, so this theory is pretty much crap I think. Never the less it’s the only reason I have that makes any sense about her name change.
Gah I too dislike that test plugsuit. What was wrong with the plain red? Why add orange into the mix?
She looks great overall as expected from Alter, but what turned me off the most was her neck. That plugsuit completely hides it and makes her look odd. The position of her head seems to be in conflict with the rest of her body at the wrong angle.
Mireille Bouquet – there is a severe lack of good Noir completed figures. Although we have more of a chance seeing an Irma figure than anything Noir related :P.
Yeah, I mean, red and orange are related colors I guess, but I don’t think they look all that great together here. The lighter orange going across her chest looks pretty bad too.
Her collar looks pretty bulky, though to be honest I hadn’t actually noticed that because I couldn’t get past how ugly the test suit is in general. I think that’s another case where the more streamlined look of the original suit wins out.
It’s a shame that Noir never got more figures past the two Yamato (I think) cold-cast statues since it was a pretty good show. I ought to dig out my DVDs and watch it again. It still cracks me up how the US licensor inserted a Wu-Tang Clan logo on Kirika’s apron in one of the earlier episodes; I had a fansub of the Japanese broadcast and it wasn’t there, so I’m assuming someone at ADV put it there. I’ve always wondered what was up with that.
Oh thats a lovely figure, the details on her plugsuit are great and dat ass ;D
the pose is cool and together with her petite body it looks really great. Well, you could ask why she is sprawling on a ruin made of steel and concrete, but thats called creativity I guess =D so she looks more like a battle fairy than a skilled EVA Pilot.
I thought Asuka could be seperated from this stone steel base, but you can’t have everything 😉
In the Evangelion 2.22 Movie Asuka has a more likeable personality, but to me her face expression looks a little bit too happy, I don’t know maybe that’s just my imagination.
The new movies are great, especially the second one. Well Im a huge NGE fanboy
so my opinion is not very objectively, but I really liked this stuff.
True indeed! Having her slinking on a pile of wreckage will sell more figures than having her cooped up in a gigantic fighting robot.
That sounds appealing, she was kinda bitchy in the television show. I don’t remember if she really was a tsundere type (as I recall, she was after Kaji but he was sorta cool to her) but man I hate that bitchy personality type. I’m not really an Eva fanboy, though I did like the TV series, but I feel I ought to watch the movies at least for their significance in anime culture. Unfortunately my vacation time is just about up so I’m not going to be able to do that any time soon, I think. Where does all the time go?
Simian? really you think she looks like a monkey from some angles? well.. She’s a monkey’s I’d help introduce AIDS to the human race with. Wait… is that too offensive?
I’ve already said it too many times I think but… while I prefer the original plugsuit, I don’t mind this new one. Seeing it on her in the movie was nice, and I like some of the sex appeal it adds. But it does feel forced and does look a little awkward. The original will always be better. That said, I wonder what a younger audience thinks, the ones who never saw the original Evangelion, if they saw the new movies then saw the old series? would they prefer the new? Probably not because even in the movies she has her original first…
Your memories of Asuka as fuckin’ depressing. It’s been a long time since I watched the original series and movies, but damn was she really that bad? … “I associate her with tragedy, pain, and in the end, dying along in terror and agony.” Holy shit that’s sad, I feel so bad for her now.
I didn’t know that they re-made We Are the World, but looking at the list of artists, Justin Bieber? Fail. I didn’t have to read the rest of the list after seeing his name. As for the new movies, they’re actually quite a good reboot I think, and they’d done with a budget, they remove some of the worst aspects of Evangelion, such as Shinji being a little pussy, sure he’s still a pussy but since there’s not 26 episodes of him being a pussy it’s much more reasonable.
That picture behind all your Asuka’s, the one with Rei leaning on the wall and Asuka listening to the headphones. Always loved that picture, is it a poster? I’ve wanted a large version of it for a while, preferably a wallscroll though. Not sure why but they seem easier to hang and deal with than posters. Posters always get ruined.
Yeah, I think it’s her prominent ears and the way her nose and mouth extend out like a small snout. Her wide face, too, I think.
Thinking back to my childhood, I grew up in the 80s, and some of my favorite movies were the Star Trek films, and I also enjoyed The Next Generation. However, I can’t watch the original series; it’s so campy and antiquated that I’ve never seen a single episode of the original show. I wonder if kids will see the original TV series in the same manner, and if the new characterizations (I’m told that the new Asuka’s temperament is slightly mellower) will subsume the characters’ original personalities.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen the show too, but that’s how I remember her. I guess I can’t say the television series made a large impression on me because I’ve forgotten so much of it, but in contrast, Asuka’s battle against the mass production units had a far more powerful impact – how she entered the fight catatonic and helpless before becoming a raging force of war until her mecha shuts down and she dies. Surrounded by bestial, carnivorous machines, she didn’t die as a hero or even a human – she died as prey. That’s a terrible way to go out.
Out of curiosity, I listened to the song on Youtube and when the rap part kicked in, I was like, “oh fuck no” and turned it off. It was so damn bad. As if the earthquake victims in Haiti hadn’t suffered enough.
Yeah, that’s a poster, it’s one of my favorite images too. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen it as a wallscroll, but yeah, they’re easier to deal with then posters. I always frame my posters so they don’t get damaged but poster frames are usually incredibly overpriced at the local Michael’s.
I’ve seen much of the original series of Star Trek but it’s by far my least favourite overall I think, it’s definitely campy. And after Enterprise it seems so out of place, as Enterprise seemed to have what looked to be a more advanced ship despite not being so. My favourite remains TNG followed by DS9. I can’t deal with a female capatain apparently.
I think it would be a little too bad if that were to happen with Evangelion, while the characters are pretty much not likeable in the original iteration of the series, it seems somewhat important that they maintain that as it seemed very much a part of the show.
There you go again, making me all depressed with your descriptions of Asuka’s untimely death.
I originally thought about framing my posters but it seemed pointless as I never considered them art or worth much.
I didn’t like Voyager much either. It didn’t have much of a hook to keep my attention. I mean, up until 7 of 9 showed up but then they ditched her silver suit and they lost my attention again.
It’s kinda weird now, looking at my Asuka figures. I’ve got the three most recent ones – Yamato’s Creator’s Labo one, Koto’s 1/6 and the Alter test suit one – all clustered on top of my scanner and they’re all smiling, looking seraphic and it’s hard to reconcile their appearance with how brutal her death was. I mean, having an eye and your guts ripped out is a bad death by any measure.
I mainly frame them up to make them look a bit nicer. I dunno why, but I always felt that artwork taped to a wall looks kinda tacky. I didn’t like wallscrolls much back when I was collecting anime posters but nowadays, I like them and I can’t remember why I didn’t like them in the first place.
After your descriptions it’s weird seeing her happy that’s for sure…
I agree, but I pinned mine to the wall. Now that I moved and have a different room I haven’t put any posters or wallscrolls up yet, still trying to figure out where I want my shelves, and once those are up I can figure out what I want to do with my posters and wallscrolls. I have 2-3 posters I printed out and glued together on some backing paper which I really like the pictures of, but not necessarily the fact they still can from some angles look like separate pieces of paper. But I’m not willing to spend $100/each at kinko’s to get them printed out on a single sheet. Nor willing to find a frame in those strange sizes.
“Surrounded by bestial, carnivorous machines; she didn’t die as a hero or even a human………she died as prey. That’s a terrible way to go out.” I really like that quote : )
Yeah I like the way he worded how brutal her death was, but it didn’t change the 🙁
I still haven’t seen End of Evangelion. Maybe I should pick it up………
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