For years it’s seemed like Rei Ayanami was the it-girl of the Evangelion franchise, particularly when it comes to figures, and Asuka has been a bit overshadowed in comparison. Alter never bothered following up their movie Rei figure with an Asuka, and Mari has gotten a lot of love in recent times. Yamato also did not look like they were going to follow up their own Creator’s Labo Rei figure, leading E2046 to roll out their own version as part of their ORI line. However, there’s been something of a resurgence in Asuka’s popularity – at least in figure form – as Kotobukiya and Alter announced versions of her in her test suit and Yamato finally decided to give their grown-up Rei a counterpart. It’s a good time to be an Asuka fan, though this Asuka is a bit different than the usual redheaded fireball we are accustomed to.
Asuka comes courtesy of Yamato and is part of their Creator’s Labo series. She’s sculpted by REFLECT, the working name of Yoshizawa Mitsumasa, and she stands about 24 centimeters tall, putting her around 1/7 scale. She’s got a simple circular base with two pegs; I wound up snapping one of them when one of my lights crashed into her, but she seems to stand up okay with just one peg. Incidentally, the box names this figure “Asuka Langley Soryu” rather than “Asuka Langley Shikinami.” I’m not sure if there’s any significance to that; perhaps they prefer the TV show to the movies.
This version of Asuka is based off of an illustration done by Shunya Yamashita, but one could be excused for not seeing the connection. The original art shows off Yamashita’s distinctive style, with Asuka having full curves and a playful, girlish face. In contrast, the figure looks older, with a slender body build and a more mature-looking face. It’s a look that resembles REFLECT’s style more than Yamashita’s.
I’ve been calling this figure “no-ass Asuka,” which I admit is an uncharitable way to describe her, and now that I can inspect her in person, I can see that it’s also an inaccurate thing to say. Her ass actually doesn’t look too bad; in her most ideal viewing angle, it actually looks pretty damn good. It doesn’t look too great looking straight at her rear, but I think that’s mainly because her torso is rather long – a REFLECT hallmark – and her hips are relatively narrow. Still, she’s got some very nice curves.
Those curves are accentuated by her attire, which takes her iconic plugsuit and gives it a sexy spin, or a slutty one, depending on your point of view. Asuka is squeezed into a high-cut leotard with a strategically-placed cutout to show off her cleavage, and her legs are sheathed in some cherry-red fuck-me boots with hooker heels – a great and dignified ensemble, no doubt. Armpit fetishists will also like how they are bared, and backside enthusiasts will definitely like the view as well. Her outfit complements her seductive pose and saucy smile perfectly.
Despite her older appearance, elements of Yamashita’s style can be seen in her face, particularly in her rounded eyes and prominent lashes. She looks very pretty, though there are a couple of curiosities: her lips are edged with a thin black line, which looks odd close up, and her pupils are very small, giving her sort of a heroin addict look. Then again, given her well-established psychological problems and futuristic ho wear, maybe it’s not so much of a stretch to imagine her as such.
Her plugsuit – or facsimile of such – features a very nice glossy sheen, giving extra appeal to fans of tight, shiny clothing, Paintwork is generally clean and attractive, without the rough black panel lining that plagues Kotobukiya’s 1/6 scale Eva girl line. I did notice a black speck right on her asscheek, near her left thumb; I’m not sure what that is but I couldn’t get it off with rubbing alcohol. I guess it’s just a production screwup or something.
I wasn’t too enthusiastic about Yamato’s Asuka at first, mainly because her backside didn’t look too great. I was leaning towards canceling her but I’m glad I didn’t, because I actually like this figure a lot. It’s a slightly different take on the iconic Eva pilot, one that purists may not be too fond of, but I’m no purist; I like her canon look and I like her hooker look. I’m also fond of Shunya Yamashita’s artwork and added all together, this is a fantastic-looking figure.
For another review of Creator’s Labo Asuka, check out Dreaming Artemis.
I like her face on this figure. Her body doesn’t look like a Yamashita illo at all…reminded me more of Shirow in the body proportions, long somewhat flat butt, narrow hips, protruding hip bone and proportionately broad shoulders.
Yeah, she looks like a REFLECT figure first and a Yamashita-inspired figure second. She has a lot of stylistic similarities with their Cammy figure that I have, and also their Kiriko Hattori figure, I think.
She does look a lot like something Shirow would’ve drawn … maybe just give her a funky VR headset to complete the look. I wonder what Shirow is up to these days? Some of my first figures were of his characters … I’ve got a bunch of small Ghost in the Shell figures from Kaiyodo or Yamato or somebody sculpted in his style, but I haven’t seen anything done directly based on his artwork in recent times.
He’s probably too old now, meaning he’s got a style that’s fallen out of favor. Wouldn’t mind seeing a resurgence.
Neither would I, I miss that early/mid-90s style. I’m guessing that it would not be commercially successful in today’s market, unless he like, gave his characters musical instruments and headphones or something.
Man, it’s kind of weird to see the figures I’ve ranted about months ago finally coming out. Suddenly, it feels that the things I want to say have already been said. It’s like the me in the past is stealing my thunder… weirrrd.
Great shots as usual, dude! The lighting on some of the shots really brings out the features on the sculpt. For example, I didn’t notice that you can make out her pelvis in the sculpt. I can’t recall any other figures with that bit of detail off the top of my head. Also, I’m glad to see she’s not as forward leaning as I imagined. To be honest, that always bothered me more than the modesty of her cheeks.
Btw, how did you manage those light circles?
I have the same problem when I go to other figure review sites to comment on a figure I’ve already written about. I’m like gee, I don’t want to sound like I’m just mailing this comment in, but I don’t really have anything more to say about it. Maybe I ought to just go off on a stream-of-consciousness tangent about tentacle porn or maggot birthing in such circumstances.
The light swirlies come from a couple of keychain-type LED lights taped to the blades of a desk fan. I put the camera into bulb mode and just waved the fan in front of the lens. Sometimes the results were sorta comical when I forgot to pull the fan out of the frame before tripping the shutter.
Oh WOW, that looks like some sort of wormhole. Nice.
Wow she’s really pretty .
It’s very cool that the face changes the expression when you change the perspective.
haha from my point of view the outfit has a slutty look I think its only the cleavage cut
which is to blame. I would have preferred a fully closed suit, at her upper body.
from the backside I can instantly identify her as Asuka, but just looking
at her front there isn’t much Asuka resemblance in her face the cheekbone
area appears a bit chubby from frontal view
Well, in this picture here asuka-langley-soryu-10.jpg she looks the most Asuka like
despite from that this figure looks great especially the face looks really beautiful
I can’t really put it into words.how much I like her detailed face.
your shots are also great, my favorite pictures are asuka-langley-soryu-10.jpg and asuka-langley-soryu-18.jpg
Oh the postman just delivered my BRS figure where is my sticker …XD
Yeah, this is definitely a very stylized view of Asuka XD I like it a lot, mainly since I already have a couple of anime-style Asukas and Alter’s Asuka should be arriving soon. Rei and Asuka have been put into so many different outfits … maid outfits, commando uniforms, catgirl suits, swimwear … it’s pretty cool to see Asuka dressed like this XD
My stickers are waiting for pickup at the post office >.< I guess I have to go there anyway to send some broken electronic equipment back to a retailer in Hong Kong, so it's not too big of a deal.
Pretty cute figure and pretty impressive – bit surprised as I always thought Yamato peddled some pretty poor figures (don’t know why but I never really rated them much higher than Taki or Griffon), though some of their non-anime characters do tend to look fairly good.
Do much prefer the more realistic human look.
Also the white swirl is pretty cool and gives a very nice background for the opening shot.
Yeah, I see that sentiment a lot … I think it stems from when Danny Choo ragged on their Ringo figure and that element of the community immediately dogpiled on Yamato. I’ve always liked them; some of my first figures were Yamato figures and their 1/48 VF-1 Valkyrie toys were heads and shoulders above any Macross toy ever made when they were introduced.
I like the more realistic look as well … I like Kotobukiya’s Asuka, but it looks kinda weird, next to Yamato’s figure. Her head looks super huge in comparison.
Nah, don’t think it’s Danny Choo actually. I think it probably stems from some of their early Ikki Tousen and other figures, some of which were alright but now just look a bit cheap and tacky (or Taki).
Also their emphasis on gothic and vampire ranges just made me uninterested I expect. Still, this is a good looking figure and one which totally passed me by – hadn’t even noticed it when it was released.
Yeah, their old Kanu figure isn’t that great. I still like it but that’s more from nostalgia than anything else.
Really? Yamato’s Ringo is one of my favorite figures. I’ve seen a couple of Yamato figures in the dealers room at cons that looked pretty bad, so I’ve kind of believed the Yamato is inconsistent sentiment…I just don’t see how significant hate was built of their Ringo. I can’t remember, but maybe people hated the support post for her skimpy outfit? I don’t have one on mine and it looks perfectly fine after all this time.
Nah, if I remember right, the beef was that the face of the production figure differed from the prototype. I googled around and found this post, which has some hilarious examples of herd mentality in the comments. Or maybe I’m just seeing it differently than everyone else, I dunno. As I mentioned, much of my esteem for Yamato comes from their Macross toys, which I collected before I really got into anime figures; I’ve always been inclined to like them as a result. I like Ringo a lot as well, it’s one of my favorite figures. I know there’s another post on that site which bashed the figure some more but I’m not too interested in looking for it.
Wow this is the best I’ve seen this figure presented. It really makes me want to get it. Great job on highlighting her assests (pun intended).
Great lighting as always. I think some type of simple background would have helped. Maybe some cardboard with cut outs where light shines through that mimics a ship interior or hi-tech grates. Not sure if I’m painting the right picture. I’m basically saying a background prop that makes it look like she is in an actual place done with trick lighting instead of having to construct an actual set.
Thanks! Yeah, that would’ve been an interesting effect, I think; I usually have a difficult time with backgrounds though because my shooting space is really small. I think I had an idea similar to what you describe that I wanted to use for Yamato’s Heat Blade figure, but unfortunately she got kicked from October to clear to next year.
REI FOREVER!! ASUKA NEVER!!!!
Having said that, There are a few Asuka figures which I admit to liking. This isn’t really one of them though. Nothing to do with the character, but unlike a lot of other people, I have never been a fan of this figure style, Rei was the same and the E2046 “originals” don’t exist to me.
At least I can Kinda see the appeal, but I’ve not been a fan of Shunya Yamashita and I also admit to being a bit of a design Purist (I don’t even like the new slutty plugsuit for asuka in the movie) so that was a bit of a “double whammy” against her, but I can appreciate her more than a certain scarred, flat-chested figure with no history or expression of character.
Yeah, if you don’t like Asuka, don’t like Shunya Yamashita, and don’t like alternate adaptations of a character, it would not be surprising if you did not like this figure.
It’s kinda curious how there are Rei fans and Asuka fans; I like them both about the same. I guess I like Rei a little more since she doesn’t talk too much and I really dislike the tsundere personality type but I dunno if that’s an accurate label to hang on Asuka.
Rei was my first anime love back when I was a young ‘un so there’s some bias there. And I’m not sure if tsundere would be the best label for Asuka either. She fits the archetype but she never did get to do the “deredere” part!
I don’t dislike Asuka, but I wouldn’t put her anywhere near where I place Rei!
Yeah, plus I don’t really remember a big romantic thing between Shinji and Asuka, though it’s been years and years since I watched the show. Pretty much the element of their relationship I remember the best was Shinji and his hand.
Man, who was my first anime crush … I can’t even remember, my first fictional character crushes were of Western cartoon characters. I guess it might’ve been Iria, or possibly Rook Bartley from the Mospeada part of Robotech, though I’ve never actually seen those episodes because the TV network where I lived canceled the show after the second episode of the third generation >.<
wow…I thought I put in a lot of effort to do this figure a thorough review but you win the cake! Though I also wonder when will they supposedly release the misato version officially? Or at least the Mari version XD
Btw, how did you do that light sphere ?
I’d love to see a Mari or Misato done in this style. Though I’d hope that Mari’s glasses would be removable.
The lights just come from a couple of LED lights that I taped to a fan and waved around in front of the camera. It was tons of fun trying to keep my fingers clear of the blades and fumbling around trying to find the power dial in the dark while the thing was vibrating like a mofo.
I wonder why Alter never followed up their Rei with an Asuka? Would have been awesome if they some how would have fit together, like Asuka laying over Rei a bit or something, you know get that whole Yuri thing going.
I’m rather happy Asuka’s back in style, she always seemed better looking to me than Rei and generally I liked her personality better… because she had one at all. That said, I really don’t see this figure as being Asuka and more like a cosplay-ish type thing at a gentlemen’s club.
I like the wormhole effect you have going on there, neat idea using the fan and LEDs. I’m way too lazy to think up and build ideas like that. How does the fan cope with the off balance weight?
Yeah, that would’ve been pretty cool, though I guess Kotobukiya did a figure in a similar vein. I guess the test suit Asuka is sorta like the followup; the box looks to be in the same style as Rei’s box, but for some reason I kinda have a hard time accepting test suit Asuka as being the real Asuka, particularly with her name change.
It copes pretty badly; I had to wave it around in the air because when I left it on my desk, the thing vibrated so hard that it was threatening to shake Asuka right off of her pegs. That also made for some weird effects from the long exposure time; some of my shots of her have this strange thick black outline around her, kinda like those characters from that Samurai Girls anime.
I can easily accept her as the real Asuka, but I have a hard time accepting this is the follow up to that Rei.
Figured the vibration would be pretty bad. The thick black outline could be an interesting effect. Especially if you can do it without resorting to post.
Yeah, particularly with that wacky weirdo orange base. I had this idea for photographing her but now that orange base is going to complicate things. It’s funny how base design can mess up my plans.
Why do they even feel a colour is necessary most of the time? the clear acrylic bases they display with in prototype tend to be sufficient enough.
That is a good question; I know that a colored base has wrecked one of my photograph ideas in the past (when I expected the figure to have a clear base, because the prototype had one). I guess the orange is supposed to match her suit but man, I think a more neutral color would’ve been better.
Kinda funny that just last night I was looking at my Asuka, still in her box. I was thinking, “Hey, how come I haven’t seen a review from Tier about this figure yet?” Then lo and behold, here you are with the review! Niiiiiiiiiiiiiice!! 😉
asuka-langley-soryu-05.jpg = nice pelvic shot! lol I honestly didn’t notice just how exposed she was from this angle. I haven’t taken her out of the box yet, so I’ve only been staring at her from the left side (pictures on the box also only shows this angle). Sorry to hear about that black spot on her butt though – but it’s probably just a beauty mark that we weren’t aware of. ^_^’
Great work on the lighting, again! I don’t think I have the patience to do this kind of stuff, but seeing these photos of yours kinda make me wanna try different compositions.
Cuz I am lazy! I had her sitting around for a while before I got around to photographing her. I’ve still got to shoot Klan Klang and Ninja Girl uhh … Kagari? Something like that. It’s not a good sign when I don’t even remember the names of my figures.
I love how high cut her suit is, it’s sorta one of my fetishes. In a lot of anime art (and in real life fashion), I’ve noticed that the low-leg panty cut is all the rage but me, I like the higher cut.
Yeah, I didn’t take too many pictures of the fan and LED lights not so much because it was difficult to set up, but because I had to use my tripod and I’m way too lazy to use the tripod these days. I always focus manually on the tripod since I have this nervous habit of repeatedly half-pressing the shutter button on my remote cord. It’s a real pain to go into live view and zoom in and focus over and over; it’s sorta amazing to me that that’s the way I used to take all my photographs.
Such a fantastic figure. I was going to get that same Kotobukiya Asuka that you have in picture #15 but I’m glad I got this one instead.
Yeah, I like this one better as well; the Kotobukiya one is really good, it’s one of the better renditions of Asuka in her normal plugsuit, but there’s something about her outfit on this figure and her grown-up look that really appeals to me.
Please dont judge me for what im about to ask, but can the breast plate be cast off and reveal the goodness just like the another Yamashita’s version of Rei? it’d give me more incentive to purchase it if it can be taken off.
That seems like a perfectly normal question to me. Her suit is sculpted as part of her body so it can’t be removed; I don’t think any parts of this figure are removable, actually.
Buying this off ebay. 100$ unopened and its worth every penny.
It’s a beautiful figure â€“ I love that red color on her plugsuit â€“ but it’s almost funny too see how unsexy she is compared to Rei from the same two artists. Asuka got the boyish body and a playful expression, while Rei got all the curves and the oomph.
Inspired by your collection, recently purchased 🙂 VERY happy with the quality of both Asuka and Rei but not so much on Misato. But placed separately, she’s still a stunning figure on her own!