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.