Girls with guns time continues with a look at Alphamax’s rendition of Cryska Barchenowa. Previously known for their lineup of exorbitantly expensive polystone statues that seemingly nobody bought, Alphamax has in recent times redirected themselves towards mainstream PVC figure production. Many of their figures come from the usual franchises – Ikkitousen, K-On!, and To Heart, among others – and so I was surprised to see that they were going to make figures from Muv Luv Alternative Total Eclipse. Personally, I would have much preferred to see figures of the girls in their military data suits, but as there are so few Muv-Luv figures despite its long history and expansive cast, beggars can hardly be choosers.
Cryska is one of the principal characters of the Muv Luv spinoff Total Eclipse. This new franchise is centered on a story serialized in the eroge magazine Tech Gian, and also published in individual light novel volumes. There are numerous other products as well, including mecha toys, small figures, and a manga illustrated by Takashi Ishigaki of doujin circle Type-G. Most notably, an anime adaptation has been announced for next year, which I am very much looking forward to.
The plot of Total Eclipse involves a group of pilots who are stationed in Alaska as part of Project Prominence, where they are testing out the newest generation of Tactical Surface Fighter mecha. The lead character is Japanese-American pilot Yuuya Bridges, a lieutenant in the US Army with the callsign Argus 1. Peculiarly, he dislikes Japan, and I can’t help but think of Daiteikoku’s Kuchiki Isabella and her “Overthrow Japan” headband.
In the Muv-Luv Alternative world, much of the world’s male population has been decimated by warfare, and a pleasant side effect of this unhappy circumstance is that most of Yuuya’s comrades are hot girls with big breasts and saucy nipples. The presumptive lead girl is Japanese lieutenant Yui Takamura – and like most Japanese girls, she’s a brunette with violet eyes and an absolutely breathtaking rack. She is a duty-minded girl who comes from a samurai family, and given Yuuya’s attitude towards her ethnicity, I can make some assumptions on the nature of their relationship. Her callsign is White Fang 1; as Total Eclipse takes place in Alaska at Yukon Base, perhaps that is a neat homage to American literature. Then there are the two Soviet girls, Cryska and semi-loli Inia Sestina, who are both psychics with certain temperament quirks. They form a tight, somewhat standoffish pair and are called the “Scarlet Sisters,” though Inia warms up to Yuuya. Together, they drive an Su-37UB surface fighter, Cryska taking the callsign Eagle 1. The last girl is Nepalese lieutenant Tarisa Manandal, who doesn’t seem to get nearly the same face time as Yui, Cryska, or Inia. Perhaps it’s because her breasts aren’t nearly as big.
Alphamax bills this figure as being 1/7 scale, though at around 10.5 centimeters in height, Cryska is more like 1/8 scale, perhaps even smaller. She comes with a round plastic base and a rifle, which is simply propped loosely against her body for display.
While Triela evinced a sense of loneliness and melancholy, Cryska is straight-up pinup, reminiscent of the famous scene from the film Jackie Brown. The figure is based off of an illustration by artist Miyata Sou, and all the other Total Eclipse girls get similar pictures. Cryska is sitting in her underwear, which is elaborate and lacy, while holding a Dragunuv SVD sniper rifle. The Dragunuv is one of two default weapons for any Russian or Soviet character, with any version of the AK always being the first choice. The AK is sort of a lowbrow weapon in terms of stature, with its reputation built on its rugged reliability and ease of use and manufacture rather than its sexiness, so the sniper rifle is a slightly more elegant choice. Not much more elegant, though; I think it’s a really ugly gun.
One oddity about this figure is her left thigh is flattened out, which is realistic but causes her left foot to hover off of the ground. That annoys me for some reason, and another odd thing is that her panties have this little flaps on the part that passes between her legs, and I’m not sure what those are supposed to be. A screwup would be my guess.
The characters of Total Eclipse suffer from variable breast size syndrome in their official art, and I think Cryska’s breasts are perhaps a bit too large here. I’m hedging that opinion because it’s hard for me to hate on tits but I think I’d prefer them a little bit smaller, as they appear in the source artwork.
But apart from that, I don’t see a great deal to criticize. She’s reasonably faithful to the art, though her expression deviates a bit; while the art gives her a neutral look, the figure seems to have a more seductive look. That seems more appropriate for a pinup girl, and at any rate, the figure retains the eye shape indicative of Miyata Sou’s style.
I like this collar she’s wearing, too. It’s a cute and kinky accessory.
Her rifle is rendered very well. I guess that’s no surprise since even though it looks quite realistic, doll accessory companies are quite expert at making scale-sized weapon replicas.
And while I don’t have many bad things to say about this figure, I can’t say I’m all that excited about it either, which is strange since I think I ought to like it more than I do. I mean, it’s a figure of a girl with a gun in lingerie, and she has purple hair. I love purple hair – Sengoku Rance’s Senhime and the X-Men’s Psylocke have purple hair, and those are two of my favorite characters in fictional entertainment. Personally, I think I’m more excited about the fact that a major figure maker is making Muv-Luv figures than this individual figure. That said, Cryska does look nice, and she wasn’t too expensive, so I’m pretty happy with her. Hopefully someone will make more figures of the Muv-Luv girls in their piloting suits.
Cryska came out last month but I don’t recall if any English-language websites have reviewed her yet. However, there are reviews of her on several Japanese-language sites, including Kaijin’s blog and .30CAL Club.
Here’s Cryska next to a Figma. As you can see, Cryska isn’t really that big.
One thing I should mention is that although Alphamax’s upcoming Yui Takamura figure is castoff-able, Cryska is not. It looks a bit like her top should be able to come off, but it is attached to her body.
Despite a general unfamiliarity with the Muv-Luv world, I’ve acquired some stuff from the franchise. Here’s a mousepad bearing Cryska’s likeness.
Here’s a couple of books – volume 2 of the light novel on the left and volume 2 of the manga adaptation on the right.
Here’s a couple more books, which focus heavily on the mecha units of Total Eclipse. There’s a third book in this series which I haven’t purchased yet, since the shipping rates from Amazon Japan are insane. I’ll get it someday, though.
This is an artbook containing a number of illustrations from Total Eclipse artist Miyata Sou. The pictures are beautiful, though many of them can be seen elsewhere; the source illustration for this Cryska figure, for example. I’m a big fan of Miyata Sou’s artwork.
This is a book that Age sold at Comiket 78, I believe. The blonde girl is Lilia Kjellberg, a United States Marine. It’s nice to see the Marine Corps get some anime-style love.
This book includes this very nice illustration from Age artist Sayori.
And this amusing illustration of Cryska with her striker unit and some low-leg panties.