Triela from Gunslinger Girl

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review

It’s girls with guns time. I’m a big fan of the genre in anime but I skipped over Gunslinger Girl entirely. I like girls with guns but there’s an unstated qualifier there – which is to say, I like attractive girls with guns, and the cast of Gunslinger Girl does not exactly drip with sex appeal. However, the boxy heads and rectangular eyes of the characters appear to be peculiar to the anime, and this figure features a more conventional face – a welcome decision that shifts the principal focus from the atypical facial proportions to the attractiveness of the character and in particular, the mood that she expresses.

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review

Triela comes from the well-known manga and anime series Gunslinger Girl, where she is apparently one of the older members of the cast. Like the other main characters, she is a cyborg who works as an assassin and combatant. She’s holding a pump-action shotgun here, just one of numerous weapons depicted in the series; indeed, the show appears to be a gun junky’s dream, with the Wikipedia article listing the numerous weapons used by the cast. Along with a ton of spoilers – don’t say I didn’t warn you if you were planning on watching this show. Me, I bought a Shooter’s Bible when I was around ten years old, I got my rifle shooting merit badge when I was twelve, and then I grew out of my gun nut phase by the time I got to high school.

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review

This figure is manufactured by Good Smile Company, and I was a bit surprised when they announced her, since they’ve been busy making Black Rock Shooter, Vocaloid, and Bakemonogatari stuff and Gunslinger Girl has sort of faded from the memory of the anime zeitgeist. It’s the kind of random figure that we used to see a lot more of; Alter in particular often made characters from eroge and series far from the mainstream but lately they’ve been eminently predictable as well.

Triela is a small figure; she’s sculpted in 1/8 scale and stands 17 centimeters tall to the top of her head, with her gun and base bringing her total height to about 19 centimeters. She’s ready for display right out of the box; all her new owner needs to do is pull off the protective plastic wrap and place her on her base. Speaking of which, her base comprises s small chunk of brick pavement, which looks quite classy and takes up little space on a shelf.

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review

This figure is based off of an illustration that can be seen on the Gunslinger Girl wiki site. The artwork – which isn’t printed on the figure’s box – depicts Triela with narrowed eyes and a scowl. However, the figure doesn’t look quite so angry or sad; Triela certainly isn’t happy, but her expression seems to be closer to neutral. She appears more melancholic and contemplative; the illustration seems to depict her as being displeased and upset with her lot in life, but the figure looks simply resigned to her circumstances.

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review

Another difference is that the illustration includes her handler standing behind her. In contrast, the figure conveys a sense of solitude. Triela is clutching her shotgun like a child would clutch a security blanket, and there’s a profound sense of loneliness in how tightly she hugs it. Indeed, the aura of vulnerability she projects is almost palpable. The subject of this figure is a young woman, but her thoughts and mood are just as perceptible, though much more difficult to discern with certainty.

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review

Triela is dressed in a more feminine style than she is sometimes portrayed. I approve of anime girls in suits and neckties – I’m looking forward to seeing Saber in the Fate/zero anime adaptation – but this outfit works much better in the context of what is being suggested. Her sweater and short skirt are not uncommon among female anime characters, but her trenchcoat and high-heeled boots certainly are. The contrast in colors is also effective, drawing notice to her outfit’s disparate components. The skirt and sweater add a sense of youthful innocence to her look, while her coat adds unmistakable elements of menace, aggression, and mystery. Her boots add a touch of class and provocativeness that offsets the straightforward ubiquity of her skirt and sweater ensemble.

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review

I’m not one to criticize anybody for including a castoff feature – unless it’s poorly handled – but Good Smile Company apparently could not leave well enough alone, and they went ahead and included one with Triela. She separates at her waist so that her skirt can be removed, leaving her standing in her panties. As if she hasn’t suffered enough in life. Now, on one hand, I have to think this is pretty cool, since while I like girls with guns, girls with guns in their panties sounds even cooler, and if somebody were to make a good figure of Lila from Najica Blitz Tactics, I’d order it without hesitation. On the other hand, the effect of removing Triela’s skirt is to destroy the mood and personality she expresses. While having the option of displaying Triela in her underwear is nice, it’s wholly incongruent with the way I like to view this figure, so she’ll be keeping her skirt on.

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review

Given Triela’s distinctive sartorial sense, it would’ve been nice if she were, you know, wearing some racier underpants. Maybe something more colorful, maybe something more revealing.

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review

Good Smile Company has made some great figures this year, and Triela is another fine product. Perhaps the only quibble I could have is that I wish she were a bit larger, but other than that, I think she looks fantastic. No, she’s not the most exciting or dynamic figure around, but her simplicity is a major reason that I like her. Their Saber Alter figure exudes power, and Rin Tohsaka evinces elegance, and Junko Hattori rocks a skimpy fundoshi. This figure of Triela, in contrast, is austere: just a girl, her gun, and her thoughts.

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review

Funimation has uploaded both seasons of Gunslinger Girl to their Youtube channel, and I recently made an attempt at watching it. I did not hate it or even dislike it but I am not certain I want to continue watching it. I thought about describing my feelings here but I’ll save it for a future post.

Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
Triela from Gunslinger Girl Figure Review
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29 Responses to Triela from Gunslinger Girl

  1. Dana says:

    Long time subscriber of the blog, first time commenting.
    As a huge fan of Gunslinger Girl I was really stoked when I saw the title of this post! Only problem I have with this figure is it looks like she was modeled after the character in the second season (which in my opinion is horrible compared to the first season haha), which has a very different animation style and character design than the first season.
    I seriously recommend watching the entire first season though! The story is amazing!

    • Tier says:

      Thanks for reading! Yeah, when I was looking around for information regarding the series, I was surprised to see that the character designs changed for the second season. I guess that makes sense since they changed studios but what I’ve heard of the second season mirrors your view. That’s kind of a shame; I think I like the character designs better (admittedly, this is based solely off of one screencap of Triela) but I’ve heard the technical quality goes off of a cliff.

    • motaku96 says:

      While I agree that the art and animation in the second season isn’t quite as good as the first, I’d have to say that in terms of story, the second season far outshines the first. Part of that reason being that the first season spent a lot of time just introducing the girls and didn’t have time to really flesh out their characteristics. The “villians” in particular are very well portrayed in the second season.

  2. Tian says:

    Some thoughts:

    – I LOVE girls with guns, but passed on this as I couldn’t fit her into my budget. In retrospect I probably could have passed up the swimsuit Rin and a Nendoroid or two for Triela.

    – Your point about the neutral face coincides with a complaint I’ve been having for a while, which is that more often than not, figure manufacturers will not depict some of the more extreme emotions. Seriously, 90% of figures I see have a blank expression, or just have a complacent smile. The angry face is rare, the silly face is downright mythical.

    – I’ve come to appreciate smaller scale figures now that my collection is larger. Back when I had shelf space, I wanted everything to be 1/6 with a diorama base. But small can be good too.

    – The cast-off is weird. I appreciate cast-off features, but this one is just so random and out of place.

    • Tier says:

      You definitely should have passed on a nendoroid or two to pick up Triela. In fact, I would say just about any alternate expense is worth passing on a nendoroid. Feel like eating at Five Guys all week long? Worth passing up a nendoroid. Want to pamper your car by filling it up with that expensive-ass super-grade petrol? Worth passing up a nendoroid.

      Speaking of silly faces, I’ve got this Giga Pulse figure that I need to review. It’s not that weird looking by their standards but their standards and, well, standard standards are very different.

      Yeah, I gotta pass on that expensive version of Love Is War Miku partly because I’ve got no place for that base. I can make room for awesome figures, though. What I don’t like much is when figures have overly large bases for no useful reason. Those older Volks Super Robot Wars figures exemplify that.

      That’s how I felt when I saw that little plastic sheet slipped under her skirt. I was like, “You gotta be kidding me.” I mean, I’m not gonna hate on it but man, Triela’s a girl who ought to keep her skirt on.

      • Tian says:

        I’m seriously considering passing on some Nendos for a week long diet of Five Guys. You made me do this, man.

        • Tier says:

          I’m glad to be of help! That reminds me that I was thinking of getting a deep-dish pizza in preparation for kickoff weekend. I ought to go ahead and do that and lay in some other supplies for Thursday night and Sunday.

  3. Sloth says:

    I love the overexposed background and warmer tones of pics 15 and 16. It goes very well with her expression and skin tone. What you did with lighting and the backdrop in this review are brilliant.

    True, she’s not the most exciting or dynamic figure at first glance but it is rare to see a figure display complex emotion at all let alone do it so well. It seems like she’s a story herself and the more you read in to her the more you feel and understand her.

    • Tier says:

      I agree; being that I knew very little about Gunslinger Girl before buying this figure – and still don’t know much – I find myself looking at Triela and imagining why she looks so lonely and what her background is like. They did a great job adapting her expression and posture from the source illustration.

  4. Asa says:

    I was sorely tempted to get this figure; it’s a beautiful sculpt, and I really love the expression they gave her, but the colouring really threw me off. Her skin looks far too yellow, like she’s suffering serious jaundice from imminent liver failure. That’s more than enough to put me off buying her despite wanting a lovely gun-toting girl to add to my weapon girls collection. 🙁

    I like what you did with the shoot, like she’s in some sort of abandoned warehouse after disposing of some bodies (even though she’s not on a cleanup crew).

    As I’ve said before, I really wish I could do your sort of staging, Fortunately I may be able to get a few LED “flood” lights through a friend of my photography teacher. I saw his recently made setup a few days ago and was very impressed with it; throws out a hellova lot of light, imperceivable heat and uses bugger all power. And made with standard camera/tripod screw mounts so I could use my spare tripods to mount them. Depending what it will cost it may serve me very well; I’d rather go the route of full lighting than flash you do, as it’s much easier to stage with active lighting.

    With some good lighting I may see about finding a local modeller to make me some staging materials for shoots (even just window type things like you use here would be great).

    Every shoot you do inspires me, and I thank you for it.

    • Tier says:

      In real life her skin has a dark tan color; she’s supposed to be Tunisian, apparently, and her complexion seems to be believably Arabic. If there’s such a thing as an Arabic skin complexion. I found the eye color to be a bit more off-putting, since it’s a very brilliant blue with no pupil, and it gives her a slightly unnatural look. Knowing a bit more about her background, it seems appropriate, though.

      That sounds like a cool setup; I’ve seen some LED continuous light setups and they are really cool. Plus you can see what you get, which is a big plus. I can kinda-sorta visualize what’s going to happen and I can usually get the lighting set up the way I want it after a few test shots, but it took me a while to build up that knowledge. Though then again, the process of building up that knowledge was very helpful in learning how light works.

      Thanks! Good luck with your shots, and I’ve always found that despite all the gear I’ve bought and all the books I’ve read and all the forums I read, the best way to get better is to just shoot like a mofo.

  5. Fabienne says:

    Thx to your review I feel like I should reconsider some things I`ve said and though about this figure. She isn’t as boring as I thought. Her expression looks quite interesting, its not the kind of vibe you get from many figures. From the backside she also looks very cool with the dark trenchcoat and the flying twintails

    I don’t know the anime or anything about this character, but the combination of a dark assassin outfit and the radient blue eyes looks very well. Not that Im complaining, but Im wondering why they’ve given Triela such a tanned skincolor, maybe she goes into a solarium regulary ;D

    anyway, nice shots 06, 22 and 26 are my favorites

    is this grey thing underneath a flagstone? I always wanted to ask that because I’ve seen it in a few of your recent reviews.

    • Tier says:

      She is supposed to be from north Africa, so I guess it makes sense that she has a dark skin complexion. Of course, like every north African, she speaks perfect Japanese. And she has those bright blue eyes. Curiously, they seem to be closer to violet in the anime, or at least the first season, but I like how the brightness of her eyes give her sort of an otherworldly look.

      It’s just a sheet of foamboard that I spray-painted with a stone-textured paint. I discovered this paint while browsing through the arts and crafts store near where I work, and it is fantastic stuff. I wish I’d found it earlier, since my earlier attempts at making stone textures worked out very poorly.

      • Fabienne says:

        Oh I see, the bright skincolor from the illutration confused me a bit I guess ^^

        And I thought it was a heavy stone :D, it looks damn real, these arts and crafts stores are really nice, there are also a ot things which can be used as props for shootings.

        • Tier says:

          I wind up going to the crafts store like once a week on average. I was there last week and the clerk was like, “Haven’t I seen you here before?”

  6. Cantan says:

    Anyone else think she looks a bit… orange?

    Like she has an addiction to fake tan.

    It might just be the lighting but the first thing I think when I see her is… I haven’t had my five-a-day yet!

    • Tier says:

      Maybe; she’s supposed to be African. I’ve been trying to refrain from pointing out the obvious in the writeups, but maybe I should have mentioned that she has dark skin. Being a member of the yellow race myself, I don’t think her skin looks too unusual but maybe she ought to be darker-toned.

  7. Devil Dan says:

    Maybe it’s not a castoff feature but just the way she was put together?

    • Tier says:

      It could be, though I have quite a few figures – the vast majority of them, actually – that do not separate so I think it was a deliberate choice on their part. I’m hoping their Love Is War Miku figure will also be castoff-able, since that would greatly facilitate my plans for her.

  8. Chag says:

    I got mixed thoughts about the figure. The part that bothers me about it is the way she’s holding onto her gun. That childish posture really clashes with her austere air, which puts me off somewhat. Yet at the same time, The character design (as well as the source material as a whole) capitalizes on the dissonant nature of the characters, so in that respect this figure of Triela captures the source material spectacularly. *shrug* I dunno. I like the figure, but I think I’d like more if she was in the middle of pumping the shotgun. That’s just me.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the anime. I really liked how such a ridiculous premise (cyborg lolis with guns) is handled in such a low-tone manner, though in retrospect, the art style was definitely not very figure-friendly, for better or for worse.

    • Tier says:

      I think the way she’s clutching her weapon is the best part of the figure. When times are tough and people feel they cannot face it alone, they reach out to the things they trust and love – family, friends, God, a treasured teddy bear or some other artifact of youth. Triela reaches out for a gun and hugs it close. This figure constructs a personality from her body language, which I greatly appreciate.

  9. motaku96 says:

    I’m getting her. Should arrive soon.

    I have to say, one thing I don’t like about this figure is the color. Her skin tone, which is supposed to reflect a tan/brown color, comes off as a little orangey. A little too vibrant.

    But she’s one of my favorite girls, and I can’t pass up a chance to get her.

    • Tier says:

      Hope you get yours soon. It’s always great when one gets a figure of a character you really like. Wish that would happen with me and Queen’s Blade’s Irma one of these days.

  10. I have to admit, when I saw the figure I thought it would be very hard to make it look great in any shoot but you have proven me wrong, VERY wrong >_<

    • Tier says:

      She was a really fun figure to photograph. It actually wasn’t as easy to photograph her as I thought it’d be – it took me a lot longer than I expected – but the angles and lighting worked themselves out pretty quickly. I don’t think I’ve actually shot many figures that revealed themselves like that.

  11. I didn’t pay this figure much mind when she was first announced, but looking at your pics make me regret passing her up. Oddly enough the thing I like most about her is her darker skin color. Especially the way it (and her trenchcoat) contrast with those vibrant blue eyes and blonde hair. Looks good. Real good.

    • Tier says:

      I think that was the main appeal for me when I preordered this figure as well. It’s also why I bought Villetta Nu, though I’m told she’s a pretty cool character and I’m thinking Code Geass is a series I should watch sometime. And it’s one of the reason why I keep clamoring for an Irma figure, though I’m losing hope on that ever happening.

      • Oh man, Irma. Seriously, Megahouse. WHY. One of the better Queen’s Blade designs and they just let her go to waste…

        Code Geass is certainly a show to watch. It’s ridiculous. Very much so. (In a good way, of course. At least most of the time) Both seasons are very good, though the second one isn’t as strong as the first and seems to get a lot of hate because of it.

        As for Villetta, she wasn’t a personal favorite but she was one of the more interesting characters. Not to mention one of the hottest.

        • Tier says:

          Every Sunrise-produced show seems to be compared to Code Geass, and it’s a bit odd that I haven’t seen it, since I liked Sora Kake Girl (though it kinda got worse in the second half) and I like Kyokai Senjou no Horizon (though it makes no sense at all). I’m told that the guy who voiced Lelouche also has main roles in the two other shows, so that’s also a compelling reason. Maybe I’ll have to see if it shows up in one of Rightstuf’s sales.

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