The Muv-Luv Alternative series is well-known and well-respected for its complex storyline, its realism – insofar as big battles between giant mechs and space aliens can be deemed realistic – and, of course, its sexy female characters vacuum-sealed into impossibly tight pilot suits. Not that you’d know that from any of the figures featuring Total Eclipse characters, though; Alphamax’s figure of Yui Takamura put her in her panties and this figure puts her in, well, her panties. Not that that’s a bad thing, of course – I’m not ever going to say that panties are bad. When a man has lost his ability to appreciate a cute girl in her panties, he’s lost pretty much everything.
Yui Takamura is one of the lead female characters in the Muv-Luv Alternative spinoff series Total Eclipse, which is getting an anime this summer. A short trailer is available on the show’s website, which shows off some of the mecha as well as offering very brief glimpse of Yui, series hero Yuuya Bridges, and Russian pilot Cryska Barchenowa. Hopefully the show will be good but if it isn’t, at least we’ll still get to see cute girls in tight suits during the second half of Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere.
This figure is made by Kotobukiya and is nominally listed as 1/7 scale, though she doesn’t look quite that large and a 1/8 scale classification would be more accurate. She comes with a parasol and a square base, and her clothing is molded to fit over the edges of her base, though it does not drape perfectly. It’s termed the “gekka” version, which means something like “moonlight,” I think. I’m not really sure what that connotes; it fits with the astrophysical name of the series but seems to make less sense given that she’s carrying a sun shade.
This figure is inspired by an illustration from Miyata Sou, who has done much of the artwork for Total Eclipse. It’s mostly faithful to the art, and the few changes made are generally for the better. For example, the size of her parasol has been increased to a more realistic scale.
Although her clothing is falling off of her body, Yui maintains an air of dignity and elegance. Her comportment is one of surprise but she still appears serene, more inquisitive than startled.
Her kimono is exquisite, its crimson color perfectly complemented by the metallic gold accents. It looks voluminous but still fits closely to her body, emphasizing the bare skin of her legs and shoulders. The suggestiveness of its disarray is clearly the highlight of this figure, and renders the giant bow affixed to her obi a sense of inconspicuousness that its size might otherwise command.
Her costume is completed by some bells tied to her ankle, and though they are innocuous enough, they also provide a subtle but unmistakable erotic subtext.
Yui’s parasol is beautifully made, with a lacquer finish that emphasizes the traditional Japanese aesthetic of her appearance. The shade is detachable from the shaft to facilitate getting it into her hand. Unlike Kotobukiya’s Kokoro figure from ages ago, the parasol does not fold up.
Her feet are sculpted very well; surprisingly well, even. It’s not uncommon for feet to be rendered badly in artwork, and though I wouldn’t say that Yui’s feet are poorly drawn in the source illustration, it’s not surprising that the artist drew the toes on only one foot. The sculptor goes beyond what was drawn by curling her toes; it’s a subtle effect but still quite noticeable from the right angles.
Yui’s legs are beautiful, as they should be, as she is all but nude from the waist down. Her rear is also very attractive, again almost completely revealed thanks to the white thong she’s wearing.
I have to admit, I was biased against this figure before I received it. I really like the design of the pilot suits in Muv-Luv Alternative, and I do not understand why nobody is making figures of the Total Eclipse characters in their combat uniforms. In addition, while there aren’t too many Kotobukiya figures that I dislike, in my mind, I tend to associate them with mediocrity. Many of their figures feature unambitious poses and unexceptional technical quality. However, every now and then they make a figure that far outstrips what might be expected from them. Yui is one of them; she looks fantastic and now I’m excited about their upcoming Cryska and Inia figures – Cryska moreso, because for some reason Inia is still sold out everywhere.
Here’s Kotobukiya Yui next to Alphamax Yui. I think Kotobukiya’s version looks a lot better.