There have been a number of figures of the characters from Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse. To date, most of them have put them in swimsuits or their underwear. Not that that’s a bad thing (would you trust a heterosexual man who said he didn’t like panties?), but given the appeal and distinctiveness of Muv-Luv’s pilot suits, it’s a shame that figure makers haven’t chosen to adapt the most iconic look of the Total Eclipse characters. That is, until now; Kotobukiya has finally made a figure of lead girl Yui Takamura in her pilot suit, and that’s who we are looking at here.
This is Kotobukiya’s second figure of Yui, the first having arrived over a year ago. Like the earlier figure, this one is sculpted in 1/7 scale; unlike the earlier version and pretty much every previous figure of a Total Eclipse character, Yui is standing up here. She’s a substantial figure, standing about 23.5 centimeters tall, discounting the base.
Besides the base, she comes with her sword and three little rocks that can be strewn about at the owner’s discretion. I know I’d just lose them so I put them back in the box.
The name of this figure makes reference to its clothing (“eishi” is what the Japanese mecha pilots in Muv-Luv Alternative call themselves), so that’s a good place to start. A longtime staple of science fiction and superhero comics, the tight bodysuit offer obvious sex appeal, and the suits of Muv-Luv Alternative amplify that effect in several ways. Most obviously, they are unrealistically tight, with the wearer vacuum-sealed inside the suit (literally so; we see this in an early episode of the anime). The various bits of armor studding the suit comprise a more contentious aspect of the character designs; in particular, I’ve heard people say they don’t care for the chinstrap. While I don’t hate it, I can see why it would be bothersome, and I would agree that I’d prefer that it not be there. I do wish the pointy cones protruding from her hips weren’t there; I think they are disruptive to her body line.
That said, I don’t think they are detrimental; indeed, they can be hard to notice amid the obviously exaggerated characteristics of her physique. Her large breasts are one of the most conspicuous elements of her design and are, I’m sure, two major reasons why people tuned in to the Total Eclipse anime series. Yui’s design reminds me quite a bit of the aforementioned superhero comics, particularly those drawn by artists like Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, and Andy Kubert back in the 1990s; her long legs, wasp waist, and strongly curved back are evocative of the conventions of those days.
Being the lead female character, Yui gets to wear a unique suit that matches the color of her tactical surface fighter. The black-and-gold motif is almost always an attractive combination, and the purple accents add elements of distinction, femininity, and regalness to her design. The patterning on her suit is outlined with black piping, and looking at it close-up, it’s a bit roughly applied. Collectors who own Kotobukiya’s 1/6 scale figures of the Evangelion characters will already be familiar with this.
Speaking for myself, and only myself, I kinda wish that this figure featured erect nipples. It’s tight enough that we can clearly see her navel, and some of the official art featured such. While I’m at it, it would’ve also been pretty cool if she wore a see-through suit like some of the characters from Alternative did.
Anyway, it’s a very tight suit, one that does proper justice to Yui’s rear. Fans of this sort of thing will be very pleased.
I like the way her shoes look; they’re big and clunky, which I think looks pretty cute.
She also has this sword, which comes separately. It slides into her hand pretty easily, which is nice because that’s not always the case with some figures. The contrast between her futuristic outfit and her anachronistic weapon is interesting and eye-catching. The sword also makes her nationality obvious.
As mentioned, this is the second figure of Yui by Kotobukiya. The earlier figure was done by a different sculptor and looks a little bit smaller than this one. The hair is also a little different; this Yui’s hair is more voluminous with more prominent hair intake styling.
The style of the eyes is also a little different; this Yui’s eyes has more pronounced black outlining, giving her a harder, more aggressive look.
Kotobukiya’s earlier figure of Yui Takamura was excellent, and this one is no different. Certainly, the highlight of this figure is Yui’s body, and her chest is indeed very nice, but there are a number of other appealing factors here. Yui’s demeanor is one of them; she looks both strong and sexy here, standing nonchalantly amid urban ruin. The contrasts presented by this figure are more subtle but still compelling; the contrast between her feudal-era sword and futuristic outfit is one, but there are others, such as the contrast between her military look and her girlish ribbon, and her placid expression while evidently surrounded by destruction. All in all, this is a fantastic figure, one that I am very pleased to own.
One of the peculiar aspects of Total Eclipse’s plot was a poorly-handled stab at injecting racial tension between the Japanese-American lead guy and fully-Japanese Yui. It was pretty badly done and made me cringe, being Japanese-American myself. I think my attempt at introducing racial commentary into my own work is better.