Aegis from Persona 3 (SIF EX Maid Uniform Version)

Aegis figure from Persona 3

As anyone who follows the news knows by now, when one lives in a time that requires decisive action and heroic effort, the American thing to do is to call it a day and shut it down. Eventually, however, one does need to get back to work. Theoretically, anyway. (If anyone is curious, I recently bought a new video card and have been busying myself with various MMOs and getting Skyrim to work.) A number of nice new figures have recently been released, and we’ll be looking at some of them in the upcoming days and weeks, but for now, I have a ton of figures piled up waiting for review and Aegis is one of them. Let’s take a quick look at her.

Aegis figure by Yamato

When it comes to merchandise, Aegis is by far the most popular character from the Persona series. She’s gotten a number of figures, with the definitive one being Alter’s 1/6 scale version. That hasn’t deterred other figure makers from putting forth their own efforts, however; in fact, there’s another one by Ques Q scheduled for release next month.

Aegis figure by Yamato

Yamato’s version of Aegis was announced not long after the Alter figure was released, and I don’t doubt that the timing hurt the sales of this figure. Its original price – in excess of 10,000 yen – certainly did not help, either; I hadn’t intended to pick up this figure but it got a big discount not long after it was released, which is when I purchased it.

Aegis figure by Yamato

Many of Yamato’s figures are listed as “non-scale,” which is a little silly since the only way for a figure to not actually correspond to a scale would be for it or its source character to have a height of zero or infinity. Aegis measures about 26.5 centimeters in height, which, given her lanky body build, is probably closest to 1/7 scale.

Aegis figure by Yamato

At first glance, unless one is a fan of Aegis and Persona 3 (I’d label myself both), there doesn’t seem to be much to recommend this figure. Her maid outfit looks very much like any other maid outfit you’ve ever seen. Her pose is remarkable only for its stiff verticality. Many of her mechanical parts, which were so prominently emphasized and lovingly detailed in the Alter figure, aren’t all that conspicuous here.

Aegis figure by Yamato

However, this figure does have one prominent aspect, which is Yoshizawa Mitsumasa’s style. Known professionally as REFLECT, he’s sculpted a number of my favorite figures, including Kiriko Hattori, Asuka, and Cammy. His trademarks are easily recognizable; they typically include a relatively realistic face with slightly enlarged eyes as well as a tall, lithe physique. I’m a big fan of his style, and I really like the way he’s sculpted Aegis’s face. She has a more human look here, with the typical anime style being much less of an influence. Her sideways look and small, knowing smile are particularly appealing, conveying a sense of softness and warmth.

Aegis figure by Yamato

Compared to Alter’s figure, Yamato’s version is noticeably smaller and far less detailed. Their faces do share some common elements, including the presence of lips and a larger nose than is typically seen on an anime-style figure. However, while I really do like Alter’s figure, I prefer the face on Yamato’s figure.

Aegis figure by Yamato

Besides the face, one other interesting aspect of this figure is the hair. REFLECT’s sculpts typically feature fairly realistic body proportions, which means that they don’t have the oversized heads that almost every other anime figure has (including Alter’s figure). However, this figure has big, poofy hair, which makes her head look a little larger.

Aegis figure by Yamato

Her hair is nicely detailed, without the helmet hair syndrome that many figures have.

Aegis figure by Yamato

Although Aegis looks reasonably human, her mechanical aspects are present, if rather less evident than on Alter’s figure. She’s wearing her usual headphones, her forearms are finished in metallic paint, and her fingers are stubbed in gray.

Aegis figure by Yamato

I don’t have a big maid fetish – unless the maid outfit is, well, fetishistic – but even if I did, I’d say that her maid outfit is rather less interesting. There’s nothing really all that special about it. I vaguely remember there being a scene in Persona 3 where the female characters acquired maid outfits, but I can’t remember what it was about.

Aegis figure by Yamato

But in the end, I suppose I don’t really care too much about the maid outfit. I really bought this figure because I liked the face (and well, because it was cheap). To be honest, I definitely wouldn’t have picked up this figure if I didn’t care for Aegis, but she was one of my favorite characters from one of my favorite games, so I’m happy to own this figure. It’s not at all a highlight of my collection, but as a complementary piece to Alter’s more synthetic version, I think it looks pretty nice.

Aegis figure by Yamato
Aegis figure by Yamato
Aegis figure by Yamato
Aegis figure by Yamato
Aegis figure by Yamato
Aegis figure by Yamato
Aegis figure by Yamato
Aegis figure by Yamato
Aegis figure by Yamato
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20 Responses to Aegis from Persona 3 (SIF EX Maid Uniform Version)

  1. Tsunami3k says:

    Alter’s original 1/8th scale Aegis was my very first favorite figure. The detail, the dynamic pose and the shading on that were all well above what was the norm for that era of figures and she still more than holds her own today. I don’t entirely understand why I’m obsessed with Aegis having never played any of the games but even long before I got the figure my usual semi-daily wallpaper rotation ground to a halt when I stumbled across a wallpaper of one of Soejima’s renditions of her done in acrylic. Black background, smoke and the like….it’s really an amazing image! At least one of my machines has had that wallpaper on it for many years now.

    I can see a pattern developing: you do a shoot of a figure that I managed to write off and I begin to regret my rare exhibition of restraint. Not that Aegis isn’t worthy of attention but I have several of her better renditions already and, as you noted, she was expensive and a bit plain. That said, your photo shoot portrays her subtle charms in such a way as to make me reconsider my prior bias against this particular figure of her (Ok, the hope of a substantially cheaper price spices things up substantially as well.)

    The maid outfit isn’t particularly elaborate but it does add a bit of softness that highlights her softer, cherubic REFLECT rendition (whose style vaguely and inexplicably reminds me of Drew Barrymore). Besides, I have several Aegii(?) that are faithful to her traditional design but nothing in an alternate outfit so why not, right?

    Oy! Oh well, she’ll be far cheaper than the 1/2.5th scale version of her that Griffon’s set to come out with.

    • Tier says:

      I really wanted that figure, and I was giving some thought to picking it up from Mandarake, but fortunately for me Alter put the new one up for preorder before I did. I’m impressed by how valuable that figure became.

      I really like Aegis’s character though to be honest, she made less of an impression on me than some of the other characters (she is, of course, a robot so her personality is somewhat muted compared to the other characters). Part of that comes from her appearance, which is very distinctive, particularly in her gun barrel fingertips, but I also like those sorts of female characters that are missing or have lost some aspect of humanity.

      I thought you were being flippant when you mentioned the Griffon figure and then I googled it and found that it really is real. That’s … just astonishing. I really wonder how that’s going to turn out, and I also have to wonder why in the world they are making such a figure.

      • Tsunami3k says:

        They seem to be taking a big step into large figures; they have several scheduled. They’ve always had solid sculpts but they’ve fallen behind the pack on paint and finishing, particularly their fairly flat skin tones and lack of specular diversity (a.k.a. they don’t vary between shiny and dull very much).

        And, at the risk of sounding like “that guy” on a figure thread, their faces are fairly homogenous for which I’ve coined the term “Touhou face”. In all fairness, I have several of their Touhou figures which I like very much but looking across their releases over the past several years, there’s definitely a familiar vibe that transcends just their Touhou line. It’s never off-putting per se but it’s also never very adventurous either.

        Anyway, I’m hoping that their bold move into larger scales means they’re mixing things up a little and will take some more daring risks to raise the bar for themselves a little. They’re obviously a very prolific figure makers so I’d love to see what they can do once they’ve set their mind to innovate.

        • Tier says:

          I’ve noticed they’re also putting out a lot of figures from very recent shows, as if they’re trying to beat everyone else to the punch. It’s not a bad strategy but I wish I had more confidence in their capabilities. Their best figures tend to be on the average side of things; I hope that they can do better. Certainly I am curious to see what their take on Aegis will look like.

          Yeah, I’ve noticed the same thing, though I just call it the “Griffon face”; it’s the sort of face they use on a lot of their Ikkitousen figures. Though I remember that they recently put up a figure of the Railgun girl that actually looked sort of like her anime design; I was kinda surprised by that since they seldom seem to try to match original designs.

          It would be nice to see them get better; I’ve noticed that other companies like Kotobukiya and Alphamax are really stepping up their game and putting out some extremely nice figures, even though in the past they’ve had a reputation for being mediocre to average (or in Alphamax’s case, not making PVC figures at all). At the very least, it would be nice if they moved away from those gigantic black oval bases that they seem to love.

  2. Tian says:

    I’m a big fan of Reflect but I don’t like his style for Aegis. Shigenori Soejima’s style has sharp faces, so it’s kind of weird seeing a round, almost baby faced Aegis. Aside from that, the maid getup and pose aren’t doing anything for me.

    Random thing I thought of: Reflect does usually keep the head proportionately small, except with his Mari Makinami figure. Mari’s head is ENORMOUS, almost to a distracting degree. Your comment about Aegis’s head and hair instantly made me think of that for some reason.

    • Tier says:

      One of the reasons I like this figure is because it looks so different from the official art. The Heavy Gauge one (of which I own a Hobbyfan-made bootleg) is similar in that it puts a really different spin on a well-known and easily-recognizable character. That also reminds me that I really ought to review gangsta lean Saber one of these days.

      • Tian says:

        I saw that Heavy Gauge made a Desty Nova bust, which is AMAZING. Oddly enough they got that one dead-on in terms of matching the manga style.

  3. Wieselhead says:

    I approve of this maid, it’s a classic, conservative design, but you can’t say that it doesn’t suit her. The contrast between tame maid outfit and vivid head accentuates her face very well.

    I wouldn’t call her a bishoujo, but she is pretty and has a very kind expression in her face.
    The head decoration is also quite good next to her hair. This Aegis appears more human than Alter’s sci fi Cyborg adaption. I really prefer the blond hair actually.

    Picture 03 is my favorite, that’s very good lighting on her face. Maybe you could manage to give Kotobukiya’s Kobato the correct lighting, I tried it, but her skintone has a horrible overreaction towards light, I was about to throw the figure out the window, so frustrating ^W^, but instead I proceed with Cat Lap Milk, at least that worked.

    • Tier says:

      It was sorta funny; originally I felt that I would have a really hard time writing this review because there wasn’t much to write about, and also because I like the Alter figure so much. But then I took a look at them side by side and felt that I really liked this one’s face better, and I also much preferred the solid, yellow hair rather than the clear plastic, multicolored hair that Alter went with.

      Haha, I did not get that figure but I can see how I’d want to light it. If I remember right, she’s looking slightly upwards while leaning forward on her chair, so I’d probably want to put a light a little higher, so that her face is turned into it. I sometimes find that nasty skintone come from white balance settings, so I usually bump up the magenta tint in postprocessing, and I also put a little more red in the highlights.

      • Tsunami3k says:

        I may suggest that the Kobato in question may be the CLAMP Kobato rather than the character from “I Don’t Have Many Friends”. The only reason I have to suspect that this might be the case is that I have Kotobukiya’s CLAMP Kobato and it had a peculiar skin tone that came out as a ghastly shade of undead which is the nigh on antithesis of the character in question. It looks relatively ok in person but defies any attempt at a flattering photo (much like my own face).

        I’ve had a few figures that exhibit such skin paint oddities but perhaps just shy of being able to conclusively saying that they’ve all been from middle-tier figure companies (or companies that were mid-tier when the figure was made).

        In the case of Kobato, there was a “Japanese” release and a U.S. release (the latter probably varied by country since I imagine it was more of a general gaijin release), literally at some stores you could preorder one or the other and they even differed in price by $5-10. I’ve only been able to compare notes with a few other collectors who also bought this figure but through perhaps 2-3 degrees of Kevin Bacon, it sounds as if the gaijin release was inferior.

        I’m tempted to wonder if it’s actually a paint issue or a colored plastic issue. I have noticed that flesh-colored plastic, as is often used in Sega and other UFO catcher figures) is sometimes photo-fickle as is “candy resin”. I’ve found taht sometimes a polarizer helps for these as I think it tempers the translucency of these materials a bit.

        BTW, it’s probably a dumb question but how does one get an avatar pic?

        • Tier says:

          I think he is talking about the Haganai Kobato; I remember he was pretty enthusiastic about it, especially since he managed to get a preorder in (I’m still surprised and a little appalled at how quickly some Kotobukiya figures sell out, at least at Japanese retailers). I’ve not actually seen any owner pictures of the figure but now I’m curious as to how it turned out.

          I don’t think I have too many figures with poor skin tone – at least, not recent ones – but I do remember that there’s a review here of Yamato’s Cammy (also sculpted by REFLECT) where I really botched the white balance setting and the photos are really, really green. I know how to fix them now but back then, I remember struggling mightily with white balance and getting pleasant-looking skin tones.

          One thing I’ve noticed is that polystone or resin-cast figures tend to have less attractive-looking skin than PVC figures. I’ve got a couple of Western-designed figures where the skin is painted with sort of a brownish tint rather than the more realistic peach color that most PVC figures use, and I’ve also got several Volks figures (real ones, not recast bootlegs) where the skin tones are not fantastic.

          Uhh, gee, it’s been a while, but there’s a site called Gravatar where you can sign up and basically it gives you a global profile that you can use with a ton of sites, including most WordPress sites. I don’t remember what’s involved but it was a pretty painless process.

  4. mechgouki says:

    Hi Tier. I have a few questions that I need to ask you, and I hope you don’t mind me posting here.

    I stumbled across a website selling figures that I don’t seem to recognize.

    For instance, this Sonico and Morrigan figure.

    item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=2013.1.0.0.xZAiNQ&scm=1007.77.0.0&id=17997199323&pvid=6809d78e-ef0f-46c8-a0c1-e7dff866a1ef&jlogid=p1704475199131

    item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.1.w137712-803481715.2.KSneMm&id=21335488924

    I have tried searching on the internet to see what figures they are, but I couldn’t find anything. Are they makaizo?

    • mechgouki says:

      Any replies pls? 🙁

    • Tier says:

      I don’t know where the Morrigan figure comes from, though it does look familiar to me (I do recognize the artwork that it comes from, at least). The Sonico figure, though, looks like they might have used the body from a Vispo garage kit (the one that Daiki Kougyou is adapting into a PVC figure … Ringo something) and stuck a Sonico head on it. I don’t know if they are makaizou; my guess is that they might have recast the bodies and heads.

      • mechgouki says:

        Thank you for answering.

        Yeah, the Sonico looks like a mix and match now that you mention it.

        But the morrigan figure looks real though. I couldn’t find any relating products on it, and the information on the website is not enough.

        Anyway, thanks for the help.

  5. mechgouki says:

    Thank you for answering.

    Yeah, the Sonico looks like a mix and match now that you mention it.

    But the morrigan figure looks real though. I couldn’t find any relating products on it, and the information on the website is not enough.

    Anyway, thanks for the help.

  6. Tsunami3k says:

    Grrr…just picked her up. (Shakes fist @Tier.)

  7. Phil says:

    Which video card did you get? :p

    • Tier says:

      It’s a Radeon 7950. I got it for under $200, which seemed like a decent price. My previous card was a Radeon 5770, which was struggling pretty hard.

      Unfortunately, I seem to be having some problems with it; the other day I encountered some intense flickering and glitching followed by a display crash. I really hope that this was a one-off thing rather than being indicative of a serious problem. At any rate, this is mostly a temporary thing, since I don’t feel like replacing my computer yet. When I build my next machine, I am absolutely, positively not putting any AMD parts into it; you wouldn’t believe the amount of trouble I’ve had with ATI cards (unless, of course, you’ve had problems of your own).

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