Continuing with the tight bodysuit theme, today we’ll take a look at Meiya Mitsurugi, the heroine from Age’s eroge Muv-Luv Alternative. Kotobukiya, of course, has made a number of figures of the characters from Total Eclipse – quite probably the best-known property of the Muv-Luv franchise, thanks to its recent anime adaptation. It’s a little bit surprising that Kotobukiya has gone to the older title, since few manufacturers aside from Volks and Good Smile Company have ever shown interest in making figures of its characters. Nonetheless, I’m glad that they have, since its character designs are quite appealing, particularly because of their pilot suits.
I’ve not played Muv-Luv Alternative, but everything I’ve heard about it suggests that it is a far superior work compared to its newer, more famous spinoff. Given what I know of Total Eclipse’s ending, I have no difficulty believing in the veracity of that claim. Muv-Luv Alternative has gotten an unofficial, fan-made English translation, so my excuse for not playing it is mostly because of time, and also because I’ve been hoping that it would get an official English localization; I remember Age showed up at one of the big US anime conventions as a guest of Mangagamer, and I had thought that they might begin a partnership. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case so far, and it doesn’t look like there’s anything going on between the two companies, so maybe I’ll give the game a try sooner rather than later.
Like Yui and Cryska, Meiya is sculpted in 1/7 scale. She’s differs from her forebears in that she’s floating up on a stand, but her body proportions are roughly similar and her large size is pleasing, particularly because Good Smile Company’s old Meiya figure was quite undersized.
Anime designs are often fairly generic; it’s usually not too difficult to think of a character and then to think of at least a few other characters who strongly resemble the first. The character designs from Muv-Luv Alternative, however, are so distinctive that it’s hard to find anyone that looks like them. This is particularly true of Meiya, with her iconic, starburst-patterned hairstyle and her enormous, self-supporting ponytail. Her eyes and eyebrows are sharp and strongly raked, giving her a robotic appearance that parallels the mecha unit she drives.
Her expression is as severe as the lines of her face; it clearly conveys that she is not in a good humor. Her eyes are narrowed, and her large irises and indistinct pupils give her a distinctly insect-like appearance, enhancing the predatory character of her visage. One little thing that I like is that her lower lip is emphasized, giving her expression a more realistic and three-dimensional look (contrast Meiya with the Horizon figure that we just looked at; Horizon’s expression is harder to read).
The angular theme is continued in the design of her piloting suit. Like the Total Eclipse girls, Meiya’s body is sheathed in an impossibly skintight suit that leaves little to the imagination – though more than I would like, actually, since Meiya is also shown wearing a translucent suit that hides nearly nothing. I’m told that this is her training suit, and I think it’s the suit that she’s first seen in. That said, aside from the fact that this figure is based off of existing artwork, it’s not too difficult to understand why Kotobukiya elected not to use that design.
Somewhat comically, despite being about the same size as Kotobukiya’s Total Eclipse figures, Meiya seems to have the smallest breasts of the four. Her bust is definitely smaller than Cryska’s and Yui’s, and she appears to be beaten by Inia Sestina as well, despite the relatively small stature of the latter. (I’ve got Inia sitting here but I haven’t yet removed her from her box, so I’ll perform a closer comparison when I review her.)
Meiya is curled up in sort of a fetal position, floating up in the air. She is suspended by a small pylon, cleverly colored to blend in with her hair. Kotobukiya includes an instruction sheet showing how to mount her to the base; there is no English translation, unsurprisingly, but it’s a straightforward process. I don’t think there’s any point in trying to display Meiya without the base; for one thing, the pylon slots into a large hole in her back, and for another, her massive sweep of hair would make it difficult to display her any other way.
Speaking of her hair, her ponytail is very large and seems to rotate freely. I really hope that that’s a designed element since the joint between her head and hair seems rather fragile.
She also comes with this sword. It’s a nice-looking sword, though it probably looks like every other Japanese sword you’ve ever seen. The gold hilt and red scabbard give a couple of splashes of eye-catching color, but it’s hard to see them from a typical viewing angle. Indeed, there’s really only one viewing angle that works for her.
But if you were to look at her straight on, you might notice that there’s just the faintest suggestion of cameltoe. Maybe wishing for that transparent training suit isn’t so fanciful after all.
I have to admit that this was one of those figures that, if I had a time machine, I might not have ordered, because I thought it looked a little nondescript. However, now that I can see it in person, I’m very happy that I did buy it, because she looks great. I was ambivalent about the floating pose, being that I really prefer figures that are standing up, but it actually works really well, especially with the way the pylon is concealed, I was also apprehensive about her face, which has a very retro, 1990s-style look to it, but I’m surprised by how much I like the way Meiya looks; she really looks like a killer, which I would guess is not that accurate to her true personality, but it gives her a lot of attitude regardless. Kotobukiya’s pilot suit Muv-Luv Alternative figures have been fantastic, and Meiya is no exception. I hope Sumika continues the trend.