Despite its impressive array of attractive characters, there still aren’t that many figures from Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. What few there are are distributed by a wide variety of companies, and that means that those few figures comprise a myriad of looks, styles, poses, and sizes. Further, for some reason or another many of those figures were not sold through normal retail channels. Such was the case for Mary Stuart; she was supposed to be a Dengeki Fan Shop exclusive or somesuch, but HLJ stocked this figure and that’s where I bought her from. That was a fortunate thing, as I wasn’t inclined to get this figure if I needed to put in a special order, but since I have her, let’s take a look at her.
Mary Stuart joins the core cast of Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere during the show’s second season. Initially disguised, hooded and speaking in a feigned voice, she quickly meets Tenzou Crossunite, the ninja student from Musashi Ariadust Academy. They instantly take a liking to each other, subsequently falling in love, which is one of the few plot points from the show that I understood. (There’s also some stuff about Horizon trying to recover her emotions, Toori Aoi constantly walking around butt-ass naked, and some type of conflict between the Musashi students and some Englishpeople, but for the most part, I had no idea what was going on.)
This figure is manufactured by Sentinel in 1/8 scale, standing about 20.5 centimeters in height. Notably, she’s around the same size as Alter’s 1/8 scale figures, which means she’s relatively large. She comes with one accessory, a little black pylon which presumably can be used to keep her stable; its inclusion might be helpful since she’s quite heavy and, being that she’s standing on one leg, she might exhibit leaning problems in the future.
The female characters of the Horizon series features a number of stylistic hallmarks, particularly in their clothing. Mary wears an Englishwoman’s outfit, which looks rather like a blue version of the Musashi Ariadust Academy uniforms. It consists of a tight bodysuit and a large, heavy skirt, which hopefully won’t cause the figure to topple over in the future.
Tenzou freely expresses his preference for big-breasted blonde girls, and fortunately for him Mary is just that. Only one of her breasts is visible, and it’s so oddly spherical that one might not recognize it as a breast at first glance. As strange as it might look, it is pretty much the way she’s designed in the anime.
Her other tit is hidden by her sword. I’m not sure what sword this is, but being that she’s named after English royalty, it’s a safe guess that it’s Excalibur or some derivative.
There’s a small smile on Mary’s face – at least it looks like a smile from some angles – but her eyes seem a bit sad, which I suppose makes sense since she’s had a rough life and she also has a propensity to spontaneously tear up. Her nose is almost completely vestigial, which looks strange but again, that’s how she’s designed. She does have her trademark scar, though it doesn’t look all that much like a scar to me; it looks like something you’d try to wipe off with rubbing alcohol, like a line drawn by an orange magic marker or something.
All that said, the flatness of her face is still a bit disturbing. It is, at least, a lot less noticeable when viewing the figure from at least a foot away.
Another common stylistic quirk found amongst the Horizon girls is big, big hair. Kimi Aoi and Nate Mitotsudaira are the preeminent examples, of course, but Mary has a pretty impressive ponytail as well. There’s more detail there than one might expect given the prevalance of helmet hair on so many other figures.
Sentinel is best known amongst figure collectors for making a couple of forgettable figures of the main characters from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. That’s not much of a track record, and so I wasn’t expecting Mary to be a marvel of manufacturing competence. In that respect, I was correct in not getting my hopes up; she’s not awful but she’s not particularly impressive at all. In terms of technical quality, she reminds me of some of the figures I bought back when I first started collecting, around 2005 or 2006.
I like this figure, though that’s certainly not saying that this is a great figure, or even a good one. In terms of manufacturing quality, this figure fails to impress on multiple levels; however, my evaluation doesn’t place much weight on manufacturing quality, so this doesn’t bother me much. Mainly I wish that her face were improved, though I suppose they did a good job of giving her that sad-and-happy puppy-dog look. I do like both the character and the character design, and those two things count for a lot. Moreover, it seems unlikely that Mary will be getting many figures, so that does make this figure special, even if it doesn’t improve the figure itself.
In Tier’s hands even the not so high quality figure becomes a godess ;D
The pictures are really nice to watch.
Mary is my favorite girl in this show next to many others of course, I also like the smaller and flatchested girls of the cast. She’s such a cute and friendly blonde lady. The love story with Tenzou was sweet, I love this romantic stuff ^^ I found it harder to follow the events of the first season, actually. Neverthelees I had to rewatch both.
I was happy as this figure was announced, but soon the first promo pictures were shown, I lost my hope. Seeing it here she seems like a good figure, the pose is nice and also her thighs and the belly are attractive parts, but the lack of details is a little bad, she is detailed but it appears flat with the same matte texture everywhere. Maybe Im just somewhat upset because one of her boobs is hidden. Honestly, I really like her base, at least one shiny eyecatcher, but actually I find her more charming than dissapointing.
Thanks XD I liked Mary a lot as well; she’s a really nice girl, which is a little unexpected since in anime these days, it seems like they love making characters that are hard to like.
I was much more interested in this figure at first as well, since I didn’t know who manufactured it. I was thinking that it would be made by Volks or Wave, since they did the previous figures of Horizon, and I was surprised to see that Sentinel got the job, since they haven’t made many figures since those P&S/G figures. She does, at least, look a lot better from a normal viewing distance, where her flat face and lack of detail isn’t as noticeable. I just hope she doesn’t fall over one of these days.
Looks like she’s carrying a sack of rice…. -__-
Or a bowling ball! That looks a lot like a bowling ball to me … which is the way they look in the anime, I guess. I have to admit that while watching the show, I often thought the characters looked better clothed than they did nude.
y’know that’s one of the most annoying things i find about anime/manga character designs – female clothing = shrink wrap. or body paint. Gosh, even spandex doesn’t grip the skin so tightly!
That’s one of the things that I like best about anime designs. It actually played a big part in me becoming an anime fan; one of the first shows I saw was Robotech, which had many of the female characters wearing tight piloting suits. Evangelion and such would take it to the next level, of course, but that was one of the reasons I liked the show. Or shows, as it were.
My god! look out for that future lean!
It certainly looks like it could be a problem. That Nymph figure by Plum that I got a few months back is also showing a heavy lean, and I’m a bit concerned by that. I don’t like thinking of my figures as being display-ready for six months or a year before they start keeling over.
Horizon figures being nothing more than basically okay is kind of expected at this point, really. She certainly has good points, as I like her hair and the pose is distinctive enough, and I care more about the feeling I get from a figure than manufacturing quality as well. That said, her face kind of bothers me. They’re one of the most important parts of a figure for me, so seeing someone muck that up really lowers the appeal for me, in this case. Sentinel has had that kind of issue before, as I recall – I remember Stocking’s monkeyface too. So while I liked Mary, and this is the only figure of her, I don’t like her enough to shell out quite a bit of cash for her on the aftermarket (especially because she’s an exclusive). I’d rather go look for Horizon instead.
As for the show, the second season really was more confusing than the first. No wonder, considering the books are thick enough to club a man to death with, and cramming it all into 24 episodes left its mark in that regard. I still had the basic grasp of everything, but for the rest I just went with the flow – these guys are good, these ones bad, they’re all based on old empires, now watch them club each other over the head. Fun, but I did like the first season better. Too bad it’s doubtful we’re ever going to get any kind of conclusion though.
That does seem to be the case, and I wish it weren’t. I’m still kinda hoping that Alter will make more figures of the Horizon characters, particularly the more prominent characters.
The face is generally the most important aspect of a figure to me as well. Mary reminds me a lot of an older figure. Even Alter’s early figures tended to have faces that looked a little off compared to a contemporary figure. Sometimes I think about shooting my older figures and then I take them off the shelf and look at them, and I’m surprised at how much poorer they look than I thought they did.
Yeah, it was a really weird story. I thought the pacing and structure in the second season was better; the first season had this odd issue where we got introduced to the main Musashi characters in the first couple of episodes, and then they brought in all these other characters over the next few episodes, and I almost dropped the show at that point. Both seasons were a bit confusing but then, considering how much I dislike all the talking-head exposition and vocabulary explanations that you see in so many shows, I can’t really complain too much. There’s something refreshing about a show that just tosses everything out without being too concerned about tying everything together.
It’s OK Kimi, your time will come. *sniff*
I was actually a little tempted to get Mary but you pretty much nailed why I didn’t. She’s a good character and one I wouldn’t think twice about getting if there was a better figure released but this one did nothing for me. I’m pretty sure she’s supposed to have 2 swords as well. meh, I’m kinda glad that my release calendar is looking a little bare. Means I can recover from my most recent purchase…
Who was the one who was supposed to be making the Kimi figure, was it Volks? I’m kinda surprised that she hasn’t gotten one … I mean, aside from the Beach Queens one, which I thought didn’t look that great. It really didn’t help that from the rear, her hair kinda looked like a messy mass of fecal matter. She seems to be a pretty popular character with the doujin circles, but I guess the figure companies don’t feel the same way.
It’s a little discouraging how few really good Horizon figures there are … I mean, I guess Tomo and Futayo are the only ones right now, and Tomo has those exaggerations that I’m sure some people didn’t care for. I’m sure Kazuno will be nice but the asphalt swords nearly overwhelm the figure.
I’m gonna guess that recent purchase has a gatling gun, or at least has one sold separately. As much as I like that hobby, I really have to wonder about my priorities when I buy a pair of doll boots that cost nearly twice as much as the shoes I wear in real life.
Don’t say it!!! A part of me still feels a little filthy for buying those things! Especially since 2 of them could pay for a freaking return flight to Hong Kong with their individual costs, well. definitely this one! I’m definitely out of that game!!
As for Tomo, there’s a koto release of her in a more standard pose. Looks pretty decent but not particularly eye catching. Really want Alter to just up their game and go back to their old self while picking up more horizon girls on the way!
Ha, that’s what everyone says! Then they think their one doll looks lonely, so they look around for a
sex partnerfriend for their doll, and then they decide to get another, and then another. And then they all have to have just the right outfit. And the right accessories. And a tentacle stand. It never ends!
Yeah, the Kotobukiya one looks pretty nice. It’s nice that they went with the combat pose; I thought that they should’ve had Futayo in a combat pose too, being that she’s a front-line fighter. The cynical part of me thinks that Alter prefers to re-release old figures while rolling out figures of dudes, but we shall see. If they don’t, hopefully Kotobukiya keeps making them; it’d be very nice to see some figures of Kimi and Nate in a proper scale size.
I’m always a bit shocked to see a figure that completely missed my radar; Miss Stuart is one of those. I’d be tempted to say that it’s because I’ve never gotten a Sentinel figure before but I’ve never made a point of shopping in either preference or deference to a certain brand (save for Taki back in the day).
She’s definitely cute and, while maybe she didn’t wow you on quality, I don’t know that I noticed anything that strikes me as out of order or particularly deficient. I know of a couple of people who are stoked about their upcoming “cleaning” Levi figure so hopefully they’ll be on their A-game for such a high-profile release.
On a completely off-topic note, on the chance that you’ve ever pondered the Rogue Grid attachment, I just noticed that it’s on sale on Amazon at the moment for $40. Seems like solid kit for a light shaping maestro such as yourself.
I completely missed it myself; I didn’t learn about it until the Dengeki preorder period had already passed, and I figured that if I was going to get it, I’d get it off Mandarake. I was quite surprised to see her show up in HLJ’s inventory; I hadn’t heard of them getting many exclusive figures, other than some of Yamato’s older stuff.
Ah, thanks for the heads up. I do actually have a couple of grids already (Vello brand, which I think is B&H’s house brand, but they’re basically knockoffs of Honl’s grids); searching at Amazon, I see that some brand called Opteka has them even cheaper. Actually, what I really want is another Magic Arm; I’ve got a Manfrotto Flex Arm which is nice but isn’t nearly as precise. I got mine for like $80 a couple years ago and I don’t regret it one bit; however, it seems they’re up to like $120 now. I’m not sure which is more insane, that the price went up by 50% in just two years or that I’m seriously contemplating picking one up at that price.
I’ve got one of each as well and I keep looking for a used Magic Arm since they seem to be nigh indestructible but most auctions finish way too close to full price that I’ve yet to snag a second one.
Heh, come to think of it I got the Flex Arm not long after seeing it in one of your “behind the scenes” posts way back. I mostly use it for any light sources that don’t need to be super-precise which, ironically, are usually diffuse sources yet any diffusion modifiers I attach usually push the weight past its weight limit and it droops beyond a certain angle.
The Flex Arm is useful but I look forward to when I have multiple Magic Arms. I only wish they were a bit longer sometimes. I’ve seen them pop up on B&H used a few times for a good price which may be another way for you to grab one at a more familiar price.
I’ve been looking at some knockoff/clone brands, but I’m not sure if any of them are worth it; it seems like a lot of times, when I have a choice between an expensive product that I know will do the job and a cheaper product that I’m less sure of, the more expensive solution works best. (Though I do use a cheap third-party camera battery which works fine, I guess.) I haven’t bought new camera stuff in a while so maybe I’ll just plunk down the cash.
Yeah, I’ve had a few times where I really wish it were longer, especially when shooting larger figures or dolls. I also wish it could easily mount a ballhead; I remember going to the local camera store and asking them for ideas, and they weren’t sure what I was talking about (eventually we figured out a very inelegant solution involving stacking adapters; the nice thing is that it adds about an inch of length to the arm).
This honestly looks like a figure from 2006. I think Alter and Co has ruined it for less known figure makers. Great photos as usual!
Yeah, it does. If I hadn’t been collecting figures for a while now, I’d be less forgiving about this figure. As it is, it makes me want to photograph some of my older figures.