Last year, we took a look at Kotobukiya’s figures of Yui Takamura and Cryska Barchenowa. A few months after those figures hit the market, Kotobukiya released a figure of Inia Sestina, which is what we’re looking at here. It appears that Inia closes out the series, which is unfortunate for fans of Tarisa Manandal, Stella Bremer, or Cui Yifei, who seem unlikely to get figures of their own, and I suppose I can also mention the male characters as well, who almost certainly will not ever get figures. It’s a mildly curious situation, as the various Muv-Luv Alternative series have always been accompanied by strong merchandising efforts, but those are just the breaks, I guess.
We’ve looked at a ton of Total Eclipse figures here but just in case anyone needs a recap regarding the source, Total Eclipse is a story spun off of Age’s Muv-Luv series, in which the Earth has come under attack by a bunch of hungry aliens searching for a good meal. The story was initially published in the magazine Tech Gian and later received an anime adaptation which concluded in December 2012 and is undoubtedly how most people became familiar with the series. Following the final episode, the story returned to its visual novel roots, with Age and 5pb publishing a Total Eclipse video game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms which presumably concludes the storyline.
I recently resumed watching the anime after having dropped it around the eighth or ninth episode, and it didn’t take long for me to remember why I didn’t like it. The amount of talking-head exposition is ludicrous, even for a property spawned from a visual novel, the plot meanders aimlessly (when it does lurch forward, it does so with the grace and subtlety of a sledgehammer), and the characters are almost entirely lacking in depth and charisma. On one hand, none of this should be that surprising, being that it’s reasonable to assume that Total Eclipse mainly exists to sell toys, books, and pillowcases rather than to tell a story. On the other hand, that doesn’t explain why the series received a full 24-episode treatment. That the principal characters are almost relegated to guest-star status early in the show by a bunch of random commie military people is also puzzling. The sci-fi alien invasion trope is a good one, and one has to work pretty hard to screw it up, but somehow the producers of Total Eclipse managed to do it. There’s a good story somewhere in there; they just weren’t competent enough to bring it out.
But the show’s character designs are still good; if it’s hard to botch an alien invasion show, it’s really hard to mess up a design philosophy predicated on vacuum-sealing large-breasted female (and muscular male) characters into skin-tight suits, and that’s a major reason why I keep buying figures of characters from this show (and Evangelion, Space Battleship Yamato, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, and so on).
As mentioned, this particular figure is manufactured by Kotobukiya; it’s sculpted in 1/7 scale and stands about 16.5 centimeters in overall height. Inia is basically ready for display right out of the box; she comes with no accessories, not even little plastic rocks like those supplied with Yui.
Inia is the younger half of the pairing called the Scarlet Twins, and a comparison between the two seems like a good place to start. Obviously, Inia is more slightly built than her older counterpart. Her hair is a bit different as well; while Cryska’s hair is a matte purple color, Inia’s hair has an almost satin sheen to it and is slightly lighter in color.
One aspect in which Inia doesn’t greatly differ from Cryska is in the development of her chest; Inia’s bust is a little smaller than Cryska’s but it is still much larger than expected, especially considering that she otherwise has the basic body build of a young girl. Interestingly, Inia’s breasts appear to be about the same size as Meiya Mitsurugi’s, even though she is smaller in all other respects.
Of course, Inia’s breasts are highlighted by the design of her piloting suit. In keeping with anime convention, her outfit is ridiculously tight, showing off every contour of her body. The glossy coloring heightens its appeal as well, along with giving her uniform a futuristic look.
That, of course, includes her navel. I like the little symbol above her pubic region.
And I also like her big clunky shoes, which I think are pretty cute. Her shoes, gloves, pauldrons, and chin guard frame Inia’s body, presenting a bulky, solid, and almost mechanical look that complements her sinusoidal, obviously feminine form.
As with their previous figure of Inia, Kotobukiya has presented her hair as sweeping to the side.
The bases of Yui, Cryska, and Inia can all fit against each other so that they can be displayed together.
Also in keeping with anime convention, Inia’s eyes are large, larger than Cryska’s, giving her a much younger-looking appearance than her sibling, and her eyelids slope upwards from the outside of her face towards the bridge of her nose – this style is called “tareme” and generally denotes a younger person with a gentle, meek, or otherwise diffident and agreeable sort of personality, which seems to be appropriate for Inia. Her wide eyes and parted lips convey a slight sense of anxiety – understandable for a girl who doesn’t really fit into society, even military society, all that well.
I’ve liked all of Kotobukiya’s figures of the Muv-Luv characters in their piloting suits, and Inia is no exception; she looks great. She has a lovely design made sexier by the attractiveness (some might say lewdness) of her outfit. Pretty much the only regret I have is that I paid full price for this figure; virtually every single one of Kotobukiya’s Muv-Luv figures has hit the bargain bin shortly after release. But then, she looks so nice that I don’t mind that much.