For the first review of the year we’ll be going back eleven months with this figure of Sumika Kagami, one of the central heroines of the popular eroge Muv-Luv Alternative. She’s the third figure from this series to be produced by Kotobukiya, following lead girl Meiya Mitsurugi and a peculiar figure of Kasumi Yashiro in a skimpy bunnysuit. It’s possible that Sumika will be the last figure that Kotobukiya produces from the core science-fiction series, as it looks like they’ve moved on to the Carnelian-illustrated spinoff Schwarzesmarken, though who knows; they’re still producing model kits of the mecha from the game, so perhaps they’ll revisit Alternative someday. If not, at least Sumika is quite a nice figure to end the mainline run with.
Muv-Luv Alternative is, of course, the game from which Total Eclipse was spun off of. We’ve looked at a number of figures of the Total Eclipse characters before and Sumika’s design and construction is in much the same vein. I recently watched most of the anime adaptation and in lieu of any better place to write my thoughts, I thought I’d mention here that it was slightly better than I initially thought it was, being that I dropped the show after the tenth or eleventh episode. Unfortunately, its elevation in my esteem is due to its transition from the overwrought, melodramatic Soviet arc to slapstick antics once Cui Yifei is brought on board; sad to say, the show works a lot better as a harem comedy than as a war drama or giant robot series. I’m not sure if that’s more of an indictment of the production staff or of the larger themes rife in contemporary anime.
I have not played the eroge, but as far as I know, Sumika is one of the main girls from Muv-Luv Alternative and served as a potential love interest in the original game Muv-Luv, in which she was the archetypical childhood friend of lead male protagonist Takeru Shirogane. Her circumstances are quite a bit different in Muv-Luv Alternative, and her enigmatic status comprises much of the framework of the game’s narrative.
Muv-Luv Alternative is one of those eroge franchises that, as it has entered the mainstream, has minimized the pornographic aspects of the series (Fate/stay night is another example; both series also share an obsessive and often pretentious emphasis on historical trivia). However, while I do not know much about Sumika, particularly as she is in Muv-Luv Alternative, I do know that she is possibly the only Muv-Luv Alternative character to be tentacle-raped, which makes her a pretty cool character in my view (I have a similar affection for Sakura Matou from the Type-Moon series). Any lady who knows how to show a swarm of tentacles a good time is fine by me.
This figure is produced by Kotobukiya and is sculpted in 1/7 scale. She comes with no accessories except her base, which, like the Total Eclipse pilot suit characters, is made to look like urban wreckage. That puts her design at odds with her castmate Meiya, who has a rather more garish purple base. She’s about 21 centimeters tall, overall.
The Total Eclipse girls are presented as war-hardened veterans with tragic or difficult backgrounds – Yui witnessed the slaughter of her homeland and many of her friends, Cryska and Inia grew up as experimental medical subjects – but Sumika’s initial introduction in Muv-Luv appears to be as an ordinary, friendly girl, and that’s what she looks like here. Her warm smile and and gentle, inquisitive gaze make for an inviting expression. She also has huge hair with an enormous ahoge, prominent hair intakes, and a conspicuously oversized bow, giving her a softer look than that presented by the figures from the cousin series.
Her placid demeanor contrasts sharply with her futuristic outfit. Like many of the Muv-Luv characters, Sumika’s body is sheathed in an impossibly-tight bodysuit. Sumika’s suit is uniquely colored, featuring an attractive mix of pink, purple, and black. It’s an eye-catching combination, particularly when compared to the blue, black, and white suits the rest of the cast wears, and it lets the viewer know that Sumika is a very special girl.
Sumika doesn’t quite have the curves of Cryska or even Yui; her breasts are a little smaller and her body build is a little more slender. She still looks very appealing, though, particularly in the way she’s seated on the girder. In particular I thought the shape of her thighs are quite attractive, and of course, the way she’s vacuum-sealed into her suit is also striking.
The base does look very nice; it fits in perfectly with the Total Eclipse characters. I’m not sure why Meiya is the outlier in that group. Note that Sumika does attach to the base via foot pegs, so there’s no risk of her toppling off of her perch.
One odd thing about the design of this figure is the way her hair sweeps upward, as if it were defying gravity. Not that that’s unusual in anime figure design, but I thought I’d mention that, as there doesn’t seem to be any reason for her hair to be moving.
I really like the feeling of serenity conveyed by Sumika. She’s not a character who has much cause to be happy, at least in Muv-Luv Alternative, but regardless, her tranquillity is pleasing to look at. The sexy Muv-Luv suit is also attractive, as it always is, and its sleek, body-hugging appearance and Sumika’s more girlish accessories complement each other nicely. It’s a little unfortunate that Kotobukiya hasn’t made more figures of the Muv-Luv characters in their pilot suits – there are a ton to choose from – but hopefully they’ll make more. It’s not that Irisdina looks bad or anything, it’s just that swimsuit figures are really commonplace in this hobby.
I love the subtle tentacle usage.
It blends right in!
Muv-Luv and tentacle rape, did the aliens coincidentally find interest in cute girls? It’s a bit difficult to imagine XD I guess she was eaten afterwards *Oh nooo!*
Anyway I think this figure is extremely cute and shows a very appealing character design.
A more feminine look is surprisingly nice on these pilot suits. I like the pretty pink, the ribbon and the cute hairstyle. With her slender body her boobs are still in the big category ^^.
I really like that her pose looks elaborate, appealing and natural at the same time. The Total Eclipse figures seem to be posing for a magazine while Sumika just sits there as if it was a normal habit. She has a more elegant appearance since her suit isn’t chunky.
Sumika’s face is sweet and gentle, she also has eyes similar to Sonico.
Kotobukiya did a great job with her, better than the old GSC figure of her 😉
Indeed they did! Who wouldn’t, if one were blessed to have tentacles? And while I don’t think she was eaten, that’s actually not that far off …
Yeah, I really like her relaxed pose here; it looks like she’s taking a break from all the fighting and turmoil and tentacle rape and just thinking happy thoughts. Which she should. I think Sumika is one of the prettiest Muv-Luv girls and they did a great job with her. Hopefully they make more (and while I’m wishing, it’d be pretty neat if they did some figures of the Muv-Luv Alternative girls in those transparent training suits); I’d really like a Cui Yifei figure. I didn’t think I’d like her but I thought she was hilarious in the anime.
For some reason I thought you’ve already done review for her, maybe just because you had so many Muv-luv figures. There are never too many shinny tight bodysuits, but I did not purchase her because of those strange shapes on the side of her thighs. Good designs maybe but they look a little scary to me and made me think they are huge holes directly on her body. Her pink hair looks great with the pink color on the bodysuit. Her huge yellow ribbon is cute and makes great visual contrast with her battle suit, ruins of the base and the entire cruelty of the background story.
I do have the older GSC figure which is not nearly as nice, on top of being a helluva lot smaller. Yeah, those ejector handle-looking things on her thighs are pretty weird; they’re not my favorite element of her design. They blend in better here than they did on the GSC figure though, I think. Other than that I think she looks great.
Hurrah! You finally did her! I seem to remember you weren’t sure if it would happen back when you were reviewing the other Muv Luv girls. She really is a nice figure; My only regret is that all five girls couldn’t have been made to fit together in some kind of mega-base. I know they’re from different Muv Luv Stories, and if I understand things you’ve said; two different manufacturers; but with the common theme of the ‘vac-suits’ it would be a nice set.
As a comment; I really do wonder how she survived if the nt’s went for her… My only real frame of reference is TE, and that first episode made it pretty plain getting caught meant you were the guest of honor at dinner…
Yeah, I’m pretty lazy XD Though I’m happy with Sumika, particularly because unlike my other Muv-Luv figures, I didn’t pay full price; I waited till she hit the bargain bin and got her for a lot less than I would have had I preordered her. I’m thinking I might wait and see if that Schwarzesmarken girl gets a discount, too.
It would’ve been nice if Meiya had gotten the same sort of urban ruin base that all the other figures got (except Kasumi, I guess, but she doesn’t really count). The Total Eclipse girls and Sumika look very nice together and they fit well thematically, even if they aren’t exactly from the same series or time periods.
I guess I should try playing the game one of these days. I’ve heard so much about it and it feels like it’s one of those situations where one can only be disappointed, since one has heard so much hype about it (I feel the same way about Fate/stay night). Also, while I enjoy gritty war stories, I also like happy endings, especially where cute anime girls are involved, and I kinda have the feeling that’s not what I’m going to see in this particular game.
Wow, this one could very well give me an I-beam fetish!
I think I mentioned in a previous Muv-Luv shoot that my first exposure to the franchise was of a wallpaper of Sumika reclining in the window well of a starship or space station, in a pose not unlike this rendition, grasping a ribbon of some sort (presumably a fallen comrade or something) and crying. It was a strongly compelling image and has stuck with me to this day.
Upon entering the figure collecting world quite some time later, I’d always held out some hope that I’d see that wallpaper put into figure form. In a sense, this is that figure. While the cheerier variation loses nearly all of the emotional gravitas of the image I hold so dear, I accept that this is first and foremost a product and a warm, smiling heroine simply sells better.
Overall, I’m just glad people can bask in her sweetness and quite affordably at that. I didn’t wait for her to hit a bargain bin but I got her for an acceptable price nonetheless. In general, Koto’s prices are so much better than most that preordering isn’t the dice roll that so many other manufacturers have made it, particularly as of late Alter!.
So my guess for the background and props is styrofoam? The crunchy bits look a bit like what I assumed were broken up styrofoam beads in your GSG shoot from a while back. I can’t say for sure that’s what the background is but they mesh together color wise too well to be different material I’m guessing. You really nailed the concrete grey…do tell!
I know what picture you’re talking about; it’s a great picture, and there’s actually a Volks figure and garage kit based on it (or two, one in her bodysuit and the other nude). Unfortunately the quality seems a little rough but the side view looked nice.
Yeah, I do like that Kotobukiya seems to have their own US distribution channels to keep prices down. The improving exchange rate does help also. Nonetheless I think I will wait on Irisdina and see if she gets the same discount all of her Muv-Luv predecessors have gotten.
The background is the same mottled gray and black-painted foamboard that I use a whole lot in my pictures, though mainly as a floor. I’ve gotten a ton of use out of that thing. The objects in front of the background are some wood pieces. They’re not quite as prominent as I had wanted them to be but that’s probably due to my constrained space, which makes lighting everything kinda hard. The rocks are just more plaster; I’m not a great diorama builder but I’m really glad that it’s not difficult at all to simulate rocks and stones.
Want Muv-Luv to come to the West? Show your support by backing its kickstarter!
Perhaps the first legitimate spam comment to be posted here, heh. I’m glad to see that this Kickstarter has been so successful. They should’ve offered a dakimakura cover of Meiya or Sumika or something as one of their pledge levels, though.
(Edit: Then I scroll down and see that they actually do. Dang. Now I’m tempted, myself. I’d definitely do it if I could get one with Yui or Cryska, but I guess Age fired Miyata Sou a while back … )