It’s time for another review of a figure made by a company I am not at all familiar with. Technically this figure – of Ines from Konami’s Busou Shinki series – isn’t the first Ques Q figure, I’ve bought; I have their Neptune buried somewhere in my closet, I think, and I don’t remember anything about it other than being amused that whoever packed the box put the figure in backwards. I’m a little surprised that doesn’t happen more often. Despite not knowing much about the manufacturer or their track record, it wasn’t too difficult a decision to order this figure, for reasons that should be apparent in the image above. However, this figure did come with a very high price tag, and I felt some trepidation as to whether I would feel that my purchase was worthwhile. Is this figure satisfactory? Well, yes and no – always an annoying thing when one is a collector, to find something that is almost but not quite everything you were hoping for.
An extensive series of action figures comprises the foundation of the Busou Shinki franchise. Unlike some other lines of Japanese toys, I don’t think the Busou Shinki products have gotten a lot of traction overseas, and I’d guess that many people – including myself – first became acquainted with the property through its various media spinoffs, including several video games and a couple of anime shows. Presumably, this figure exists because of the 2012 television anime, which would make it a figure adapted from an anime character adapted from a figure. I watched the first couple of episodes of the anime, partly because of the appealing character designs but mostly because I hoped that it would be similar to Angelic Layer. It may sound strange for me to say this but Angelic Layer is one of my favorite anime series and was largely responsible (along with Noir, Last Exile, and Jin-Roh) in getting me interested in anime again back in the early 2000s. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that much like Angelic Layer and the only thing I remember of it is that the little girly figures performed housework for the protagonist – certainly not all that compelling. I’m guessing I didn’t miss much by skipping the rest.
That said, the character designs really were quite nice and that’s pretty much the only rationale I need to buy this figure. That and the figure’s overtly provocative pose, that is, but we’ll get to that in a moment. As mentioned, Ines is manufactured by Ques Q (pronounced like “cues cue,” I think). This figure is marked as non-scale, and while I’m usually dismissive of such a listing, I suppose there’s some justification here since this figure is derived from another figure. At any rate, this version of Ines is considerably smaller than I thought it’d be; I’d guess that the figure is about 1/10 scale, and being that Ines is fairly petite to start with, it’s not all that much larger than a Figma. Disappointing, particularly considering this figure’s exorbitant price tag, but what can you do.
Fortunately, Ines comes with some other qualities that at least partially cover up for her lilliputian size. For one, her outfit is quite appealing. She’s wearing a crop top, thigh-high boots, and some rather skimpy panties; I vaguely remember that she was a little more modest in the anime but it’s obvious that the sculptor was going for a naughtier look here. Her boots, gloves, and top receive a glossy black finish which gives her an appropriately futuristic look. The overall black, red, and white color scheme is also attractive, particularly when paired with her red eyes and purple hair.
Like many – if not virtually all – anime series, Busou Shinki’s cast featured a variety of body builds and breast sizes. Ines gets the petite, twintailed, flat-chested look, which is a very common – some might say cliched – archetype. Accordingly, Ines doesn’t offer much for fans of larger racks, but she more than makes up for that lack by the raciness of her pose, in which her back is sharply arched, thrusting her ass outwards in a blatantly sexual manner. The eroticism of her pose is compounded by her spread legs, which practically command the viewer to inspect her crotch and buttocks. It’s certainly one of the best aspects of this figure.
While the Busou Shinki anime – again, like many anime series – has no qualms about appealing to the baser attributes of its audience, it is at its core a mecha girl show, and Ines does come with some type of mecha unit. I barely even noticed it in the promotional photographs, but seeing it in person, it’s actually quite impressive; it’s not that large but it is well-detailed and nicely-constructed. It is obviously mechanical in nature but its humanoid form offers a pointed contrast against Ines’s human form.
Speaking of which, one nice thing about this figure is that Ines is sculpted as a human rather than as a combat doll. I don’t dislike doll joints on dolls or action figures but I’d rather not see them on a static, non-poseable figure, and it’s pleasing that they changed her look to omit them. Presumably that is why this figure is labeled the “Image Model” version.
This figure comes with an instruction sheet which isn’t of much use, but it doesn’t require any assembly. As far as I can tell, the sword just rests precariously under the mecha unit’s hand and Ines just perches on the part where her feet would go if she were wearing her mecha suit. She’s reasonably secure despite not actually being attached to the mecha, but she’s likely to fall off if the entire assembly is jostled or shaken.
Despite the figure’s small stature, it is reasonably detailed. For instance, Ines does not have the helmet hair that afflicts so many larger figures; actually, the spikiness of her locks is one of the elements that provides more personality to this figure.
Another interesting touch is the two wings patterned on her back.
I wasn’t expecting too much in the way of technical execution on Ques Q’s part, but they did a reasonably good job, I think. Paintwork is generally clean, the sculpt doesn’t have any glaring issues, and I didn’t notice any significant defects or problems.
Overall, this is a very nice figure that I like a lot, but it would rank quite higher in my esteem if only it were larger. I understand why they kept the size small – the mecha part is essentially a second figure – and though it was logical to include it with Ines, being that Busou Shinki is as much about the mecha as it is the cute anime characters, I would’ve been okay with them prioritizing the girl instead. But regardless, I’m pleased with this figure, perhaps moreso because the exchange rate has improved so much in the last year, thus making its impressive price tag less of an issue.
For another review of Ines, check out Cerberus’s review at Reflective Boundary. Like him, I didn’t buy the other figure – Lene, or somesuch – but it’s still in stock at several stores and I guess I might change my mind if I think more about it; I’ve still got my tax refund money waiting to be spent.