Mu-12 from BlazBlue: Alter Memory

Mu-12 from BlazBlue Alter Memory

Arc Systems Works has been pushing the BlazBlue franchise hard in recent times. Notably, the fifth and most recent console iteration of the game – BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma Extend – is due for release in the North American market in just a few days. In addition, its ofttimes incomprehensible plot has been extended by a dizzying array of multimedia: spinoff games – including, rather incongruously for a fighting game series, some visual novels – manga, light novels, and a poorly-received anime series. Concomitant with this expansion is the sort of product push that the better-known Guilty Gear series never received, comprising a variety of wall scrolls, stickers, hugging pillowcase covers, and of course, figures such as this one. This isn’t even the first Mu-12 figure to hit the market – that distinction goes to FREEing’s version from well over a year back – but being that the last time Alter made a figure of an Arc System Works character turned out quite well, the redundancy is not at all unwelcome.

Mu-12 figure

We talked about Mu-12’s background in the review of her earlier figure, so we’ll just repeat the most salient points: Mu-12 is the true form of Noel Vermillion, the putative leading lady of the BlazBlue series. She is initially introduced as a fearsome antagonist but, in the usual form of these sorts of things, comes to her senses once given a thrashing and reverts to being a good guy.

Mu-12 figure

This figure is manufactured by Alter and represents something of a return to form for them. For one, it’s a very large figure; just eyeballing the figure’s dimensions, Mu-12 is of roughly similar size to Alter’s lineup of Nanoha figures, which are also comparable size to many 1/6 scale figures produced by other companies. It’s certainly far larger than FREEing’s figure, which has dashed my plan to display them together – not that it would have worked out well, as their bases and blade accessories voraciously consume shelf space. The figure itself is about 24 centimeters in height at the top of her head, and its overall height is around 33 centimeters, including the base and the two antenna-like parts of her headgear.

Mu-12 figure

The elaborate base constitutes a major element of this figure’s size. No plain black disc here; Mu-12 stands astride a massive pedestal of sorts, with her legs surrounded by some sort of translucent aqua blue plastic which I suppose is meant to represent fire or energy vortices or something. The pegs in which her feet – or legs, technically, as her mechanical apparatus entirely covers her feet – slot into are made of metal, which will hopefully ward off any leaning, sagging, or warping due to the substantial weight of the figure. At the least it should prevent any peg snapping, which occasionally becomes a problem as figures age. Despite its complexity, the base is quite obviously made of plastic, which detracts a bit from its impact. Eight blades can be arrayed around Mu-12; these formed the wings of the FREEing figure and while I think they are quite a bit more striking as wings than as blades thrust into the ground, they would just impede the view of the figure due to her pose. Indeed, the blades complicate taking pictures of this figure as well as taking up a great deal of space, and I plan to put them back into the box as I don’t have the available shelf space to accommodate them. The base also has some light-up effects but I don’t have the LR44 batteries needed to power the display and no batteries were included, so I do not know what they look like and how convincing they are. The power switch for the lights is on the bottom of the base, which is the very worst place that it could be. It would have been nice if they had incorporated the switch into some unobtrusive element on the upper side of the base.

Mu-12 figure

That said, the figure is spectacular enough as it is. Mu-12 has a very distinctive design, with her bulky shoulderpads, visor, and leg armor contrasting markedly with the skimpiness of the rest of her costume. One drawback of her oversized headgear is that it is quite difficult to see her eyes, though that does emphasize the mechanical aspects of her design as well as accentuating her emotionless nature.

Mu-12 figure

Mu-12’s outfit covers up her sides but leaves much of her front and rear uncovered. In particular, Mu-12 wears a thong that completely exposes her backside. This will obviously be one of the main draws of this figure.

Mu-12 figure

In the great tradition established by figures like Matabei and Metatron, Mu-12’s pose is calculated to give the viewer the best possible view of her ass. Alter doesn’t always go for the sexy – some might term it slutty – look for their figures but when they do, they go all-in.

Mu-12 figure

Mu-12’s bottom is a strapless C-string, soemtimes labeled a crotch plate, which is pretty much what it is. One wonders how it stays on.

Mu-12 figure

Her abbreviated attire highlights another interesting element of Mu-12’s design: the prominence of her pelvic bones. This isn’t something that is at all common; in fact, I can’t think of any other figure in which these bones were so conspicuous. Nonetheless, they do look attractive, perhaps because they attract attention to just how much skin she is showing. I suppose that in a genre in which a character wearing a thin blue ribbon has become the subject of an astonishing degree of infatuation, this sort of thing doesn’t seem too unusual; anime culture has always had its quirky fetishes.

Mu-12 figure

Speaking of which, Mu-12’s breasts are also highly noticeable, with her underboob – also a major characteristic of Dizzy, I-No, Ramlethal Valentine, and a bunch of other Arc System Works characters – being especially apparent. Mu-12’s breasts are quite small and they look a little odd if you study them for a while.

Mu-12 figure

The outer covering of Mu-12’s leg armor suffers a bit from its flat paint job, though to be fair that’s more or less how they look in the game

Mu-12 figure

The part which contacts her legs has a more attractive dark satin finish, which looks a good deal better.

Mu-12 figure

Mu-12’s hair is a large, solid and featureless mass; a bit disconcerting at first but this is also very much how her hair appears in the game so any resemblance to a melting mass of cheese can be excused.

Mu-12 figure

Going back to this subject, the sculpting work done on her abdomen and above her groin really is impressive. There are a ton of swimsuit figures that show just as much skin as Mu-12 but most of them don’t have nearly the same level of detail in terms of musculature and bone structure. The sculptor really did a fantastic job with her anatomy.

Mu-12 figure

And I would say that this is a really fantastic figure in almost all respects. It’s a figure that combines technical excellence, overt sexiness, and the kind of ambition of presentation that only Alter regularly pulls off. It’s a necessary and all-too-infrequent reminder that although Alter’s catalog sometimes seems wan in comparison to their heyday, they are still second to none in terms of quality.

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18 Responses to Mu-12 from BlazBlue: Alter Memory

  1. wieselhead says:

    Awesome lighting as we know it from Tier senpai, the figure looks already great, but lights amplifies her appealing chracteristics. I liked the anime, I never played the games, so it was a bit hard to follow when it started somewhere in between, but it was interesting and showed some potential. Ok there was a rather disturbing scene placed somewhere near the end.

    She has a strong presence, great suit, great colors and most of all they gave her a beautiful smooth butt. It’s good to know that Mu-12 is rather big for 1/7. Unfortunately I’m a little face obsessed on figures, so not being able to it properly is a sad fact about the figure.
    The last picture and a few others captures her best pose to be displayed in my opinion.

    Putting the light switch below is just bullying, who would be so brave to flip the figure every time the light should be on/off. Even though her backhair is supposed to look “bad” ;D, but for her price I demand more detail. I don’t really mind that it would be a drastic change from the character design. This is more a statue than a bishoujo figure, I admire the elaborate sculpting. The person in charge should make a swimsuit figure of Noel Vermillion ♡^▽^♡.

    That might be just me, but the middle of her base looks a little misleading, with the way the it is painted and how the figure stands above it lol.

    • Tier says:

      Thanks XD I didn’t get too far in the anime, though I’m wondering if I should give it another shot, and I guess I should pick up the newest version of the game whenever I get an Xbox One, which will probably be in a few months when Forza 6 comes out. It’s a little unfortunate that her face is so hard to see, since she does have pretty eyes.

      I recall that Sideshow’s Darth Talon figure had a light-up lightsaber, and the power switch was disguised as a rock on her base. Something like that would’ve been okay.

      I’d kinda like a swimsuit figure of Mai, but I don’t really know how I feel about that, since she is apparently originally a guy. Then again, real-life transitioning is all the rage now, so I suppose I shouldn’t be bothered by fictional genderswapping.

  2. Tian says:

    Wow, BlazBlue has some surprisingly saucy character designs. Or maybe it’s not that surprising considering I-no from Guilty Gear…

    Totally agree about the abs, although I might enjoy it more for how revealing that whole section is rather than the realism.

    • Tier says:

      It does! Even some of the male characters are sort of risque. It’d be nice if more of ASW’s characters got figures; I notice the new Guilty Gear bad guy just got one and that’s a nice thing to see. Mu-12’s costume is definitely amazing. I really wish Alter had made their Dizzy figure as large so that they could complement each other.

  3. Steve Chen says:

    You must really love this fig Tier! Just got mine via sal parcel from amimai. Delayed for like 2 months but more than worth the wait. …………and you already got a review up while I’m just starting to look up her details. (Is EMS that fast?)

    Will try and activate the light up gimmick to accentuate her already awesome aura (she kind of reminds me an even more slutty Kosmos)

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I like this figure a lot, and it has a gigantic box so I wanted to get the review done so I could go put the box in storage. When I got the parcel, I groaned and thought that Amiami had padded the shipping cost by selecting an overly large container, but then I found that the figure box really is that huge. EMS can get a figure from Japan in about two or three days; I sometimes order SAL but it often takes like fifteen or twenty days and I start stressing out that the box has gotten lost in the mail, so I just stick with monthly EMS shipments now.

      She does look a lot like KOS-MOS, with that big headband. (I was really hoping Volks would’ve made a Xenosaga I costume for the KOS-MOS doll, since I would’ve been much more interested in that than the Xenosaga III costume that they went with.)

  4. BostonBrandon says:

    Wow, what a beauty! There’s so much to be said about her, one thing in particular that caught my eye is her hair sculpting. *kisses fingers* C’est magnifique! I would have like to see her along side Freeings Mu12 for comparisons sake but great shots as always. Now, off to see hell seducer!

    • Tier says:

      There was absolutely no chance that I was going to do a comparison shot, though I tried to think of a way to do it; the bases of both figures are so big that I can’t get them in the same frame with my limited shooting space. Hopefully in the next year or so I’ll be able to make more space.

  5. BostonBrandon says:

    I just went through your review again (melting cheese) and oddly enough I was reminded of two things. Her shoulder pads still make me think of Orochimaru and her swords now make me think of Byakuya from bleach who’s bankai does this hallway of swords thing.

    • Tier says:

      I must admit that I know nothing about either character as I’ve never watched Bleach (or Naruto, which I understand is also a popular sword-fighting anime). Well, I guess I do know a little bit about Tia Harribel, as I had thought about buying the MegaHouse figure that came out a couple years back, and learning more about her actually cooled me off on the figure, since it makes me sad to buy figures of characters who … well, you know.

      • TheDuskwalker says:

        Man, I really want this to go with my Vertex Noel. They really captured her sexyness.

        Also you probably should have went ahead and got that Harribel statue, the info you read on her fate was a bit out of date. Her fate is still unknown in the anime as it got canceled before the thousand-year blood war arc, but she was revealed alive (and kind of a protaganist now) and then captured by the new main villian. Kind of stopped carring for Bleach, but looking up info on her wikia page it hasn’t updated on anything bad happening to her again, other than still being imprisoned.
        http://bleach.wikia.com/wiki/Tier_Harribel

        • Tier says:

          Interesting. It’s probably been around three or four years since I last looked up that information; not that I know anything about the Bleach community but I vaguely remember there was some certitude that she was dead. Also, she looks pretty good all chained and beaten up like that.

          • TheDuskwalker says:

            Yeah, she was thought dead for like a year or so, then they randomly revealed her and her 3 minions were healed by Orihime (one of the main heroines) alongside the other fallen heroes in that fight (which we already knew had lived thanks to other healers) in some side story manga that detailed what was happening with the other characters while Ichigo (main character) was fighting/defeating the main villian Aizen. Given Harribel, and her minions, had took less severe fatal blow than what several surviving heroes had took (one even got cut clean in half) during that same battle, and wasn’t evil, it was a good call on the creators part since no one wanted Bleach’s hottest dead, especially in such a simple and anticlimatic way.

          • Tier says:

            Interesting; it has been a very, very long time since I last looked up anything related to Bleach but I recall that people seemed pessimistic that she was alive. I guess now I feel compelled to look around for her, since I recall she had a cool mask and really good underboob, and that she seems to share my Internet handle (though that is entirely a coincidence). And yeah, it really does suck when a very attractive and distinctive character dies in such a straightforward manner (though on the flipside, I guess dying in a swordfight would be the most logical way for someone like her to go out). I never paid a ton of attention to Claymore, for instance, since a bunch of the characters I liked got clobbered in such ways (pretty much all at once, as I remember).

  6. Tsunami3k says:

    Man, this has me rethinking my single Mu-12 decision. I’m glad this review goes to great effort to reveal her eyes. Most everything I’ve seen of her to this point falls victim to what’s arguably a shortcoming, specifically that her bangs and forehead armor conspire to obscure her otherwise quite lovely face. I also like the more substantial crotchplate (heh, how often does a person get the chance to utter that in the average lifetime) not, of course, due to any prudish leanings but the other Mu-12 seemed to be mimicking a rather mild clipping error.

    Above all, though, the muscles on this one look amazing. I need to check out your review of the Freeing variant to see how they compare since you so consistently manage to tease out every detail of figures’ musculature such that I’ve even been surprised at the detail of figures I’ve already unboxed myself. Initially the base was the most compelling difference for me but your practicality points remind me all to well of my apparent blind-spot for wildly impractical bases.

    • Tier says:

      This one clobbers the FREEing one in terms of sculpting quality, I think, though I do still like the older figure a lot – going up against an Alter figure is a tough task. Yeah, the musculature is really impressive; I played around with the lighting a little more than I usually do (I’m typically very lazy when it comes to lighting, though part of that is due to a desire for a consistent look) and I think I liked the pictures with more contrast, which brought out more of those details. A figure’s abs can really be a highlight when they’re done as nicely as this.

  7. TheDuskwalker says:

    I didn’t even learn Harribel was alive until last year myself, I was both shocked yet thrilled. Yeah in her default form she has a cool mask, then when she “transforms” she loses the mask and her outfit gets more revealing, especially with even more underboob. I guess her and Noel share that trait (and that’s why we love them). Dying in a sword fight would be fine, but a simple sword jab then falling, while others are surviving getting cut in half and thrown through multiple buildings, and slammed into the streets, would have been such a weak way to go.

    Funny you say that, I was going to watch Claymore then never did since I heard about random deaths. I’ve always despised shock value death. Always regretted watching Chrono Crusade with it’s needlessly over depressing ending, and 3 of the 4 main characters drying, even the lovely German girl. Made worse by the last shot of the anime (don’t know if things ended better in the manga) implying everything was for nothing.

  8. Devastator001 says:

    Finally GOt mine XD Adding Tamashii Flame effect BLue on her does wonders in giving more of a menacing feel XD

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