Union Creative’s Hdge Technical Statue lineup is an eclectic grouping but the figure we’re looking at today isn’t too different from Motoko Kusanagi, the last Union Creative figure we looked at – that is, female, sexy, scantily-clad, and sourced from a sci-fi series. The Major, of course, was recently featured in a big Hollywood movie (that, by most accounts, wasn’t particularly well received). The figure we’re looking at today is of Reika Shimohira, one of the stars of Gantz – and more specifically, Gantz: O, a CG-animated feature-length film released last year. The series features significant thematic similarities – notably, that of hapless participants forced by a sadistic entity to struggle for survival – to some other big motion pictures, and its blend of graphic violence, action, drama, and fanservice would be quite popular in current times. One wonders whether Hollywood will someday seek to put its own Western-style spin on the Gantz franchise.
Reika Shimohira is one of the main protagonists of the series. If I remember correctly, she does not show up in the television anime, however, having been introduced in the manga at a relatively late date. She is a singer and a model who is killed and then finds herself trapped after death by an enigmatic entity who forces her and others to hunt and kill aliens in a sort of sadistic game. As is common in the puzzle-survival genre, the participants must battle not only with the more immediate and lethal threats to their lives, they must also contend with more philosophically existential questions, particularly regarding the aims and nature of their jailor.
This figure is manufactured by Union Creative in 1/7 scale. That scale seems about right, as Reika is about 24.5 centimeters tall at her head and 26.5 centimeters tall overall, including her sword handle. This figure is basically ready for display right out of the box; all that is needed is to place her on her base (a plain black disc) and to place her sword in her hands.
This is actually the second Reika figure that I received; the first was also by Union Creative, and is basically the same figure except Reika is fully clothed in a black bodysuit and is holding a gun. I ordered that figure first, but when I saw this figure (which was announced a few weeks later), I decided to get it as well. I was a little annoyed by that, since if they had been announced simultaneously, I likely would have skipped the more clothed version. However, it still looks good and I suppose I don’t feel too badly about spending the money to get it.
That said, figures of sci-fi girls in skintight catsuits are not particularly uncommon, though Reika does fill hers out in sublime fashion. This figure, however, is rather more unusual in that her suit is pared down to a minimal leotard or one-piece swimsuit, complete with thong back. Quite a bit of the artwork of Gantz features its female cast in this sort of garment and as Reika’s profile has risen in stature, this adaptation of her Gantz suit has become something of a hallmark for her.
The most obvious aspect of this figure is the prominence of Reika’s ass. It’s certainly one of the best features of the figure and her outfit does nothing to conceal it. Her unusual pose, with her back arched in a starkly exaggerated manner, achieves the trifecta of having her face, breasts, and buttocks visible all at once.
Continuing with the salacious highlights of this figure (and why not, lewdness is one of its preeminent selling points), Reika’s outfit shows off her large breasts. This is one of the recurring features of many of Gantz’s female cast members – I remember that the anime’s female protagonist, Kei Kishimoto, was noted for the impressive size of her chest.
Thigh-high socks, a pair of sporty shoes and gloves complete Reika’s ensemble.
Reika’s gaze is a bit blank, as if she is staring off into the distance. Her facial expression also doesn’t convey much feeling. A more emotive look might have been more compelling, but I guess this sort of vacant look isn’t unappealing, either; this way, the viewer can draw his or her own conclusions as to what Reika might be feeling at this moment.
Some figures come with elaborate weaponry but this is not one of them. Reika’s sword is rather plain, with a black blade that doesn’t show much in the way of detail. I don’t think this is a particular bad thing, though; with some figures, the weapon is a highlight, but here, it’s merely an accessory, allowing all the viewer’s attention to be focused on the figure instead.
And that is as it should be. This is a superb figure of a property has endured and gained an international fanbase without getting much attention from figure makers. Reika looks fantastic, with the sculpt emphasizing all her salient points. Motoko was a nice figure but in my view, Reika is a great deal better. Having examined this figure, I find myself more encouraged about owning both Reikas; I suppose I’ll get around to reviewing the other in the near future.