Friday, January 2, 2015

WORD OF THE DAY! 1/2/15! (MINI SATSUKI KIRYUIN NENDOROID REVIEW)!


fascism [fash-iz-uhm]
noun
1. A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

EX. In my opinion, the intellectual impetus for the relationship between people & clothing, in the world of Kill La Kill, is the conceptualization of fashion as fascism.

The anime begins with a teacher expounding upon the history of Nazi Germany. This is interrupted by a student trying to steal a "Goku Uniform" which is a literal and figurative symbol of authority as it grants power and prestige in this world. He is quickly subjugated by the school's disciplinary chief, Gamagoori, and, later that episode, we see the student prostrated above the entrance of the school as a symbol to all that resistance to the status quo is, indeed, futile. 

The show follows up this introduction by establishing the structure of the society built around the Honnouji Academy; on the island, the closer to the school at the top, the better you're standing and wealth. Your family's standing and wealth are directly proportional to the Goku school uniforms worn by the children of the household with most having no stars and therefore being the bottom rung of this society. Above them are one star uniforms, which belong to anyone who conforms to the school's regimentation of clubs. Above them are the club captains who wear two star uniforms that are custom attuned to accent their natural abilities for combat from the gardening club to the tennis club. Above them are the three stars, which are the Elite Four of the school and oversee the four branches of clubs/activities/etc. And above even them is Satsuki Kiryuin the School President and fearless, ambitious, and seemingly cruel leader of this little dictatorship. Power is everything in this society and no one has more power than Satsuki.

The messed up part? Honnouji Academy is a microcosm of the effects of the Kiryuin's textile brand, which clothes the majority of the world, and plans to cover the world in their fascism. I mean fashion! I mean, seriously, Honnouji Academy even goes to war and conquers other schools as part of their ultimate plan. What is their final plan? Well...

At least that sounds clever, right? Right? Nudge nudge? Wut wut. The point, I suppose, is that for an anime that might turn away many viewers with the revealing outfits and over-the-top style is actually worth a few moments of consideration thanks to some deeper themes. Anywho...

...without further ado, let's get to the figure review!

If you wanna check out my other Kill la Kill Nendoroid review, CLICK HERE. I will be keeping things short and sweet since most things I said in that review remain true for this delightful figure.

PACKAGING

Sparkling, in white and blue, with those judgmental eyes looking up at you is this fantastic piece of packaging that somehow manages to surpass the packaging for my Mako and Ryuko figurines. Just like the other boxes, I will probably keep these around for display alongside the figures, since the boxes have such a high level of detail. They even have portholes in the sides!

The only downside is that the banner piece with her name that comes with the figure might be missed as it is hidden between a flap and the back of the box.

QUALITY

Much like the Ryuko and Mako figures, the sculpt for Satsuki is top notch and, due to the detail required to captures the intricacies of her junketsu, the paint is an even higher standard. It helps that the character has such a contrasting design to her heroic counterpart but her uniform, with the pauldrons on her shoulders and the zig zag details on her hips, you can really appreciate the amount of attention that went into capturing this dynamic character.

POSE-ABILITY AND FUNCTIONALITY

This, unfortunately, is where the figure loses some points against the others in this trio; Satsuki, in theory, has all of the same functionality as Mako and Ryuko but falls short thanks to a creative decision and a limitation of the design.

She comes with less pieces than he counterparts and this means it feels like she can't do a lot of the same poses. The trade-off, which comes in creativity, is she comes with some really fun set pieces that I'll talk about in the next section.

The limitation of her design, on the other hand, is more damning; her long hair and bust get in the way of posing her. In fact, it is a much bigger pain to get her into a pose due to the fact that her arms pop off easier than the other figures, her head has less movement due to the hair, and the piece holding her up is difficult to pose as it gets pinned between her back and hair.

So, in this way, she loses out to the simpler and more flexible designs of her counterparts.

CREATIVITY

In the Ryuko and Mako designs they capture Ryuko by giving her a ton of flexibility and pieces to help create a ton of action packed poses and, in Mako, they give her a lot of goofy accessories to give her the rubbery animation comedic hijinks she deserves. Satsuki, on the other hand, is only silly in just how serious she can be.

So, to accent her serious and over the top dramatic flair, they gave her a few special accessories: she got her sword and her sword's sheath, a banner to display behind her with her name in kanji, and lastly they actually gave her the steps that come down from her tower at the school. This allows you to create an adorable version of some of the more dramatic moments of the show and sets her apart from the other two figures in a clever way. I only feel they might've sacrificed some other attention to detail for this addition.

VALUE
Lemme just quote the other article.

"At about $50 a pop these figures are a big step in price and quality over my other figures that usually are in the line of $10-20 but they look better than just about any anime figure I've ever seen in a Hot Topic or at my local otaku shop (and some of the otaku shop figures are hundreds of dollars).

Nendoroid is a fantastic line for a fan of the chibi and small figures, like myself, and I plan to purchase more in the future. I'm definitely getting the Satsuki Kiryuin figure to complete this set but I would flip my lid if they made a Jojo's Bizarre Adventure style Mako figure or something from FLCL."

And really I followed through with what I said!

CONCLUSION?

The Satsuki Kiryuin figure was worth the wait, even if I feel like posing her as much (or as little as some see it) as the other figures is a bit of a pain, and I feel like she completes my desk by sitting a top my computer tower.

I can't think of a better way to cap off Kill la Kill since it has easily become one of my favorite anime series of all time. (Maybe with another figure review in the future?)

And so, with a soft and bittersweet sigh, I say goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015. I feel like there will be a lot of anime and figures on the horizon. Thank you.

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