Review by JoshB
Strike Witches are winning the war against… Pants!
I first heard the term Mecha Musume a few years back when I first saw trading figures by Kaiyodo depicting cute Japanese anime girls mixed with World War II tanks and planes. It seems like an odd mix but something about it appealed to me.
The toys were based on the designs of a Japanese illustrator named Humikane Shimada who then went on to do designs for the popular Busou Shinki line by Konami. Note that these too feature cute girls mixed up with military weaponry.
Apparently the Japanese Otaku liked this concept as well, because it was reborn yet again in the form of an anime series called “Strike Witches”. But how do you take a crazy idea like mixing doe-eyed girls and vintage weaponry and make it make sense? Magic, that’s how.
I’ve only watched a little bit of Strike Witches because to me there is a big difference of having a toy of these designs and then watching them bounce around the screen. It crossed a line I think. But from what I gather it’s a fictional re-telling of World War II, only with magic and aliens. The girls that star in it are witches, and with the help of an animal familiar can summon and use mechanical armor to fight against the enemy.
Oh yeah, and no pants. The supposed explanation is that pants get in the way of the armor attaching to the legs, and in this universe it’s no big deal to be walking around in your skibbies.
This particular character is one of the Strike Witches, named Lynette Bishop.
The box is typical figma quality, with the parts being spread out in a single plastic tray. Lynette is packaged in her normal human mode so we will start there.
The figure is really excellent looking with tight paint applications and no defects whatsoever. Her jacket and undershirt are made out of a soft rubber so you can pose her freely in realistic poses. The arms however are still hard plastic.
Her head has a moveable ponytail at the back and she comes with three different facial expressions (kind, angry, worried) as well as two sets of hair. The second set is used when she is transformed.
As mentioned before, Strike Witches don’t wear no pants. Therefore, her undies are out for the world to see. These are a separate molded piece of rubber cutely decorated with a small green bow in front.
In true otaku form, the manufacturers included a second lower torso that is one solid piece – meaning no leg joints and no separate panties. But what this does do is give the girl a seamless derriere for those who might find such a thing important. I initially thought this might have some purpose with the armor parts, but no, it’s just for pervs.
To add the Strike Unit parts, you have to swap some things around. First, you need to swap out the hair piece to add the one with cat ears, and you also have to add the cat tail. A cat is Lynette’s “Familiar” so when her Strike Unit is activating she also gets the properties of a cat. Makes perfect sense.
The legs get separated at the knee and are replaced with the mechanical sections. Inside each section is a peg on a hinge that needs to go into the hole in the legs, but let me tell you, it is not easy. I was in constant fear of breaking it due to the tightness of the parts. The toy held up with no stress marks which is a testament to the quality of the build.
At the end of each leg unit you can add two different kinds of propellers. Basically, one represents a “stopped” propeller and the other a “spinning” propeller. The paint detail on the spinning propeller really gives it a sense of motion.
Of course we can not overlook the REALLY BIG GUN. This weapon keeps with the WW2 aesthetic looking like a piece of heavy artillery. There are two handles on the gun but I believe it is designed to only be held by one. Several gun-holding hands are included in the set.
An extra set of “holding” hands is included to replicate a scene in the anime where Lynette is flying holding hands with Yoshika.
In normal mode, the figure is solid enough to stand without the use of a stand. However when the Strike Unit is activated you absolutely need the stand. A standard figma stand is included but in my opinion it is too short for this figure. You’d be better off using one of the Figma di-stage stands and in fact, a cardboard insert for the di-stage is included.
|Posted 16 March, 2012 - 15:10 by JoshB|