Review by VF5SS
Kantai Collection or KanColle is an immensely popular online strategy game in where players command a fleet of young women who fight with the spirit of real life naval vessals in order to stop the monstrous Abyssal fleet from ruling the seas. The game has gone on to spawn on a boatload of spin-off merchandise such as CD's, manga, toys, and will even be getting an anime series next year.
Action figure makers such as Max Factory and Bandai are already rolling out toys based on the Kanmusu (Fleet Girls) with the former leading the charge. Here for your delectation is the second KanColle figma to be released, Akagi!
So this is Akagi, who is based off of the Imperial Japanese Navy's first Fleet Carrier. She stands about five and a half inches tall and like most figmas, is made out of PVC plastic with hard ABS joints. As a whole, Akagi is a good looking figure with crisp paint apps and excellent sculpting.
Her design is interesting in that it combines the look of a traditional Japanese archer with equipment based on the real life Akagi. Many of the KanColle carriers use the same motif including Akagi's sister ship, Kaga.
The most obvious visual link her namesake is Akagi's large arm shield which is based on the aircraft carrier's flight deck. It's made from hard ABS plastic with crisp tampographed markings to represent the runway. The deck is capable of moving around thanks to a single ball-jointed peg that plugs into her upper arm. I found it difficult to get the shield attached due to how small the hole was and the fact you're trying to plug one small moving part into another. It also didn't help that the tolerances between the solid peg and the soft hole in her arm can be a bit iffy. Once plugged in, the flight deck will stay firmly attached to her arm.
She has an additional flight deck inspired armor plate protecting her waist. To add an extra bit of character it has a "A" for Akagi in katakana. Hanging from her hip is a small pouch that has soft PVC straps. The pouch appears to be glued on one side so it cannot be removed easily but still moves out of the way so as not impede articulation.
Akagi's quiver plugs into this small non-moving peg on her back. It's position in just the right way so you can still attach a figma stand through the gap left by the quiver's inflexible strap.
The quiver also has the real carrier's main antenna sticking out of it at an angle that compliments Akagi's arm shield. Sadly the arrows are a single molded piece and you cannot remove them nor can you place another projectile inside.
Another nod to the historical vessel is this odd eggbeater shaped antenna molded onto Akagi's shoulder. Unfortunately its close proximity to her head means Akagi has a hard time looking left or right. While the official photos show it bending (worryingly so) to allow her to pose, I am hesitant to do that too often or for too long as I don't want it to break off. I honestly didn't even notice the antenna was a part of her design until receiving the figure and now I can't help but think of it as being mushy and oversized.
Rounding out the ship homages is the most important detail: Akagi's matching pair of boat sandals. These are literally just tiny aircraft carriers she wears on her feet that allow her to glide across the water like her namesake. While it's a charmingly silly idea, the ship shoes make a lot of sense when you think about it.
Neck articulation aside, Akagi is a competent action figure. The trademark figma joints are neatly arranged with a good range of motion on most of them. There's even a swivel where her thighs meet the end of her stockings. Akagi's skirt can bend but is still stiff enough to limit hip articulation.
Max Factory's meager attempt to address the neck issues is a small hinge that allows Akagi's hair to move slightly to the left or right. It's a nice idea but doesn't accomplish much. Really either her hair needed be more flared out in the back or for her to come with an optional piece where it's swept to the side.
Akagi comes with a good number of accessories that cover all the necessities. You get her bow, two arrows, five pieces of bauxite, a repair bucket, a rack of optional hands, a hand holding chopsticks, a hand holding a rice bowl (with removable rice), and two additional faces with different expressions. Also included but not pictured are the standard figma display stand and the official plastic baggie.
Also note that Akagi's right gloved hand can be removed and replaced with a normal one. You just pop off the glove, wrist guard, and matching brown wrist joint and insert the regular hand and skin colored wrist. You get a spare flesh colored joint and an additional brown one in case something is lost or broken. Sadly on my figure some paint from the wrist guard rubbed off onto the her arm.
Her default face is a pleasant smile. All three expressions are a great likeness to the character.
Akagi has three right hands wearing the traditional three-fingered glove or "mitsugake." There's one fist, one splayed hand, and an all purpose arrow wielding hand. You can wedge either of Akagi's two arrows tip first into the bottom of her grasp to recreate the pose in her CG art.
With some methodical posing, it is possible to have Akagi nock an arrow as if she's ready to fire. Her massive bow or "yumi" is true to life with the end above her hand being longer than the one below. While it lacks a string, there are notches on either tip so you could attach one if you so desire. I must say the figma really looks the part when you set Akagi up like this.
Either arrow fits decently into her gloved hand with the tip resting lightly on her finger. Now you may be wondering how an archer can also be an aircraft carrier, and KanColle has a rather whimsical solution. When Akagi or another carrier fire off an arrow, it magically turns into a flight of tiny airplanes which proceed to attack. Sadly the figma does not come with any Zero fighters or Aichi dive bombers although the Nendoroid Akagi did...
While both her front bangs and antenna are made from softer plastic so they can bend during posing. If you're going to do this pose I found the best way is to pull Akagi's head off the neck just enough to allow the antenna to tuck underneath her hair. Even using this trick, I feel like I shouldn't leave the antenna mashed under her hair for too long.
Lacking her own fighters, figma Akagi goes in search of potential replacements.
"Hmm... too Gobots..."
"Oh my! Uh... too meta."
While Akagi stands perfectly fine unaided, I did find the included display stand useful for making her appear to "float" on water.
Don't try this at home, kids.
Another of Akagi's optional faces shows her "damage" expression for when a battle goes poorly. Honestly I think it's more of a "tummy ache" face.
This brings me to another accessory, the repair bucket! In the game this can provide instant repairs to any damaged unit. Among fans the repair bucket is a popular gag prop.
"RAAAAAAAAR! AKAGI IS HUNGRY, HOMBRE!"
While the item can instantly fix a larger and more complex unit (like a carrier), in game resources are still required to finish the job.
Akagi's final optional face shows a satisfied smile in mid munch. She is infamous among players for being able to quickly deplete their consumables.
One such resource is bauxite, an aluminium ore used in the game for building equipment such as airplanes. One of Akagi's hands is made just for holding these little red rocks.
Due to her gluttonous nature, players have nicknamed Akagi the "Queen of Bauxite." The figma comes with five chunks of ore for her dining pleasure.
To further satiate her hunger, Akagi comes with chopsticks and a bowl of rice. These are permanently attached to the hands that hold them. Note that the chopsticks even have a clump of freshly made rice ready to go.
"Ahhhh that was great! More please!"
The rice can be removed from the bowl to show her finishing a meal.
Sometimes Akagi's appetite can get her into trouble...
"Oh hey there mister tall, dark, and advanced composite alloy chassis! Has anyone ever told you that you smell positively... enticing?"
"Uh... I'm married."
"You're delicious!" *munch munch*
"AAAAH! THAT'S MY ARM!!"
Did you know Raiden gets his name from the Mitsubuishi JM2 fighter plane? American serviceman used to call it, "Jack."
Overall, Akagi is a good figure that has one nagging flaw. The shoulder antenna just gets in the way more than it should, which makes posing her looking left or right kind of irritating. That being said, this problem really only comes into play if you want Akagi poised ready to fire her bow. If you're just looking for a real goofball for your shelves, Akagi definitely fits the bill as she's full of character and charm. As my first KanColle figure, I feel mostly satisfied with Akagi and I think fans of the franchise will be pleased to own this figma.
I do plan on reviewing the Good Smile webshop exclusive Kaga so we can see if she manages to improve on Akagi's design.
|Posted 4 October, 2014 - 17:48 by VF5SS|