Creator's Labo Ayanami Rei (Yamashita Shunya ver.)-005

Ayanami Rei of Evangelion fame is no stranger to the figure scene. Ever since her debut 1995, Rei’s striking red eyes, pale skin and blue hair have inspired countless garage kit and pre-painted figure incarnations of the character, from BMX tricksters to Mermaids. Though Rei is certainly no stranger to strange representations, Yamashita Shunya’s take on the character definitely stands out amongst the pack.

(Image taken from Yamashita Shunya’s Wild Flower artbook)

Rather than staying true to Rei’s rather slight figure of a 14-year-old, Shunya in his illustration portrays the character as a voluptuous adult in his distinct, western-influenced style. This illustration, like many of his others, proved to be highly popular and was soon adapted into a garage kit and eventually a pre-painted PVC figure by Yamato as part of their Creator’s Labo series. Unlike most other PVC figures, Yamato’s Rei seems to have been in production ever since its release in January 2008. I make this assumption based on the observation of the continuous restock of this figure in online retailers, which suggests that this particular figure has been doing quite well. However, is this success well-deserved? While Yamato’s Ayanami Rei certainly has a great sculpt, one cannot overlook the roughness in the execution of the details. Ultimately, the appreciation of this figure depends on one’s tolerance of these sometimes distracting flaws.

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