Well, the rain may have let up, but the clouds still linger. so y’all are gonna have to bear with Alter’s Masou Shizuka this time instead of Menace!
I’ve actually had this figure for a long time now, but I struggled with how to photograph her in a way that would do justice to her bright color scheme… Don’t know if I succeeded here, but hopefully it’s ok (I feel like I’ve gotten woefully rusty in my skill lately… Lack of motivation?).
Masou here is quite the old gal. She debuted in the AliceSoft eroge Rance II waaay back in 1990 (Yes, twenty years ago. Suddenly, I’m feeling old…) and has since showed up in a few more installments in the series, including the most recent Sengoku Rance.
Despite her early origins, Masou is still quite an interesting character even by today’s anime standards. She was a tsundere long before the term had even made its way into the otaku lexicon and its certainly not a stretch to call her one of the first of her kind.
For her part she’s about 95% tsun, but when you realize that the male lead of the rance games is a shameless womanizer and a serial rapist, you can kind of understand why she leans so heavily on the tsun side of the scale. When you consider the fact that she’s just about the only girl that Rance can’t win over completely, she seems more like the only sane person in a game franchise full of loons.
As if her outfit does not make clear enough, Masou is a mage – an especially powerful one, at that. At one point her power overtook the limitations of her body so she restrains herself these days, but she still packs a punch and is easily one of the best units in whatever respective game she’s present in.
Now then lets take a gander at our green haired lovely here, shall we?
It’s been quite sometime since I last reviewed an Alter figure, but they do stunning work as always it would seem. On first glance her pose is just incredible in all regards…She has this slightly surprised look as her body elegantly twists itself around.
The fact that she’s twisting gives you a glorious view of her body. While the angle does make her butt slightly flatter (As it realistically should mind you), the qipao-like green dress clings onto every curve on her body. Indeed, it is almost feels like an extension of her body making her look nude in a sense. Everything from her modest breasts to her navel to her cute butt are all sculpted in complete detail despite the cloth covering them – a very enticing effect for sure!
I would have liked maybe a little more definition to her legs though as they are a large focal point of the figure. Sadly there’s not much anatomical definition here to speak of. They have the proper general shape of course, but the lack of any detail in her knees (back or front) and thighs is a little disappointing.
The rest of her outfit and her hair is extremely lovely in its reproduction of her original character design. They follow the simplistic look they had while adding a great deal of flair in the way they flow and move with her pose. It all gives her a very organic feel of something alive instead of being forced.
Her cute surprised face really pulls it all together and really sells the whole “scene” the figure is trying to set. Her hat uses a magnet to securely hold it in place. I always felt more figures should use this technique, so I’m glad to find it here.
Moving onto the paintwork: a lot of beautiful shading detail was lavished on her midsection to bring out all those curves, while the rest of the figure is relatively negleted, which feels a little awkward. Her outfit is supposed to be simple in appearance so I can’t really knock her for lack of detailed shading, but then why just only do it to her dress?
It seems odd to be so faithful in some areas and not in others. I suppose maybe they didn’t think they could make her sexy enough if they used the same rather basic painting method as rest of her dress or something? That might very well be true, but it still bugs me slightly…
True to Alter’s reputation, there are no real errors in the paint work. There are a few spots that look slightly iffy under a macro lens if you really wanted to find something to bitch about, but realistically speaking Masou is near perfect.
Her base narrowly avoids boring plastic disk territory by having a magical circle etched into the clear green disk.
Dynamite body sculpted with an great eye for detail
Conflicting paint techniques
Some more detailing on her legs would have made the figure even more incredible
So there you have it – another Alter Masterpiece as far as I’m concerned. Her pose and face really breathes life into her making her dynamic, but not quite so “IN YOUR FACE” as some other Alter sculpts tend to be. The slightly under-detailed legs and inconsistent paint techniques are minor annoyances, but she’s still absolutely gorgeous and I can’t really imagine asking for anything more of a Masou Shizuka figure.