Hola all! Originally I was going to write 3 reviews to commemorate the first Macross Frontier Movie release on DVD, but sadly because of me being me, things got delayed for one reason or another, and now 3 reviews has become 2. And to top it off, we are now celebrating the theatrical release of the second movie instead of the first because — that’ss just how long I’ve been sitting on this review… *cough*
The fact that I’m only doing Ranka reviews has nothing to do with my own personal preferences character-wise, but rather it’s more because I think noone has made a good Sheryl figure yet! As you can imagine, it’s far easier for companies to make cute little Ranka figures instead of successfully capturing the more subtle adult charms of Sheryl, so Ranka shall be who we are focusing on!
I am quite a Ranka fan. More specifically, I am especially fond of her voice. While Sheryls bombastic songs and voice suits the series almost perfectly, I’ve found it’s Ranka’s songs that I still listen to on a daily basis. They’re all almost perfect pieces of pop indulgence and just work oh-so-perfectly on repeat listenings. So yea…Ranka the character = Meh (Although the Movie improved her character a good deal which I was grateful for). Thankfully, Ranka the performer is quite another thing altogether with her beautiful voice, sweet charm, cute outfits, and of course “Kira!”.
Anyway, with me being the giant perv and DFC afficionado that I am, we shall begin with the figure that has the least amount of clothes!: MegaHouse’s delightfully overexposed N.A. version!
This figure is a faithful reproduction of the Nose Art on the front of the VB-6 König Monster from the series. At the time that I first saw it I was slightly perplexed why they picked someone like Ranka for something that’d you’d think Sheryl was more suited to, but over time I’ve quite warmed to the design and was sad to see it disappear in the movie. I was always amazed that the producers would do something as seemingly random as inserting the old art style like pinup-esque nose art (which were most prevently seen during WWII) into a space opera, but then again, it’s small things like this that make me enjoy Frontier so much!
I’m not usually one for swimsuit figures. Despite my love for the female form they always seem so…boring. However this, my friends, is anything but. Normally I leave the base for last because they often look absolutely boring and barely add any value to the figure whatsoever. Ironically, for a figure that doesn’t even need a base to stand the base for the Nose Art Ranka is quite exceptional!
The very bottom of it where she actually sits is of the “plastic disk” variety, but the backboard part is where things get fun. The typography on it is exceptional and perfectly evokes that old 40’s Bomber girl feel. The little charming hand-made looking heart and the pair of little pink wings that are attached to the backboard sweetens the deal even further. The only problem I have with the base is that it is so good and adds so much to the figure that Ranka looks rather meh without it, and because of this her optimal viewing angles are limited. Probably not so much an annoyance for normal people that will just plop her on the shelf, but for a photographer it bothered me more than a little.
The body sculpt is one area where MegaHouse rarely disappoints, and I have to say they’ve safely upheld their record of excellence here. Let’s first get the bad things out of the way first then you can salivate over all the good! Sadly, Ranka did not escape the mass production hell of the factory completely unscathed, as there are more than a few mold lines here and there. Most are pretty subtle, but they do exist. The second thing would be the underside of her legs, which are rather awkwardly flat. I’ve seen this done to sitting figures to make them sit better, but since she’s sitting on her knees and toes instead of her legs, I have no idea why they would flatten it down. Thankfully, this problem is hard to see, as I doubt you’ll be displaying her flipped over, so it shouldn’t detract much from the looks of the figure.
Now for the good…oh-so-much good. Let’s first tackle her bikini bottom. It is interesting to note that this part of her wardrobe simply does not exist in the original illustration, but since Ranka isn’t from an eroge, I guess the anime people would only allow MegaHouse go so far, and having Ranka go commando would’ve been too much.
So MegaHouse does what they do best and turned it in their favor. Where as some swimsuits look painted-on, Ranka’s bikini bottom is visibly biting onto Rankas lovely hips almost practically squeezing her on either side in such an oh-so-delicious manner. It’s easily one of the most subtly erotic effects that I’ve seen used in a sculpt and it doesn’t end there either! It also works its magic on her backside too! It is almost like a pair of invisible hands that pushes her cheeks in and up forming one helluva V shape! Just beautiful…makes you wanna reach out and grab it on a regular basis!
Let’s creep slightly upward to her back, which is another eye popping piece of art in and of itself. I mean just look at that…How many figures do you see that detail a back to this extent? From the nice indentation running right up her spine to her shoulder blades subtly pushing out, there’s plenty to love about her back. It doesn’t end there, however — take a gander at that tummy! I mean just…wow. The way it pokes out slightlyis just inviting you to want to take a lick all the way up to the hint of ribcage. This, my friends, is one picteresque midsection!
Then ofcourse there is the coup de grâce — her chest! I swear MegaHouse really has a talent for putting the “delicious” in DFC! They don’t simply make it like an ironing board and call it a day — no, no, no, they always pay that extra bit of attention to the anatomical structure involved and it just looks glorious (See figures like Huit or Ymir as further examples)! Now I know some people were disappointed by the “censoring” of her nipples, but me personally I found it more attractive than if she was bare breasted. That might have something to do with the time when I saw a movie with some strippers who had pasties on their breasts when I was a young lad. It was a a very erotic thing for a elementary schooler, and it left quite the impact on my impressionable mind! So yes, pasties are good and they keep with the whole motif of the figure as far as I’m concerned. Oh and did I mention she even has delectable collarbones? Lovely, lovely body sculpt.
As for the other aspects of the sculpt, Ranka’s face is absolutely perfect being equal parts cute and beautiful. Her hair isn’t terribly detailed per se, but then neither is her hair in the original illustration. Besides, with all this eye candy around it, who the hell cares about the hair?
Now that the T&A is done, let’s look at the paint. Fortunately, the superb body sculpt does not go to waste on this figure, as MegaHouse did a flat out excellent job all round with the paint on Ranka. There’s some minor over-paint around her bikni bottom that slightly sours the otherwise grand view, but the rest of the figure is just aces though with lots of nice subtle skin tones. I especially like the slight applications of pink to create a subtle flush effect on her elbows and knees!
- Beautifully detailed body sculpt
- Equally high quality paint job
- Well-thought-out base that adds a lot of appeal
- A few subtle mold lines on the body here and there
Well by now I think you’ve gotten the general idea…I really really love this figure! She has a good deal of erotic appeal while still being within the bounds of good taste and thanks to the bikini top you can easily cover her up if you so desire. The base just does a great job of selling the whole old-school pinup girl feel to the figure as well. So yeah, I’d say anyone who’s into retro things like bomber girls and especially anyone who’s a fan of Ranka should be very happy with MegaHouse’s Nose Art Ranka!