As some of you might know, I have something called the “one figure rule”. Since there are so many characters and series that I like, I’ve always thought that it’d be a waste to have multiple figures of a single character. So far Saber and Miku have skirted around the rule due to the drastically different appearances and costumes of each version I own, but I had thought that after getting the figma Aegis I would be done with the character.

To be honest, I have felt some tinges of regret over selling Alter’s first Aegis figure to make room for the figma. Though the figma is a is a lot closer to the character sprites in the game, it just feels a little…insubstantial.

Since I reviewed the figma, Aegis has been the subject of many more figures — so much so that fans of Persona 3 and 4 have been frustrated. While some of the Persona 4 girls have finally started to get some love, there hasn’t been a single figure of any of the human Persona 3 girls in the last three years, while no less than eight  figures of Aegis have been announced. But though I completely understand how frustrating this might be diehard fans, there’s a reason why Aegis has been such a favourite.

Simply put, Aegis is a smoking hot bucket of bolts (and I don’t mean her Ortega Mode), and Alter’s second take on the character, dubbed “ART WORKS ver.” after the name of Soejima Shigenori’s  artbook from which the source illustration came from, demonstrates this point brilliantly by taking my “one figure rule” and throwing it into a pit of fire.

Alter Aegis ART WORKS ver-23

At 1/6 scale and 29cm tall, Aegis is a pretty big figure. Though some large-scale figures seem to be big for the sake of being big, Alter’s Aegis puts that added size to work, incorporating details that just aren’t possible at smaller scales. Every screw, every zipper tooth, every rivet is distinguishable.

As a robo-girl fanatic, the mechanical parts on Alter’s Aegis are nothing short of a wet dream. The metallic paint looks perfectly convincing, and neither the shoulder nor hip joints skimped on any detail — the shoulders even go so far as rending the cables tucked beneath.

A tear on her right leg reveals a bit of the metal plating that lies underneath — a reminder that Aegis is a weapon. Though her grey fingertips have not been deployed as bullet-spewing barrels, a single round in the chamber of her right wrist reminds us of their deadly potential.

Her left foot even reveals something which was never shown in the game — the inner mechanisms of Aegis’ “hoofs”. While it doesn’t explain how on earth she manages to maintain balance on her pair of stumps, the hydraulics and mechanical details within are a real treat to behold.

Alter even goes as far as stamping tiny markings onto the figure that the naked eye can barely make out, such as the text on her “headphones” and inscriptions on her wrist unit. By the way, isn’t it kind of a bad idea to stamp the name of your corporation on a top-secret robot weapon? Just sayin’.

The “girl” side of  the robo-girl equation on Aegis does not disappoint either. Her curves are just as lethal as the guns in her fingers. A pair of barely-contained robo-boobs is balanced by a bountiful robo-butt, and the sculpted wrinkles on her cloth enclosure makes me wonder what manner of erotic mechanisms lie underneath. CLANG CLANG CLANG.

Her signature bow ribbon is depicted here undone and tattered. Its flowing shape adds to the sense of motion in the figure.

My favourite part of the figure is Aegis’ face, which has shockingly natural feel to it. Her pair or blue eyes are obviously larger than any real woman’s, but her eyelashes, soft-looking glossy lips, and the subtle pink flush to her cheeks distinguishes itself from any other anime figure I own. Seriously, her subtle and serene smile reminds me of the Mona Lisa (if the Mona Lisa had machine-gun fingers, that is).

The great irony is that despite being a bucket of bolts, Aegis looks more life-like than any other figure of my collection because of the pink tones on her face. I don’t know how hard this is to pull off on the technical level, but I would love to see more figures do this.

Unfortunately, for all this talk of realism, there’s one part about the figure that drops the ball — the hair. In attempting to capture to super-shiny look in the source illustration, Alter decided to use a super-glossy finish on the hair. While I appreciate the effort put into accuracy, the hair looks really out of place and distracting in a figure like this.

With that said, Aegis’ hair did grow on me a bit. The shading is very well-done, and the sculpt is very detailed for short haircut, avoiding an overly simple dome-like appearance completely.

Finally, is secured to her base thanks to a splodge of shadow rising from the distorted checkerboard disk, There’s not much to be said about it other than it’s functional, inconspicuous and suitable to the figure.

Final Say

Unlike most figures I own, I can’t think of a scene to place this figure in. The source illustration certainly does not offer any clues, as she is simply situated in white space. One would think she might be emerging triumphant from a scuffle, yet despite the damage to her ribbon and right leg, she is remarkably spotless everywhere else — not to mention she has no ammunition magazines attached to her arms.

…Yet I’m completely fine with all that. Alter’s Aegis might not echo any particular moment from the game, but she’s just so well-made and pretty that it doesn’t even matter. This figure is a triumph for its looks alone, so much so that I still occasionally lose myself looking at the figure many months after acquiring it, and that says a lot about how much I like this figure.

Pros

  • Amazing amount of mechanical detail
  • Fine markings that go above and beyond
  • Soft pink flush on her face

Cons

  • Distracting glossy finish on the hair

Alter’s Aegis (ART WORKS ver.) is a great figure, and it doesn’t matter how many other Aegis figures came before it — if anything, this figure has made me appreciate how persistent figure makers can be. So you know what? Keep making those Tamaki, Miku and Kanu figures. If figure makers can consistently improve and produce better iterations of a well-liked character, so be it — I don’t mind not being the target market of every single figure ever made. Complain about a figure because it’s shoddily made or badly designed, not because you’re not interested in the character — there are plenty of others who do, even if it is the umpteenth version.

For more reviews on the figure, check out Miette-chan’s and Tier’s.