The figure is far from relevant today, the post is hardly a proper review, and there won’t even be any neat photos — hell, it’s not going to be much of anything. If anything, what you’re reading now is a filler post that you might see more of in the future. This time, I’m going to talk about Good Smile Company’s Rizfis Luttiva Mente (Rize), released back in 2008 as a part of the Shuraki series.

Shuraki was a collaboration between Red Entertainment and GSC, probably inspired by Hobby Japan and MegaHouse’s Queen’s Blade series, which also had an emphasis on the violence against female clothing. Each Shuraki figure came with an alternate “battle-damaged” outfit, a illustration book introducing the character and her backstory, and a drama CD starring some solid voice talent.

There has also been five Shuraki light novel books and 1 volume of manga released, according to MFC. I don’t know exactly how well the franchise did, but given there hasn’t been another Shuraki figure in over four years, I assume it didn’t take off as well as GSC and Red Entertainment turned out, despite the talent recruited for it.

Back then I had only started to get into the figure collecting hobby, so I was nowhere as picky as I am now. My eyes sparked as Danny Choo’s blog showed me all manners of plastic boobs and butts, and everywhere I looked, there were things I wanted to throw my PayPal money at. The fact that I don’t know anything about the character didn’t matter — all it took were some pretty looks and a cheap price to move my hand. Such was the reasoning that gave birth to much frustration.

Rize is a story of disappointment in more ways than one. I bought her from Play-Japan on sale for $39.90, but what began as a bargain suddenly turned sour when the SAL shipping fee turned out to be $20.90. I found out the reason for such an unexpectedly high fee when the package arrived at my doorstep, as the box was obscenely large. But as luck would have it, there was yet another surprise pasted on the box — a customs charge of $15. So much for a cheap addition to my budding collection.

Rize came with an alternate battle-damaged set of clothes, but the cast-off feature was an nightmare to work with. the tight fit of her corset top created a lot of fiction against her torso, and after a couple attempts, Rize’s stomach was already being damaged and rubbed bare. The little clip on the regular top never seemed to work right and broke off, and my messy superglue job did not help things one bit. After changing her clothes twice, I decided that I was done with that forever, and to this day, I still can’t see myself buying another cast-off figure.

On a side note, the reason why I didn’t like the battle-damaged clothes is that her stockings are not interchangeable. This means even though the rest of her clothing is completely tattered, her stockings are completely unscathed, which is weird, because in my research (i.e. H-manga), the stockings are the first thing to get torn! OMGERD UNREALISTIC

A well-documented problem Rize has is her ungodly large dress. Made of heavy and hard plastic, it puts a lot of strain on the feet pegs on the display base until the pegs eventually are literally torn out of the base itself — a bad design choice that Good Smile Company has undoubtedly learned from since. A little bit of epoxy manages to return the figure to a standing state, although that means I had to tear her out of her foundation when I moved out.

By now you probably think that I regret getting this figure, and you would be right thinking that. But unlike other disappointments which became eyesores, for every failing Rize possesses, she has something to redeem it.

The sculpting is razor-sharp and the application of shading (especially on her hair) is impeccable. Combined with the solid character design and the attractive blue/red colour contrast, Rize is very pretty to look at. She’s better-looking than most modern figures, and if not for the questional design decisions, she would outright trump them.

My favourite part of the figure has to be her stubby little boots with little red ribbons on them — along with her slightly pigeon-toed pose, they give the halberd-wielding warrior an added dose of girlish charm.

Another thing to consider is her price; for ¥6,800 you get:

  • A 1/8 figure that does not skimp on size
  • Cast-off feature with an alternate outfit
  • Art booklet that introduces the backstory of the character
  • A drama CD

Wow. I know figures these days better made and whatever, but I’m not convinced that rising prices have been proportional to improvements in quality. For example, GCS’s Godoka looks damned good, but I always wonder if she’s actually worth her mighty ¥15,000 price tag, and when I look at what Rize has to offer for less than half the price, I can’t help but to feel nostalgic. These days, for the price of the iconic 1/8 Max Factory Haruhi, you can get a Beach Queens figure from Wave that’s pretty much inferior in every single way.

…Bah, get off my lawn. Let’s just say I’m glad I got into the hobby before it got substantially more expensive. Whereas my gunpla and video games has remained more or less consistent in price over the past 4 years, figures have not, and I wonder how far the upward trend will go.

Anyway, let’s end this “review” with a question: what do you guys think of the rising cost of the figure hobby? Has it affected you relationship to the hobby? What is your sweet balance between quality and affordability? Let me know!