When I think anime/manga geeks (like myself), I often associate them with JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Disgea. But despite my fascination with them “big-eyed cartoons”, I’m actually not a huge fan of the JRPG genre. Persona 3 & 4 differed from other JRPGs in the amount of control the player has over the progression of the story. Sure, there is a main plot that you have no choice but to follow, but a considerable bulk of the game centers on its social sim element – that is, building relationships with people about the school and town. Here the player is given the freedom to interact (or ignore) characters of his choosing, which goes a long way in enriching the role-playing element of a role-playing game. Because of these choices, I felt much more involved in the game’s plot than, say, when I was playing a Final Fantasy game.
Sadly, the turn based, menu-scrolling combat of Persona 3 soon became a chore to me. It’s not a painful chore by any stretch of the imagination, but it was an obstacle between the game’s story and I. Given my distaste for dungeon crawling, you can imagine my disappointment when I found out that “The Answer” (the segment of Persona 3: FES in which Metis appears) is almost exclusively a dungeon-crawling affair. I played for about an hour or so, and decided to put it down. Without my beloved social sim element, no amount of robo-girls could make me grind through the game.
My distaste for grinding didn’t stop me from ordering the Figma Metis, though. Initially an assailant on the SEES dormitory, Metis is soon after revealed as Aegis’ sister and joins the dorm-dwellers in their quest in finding a way to escape the temporal loop the gang is trapped in. I’m not sure what happens afterwards, but judging from the opening animation of “The Answer”, some drama eventually unfolds between the robots and the rest of the group. I should really read up on the plot of “The Answer”, but in all honesty, I don’t need to learn about the story context to indulge in my robo-girl fetish, and the Figma Metis simply spoils me rotten.
Metis’ design is loaded with a lot of pleasant-looking curves. I’m not sure how long, shapely legs or a toned robo-midriff helps in fighting shadows, but I know I’m not complaining. Like Aegis, Metis is on the tall end of the spectrum for Figmas, measuring in at 14.5 cm. Metis’ legs take after those of her elder sister in their sheer length. Though unlike Aegis, Metis’ feet are more humanoid in appearance.
Metis seems like a stripped down or an incomplete version of Aegis, albeit with a few differences in features. Whereas Aegis is furnished with brass guards on her shoulder and hips joints, Metis is almost completely bare. Only on Metis’ right arm can the familiar white outer layer be found.
Another aspect of Metis that suggests her incomplete nature is the back of her head, which is just a barren metallic dome! As I was not very familiar with the character beforehand, I was pretty taken back when I took her out of the package, to say the very least. This is not to say that I don’t like her unexpected baldness, as I really like these bits mechanical detail in her design.
Thankfully, Metis is not completely stripped down and barren. Her streamlined appearance is adorned by ornaments, which consist of bras-coloured frames and red translucent material. These can be found on her visor, her “skirt” and her right arm.
The visor can flip down to engage to cover the bulk of Metis’ face. It is secured via the two pegs found on either side of her head. It is somewhat loose fit, but the visor is able to retain its position sufficiently for the time being.
There’s a similar part on her right arm that can flip outward. I’m going to assume that this is part of her “Ortega Mode” along with the visor.
Like the rest of the ornament parts, the skirt is a detailed piece of work. It is made of a flexible material, so there is little risk of breakage. The skirt might be a little too flexible for its own good, however, since the fringe of one of the pieces is slightly bent. I assume this is just a production or packaging error, so this is probably just bad luck on my part. The skirt pieces are secured to Metis’ lower waist, much like the Figma Saber and Saber Alter.
In terms of articulation, Metis is your usual Figma fare – that is to say, pretty freaking great. The beauty about Metis is that the Figma joints do not look out of place on her, as they blend into the character’s design very well. The only joint that looks out of place elbow of her right arm, which is the arm with the white wrapping on it. This means that the aesthetic appeal of the original character design is pretty much completely intact, so if you are a fan of the character’s looks, you’ll probably like the toy’s looks as well.
Metis comes with two faces: a smiling expression and a tense expression. They’re pretty accurate to the source material, though I find her smile to be a little creepy, much like that of Aegis. I just wish Max Factory thrown in more faces, because I find that a few extra face pieces exponentially increases the fun factor of action figures. I understand that Metis probably does not have many different expressions in the game, but I even minor variations in the eye direction would open up a lot of doors for a toy like this. While the latest Queen’s Blade Revoltech Ymir comes with an impressive 4 faces, it seems that Max Factory has been skimping on the number of faces for their Figmas recently. Shame on you, Max Factory!
Metis comes with two weapons. The first is her signature warhammer. My initial concern with this figure when I first saw the previews was on the strength of the hammer shaft, which is very, very thin. Thankfully, this concern is instantly dispelled when I found out that the shaft is made of metal. The overall metallic finish hammer gives it a weighty appearance, and the pointy cross-shaped hammer head gives it a rather fierce look. Sadly, although the shaft itself is straight as a line, way it attaches to the hammer head is slightly crooked. This is probably a limited production error, and a minor one at that, but it does bug the nit-picker inside me from time to time.
To place the hammer Metis’ hands, simply pull off the bottom pommel of the hammer, slide the thin hammer shaft though one of two special hands, and pop the pommel back on. Like the case of Saber Alter, these special hands allow Metis to hold her hammer at two different angles. In addition to these hands, Metis comes with a pair of open hands, a pair of fists, a pair of fanned-out hands, and a pair of gripping hands. The left gripping hand is designed specifically to hold onto the pommel of the hammer, and the right gripping hand is made to hold Metis’ other weapon – a bus stop sign.
I have to say, compared to Aegis’ rocket fist of death, Metis’ stolen public transit property is pretty underwhelming. Still, it’s got a goofy charm to it, and it would be perfect for a Figma diorama, provided that you find a way to secure it upright to a surface.
If you’ve read my Aegis review, you might remember that one of my principle complaints was against the clear “hoof helpers”, which are virtually useless. Thankfully, this issue does not rear its ugly head again in Metis, as her clear foot stablizers feature a longer distance between the two contact points, which does wonders in terms of stability. While they’re not good enough to sustain any dynamic poses, these upgraded “hoof helpers” are more than sufficient to keep Metis standing upright without the fear of her tumbling over if you even do so much as to fart in the same room as her.
Finally we have Koromaru. It’s decently painted, and the head can rotate slightly. Thankfully (or regrettably, depending on who you are), unlike a certain other famous figure dog, Koromaru does not have an articulated penis. There’s not much more to say about him, nor do I know what to do with him, since the pose is pretty stuff. I find it hard to have Metis interact with Koromaru, since his pose is pretty stiff, and having Metis (or any other Figma, for that matter) sit and kneel down to snuggle with Koromaru is pretty frustrating. Still, it’s a decent throw-in, if a little unnecessary.
I have to admit that I am not as enthusiastic about Metis as most other figures and models in my collection, but that is no fault of the figure itself. The Figma Metis is very accurate to the original design, and the details on her are executed admirably well. There are a couple of small production errors and they could’ve thrown in another face or two, but there really aren’t any major flaws with the figure. I think my slight lack of enthusiasm for this toy stems from my unfamiliarity with the character, since Metis made its way into my collection mostly due to the merit of Aegis rather than that of her own. Still, I’m very glad to have her in my modest Figma collection, and if you like Metis’ character and or design, I’m sure you would be as well.
- Detailed ornament parts
- Strong hammer shaft made of metal
- Foot stabilizers that actually work
- Character designs lends itself well to a Figma
- Only two faces
- Minor production errors (bent skirt and hammer)