Hello there folks, and welcome to another god-awfully rainy week! Yay~~~
Ah boy…So yea, here we are with yet another older figure (it’s not my fault they don’t make more things I like a month! T_T) from the recently translated eroge Demonbane!
The series has been around for a while with an OVA, eroge sequel, and finally a TV adaptation under its belt. It borrows heavily from the Lovecraft mythos to tell its tale. Specifically, Al Azif here is the embodiment of the grimoire Necronomicon in the form of an absurdly cute little girl. She does occasionally morph parts of her body into pages (an ability that no figure maker has capitalized on, unfortunately) and has a chibi mode, but for the most part she retains the form you see presented in this figure. Of course, being over a millennia old and extremely powerful, she is a rather arrogant little girl, but with her myriad of personality quirks she is easily my favorite character in the series by far!
I was lucky enough to pick Al Azif up from Aka who was selling her for a pittance and I have to say it was an extremely wise decision, since as I predicted after having played the game a bit I would absolutely love Al as a character, so I would be hunting this very figure down right now if I had not bought her at the time! The only downside of this is that she was slightly damaged, but I’ll obviously not be dwelling on that as it’s hardly Max Factory’s fault.
So with that said, let’s see how well quality of one of Max’s older releases holds up against the harshness of time, shall we?
To begin with I’ll cover the things that are wrong that obviously weren’t an issue when she was new so no one points them out and says “But why didn’t you say anything about XYZ, Ash?” Her back wall is warped and one of her floaty things has a busted peg so you won’t see them actually mounted in this review, although I think I should be able to repair it easily enough when I have the time.
Now with that out of the way, let’s see what Max Factory of 5 years ago was capable of! The first thing that caught my eyes or her ribbons. Hysterically enough, they are actually better made then the ones on my poor “Yukari” figure. There’s a lots of small moldlines and bits of rough texturing with the odd paint clumping here and there, but generally speaking, the way they flow and wave about feels very authentic!
Like the ribbons, Al’s hair entwine around her body as if caught in the wind, giving her a nice dramatic flair. The paint is a nice pleasing accurate lavender color that’s mostly fault-free in the front. Sadly, the back and side of her head suffers from some noticeable mold lines and paint roughness. Another oddity about her hair is how it flattens out so much in the back. I suppose this was supposed to look like she was pressing against the wall except a few of her ribbons prevent her head from resting flush against the backboard, leaving an awkward appearance.
Still, from the front the hair does look superb and it also frames her face nicely. That, along with with the angle of her face and its expression gives off a sort of distrustful glance that could certainly fit her in one of her less agreeable moments. It seems like Max Factory payed special attention to her eyes as they are extremely large and beautifully painted. They’re definitely one of the biggest selling points of the figure for me.
Her dress is an odd beast. In some ways it’s rather terrible, completely lacking in shading and detailing. Yet it also has a strange appeal to it with its numerous ripples and roughly etched out frills. It also showcases one of the best facets of the dress in that it’s extremely short and even the smallest stir would give you an eyeful of panty! Her matching wrist cuffs are of roughly the same quality, although they do suffer the flattening the hair does in the back.
Taking a small trip further south, Al’s legs aren’t quite up to the level that we’ve come to expect these days. The paint is rather rough, giving an overly plasticky look to her skin tone and the attempt to add flushed tones to around her knees is a clumpsy. She also has a rather large and noticeable mold line running the length of the front of her legs, unfortunately. Her socks and shoes aren’t much more enticing either being painted in rather drab colors, which is a shame because I’ve always adored Al’s little socks and shoes combo.
Al’s base is somewhat unqiue. The base itself is an unassuming slab of plastic with Al firmly screwed into it, but it also comes with an oddly designed plastic brick wall that slots in behind the figure. I understand Max wanted to achieve the effect of having her look like she was leaning against it, but I’m not entirely convinced by the effect and I probably will display her without the silly thing. Oddly, Max Factory also decided to attach her floating accessories to it instead of her hair like most other Al figures do.
- Fantastic pose
- Dynamic hair and ribbons really sells the windswept look
- Fluttering skirt gives you an eyeful of the good stuff
- Large beautiful eyes
- Oddly designed base may or may not appeal to some
- Underwhelming details in dress and shoes
- Sub-par paint on legs with painfully obvious mold lines
So there you have it, our blast from the past! So what do I think when all is said and done? Well ,I gotta say I still do quite love her. The sculpting they did with the hair, dress, and ribbons really makes her feel dynamic while the angle of her head, facial expression, and body language tells you in an instant about her mood at that very moment. It all comes together pretty strongly to give you an immediate impression that I enjoy greatly.
Still, she does have many faults, and it’s amusing to see how far Max Factory has come over the years in terms of quality. Even more amusing (or perhaps sad) is several aspects of the figure still trumps many lesser manufacturers even after all this time.
So it’s raining…again…For the past three weeks!!!
Oh well I took the opportunity to try something slightly different then the usual fun and sun type shots I usually do…Can’t say as it worked out entirely how I wanted, but meh, I gotta change it up every now and again!