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Review: 1/7 Soryu Asuka Langley (Plug Suit Style ver.)

Alright people, in case you don’t already know, I fuckin’ love Neon Genesis Evangelion, so much so that I don’t even know where to begin. After I first watched the VCR rips off of a friend’s collection of 13 burned CDs back in high school, I spent a couple of months lurking around on Evangleion forums and imageboards looking for answers. The series is a undoubtedly flawed, especially from a storytelling point of view, yet there’s just something so compelling about it that I willingly dug through the most obscure and bullshit retconned information in order to piece together some semblance of coherence into the plot. Of course, all of that religious symbolism and convoluted sci-fi clusterfuck is simply fluff, as what makes Evangelion an enduring classic are the characters and the beautiful ways they crash into each other.

My favourite of the cast is Soryu Asuka Langley. Her relationship with Shinji encapsulates the Hedgehog’s dilemma — the rifts between individuals  in which the pains of intimacy and isolation swirl about.  Through the course of the series, their relationship ebbs and flows. From jealousy and rivalry sprouted the seed of cooperation, trust and perhaps even attraction, yet their unfortunate circumstances ultimately drives both of them into the lowest points of their young lives. I understand why people like Rei, and I’ve always preferred her in the looks department, but to me, Asuka is a lot more integral to Evangelion‘s story, and thus she’ll always be #1.

By the way, I really don’t care for Asuka in Rebuild 2.0 — due to the reduced screen time, her character development was taken to the back shed by an axe murderer and reduced to a pile of misaligned chunks. I hated how the gradual revelation of her inner psyche was replaced by shoehorned scenes and plot developments like her retarded hand puppet and her rivalry against Rei for Shinji’s attention. Both of these could have worked if she was given more time to develop, but when she’s in a three-way deathmatch against two other female protagonists, it just came off as flat and ineffective in the eyes of this Asuka fanboy.

I had wanted a figure of Asuka for a very long time, but even though the character has received a lot of figures, there really hasn’t been a PVC scaled figure that I really liked. They’re either hilariously out-of-character, ridiculously overpriced, and/or of underwhelming quality. I thought the Rebuild films would usher in a new wave of Asuka figures, but much to my irritation, most of the attention has been diverted to the shiny new test plug suit. Both Alter and Max Factory decided to go down that route, leaving me with a serious case of figure blue balls.

When I first saw the Plug Suit Style version of Asuka from Kotobukiya, I was a little disappointed. I really liked the Plug Suit Style Rei, which does a very good job at capturing the character’s distant air. On the other hand, the sight of Asuka smiling sweetly on the ground seems a lot less fitting. Asuka does have a mischievous side, sure, but it’s melancholic and determined sides of her personality that makes her special to me. As I was hurting for money at the time, I skipped on the pre-order.

Fast-forward to a year later: Hamstercorp decided to buy something off Timelords, and since he was going to visit my place in May, he asked me if I wanted anything to combine shipping. A quick scroll through their inventory revealed a “second-hand” Plug Suit Style Asuka for Â¥3,000 and I thought to myself “meh, why not?” It was a textbook impulse buy, and I have to admit that I did not have as much anticipation for her arrival as most other purchases. Does this mean I regret getting her? Read on!

The Plug Suit Style Asuka is 1/7th scale and 135mm tall, which means unlike some other sitting figures, she has a good amount of heft to her.

Unlike the Kotobukiya’s previous plug suit Asuka, this one does not feature a glossy finish on the hair. This is pretty important, as it puts the attention squarely on Asuka’s form-fitting rubber suit. Mmmm form-fitting rubber suits. I remember a series of doujins in which Shinji does nothing but dry-humps Rei and Asuka in their plug suits. Normally I’d consider dry-humping to be pretty weak, but when it comes to form-fitting rubber suits, I’m totally okay with that.

As much as I denounce the Rebuild Asuka, I really like the Alter’s figure of her in the test plug suit, which features a lot of fine wrinkles across the torso that just rubs me the right way. Unfortunately, the wrinkles was never really featured in the source material, so most Asuka figures (including this one) don’t have that, and thus the suits seems like it’s painted onto her body as opposed to something she squeezes and vacuumed seals herself into. Don’t get me wrong — naked body paint is fine too, but when the inevitable new wave of Evangelion figures come out around the time of the next Rebuild movie, I hope some of the more ambitious makers would get a little creative with these plug suits, if only for the sake of variety.

This is the third Kotobukiya figure I’ve reviewed, and like Kirino and Hitagi, there’s something about the skin tone that doesn’t feel right to me. It’s really subtle and I’m not even sure if these photos capture it, but it’s just a little dull and lifeless. Furthermore, the figure is missing the blush from the original illustration, which would’ve added a great deal to the figure. Ironically, Alter’s Aigis (who is a freaking robot) has more life in her complexion than Asuka.

Asides from that, Asuka looks like Asuka, which is a good thing. Her smiling expression may not capture the crux of her character, but it’s very cute nonetheless. I am also digging how scary-thin her waist is — her thighs are wider than her waist, for crying out loud! The sight of her skinny waist makes me want to take her out and force-feed her a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Is this what moe is?

In terms of build quality, Kotobukiya’s Asuka is fine, but not exceptional. I like the subtle application of shading on the plug suit, but there’s a general lack of “crispness” about the figure. Sure, there are a couple miniscule cases of overpaint/underpaint here and there, but that’s not what I mean. I think if the lines and grooves on the plug suit were brought out further, that would’ve brought out the details in the sculpt and given the figure a good deal more definition.

For her display base, Asuka has a piece of blasted concrete that actually really cool to look at. The little cracks and weathering on it makes it look pretty convincing, and best of all, fits into Rei’s display base like a jigsaw puzzle.

Final Say

Honestly, there’s not too much to say about the figure itself. There are some figures I buy primarily for looks (like GSC’s Dead Master), and Asuka is not one of them. I bought this Asuka because I had given up hope on a better Asuka figure being released in the near future. There’s nothing exceedingly spectacular about her, nor are there any problems glaring enough to sprain my dick over. If you’re a fan of Asuka and sound of “Asuka Shikinami Langley” makes your eyebrow twitch like mine, then I’d recommend this figure to you, as it’s easily one of the best figure depictions of her in the classic plug suit. If you’re not an obsessive case like me and don’t mind the new Asuka in the movies, then I’d point you towards the Max Factory and Alter versions. I really hope either of those two companies would make another Asuka in her old plug suit, but I doubt that would happen anytime soon.

I may not have much to say about the figure, but these last few photos do have a bit of a fun story behind them. Feeling a little unsatisfied with the Selvaria photos, I decided to give outdoor figure photography another stab, so I met up with Aka of Tailgrab.org over the long weekend. Problem is: he doesn’t live in the city, and I, being the shut-in that I am, don’t really know any spots off the top of my head that would suit Asuka and Rei. So we ended up defaulting back to High Park because neither of us had any bright ideas. We swung by the spot where I took the Summer Saber photos, and that’s when Aka saw it — a storm sewer 20 feet away from the spot. It was perfect.

Shooting with Aka was really fun, partly because I got to play with his fancy photography toys. Aka also took the liberty of snapping a bunch of photos of me in the act while I wasn’t watching. These candid shots are my favourite photos of myself in recent memory — it was really cool to see me being…well, me. Beats the crap out of putting a stupid smile for the camera, I say!

Later on, we went to another spot to shoot one of Aka’s innumerable Horo figures, this time being right in the middle of a small stream 10 feet away from a paved pathway. It was a pretty surreal experience as I helped Aka hold the flash while passing people looked at us with puzzled expressions on their faces. It was a tad embarrassing, but it was also a ripping good time. You’ll find one of his Horo photos here and his Asuka/Rei photos in his Rei review, whenever that comes out. I’ll be sure to update this page and tweet about it when he posts it. As for me, I’ll be busy looking for another victim friend to do more outdoor shoots with.

10 replies on “Review: 1/7 Soryu Asuka Langley (Plug Suit Style ver.)”

I’ve always preferred Asuka to Rei, I found her to be both more attractive and a more interesting character. Rei’s always been too much of a doll for me, lacking in personality almost entirely. For this reason I liked the Rebuild series because they gave Rei some character, which made her much more likeable for me.

I believe this figure is my fifth Asuka figure, I’m a little less judicial than you I suppose. I find each one of them has a lot of good points, though none sum her up perfectly. But at least the 1/6th Koto Asuka’s have solemn faces more befitting of Evangelion I think.

That said, about the only thing that bugs me with this figure is her impossibly thin waist. It fits with the official artwork by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, and anime is all about exaggerated porportions, but i still find that waist off putting. From the angles I’d most likely view this figure at, it’s fine, but when you look at her profile from the side (this angle too) it really makes me want to force feed her KFC as you say. Poor girl.

As for my review, I’ll get it up asap. Stole a page from your book of tricks and waiting for things to dry.

Still think that last shot turned out awesome.

I’ve always found it odd how original series spends 6 episode building up things between Shinji and Rei (culminating in the Ramiel fight) and then shoving her aside in favour of Asuka as the main plot driver. I like Rei in the movies and manga, and I don’t really mind if she takes the reign in the Rebuild movies. I’m not sure what Anno plans to do with Asuka and Mari, but I hope it’s good (especially Mari — she has been 100% eye candy thus far).

Haha, I wouldn’t say I’m bothered by the waist, though it certainly sticks out to me. I like how fragile Sadamoto makes the girl look because I think it works to reflect their psyches, so I tend to not see the waist on a 100% literal level. That’s the beauty of anime — you can get away with all sorts of stuff to achieve an effect, whether it’s Sadamoto’s slim waists or Happobi Jin’s GALLONS of semen.

Looking forward to your review, I’m really looking forward to how the sewer photos look like in the end. Also, you should post up more of those Horo shots!

It can be quite frustrating not to find a figure of a favorite character that meets your taste. Even though when one of the big figure manufacturers makes an high quality figure, it doesn’t mean that the figure will match with your personal image of the certain character. From my impression the more I like a certain 2D girl the more picky I get. Im not the biggest Asuka fan, but I always wanted a figure of her, Im quite satisfied with Max Factories Asuka, half of the Asuka fans prefer the old suit, but I was ok with that.

This Asuka here looks ok, I like her pose with the mixture of seductive and a little goofy ^-^
I guess her expression would have been a lot different, if some blush had been added to her face.
Well, she looks surprisingly happy in this figure adapion. The thin waist doesn’t appear that odd to me since the character design always portrayed Rei and Asuka as slender young girls.

I’t s nice to see whenever someone puts a little more effort in outdoor figure photography, laying oneself on the ground without caring for the dirt around. thats the spirit 😉

I always wonder what she’s smiling about sitting in the rubble. Asuka has such a sweet expression on her face, yet her immediate surroundings are decidedly not-so-happy. This has also made the outdoor shots a little odd. I have this grimy cement background and Rei looking solemn, yet Asuka’s just looking like a little goofball! Way to ruin the mood!

Pfffaww, a little sand and dirt never hurt anyone, and besides, it’s not like I have any nice clothes to ruin anyways! =D

Evangelion… that thing…

I will just say, when I watched it, it was not the at the right time or place in my anime watching history. So for me, I take the anime hipster view and say Eva is not as good as people say. Kinda like with FF7, by the time I played it I had played better RPGs. Same thing with Eva, it was probably the second coming of Jesus in the late 90s but I watched it a decade later after the world had move on.

Even then though, I do not think it is a bad show, I liked it enough, I liked the characters and after years of of thinking on the matter I came to accept Shinji. I want to watch the new movies some day, I might… gasp… buy the blu rays some days.

That aside, as I originally watched the show and hate it with a passion there was a shining beacon of light that was Asuka. I loved her through out, since unlike Shinji or Rei she was actually relatable.

I never really thought about it, but I suppose you are right, the Asuka figures don’t really reflect her that well. They end up going for the cutesy, moe stuff instead. You know what I want, a figure of Asuka when she is ripping the mass produced Evas apart. I do suppose I can approximate that with the figma to some extent.

Hmm… I don’t know what to say about the figure though, it looks like Asuka and that is good. Hmm… have I become desensitized to Eva figures or something?

What I can say though is nice pictures, the pictures you took outside are nicer by 36%. You should do more outdoor stuff.

Eva was one of the first shows that I really got into, and its early place in my personal history definitely played a part in how lenient I am with it. No matter how much the fanboys spin it, the overarching plot of Evangelion is awful. It’s full of plot holes, fluff, and key plot points are glossed over with a passing mention. With that said, there’s something about the interpersonal conflicts in Eva that I believe will be forever relevant. There’s something genuine about the ways the characters destroy one another, and I still think that’s something emo Anno has done better than anyone else.

Anyways, I think Eva is one of those shows that’s really hard to quantify — it’s either you feel it or you don’t. I totally understand people who think it’s overrated — hell, I even understand people who outright bashes it. It’s kinda neat like that!

Asuka in SMASH mode, eh? That would be nice, though anything involving the cockpit seems to cost out the ass. I don’t have an exact vision of what I want out of an Asuka figure to be honest, but I wish an artist or sculptor out there would surprise me.

THIRTY-SIX PERCENT — what an exact statistic! Are you sure you’re not a robot?

Wooo, I like how the last few shots turned out with Rei and Asuka, nice job! The only EVA figures I have are the Yamato (shunya yamashita) versions, which don’t look like the anime. LOL in a way, I’m glad I’m not that huge of an EVA fan, there are just way too many EVA figures, it would’ve drove me nuts trying to collect them all. I did see a new release of plug suit Asuka with the plug cockpit thing (gah, can’t recall what it’s called right now), 800mm long and around $450 – ouch! I was kinda tempted just because of the cockpit thing, it’s pretty cool, but as I’ve said, I’m not a huge EVA fan so I could live without it. If it was a 1/6 scale cockpit of a Macross Valkyrie, however, I’d be all over it like maple syrup on pancakes. LOL

Kariya Park in Mississauga ain’t bad to do a photoshoot at, only downside is that the place is so over used. Cheltenham Badlands would also make for a good spot to do some shoots, I did a couple of my figure and mecha shoots there. The red colour and rocky surfaces make for great Mars-like scenery. LOL

Oh yeah, the term I was looking for was ‘entry plug’…tee hee.
(http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10192226)

I don’t really get people who goes all-out collecting every single thing related to other favourite character COUGHakaCOUGH. For me, the more I like an character, the pickier I get! It’s not like there’s some sort of secret fan club that I would be booted out of if I go below the quota of merchandise purchases or anything. *shrug* More money for me, yay!

I really do like this figure. I only got one Asuka – the Ichiban Kuji Version from Banpresto, but maybe I will buy this one. Is there a matching Misato Figure in this Series?

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