Today I present to you a review of one of my more unique figures, Phosphophyllite from “Houseki No Kuni”. This review is a little overdue as I received the re-release of this figure a few months ago, so I apologize for the delay. But with the recent release of Antarcticite I thought now was a better time than ever to check this figure out.
Just to clarify, for the sake of this review I will be referring to Phos as a “she”, I am well aware the gems themselves have no actual gender and that they are referred to with gender neutral pronouns…but for simplicity sake I will be using she and her when referring to Phos through our this review.
Now while I have not read the Manga for the series, the Anime was by far one of the best titles to come out in 2017. While the use of 3DCG in Anime is generally frowned upon, the animation techniques used in the anime was absolutely astounding. Incredible camera angles and very natural facial animations. The soundtrack was gorgeous and the colourful world they created for the series was just amazing. This particular figure is based on the art style of the Manga and does not replicate the style used in the anime.
Without further ado, lets grab our clipboard, take notes for the encyclopaedia and dive into the review!
[WARNING - THIS IS AN IMAGE HEAVY REVIEW]
________________ BOX ________________
Let’s begin by taking a look at the box. Straight away you can see that a lot of love and care was not only gone into making this figure, but into really establishing a certain atmosphere and tone for this figure starting with the box design. I absolutely adore the box, rather than be made out of cardboard the entire box is made in a strong clear plastic, similar to the type of plastic used in a blister so it is very strong and durable. This allows you to see the figure from every angle, keeping the design very clean and very minimalistic. The clear sides of the box feature a very faint gem/crystal like pattern which adds some nice texture and colour to the box over all. I love this effect and creates the illusion the whole figure is encased in crystals, amazing work here.
The front and sides feature the series title/logo while the back features photos and turn around images of the figure waiting inside.
________________ BLISTER ________________
Once you have opened up the box you will find the blister inside. Inside the Blister there are 3 main components:
1. Phos, the main figure
3. The base
Also inside the box you will find a set of instructions, the construction process only follows 2 steps but there was another aspect of the instructions I wanted to point out before we move on. If you look in the bottom left of the instructions there is a panel giving a WARNING for how delicate and fragile this figure is, more specifically, the gem part of the figure. This is the first time I have seen a fragile warning printed on the actual instructions. Most figure collectors understand it’s an absolute given that all figures should be handled with care to not result in any marks or scratches. The gem parts of Phos are made with incredibly brittle and fragile material to replicate the effect of Phos being created out of Gems – which is unlike anything I have ever seen before. So just a heads up, be very very careful when handling this figure, since you definitely do not want to damage what is essentially the best and most unique part of this figure, the crystal effect!
________________THE BASE ________________
Before we start to put the figure together, let’s take a quick look at the base. Personally I absolutely love this base, there are so many details gone into this that it really helps capture the whole atmosphere for the figure and sets up such a great scene/diorama. The water effect used for the main body of the base looks fantastic, it has this slight gradient colour starting from purple around the edge of the rock and then slowly changes to a bright blue colour as the water extends out. I really like this colour effect, they achieved this by having the main body of water a clear plastic and then having the colour printed on the bottom of the inside of the plastic, very clever effect. In the corner we have a small rock with a tree stump while scattered around the base seems to be some small fragments of Crystals…could very well be parts of Phos or perhaps new gem stones being born into the world?
The tree has this really strange unnatural shapeing to it which I feel really reflects the world of the series quite well. I also really like the texturing and colouring used for the tree, it gives it this strange waxy other-world appearance to it.
And finally over in the corner you may notice a little sploosh of water! Looks a little strange on its own but that’s because we need to connect something to it first which leads us to the construction phase!
________________THE CONSTRUCTION ________________
The first step we need to do is connect Ventricosus to the base, which is the small orange amphibious creature. Much like the rest of the figure, the connection for Ventricosus is very small and very fragile, so take extreme care and patience when putting it together. Essentially her tail connects into the very top of the spoolsh of water. At the very tip of the sploosh you will see a very small socket. Carefully place the tail into the socket, grab the ends of the tail with two fingers and carefully press the tail down into the socket so it is as far as it can go. The tail is very thin and quite small so take extra care not to apply too much pressure as you do not want to snap her tail.
Once she is all plugged in, this is how it should look!
The effect that they were trying to capture here looks amazing. It really looks like she is jumping out of the water with the sploosh of water following her motion!
Without giving away too many spoilers, Ventricosus was originally a giant snail they fell from one of the Lunarians. Originally thought to be another form of weapon that came from the sunspot, Ventricosus ends up eating Phos and consumes her into her Shell. After the shell comes in contact with a pool of salt water, she is reduced down to this form and is mistaken by the other gems as being Phos! When in fact Phos was stuck in Ventricosus shell the entire time!
Ventricosus is so damn cute and is a great little accessory that compliments the figure well. She uses this slightly transparent orange/yellow colouring and even has a slight texture that makes her look all squishy and slimy! Super cute. For something so tiny GSC did a great job sculpting all her little legs! Especially that clear effect running from the body down to her tail, amazing work!
And the final step, which is easily the scariest part, attaching Phos to the base. Due to stylistic reasons, Phos’s legs are incredibly skinny. Their circumference is next to none and does not contain much substance to it. In order to connect her to the base, you’ll find on the tip of her shoe on the leg that’s extending downwards is a small socket. This socket connects into the steel rod located coming out of the tree stump. I am a huge fan of steel rods, given the crazy dynamic pose Phos is in, this is a great form of reassurance to make sure Phos will not only be secure but to avoid any forms of leaning in the future.
The problem here however, is the fact that the steel rod is almost the same width as her leg, and in order to make sure the figure is secure enough, the steel rod is quite long and has to go in a fair way up into her leg. This process was really scary for me, I am always super careful with my figures – but after already getting a written warning that this figure is fragile, I was already nervous when handling the figure. Inserting the rod is a tight fit, a dangerously tight fit. I had to use a fair amount of force in order to connect the rod the entire way inside of her leg. The connect is so secure that once its connected, this practically no way she will ever come out of it.
This has brought up a few complaints with figure collectors, as if you need to pack Phos back into her box there is now way to remove her, considering how much force is needed to attach her in the first place. GSC themselves have recommended using a hair dryer to try loosen the connection, which could be useful for both connecting and disconnecting the figure from the base. But given this is a universal problem, I wanted to make sure I took the time to explain how scary this process is as if you are not holding the figure properly when applying force, you could easily snap her leg. Take extreme care.
________________PHOS – THE COMPLETED FIGURE ________________
After that very painful and stressful construction process: here we have the completed figure in all her graceful glory. This figure has such a strong visual presence and has easily become one of my all-time favourite figures.
There are so many great elements that make up this figure, but undeniably one the best aspects is the pose. Everything about this figure and its pose is nothing but elegant and pure. Phos absolutely radiates beauty with her clam and cheerful expression.
From the back here you can get a clear idea of daring and extravagant the post is. With her incredibly long and thin legs she extends out so far from the base, its amazing! So many wonderful curves.
A shot directly from the back, this figure looks amazing from any angel and the base helps capture that as well.
And finally another shot from the side showing that insane pose, look at the way her back is arching, truly phenomenal.
Now that we have finished with the turn around, let’s focus on the specific details that make this figure what it is, starting with the head. The character designs used throughout the series are generally quite simplistic, but it’s within this simplicity that the designer can really bring out the character making every single one of them unique. Phos is no exception and is just utterly gorgeous to look at.
Let’s start by taking a look at her face. While her facial expression has been a complaint for some as it does not follow the style used in the anime, the expression and style used here is based off of the Manga, which I adore. Her facial features are very mature and more realistic, rather than following the typical anime-esque design. Her cute little smirk is sculpted beautifully and even more so that the inside of her mouth is the same colour as her gem, this further helps to illustrate the idea she is physically made out of crystals.
The next big thing is her eyes…oh her eyes. When I first took her out of the blister this was the one thing that stood out to me. Not only does she has sculpted eye lids which helps to create a sense of depth, her actual eye balls are NOT decals. This is something that is really hard to describe, but basically there is a clear filling over her eye sockets and her actual eyes are behind that, to create the illusion she actually has eyeballs inside of her skull. I have never ever seen a technique like this used on a figure and it is astounding. This is dollfie dream level of eye detailing here, I could stare at her for hours, it’s hypnotizing.
Second to her amazing eyes, her hair and broken arms. Everything about this figures design and sculpting is perfect. I can’t say for certain what material they have used to craft the gem like effect for her hair but it’s as real as it can get. Depending on the way the light is shining and the angle the figure is on, you can see the different layers and colours of the crystal hair shining within. The gem parts have their own natural shine to it and just like the instructions say, it looks like it could shatter at any moment, it simply looks delicate. Phos has such a cute little hairstyle and this has been perfectly replicated here, even the way each “section” of hair kind of attach togerther to form the shape, very clever. The colour is just so strong and contrasts beautifully with her dark uniform, truly amazing.
Another quality about the character is despite her adventures behavior, her body itself is incredibly fragile and they have incorporated that quality into the figure by having her arms shattering in motion. Sprawling from her arm are tiny shattered pieces of crystals, which hardly look like they are even attached and have this incredible floating effect. Combined with her dynamic pose, these parts of her arm flying away really create a sense of fluid motion. You can also see from this angle the way the back of her hair shines and has this almost rainbow like effect to it. Amazing! Not to mention how cute her little gem finger nails are!
I could talk about the gem elements all day, but let’s move on down and check out the rest of this figure. Now im going to go ahead and say something which I feel is a big part of this figure that many may believe is an unpopular opinion: What I admire not only about the figures pose and characters design is how immensely skinny she is. While as of late we have been getting lots of strong representation of more natural and plump characters, that still does not mean its “not” ok to have representations of naturally skinny people like this either. There is this thin line where “Skinny” is unhealthy and curvy and natural weights should be celebrated, but honestly being naturally skinny can be just as hard to live with and is difficult for people to accept that about their bodies as well. I don’t want to yack on about it, but what I am saying is that I love the super long and skinny depiction of the Phos as it’s something we very rarely get to see, probably since characters like Black Rock Shooter honestly ( which I am also a huge fan of ). Beauty should be seen in every body type and loving yourself is that hardest thing anyone can do. We are becoming more accepting of chunkier body types but you can’t shame naturally skinny bodies as well, let’s just celebrate all body types, ok?
Anyway, now that I have gotten that out of the way. GSC have taken extreme care to carefully perfect the sculpt and body shape of Phos. The way she is leaping and arching her body is that to a elegant and graceful ballet dancer – which just further goes how this figure really is a work of art in both appearance and pose. Her uniform has this nice flat matte finish to it and the gold belt acts as a great contrast to the dark mono tone colouring.
Moving on down we get to the star of the show, her incredible long long legs. I honestly thought this was would never be able to be pulled off but just look at how amazing the shaping is! Phos’s skin tone isnt quite white, but has this creamy almost translucent texture to it. It is explained in the series that the “skin” of the gems is just a coat of dust/make up to cover up the gem colouring that’s underneath, so it makes sense that a bit of Phos’s green gem stone would be shining through – that’s some insane level of detailing right there.
I also like the way Ventricosus is kind of popping out from the side of the photo leaping along side Phos! Cuuuuuute!
Finishing off our close up analysis of the figure, finishing up around the back. Phos’s body sculpt is such a work of art and replicates the skinny body shapes of the characters perfectly. The characters generally have no defining male or female body traits other than their hair styles, but besides that you cannot deny how great Phos’s butt looks. The uniforms of the Gems are designed to allow maximize movement while still offering protecting from the harmful materials from the outside world. From the back here you can see how well the sculpting details reflect how tight the uniform clings and wraps around the finger. I love the slight folds in the fabric where her back arcs, and even the fabric seam line running down her side all the way to her shorts.
This shot also gives us one last look at the incredible shine on her hair, I love the way the sections come to a sharp point at the back, looks so cool!
This figure is absolutely perfect in every way. The clear box design is unique and I love the small crystal print embedded across the clear parts to create the illusion of Phos being capsuled in crystals.
I love the base, the gradient effect on the water looks great and I love the sploosh of water leading up to Ventricosus. Ventricosus herself is a great addition to the figure and really helps create the scene, I love the strong orange colours and the strange slimy texture they added to her, and you can’t help but love all those little legs.
Phos is a masterpiece, truly a work of art from the top to the bottom. Her pose is elegant, graceful and very daring. The gem elements are just astounding and I applaud GSC for going down this route. It adds so much to the figure and really makes her stand out as one of a kind. I love her expression and the crazy detailing on her eyes, another effect I have never seen on a standard scale before. The broken gem elements on her arm literally look like they are floating and add so much to the already dynamic pose.
Her long skinny legs are just a marvel to behold as well as the slightly transparent effect to allow the gem stone colour underneath to shine through. The monotone colour scheme of her uniform contrasts so well with her skin and of course with her colourful gem stone elements.
The only downside to this figure is how scary the construction process is. While it is much appreciated the design and sculpt of the character stays true to its original form, having her legs so insanely skinny makes her X10 more fragile. The steel rod is a welcomed inclusion but having the rod go so far up her leg takes a fair bit of force and leave her pretty much stuck to the base for good. While I understand all of this is necessary for the figure to work and stay together in the long run, with the already fragile gem elements this just makes her even more fragile (a bit too realistic if you ask me!)
Overall I absolutely adore her and I cannot wait for Antarcticite to arrive! I will be doing a review on that when it arrives too. Let’s hope once WF Rolls around we get some more figures! Come on Diamond!!!
Thank you so much for reading this review and would love to hear your own personal thoughts and opinions in the comments.
If you have any questions or would like to request any photos of different aspects I didn’t capture; I’ll do my best to help out! Or if anyone has any requests on ANY of the items I own in my collection I would be more than happy to review them also :)
Thank you so much for your time,
You can also follow me on Instagram here:
I am doing my best to try and connect with as many Figure collectors around the world and attempt to improve my photography skills! Would appreciate it if you could take a look!