Bunnies are sort of a staple figure theme, and today we'll be reviewing one of the more clever bunny figures I've seen, FREEing's 1/4 scale Reika Shimohira. Some of the shots below could be considered somewhat NSFW...
About the character: Reika Shimohira is a character from the Gantz ENTRY #168 media franchise. Depending on your point of view, she comes on the scene either early or late in the story, first showing up in the Gantz room in chapter 134 of the manga, having been brought to the Gantz room after being caught in a gunman's rampage in Shinjuku. In her life before Gantz, she was a popular idol, and she is sufficiently famous that many denizens of the Gantz room recognize her instantly. She proves to be a surprisingly skilled fighter, participating in many missions and earning many Gantz "points".
Fans of the Gantz manga know that the covers of the early volumes of the series had a bold red and black color scheme, so the color scheme of the box channels that. Additionally, Gantz features copious amounts of blood and hyperviolence, so the blood spatter on the box also is consistent with the tone of the series. You don't see a lot of bunny figures with blood spattered boxes, that's for sure!
One side panel features a very striking shot of Reika, although that window shows off a lot of...nothing.
The other side panel features a different shot of Reika.
The back panel features a montage of shots of the figure. I bought this figure preowned, and you can see that Reika's previous owner decided to retape the box with a piece of scotch tape...
Sometimes, instruction sheets are not really needed, but with this figure, you will definitely want to refer to this sheet when setting her up. I initially overlooked the clear acrylic piece in step 1 which goes under her foot, and getting the gun placed properly would definitely be a challenge without these instructions!
This other insert details my least favorite thing about this figure. FREEing includes a support stand with the figure, and I'm not a fan of the stand, since it gets in the way and it's not impossible to imagine her fishnets getting snagged by the stand. I've chosen to display her without the stand, but as we'll see in a minute, doing so is not without an element of risk.
Set up and ready to kick some alien ass!
This is a huge figure, and the box is correspondingly large. The box measures 52 by 24 by 23 cm and figure+box weighs almost 1.5 kg, so plan on a nontrivial shipping bill. I ordered Reika together with three lightweight items, and EMS shipping for that box o' stuff to the USA was 7000 yen.
As we mentioned a second ago, an acrylic wedge attaches to Reika's foot, which then attaches to the base.
The heel on Reika's other foot does not come into contact with the base, and I found that when I was moving her around to take these photos, that foot wanted to work itself free from the base. I suspect that is why FREEing opted to include that support stand, since if her foot works free from the base, she could tip backwards. Personally, I think it would have made more sense just to put another one of those acrylic wedges under her other foot, but what do I know?
The base itself looks fine, and I kind of like the smoky black finish - it looks nicer than just a plain, flat black. I think you can see in the shot below, however, the base will show every little bit of dust.
Issues with the base and that support stand aside, FREEing did a really nice job with Reika's pose.
Reika looks good from a number of angles, although I am partial to the way she looks in PICTURE #2421504 , peering over her shoulder.
Overall, FREEing did a nice job with the paint and sculpt of this figure. I couldn't find many issues on either of those fronts, and the design and overall concept of the figure is really quite interesting.
The character designs in Gantz are fairly realistic and non-exaggerated by anime/manga standards, and I think you can see this in the design of Reika's face. Her reddish-brown eyes are very striking, and I like that little bit of gloss on her lips. Players in the life-or-death Gantz game don't spend much time fretting over their appearance, so understandably her skin tone looks natural. I also like her serious expression; it looks like she means business!
The headband does a good job hiding any seams in her hair.
I like how FREEing sculpted her hair! There's a lot of texture there.
That brings us to one of the most clever features of this figure. Players in the Gantz game are issued a Gantz suit, a "supersuit" which powers them up and gives them some protection from hazards that would ordinarily prove fatal. The design of Reika's bunny outfit has many shared features with the Gantz suit, such as the black color scheme and these little silver and blue nodules which power the suit. In addition to its hyperviolence, Gantz is also well-known for its copious fanservice, so the idea of a bunny supersuit with powered-up bunny ears is really a brilliant idea IMO, and it's completely in keeping with the tone of the source material.
The tall collar is another element of the Gantz suit which makes its way into the design of Reika's outfit, and the size of her chest is consistent with the way she's depicted in the manga.
I like the way the chest pieces of the suit spread her breasts apart, and the diamond-shaped cutout on the front of the outfit is an interesting subtle feature.
Those darn armbands. At least they are not terribly obtrusive.
In Gantz-speak, Reika's weapon is the X-shotgun, which fires an X-shaped energy projectile which will explode inside its target after a time delay. This is a very accurate recreation of the X-shotgun, with all the texture on the barrel and stock of the weapon.
Blue is the standard "energy color" in Gantz, hence the blue markings on the gun.
The business end of the X-shotgun. The painting on the end of the gun could have been a little better.
There are two bolts like this on the stock of the shotgun. They don't seem terribly fragile, but the bolts do necessitate some care when getting the gun situated in Reika's hands. Also note that the power nodule on her hip was a little bit scuffed.
The additional power nodules in the crotch area of the suit is totally in keeping with the tone of the source material. I also like the round studs which trim the outfit; I hadn't really noticed those until I saw this figure in person.
I like large-scale figures, I like bunnies, I like girls with guns, and I like thong outfits, so there is a lot to like here! The design of the bunny tail is also quite neat; the triangular shapes give the tail a somewhat harder feel than you usually see on a bunny figure.
I like how the fishnets are not just thighhighs. The fishnets really help show the contours of her glutes.
I cannot lie - I am kind of a leg man, and Reika really has killer legs. Her thighs and calves are both nicely shaped.
The "flower" shape of the shoes, with the power nodes around the ankles, is another key feature of the Gantz suit.
I really like the blue and black color scheme of the shoes. I like the color palette of the Gantz shoes enough so that whenever I buy running shoes, I always try to find a pair in blue and black :).
Factoring in the thickness of the base and Reika's bunny ears, she is about 16.5 inches (42 cm) in height. Reika herself is about 15 inches tall (38 cm), and 1/4 scale would make her 5'0" (152 cm) tall. She is described as being of average height, and as the average height of women in Japan is 5'2", I'd say she is slightly at the small side of 1/4 scale.
It should however be noted that Reika will not fit in a Detolf, as the maximum shelf height is just under 16 inches. Therefore, if you add Reika to your collection, you might need to improvise a display solution.
The first volume of the Gantz manga was published in July 2000 (that was just the other day!), and the first scale figures from the series appeared circa 2007. Back in the day, Kei Kishimoto ENTRY #9646 was the most popular Gantz figure subject, but these days Reika has taken over that title. Here is Reika with another recent figure, Union Creative's ITEM #463088. The Union Creative Reika is roughly 1/6 scale, and you can see various features of the Gantz suit which were incorporated into the bunny outfit such as the black finish, the thong back, and the tall collar.
Here is Reika with a figure that is near and dear to me, the first 1/4 scale figure I ever purchased (and the figure that got me into the figure reviewing business), FREEing's Kuroko Shirai ITEM #135060. By comparing Kuroko and Reika, you can see that Kuroko's design is more "anime-like" and Reika's proportions, in particular her head to body ratio, is more like that of an actual human.
Here is Reika with a figure that I've been meaning to review, Daiki's Mei Senou/Honey the Hugger ITEM #618732. Mei/Honey is 1/6 scale, and you can see that Reika towers over her.
Both Reika and Mikan Yuuki ITEM #543899 would make a short list if I had to name some of my favorite figures of the last couple years.
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------9.5/10
Arguments for: Given the fanservicey nature of the source material, Gantz+bunny outfit is a perfect match, the outfit cleverly incorporates many features of the standard Gantz outfit, good detail on the X-shotgun, and the size of the figure and the way she's gazing over her shoulder makes this figure very hard to not notice.
Arguments against: Shipping will be expensive, the way she attaches to the base and the fact that FREEing thought it necessary to include a support stand concerns me a little bit, and the fact that Reika will not fit in a standard Detolf can make displaying her properly a challenge.
FREEing has really ramped up their number of releases lately, and sometimes it feels like they are a machine cranking out bunny figures of popular characters, but I get the impression that someone really put some thought and some love into this design, as it's quite clever on a number of levels. This is a very impressive figure, and so if you are a fan of the Gantz franchise or just bunny girls in general, and you can figure out a way to display her properly, I'd strongly recommend this one.
Availability (as of this writing)
Easy to find preowned.
This figure originally retailed for 22963 yen, but she quickly saw a price drop. I got mine preowned for 14000 yen, and considering that a lot of 1/7 scales are going for 15000+ yen these days, I'd say that I got pretty good value for the money. I wonder if the size of the figure (and some of the possible challenges in finding a spot to display Reika) has been a contributing factor in the price drop...
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews you might also find interesting:
Union Creative Reika Shimohira BLOG #32708
Taito Reika Shimohira BLOG #17210
FREEing 1/4 Kuroko Shirai (A Certain Scientific Railgun) BLOG #8666
FREEing 1/4 Mikoto Misaka (A Certain Scientific Railgun) BLOG #8950
FREEing 1/4 Ryoumou Shimei (Ikki Tousen) BLOG #10130
FREEing 1/4 Mikan Yuuki (To Love Ru) BLOG #39926
Gift 1/4 Sena Kashiwazaki (Haganai) BLOG #15917
Gift 1/4 Hayate Yagami (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS) BLOG #19675
Gift 1/4 Fate Testarossa (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's) BLOG #16141
Skytube 1/6 Meiko Shiraki (Prison School) BLOG #31999
Native 1/6 Nana Chigusa (Nana to Kaoru) BLOG #33905
Chara-Ani 1/8 Tira Misu (Sorcerer Hunters) ITEM #6512