Here it is, a review of the (notorious) Sailor Moon Figuarts ZERO figurine.
Why notorious? Because when it was announced, a lot of fans complained about her awkward arm position and face. I agree, it does look awkward from certain angles, and Sailor Moon fans can be very hard to please, so it's not really easy to say whether this figurine is successful or not.
I originally wasn't going to buy it, due to the price. I only intended on collecting the regular Figuarts. But once I saw that it was bigger in comparison, I decided to go ahead and get it. I'm glad I did, because--as expected--they will be releasing a collection of Sailor Senshi, with Sailor Mercury coming up next as a Premium Bandai exclusive (how fortunate I am to be living in Japan right now).
I first saw the Figuarts ZERO in person at a hobby shop in Kobe. It was on a rotating stand so you could easily see it from different angles. From there I was able to see that she looks much better in person. The straight-shot promotion photo just doesn't work for her pose.
On to the opening of the package!
The figurine box came tissue-wrapped from Amazon Japan. There is a plastic window on the box so you can see her, and the Mood Rod comes disconnected from her hand.
Opening the box without damaging it was a hassle; I had a hard time getting the flap out since it was locked with the side flaps. I tried both the top and bottom and ended up getting the top open, with just the tiiiiiniest rips on the corners made by the time I was done. I managed to escape getting any cardboard wrinkles.
Upon taking it out, the figurine comes encased in two interlocked pieces of plastic, and there's also a monochrome paper insert advertising the Proplica Moon Stick (which is funny considering that no one is actually selling it for the retail price of 8,800 yen right now). There are sheets of soft plastic covering Sailor Moon's body as well as the ends of her pigtails.
I examined the paint job, which does look nice. It didn't exceed nor fall below my expectations, but I did come across a dissatisfying area, a smudge of yellow paint on her arm and a tiny bit on her bow.
Like with my Petit Chara Tuxedo Mask, I used a non-acetone polish remover to get the paint off her arm. I used a little bit on her bow too but ended up taking a little of the red paint off with it. Oops. Fortunately it's not at all noticeable.
As long as they're not glaringly obvious and they're correctable, I'm typically not easily bothered by small defects. For a mass produced line like Figuarts ZERO, I'm not really surprised.
Other than the smudge, Sailor Moon looks well done. I love the way her skirt and collar flows in the back, and I like the shiny finish to her boots. I feel like her buns could be a little smaller; they're somewhat large for her head and I think that's another contributing factor to her "awkward" appearance.
People have also mentioned her high-cut leotard, which I really examined for the first time and realized that they are EXTREMELY high cut compared to other Sailor Moon figures. I don't know why they chose to do that. O_o
As for the Moon Rod, I wasn't really crazy about the transparent red that they chose for the ball. In the promo photos it looks terribly dark, but in person it's a little lighter, which is good. Since it comes separated from her grasp, you'll have to put it in her hand yourself. It's easiest to start from her pinky and work the rod into her fingers that way. The rod is easily adjustable after putting it into her hand.
In regards to her arm, I actually tried the pose myself, and while it's a little awkward, it's possible to copy. Most of the weight goes into the upper arm, near the shoulder. I agree it's not the best pose for her and I would've rather seen her in a different pose, but nonetheless I think she looks good and I'm happy with her. However, with Sailor Mercury looking far superior, it's disappointing that our main heroine won't unquestionably be the best looking in the Figuarts ZERO collection.
Right now it's easy to grab this figurine for well below the retail price. I pre-ordered from Amazon JP and got it for about 7,100 yen at the time of shipping, but I'm a little disappointed that it's going for even cheaper now, meaning that I could have waited. Oh well.
See the collection of photos here: Sailor Moon Figuarts ZERO
There are two panty shots in here so careful where you view this gallery! ^_^;