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Soul Eater - Maka Albarn - Static Arts (Square Enix)

rowynrowyn7 years agoReview
Introduction and background

Soul Eater is an ongoing shounen manga created by mangaka Atsushi Okubo, and partially adapted to anime format in 2008 – 2009. The art for Soul Eater has very distinct, over-the-top styling, and a contemporary feel. Most of the characters fall into two types: meisters or weapons. The main characters are very likeable. While they all display stereotypical traits, each manage to blend those traits into a balanced personality that can be both cool and not cool. The main meister and weapon teams have been made into trading figures, but only Maka Albarn and Soul Eater, the main meister and weapon pair in the story, have a large-scale PVC. Made by Square-Enix as part of their STATIC ARTS line, this figure is the subject of today’s review.

http://www.cyandora.net/images/misc/MakaSoul.jpg
Maka and her weapon, Soul
Maka Albarn and Soul Eater are a meister and weapon team, using their powers in concert for combat against corrupted souls. Maka has a fairly ordinary personality, and is serious, studious, and ambitious. She is usually level-headed, but can be quite stubborn. Her partner Soul Eater, whose weapon form is a scythe, is laid-back yet somber, and shows sensitivity. While he bickers with Maka, he is exceedingly devoted to her. He is still a bit of a mystery.

http://www.cyandora.net/images/misc/Square_SoulEater_Maka&Soul_01.jpg

Review
Sculpt
Maka and Soul’s sculpt is adequate but quite mediocre. Surprisingly there are few seam line issues, but many surfaces and edges are not smooth. Maka’s hair is notably bad, strand sections either lumpy or poorly defined. That Soul’s hair looks fine is attributable to his simple hair design rather than better sculpt. Maka and Soul’s faces are good likenesses to their anime counterparts. Maka has no particular expression while Soul has on a toothy grin. The figure is unscaled, probably 1/10-ish; it measures about 190 mm tall at the top of the scythe, with Maka about 170 mm tall.

Paint
Paint is one of the major casualties of poor workmanship and it’s the worst aspect of this figure. Lots of artifacts, miscellaneous paint specks, and dark spots. Shading, especially on skin, uses excessively different shades and don’t blend well, making lighter areas like Maka’s hair and skin look splotchy or dirty. Darker colors fare better, so Soul’s scythe is actually quite nice: very smooth, matte, and shading looks great. Overall colors are dull. Bleeding at borders is very minimal.

http://www.cyandora.net/images/misc/Square_SoulEater_Maka&Soul_02.jpg

http://www.cyandora.net/images/misc/Square_SoulEater_Maka&Soul_03.jpg

Pose
This figure has a static pose, where the only aspect of interest is Soul half-emerging from his scythe weapon form. His expression adds personality to the figure, as Maka is rather bland. Considering all the possible action poses for the two or even just a cooler, dramatic static design, this figure’s pose is really a waste. Ok but very boring.

Base
An utterly unremarkable, black, oval, plastic base. Has two wide pegs apiece for Maka’s shoes, and an indent for the end of the scythe. One can make do without the base as Maka and Soul can stand reasonably well without it. Maka’s right foot is flat on the ground, and balanced against the scythe on the other side, this figure can stand alone.

Package
Small box, minimal frills, large window that extends from top to front and side panels. Has a top flap with peg-hole so the box can hang for store display. A large, just smaller than real size image of the figure is displayed on the back.

Enjoyment
This was hard to make an opinion on. On the one hand, I really truly love these characters and their story, so I am biased to like this figure. On the other, its simply not a well-made figure, but it’s priced like it is, so extra disappointing. In the end, when I display this figure, I DO like it and I think its because it reminds me of the story.

http://www.cyandora.net/images/misc/Square_SoulEater_Maka&Soul_04.jpg

Conclusion
Sadly, there are no high-quality large-scale PVCs based on Soul Eater, and that seems unlikely to change. This release from the Square-Enix STATIC ARTS line is really mediocre at best. And I’m not blaming the STATIC ARTS line; to contrast, the 2009 Kuroshitsuji Ciel Phantomhive is extremely well done in sculpt, paint, and details. After examining photos of this figure taken by a collector, I decided against buying it because the quality was underwhelming. After watching the Soul Eater anime, I loved the characters so much that I decided to buy it against my better judgment. For me, I don’t regret buying it. But I recommend this figure ONLY for fans of Soul Eater, and with a fair idea of the quality you’re getting for the price you’re paying.
8,359 hits • 6 comments

Scores5/10

Sculpting
Painting
Posing
Base
Packaging
Enjoyment

Comments6 comments

0pt
in all honesty, the quality of this figure may be on par with some trading figures, which is crazy when you see the price tag (8190 yen). more expensive now that its harder to find. oh well, as you say, i'll take what i can get. i'm with kibi .. lol.

@zetsubo-san: if the first STATIC ARTS were so poor and the Kuroshitsuji ones were so much better than this Soul Eater figure, let's hope that their quality continues to improve.

@animepvc: i think you can find it on japanese auction/second-hand venues like Yahoo Japan and Rakuten, but haven't searched for it since i won it myself from YJ ..
7 years ago
0pt
Ashlotte Full-time Reviewer
Yea the figure looks about as "meh" as your review makes them out to be. :p

But like you said when your a fan and you don't have a varied choice you go with what you can get. ~_^
7 years ago
0pt
Kibi Prisma Kibino
You wrote it faster than I expected XD

Really interesting review. Didn't know there is such a big difference between this and the Kuroshitsuji figures,'cause the the Trading Arts are very well made for trading figures.

But I still want it. Well I'm a fan ^^
7 years ago
0pt
I really wanted this figure hard to track down.... Nice review I am Jealous
7 years ago
0pt
erk.... cant recognize them at all #_#
7 years ago
0pt
Zetsubo-san I LOVE HUMANS!!! (or do I? XD)
I understand how you feel.

Square-Enix is still at the level of kissing ALTER's feet and MaxFac/GSC's knees when it comes to making PVC statues. The worst ones would have to be the very first Static Arts, Neku and Shiki. ^^;

However, all American action figure companies (Most especially NECA) bow down to Square-Enix Play Arts. XDDDD
7 years ago
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