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Kara no Kyoukai - Aozaki Touko - 1/8 (ALTER)

jintoojintoo7 years agoReview
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Touko is so smart, that she makes me wanna smoke like her... then should I sue Type-Moon, Kodansha and Ufotable if I got a lung cancer? :P



GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS.
Name: Aozaki Touko (蒼崎橙子)
Manufacturer: Alter (page of the figure).
Official price: 6,800yen excluding taxes / 7,140yen including taxes.
RRP in Europe: 70~80 euros
Release date (Japan): July 2009
Original: Kara no Kyoukai ~ the sinners of Garden (official site).
Scale: 1/8 - Height: 15 cm
Type: PVC figure.
Sculptors: Tsuyoshi Takahashi (Ichigo no Eiga Ippai no Sake) & Toshiaki Numakura
Box size: 26.0 x 22.0 x 16.0 cm

ABOUT TOUKO AOZAKI.
Touko appears in Kara no Kyoukai. KnK is a novel serie that has been adapted into animated movies (I expressed my thoughts about KnK in a post on my blog). This figure has the chara-design from the movies. In fact the original Touko from the novel is different: she has blue short hair while the movie version has red long hair.

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On the left: Aozaki Touko from the novel (source www.typemoon.or...)
On the right: cover of the 4th movie DVD Garan no dou.

I will just add that we could consider that Touko has a kind of double personality. She says in the 4th movie "I may look like a different person tomorrow" but you definitely should watch the movies to fully understand it. Both personalities are easy to distinguish: just check whether Touko has glasses on her nose or not.

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THE BOX AND THE CONTENT.
The box (6/10).

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The box has a black background. There are some red/orange textures that remind me the colors in the building of the 5th movie (Paradox Spiral). The box has 1 front window and another one on the top side. The result is really sober.

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There is no Kodansha sticker on my box but there is AAA Anime's one (American retailer group) on the bottom side. There is also a "sales outside Japan only" sticker that striked me :o I will deal with it later.

The content.

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The content is made of the figure with 2 different heads, a chair, a base (12cm x 15.5cm), and a cigarette. What's most important on the instruction papersheet is the explanation about how to unmount the head...

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Both heads express different feelings... and of course they show both attitudes of Touko:
Toshiaki Numakura has sculpted the head with the glasses. He has also produced Yomako Sensei (Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann) by Alter and we can easily recognize his style with the glasses :p


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Tsuyoshi Takahashi worked on the serious face: eyes are less big. The sculpting is "thiner". He has also worked on Kakouen Myousai (Ikki Tousen) by Alter.
http://jintoo.free.fr/collections/reviews/Aozaki_Touko_Alter/sculpt_tsuyoshi.jpg

I also wanted to show this duality in my few pictures, that is why I used 1 different background for each face.
By the way I would like to give you a method to switch the face: in fact, the ponytail of the serious face touches the collar of the shirt. When placing/removing the serious head on the body, I woud recommand you to use a little plastic paper: just put it between the ponytail and the shirt. I would say that manipulating Touko's red ponytail and her body with the white shirt, it is like eating pasta with Bolognese sauce with a white shirt... there is a high probability for the shirt to be dirtied at the end :P

THE FIGURE.
The base and the swivel chair.
The black plate is dispensable... if the figure with the chair is placed on a flat surface.
Despite that I like it <3 It's possible to realize what's the required area to display Touko.


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The titel Kara no Kyoukai: 空の境界 The Garden of Sinners. is written on it. In fact the plate has a granular surface (matt color) while the titel looks like polished (a glossy look).

On the contrary, the chair is essential to display the figure... unless you're going to create a DIY-chair or something else instead.
I also read in rowyn's review that there were a real version of the swivel chair :o It's the Eames Aluminum Group Executive Chair by Herman Miller (available on Amazon for 1700$).


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The pose (9/10).
Touko sits on her chair and hold a cigarette in her right hand. She makes herself comfortable on the armrests. We can feel tension in her look and more particularly for the serious face.


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The head that Toshiaki Numakura sculpted (face with glasses) expresses something sweet. The rounded sculpture gives to her a kind of good nature. By looking at her smile, I imagine Touko is talking to Mikiya and is making fun of his naivety.

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The head made by Tsuyoshi Takahashi has "sharper" lines: it gives to her a more serious mood. The eyes are smaller and her look is more attentive. Her ponytail is also contrasting with the one made by Toshiaki Numakura: the hair is rippling while the previous one was shapeless. The mouth is not smiling: Touko could be breathing out smoke or speaking.
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Touko's body is balanced with the left leg forwards and the right one backwards. This position directs her body on the right and that becomes coherent with the heads insofar as the eyes are looking at the right.

Quality / details (sculpting=9, painting=7).
Alter globally did a satisfying work despite some criticizable points.
Let us start with the positive points. There are a lot of details that were taken care of: the watch at her left wrist (you can read what time it is: 10:10 which is the usual time to display watches), the shoes whose fasten system has been sculpted, and the cigarette of course. The earrings and the necklace have not been forgotten.


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I also liked the assymetry for the shoes (they are kitten heel slingbacks to be more precise): the sole is close to Touko's heel for the left foot while the right shoe is falling under gravity, so the foot and the slingback are completely seperated.

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Bolts for the assembly of the chair have been sculpted too :o

http://jintoo.free.fr/collections/reviews/Aozaki_Touko_Alter/aozaki_chair.jpg

For this simple clothes (a shirt and trousers), several folds appear: that proves the sculptor tried to do something detailled. The assembly-joints of the shirt (connecting the arms and the body) are "hidden" in the seams (it is a classical trick).

I'm coming now to the negative side:
Despite a nice sculpting, trousers have no strong colour gradations... well I am a bit harsh 'cause it's hard to modify black, but I feel unsatisfied about that. I don't know exactly how it could be better but it's just my feeling.
Otherwise the rear panel of the trousers on the left leg is flat. It is not so seeable since it is on the rear but I would have liked understood why it is this way (maybe it was to facilitate the removing from the mould?).


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Kara no Kyoukai movie: Aozaki Touko

The nail polish is too pale. There is no nail polish ! >.< On the picture above, you can see that the nail polish has near the same color as the earrings.
The position of the glasses on the head is not well-adjusted for my figure. In fact the glasses stand on the end of the nose and it is not the case for the official pictures of the prototype and some pics of reviews. I guess it is due to the hazards during the production.
Nonetheless I ask myself several questions: is there any selection? Are the best pieces selected for the Japanese market? In fact my box was resealed: it had 2 adhesive tapes (one were cut). Did a quality control define my figure not good enough? I am just imagining stuff but the sticker "sales outside Japan only" makes me think so :P


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TO CONCLUDE...
For this price, getting Touko is pure fanboyism: not seeable pantsu, no elaborate chara-design (only a shirt and trousers). She is bought because she is Touko... 2 Touko in fact :P
Touko looks like a common woman but she is smart as a glamorous model for me ;) Despite the simple design of her clothes, Touko expresses strong feelings with both faces. Maybe I would prefer the serious face because I feel she immediately set a heavy atmosphere. But I like both anyway ^^ I complained in few lines above the glasses was not correctly sticked: it's regretful but someway it gives to her a more friendly expression =) I give 7/10 for the "Enjoyment".

Like some other people, this figure made me think of the figure of fantasy for the secretary aka Mirei-san (Shunya Yamashita) by Kotobukiya... of course beause of the chair, but it is definitely the only thing they have in common. They express different feelings: Mirei inspires sensuality while Touko is more serious.

As I am concerned, I bought Touko at the end of 2009 because I was interested in Kara no Kyoukai (she was a character that I liked) on the one hand. On the other hand, I had a kind of crush on mature women (at that time I also bought Mikuru (Adult) by Max Factory. I hope you won't have this kind of buying mood for the sake of your purse :P
I will end by saying that the sticker that should have been on the box is "Sales fanboys & fangirls only".

I also created a poll right there to vote for your favorite face.




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9,430 hits • 5 comments

Scores7/10

Sculpting
Painting
Posing
Packaging
Enjoyment

Comments5 comments

0pt
I know it's wierd to cancel something just for this but having her on my shelf wouldn't feel right. I'm kinda sad but at least I saved up some money. I might get her in the future if the price ever goes down, that's how I got some of Alter's 1/8 Fate/hollow ataraxia figures. This is a more complex figure though so the chances are slim.
I thought about painting it myself too, but I feel iffy when it comes to retouching a figure. It must be similar to when people don't want to open the boxes. :D
7 years ago
0pt
jintoo Where is my mind?
@rowyn
you should use more capital letters and "Return to the next line". Blocks are not so pleasant to read... but I know you can do it 'cause I read some of your reviews ;)
Touko has nail polish in all the movies (the screenshot that I took is from the 1st one when she speaks with Azaka at the end). Nail polish is more feminine :P

@Full-time reviewer
To tell you the truth I finished to take all the photos for the review at the end of December 2009. Then I planned to do some image-editing (with the smoke for example), and learn by myself Photoshop. I also was busy... that's why the review was a bit long to come =/
I also wanted to write with a more poetical/literary way but I still have technical descriptions on my mind >.<
My purpose isn't to make people buy... it's rather to make a good choice for your collection. Be aware of the negative points.
After that, if you're a fan of Touko... you finally don't have a lot of choices for a figure xD She's available at Archonia (where I bought mine with the "sales outside Japan only" sticker) and Mandarake. Don't know 'bout US stores.

@Tenshi
In my opinion, it's a bit regretful to have canceled just for the nail polish but I completely understand you: with such a high price, we tend to be very demanding. If I was good at painting GK or many things else, I would have done it... but I am so scared to fail... I should do it with Photoshop ! xD
7 years ago
0pt
"There is no nail polish ! >.< On the picture above, you can see that the nail polish has near the same color as the earrings."

Yes, somebody noticed! This is the reason I canceled this figure. I was in shortage of money the month she came out and I was thinking on how I could save up some cash and then I saw her hands and was like "Oh my god! A character that actually has nail polish in an anime and then they have to screw up with her of all people?". So Alter pretty much made it easy for me and I canceled her right away.
It's still a very-very nice figure, but I was so looking forward to this little detail. :D
7 years ago
0pt
Ashlotte Full-time Reviewer
Hah well now I know what was taking you so long on this Jin...I can see you put a lot of time and effort into it. ~_^

But damn you for making me want this figure yet again... *tries desperately to knock the notion out of his head*

Very comprehensive though and a nice read...Loving the pictures too especially with the few near the end that have the nifty shooped borders. *makes a mental note to steal try that idea sometime*
7 years ago
0pt
nice review, and a lot more detail noted than i saw. i like both heads, but since i preferred the serious one more, i didn't even review the other, which is kind of biased now that i think of it. you gave her a very fair review. also, great pics to go with it all. really, i never noticed touko had nail polish in the movies! i plan to watch the 7th movie soon and can't wait. i've been holding off since it will mean the end ^^
7 years ago