Magic Knight Rayearth
Hikaru Shidou's sword
Eternal Master Piece collection
For those not familiar with Magic Knight Rayearth, it was the manga and TV series CLAMP created just before their hugely successful Sakura Card Captor. It is about three school girls that found themselves transported to another mystic world, where they have to defeat a big enemy and save the planet. Rayearth has some dark tones, plot twists and bittersweet developments. But it also has lots of magic, mechas, romance, a cute pet, and many elements common to the magical girls genre. It ran in Nakayoshi magazine along with Sailor Moon.
When Movic announced the release of Hikaru's sword in their Eternal Master Piece collection, I started saving to buy it s soon as it reached the stores. Thanks to Movic's slow pace, I could save enough (and some more). It took them twenty months to release it, with even further delays in the last weeks.
I bought it from Amiami in pre-order. It was supposed to be shipped in April, but it was delayed and finally shipped mid-May this year.
It was worth the wait.
The sword comes in a cardboard box, nicely decorated with brilliant red stamping, and arabesques reminiscent of CLAMP's original artwork.
The obi strip uses a very well-known promo picture of Hikaru holding her sword in a fierce attitude, drawn by Atsuko Ishida back in 1995. The image was slightly retouched.
The outer texture of the box is beautiful:
Inside you find the sword is placed on a holder protected with a transparent acetate.
What I found a bit disappointing was the black foam used to hold the sword. it looks really cheap, not what you would expect given the fine execution of the sword and the details of the box.
Besides the obi strip, there isn't anything else to keep the box closed. Not a magnet, or any other device. Although the box is fine, it looses some points because of that.
The sculpting of this sword is just perfect!
Hikaru's sword is an iconic item, but some of its details varied a bit between episodes, promo images, Laser Disc and VHS covers, and official artwork in CDs. In this case the sculptors opted to make a sword which included most of the variations. The result is what any Rayearth fan would consider as the ultimate rendition of the sword. We could not ask for more in terms of design or details.
The proportions look right, and the details on the complex fire lion of the guard has been executed with precision.
The sword itself measures 15 cm in length (which is just short of 6 inches), and weights 23 grams (about 1 oz.)
It's roughly the same size as the sword provided with ITEM #289118 but with the benefit of much more detail.
The sword is decorated with a total of ten rhinestones of various sizes. Only on a very close inspection you can see they're faceted. They glitter beautifully
The paint is a thin and semi-transparent layer of gold and crimson applied directly on the shiny metal. It is thick enough as to look solid, but thin enough as to leave the pristine shine of the metal glow through it.
The only defect is the small bleeding of the yellow paint over the silver blade, as you can see in the photo below. It is actually less than 1mm, but the macro photo makes it very evident.
Another defect is the lack of yellow paint on the roundel around the big stone. :(
The paint on the guard has some fades and little bleeding. But given the complexity of it, it is acceptable.
I had never had an Eternal Master Piece replica in my hands before. I know there are several nice swords they have released, including Sakura's scepters. See all the items of the collection at: www.movic.jp/in... If all the products in this line are of the same high quality as this fire sword, it definitely is a collection to consider.
Personally, I think it's great that an old anime like Magic Knight Rayearth is finally being taken into account in terms of well-produced merchandise.
The sword is heavy, and nice to hold in the hands. It is detailed, and looks great from any angle. It also is a great addition to the serious Rayearth collector.
I've enjoyed every minute with it, and have not regretted anything. It was worth the wait, and it was worth every cent paid.
Unboxing video of this item on our Rayearth fanpage: www.facebook.co...