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Ayaname Rei - Evangelion - Flare - REVIEW 18Ayaname Rei - Evangelion - Flare - REVIEW 18

HappyakrzHappyakrz15 days agoReview
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Happy Monday & Week of Giving Thanks!
To be blunt, this has been a year of change for me. I ended a career of photography (15 years), which also ended up being the end of my “corporate-minded” life. I don’t consider myself retired – not sure that I’ll ever fully retire from working amongst the masses – but I’ve definitely entered a different stage in which the work that I do is more creatively driven.

For six months now, I’ve been writing the book that I’ve wanted to write since I graduated from college 28 years ago. My wife and kids are amazingly supportive of this venture, and I am inspired every day to delve into a fictional world that has been my alternate reality for so long. My characters are finally becoming solid individuals, and that is SO exciting to see.

We’ve added a puppy to our world, and for those of you who are dog owners, you know how much time and effort is involved in that process. Holy cow!

And I’ve been converting my previous collections into this new venture, and I absolutely love it! While my collection grows, I look at the shelves and I’m amazed to see figures there that I never thought I’d find, let alone purchase. But here they are, and I’m so excited to share my thoughts and observations about them with you.

I’m thankful for so much, and this community (especially those of you that regularly reach out to me with your encouragement and support) has added to my happiness this year.

Thank you!!

Back Story
The first anime that I watched from start to finish was Evangelion. I wasn’t necessarily impressed by the artistic detail or technique of the animation, but the story captured me, and the Japanese method of telling the tale was so new and inspiring to me that I couldn’t help but stream though episode after episode. In all honesty, I really preferred the Japanese audio with subtitles to the English version – I know I’m going to really upset some devoted fans, but I just couldn’t handle the screech of Asuka’s English voice when she got “up to temperature” with Shinji. But Rei was always my favorite. She was mysterious and quiet, and as a character, the lack of information around her was intriguing.

When I searched for figures based on the show, I saw a ton of the lower-end products that all looked bright and filled with color and action, and while these were appealing to me, they didn’t really strike a chord with me. And then I saw this figure.

The moment I saw her, I was Ralphie from A Christmas Story with glazed eyes looking up at the “electric sex in the window” that was the leg lamp we’ve all come to recognize immediately. This figure of Rei was not so much in keeping with the character that kind of sulked through the frames of the anime – she’s obviously presented as a much more mature, older version of herself – but I get the impression when I look at the figure that she’s still the very soft-spoken Rei that I know … with a slightly edgier plug suit.

Having watched only the tv anime series, I’m not familiar with the later productions of the EVA pilots, so I’m not sure if this outfit actually fits into the story anywhere – I’ve not seen any other figures with similar looks, so I have the feeling that this was an artistic one-off. Whatever the case, I’m very pleased that the designer created her, and that the sculptor did such an impressive job bringing her to three dimensions.

At the time that I first saw her, I never (NEVER) thought that one day she’d be on my shelf, but one day, an ad popped up on MFC with an amazing price and I immediately went into action to purchase her. It wasn’t until after the transaction was complete that the seller let me know that he actually lived only about 30 miles from me! The shipment literally arrived the next day, and I was in heaven!

Since that day, I do find myself seeking out her form in the display case when my mind wanders, and much like the character of Ralphie, I can’t help but smile when I look up at her, saying .. “Yeah .. a statue!” lol
(for those of you who get it, feel free to chuckle at me – for those of you who don’t, go get the movie and watch it!!)

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Flare
Ayanami Rei – Plug Suit – Evangelion -- ITEM #463483
Illustrator: Yamashita Shunya – ENTRY #8364
Sculptor: Yoshizawa Mitsumasa -- ENTRY #9491
Vendor: private MFC seller ($125.00 in September of 2019)


The Box
For the second time, I opened a box that was almost completely made of thick clear plastic. It has a very clean appearance, and the folded flaps at the top were tight and protective at the first opening. With all sides being transparent, you have an exceptional opportunity to view the figure within, so for those collectors who want to keep her in a sealed state, you’ll still get to enjoy her on the shelf.

While one side of the box shows the illustrator’s original drawing of the figure in beautiful color, another side displays a wonderful line-art version of the same view in white ink (that I shot in shadow so that it appears well in the photos). The blister packaging was simple and clean, as there really wasn’t much to worry about in the way of small parts or paint transfers with the figures near-spread-eagle stance.

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The Figure
Within the box is a small (postcard sized) art card of the original illustration – much the same as the side panel of the box, but it’s presented nicely in a semi-transparent pink envelope.

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The color of the base was a slight surprise to me, as I hadn’t seen it in previous photos, but I really like the juxtaposition of her dark, hard colors in the figure standing above the soft pink of the base. For a pretty basic base, I like the fact that they’ve included the line-art version of the original artwork.

Two pink posts rise from the base to allow Rei to stand firmly on the shelf, and they were a perfect (if not almost too tight) fit.

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Rei’s body is a single piece with no assembly (other than mounting to the base) required.

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Reviewer's Notes
Overall Sculpt
While this is a relatively simple figure (in presentation), there are a lot of details that are really powerful (in my opinion), so while it may appear that I went camera-happy with her, I’ve done my best to really focus on specific aspects of the figure throughout. I know that it looks like I took about a thousand shots of her butt, but it’s really just in the shot .. look for the focal point and you’ll see what I’m trying to show you … though, her butt will still call your eyes back to give it the attention it’s due! :)

The stability of this figure, and it’s fabulous power stance, come predominantly from the very solid foundation that is created when the figure is mounted to the base. The feet are great – never thought I’d actually say something like that about a pigeon-toed stance.

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Very little in the development of this figure feels exaggerated, and that includes Rei’s long legs. I’m pleased by the fact that they are quite proportionate to the rest of the figure. The stockings/leggings are completely integrated with the same design scheme as the bodysuit, and their glossy finish allows portions of the sculpt to stand out in the good lighting.

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The front portion of Rei’s torso is a wonderful representation of hips, stomach, rib cage, and breasts – still pretty close to a zone of realistic proportions. The plug suit isn’t just painted in alternating colors and tones – all of the details are actually sculpted first, and have a very definite contour shift which is then accentuated by the painting.

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In the tv anime series that I watched, Rei was actually “Pilot 01”, so I’m not sure how the story developed to change her number to “09”, but by the “tattoo” on her chest, and the number on the back of her plug suit, it appears that more pilots entered the EVA program in later productions.

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The back of the plug suit is just as detailed and gives Rei’s wardrobe the impression of being a high-tech piece of equipment instead of just a costume.

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Which is a very nice lead-in to her beautiful posterior! What I like most about this aspect of the figure is that it would have been easy to throw Rei into a high-waisted bikini bottom that showed everything and then some. Instead, they have developed a style that shows you JUST ENOUGH to get a good impression, and then they let your imagination go wild.

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Probably the second most amazing features are Rei’s hands. They’re obviously a vital part of the pose, but I think that the designer and sculptor really went to the ‘nth degree in presenting them powerfully and realistically. I love the fact that the palms have a different texture/feel.

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I’m not a huge fan of the shoulder section of the plug suit, but I also can’t say that it doesn’t look perfectly in keeping with the rest of the wardrobe design. Perhaps I’m still a little too raw to the notion of 1980’s shoulder pads in women’s jackets. LOL

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Rei’s head sculpt is just wonderful – from the beautiful sculpt of her face, to the signature hair style, to the small “antennae” the EVA pilots wear, the craftsmanship is flawless. The seam at the top of the head is super clean.

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Painting
If you had asked me prior to seeing this figure if I thought that Rei could be presented in black, olive, teal, and bright red, I would have said, “not a chance.” But boy, would I have been wrong!! The colors work splendidly together, and I’m so impressed with how the use of the colors and matte vs. glossy paint has been accomplished.

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The clean-ness of the lines and perfect finish speak volumes about the talent of artists behind the production of his figure.

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What little skin tone there is has been painted simply and perfectly.

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And finally, Rei’s face is just beautiful – with a touch of peach on her lips, a rather intense redness in the eyes, and the most delicate lavender in her hair, she is futuristic femininity personified. While she doesn’t have the typical anime eye shape, her lashes are brilliant!

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Overall Presentation
From a distance, this version of Rei may not inspire a great amount of awe as she looks like yet another femme fatale in a power stance worthy of a guitar god in Wembly Statium – but on closer inspection, the viewer would find that nearly every square centimeter of her body is impressively adorned with fantastic sculpting or masterful painting. I will often remark that I prefer simplicity when done to perfection over a half-assed complexity botch-job. This figure offers both the simplicity of form and shape, combined with the technical details that a closer observation can afford.

On the shelf, there are few figures that could hold the same kind of attention, and Rei practically demands it!

Comparisons
I’ve used this figure in so many reviews as a comparison, that I think I’ll just show them here as a gallery. Enjoy the eye candy!

With the first version of Ayanami Rei that I added to my collection … ITEM #397039
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/rei_flare/rei_flare_comp_1_72.jpg

With the laid back confidence of Scathach … ITEM #464672
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With the colorful whirlwind that is Snow Miku … ITEM #464599
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With the awesome firepower of Mutsu … ITEM #194851
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And with the scandalous straps of Ringo … ITEM #493
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Lessons Learned
If the Leg Lamp was attainable by the lackluster and slightly dim-witted Mr. Parker (another A Christmas Story reference), then other prizes should be and ARE attainable by the rest of us. Don’t dismay if the price or availability of a figure seems out-of-reach or completely unrealistic. If you’re patient, and you keep your eyes and ears open very wide, you might just hear the whisperings of special circumstances, and suddenly the treasure is right there in your hands. When that happens to me, I hop around the house singing, “Tonight, tonight, it’s coming tonight! Hot damn, tonight!!”

As always, please feel free to reach out with questions or comments! I love hearing from you all!

Until next time!
386 hits • 2 likes5 comments

Scores9/10

Sculpting
Painting
Posing
Base
Packaging
Enjoyment

Comments5

1pt
Happyakrz (14 days ago) #70873208Thanks for the info. I felt like the tv series pretty much put an end to the story, so I wasn't sure if the feature films were worth viewing .. I guess I'll check them out. I liked the concept of the story, even though it was more than a little dismal in outlook. But I thought the characters and emotions presented were well done.
Thanks, too, for your kind words regarding the photos. After a career shooting live models, it's kind of nice not having to constantly prompt your model to "hold the pose". lol
Have a great Thanksgiving!


No problem! The rebuild films are an alternate story, the first film directly adapted episodes 1-6, however the story does change afterwards. I am not sure they are available for streaming but I purchased all 3 bluray ver. on RightStuf for around $15 each during a sale. Also have a wonderful holiday as well!
14 days ago
1pt
LemonMIntCat (15 days ago) #70843828Nice review, I am always impressed with your photos. To answer some questions about the outfit, this is Rei from her appearance in the film Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, in the "Rebuild of Evangelion" film series started in the late 2000. The suit in the film is similar to the standard style but this outfit takes that black color scheme, in that she is the pilot of the EVA "Mark 9". I also wanted to point out for those still interested in this figure she is actually getting a rerelease for June 2020 (as the last film is coming out) and can be purchased at MSRP.

Thanks for the info. I felt like the tv series pretty much put an end to the story, so I wasn't sure if the feature films were worth viewing .. I guess I'll check them out. I liked the concept of the story, even though it was more than a little dismal in outlook. But I thought the characters and emotions presented were well done.

Thanks, too, for your kind words regarding the photos. After a career shooting live models, it's kind of nice not having to constantly prompt your model to "hold the pose". lol

Have a great Thanksgiving!
14 days ago
1pt
Nice review, I am always impressed with your photos. To answer some questions about the outfit, this is Rei from her appearance in the film Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, in the "Rebuild of Evangelion" film series started in the late 2000. The suit in the film is similar to the standard style but this outfit takes that black color scheme, in that she is the pilot of the EVA "Mark 9". I also wanted to point out for those still interested in this figure she is actually getting a rerelease for June 2020 (as the last film is coming out) and can be purchased at MSRP.
15 days ago
1pt
HappyakrzInstead, they have developed a style that shows you JUST ENOUGH to get a good impression, and then they let your imagination go wild.

That's a good way of putting it :).

There were some interesting things in this review that I had not noticed before, like the black and white artwork on the box. I haven't gotten this figure because I have the first Shunya Yamashita Rei ITEM #242 and I've waffled about whether I need another Yamashita Rei and Asuka (you can't have just one, right?).

Also, I like the Christmas Story reference. "Frah-jee-lay...that must be Italian!".
15 days ago
2pt
ah yes, her shoes. i love the shape of the heel on them and the zig zag of the red. very nice touches. i also prefer her hair color in this figure to your other rei figure. although the other rei figure might be closer to the original source, i believe, this one is much more pleasing to the eye.
15 days ago