Perhaps my most sought after anime figure so far in my collecting career, Sawatari Makoto by Max Factory. She was hard to find and even harder to find at a reasonable price. Even after finding her at a ‘reasonable’ price she only JUST met it by one penny. I had set out with a $100 goal, and she was $99.99, for an open box, and included the previous owners dust! But I was happy to finally get my hands on her.
We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious.
Since I started collecting figures after she went on sale I had very little chance of catching her from the start. And even if I did, I wasn’t really sure I should back then, I was a lot more worried about what people might think. Over time that worry diminished and my need to possess her grew.
I started checking eBay from time to time for her but usually without any luck, and if there was some luck she was prohibitively expensive. Eventually I’d complained enough times that Rico offered to look around Otakon for me when he went this past summer and get me a copy if he saw one. Which was awfully nice of him since we’ve never met and there was no guarantee on his end that I’d pay up (I would have though!).
Eventually I got smart and setup an eBay notification that would email me when new items were posted. Two weeks passed and suddenly I received an email from eBay with a wonderful subject line, “eBay Saved Search: sawatari makoto”. Chance!
Immediately I clicked the link and purchased the item. In fact, I’d overlooked originally that she was an open box item. Only later when I’d already paid and sent off all information did I re-read the post and notice, how smart of me. This caused some worry, would she be in good condition, would she have some wear, or worse, would she have been ‘used’. Be thankful I couldn’t find a link to what I was looking for, though some of you probably already know.
Well, in the end my worrying was wasted energy. Makoto appears to be in quite good condition, though with a little added dust from the previous owner. Assuming this dust doesn’t contain some terrible disease or anthrax or something I don’t mind it.
Sawatari Makoto is originally from a visual novel produced by the renowned Key studios. The game was adapted into two different anime, the first was a 13 episode TV series produced by Toei Animation in 2002. The second adaptation was produced by Kyoto Animation and is the version I watched and enjoyed in 2006. It was 24 episodes long, had better character designs and was far better animated than the Toei Animation version.
Max Factory’s Sawatari Makoto takes after KyoAni’s designs with their interpretation and has produced her in a 1/8th scale form factor, though I think this is wrong based off other 1/8th scale figures and how big I imagine her to be. However this could just be due to the design style of her character.
Makoto was sculpted by Koshinuma Shinij, had an MSRP of ¥5,800 / $68 CAD and was released back in February of 2008.
Koshinuma and Max Factory have done a splendid job of realizing Makoto in 3-dimensions. She has a dynamic pose where I can imagine her quickly running off in front of me then turning to smile back before she runs off. Makoto’s face definitely is that of a Key character, even KyoAni’s designs can’t shrink those massive blue eyes, though perhaps they’re slightly too far apart. I suspect her hair is a bit unnatural in it’s movement but I totally don’t care I think it looks cute as a button on her.
The wrinkles and folds in Makoto’s clothes seem quite natural and adds some nice realism to the figure. Even her boots seem to have a good feel to them, her right leg closer to the back of the boot due to it’s position as well as the thick folds and indents.
My favourite part of the sculpt though has to be her pose overall, bending over, slight turn of her head and eyes, bum higher than her back, right knee bent in with her foot slightly behind and twisted cutely, flowing hair and of course a gap between those thighs. I’m not going to say it.
Max Factory has done very well with the paintwork on Makoto and I haven’t found any issues even with her having been displayed in unknown conditions before purchase. Her skin tones are warm and appealing, her clothes matte and shaded well. I love her striped socks sticking out above her boots and how they indent her legs a little bit like socks would. Her hair has some nice shading in it as well, giving some nice depth to what could otherwise be a very bland orange.
I can’t really think of anything else to say, normally I’d have put in a paragraph or two about faults or issues with the figure but the only issue I have is the base and I don’t care about it. She has a very very bland white base with Kanon embossed upon it. That’s not really a fault, it works and doesn’t distract from the figure due to ugliness or anything. So does she get a perfect? I think so. Foo-bar-baz gives her a 4/5 though, so perhaps I’m biased due to my Gollum-like obsession with finding her.
So bright… so beautiful… ah, Precious.