Review: Good Smile Company’s Saber Lily

Saber Lily -Distant Avalon- is perhaps one of the more highly anticipated releases of 2009, perhaps only bested by Good Smile Company’s Black Rock Shooter. And as such I too was writhing with anticipation awaiting her eventual arrival at my doorstep. Oddly however, after arriving Saber sat in her box for quite some time which is very unlike me. Normally I tear things open immediately but with Saber I waited patiently, leaving her there, taunting me, begging me to release her, but I did not listen. Not until the end of last week did I finally muster up the strength to remove her from the box and unbind her legs and waist from the packaging.

Background

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Saber Lily is from a game produced by Capcom titled Fate/Unlimited Codes. I’m not entirely sure how this game fits into the Fate/Stay Night franchise but they certainly spiced up Sabers look from her old attire to her new with the new showing off a bit of skin, yum yum. From the limited information I have to gather upon it seems the game is just a fighting game, so perhaps there’s very little or no story dimension to it.

For those unfamiliar with the Fate/Stay Night franchise, it started as a visual novel by Type Moon containing of course, sex scenes between some of the cast and Shiro the protagonist and became one of the best selling visual novels of all time. The series has since been adapted into an anime, manga, light novel and will soon be a movie called Unlimited Blade Works. If one would like more information (and who wouldn’t!) about Fate/Stay Night and all things related, hit up wikipedia’s entry.

Saber Lily has been sculpted by Kawahara Takayuki in a 1/7th scale form-factor which makes Saber decently large and worth the somewhat high seeming MSRP of ¥9,800 / $115 CAD. Kawahara has also done some previous sculpts of Saber for Alter though none as nice as Saber Lily here. And of course, Saber Lily was produced by Good Smile Company.

Is that really plastic?

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Yes, Saber’s 100% plastic, which I’m sure is obvious to all but I still find the metallic paintwork to be quite well done and gives off a positive impression. I remember when I used to paint model cars that trying to get a good metallic look sometimes took more effort than one might think, or perhaps I was just terrible, either case I’m happy with the outcome on this figure in the metallic paint department.

In the skin tones and other department, Saber also fairs quite well. Saber’s wonderfully smooth skin gives the impression that she’s soft to the touch which I imagine her to be if she were not made of plastic. While there doesn’t appear to be much shading in her skin, its tone is pleasant and the shadows created by the sculpt work make up for any deficit there may be. Saber’s clothing however has a decent amount of toning and colouring in it to give off a pleasant appearance, though I do feel it tends to look more plastic-like than the metallic or skin bits, which is unfortunate.

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Kawahara has really outdone himself with this sculpt of Saber, looking at his previous works which does include other Saber figures, this is by far his best rendition of her, and in my opinion his best work ever. Only his Liu Meifeng figure comes close, also produced by Good Smile Company. The detail Kawahara has put into Saber is impressive, the folds and wrinkles in her attire, hair that isn’t simple, cleavage, the fingers in her gloves, the layers in her dress, so many details that make her up. Hell, there’s even something for the armpit affectionados, she has delightful armpits, which while no where near being my fetish I have to admit to finding them attractively done. Strange thing to comment on, I know.

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Kawahara has also chosen a pretty decent action pose for Saber, mid swing with a wide stance. Though I might say she doesn’t look like she’s strong enough to hold that sword out like that, but that’s not Kawahara’s fault, it’s the original character designer’s, and well, if she did look strong enough to hold it I doubt she’d be as cute doing so. I think my only complaint so far is more due to my lack of creativity I think, I found it very hard to take an interesting shot of her. I took the usual ‘every angle’ deal, but I like to try and find something more interesting if I can. Unfortunately when it comes to dynamic poses I tend to fail at creativity. But that’s no fault of Saber or Mr Kawahara!

Wrap Up

Overall for her price and what I received I think Saber here was well worth the money and more importantly, the wait. She’d been delayed due to production issues I guess which made the already long pre-order wait longer. Saber’s one of those characters I’ve always had a soft spot for, liking her before I even knew the series or anything about her character, and even more once I found out she had a lesbian sex scene with Tohsaka Rin (), ooo boy. I like her even more in this suit of armor than her original, it’s so much more feminine and attractive I think with the bare shoulders, open back and visible cleavage.

Green eyes, the best and the rarest…

-Aka

Homage to Kodomut

Kodomut also did a wonderful review of Saber Lily, and I really liked the picture he took for the top of his post and thought I’d do one of my own (though I included 3 in the gallery).

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Pros

  • Great production value
  • Metalic finish is really good
  • What little skin is showing is painted such that Saber actually appears soft
  • Good action pose

Cons

  • Expensive
  • If space is at a premium, she’s quite large

Gallery

Comments

  1. Leonia says:

    Amazing pictures for an amazing figure. I’am happy to see your review Aka ^^ She is really great, I love the pic’s atmosphere. ^^ Thank for this presentation (the first banner is so nice, I love!)

  2. Ludovic says:

    Amazing lighting !!
    Great review and thanks for the beautiful photos. 😉

  3. Rico-sama says:

    Utterly fantastic pictures, Aka. The black background and the single (or reduced) lighting make for amazingly dramatic shadows and give Saber that much more of a striking presence. My heart skipped a beat when I saw your cover image. Phenomenal.

    I just got Saber myself and was immediately struck by the detailing in her face and hair. Kawahara Takayuki did a great job indeed.

    Like you I’ve waited on opening her up, but I’m quite enjoying your gallery and some angles that I haven’t been able to appreciate with boxed Saber. Specifically I’m referring to this angle and this angle. :3 I love the detailing they put in her stocking and how they still managed to give Saber a bosom despite the large breastplate.

    Damn nice armpits indeed. 😉

  4. Lylibellule says:

    Well, that Saber would had lots of reviews…. it’s seen everywhere.
    But it’s not surprising because she’s so beautiful.
    Nice photos, the one you use on the top of your review in particular.

  5. Aka says:

    Thanks for all the kind words! I really wasn’t too sure about the title picture myself, I’d tried so many iterations, that’s what took the longest for this review to be honest. I couldn’t find anything I liked till this one and still felt iffy on it, I’m glad it was well received!

    @Lylibellule, yeah there’s so many reviews of this figure, I kept thinking of holding off longer since I was no where near first to the punch. However my “Random Figure Review” spreadsheet chose this figure so I was obligated to do so by randomness.

    @Rico, I knew those would be the angles you were talking about ;). I must say I was a bit surprised by Saber’s bosom, it seemed larger than I expected, though in this case I’m not complaining like I usually do with larger bosoms. Hers seems quite nice. Though I think she needs a better brasier, something to bring them closer 🙂

    • Rico-sama says:

      Oh how well you know me. 😛 And I think they are fine the way they are. :3

      “Random Figure Review” spreadsheet, huh? If it’s how it sounds, that’s a very even-handed and harmonious way of handling the choosing process. I usually take a look at my shelf and go with whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Totally ad-hoc, lol.

      It’s been a few days and I’m still struck by your images. Jealous too, because I don’t think I’ll be able to match. >,<

      Unless I get the DSLR I've been eyeing…

      • Aka says:

        Not sure why this comment was held in moderation, oh wells.

        Yeah I figured out one day how to select things at random from a column, so I decided to use it to generate which figure to review. In the past I did the ad hoc approach, but I had a decent amount to do and thought a random choice would be best.

        I recently found out that if you remove the chest plate her breasts actually look quite perfectly sized. So it’s just my imagination that makes them look large as it imagines more breast in the plate than there is. Of course, the chest plate doesn’t come off very easily as it’s glued, but apparently if you’re willing to, she doesn’t look bad at all.

        Examples:
        http://ledmb4da.sakura.ne.jp/figure/GSC/lily/55.JPG
        http://ledmb4da.sakura.ne.jp/figure/GSC/lily/56.JPG
        http://ledmb4da.sakura.ne.jp/figure/GSC/lily/59.JPG

        • Rico-sama says:

          It must be karma for my site holding a few of your comments in moderation. xD

          Wow. Saber without the chest plate actually does look quite nice. I would try that myself, but I know it would all go horribly wrong.

          • Aka says:

            I tried on mine, but not incredibly hard. I couldn’t get it off though. I can get it to wiggle around a bit though. Which of course makes me feel like I just rubbed paint off onto her breasts for when I finally do remove the breast plate.

  6. Otaku Dan says:

    That figure of saber is just gorgeous. It is a must for Fate fans