Review: Kotobukiya’s Ayanami Rei (Eva 1.0)

Last week I decided to do a review of an entire set of figures over the course of the week. I liked the idea a lot, and while a good deal of work I’ve decided to do it again this week with Kotobukiya’s Rebuild of Evangelion series of figures, starting off with Ayanami Rei and ending with my favourite, Shikinami Asuka Langley. That means Misato will be sandwiched between these two ladies, yum.

Ayanami Rei’s always been a bit of a hit or miss character with me. I love her, I hate her, I think it all depends on the phases of the moon and the position of the stars or something, because it’s not entirely explainable. My previous post on Sunday has two Rei figures in it, almost had 3. So with that in mind lets get on with the review.

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Background

For those of you who don’t know, the kids out there, the ones who were too young to have watched Neon Genesis Evangelion and were maybe even born after it aired (seriously, <14 year olds on my site? unpossible!), Ayanami Rei is one of the pilots from the series. She pretty much has no personality in the original series which seemed to be just what otaku needed and thus became a stencil on which many characters were cloned from for the past 14 years. But this Ayanami Rei isn’t the same Ayanami Rei as the original series, this Ayanami Rei is from the Rebuild of Evangelion series of movies which began way back on September 1st, 2007. That means she has a personality, I admit, not the biggest of personalities, but I found it fascinating that this stencil on which many characters were made has herself moved on up in the world and is no longer satisfied with being just a shell of a person. Congrats Rei, I like you more as a character. Anyway, Rei’s the original pilot of the Evas in the series, which are just big living mecha with all kinds of crazy built into each and every one of them. Gundams are better in this regard I think, much more reliable and consistent in their abilities, well, unless certain pilots get a hold of them, but that’s a different topic for a different day as well as a different person with more knowledge of mecha series than I.

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Rei, what are you looking at?

I think she’s looking at me… stop looking at me… STOOOP! AAAHHH!!! ahem… Shirahige Tsukuru has done an excellent job sculpting Rei, mimicking Sadamoto Yoshiyuki’s art style but with an adjusted sense of proportion which helps considerably in realizing the figure in 3 dimensions. Sadamoto Yoshiyuki’s art style is quite attractive but has exaggerated proportions that can really skew ones senses. Some examples of his artwork, one, two, three, four, five. The first 3 I feel look very awkward, but the last 2 look quite good. Looking at Rei we can see she shares some of Sadamoto’s style with some exaggerated features, quite thin, quite a long feeling torso, however Shirahige pulls it off better because Rei doesn’t look sickly, well, her pale face aside. That being said, I don’t much like Rei’s pose in it’s entirety, aspects of it are quite hot indeed, but others are not. I don’t like where she’s looking it seems more awkward than sexy, but I do love how she mounts her base and arches her back.

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It’s surprising how stable Rei is on her tiny base, I was worried she’d fall over or off it when I unpacked her because the base doesn’t weigh very much nor did it appear to have any means of holding her on. Kotobukiya included some instructions which were pretty much meaningless to me as they seemed to be more wordy in their description than pictographic. They pointed out her hand and her legs, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with them at first as Rei didn’t seem to fit on the base and I didn’t want to j-j-jam it into place. Turns out it was quite simple, place the Eva’s head into Rei’s hand then slide her down over the base and she’ll squeeze her thighs around the Eva’s neck. Lucky Eva? I think it’s a pretty simple but creative base and far far far better than any disc could ever hope to be.

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Kotobukiya has provided Rei with some translucent hair which allows some light to pass through it creating a nice effect, though being so short the effect is limited to some degree. I’m not sure if all of her hair is in the translucent or just the bottom portion but the paintwork between the two seems to match up quite well and create a nice depth to her hair around the mid to bottom. I feel the top and back of her hair is lacking in some detail but it’s not really important as it does look pretty decent. Speaking of paintwork, Kotobukiya’s done a pretty fine job on it, though I think it’s a bit of a cheat since the plugsuit is much easier to paint than skin tones, or at least I think it would be. They managed to stay within all the lines and match up the colours to the series quite well if my memory serves me correctly, and I hope it does. Most surprisingly, Rei’s lips are painted with the upmost precision, most unlike Kotobukiya in my experience.

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Interestingly all of the Rebuild of Evangelion figures have come in clear plastic boxes which I found to be quite nice for displaying the figures in. However my opinion changed on some of the boxes when I finally went to remove the figures from them for this review. The plastic boxes didn’t bend well and the flaps got in the way because they wouldn’t stay in place. Additionally, some of the tape had given up causing some issues with tops and bottoms opening pre-maturely on some corners or sides. I was also forced to jam my hand into the box to unattach the inner packaging from other bits of plastic it’d managed to get caught on so I could remove Rei. Thankfully one does not have to open/close boxes like these daily, it’d certainly be a pain. They’re very nice for display though and I liked them very much in that regard.

figure-kotobukiya-ayanami-rei-12Thoughts

Kotobukiya has done a pretty fine job on Ayanami Rei, in fact, I find it hard to believe Kotobukiya had anything to do with this figure. I’m not saying Kotobukiya can’t make a good figure, they did make a Horo I still love greatly, I’m just saying it seems like they went all out in producing this figure and this line of figures. I personally only bought this figure to complete the set so I wasn’t expecting much of it at all, just to be, but it turns out she’s quite well done. I’m still not overly fond of the pose though, I suppose it’s sexy in ways, but I find it just seems more awkward than sexy. Instead of being turned on by the pose I just feel bad for Rei having to sit like that for all eternity, she’s so going to need a back and shoulder massage.

I can see between her legs…

-Aka

Pros

  • The way Rei ‘mounts’ her base is hot
  • Rei’s base is quite awesome
  • Overall a sexy pose, with some caveats
  • High quality for a Kotobukiya figure

Cons

  • Where is Rei looking? Kind of ruins the pose
  • The boxes look nice, but don’t quite work properly

Gallery

Comments

  1. Leonia says:

    I like this Rei version for her base (original!) and her expression. It’s a nice figure ^^ But I prefer Asakua (more hard to find). Nice shooting, thank for this presentation 🙂

    • Aka says:

      Rei definitely has the best base of the 3 I think, if only for how her thighs hug it, yum. But yeah, Asuka is the best 🙂

  2. Rico-sama says:

    Congratulations on the complete set! :3

    I might starting calling Rei a stencil now, lol. I know you were using that to refer to her as an archetype type of sorts, but it’s a really funny (and fitting) term to call her by. Get the hardcore Ayanami fans (which I admit I used to be) all riled up. XD

    It’s really easy to notice that they didn’t give Misato that semi-translucent hair when you’ve got all three stacked like that. Not that something like that would’ve worked for Misato.

    Glad you liked Rei and hope you’ll equally enjoy the rest. IMO each figure was better than the last.

    • Aka says:

      😀 I’m rather happy I got them all!

      Getting Eva fans riled up is so easy. When I went to see Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance in theaters (rubbing it in btw) I was talking with a few people and they were asking me such specific questions about the series and my opinions, had I not been as polite, I could easily have started a physical fight amongst fans. Instead, my politeness paid off and no fights were had, and I got to watch the movie peacefully with my friend and newly met friend at the theater.

      It’s hard not to like Rei, they’ve done nearly everything right, except in my opinion, her pose.

      I think you’re right, Misato’s hair wouldn’t have worked with the translucent nature of the other two. But it does stand out in that picture, especially with the light shining from the back like it is.

  3. […] Misato from Kotobukiya’s Rebuild of Evangelion series of figures. Previously I reviewed their Ayanami Rei and Friday I will review their Shikinami Asuka Langley. Misato stands out from Asuka and Rei […]

  4. […] previously reviewed both Ayanami Rei and Katsuragi Misato as […]

  5. […] really like this version of Rei, much much more than the Kotobukiya version I reviewed last year. Rei’s pose is so much more natural in this figure and so much more […]

  6. me says:

    i wonder if they’ll make a shinji so i can complete the gargoyle eva set 😀

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  8. […] now this one will stand out as being different from all the rest. I have a 1/8th Rei already, and a 1/6th, why couldn’t she have been one of these scales? Because of this, I hope that Koto has at […]