Review: Good Smile Company’s Black Rock Shooter
April 20th, 2010, a 2 year relationship ends as Toyslogic’s last shipment to be sent my way arrives at my door step, four hundred and four days after pre-ordering. What a long time to wait for a figure, especially one as highly anticipated as Black★Rock Shooter. Perhaps I should say, as Black★Rock Shooter was. Since everyone and their mother already has theirs by now.
While Toyslogic has nearly always gotten me the items which I ordered, no matter the wait, I simply can no longer do business with them. They’re more expensive than ordering straight from Japan these days, though perhaps at the moment with the USD vs CAD being exactly par they have an advantage. But over all I’ve never felt I saved money using them. I started with Toyslogic after my experience with Play Asia, while they were good their prices I’d found were not. Toyslogic had come up in Google searches as well as through recommendations from others so I felt fairly confident with them. Having now dealt with Hobby Link Japan and AmiAmi there’s just no turning back. Both these companies have exceeded Toyslogic in every possible way, they’re quick to respond to emails, I’ve never had any issues with them despite ordering 32 figures between the two, contrast to Toyslogic whom I’ve only ordered 14 from and had numerous issues. Biggest of them all though, these two companies ship the same time as Japan, and for similar or cheaper prices than Toyslogic who can only ship at best weeks after Japan, or at worst like Black★Rock Shooter, 5 months after Japan. Due to this I can often receive a figure from these 2 companies before Toyslogic even has stock.
One additional complaint about Toyslogic is their rewards system. To get a 1% discount it takes $500, and to get their highest discount of 6%, one has to spend $6,000 with them. Why even bother? Adding to the joke that this rewards system is, after a year your account resets to the base level of your account. An example, say you’ve spent $2800, you’re $200 away from Gold and have a Silver account receiving a 3% discount, the year ends, you’re reset to $1000, the base limit for a Silver account and get to start all over again working up to the next level. How awesome is that? ….
Now on with what everyone cares about, skipping the main course and diving straight in to dessert (delicious cake?), Black★Rock Shooter (ブラック★ロックシューター). BRS still hasn’t gotten her anime so far, I had been under the impression she would get an anime this season as she was on chartfag’s Spring 2010 chart. Researching it, it appears it’s just a single 50 minute episode/movie that will stream free between June and August. I’m still curious how they managed to create a story based on a picture. But I’ll still watch and see how it turns out.
I don’t normally comment on a ladies box, as it’s quite impolite to do so, but BRS’s box was considerably larger than I was expecting. I’d forgotten all the reviews I’d read stating how large it was but wow, 355 x 305 x 165 mm (H x W x D). Due to this size, the box in which she shipped was also quite large, I thought surely I was receiving multiple girls, not just one. I guess Good Smile Company wanted to make sure she could take a good pounding just incase. That or so she would take up a larger volume and show off in stores.
Before receiving BRS I’d not noticed just how long her legs are in comparison to the rest of her body. I always thought it was due to the high heeled boots but she’s actually got long legs on top of that, longer than your average anime character that is. She also has a chest that rivals that of Aisaka Taiga’s in flatness, and almost an entire lack of bum as well. I think I would prefer if she had more of a chest and a bit more of a bum, she’d balance out better that way I think. Despite her lack of assets she does have a nice shape to her hips and tummy, ignoring the scars of course. Which brings another question, just what kind of work has she had done? Or are they just wounds from battle? Maybe we’ll find out in the anime!
As far as matching the artwork, I think Akeji’s done a pretty good job sculpting BRS. In fact I think he’s done a better job than the original illustration by huke. The illustration has BRS looking much less feminine than the figure. Her waist and stomach appear much more straight and boy-ish, if I may say that, than the figure. Akeji has added much detail to the figure that wasn’t there in the illustration or wasn’t as emphasized. Akeji has given BRS a wonderful mons veneris (mound of Venus), deepened her navel, given her hips as well as given her a rib cage. Other less sexier changes, the edging on her boots is a brighter silver and highlights the zipper, and speaking of zippers, BRS’s coat zipper is much more visible and exaggerated, her base appears to be falling apart instead of just multi-tiered and lastly her flame is of course very 3D vs the very 2D look in the illustration.
BRS’s paintwork is quite solid. Her hair appears quite detailed with multiple shades of dark blue and even darker blue adding a nice depth. Her weapon also is quite well painted with lots of shading and wear marks all over it. I’m curious what it’s made out of it, it feels quite light. BRS’s skin is quite pale and entirely solid in tone, no depth that I notice beyond what light creates but that works for her. Her jacket, boots and tiny little tight shorts all share the same gloss black without shading, not that one can really shade black I suppose, but again it works well and creates a leather-ish feel. I mostly failed to capture the blueness of her eyes, they’re quite a vibrant blue, if I were to actually have directed a light upon them. The biggest issue with the paintwork is one everyone knows by now, BRS’s scars. Even on the box she ships in they have the original prototype look, but when you pull her out of the box you’re smacked with this childs railroad of a scar. I think I could have done better myself in this respect, or at the very least made her look like she was bleeding to death by accident, oops. Additional issues with my particular figure, there are some scrapes in the paints finish on her stomach, you can just sorta see them in this picture.
My biggest complaint though with this otherwise very well done figure, the chain. What a pain that was the get right, and I think I still got it wrong but it’s good enough at this point. I never ever want to remove that weapon of hers, maybe I just have shaky hands or lack the skills necessary for this kind of tiny work but I swear it took me 30 minutes to actually stay in her hands and not fall off. The instructions provided aren’t the most useful, there’s 4 pictures with words and arrows, and of course I can’t read the words, and the arrows sorta help but man, pain in the ass.
Given the production issues Good Smile Company has had since September ’09 Black Rock Shooter has turned out spectacularly well and I’m quite impressed with her, despite lacking some assets I’d like her to have. One funny thing I saw when I removed Black★Rock Shooter from her box was an advertisement for the Black Blade Version. This brought me back to when I bought the first Lord of the Rings movie on DVD, and inside it contained an advertisement for the Extended Editions that would later be released. It felt like a kick in the pants, like they were saying “ha ha! now you have to spend more money!” at least this time seeing the Black Blade Version makes me happy because I know I got the better one already. Black Blade Ver. BRS’s small, no, non-existent breasts are so blatant and obviously not there making her look much more child-like than I’d like. So I’m very happy with the original version here, now I just need to figure out where to put her.
I kept typing Miku instead of BRS, uguu~
Note: For the info I usually cover by didn’t, hit up MyFigureCollection.Net.
Best for Last
- Excellent sculpting work, improved upon Huke’s original artwork
- Attention to detail, generally excellent paintwork with some exceptions
- BRS’s base is a nice addition
- Her scar is poorly painted
- Some minor scratches and marking in the paint
- Very difficult to arrange the chain properly
- Review: Good Smile Company’s Hayakawa Yuzuko | OMGWebsite
- On Order: Good Smile Company Black Rock Shooter (Anime Ver.) | OMGWebsite
- On Order: Good Smile Company’s Dead Master (Original Ver.) | OMGWebsite
- Arrival: Max Factory’s Black Rock Shooter (figma) | OMGWebsite
Unlike my previous order Black★Rock Shooter (Anime Ver.) is a long anticipated release from Good Smile Company, with previews dating as far back as January at GSC x COSPA x Bushi Road New Year Party, perhaps further back but that's as far as I can remember. more »
Like nearly everyone, I've opted to pre-order Good Smile Company's Dead Master (Original Ver) to go with their Black★Rock Shooter figure. Maybe I'm a follower, but if she follows with BRS's quality (scars aside) I think she's definitely worth some of the hype that seems to surround this series of figures. more »