Review: Good Smile Company’s Saber Kyuujitsu Ver.

Today’s figure come from the year two-thousand! … and six! She’s an oldie so far as my collecting goes, though Tohsaka Rin still pre-dates this here Saber Kyuujitsu Ver. figure. Saber’s taller than I was expecting…

Way back in early 2006 there was this hidden gem of a series called Fate/Stay Night, I’m not sure many of you know this series… oh, you do? Of course you do. Well, anyway it’s sequel Fate/Hollow Ataraxia is where this Saber comes from and it’s been 5 years since the series aired and Ataraxia released and nearly as long since this figure was released. Saber was released in October of 2006 for the hefty sum of ¥6,800 / $65 CAD, a good time for the Canadian Dollar in relation to the Japanese Yen. The reason her asking price was so high (for the day) is because well, Saber’s a big girl. When I ordered her on eBay for the huge sum of I was ripped off ($60) I was expecting a cute 1/8th scale figure. Unfortunately it turns out that she’s 29 cm tall! Making her a 1/6th scale figure, and I’ll get to why this is unfortunate later. I’ll finish this paragraph by saying she was sculpted by Koshinuma Shinji who also did one of my most favourite figures in my collection.

Back to that unfortunate remark of mine, unlike the Knave of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, I’m not a fan of ‘largeness’, there a number of reasons for various different things why I don’t like largeness, the reason in this particular case can be described with a single word, detail. Often I find that the level of detail doesn’t scale with the size of a figure. One might assume that a large figure would be more detailed than a smaller figure, but I don’t feel this is the case most of the time. One issue contributing to this is Sabers attire itself, it’s not overly intricate in it’s own details in the first place and so upscaling results in nothing to add. Another contributing factor might be the minds ability to fill in details when they’re hidden. What I mean by this is that a smaller figure may appear to have more detail because the mind fills in the tiny gaps, but when the figure is upscaled those gaps aren’t as tiny and are entirely visible resulting in you seeing that there really wasn’t any detail there in the first place. I think however, that this theory of mine doesn’t apply to Saber, look at some of the close up shots, her frills aren’t as frilly as they could be, hair isn’t as full, and her panties are blander than a brand new pair of tightywhities. (Note: Is there a female anime figure with mens briefs on? Could be cute, I knew a girl who wore little boys batman underwear in highschool, she was cute.)

The paintwork on Saber varies from fairly decent to incredibly mediocre. For example, the shading in Saber’s clothes is quite decent and visible, you can see that they don’t appear flat, however those frills again seem to be a failing point. Not only do they lack detailed sculpting, but they also lack detailed paintwork. Saber’s skin is fairly uniform across the figure I suppose, but appears overly pale in contrast to her dark clothes which while can be attractive, I find isn’t in this case. I think there isn’t enough depth in her skin to have an attractive appearance, also contributing is their relative shininess, check out the shots of the back of her legs for a better view. The last fault of the paintwork though can be seen on the left side of her shirt, off to the side of her stomach, there’s a triangular shaped glossy patch. It’s not so noticeable in the white background shots, but on the black there’s this obvious patch.

It’s incredibly unfortunate that I have the issues I do with this figure because looking at the pictures alone where Saber could be any scale and the detail correct for that scale, she appears adorable. I have this image in my head of Saber all shy, playing with her skirt and looking away while asking all embarrassed, “What do you think, how does it look?” To which I’d have to say she looks adorable/cute/beautiful. I’m not sure if it’s based off any artwork like most figures are, nor am I aware of any scenes in Fate/Hollow Atraxia of embarrassed Saber asking for Shiro’s opinion. But that’s the image I’m going with until proven otherwise. Actually I take that back, replace Shiro with Rin, and it’s a much more awesome image.

Mmmm lesbians.

-Aka

(Note: Silhouette shots inspired by VF @ Visual Fanfare and his final shots of Naru.)

Pros

  • Cute expression
  • Looks good if you scale the viewing distance to the equivalent of a 1/8th figure

Cons

  • Far larger than I was expecting and lacks the detail to back it up
  • Boring underwear

Gallery

Comments

  1. She looks like a decent figure from a distance, but her legs sure look shiny! Is there some sort of gloss coating on the skin of the figure?

    Guess the pictures can be really misleading without a point of reference – she definitely doesn’t look like 29cm tall by herself.

    Nice silhouette and low key shots at the end – I’m definitely a fan of this kind of photo style. =P

    • LOL, didn’t notice your last comment – thanks for the link back. 😛

      • Aka says:

        No prob! Credit where credit is due!

        I threw in Drossel for a point of reference, you can see how childlike she appears next to monster Saber.

        Not sure if her legs have a gloss coating, but they are shiny that’s for sure. I’ll just pretend I oiled her up.

  2. Rico-sama says:

    Yeah, that’s the problem with these larger figures: they look good in the official shots and then when you actually get the figure and notice how large it actually is you notice there is not near enough detail. The exactly same thing happened with me and GSC Magical Girl Rin – not enough detail and crappy skin tones. It’s a crap shoot really. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t. I mostly stick to 1/8th scale figures now.

    Then again, maybe it’s just that GSC doesn’t do 1/6th scale figures that well. They’re the only ones I’ve really noticed that problem with.

    I prefer Alter’s version of the figure myself, even if the face is a little off.

    Love the silhouette shots. And that last one with Drossel. 😀

    • Aka says:

      I’m hoping the Kotobukiya 1/6th figures turn out well. Their Eva line was pretty good, though I’m not enthused about their Mari figure. The finish looks the same, but the sculpt looks weird.

      1/8th seems to be the sweet spot for sure, though a good number of 1/7th scale figures are appearing to be quite acceptable.

      I don’t have enough experience with 1/6th scale figures I guess, with only one from GSC, and the rest by Kotobukiya.

      There’s a few Sabers in this outfit and I always get them confused when I see them. Alter, GSC, Kotobukiya and I think one more that I’ve only seen from time to time. Of the 3 manufacturers listed though I too prefer the Alter one. Maybe I’ll keep an eye out for her.

      The Silhoutte shots turned out pretty decent, I like how the light reflected off her legs giving a great outline. Didn’t notice till just now but Drossel looks like she’s lifting up Sabers skirt in the medium sized picture, fortunately she’s just holding Sabers hand d’aww.

      Edit: Found the 4th one. It’s by T’s System.

      • Rico-sama says:

        LOL. Yeah it totally looked like Drossel was looking up her skirt. I just assumed that was case knowing you. 😉

        Ugh. That T’s System one looks like it was done by Clayz. The Kotobukiya one I own and it’s actually quite nice. A rare sculpt from the company that has good colors in her skin tones (only real problem is she’s slightly glossy). Alter’s is still my favorite even if the face is a little off – she’s just too adorable.

        Alter seems to be the most consistent at the larger scales from what I’ve seen. The two GSC I own that large are “meh” and Kotobukiya runs the gambit from awesome (Eva line) to suck (1/5 Chizuru). I don’t own any Max Factory that size (yet) but I’ve seen reviews so I know they’re good.

        I tired experimenting with the silhouette once before and it didn’t really take with me. I found it too difficult but now you’ve inspired me to try again. Got a couple good figures in mind where I might try it out. 😀

  3. Ashlotte says:

    Enjoyed some of the more glib comments plus the bit of variety you threw in with the shots. ~_^

    Shame she didn’t quite live up to expectations since as you say its a fairly charming idea for a figure pose wise in theory.

  4. Fabrice says:

    Saber kawaii!
    thats what i always think.
    by looking at the picture, it seems alright, decent size, but then when you get them im like wtf bigger then i expected.

    well it also depends which companies, big companies tend to have ups and downs, since they have good, but with high production/high demand they tend to ye mess around a bit with the details. so its a weighing game. ^^

  5. Miette-chan says:

    This figure always piqued my interest, I really like Saber’s pose and expression. Never did pick her up even after seeing her for about $45.

    Since you have mentioned it has the same sculptor as Makoto you have renewed my interest in Saber. May be I will pick her up if I see her on the cheap side.

    • Aka says:

      I’m sorry for renewing your interest in this Saber! If you can find her for a good price I suppose she’s alright, but she really isn’t anything special, she’s cute but meh. Makoto on the other hand is an excellent figure, it’s hard to believe the same person sculpted both of them.

      I think you’re better off buying the Alter variation, it’s only 1/8th scale, but it looks like it’s better produced.

  6. Blowfish says:

    Oh now thats interesting!
    I have the matching Sakura from GSC and shes also unbelievably huge.I always thought that this is just the case with Sakura but it seems all the GSC Ataraxia figures were made this big.

    I personally found that these figures are actually quite well done and adoreable if you keep in mind that theyre from 2006.
    Thats like prehistoric in the figure business.

    Most figures look like crap compared to the figures beeing released as of now.This is where the Ataraxia figures show their true colour imho because they just look a bit simple but not bad.

    Anyways I gotta fantasize about your batman briefs wearing highschool friend now. Gawd thats sexy….

    • Aka says:

      I sometimes wonder how I should review figures from the past, if I should try and objectively look at them from their ‘era’ or just use the present. I feel the present’s a better idea since that’s where I am and when I’m writing. I didn’t buy the figure in 2006 so it’s not really fair to give it a review as if I had. Giving this figure a higher score in 2010 just because it’s 4 years old already doesn’t make sense.

      As for that friend, she was and is cute. She never replied though when I asked if she still wears similar styled underwear.

  7. lovelyduckie says:

    I had bought mine for $20 and I really enjoyed her for a while. But I came to a crossroad in how I was collecting figures. I changed how I pre-ordered, and wanted to sell off a portion of my collection. And I ended up selling her for around what I bought her for. Basically I cut back on having so many character repeats, and decided to only keep the figures that I considered the best of each character.

    • Aka says:

      I’m still at the point in my collecting career where I must collect ’em all. I believe I’m in what’s called the “Ash Ketchum” phase.

      $20 would have been an entirely acceptable price for this figure. I don’t think I’ll sell her, but I have heard reports of her leaning, so I worry a bit.