Review: Good Smile Company’s Misaka Mikoto

Good Smile Company’s simplistic Misaka Mikoto figure arrived a week and a half ago and I have to say, I’m a little underwhelmed. But there are some external factors at work here.

Misaka, the star of two series, A Certain Magical Index as well as her very own show A Certain Scientific Railgun. Misaka rose to fame in Magical Index probably because Index herself wasn’t all that interesting a character, and that half the series seemed to focus on Misaka and her story instead (thankfully). Part of me wonders what the appeal of Misaka is, on the surface she’s somewhat bland and tomboyish. Her school uniform is plain an unassuming, her hair is short and simple and she wears shorts under her skirt. But when you get into her character she has some fun quirks, her love of cute, childish things, her insecurities, her thousands upon thousands of clones created for military-grade combat. Wait, what? Seriously? 20,000 to be exact, many of whom are killed, but lets not spoil too much.

Good Smile Company’s Misaka Mikoto has been sculpted by Yokota Ken, which you may remember from last weeks review of Ogata Rina as he sculpted her as well. Misaka being a small Japanese middle school girl makes for a rather small 1/8th scale figure. Only 18 cm tall which, if you do the math means she’s 144 cm (4’8″) in real life. Being such a small figure GSC offered her for a lower price than the average, ¥5,800, which in her release month of July was averaged at $69 CAD, still rather expensive for what you get I think. Personally I snagged her for $52 CAD from AmiAmi, a bit of a deal against the usual prices of figures but again, a bit much. Though, looking back I did feel she was offered a good price…

Before I continue I should probably mention the external factors that have influenced my opinion of Misaka. Misaka arrived with two other figures both of whom are not only more interesting, but better produced as well. Max Factory’s Seena Kanon, as well as Alter’s Momohime. Two figures that are rather hard to live up to within their respective genres. While I would not have liked to break up the shipping for cost reasons, part of me wishes I had as then Misaka arriving alone would have left a better impression on me from the start.

With the bias disclosure out of the way lets get to the nitty gritty. Misaka’s got some problems, seams, she has them. Visible on both her legs, including her puffy stockings, there are seams running up both sides and this is a problem. Being the simple figure she is, one isn’t as distracted by accessories or dynamism and instead drawn more towards the attributes of the characters physique most closely. Enjoying me some legs, I of course checked them out, admired those slender projections protruding downwards from her torso, but continually was distracted by a ridge running up them. It didn’t seem to matter much on lighting and angles as they were on both sides of both legs, ever so annoying to my eye. There is however good news, that’s it, that’s the only true fault in Misaka. I examined her entire body (er… um…) and that’s the worst I could find.

Everything else about Misaka is actually rather well done, which I suspect is a side effect of her simplistic nature. The paintwork on Misaka is what you’d hope to expect, everything is finely painted and within their respective confines, the shading of colours is adequate for effect but plain enough to maintain the drab nature of her school uniform and shorts. The pose is about as dynamic as her uncreative character design as is the ancillary arm and included weapon. Furthermore her pose isn’t out of character like many figures receive.  Overall Misaka seems like an average figure that’s been produced with some extra care, something I wish Rina had received a little more of during her creation.

Before Wonder Festival I felt this figure seemed an acceptable Misaka figure, she was much better than the others I’d seen such as cockmongler Misaka as Chag called her or everyone’s favourite figure manufacturer, Taki Corps verison. But after this sculpt by the garage kit producer Sakura Zensen I can hardly like GSC’s. Sakura Zensen’s adds character and casualness to Misaka, she doesn’t feel posed at all and much more candid, a look I really prefer in my figures. It’s one of the main reasons I prefer Volks Horo over Good Smile or Kotos which could arguably be better done, or World is Mine Miku over standard Miku. Casualness is sexy. Be it clothed or nude a casual completely natural and comfortable pose will always be my favourite.

Would have been fun if Misaka came with a pair of proper girls underwear instead of a second arm… for her to wear! Not me!



  • Shorts and puffy socks!
  • Cute simplistic appearance
  • Well painted


  • Plain school uniform
  • Kind of expensive for her size
  • Seams in her legs



  1. lu-k says:

    Great review!
    As you said, she is simple, her uniform is plain, there is nothing particular or appealing when you don’t know who she is. So this is definitely a figure I would order more because I like the character a lot than the figure itself. Well, I would still choose GSC, as it’s a safe bet ^^;
    And at last I got tempted and purchased it. Just received her two days ago hehe.

    • Aka says:

      Thanks lu-k! I bought her for similar reasons. If Sakura Zensen’s could be released with Kotobukiya level or better quality I’d totally buy her to ‘replace’ this Misaka… I’d keep both though.

  2. Miette-chan says:

    Biri Biri is a little underwhelming, my first impression of her was that she was quite small. Even so I like her quite a bit and I agree with lu-k, I bought her because I like her and because she is a GSC release.

  3. Chag says:

    Hehe, I’m glad you liked my bit on ol’cockmongler.
    You’re definitely right on the importance of the casual feel. Take Seena as an example: her swimsuit is by no means fancy, yet the casual playfulness of her pose is able to propel her into greatness. By contrast, I have no clue what Mikoto is up to in this pose. The thing that throws me off the most about her is the way her toes point inwards, which feels unnatural given how wide her stance is. It doesn’t look BAD per say, but as you mentioned, casualness is next to Godliness.

    • Aka says:

      Can’t. Unsee. Thanks to your cockmongler comment I can’t see Koto’s Misaka in any other light. But then she was ruined already for me, I didn’t like her, so it adds some good humour.

      I’m not sure why her feet might be like that but perhaps she was running away then rotated on the spot to fire back. Or perhaps it’s just a wind up to the final blow.

      Casualness is next to godliness, yes. But you shouldn’t worship false idols! Or something…

  4. Rico-sama says:

    That’s really unfortunate about the seams in her legs. I think your absolutely right that in a figure like this the visual impact of any imperfections is only multiplied due to simple nature of the pose. This is just one of those shake-your-head moments when an otherwise great figure maker just doesn’t get it right.

    I was genuinely excited about Mikoto when I first saw her. I still am (hope mine comes in soon) but your pictures are revealing a couple interesting elements of her. Namely that furry animal shes got stuck to her forehead. Wait, I guess those are her bangs. Either way they seem to protrude out too much.

    PS. This shot is either creepy as hell or hilarious; I can’t decide which.

    • Aka says:

      I took a few shots where I’d tried to make it look like her ancillary arm cut off her other arm, but I didn’t like how the sequence looked so I didn’t feature it in the main review but left the pictures in the gallery as they were all the shots of her ancillary arm.

      There’s some definite angles where her hair looks strange, but from the main viewing angle at the front, her hair looks quite detailed and satisfactory.

      Good Smile seems to continually have ‘shake-your-head’ moments with their figures. Always on the edge of being really good, but always failing by some small detail.

      • Pit says:

        I’ve got this figure sat on a shelf to my left and I have to say i’m mildly disapointed however it’s not because of the seams on the legs. The problem lies with her hair, pictures 41 and 43 show it reasonably well (it stands out a lot more in different lighting): the hair to the right of her face is a totally different colour to the rest of her hair. Maybe it’s because I’m not much of a leg man myself however my eyes are repeatedly drawn to the problem. I’m supprised it wasn’t mentioned in the review.

        • Aka says:

          Ah! I never noticed that! I stared at nearly every part of her looking for flaws and that one never appeared to me until you pointed it out. It’s really obvious to me now, annoyingly so. I’m going to have to place her in some sort of lighting situation where her left side (our right) is shadowed.

  5. Ashlotte says:

    Ouch those seamlines aren’t something I would have expected to see on this figure…byproduct of the low price I guess? Still a shame…For some reason after seeing so many Momohime shots lately Misaka’s rather uncomplicated character design is a nice change of pace personally (Although after the Kanbaru discussion I can’t help but wish she had sneakers instead…think it would suit her more then loafers)!

    • Aka says:

      While I think sneakers would suit her better, I think the school uniform probably requires it.

      I really want to review Momohime and Seena Kanon, but everyone else has… I feel like I can’t because of that. What can I really add to the discussion at this point that hasn’t already been said? I feel the same with with World is Mine Miku, I’ve never reviewed mine. I had a review written and pictures taken, but I never posted and can’t use the pictures or review at this point because they’re not up to the same standards I feel. And I’ve also lost the newly received feeling…

      Anyway, the seams are annoying, they add this strange edge to her legs. If I imagine that it’s not there her legs seem much more attractive.

      • Ashlotte says:

        Bah shes a level 5…Should be able to do whatever the hell she wants! :p

        Meh I say review em…I don’t really have enough time to circulate around the blogsphere these days so you and Tiers is about all I read these days so I’ve yet to even see a review of Seena haha. As for Momo…Meh do an outdoor shot I say! ~_^

        I never reviewed WiM either though just took some shots that I liked, but then I didn’t buy her until a good 4 months after she was released… >_>

        • Aka says:

          You should check out VF’s review of Seena. He did quite a good job.

          Glad I’m one of the few you read, I’m finding it more and more difficult these days to keep up and comment everywhere. I try, but it’s hard to remember to do follow up checks to see if I should reply again. I subscribe in Google Reader to a bunch of RSS feeds including comment feeds on sites I comment a lot on to try and keep up with responses. But I can’t do that with everyone. I also sign up for emails if there are replies, which is why I added the function to OMGW and hope it still works heh.

          I should probably just go ahead and review Momohime and Seena as you say, and maybe even throw WiM in there as well, and Kasugano Sora.

  6. Tier says:

    Sometimes an understated figure can be a nice change, particularly if nobody else has covered it. I like Mikoto’s fighting face, it’s got the right mix of cuteness and determination. I know it would have never happened but it would’ve been cool if they released this figure as a set with a clone; I think the first picture I ever saw of Mikoto was of her and a clone, and I wondered why this girl had a twin with dead eyes and electronic goggles on her forehead. I think it would’ve added something unique to a character design that’s not too remarkable by itself. Except for that jagged line on her head … it might just be me, but I can’t help but think that it looks like someone stove her head in with a golf club or something.

    • Aka says:

      It would be nice if GSC did that, I know Chara-Ani has though. And there have been some mini releases of clones, I think in a stackable pyramid even. I like how Chara-Ani’s mirrored them though, and how they’ve paid some attention to detail such as giving the clone shimapan as opposed to Misaka’s usual shorts. But I don’t really like Chara-Ani’s version as much as GSC’s in terms of quality. Also, I can’t tell if the real Misaka in their figures has shorts, it doesn’t seem to look like it.

      Edit: Just checked Mandarake for Chara-Ani’s version, they want ¥16,000, twice the original price. And that’s for an open box. eBay wants $344 USD… I’m astonished.

  7. […] and if you want to see more, don’t miss Aka’s great and complete review of this yet lovely figure. It would be easier to form an opinion if you’re thinking about […]

  8. rook says:

    this one does look really low quality indeed =__=

    • Aka says:

      I don’t think I thought of her as low quality, for what she is she’s well done. But she could have used more effort for sure.