Review: Good Smile Company’s Ogata Rina

It feels like it’s been forever since I sat down and wrote a review of a figure I actually owned. Last week of course I wrote many single paragraphs about many different figures but this week it’s back to business. Going against the grain I will not be reviewing my Momohime just yet. I’m going back a couple of months, a couple of couple of months, well actually half a year back to January. My favourite character from the anime White Album. Damnit Tōya, what is wrong with you! *ahem*.

White Album, originally a visual novel published by Leaf in 1998 and later re-released by Aquaplus on the Playstation 3 in 2010, was also adapted as an anime in 2009. The series started January 3rd with the first half of the final 26 episodes and finished later that year in the Fall eventually ending on Christmas Day. The series was enjoyable and kept my interest all through out, I even found myself complaining amongst my friends about the protagonists decisions or indecisions. One of the biggest observations about the series was how it would have been a non-series had it taken place not in the 80s but today. The abundance of cellphones would have removed all the tension and drama, but I digress. Ogata Rina was by far the most likeable character as far as I was concerned, and so much more likeable than the protagonists girlfriend and main heroine, Morikawa Yuki, that I refused to buy her, leaving my set incomplete and Rina all alone.

Good Smile Company choosing to capitalize on the series previewed both Morikawa Yuki and Ogata Rina at Wonder Festival 2009 (Summer), right between the two seasons of White Album. A smart decision I feel, as my need for more White Album and my love for Rina’s character grew in anticipation of the last half, I was open to the idea of a figure of the characters. Releasing the 1/8th scale figure for pre-order at ¥6,190 / $73 CAD just after the anime returned, my anticipation was at it’s climax so I immediately jumped on Rina, and of course ignored the doormat Yuki. Now it was a waiting game, waiting until January 2010 when she’d be released.

Rina arrived February 11th, at a time when I was more interested in reviewing Alter’s Al Azif, Sega’s Maria and Wonder Festival 2010 (Winter) and went ignored and unopened. Now that Wonder Festival 2010 (Summer) has passed it feels a great opportunity to bring Rina down off the shelf and out of her box, finally. The first thing I notice about Rina is of course her ‘action pose’, or rather, her I’m about to fall over pose if Yuki’s not there to lean on (and vise versa for Yuki). In this, I should have bought Yuki if only to have something for Rina to lean on. Rina’s pose shows some energy as you might imagine her having during one of her performances, her hair flowing outwards and her skirt flowing upwards as she dances across the stage. The colour scheme of her clothes seem well matched, though the red highheels might be a bit much. Every colour in the rainbow goes well with white and black, and yellow and blue are complimentary colours making the blue and gold work. The best part of her clothes though, zettai ryouiki, but you knew that was coming.

Looking more closely at her clothes and into the paintwork Good Smile’s done, well it leaves something to be desired that’s for sure. Rina’s hair, thighhighs, shoes, skirt and top all for the most part seem quite satisfactorily done, but moving in closer to the gold edging well, it seems like the artist was in a hurry. Get some gold paint on there real quick and don’t let the QC guy take too long a look or he might notice my complete and utter fail of a paint job that’s been done. To be honest it’s really the only thing wrong with Rina, but it’s wrong in quite a severe manner. There are many sections of white where gold should be, and many sections of gold where white should be. There are brush marks in much of it and some of it is far too thin. It’s a real shame because everything else on Rina seems acceptably done.

Moving to the mold work Yokota Ken’s sculpted Rina with enough details to be happy with and enough wrinkles to appear like she’s wearing clothes.  The corrugations in her skirt are pleasing and the folds between her breasts as well as under are delightful in what they hint towards. But what stands out most in terms of sculpting is Rina’s hair, the number layers and directions in her hair. Along with the well done shading I think it’s some of the better hair I’ve seen on a figure, which is interesting when contrasted with how poorly her paintwork is elsewhere. I do wonder what went on in that factory of Good Smiles. Rina’s sculpting though could have used some more attention to detail however, for example her thighhighs, despite the bend of her leg have no wrinkles or fold where one should expect some. It’s like they’re painted on to her legs.

The last problem with my Rina though is her base, I love that it’s a record that’s a great idea. But where’s the sticker I’m supposed to put on it? Good Smile Company’s forgotten mine! I see no such sticker in my box, or the packaging. Additionally why is it separate in the first place? it should be placed at the factory or printed on.

Rina was by far my favourite character from White Album and I’m quite happy to own a figure of her. Since GSC’s Rina is the only available there’s not much choice in the matter and overall from the usual distances she’s quite acceptable. But the problems noted above really drag her down, and it’s a real shame because she could have been the definitive Ogata Rina, but unfortunately she can’t be. Someone else is just going to have to release a better Rina, one preferably in her street clothes as they felt more intimate, where her stage clothes gives her a distant feel. Volks has released a Dollfie for Rina, with her original eye colour from the game (brown), unlike the Anime where her eyes were blue such as this figure. But most Dollfie’s seem to have the same face and tend not to look like their animated counterparts very much. The two so far I’ve felt got it most right in that regard is Tohsaka Rin and Saber, but I digress. Ogata Rina is a failed attempt at the perfect Rina, and I’ll always be a little disappointed with Good Smile’s attempt.

There needs to be more Rina artwork on the Internets…

-Aka

Pros

  • Nice action pose with hair to match
  • That short skirt, and what it reveals
  • Zettai ryouiki

Cons

  • While her hair is well painted, the gold lining is not
  • Lacking detail in her legs
  • Missing sticker for base


Gallery

Comments

  1. Miette-chan says:

    Come to think of it I never did finish watching White Album. Although by the end I had a really good impression of Rina, specially with her “It’s not over yet!” or something to that effect comment. Plus that idiot getting a little backbone at the end was nice.
    I got sidetracked, I have seen reviews for Rina before but this is the first time I see problems with the painting. Then again it’s also the first time I see close up photos of her clothes.
    Also I never noticed the base was a record, I think that’s a nice touch. Even more if it’s one of Rina’s.

    • Aka says:

      I’d heard about the paint fail before, but having never taken mine out of the packaging until this review I didn’t know how bad it was. It’s really poor, I found it hard to believe this would pass quality.

      The base is supposed to have a sticker on it that says White Album, I only even know of their existance because of this review>/a> by Hikari to Kage.

  2. Tier says:

    Rina’s one of those figures I was on the fence on but decided to skip. One reason for that was because I’d have felt compelled to get Yuki to go along with her, and I wasn’t too interested in her. Rina looks very nice, though, as long as you aren’t looking at her through a viewfinder fed by a big lens, I guess. Though then again … man, that’s some real bad paint, I think I can color better than that with crayons. It almost looks like they used mustard to color her in. I think her pose and look would make up for that sloppiness if I had her, though.

    These performer girls need to wear racier undergarments. I find it difficult to believe that a songstress in a saucy skirt and fire engine pumps is going to wear underwear sold in a three-pack at Wal-Mart.

    • Aka says:

      I think Rina does need Yuki to stand next to, and I did and do feel compelled to buy Yuki. I suspect if I see her at a good price I’ll do so. But I really didn’t like her character in the series. I think I’ll just stand Rina next to Hatsune Miku.

      You don’t need a big lens to see the fail in this paint. I used the Sigma 105mm to draw attention to it sure, but I can look at her from 2 feet away and see that terribly mixed gold that’s too thin in places and dark in others, and the blob of extra paint on her left breast. It’s so blatently obvious. But I do like the figure overall.

      I too felt a little disappointed with her undergarments. I mean, there isn’t even any cameltoe, seriously, there’s cameltoe in every figure, why doesn’t Rina have any? I guess it’s just a wholesome pantyshot, for the whole family.

  3. The painting is quality is quite….bad after looking at the close up pictures.
    Shes my fav character which i was contemplating in getting the figure but last minute decided not to, i guess i made the right choice, i was expecting more (better) from this figure. The base and pose is good, at least your pictures are great in which makes Rina seem a great figure! =)

    • Aka says:

      I wouldn’t necessarily say it was the right choice. The problem is serious, but if she can be found at a reasonable price given the expecations on paint quality (poor), then she’s fine to purchase. She’s a lovely figure, GSC just failed her.

      Thanks, I worked way too hard for these pictures. Oddly, of the set, my favourites are of her foot, the last 2 pics on the right in the review.

  4. Chag says:

    Eughhhh, That gold lining reminds me of my own messy work on my Figma Saber with a gundam marker! The assembly line worker responsible for that step must’ve been super-sleepy or just downright hate his job. The paint doesn’t even seem properly mixed at some parts, since the tone is pretty inconsistent in some parts. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too harsh on GSC, but that whole block of closeup shots reminded of the reason why I tend to be critical and skeptical of GSC’s figures.
    …Hmmm, I wonder how much GSC pay their Chinese factory employees…

    • Aka says:

      GSC’s an odd company. They do so well at so many things, then overlook what might seem like small things at the time? But they’re not, especially for the prices they request.

      And given those prices, I do wonder how much the Chinese workforce get paid for their amazing work on these luxury and completely useless items I (we) buy. I know a lot of it is just injection molding and easily done in manufacturing when following a process, but the paintwork on a good number of figures requires effort, or I feel it must. Of course we know they get paid a pittance compared to their cost to us.

  5. Ashlotte says:

    For reasons beyond me gold seems to be the worst color there is when it comes to figures, especially if its being used like here as a detailer. Some of the most excellent overall paint jobs I’ve seen have been brought down a few notches because of it…no clue why. >_>

    • Aka says:

      Maybe it just doesn’t dry as nicely as other paints and unless done with the upmost care ends up like Rina where it’s blobbed and run all over the place.

      Having worked on production lines I can understand how things get passed QC though. They’ll never check every item, they’ll check 1 in 10, or 1 in 100 or whatever, and depending on how friendly they are with eachother they’ll pick the 1 or 3 or whatever good ones and have them inspect those so that the job is technically done but not really done at random or correctly. At one job, when a testing machine wasn’t working they just had us bipass the test all together, shipping untested product.

      Another anecdote semi-related. The house I live in is only a couple years old, and the fan in my furnace died yesterday, why? Because the builders left a coffee cup in the ducts and it fell into the fan.

      I really don’t know why I should expect a figure to be produced with the upmost quality, nothing else is.

      • Ashlotte says:

        Well its hardly the same…These are technically works of art that we collect so I don’t think its unreasonable to hold them up to a higher standard. Plus they have no guarantee or chance of refund and any flaws aren’t something most of us can correct unlike say the air purifier that I just bought that had a few internal problems that I fixed myself.

        Part of the reason why I’m not very compelled to buy anything outside of proven makers like Alter and Max Factory… >_<

        • Aka says:

          I’m not sure they’re works of art, they’re a product. A work of art isn’t intended to be a product reproduced on an assembly line by the lowest common denominator, over and over again.

          We buy them as works of art though. I think that’s the disconnect between the two.

  6. Nopy says:

    I never really got into White Album, it just wasn’t my kind of anime, but this Rina figure looks decent. I like the sculpt and the glossy parts on her arms and legs, but the paint job does ruin the figure a bit. I’ve noticed that some of my more recent GSC figures also have some paint problems, so I’m guessing they’re getting greedy over there and are trying to increase production without increasing costs.

    • Aka says:

      GSC’s a bit hit or miss. Canaan turned out poor compared to her prototype shots, Hayakawa Yuzuko turned out well but GSC changed the base, Black Rock Shooter turned out amazing but they changed her scars and Index is well done but does suffer from some minor paint issues. And that’s the last 5 GSC figures I’ve received.

      It seems their recent trend is to do really well in many areas, then mess up one of them leaving us to wonder what’s up.

  7. Rajura says:

    I have to agree that paint job is quite sorry. And speaking of sorry, I’m sorry you didn’t get that sticker, maybe something could be done about it… but is it worth the effort?

    She is very cute with the blue eyes… could have been an excellent figure my if not for that poor effort in painting! Her costume’s color scheme is nice too… reminds me a little of my high school’s colors.

    As always, excellent camera-work!

    • Aka says:

      I considered emailing Good Smile Company about the sticker. I’m not sure I care that I don’t have it, as I do like the base being as reflective as it is where the sticker would go. It allowed for a nice effect in the last picture of the review on the right. But I also feel I should email them as an indication that they did screw up, more than just the figure itself.

      Thanks!

  8. Rico-sama says:

    Wow, that last series of shots is phenominal. I keep scrolling back up to your review to reference some points you made but I keep stopping at those shots. The amazing colors was the first thing that hit me but I later realized you were making a concert out of it! Very creative and very well done. How long did that set up take?

    I got both Rina and Yuki and I really wasn’t too impressed on the quality of either. Rina came out the best but mine had some of the same paint detailing issues as yours did. :/ Sucks that you didn’t get the sticker but I would’ve gladly sacrificed that instead of getting some of the mold issues mine had, lol.

    I’ve never realized until now how plain her panties look. GSC really shoul’ve done something to spice those up.

    It’s weird though – Rina is part of that moment in late 2009/early 2010 where a number of PVC makers didn’t deliver their normal quality. Well “a number” being GSC and Alter. I’ve always wondered what happened to cause that fluctuation with them. IIRC it also happened to the figures which got delayed so maybe they were just rushed.

    • Aka says:

      Thanks! I thought the header image would have given away the concert bit 😛 Though I did wonder if it would come off as too much, or noticeably poorly done as the smoke and lasers are photoshopped in, since I don’t have a way of doing either. As for the picture set, I’m enjoying the freedoms my new lens allows, sometimes distances are a bit of an issue as it’s such a long focal length, but overall it allows me to do everything I want to.

      The setup didn’t quite go as planned… The sign I originally got the idea from this post on Flickr about light stencils. I thought it was a neat idea I’d like to try, but I pretty much failed at getting anything interesting. So I repurposed the sign a bit and stuck it to a box that I placed a light inside of. I still never got the effect I was looking for but I went with it anyway because I’d invested so much time. The lighting effects were simple enough, but I was trying to get a more concerty feel than I think I got with that sign.

      What sort of molding defects did you get? I don’t recall you having reviewed her either.

      I suppose her panties are tastefully plain, they don’t appear to be granny panties or anything.

      GSC was definitely harder hit though than Alter, I doubt we’ll get an answer from them about that time though, they’d likely wish we all forgot it ever happened.

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  10. I was gonna say it looks like GSC did a pretty good job with this figure until you showed the close-up of the paint work. The paint work doesn’t seem like the typical GSC quality though, but then again recently their paint work on their figures seem hit and miss.

    I really like the “stage” feeling you have in the pics, nicely done! The pose on this figure sort of reminds me of Lynn Minmay in DYRL. <3

    • Aka says:

      I feel the same way, the figure looked great in the box, and I always felt I should review her. Took her out, thought wow, good on you Good Smile Company. Then started to really look and ew…

      I wish I’d gotten a better stage feel… but thanks!

  11. Psycho says:

    Hurr, after looking at close up photo, I could see “that QAULITY painting.” T_T.

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