Makinami Mari Illustrious by Max Factory

Standing Max Factory’s Mari next to Kotobukiya’s, I wish I could send Koto’s back to Max Factory for a repaint. She really looks plain and dull next to MF’s Mari, despite the fact she’s insisting I admire her bottom. A demand I have no issue complying with.

Pre-orders are so far out that I often forget the details of the items I’ve ordered. While I never forgot that I ordered Mari, I did forget she was the same 1/6th scale as Kotobukiya’s run of Evangelion figures. This is especially funny for me because I’ve recently been of the opinion 1/6th figures lack the needed detail for their size and sold Good Smile Company’s Saber for that very reason. Then arrives Mari to rub it in my face and remind me that I have a bunch of acceptable 1/6th figures already. Though, I should say GSC’s Saber was probably closer to 1/5th than 1/6th, she was quite a large girl.

At first glance Max’s Mari looks rather uninspired, as if Chieri just crapped out an Eva figure because it was demanded of them rather than having any interest in doing so themselves. She looks like something Wave or even SEGA could have come up with for their prize figures, but if one is willing to take a second look at her you’ll start to notice she’s actually really well done. The pose comes from a piece of official art in the Bluray of Evangelion 2.22 and while there’s not a huge amount of detail in her plugsuit like say Millimeter Modeling’s Asuka, she’s not 1/4th scale either and plugsuits are fairly simple. The creases and looseness in Millimeter Modeling’s Asuka doesn’t quite look as sexy as an unnaturally perfect fitting plugsuit anyway.

What makes Mari stand out from her common simplistic appearance however is her colour. She’s so much more vibrant than Kotobukiya’s Mari and even seems to fit in rather well amongst the others. Though, unfortunately her metalic finish causes all of the others to look inferiorly painted. Which is a real shame, because the others were all quite good. Though, I wonder, if they had the same finish as Mari would they look good with it? I’ve always really liked Alter’s Ayanami Rei for example and she has an incredibly matte finish. A question to ponder.

Continuing to compare Max’s to Koto’s, Max’s appears to be a much more accurate representation of Mari. Her face doesn’t look strange, and her glasses look sexy rather than nerdy. Additionally Max’s Mari has bright blue eyes, very noticeable and even managing to draw one’s attention towards them, rather than her body. Kind of sexy in it’s own right, though her curves are pretty nice I have to admit. Well, except those breasts. Those of you who know me already know this though, they’re too big of course. I think if I were to pick the best Mari representation I’d have to go with a cosplayer, yes a real person. Chamaro’s done an excellent cosplay of Mari and is very attractive, so take her, place her into an exaggerated anime style and she’d have the perfect breasts and proportions for my ideal Mari (and back to 2D where we belong).

Sometimes with a figure there are various scenes you can imagine them placed within, however there’s only one I imagine Mari in. I picture her standing atop an Evangelion, serenely overseeing the chaotic post-apocalyptic landscape below, wind blowing through her hair and a vibrant blue sky above. Shame I couldn’t find a way to recreate that, I searched around on Google Maps for my local post-apocalyptic landscape but was unable to find one unfortunately.


Starting with this review I’ve decided to discontinue the use of my old quantitative hard numbers approach to rating things. As my opinions change and skew with time the consistency of the rating system diminished to the point of uselessness. So from now on I’ll be using a qualitative approach, giving some quick bullet points of traits I believe positively or negatively affect the figures quality or appearance. It’s my hope this will be more useful to visitors than everything being 3+ stars. Additionally I’ve hidden the Gallery to save space, clicking “Gallery” will toggle it’s display.


  • Accurately sculpted.
  • Vibrantly painted with a nice metallic sheen.
  • Nice detailing such as painted lips, very rare thing to see.
  • Displays well with Kotobukiya’s 1/6th Evangelion series of figures


  • Simplistic apperance.
  • Paint spots on her left buttocks.
  • Strange look to her bottom, the legs of her plugsuit bulge out around her bum. Likely caused where her legs join her torso.



  1. Fabienne says:

    I have to agree,on first glance she really looks a little bit uninspired, maybe it is because of the few details on the legs, which are standing out a lot in this standing pose. Aside from the legs the details of the suit are very nice.

    I think the face of Mari is very pretty and well made. She has a really strong face expression and resembles Mari very well 🙂 These painted lips are great.

  2. Ashlotte says:

    You should never compare things to a Max Factory paint job it’s just asking for disappointment sadly…

    Still even a superior paintjob can’t make me like that pink suit! Just going to have to keep my fingers crossed that the Yamato school uniform turns out well!

  3. Rajura says:

    She is rather nice looking, but you are right.

    As I looked the figure, the first thing I noticed was an abnormal backside. Her posterior just doesn’t look right.

    Otherwise, I like the “group shot”.

    I like the new pros and cons section! Keep that set-up for future reviews and keep up the good work.

    • Aka says:

      Looks like the group shot needs another Rei and Misato. Some how doubt there’ll be another 1/6th Misato on the horizon…

      Glad the pro/con section is working out.

  4. Tian says:

    While I agree the figure is very well made, I still think it’s extraordinarily boring. An Eva pilot in a plug suit is just not very exciting anymore… I’m definitely with Ashlotte in wanting the Yamato one.

    That said this probably is the best of the Mari figures released, and your review is spot on. However I didn’t really notice any strangeness with the butt on mine. Maybe it’s the angles or lighting in your photographs that brings out her uncomfortable wedgie? I think in real life, under normal lighting conditions, it looks all right.

    • Aka says:

      I’m still a fan of the plugsuit, it’s very sexy. But I can see how it’d be getting boring, it’s been around for 16 years now.

      It wasn’t the butt crack that was the issue, it was the bit where her legs meet the torso. They seem to hug overtop of her bum rather than smoothly mold into it.

  5. Chag says:

    I like the pose. I understand why others wouldn’t be crazy about it, but the image of her standing tall is compelling to me. With that said, a slightly less plain base might’ve helped in evoking the post-apocalyptic imagery. The rubble motif might have been done by Alter and Kotobukiya already, but I think it would’ve been a nice inclusion nonetheless.

    I wholly welcome the adaptation of the Pros & Cons system. In addition to the question of consistency, I’ve always found quick-to-read bullet point to be more informative than raw numbers.

    • Aka says:

      The base could have been better for sure, but the plain clear plastic base is much better than the randomly coloured ones that often get thrown in.

      I always find the Pro/Con system means people don’t read the review they just read the bullet points and make comments based on those. But I agree, they’re more useful for sure.

    • Tian says:

      I dunno, I quite like the NERV base. I’m a fan of Evangelion’s iconology, its various logos, and industrial designs.

      The pros/cons section is a good move for usability. Unfortunately most readers don’t stay on a web page for very long, so the easier it is for them to find the info they need, the likelier it is for them to return.

  6. Tier says:

    I’ll be the voice of discord and say that I love her plugsuit. Especially this rendition’s. The hot pink color really stands out and puts Kotobukiya’s drab-colored figure to shame. I also like this figure’s face quite a bit more; she doesn’t have the odd chin and broad grin of the older figure. The pose isn’t the most exciting but it shows off her body lines very well, and I like how her eyes have an enthusiastic spark to them. Just what she’s enthusiastic about depends on how dirty your mind is, I suppose.

    I took a look at Google Maps and I guess the nearest barren wasteland would be Detroit, and yeah, I guess that’s quite a bit too far away to get to.

    • Aka says:

      The hot pink is well, hot! I wonder how much sexier Koto’s Mari would have been with just such a paint scheme. Seems you share my opinion of her.

      Detroit is a bit too far yes, and I don’t have my Passport, though it’s coming. But I avoid Detroit now at all costs, I dislike their border patrol. Everytime I went through they’d search my car, never happened at any other border.

  7. lovelyduckie says:

    I pre-ordered her just a week or so before her release. Pretty much I initially passed because I reminded myself I have a Kotobukiya version of her…and after watching the first two movies decided that I MUST have her too! It honestly took all my willpower not to run out and buy the Kotobukiya test plug suit of Asuka after the 2nd movie too…and your post is not helping that goal…making me look at that Asuka figure again and thinking how lovely her body looks…darn you

    • Aka says:

      You should totally buy the test suit Asuka, complete the set! Though perhaps you can skip the Kaworu figure they just opened pre-orders on. I kind of feel I should get him for a complete set… but I don’t really like him at all.

      I used to have will power… now I just have an empty wallet all the time.