When Alter previewed Kaminagi Ryoko at WonFes I was extremely surprised, she isn’t a very popular character as far as I know. Someone at Alter must really be a fan of hers, or Zegapain, because Alter had already made a figure of Ryoko in the past and there was no new series coming out either. Their reasons however don’t matter to me, I simply had to purchase her, let me tell you why.
Zegapain was an alright series and I was relatively entertained by it back in the day. However even looking through rose coloured goggles the series doesn’t stand out as anything too special. In fact, I think the series would have been entirely forgettable if it wasn’t for Kaminagi Ryoko, or more specifically, Hanazawa Kana, her voice actor. At the time Hanazawa was ~17 years old and Ryoko was her first (real) voice acting role in an anime, she had a fresh new sound and myself and a couple friends fell in love with her voice. We “HNNNNGGG’d” before Katawa Shoujo was even an illustration, let alone a full dating sim. It was this nostalgia that made this figure so desirable, as she didn’t exactly stand out amongst the other top tier figures being released at the time, that isn’t to say she’s a poor or average figure either, she is produced by Alter after all.
If we were to compare her to Alter’s original Kaminagi figure released in September of 2007, she’s easily superior with a much more dynamic posture, the inclusion of her video camera, and a more playful appearance, much more like how I remember her character being. That said, the original figure wasn’t bad at all for a 2007 figure, so I don’t really understand the need to resurrect her in a new form. Honestly, that sounds like something you’d do to capitalize on an up and coming trend, except I saw no such trend, it makes me wonder how well she sold. Some additional data as to how forgettable the series seems to have been for many, there are only 113 illustrations for Zegapain on Danbooru, 33 of which are by Tony Taka from a doujinshi, half of which are duplicates.
Looking at Ryoko, I forgot just how short their skirts were in that series, they barely cover her. It’s nice that they reveal so much of her legs and some how comes away looking cute, when I remember the uniforms back when I was in high school, any girl who wore her kilt that short was a bit of a strumpet. I suppose if the entire female body of the school wore their uniforms as such, the floozies would have worn theirs shorter still. A moot point however as none of them would have had the legs of an anime character, long and slender, without imperfections. One of the many reasons I rarely find zettai ryouiki appealing in reality, but that’s another topic.
The detail work for such a simple figure is quite good, going so far as to detail and paint the zoom and focus rings on the camcorder, the buttons, microphone, even the screen has information on it, such as white balance indicators, focus point, recording mode etc… About the only thing that seems off about Ryoko is her eyes. I almost want to say she’s got the crazy eyes, there’s just something about them that throws me off constantly, either they’re not looking at the same object, or they’re dilated oddly, I’m really not sure. But beyond that, the paintwork is on par for average with Alter, which is quite good in the grand scheme, though not their best.
While I generally hate gimmickry on figures, since such experiences are always lacking, I would have liked to have had a base with a button on it. The button would of course play Kaminagi’s adorable voice, I don’t care what she says really as long as it were cute sounding like I remember from the series. Unfortunately, the series series is so forgotten there isn’t even a video on YouTube I can use as an example of her voice, it’s changed over the years, I don’t think will ever sound like Ryoko again. *sigh* Oh well, I’m happy to have bought her.
- Playful appearance and a reasonable amount of detail
- Good price point, ¥5,800 MSRP
- A non-slutty extremely short miniskirt, yay anime!
- Boring generic frizbee base
- Potential to lean in the future
- Boring for those who don’t know or like the character