Figure Review: Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato

There’s no secret about it: I’m a huge Evangelion fan. It seems strange, then, that I didn’t have any fixed-pose figures of any of the Eva characters until yesterday (though I have plenty of action figures). The problem is that most Eva PVC figures feature one of the female pilots in her plugsuit, striking some sort of pose for a nonexistent camera. This doesn’t bother me for most characters, but the Eva characters need more. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to seeing them, but a fixed-pose Eva figure needs to bring more to the table than a good sculpt and paint job.

What I’m really looking for is an interesting take on the character. How many Mari figures just have her being still and smiling? Why can’t we see the crazy Mari toward the end of Eva 2.22? The same goes for Asuka and Rei. I’m so used to their normal versions, I want a PVC rendition that brings out different qualities in them.

Fortunately, Yamato’s got my back. They’ve made some (in my opinion) terrible looking figures, but I really love the fact that they’ll cater to some of the nichiest niches. Their Creator’s Labo line puts out some truly unique products, and this time they put out an Evangelion figure that I just couldn’t resist.

It’s a version of Asuka (still named Soryu!) designed by artist Shunya Yamashita, who is famous for making everything he draws irrepressibly cute and sexy. Seriously, check out the guy’s website. He is some kind of wizard.

Yamashita’s Asuka is older than her animated counterpart, and as such the plugsuit covers much less of her. Yamashita’s original illustration was expertly brought into the third dimension by sculptor Mitsumasa Yoshizawa. Compared to the source illustration, Yoshizawa’s sculpt makes her look somewhat older. I don’t mind though, as it still looks utterly beautiful.

This Asuka figure turns the character into a pin-up in the spirit of illustrations by people like Alberto Vargas. There is a joy and innocence to the character thanks to her non-suggestive pose. She’s sexy, but kind of oblivious to it. Fortunately, the way the reds of her plugsuit contrasts with her skin does a good job of drawing attention to the naughty bits. It’s truly a superb design.

Overall the scultping is excellent. I especially like the sway of the hair, and the way her leggings pinch her thighs. It’s a very sensual product through and through.

The paint job is very nice. The skin shading is there (promo pics tend to make her look pale), and the shiny red finish on her plugsuit is perfect. There’s just something about that bright red that holds my attention. It’s very hard to put into words, as if it’s some primal instinct that attracts me to the coloring. Yamato does not give any scales as usual, but she stands at a sizable 25 cm.

In terms of drawbacks, I can’t think of many. I’m not a fan of the base or the packaging. The paint on the hair can get a bit rough. But really, can you let such minutia sour such an excellent figure? I am concerned that I might mess up the leg. Obviously, the figure only stands on one leg which pegs into the base. The join at that point doesn’t seem super sturdy, so it’s a figure you’d have to handle gingerly.

Apart from the Tomahawk model, I love all of the Yamato figures I own (only three admittedly). But this Asuka figure blows them all out of the water thanks to Shunya Yamashita’s design and Mitsumasa Yoshizawa’s sculpting. They also collaborated on a Rei figure, but I find that one less intriguing for some reason. It just looks… off.

Perhaps I like this figure so much because it’s full of joy and cheer, while most Evangelion figures are decidedly joyless. Whatever the case may be, I’m absolutely elated to have this figure in my collection.

Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato

Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato

Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato

Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato

Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato

Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato

Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato

Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato
That pinch in the thighs is all-important. Even better when paired with zettai ryouiki.

Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato

Asuka Langley Soryu by Yamato

NOTE: There is one flaw that almost ruins the entire figure. It’s so subtle that you may not notice it even after studying the photos closely. But once you see it, it kind of messes up the whole face. I still love this figure overall but yeah… that really should have been fixed. Hopefully the production flaw is limited to my sample.