It’s a Halloween two-fer! Well it would have been if Amiami had shipped this a few days earlier. Today we’ll be looking at another Embrace Japan figure: Diabolus Macrodontia Tibalta. This is the seventh figure in their “Black Arts Keeper” line, and I think the only one without any kind of cast-off feature.
I generally don’t buy a ton of loli style figures but I enjoyed the character design for this one. This standard version isn’t actually the first release; a Dengeki Hobby exclusive came out some time ago with a different color scheme.
The Amiami release came with a manga issue and a DVD. I haven’t watched the DVD yet and can’t read Japanese, so I couldn’t tell you what any of this is about. As far as I can tell the manga contains some light fanservice about the three Diabolus characters. BTW they seem to be named using the binomial nomenclature in taxonomy: Inclinatus = bent/slanted, Ungulate = hoofed, and Macrodontia = large-toothed. Uh… I guess it makes sense? It’s also kind of strange that while D. Inclinatus was retroactively named Desdemona, D. Ungulate wasn’t given a new name in the manga intro. Maybe she gets one in Japanese, I don’t know.
Tibalta follows in the design language of Sousi Hirose’s other figures, mixing a lot of exposed skin with funky armor, demonic wings/horns, and… frogs. She has a very slight build, but her stature is enlarged by her wings, gauntlets, and imposing scythe. It’s a cool look that makes the figure visually appealing despite the pose not being very dynamic.
I’m not as into the color scheme as I was with Desdemona. The red accents are cool but her blue hair and black clothes look a bit plain. I do like the red cocktail cherry skull serving as the base, though.
The setup process for this figure was pretty simple. You only need to attach a single peg to Tibalta’s foot (which, unlike Embrace Japan’s previous figures, fits very securely) and put the scythe in her hands. It splits into two pieces, and there’s a prong on the shaft that prevents it from rotating under its own weight. Smart!
I’m mostly satisfied by the build quality. With only a foot being the attachment point to the base, there’s minimal risk of scuffs and paint transfer. There’s also no cast-off feature that I can discern, so all the irritating things about Embrace Japan’s cast-off engineering don’t crop up here. The one thing I might take issue with is the joint where her legs meet her butt. It looks like, well, a glued together joint – rather unnatural. Tibalta also has kind of a beaklike mouth, which some may find cute but I thought was just weird.
Like Desdemona, Embrace Japan has done a good job on Tibalta by keeping the figure relatively simple. That’s not to say the design is unambitious (looking at you, Alter and Wave), but both figures lack the needlessly complex cast-off parts featured in their other figures. I’m really looking forward to putting all of these Black Arts Keeper girls into a single display.