NSFW Figure Review: Diabolus Inclinatus Desdemona by Embrace Japan

Halloween has come (and gone!) which means it’s time to call out the spirits. In early October I received my eagerly anticipated pre-order of Embrace Japan’s Diabolus Inclinatus Desdemona. Everything about her screamed “Halloween” so I took the whole month thinking of how to set up this shoot. A couple of pumpkins and a boatload of dried moss later, I finally have a figure review!

This figure, as with the other Embrace Japan figures I’ve reviewed, has its ups and downs. However it feels like a more refined product than their previous ones. The construction is simplistic for the most part, and the annoying clothing bits are kept to a minimum.

One thing I’ve come to appreciate as a figure collector is simplicity – not necessarily in a figure’s design, but in the packaging and build. Desdemona doesn’t require much assembly and the process is intuitive enough that an instruction sheet isn’t included. The packaging isn’t loaded with plastic wrap. There’s enough to protect the figure but it’s not annoying to get through.

When you do unpack this lady, you’ll be in for a treat. Desdemona is absolutely gorgeous thanks to Sousi Hirose’s character design. It’s similar to the original Diabolus Inclinatus, but this one has a bit more flourish (and of course the awesome base). I love her pose, perched upon a jutting outcrop of rock. And I love the weird little frog and fork on the bottom (sort of an artist’s trademark now).

Although the base and giant trident are attention-grabbing, the character herself is striking enough to dominate the scene. I think that’s great design, as none of the elements of this figure are boring to look at. Desdemona attracts your gaze with her vibrant orange hair. Her clothing has gradients of purple with white accents, adding a little contrast to an outfit that was originally plain black. Another more subtle change is her eye color, which went from yellow-orange to a more contrasting green. All the colors come together in a way that works, without one color dominating the figure. And – always a bonus – the finish catches light very well for photography.

While the piece is wonderful to look at, it wouldn’t be Embrace Japan without some nagging issues. As I was seating and unseating the figure, I found that paint had transferred from the base onto her skin. I really wish Embrace Japan would do something about this, as it’s now an issue in three of my four Embrace Japan figures. The other issue is the cast off feature. They’ve kept the design of the original, where the breast plates are inserted via a slot under her breasts. But if you loosen them, they are very difficult to put back in.

You’re also given two tiny pieces to fill in the slots if you want topless mode. The problem is, it’s hard to figure out where each piece goes and how they fit. And they’re so tiny that I lost them immediately – I only recovered them after 20 minutes crawling on the floor. There has to be a better way than to fiddle with such microscopic pieces of plastic.

So yeah… not perfect. But this is still a beautiful figure that can act as a centerpiece to any display. In terms of design, sculpting, and painting, Embrace Japan really hit this one out of the park. I’ll just have to keep hoping that one day they fix the paint transfer problems and figure out a smarter way to do cast-off.

Embrace Japan Diabolus Inclinatus Desdemona

Embrace Japan Diabolus Inclinatus Desdemona

Embrace Japan Diabolus Inclinatus Desdemona

Embrace Japan Diabolus Inclinatus Desdemona

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