Its without a doubt that im an anime and manga fan. I just love them so much, and certain series really left a lasting impact on you after watching or reading them. But when it comes to figurines and anime models or busts, im not keen in collecting them at all. Yeah some are really well done and of high quality and ive seen my fair share of them. And thus it is inevitable that it comes at a premium, especially when price is concerned. There are very few that caught my attention, especially when it comes to detail, but there are even fewer that really caught me staring at it for hours on end.
Today, my friend and i went around Singapore, specifically Chinatown and Bugis to look for shops that specialises in this kind of hobby, collecting figurines. I was quite amazed that there were quite a number of them in fact. Whether you are a Star Wars fan or Mecha maniac or Chibi/sexy girl’s collector, you will definitely find many of them around these two areas.
So i went and i came across this marvelous looking piece of work.
This is taken from a magazine featuring the figure that i saw:
The first time i saw this bust, i was blown away. It’s from the anime called Blood+, and it features the sword-wielding Satoshi Saya and half-bodied Hagi as her supporter seen above. The figure was release in June, 2006. Created by Megahouse, under the Excellent Model Series. Now i need to stress this. Im not an avid model collector, but this single piece just sold me, and ill tell you why later. It was priced at a whopping SGD75 and i think this is the single most expensive thing that i have ever spent on a piece of PVC. I may regret buying this because it was partially out of impulse, but owning one is really priceless despite the hefty pricetag. I dunno, but maybe this must be some kind of “rite of passage” for model and figurine collectors, overcoming price barriers.
So i opened the package and here it is, all fully painted, ready for display in all its glory. The figure is about 12cm tall, a 1/8 scale. Its not too big nor too small for me and it features not one characters, but 2. Saya is the dominating piece, followed by the half bodied Hagi supporting her by the thigh, using his bandaged arm. The sword is removable and it has quite an amount of detail to it, especially the inclusion of the groove in the middle of the sword for Saya’s blood to flow through.
Looking from the back and side, you can see the quality of the figure, nicely painted with no bleeding on the other areas, and accurately molded. Colourwise, there is nothing outstanding, however the vibrancy of the colours are there and accurately depicted. The flow of the uniform and skirt is well done, and really catches the iconic moment when she goes for the final blow.
As for Hagi, there is no cutting corners here. Everything from his hair, his outfit and to his flowing bandage cloth from his right hand was wonderfully done. But personally, it was kinda dissapointing to see Hagi in a half a body. If it had been his full form together with Saya, as a duo figure, i think it would have been much more worth it for purchase. But still, Hagi still gets quite a bit of attention in this figure, judging from the his pose with Saya.
So why do i like this figure so much? Well there are a few reasons. Firstly, it’s the character itself. Saya is one of my favaourite female heroes. In the character, she has integrity, honesty and a sense of family values, putting her life before her family members. Though she isnt human, she continually struggle to find a sense of identity for herself and it is her father and 2 siblings that helped her find that.
Secondly, is Hagi’s complete trust and bond towards Saya. He is a protector, guardian, mentor and friend for Saya and I find it really romantic to see such bond between him and her. He always supports and protects Saya, even at the cost of his life. At first glance, you may see him as a reserved, mysterious person, but he is as human as he can be despite what happened to him to make him “inhuman” (as evidenced by the bandaged hand from the figure).
And when you put them together in a figure in such a pose, it really epitomizes their characters. Saya going for the killing blow, in an attempt to save the human race, but more personally her family, and Hagi supporting her as he had always done so many times before. This isnt about a single character, but 2 characters working together and that is why i like so much about this figure. The message is crystal clear and simple. And thus it moved me to think that a figure like that would really carry such a message from within.