Arsene by Good Smile Company
Time to catch up with some figures I think. So for my first review of 2012 I present to you Arsene by Good Smile Company.
Arsene is the sort of antagonist from the anime series Milky Holmes. I don’t know much about the series if I’m truly honest. From the fragmented approach I took to watching the series I believe the main group of brightly pastel coloured protagonists are descendants of famous detectives. The whole first season of Milky Holmes appeared to be about them loosing their special powers, becoming incompetent, and trying to regain their once former glory – all while trying to apprehend the infamous leader of the Gentlemen Thieves – Arsene. Oddly enough this is all done with the aid of Arsene and her motley crew. In the series Arsene can be found as seen here in her scrumptious exhibitionist outfit, or as her undercover personality of school president – Henriette Mystere.
I wouldn’t recommend it but if you want to check out Milky Holmes you can watch it over at crunchyroll. Episode 7 has swimsuits, skip the rest. I believe a second season is also in the works – might be next anime season actually. I checked he lied.
Anyway enough of my loathing of Milky Holmes. We’re here for Arsene, the only saving grace of the series. If you’re willing to dress up in a skimpy leather outfit, don a cape and source a masquerade mask to go burgling you’re a pretty bad ass character in my book. Heck she even has grey hair. Optional trench coat and darker skin tone would be perfection, but we’re fairly close.
My immediate thought upon opening her box was ‘she’s quite small, even at 1/8 scale’. She’s about 18cm in fact from foot to the tip of her crown. Compared with the rest of my collection she’s certainly one of the smaller standing figures – smaller than Alters Buddy who previously held that position. It’s also not helped by her compact vertical profile. The flapping cape gives the illusion of volume to her build and adds an element of asymmetry, but the main attraction is her pose and outfit.
There’s many things I enjoy about Arsenes’ character design. The shiney black leathery outfit is dead sexy. GSC love their glossy paint, and so do I . The way her cape is flapping in the wind looks dynamic with realistic creases, as does the black skirt-like-bit of her suit (that’s it’s official name, honest). Her left hand looks as though she’s trying to hold it down. That or she’s posing alluringly. I can picture her atop a rooftop looking down upon her next heist, classic batman style.
The masquerade mask is something I’m really digging. I used to (and still do on and off) play Guild Wars where my character was a Mesmer. So the whole outfit and style reminds me very much of that class from the game. Since we’re veering off-topic I might as well throw it out there that I can’t wait for Guild Wars 2. It’s going to be awesome. A large chunk of my annual leave may be allocated to the beta and release weeks.
If a mask isn’t your thing GSC have given you the option to remove it. Simply remove the front of her hair as if she were a figma/nendoroid and unclip the mask. Done.
I still prefer the mask. It adds a little mystery I find. Plus the black colouring of the mask draws attention to her eyes. I find without the mask on I’m drawn more towards her outfit.
Her hair style is quite interesting. You’ve got a pony tail, hair-band, asymmetrical fringe, and a court judges wig all rolled into one. See that ahoge? it’s a little fragile. Plus it’s on the removable part of her hair so it’s more likely to be accidentally broken. The crown isn’t removable.
Those belts, wardrobe malfunction or win?
And of course, long leathery black boots.
I think Arsene looks great, however she’s not without fault. She’s certainly not one of GSC highest quality figures. The most noticeable oddity I find is the paint application of her skin, particularly around the breasts. Her skin on the whole lacks shading but there’s something not right about the breast area. The paint looks flat and dull round that area, even her leathery outfit seems to have shifted in texture to a more matte finish. It makes her look odd as if something changed midway through manufacture/painting. Maybe it’s a different plastic and the paint failed to adhere the same? It’s a shame since you’ve got this figure with gorgeous looking clothing, pose and face; but then there’s this glaringly obvious area of uncertainty around the breasts. And I mean it’s not like they’re hidden or anything. Her bum is also quite disappointing with a sharp transition from skin to clothing. Luckily that’s mostly hidden by her cape and I wasn’t able to angle her to photograph it accurately.
The red part of her cape could also have been a little better. Don’t get me wrong it looks bloody awesome, it’s just up close there are paint imperfections that somewhat ruin the appeal. The white lines are also uneven and look hastily finished. Of course you have to be up close to notice this so I don’t find it too distracting. It’s quite odd though. Some of the details of her outfit look perfect such as her belt buckles and strings – yet the obvious stuff seems to have been slightly botched somewhere.
Arsene is one of those figures I knew I’d like from the moment I saw her preview shots. And that is still the case after finally getting her. I love her outfit, her colour scheme, her pose, everything. The aforementioned paint issue is a little disappointing, but it doesn’t impact on my enjoyment of her. Compared to other manufacturers and their defects the ones here are fairly minor indeed. So yeah, Arsene has more than lived up to my expectations and will probably remain one of my favourites for a long time.
I’ve got 2 more figures in the review queue, Arsene actually skipped one of them. The next figure I plan to review is made by a procession of tuxedo wearing aves. Hopefully I can get round to that sooner rather than later.