Cryska Barchenowa by Kotobukiya
Time for another Muv-Luv figure me thinks. This time I’ll be looking at Cryska Barchenowa from Muv-Luv Alternative, or more precisely Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, manufactured by Kotobukiya.
I’ve done a bit of information digging on the Muv-Luv universe. From what I can gather Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse is a side story running in parallel with the other Muv-Luv Alternative stories. Total Eclipse had a short VN demo released in 2007, which later expanded into a 4 volume series of Novels. Total Eclipse is now airing as an anime (which I believe will be 26 episodes in length), as well as a manga that’s been running slowly since 2009 (3 volumes). There’s also something about an Xbox360/PS3 release, but it’s not clear if this is for Total Eclipse. Of course if anything here is wrong let me know and I’ll change it. Personally I’ve been following the anime and so far really enjoyed everything about it. How about everyone else, are you following the anime this season and if so what do you think so far?
In the Muv-Luv universe Cryska Barchenowa is a mysterious Russian pilot who’s paired up with the equally mysterious Inia Sestina – together known as the Scarlet Twins. Both possess exceptional combat abilities and appear to be strongly synchronised with one another. Cryska has a cold personality, only showing affection to her partner Inia. We’ve not seen much of Cryska in the anime as of writing this review, but I’m looking forward to finding out more about her as things unfold.
Anyway, this figure here of Cryska doesn’t really have much context in terms of the Muv-Luv story. Instead this figure is sculpted after a piece of artwork by Miyata Sou – responsible for most of the Total Eclipse character artwork you’ll find out there. There are other artworks of Cryska with the same outfit shown, such as this one, and this one. I’d have liked to see the mini-skirt in the first image as a optional accessory.
As with most bikini figures what you see is what you get. She’s 1/7 and stands about 12cm tall due to her kneeling pose, so nice and compact for display shelves. Extras included are: a soft pink cushion which acts as a base (15cm diameter); a Santa hat made from cloth; and 2 white pipe cleaners which act as scarves.
The hat is quite big – much bigger than her head anyway. It’s purely to facilitate the bulk of her hair while still being a removable accessory. As a result it looks a little bit off in terms of scale.
You can also remove Cryskas head. This makes it easier to tie a pipe cleaner around her neck. Other than that it serves little purpose.
The cushion base is a great idea because it protects her from any scrapes, but also gives you flexibility to display her anywhere you want. Plus it means there are no holes dotted around her body. More manufacturers should consider giving kneeling figures a fabric base to help save space and reduce the number of unnecessary holes.
Cryska puts her kneeling pose to great use. The way she’s tilting her head is super cute, as well as her blank facial expression. I also like that there’s a sense of weight about her cleavage. They’re not being held up by some mysterious forces. The visible collar bone has been sculpted wonderfully as has the arch of her back. There’s also no obvious seam lines running across her skin which gives her a beautiful smooth appearance. The Santa hat also hides the classic seam line we always find with figures hair. Overall an extremely sexy kneeling pose pulled off successfully by Kotobukiya.
I love the bikini colours. A bold red with white lacing to match the red and white of her Santa hat. The knots holding everything together are nicely sculpted too. No paint spill as well which is great.
After reviewing my Yoko swimsuit figure I remember Chag mentioning her stockings looked like bubble gum. Cryskas stockings kind of give off that same vibe, although at least she’s not tugging at them to make them look stretchy.
That’s another thing I really love about this figure – her fingers. Each one is believable spaced apart and are curling slightly as Cryska supports her weight. Quite different to other figures in my collection that are typically holding things and can get away with clumping their fingers together.
There was one thing I noticed when taking pictures of Cryska. Viewing the right hand side of her face looked great, but the left hand side looked a little odd. It was then I noticed her eyes and iris are a-symmetrical. As a result from certain viewing angles she looks cross eyed. I personally prefer meeting her gaze straight on – that way it’s not so obvious her eyes are mismatched.
Looking towards the future for Muv-Luv figures I’d love to see a figure of Tarisa, ideally with her leather jacket incorporated somehow. I’d also like to have Yui & Cryska in their pilot suits in some sort of action pose. How about everyone else, any Muv-Luv characters you’d like to see in figure form or existing figures with different outfits?
Hopefully you can tell I really like this figure of Cryska. I’ve not really been keeping up with figure news because nothing has interested me for a while now. And it’s been a few months since I last got a new figure (Kotobukiya Yui Takamura) so it’s good to finally get one that’s turned out to be one I really like. While she may be “just another swimsuit figure” she’s another swimsuit figure I’m glad to own and add to my collection. The Santa hat is a neat little twist (albeit a bit out of season), and the pipe cleaner acting a scarf is a cool idea. There are not many negative things I can say about the figure – her pose is sexy, execution and paint job are fine, nothing is “broken”. Maybe if her eyes lined up correctly from all viewing angles she could have had a wider variety of display options, but for me she looks absolutely fine as she is.
Here’s some more wallpaper res images:
Looking towards the immediate future and what I’m hoping to post about then. I’ve got another figure sitting here waiting for review. I’ll try get around to unboxing her as soon as possible. She’s cast-off so that should be fun (feel free to guess who she is). I’ve also got 2 artbooks on the way as well, one which I’m really looking forward to. I picked up the 2010/2011 edition last year so this years one will hopefully be just as good.
That reminds me, I finally unboxed my GSC Saber Lily re-release from February. I started taking photos of her, but decided I’m not going to review her, the first figure I own that I’ll not be reviewing. Everyone knows about Saber Lily, there’s absolutely nothing I can add to the exhaustive list of reviews already out there for her. So instead here’s one of the photos I liked in wallpaper resolution if you’re interested.