Plastikitty Review: Good Smile Company’s Anime Ver. Black Rock Shooter

The original Black Rock Shooter was a huge success for Good Smile Company. She sold out months before release and her price shot up sky-high, and she ended up being the first figure in GSC’s biggest cash cow line. Dead Master followed shortly after, and then a brand-new version of Black Rock Shooter, with a more dynamic pose. Dubbed the ‘Anime Version,’ BRS’s release was highly anticipated.

But she ended up with a few problems–some customers got broken hair and bases, she was so over-produced that she went on sale, and she was also missing a star on her jacket! But while these issues annoyed a lot of people, they don’t really say much about the overall quality of the figure. It seems like poor BRS got lost under all the hype, and the work GSC did on her sculpt and pose was passed over for arguments about a missing star. So, putting aside the superficial issues, what is this figure really like? Hit the jump and find out!

As we’ve come to expect from GSC, Black Rock Shooter’s box is completely massive. She actually doesn’t take up that much room, and the majority of it is the damn chains which are spread out WAY too much. I hate packaging like this, but I expect it at this point.

Black Rock Shooter takes a lot of work to assemble, much more than you usually have to do with a figure. She has to be put on the base, and then the cannon has to be put in her hands and also attached to the base, and then you have all the chains which wrap around and attach at odd locations. It takes about 10 solid minutes to get her all together, but man is she worth it.

BRS is a truly stunning figure. This version captures the deep, rich colors and the eerie feel of the original with a fantastic and dynamic pose. She’s leaping forward, chains swirling around her like she’s in the middle of a battle. It’s definitely reminiscent of the action scenes in the Otherworld from the BRS OVA, which was the only worthwhile portion of that anime.

One of my favorite angles for this figure is directly from the top. From here you can really see the fluidity of the pose. The billowing cape, swirling chains, the arcs of her twintails and the sweeping cannon all make for a fantastic sense of coordinated motion. Everything works together perfectly, and nothing seems out of place. Often with dynamic figures, one particular part–like a leg or hand–seem like they just don’t fit in. BRS certainly doesn’t have this issue!

In the original version, BRS was kind of propping up her cannon and it wasn’t seeing much action. Even the figma and Nendoroid needed added support to wield this beast of a weapon! But Anime Ver. is holding it as if it’s a feather, with just one hand supporting it. It’s a strange contrast, as BRS is a very tiny girl, and not exactly strong-looking.

BRS is known for her petit frame. She’s almost entirely flat-chested, and you can make out the outlines of her ribs through her fair skin. I think her slight body is part of her charm–the wiry hair and dark clothing give her such an ominous feel, but it’s contrasted by her slim, almost vulnerable frame.

BRS comes with an alternate hair piece with the flame attached. The flame is one of my favorite things about her design, so I always have it on mine! The clear blue PVC is stunning in the light.

The first BRS had a rather passive, emotionless face. It was hard to tell what she was thinking about, which was probably part of the appeal. But this BRS is determined, with sharper proportions and a severe frown. Her eyes retain that almost-blank look we’ve come to expect from huke’s art, but the rest of her face is filled with emotion.

I haven’t really talked about the sculpting yet on BRS, mostly because I think it’s quite evident how fantastic it is. But one of the areas where it really shines is on an odd spot, her bangs! The detail work here is phenomenal, with so many different strands, and it’s above and beyond what one would expect from a figure. Her twintails are done just as well, and their wire-like appearance contrasts wonderfully with the sleek paint and sculpting of her coat.

Another area where the sculpting is surprisingly good is on the rock cannon itself. There is so much surface texture that gives it a nice aged look, along with some metallic-looking scratches. It adds that extra level of realism to the figure.

You know what the original BRS was missing? A butt! The Anime Ver. delivers a bit more, with a hint of booty. This seems odd given her thin and rather shapeless body, but I’m not going to complain!

In some ways, Black Rock Shooter has very typical anime proportions. Point in case, her ridiculously long legs! The accentuate the length of her body but also point out how frail she is.

The base, like the cannon, has a very worn feel. BRS herself is so sleek and shiny, with a brand-new looking coat and spotless smooth skin, so having these aged elements makes her look more realistic. The base itself is honestly more elaborate than some of the figures on the market, with tons of shading and sculpting work. I love bases that create an environment for the figure, and BRS’s is pretty much the epitome of a diorama base!

Black Rock Shooter is an amazing figure, and I honestly can’t think of a single flaw on her. Sure, she’s tough to put together, but does that really matter when this is the result? And yes, she’s missing a star, but I got my replacement stars and never put them on… now, I can’t even remember where they go! BRS has one of the best sculpts I’ve ever seen, and she’s probably the best action-posed figure that I own. If you can manage to hunt one down (since she’s been sold out for months) snatch her up!

Thanks to Stephen for taking these shots. We actually did this shoot almost a year ago in November, back when she first came out, but we’ve been holding on to it for quite some time. It was brutally cold when we did this, the rocks were sharp and everything was wet, so we wanted to make sure we could deliver some actual high-res pictures before this beauty went up. 9 months later and here we are!


About Leah Bayer