I don’t have a ton of male figures in my collection, and I find that for the most part they just don’t appeal to me. They’re either kind of blandly posed (Altair’s Yuri and Flynn) or just outrageously designed in a way that doesn’t float my boat (most of the P.O.P guys). That’s not to say that I don’t like all male figures: in fact, the few I have, like MegaHouse’s Zero or Kotobukiya’s Kaworu (review), I definitely love–and I’m always on the lookout for some diversity for our collection!
When I saw Kotobukiya’s new Akira, it hit all the right notes with me, especially the jacketless Damage Version. I actually had one of their Togainu no Chi figures way back when I started collecting but actually sold it–this Akira, however, definitely struck a different chord. Awesome pose, gorgeous face, ripped clothing, cool base–what more can you ask for in a male figure?
Like many of Kotobukiya’s exclusive recolors, Akira got a snazzy box upgrade: it’s a bit darker in theme than the ordinary one, and obviously the pictures feature this version instead of the coated one. It’s also nicely compact, barely wider or taller than the figure itself.
The first thing that struck me when I unboxed Akira was how big he seems. He’s listed at 1/8 scale but considering how much taller he is than the average tiny girl and his lanky physique, it would be easy to mistake him for 1/7 scale. He’s almost 9 inches tall leaning over: for comparison, the average height of a 1/8 scale female figure is about 8 inches.
There are several changes here from the regular edition: of course he is now lacking his coat and has some pretty obvious battle damage, but the sculpt has been altered a bit too. His hand is now on his chin, and the tilt of his head is also different. He definitely doesn’t seem particularly concerned about the cuts on his body: in fact, his pose is quite relaxed. This gives him a pretty distinct air of confidence: yes, he just got the crap beaten out of him, but he could still kick your ass!
Akira’s expression is pretty unique (at least among my collection): he looks pissed off. He’s actually frowning, something we don’t get to see that often. But hey, if you were covered in blood you’d probably be frowning too! It’s more of an angry scowl than an upset one. But a very tempting angry scowl, and I’m sure for many (mostly female) collectors, it’s more smolderingly sexy than threatening.
I really like how they did the blood effect: having it wet and sticky-looking would be both silly and a bit off-putting. But they’ve gone with a more dried approach, which both looks a lot better but also adds some context: the battle is obviously well over, but the damage still remains. I like when figures tell a story, and Akira really has that in droves.
Akira has some undeniable sex appeal: a ripped shirt with an exposed nipple, a slim but muscular physique that is showed off to the fullest extent, and pants pulled down tantalizingly low. This is very rare with male figures, and it’s really something the figure-world needs more of! However, it does expose an unslightly double standard in collecting: if a female figure was posed like this, there would be some people saying how tacky and sexist it was. I think it’s fine either way: to each their own, and personally there’s room in my collection for almost-pantsless guys and girls with low-cut tops!
It wouldn’t be a Plastikitty review without me talking about butts! Akira is definitely not shy about his: hell, with the way his hand is pulling down his jeans it’s practically an invitation to look. Sure, it’s a pretty slim booty, but I’m sure his fans appreciate that hint of buttcrack.
The paint on Akira is pretty clean: you can see the teeniest bit of overlap from the white band, but it’s very small. Overall the paintwork is simple but effective, with some very nice and subtle shading, particularly on his pants. His skin is also very nicely toned with a lifelike but not overly done peachy color. Because of his plain color scheme these things really stand out more, and I think Koto really did a fantastic job bringing him to life with the shading.
Akira’s got a pretty interesting color scheme: his shirt is a rusty orange, but other than that he’s almost greyscale. It’s definitely a gritty palette, and it fits with the overall mood of the figure. They also used only matte paint: one thing I didn’t totally love about the original version was the almost glossiness of the coat, so this is a definite improvement for me. He’s so sleek like this too, without the bulkiness of the jacket you get much cleaner lines.
My one complaint with Akira would be that from some angles, his shirt looks a little thick–it’s not at all obvious from the front, and it’s really only the sleeve, so this is a tiny quibble.
Anime girls aren’t the only ones with ridiculously long legs! Akira’s go on for miles, accentuated by his very tight grey jeans. I haven’t talked much about the sculpting on him because I think it pretty much speaks for itself: this is one of those rare figures where in shots without the face, you’d really almost think it was a real person. The sculpting isn’t showy or flashy like some figures, but it makes Akira look effortlessly natural.
The base is really interesting: it’s diorama-style, and he’s sitting on a piece of rubble. He actually only attaches at one point–his foot goes into a peg on the bottom, so his butt and other foot just kind of settle in. He’s relatively stable, and I think he’d stay on the base even without the foot peg (as long as you didn’t knock into your shelves!).
Akira is a really wonderful figure, and one I ended up liking even more than I thought I would. In terms of male figures, he’s definitely up there among the very best. I mean, he has everything you’d want in terms of pose and design combined with some great shading and crisp sculpting. The best part is that this exclusive version is available on KotoUS for the same price as the regular one, so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for him!
Thanks to Stephen Donaldson for taking these wonderful shots. Shooting Akira was kind of like shooting a Calvin Klein model: he was so ridiculously photogenic! He also balances very well without his stand, in case you want to display him leaning against another figure or a particular display.
Purchase Damage Version At: KotoUS
Purchase Regular Version At: KotoUS
[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Plastikitty with this review sample]