Review by VF5SS
Like its parent series, Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse features two heroines who fight alongside the main hero and hopefully in some small way help him become less of an insufferable git. The counterpart to Imperial Army officer Yui Takamura is Soviet pilot and hair fashion accessory model, Cryska Barchenowa. She is a member of the Soviet Union's Idar Test Flight and participated in the international military exercises called Project Prominence. Cryska is known for being cold and standoffish to anyone except her partner, Inia. On the battlefield, Cryska and Inia work together as in their two-seat Tactical Surface Fighter and their skills have earned them the nickname of "the Scarlet Twins."
Incidentally, her first name means "little rat" in Russian.
She's also kind of a weirdo. Nobody ever said a soldier needs to have any common sense outside of combat.
The Figma of Cryska Barchenowa came hot on the shock absorbing heels of the Yui Takamura figure I previously review. She stands roughly six inches tall and in clad in her custom Fortified Suit. Like the other armies of the world, the Soviet Union clad its Tactical Surface Fighter pilots in highly advanced form-fitting suits that protect against the rigors of operating a giant robot while also being delightfully tacky.
The whole suit is pretty well detailed and faithful to the original design. Most of the paintwork is quite excellent but there are some areas with splotchy or inconsistent application.
Cryska even has tiny markings on her upper arms.
Both Cryska and Yui are fine looking Figmas and accurately depict the varying styles of Fortified Suits in the Muv-Luv universe. Leave it to a visual novel company to cram equals amount of detail into outfits as they do the military's anti-alien tactics.
The detail and sculpt on the Figmas even compares favorably with fixed-posed figures like this version of Kamiyo Tatsumi from the Age Ultimate Characters series made by Volks.
Accessories wise, Cryska comes with a minimal number of extra bits including a Figma stand, optional hands with hand holder, two extra faces, and a pistol. Since Cryska is dressed in what is essentially just a sci-fi g-suit, so there really isn't anything else she needed to come with. Admittedly I would have gladly paid for a more upscale release with partial cockpit setup but Muv-Luv isn't going to get the same treatment the Evangelion Figmas received.
You can use the cardboard insert from inside the box as a backdrop or you can punch out the center and it it around a Mac Factory Di:Stage.
The hole in Cryska's back for connecting her to the included display base was way too small on my figure and needed to hollowed out a bit before working correctly. I guess this wouldn't be Muv-Luv without some degree of body horror.
The handy hand holder can conveniently store all of Cryska extra hands. In addition to her fists she comes with a pair of splayed hands, a pair of gun holding hands, and a pair finger telescope hands. All of the hands plug in via a peg joint and feature an extra hinge at the wrist.
Her three different faces each has crisply tampographed eyes and other small details in addition to a cleanly molded mouth and nose. To swap faces, simply remove the front part of her hair to get at the inner face part. These slide in and off pretty easily with the hair part keeping them firmly in place.
Cryska's articulation is roughly on par with Yui's but her outfit is a bit more restrictive in places. Her one large shoulder pad can move up and down on a tiny PVC strip but still manages to bump into the ends of her hair. As a result she's actually much better at looking to the left since there's nothing to get in the way of her anime white locks. Other than that her arm joints are pretty good with a deep bending elbow and full articulation in the shoulders. She also features a chest joint right under her sternum. Cryska's knees have a very deep bend that is paired with an mediocre set of hip joints. Since her boots differ in design from Yui's she does not have a separate movable toe but they try to make up for it with a swivel joint at the upper cuff of the boots. One of her boots wouldn't rotate out of the package but a little time in the cold winter's of Siberia coaxed them into working right.
Like Yui, Cryska comes with a slightly bashful face. I like to think is the face she makes when thinking about her favorite kind of borscht.
By far my favorite of the three face parts is this one in where Cryska has her teeth gritted in slightly confused anger as she looks to the left. It works incredibly well with her gun, which oddly enough is a Makarov pistol. This handgun originated in the Soviet Union and is the preferred sidearm for all branches of the Russian military and beret wearing ocelots.
Cryka's optional hands let her be ambidextrous.
All of this lets her pose effectively like a stalwart Soviet soldier.
And deal with the BETA in the most direct way possible.
The included display stand can let Cryska get her John Woo on as well as keep her feet firmly planted to the ground.
Cryska's other hands allow her to wield anything with a cylindrical grip such as this familiar sci-fi sword.
"Yui! I don't understand why we're fighting!"
"Because we are rivals in love!"
"I don't even know what love is!"
Total Eclipse started way back in 2007 as a series of light novels and while Cryska received various fixed-posed statues before this is her first articulated action figure. In both the light novels and the 2012 anime adaption, Cryska and Inia ended up piloting the powerful Su-47E Berkut.
Muv-Luv is the ultimate proof that behind every strong woman is her 60 foot tall high-powered murder machine.
And now a teaser for the new Metal Gear game.
"You're not going anywhere!"
"I have unfinished business with you!" *Gesture~*
PUSH SQUARE TO CQC THROW
"You're pretty good! But the way you twist your arm when you fire is more suited to a revolver."
On the battlefield you need to know exactly what you're capable of and how to maximize your strengths. Otherwise, you'll just end up de-"
And thus we have the beginning of Metal Gear Alternative: The Twin Tsundere, coming soon for your Game Guy portable entertainment system.
Figma Cryska Barchenowa is another fine entry in this eclectic line of action figures. While she is a bit basic, she has a lot of character and should please both fans of Total Eclipse and collectors of slightly off kilter action figures. My only real complaint is the weird back problem she has where it was damn near impossible to get her stand to attach without altering the toy. I don't know if that is a common problem or just unique to mine though.
Dasvidaniya and happy BETA hunting!
|Posted 4 November, 2013 - 19:24 by VF5SS|