Review Duchess: Kamina from Uplark

First of all: Sorry it took so long D: I had to get my things watermarked and that was a real pain because deviantart changes url’s when editing the main file, so I basically had to watermark the complete Cocona Review, replace every single pic and then I had to copy and paste everything into the blog entries (the English one on this blog and the German one over at germanotaku…)

Enough nagging! This will be my second figure review and it’s Kamina! Because everyone loves Kamina! The guys want to be like him and the ladies drop their panties. We all know it’s true.
So let’s kick reason to the curb and make the impossible possbile! Open up your ears, raw raw fight the power …and you know the rest :)

Let’s start with loads of pics from the box to get the boring stuff out of the way. Now that I took pictures of it.. it’s kind of a peculiar one, isn’t it? I have no idea what they were thinking. There’s windows everywhere and the box itself is plastered with weird blue texture stuff, lines, triangles and all kind of weird shit. What a strange design, indeed. Other than that, there’s a lot of product pictures of the figure itself, the show’s title and char name in the familiar font and the (Dai)Gurren-Dan Logo. Especially the one on top is pretty cool because the glasses were cut out, creating another window. The top of my box is also not in such great condition =_= I blame the 2 moves it had to go through…

The base is pretty, featuring Kamina’s trait-color blue and once more the (Dai)Gurren-Dan Logo. Putting his glasses on it makes for a nice effect. The size is almost identical.
Pegs are as sturdy as plastic pegs can be. The overall sculpt of the figure is bulky, so the pegs are also of considerable size. The peg-system is also something unique to this manufacturer. You’ve basically got the base with holes for the pegs in it; the pegs themselves are on a seperate piece of plastic and are pushed through the holes from the bottom. It’s probably one of the most indestructable bases I own.

Ahhh finally! Pictures this time turned out great imo :) I used my softbox, linked the cam to the laptop and put on the macro lense *thumbsup*

Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann was probably THE anime show of 2007. At least I remember everyone freaking out about it at cons, on the internet, everywhere. /a/ was flooded, everyone shed manly tears (yes, even the women) and Kamina carried on the meaning of Gar after the Archer-hype calmed down. The series was completed with 27 episodes and there are also 2 movies, which are basically a compilation of the series, with minor changes (I actually liked the ending scenes of those better). The director of that whole caboodle was Imaishi Hiroyuki; working for Gainax back then also contributed to the overall hype. He left the team in 2011 but he’s still in the industry. He’s currently director of Kill la Kill. If you know both shows, this probably explains a lot…
TTGLs animation was amazing (except that one episode…), story was great (yes, stupid at times but simply too epic to be bothered by that) and the OST is still one of my favourites. Iwasaki Taku rocks.
Speaking about music: There was also a mini-series calles “Parallel Works”, which consisted of several alternate-universe short-stories accompanied by amazing music. I’d recommend checking those out on youtube.

I should probably start talking about the figure already… Kamina was released back in late 2008 and is – up till now – the only pre-painted figure of him. Gurren-Laganns figure history is probably the biggest paradox in the history of figure making. There’s 1 Kamina, 1 Viral, 2 Nia and at least 3million Yoko figures. You’d think that with such a popular anime, figures would mushroom, but somehow only Yoko got completely milked. Did you notice? No Simon… there’s no prepainted figure of Simon. He’s the main character, for christ’s sake….
Nevermind.. Kamina was manufactured by Eyeup, a complete newcomer back then. They also put out a Viral and a Nia figure, but that was after they changed their company name to Uplark for whatever reason. After putting out some figures from other series’, though, for whatever reason they also completely vanished, rendering a re-release of the figures impossible. This caused prices for him to sky-rocket and if I say sky-rocket I mean WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED SKY-ROCKET!
His original price was 7800yen (for which I got him as well). One year later people started to sell him for $600-$1000.. completely insane. Nowadays Plamoya has him in stock for currently 58,360yen *cringe* and MFC’s users got some used ones for sale between $200-$300 but don’t expect those to be complete with box and all…

He was sculpted by Black Sabbath, who should be familiar to you if you happen to be into Megahouse’s P.O.P. Series. He does stuff for them now and also sculpted Uplark’s Viral along with Kamina back then. And as you can see, he looks fantastic!
Really, when I took these pictures and started to think about what to write I ran into a little bit of a problem I did not have with Cocona’s review. He.has.no.flaws. I’m not even kidding, or fangirling or whatever.. He is literally perfect. There’s only 2 things you have to be careful with but that hardly qualifies as cons.

The first thing you should be careful about is putting on his glasses. The system for this is pretty cool and straight-forward. There’s no pegs to ruin his face, you simply clip it inbetween 2 strands of his bangs and it will stay there without falling off. It will even stay in place when shaking the figure (like, a little… don’t expect this to hold when tossed with the glory of 1000 hurricanes…). This system, however, will sooner or later lead to scratching his bangs a little. You can see it in the pictures that this happened to me already, but this is only visible with a macro lense. With the bear eye you won’t notice any damage. Just keep it in mind, but it’s really nothing to worry about.

Before I forget to mention this: He’s a 1/8 scale, standing about 20.5cms tall, 25cms from foot to finger.
The other thing to keep in mind is, that color-transfer from cape to skin can happen. It happened to me: As you can see on his right shoulder blade, there are some scratches primarily caused by the cape. You can also get some red rubbing off in the area of his shoulder/head/raised arm because that’s the place where the cape rests on most.


Something I really really like and have not seen with any other sculptor is the fact that every line
that separates color is carved into the figure. Not only in his clothes but also in his body, for example his tattoos. You might think this weird but imo it’s a very interesting approach and it also has the positive side-effect of a perfect paintjob. It might not look perfectly accurate in the pictures (macro lenses are horrible in that way) but standing right in front of him with a normal pair of human eyes the paintjob IS absolutely perfect. Overall he’s as 3D as a 3D PVC figure can get. The carvings give it a certain degree of depth, the eyebrows are not only drawn on, but sculpted to stand out, the hair is also well-done (btw the only seamline you will notice on his entire body where bangs and the rest of the hair meet) with nice gradual color-change from light blue to dark.

Armpit fetishists will love this one :3 The anatomy of his upper body is realistic and pure smex. There’s ribs, there’s abs and all kinds of muscles. He’s a fit guy after all and his stretched out arm emphasizes his physique. If you look closely there’s a slight curve on his neck. That is because the head is removable from the body to put the cape on and off. His pants also fold nicely but we’ll take a closer look at those later.

His right hand rests on his hip. It’s not firmly attached, in fact it’s hovering more than it rests but that’s not really noticable because it gets kinda obscured by the belt at a front-view. The lower arms and the belly are all bandaged up and I just noticed that one tiny bit of bandage on his wrist seems to lack white paint. Looks more like the color of his skin to me. Never noticed that before…
The torsion of his upper body looks nice in this picutre btw….gar

There you go! Pants and booty! Carvings along the rims of the red stripes, a tiny man-butt and huge calves! Love the bulkiness <3 As I already mentioned, the folds on his pants are really well-done. I’ve got no front view picture of  his feet btw but trust me when I say they are neither ugly nor particularly pretty. Big feet in sandals. That’s what you get. Nothing special here.

Oh well, this one at least qualifies as a side-view of a foot, right…?
Hey look at that. He’s actually lacking white paint on his other wirst bandage as well! Sloppy air-brush maybe? His tattoos on the other hand are marvelous. I normally display him with the cape on because that one’s even more epic, but those tattoos are really something. And look at all those muscles. It’s just such a great sculpt, sorry if I make any male readers feel awkward when I swoon over this, but try to see this from an aesthetic point of view. It IS a really nice body-sculpt, no matter how you look at it.

I’m sorry, this one’s kinda blurry but I loved the shot and tried to rescue it as best as I could. The collar of the cape is majestic as f**k.

I think this is my favourite pic of the whole photoshoot. The character of Kamina is so brilliantly conveyed with that grin, those tiny lashes, that pose. All the sassiness, all the confidence. It just screams “Don’t believe in yourself! Believe in me who believes in you!” Amazing!
I actually like him best without the glasses. His eyes are too gorgeous to be hidden behind that red piece of plastic. Don’t get me wrong, I love the glasses. Just love him more without them.

Close-up of the (Dai)Gurren-Dan Logo. The carved lines stand out most on the cape

I keep saying amazing, amazing, awesome, great. I’m running out of expressions here *sighs*
It’s not even that I WANT to fangirl over him so much. I’ve done research, I looked at other reviews and read through the whole comment section of  MFC but all you ever read will be “I WANT HIM SO BADLY” or “I’VE GOT HIM HE’S SO PERFECT”. I tried to find flaws but he IS almost flawless. I read once that some think his face is not Kamina enough but seriously? That’s just ridiculous…really…..

Here you can actually take a look at that seamline in his hair I mentioned earlier. The bangs and the rest of the air are simply 2 different pieces of pvc put together. That cape, though, is a freakin masterpiece. Look at the flow, the folds and the shading. I love how the lower part is all ripped-up with holes in it. It also slightly curves around his body, which looks great from both sides and adds some nice movement to his broad stance.

And here it is in all it’s glory! The sculpt and paintjob is really something to just look at in amazement. The gradual transition from dark to bright reds is fantastic, as is the flame print, the logo and the overall shaping of the folds. I’m super happy I got him at a normal price back then. I didn’t even realize he was such a wanted figure until I checked up on him out of curiosity years later. I feel even more sorry for the Viral figure, because you could just go out and get him for a decent, almost original price. As if he was utterly neglected… Poor Viral.. You’re still my fav <3

Are there bootlegs of this?: No

I think that’s enough for now *laughs* Let’s look at the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Only Kamina Scale in the existance of mankind
  • Sculpt, Pose and Paintjob are almost flawless
  • Different displaying options
  • Manliness of your collection will be over 9000

Cons:

  • The cape could cause color-transfer
  • Be careful not to damage the pvc when putting on his glasses
  • Tiny paintjob flaws on the bandages of his wrists
  • Seamline on his head

Don’t believe in yourself! Believe in me who believes that you freakin want him!
Good luck hunting him down >_< I feel your pain…

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One Response to Review Duchess: Kamina from Uplark

  1. Pingback: Review: Kamina aus Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann | GermanOtaku.com

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