Review Duchess: Shizuo from Alter

Last year in March I had already reviewed Celty, so now that Shizuo’s renewal version is about to be released it might be worth taking a look at his first release.

Heiwajima Shizuo Review Go!

(As always: Click on the photos to see full-res)

The design of the box is similar to Celty’s. Obviously it has pictures of Shizuo on it and the color combination this time is black & blue instead of black & yellow. Interesting for me was that already back then you could see Alter’s tendency to clear packaging. It’s not as extreme as, for example, the Free! Boys or Natsume’s renewal edition nowadays but here they already started extending the clear foil over the edges of the box instead of only putting in a few windows.

The base is also blue and the design matches with both Celty’s and Izaya’s (which is a darker shade of red and no, I don’t own this figure, so no Izaya review from me).

So here he is in his default setup. The left arm holding the cigarette is non-optional. He does come with a pair of cigarettes in case you destroyed the first one trying to wriggle it between his fingers. I still have the spare-one because, in all honesty, getting him to hold it is really, really easy. The fingers aren’t stiff at all, so you should have no problems with that.

It is possible to change the right arm, though. The thumb of the hand can be put into his pocket, which is slightly opened. The sculpt of the pocket gets a plus point here because it’s made in a way that it doesn’t look awkward even when going for the sign-holding arm. The second thing you can swap is his entire head so you can display him with or without the purple glasses.

Most of the time I have him on display like this. I do not intend to get the renewal version because I personally don’t like the new head sculpt. Looking at the body, though, I couldn’t make out any significant changes. The only thing I noticed is that the renewal version’s bowtie is sculpted more nicely, which doesn’t quite make it as a selling point.

Although the first Shizuo was already released in 2012 this figure is extremely well-made. The two right arms fit absolutely perfect without any sign of seams or gaps between shoulder and torso. The clothes are a fairly simple design but are still sculpted with great attention to detail with many, many folds and creases.

(I especially like the little fold between his shoulder blades)

The other reason I display him with the traffic sign is that Shizuo is really on the slim side of body built. The sign adds a little bit of volume to the figure, plus it’s just such a great way to display his personality.

Here he is without the glasses and with the alternate arm. It’s nice that we get the option to display him differently but I find the thumb-in-pocket pose to be a bit boring. There are so many male figures with hands in their pockets or just standing there with clenched fists. Although I have to admit that it looks pretty badass.

The other thing that slightly bothers me with this arm is the sculpt of the hand. When looking at him from the front it’s not too noticeable but from the side like on this photo the hand looks really weird. I mean, what is he trying to do like that? Looks awkward.

Yeah, still awkward. Nice butt, though :D

Close-up on the left hand. There is something on his ring finger, which I haven’t noticed at all up to this point but as you already know – Macro-kun reveals it all. The danger with smoking characters is always the thin line between ‘not making the cigarette too bulky’ and ‘not making it too fragile’. Shizuo’s cig here looks nicely scaled and the fact that I didn’t break either one of the 2 cigs included with the figure tells me that it’s not too fragile either. Good job, Alter.

While the tux is colored in matt paints, the shoes got a nice shiny finish. He also stands perfectly fine without the base. Neither the sign nor the alternate arm make him fall which is pretty impressive and pretty convenient when taking photos. What is INconvenient is the fact that the damned sign is a pain in the arse to put into his hands. Making it stay is super annoying and it will definitely fall when moving the figure around. But maybe I’m just doing it wrong.

What you could already see in the last shot can be seen here in greater detail: The sculpt of the traffic sign is just outright amazing. It’s damn realistic, too. All the little metal plates and clamps that hold the signs in place on the pole are just so detailed and I just love all the dents all over the whole thing as if Shizuo had already beaten up 10 guys with it <3

The next 3 pictures are various angles of the 2 faces, which I won’t comment on. Just look and enjoy. He’s an incredibly handsome guy. I really have a hard time choosing a display option here. Had him with glasses for a long time. Now, after the photo shoot, I switched back to no-glasses. I’ll probably keep switching them from time to time like that.

Are there bootlegs of this?: No

And last but not least, a bonus shot of thumb-in-pocket plus sunglasses because I haven’t used this combination in the review shots.

What about you? Are you excited for the renewal version or do you still worship the first release?


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