Q Reviews: SHFiguarts Sailormoon!
Whether you've been into anime for over 20 years, or are a recent reader of manga; if you've got any interest in pop-culture, you've most definitely heard of Sailormoon (or that rock you've been living under's really comfortable)!
One of the first few shows to really define the Mahou Shoujo genre and lasting for multiple seasons, Sailormoon has not only become super-duper-popular, but is one of the best examples of a true icon.
So it seems almost criminal that she's had very little in the way of quality, collector-tailored merchandise for the two decades of her existence. That is, until now!
Yes everyone, after lots of previous coverage, I'll be taking a look at none other than the SHFiguarts Sailormoon herself!
With this being her 20th anniversary and Bandai's first dive into the series in a long while, it's no surprise that they've gone all out here.
Bright & flashy colours, photos everywhere and tons of sparkly photoshopping are everywhere on this box. Amidst the sea of mostly basic-looking boxes of other collectibles these days, SHF Sailormoon really does stand out from the crowd and catches your attention despite its small size. Mission accomplished!
Sailormoon comes with a boatload of stuff, namely:
2 x open palms, 1 x fist, 1 x Moonstick holding hand, 2 x pointing hands, 1 x gesturing hand, 1 x Moon Tiara Action hand, 2 x Moonstickers (with and without crystal), 5 x alternate faces and her buddy/mentor/part-time nanny, Luna!
Sailormoon also comes with a display stand, of which will be used for the entire review as the figure can't really stand on her own.
Of special note, the crying & winking faces are bonus inclusions for this first-run of the figure - any further re-releases will not include them.
For the most part, Sailormoon's sculpting is pretty accurate, primarily in her body and outfit.
The ruffles in her sleeves, her insanely-high-cut-boots, and the distinct hem of her skirt are all rendered here really well, being 100% Sailormoon.
Even her small accessories like her Moonsticks are done really well, with a small hint of sparkle to them to further enhance the effect.
Her face is where I have some small qualms about, and where my feelings are the most mixed however. Her stern & shouting expressions are rendered well enough, and I absolutely love her crying face in all its hilarious, exaggerated glory.
The sculpting on her 'normal' face however, is a little soft around the nose and mouth. With her eyes being the only really prominent spots, Sailormoon's face often gets lost amongst them in some lighting situations. Considering that this is most likely the face you'd be using the most often, I feel that a bit more work could've been put here.
Otherwise, the sculpt is fairly strong, the paint is pretty clean, and she stands in scale to other similar figures (such as Figmas), which all make for some pretty fun times!
This is undoubtedly the figure's strongest point, but it's also a double-edged sword.
Sailormoon, being a SHFiguart, is packed with a lot of good articulation points. Shoulders, knees, neck - it's all here and done really well.
While her petite size makes things like swapping her hands a slightly delicate affair (small joint-alert!), Sailormoon is still a very playable figure overall.
Take that together with her excellent effect part accessories and you can really bust off just about any pose she did in the show. That is... in terms of straight out fighting and/or poster-shot poses.
As any fan of the show would know, Sailormoon is just as comical & goofy a character as she was heroic & elegant. While always doing her best for her friends & loved ones, it was undeniable that deep-down inside, she was still a huge goofball and a scaredy-cat.
It's awesome that she was given her crying & winking faces to allow us to represent those aspects of her personality - getting her into all sorts of wacky poses was a hoot for me especially.
But the fact that these 2 faces are exclusive only to this first run of the figure makes it bittersweet - if you missed out on this figure and decide to wait for a reissue, it's highly likely that you won't get these important accessories at all!
This limits the kinds of poses you can do, and I personally feel that's a bit of a shame.
When a company does a new series of figures, there will always be some initial hiccups, with Sailormoon being no exception.
Some of her face sculpts could be sharper, her long-term durability might worry some, and I think it's a shame that not everyone will get to enjoy her 2 best accessories.
Regardless, this figure is still a lot of fun to fiddle with and is after all, a confirmation of things to come - Sailormoon is BACK!
Definitely recommended for fans, and even non-fans should at least check her out. The wait for the other Sailor Scouts now begins...
Special thanks to Bandai & Shengtai Toys for providing the figure!