Figure Review: Kallen in Sleeper Cell Mode

Any anime fan who hasn’t heard of Code Geass probably has been put in stasis/cold sleep for the past 2 years. The mega-hit anime, produced by Sunrise Inc.(Gundam anyone?), famously put together 3 major elements from recent hit series fans have shown they so dearly love – Giant overpowered mecha (Gundam Seed), convoluted thought battles (Death Note) and pretty boys and girls (just about every other show). It is not wonder even the most cynical of anime fans have been won over and are stark raving mad about the goodness of the show.

The beauty of Code Geass is that everyone has a reason to love it, even if that reason is different. For many fanboys, that reason is the glut of hot, hot girls with sexy attitudes and costumes. Of particular popularity are Kallen Stadtfeld, undercover ace-pilot terrorist who always seems to be shown bathing or in revealing positions, and CC (pronounced “See Two”, rather than “See See” or even “See Square”), the Pizza-hut-loving enigmatic conferer of the eponymous Geass powers.

It is no surprise that with Namco Bandai Holdings, Japan’s largest toy manufacturer, owning Sunrise, that plenty of figurines would be produced for us fans to enjoy. Megahouse, also under the umbrella of Bandai, teams up with industry standard leader Alter, forming a new brand “Alpha Omega”, which appears to specifically cater for Bandai-owned licenses.

Alpha Omega’s March 2008 release of both Kallen and CC were extremely well-received, as there really is no competition as of yet. The only other Code Geass female character figure is that of the Otome-dama version Kallen, produced by Bandai, which was frankly poor. In spite of the lack of competition, both figures still are decent in their own right.

In this review, we shall look at Kallen only. See CC next month.

Kallen stands in her Ashford Academy uniform, which consists of a yellow jacket over a white collared shirt with a green mini-tie. Her impossible-in-real-life short skirt barely covers her rear, and green thigh-high socks created the coveted “zettai ryouiki” (absolute zone) that otaku so crave.

In the show, she has two main styles of dressing – terrorist and undercover student mode. The latter is what the figure portrays obviously. Kallen has long, silky straight hair as a student, and short slightly curled bangs as a terrorist. Don’t ask me how that is possible, anime world physics I guess. Prior to her appearance as a student, Kallen was not that popular due to her short hair being butt ugly, not to mention her terrorist outfit’s oddness. I certainly prefer the school uniform version!

Alpha Omega did a fine job on this figurine, with the paintwork top notch, sculpting by Saitou Fumiki simple yet elegant, and moulding sharp and clean. The colourless ABS plastic bases used are actually rather unusual. Most prototypes in promotional pictures are shown with such clear bases yet when the final product hits the streets, it’s usually a coloured, sometimes cheap or cheesy looking base. The simple colourless base is preferred by some collectors who feel it does not draw attention away from the figurine herself.

Upon initial viewing of the facial sculpt, I was quite put off in fact, due to it not resembling the character in the anime that much. Kallen just looks too dreamy and wistful here, in contrast to her rampaging mecha piloting image, or even the faux-demure blushy school student she pretends to be. Nevertheless, as she stands on my desk, I find myself liking her more and more so it might be a familiarity thing. You can decide.

Other than that, the pose isn’t particularly interesting for a figure costing 5,500 yen. Considering she was released in tandem with CC who is also the same price, that’s a hefty sum of money to fork out for a slightly-above average figurine, which is just nice but nothing special. Fans of the CG series will desperately seek both of them of course.

Oh yeah, nice panties.

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