I wanted to have some differentiation from Superrats’ and Tsubaki’s galleries, so I experimented with a few things, ranging from Go boards and stones to red trinkets in the background. Was even considering using the red sand I got to paint the logo found on her base onto the white background, but a more cautious approach was appropriate for this maiden indoor shoot. Hence, it was a simple layout, with two pieces of large vangard sheet, of red and white. Turns out the lights were far too yellow and even after white-balancing the camera correctly, Ignis’s skintone and hair were still far too yellowish leaving me no choice but to turn to photoshop. And in doing so, a more bold and artistic colour choice was effected using the Selective Colours tool. Disclaimer: the original Ignis colours do not look like this, especially the hair – it’s far more gentle and toned. And I mounted the sword the other way around. I meant it! Serious.
Ignis (this version, there are three other figurines of her) was released by Max Factory In November, after a series of delays which merely served to whet the mad fanboys’ appetites. She retails for 6800 yen and is a 1/7 scale figure. Being a strong full-bodied woman, this just means the figure is TALL, especially if the ahoge is considered. Ignis is from the popular Jingai Makyou, a H-game by Nitro+. While I have yet to (and probably will never) play the game, I’ve seen the CGs and Ignis is the epitome of a mature, sexy, independant and elegant woman. No wonder she stands out like a Venus among the crowd of adolescent formulaic Moe-mongering clones.
As many of you would know, the mysterious, elegant and mature lady is one of my favourite character types – Itoko from School Rumble being the pinnacle example. Another example would be Rider of Fate. And guess what Ignis, Itoko and Rider all have in common besides character? Gorgeous multi-metre long hair and spectacles! Do not confuse their spectacles with those of the worthless meganekko types. For the mature ladies, these are more an accessory than an essential and add a touch of intellect on top of their already classy faces.
I talked about the pose of this figure countless times before in the news section. So I’ll skip that.
Ignis has several striking features. Her long hair has been mentioned, as was the spectacles. How did Maxfac recreate these? The spectacles come as an optional accessory and are very light and tiny. Many an idiot broke theirs trying to get it out of the packaging. They are gold bottom rimmed spectacles without the two side bars and are held in-between her fringe and nose bridge. Naturally, this means that while they won’t really fall off, they do tend to get unbalanced and tilted. I neglected to check when taking pictures and you can see how the specs list. The spectacles need not rest on her face – there are other areas where they fit just right. In her cleavage or left hand, for instance.
The people complaining about the miniscule size of the spectacles have no clue. The major problems with many of these figurine spectacles are: they are made of thick plastic and obscure the face; they have side frames that have to be slotted into some hole (see upcoming Matsuri figure review); and they do not fit well (see upcoming Nakajima Sanae review). Ignis’s specs solves these problems, see how not much shadow is cast when she’s wearing those glasses? The trade-off is the instability.
Her hair is fantastic. Maxfac did the best job out of the four manufacturers. Thanks to the unique side-parted sculpt, the problematic headseam is avoided and there is no ugly line circumferencing her head! Her hair has so many parts that it’s hard to even count accurately. The cool asymmetry, with her fringe parted left and an extra long right side bang make for great imbalance (I mean this in a good way). Her countless strands of hair weave around each other like strands of rope for a great sense of dynamicism. The ends are very sharp too. The painting is pretty superb, with much shadings of white which cannot be seen in these pictures. Her ponytail is tied up with a little white bat accessory. But all isn’t perfect though – the number of parts that had to be glued together led to some visible seamlines on the long hair. Visible, but not obvious.
It’s the fantastic hair that makes the backview even better than the front.
Ignis has a great face as well. Her chin is sharp and face is on the long side, giving her the sense of adulthood that most round-faced teens lack. Her defined nose and lips also add to this effect. Ignis’s eye decals carry so much detail, and her eyelashes are not painted on unlike some other figures but part of the decal. This ensures crispness and consistency.
There was much debate in the months leading up to the release of Ignis, on the merits of each version. Maxfac’s face was praised for its lady-like aura compared to the more Amazonian approach of the other companies. Nobody likes amazons.
Words fail me when it comes to describing the outfit. It’s just bizzare but still sexy. There are two animals whose designs are incorporated – the bat and the buterfly. Bat is obvious, from her hairclip, tie and buckles, that are shaped like the Gotham City hero’s logo. She also has two cute little wings attached to the back of her hip, a bit like Melissa Seraphy. Less apparent is the features of the butterfly, but if you look at her collar, you’ll see it being based on the wing-scale patterns of the insect. The patterns on her skirt are filled with black and white butterflies and her logo found on the base also resembles a long-tailed one. Would anyone who has played the game clarify this?
Her dress is all black and white, except for the red inside layer. It’s practically backless, with a fine sexy netting. Asymmetry is at work again on her arms, her sword-arm is adorned with a long black glove that stretches all the way to her upper arm while her left arm has just a jagged band and a normal glove. Her large bust is amplified by the low cut dress and the vertical stripes create an illusion of slenderness that further augments the already-strong mature-sexy woman vibe. The dress is cut so high , its slits are at Ignis’s waist. You don’t see such dresses outside of traditional Chinese brothels whose servicewomen dress in high-cut Cheongsams. And so, her panties are showing. Doesn’t make a whole load of sense, but we don’t care. Much like BOME’s Kasumi, the dress flaps are detailed intricately, except this is of a greater level. The flaps aren’t of a soft vinyl like Kasumi’s but stiff PVC and yet the print doesn’t go awry. And with the inner and outer colours diffferent, there’s an extra amount of work involved. Finally, she has a pair of loose belts that hang at her hip but reach her knees. I bet she can’t run with these. But who needs to run when you can walk in style, and these add so much style you could house 100 pigs in them.
Boots never look good on girls with stubby legs (90% of the world’s females) but Ignis has such long ones, like most figments of human creation that it looks like she was born with boots on. Like Puss in Boots. Wait, this is a Pussy in Boots. Anyway, hers is a simple high-heeled shiny pair with four large buttons at the top.
The base was the source of the delay. It’s a black ABS one with a shiny mirror coating and a logo. Many have stressed that it can be used for upskirting but this is against my principles. Tools are for the weak. It scratches quite easily. Actually, most bases scratch easily. It’s just that this one makes the damage very obvious. But useful when you’re shaving and need to look at yourself.
If you look closely at the bottom picture, you’ll see that the heels of the boots do not actually touch the base. This is bad because only two tiny pegs keep Ignis upright. I think mine has leaned about 2-3 degrees since I got it a couple of weeks ago. Beware!! Display at your own risk.
The biggest logic-defying feature of this Ignis is the ass – no amount of reverse-fart can suck the fabric so deep into her crack. Unless you happen to eat a vaccum cleaner and accidentally turn it on in your colon. But pretty girls don’t fart! And yes, it’s a nice ass.
And we have the sword. Katanas are boring. But modified katanas are awesome. Think Blood+’s Saya. Non-silver blades are also a welcome breath of fresh air. That’s why I love Black Cat’s Sephilia’s Crescens, it’s a jet-black Scimitar. Ignis isn’t actually wielding any normal katana. The sheer length almost pushes it into the tachi category and the hilt is especially long to balance the length of the blade. The grip is detailed like mad, and textured to feel somewhat like the real thing only plastic. There are a bunch of illegible symbols at the base of the blade alongside what looks like heatsinks found on mecha. Very cool. But best of all, the sword is a blood red, like Final Fantasy Tactics’ Blood Sword. And not only that, it’s metallic painted and graduated! The tip is darker than the base. Wonderful weapon that ranks among the top 3 in my collection. I’ll probably do a combined feature of all my figurine weapons sometime soon.
So my final verdict is:
No figure collector should miss this. But beware when displaying, for all of Maxfac’s reputation, this does lean pretty bad.
Then we have the staples – upskirts and downblouses, the soul of a true man. No cheap use of mirrors here, cause real men do it the hard way.
They look like babies’ bottoms.
Revealed: This is the set up I used. Looks familiar? It’s an exact replica of Superrats’ tutorial. I used foil for the reflector instead of the usual styrofoam, which works better outdoors. HLJ provided me with a trillion cartons for such use. I’ll have to find some way to cancel out the yellow colour of the lights though. I hope this doesn’t involve the purchase of new bulbs.