Monday, April 11, 2011

Revoltech Fraulein Mari Illustrious Makinami Part 1

Hello again, Revoltech Fraulein

Starting the review on an action figure in my collection that cameo-ed in a previous posting back in early November last year: Revoltech Fraulein Mari Illustrious Makinami from "Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance".

This is the first action figure of Mari that I got, before Medicom Toys' RAH 12" figure and Max Factory's Figma version. So, this review series will be my introduction on this character, as well as a "re-introduction" on Revoltech's Fraulein series, which was rebooted in early May last year, after a full year of absence with Yoko Movie Ver. being the last release in the "old" series. Mari is actually the pilot release from this renewed Revoltech Fraulein line. Since I have three Revoltech Fraulein girls in my collection, so this review series will be a perfect revisit of this action figure line from my point of view as well. ^^ Mari is the last Revoltech Fraulein figure in my collection so far.

A preview of the figure and accessories through the box's window.

Mari Illustrious Makinami is a new character added to the world of Evangelion through the second movie. Typical of any anime/movie I would say, bits and pieces of information regarding the character, including even her real name were teased at various events, through different merchandises and mediums before the release of the movie in June 2009 (Japan). I first knew about Mari from Bandai's display of a figurine of her in school uniform at Shizuoka Hobby Show 2009 in mid May of 2009, and then the announcement of a limited figurine of her in Eva Provisional Unit 5 Plug Suit in early June of that year - just a few weeks before the actual release of the movie in Japan. Apart from being a seemingly cheerful meganekko, there was too little I knew about her at that point. ^^; At the same time, I didn't really like the design of her green provisional Plug Suit, which looked totally different from the ones used by Shinji, Asuka and Rei. That same feeling stays till now actually, and I'm very glad that she was given a different Plug Suit later on in the movie, but hold on to that part. One thing at a time. ^^

Mari in her "old" Plug Suit at the beginning of the movie.

More information about Mari continued to come out after "Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance" was released in Japan, as the movie made its way to international audiences. More of her images emerged, and I started to develop a great sense of fondness toward this girl in glasses. All the images presented her cheerfulness and confidence that made her seemed rather "unusual" in the world of Evangelion. Her personality and her role were equally mysterious to me at that point. I viewed Asuka to be this sort of character when I first knew about her from the old TV series, but on top of her beauty, there was a mixed sense of aggressiveness, anger and hostility that made her seemed kind-of unpleasant to me. As a matter of fact, Misato and Pen Pen are the only characters I like in the TV series. ^^; Credits to the writer for making Shinji, Rei and Asuka to be a lot more active and open to others in the movie than they ever were in the entire TV series, especially Rei, but the antisocial awkwardness in the three of them is still clear to see. After watching the movie, I would say that Mari is kind-of antisocial to some extend, but it's more like she's cut off from any communication with the rest of the cast. Except that encounter with Shinji, I don't think she ever met any other cast member of the movie face-to-face.

Mari's first meeting with Shinji in the movie.

Anyway, Mari in her pink Plug Suit is a great beauty in my eyes. Pink as a bright color is probably the best color to bring out Mari's personality I suppose. ^^ In terms of action figure releases, Medicom Toy was actually the first company to announce this pink version of Mari in its RAH series at Miyazawa Model Exhibition Fall 2009 in November 2009, followed by Kaiyodo with its Revoltech Fraulein version at Wonder Festival 2010 [Winter] in February 2010. I said to myself, "Get them all!", ^^ but probably in a softer tone for the RAH version because of its price. ^^; The Revoltech Fraulein version was a definite get for me right from the start, not only because of my liking for the character, but of how well the figure was designed in this improved Revoltech sub-series. Max Factory's Figma version was announced at the same event as Revoltech Fraulein, but wasn't confirmed until some 4 months after that. Instead of comparing who's better to pick either one, it's get-them-all for me, and I did get them all - first the Revoltech Fraulein version, then RAH and finally Figma.

Still, I managed to keep myself from obsessing over any of the figurine version though. I knew my wallet would never be able to recover if I went down that path. ^^;

I only managed to get a copy of the movie and watched it after getting all the three said action figures of Mari. Not a serious comparison here, but in terms of the character's face, the Figma version did a better job than Revoltech Fraulein, especially the confident look and Mari's "special" crazy look. That observation only came up to me after watching the movie, because unexpected to me at first, but she is indeed CRAZY. ^^ Before watching the movie, I used to imagine that Eva Unit 2 "the Beast" was a result of being possessed by an Angel, but that thought was so far away from how the story went. ^^ As it turned out, Mari was not only the pilot for Eva Unit 2 at that point in the movie, she knew this "new" mode of the unit and was the one activating it. The way she tore through layers of the 10th Angel's AT Field, before or after the arms of Eva Unit 2 were severed was crazily savage and just, well, insane. ^^; Beneath that confident smile are many faces of Mari yet to be revealed I believe. Having the determination to beat her enemy, even through the means of suffering and pain is probably just one of them. Is there any unknown plan for appearing in Japan? It's unclear what direction the writer would give her in the third movie.

Mari shown in the teaser for the next movie at the end of "You Can (Not) Advance".

Mari is voiced by Maaya Sakamoto (坂本真綾). For Gundam fans, she is the voice actress for Lunamaria in "Gundam SEED Destiny". ^^

On the other hand, just three appearances of Mari in the movie with three different costumes but exactly how many versions of figurine, gashapon, action figures and other merchandises that were released and are still coming out? I lost count since a long time ago. ^^; The merchandising strength of Evangelion is really staggering.

Anyway, circling all the way back to the action figure itself. ^^

The first thing to notice about this renewed design of Kaiyodo's Revoltech Fraulein series is the box size. It's being standardized to that of a regular Revoltech Yamaguchi release, which is something I'm deeply grateful about really. ^^ All the items are more organized, and more importantly, there are rooms in the box to properly store all the accessories included. Compare that Yoko Movie Ver. where all the option hand units, other parts and display stand are simply packed in plastic bags and stored behind the tray holding the figure, I really welcome the larger packaging of Mari.

Full view of the box, with the leaflet at the bottom removed.

Introduction of the figure on the back of the box.

One of the earlier images that revealed Mari as a new character to appear in the movie. Shown standing at the bottom right corner in the picture, she is the only character without her face revealed.

Typical Revoltech design style for the sides, top and bottom.

Box open.

Box content.
Unlike most other Revoltech releases, even the display stand gets a spot on the plastic tray. On second thought, does that kind-of imply how few accessories that are included for Mari? ^^;

A promo leaflet and a booklet on upcoming releases on the back of the tray.

Introduction of Sci-fi Revoltech on the leaflet.

More promotion for the Sci-fi Revoltech series on the booklet, plus other upcoming releases at the point (early May in 2010) as well.

Preview of Revoltech Yamaguchi No. 93 Blade Liger. Already released at this point, but was definitely a sensational announcement back then. ^^

The figures and all its accessories on the tray.

Quite a few plastic wrappers here and there to get rid off before display.

More images of Revoltech Fraulein Mari Illustrious Makinami and all the included accessories to be covered in the next posting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool, a review of the pink suited Mari. Is it me or is this line of Fraulein is a "bit" smaller than the previous one?...