Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Play Arts Kai Lightning Part 1

The first lightning strike

Finally, a new review on something that isn't transformable after Banpresto's Perfect Transformation Strike Valkyrie VF-1S Roy Focker's Unit, Kururu Robo Mk-II from Keropla God Keron and most recently "Transformers: Prime - Beast Hunters" Cyberverse Legion Class Twinstrike. ^^

From Square Enix, this is Play Arts Kai Lightning. ^^ Released in late December 2011, she's actually older than Street Fighter IV Cammy reviewed earlier this year. ^^ She is also the older "Final Fantasy XIII-2" version, as a new design of herself from "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII" is coming in late this month. The release of the new version is part of the reasons I'm pushing this figure out for review I suppose. I initially thought of doing a double feature of the two versions, as it would be cool to examine the similarities and differences between the action figure design for the same character in the same product series with two years of release dates between them. Then again, referencing the girls' name is going to be quite interesting. "The new Lightning", "the other Lightning", "That Lightning who isn't this Lightning" XD It's going to be fun, but very messy I think. ^^; In the end, I decided that the idea of having a double feature will still be on, but instead of waiting for the new version from "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII", another character who is very close to Lighning will be featured instead. ^^ Introduction of that character will come in the next posting. ^^

Honestly speaking, like many other character-type action figures in my collection, I have no idea about the story and background of Lightning when I decided to get this Play Arts Kai action figure. ^^; I never played the game, or any in the entire franchise of "Final Fantasy" actually. That might be a surprise for many (^^;), but for someone without a gaming console, that long running franchise isn't the only title I missed. Then again, that doesn't stop me from liking certain video game characters. Bayonetta, Jeanne, Jill Valentine BSAA Ver. and Street Fighter IV Cammy are just a handful of characters I like very much without playing the games they originated from respectively. ^^ As a matter of fact, except for Chunli, the first few figures I got from Play Arts Kai are all game characters of that nature. ^^;

Still, as with model kits, I think the characters and their stories can be separated from the action figures based off them. Her size, details and posability are the elements I like the most about Play Arts Kai Lightning, and they certainly have no direct connection with her background story. ^^ On the other hand, for model kits, I think I'll be repeating the line about separating the kits from the story they are from when I get to the ones from "Armored Core" or "Zoids", since I never played the game/watched the anime series. XD

Anyway, I get to learn more about Lightning through online resources as I'm writing up this posting. I can't comment about her adventures in all versions of "Final Fantasy" even though she is the protagonist in two of them, since I never played any of them. ^^; The most interesting point about the character for me is that she's voiced by Maaya Sakamoto (坂本真綾), who is the seiyuu of another two of my favorite female anime characters: Lunamaria Hawke in "MS Gundam Seed Destiny" and Mari Illustrious Makinami in "Rebuild of Evangelion". ^^ So, without knowing much about her backstory, there's at least one more point besides her beauty that I like about the character now. ^^

A cutscene from "Final Fantasy XIII-2" in Japanese, featuring a very long exposition from Lightning, who appears at 2'20" into the video.
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to the website if you can't see anything.

The logo of "Final Fantasy XIII-2", character name and emblem of Play Arts Kai are shown on the front cover.

The lovely sculpt work of the sword is a major attraction of the figure to me. ^^

Product logo (?) and copyright statements on the top right and bottom left corners of the front cover respectively.

Two Velcro patches help to secure the front cover to the windowed front face of the box.

Much like the Sci-fi Revoltech series, the hard cover allows the package to be opened like a book.

The figure and all the accessories can be seen clearly through the front window.

Pure textual introduction of the character behind the front cover.

Closeups on the content.

Very simple design style for the sides, top and bottom of the box.

A few images of the figure on the back of the box.

Comparison of Lightning's box to that of Chunli.

While their boxes are identical in terms of size, Chunli seems proportionately much larger than Lightning in this very rough comparison. ^^

Box open.

Front view of the box content.

Package content with the clear plastic cover taken off.

Closeups on the details.

Rear view of the box content.

Closeups on the details.

A straight out-of-box display of Play Arts Kai Lightning.

A simple backdrop that depicts a misty/dreamy realm? ^^

The large character of "Kai" at the bottom of the backdrop.

An instruction sheet is included to show how the option hand and shield should be attached onto the figure.

As mentioned before, the introduction of the other figure in this double feature review series will be up next. ^^

1 comment:

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Play Arts Kai