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I was asked to do the writeup for Alter’s 1/7-scale PVC of Vivio from “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS” back when there were only prototype photos to work from, and the figure blew me away even then. Seeing it in person only serves to cement my admiration!
Although Vivio first makes her appearance in the series “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS” as a girl of about six years of age, she’s shown in her adult form here, gearing up for an attack with a handful of swirling magical doom that’s destined to cause some major hurt for some unfortunate person in the very near future.
Her pose is nicely done thanks to the skills of sculptor Toji Tanaka. It’s a pose that’s not something you’re likely to see in day-to-day life, which makes it all the more remarkable: she’s bracing her left foot while bringing her right knee forward to counteract the backward motion of her right arm, in a motion vaguely similar to that of a baseball pitcher. The projectile she’s holding on her right palm seems to have some serious weight to it, or is maybe pushing back against her hand–you can easily see how she really has to strain forward against it, and exert some real effort.
Vivio’s outfit is very cool–I like the design of the unique Barrier Jacket she wears (this is one anime battle uniform I wouldn’t mind wearing myself), and the subtly shaded, muted gray-and-metallic-violet-blue color scheme really makes her bright gold hair stand out. Her uniform is snug and sexy without exposing flesh (sometimes you gotta wonder about those “Queen’s Blade” ladies), and it’s enlivened by a few deep turquoise-blue jewels, which are made from a clear colored plastic for a gemlike glow. And the wrinkles that are visible in the fabric of her pants, in her knees, ankles, groin and waist areas, are wonderfully done–sometimes sculptures of characters in tight outfits omit that little detail, and it adds a lot of realism. Her skirt also exhibits realistic, shallow depressions where the fabric is reacting to her motion.
Look at how the individual plates in the front of her waist armor are flexing to her right with her motion. And yeah, I see you looking at her bosom! That’s okay–her female accouterments are also very realistically sculpted, and have a realistic hang to them–they’re not “anti-gravity,” as is commonly seen in anime-styled figures.
Check out the attention to detail in her jacket sleeves—if this uniform really existed, the cuffs would be made of something hard, like plastic or metal, whereas the elbow portion would be made of fabric, so the elbow area shows some wrinkles whereas the cuff area does not. The puffy shoulders on her jacket are also exhibiting some realistic flexion.
Look at the gloves! Each features one of those brilliant jewels, and each glove has claws on it! Also check out the tension in the curled fingers of her left hand, subconsciously echoing the motion of her right hand as she maintains control of the magic projectile. That’s another little detail that likely would have gone unnoticed by a sculptor of lesser talent.
Her hair is also beautifully done. You’ll note that the area where her bangs were attached to her head looks very natural–there’s no obvious gapping seam across her hair, as you see in some figures, and it just looks like the way her hair was styled. Her ponytail is whipping around behind her, and the motion in the fluttering ribbon that’s tied around it is, again, an amazing little touch that seems so small, yet adds so much to the figure. The painting and shading in her hair is also well-handled, soft and natural.
Her gorgeous eyes–one green, the other brilliant red–are carefully rendered with details such as the shadows cast by her eye sockets and highlights to add a determined spark to her glare. If you look into her mouth, you can see her upper teeth!
Her “magic bomb” is a pearly sphere with swirling blades of power emanating from it, and it’s beautifully painted in shades of amber and yellow. You can almost hear it crackling with energy! It attaches easily to her palm via a peg. Vivio’s base offers her a nice, sturdy place to plant her left foot. She’s amazingly steady for a figure balanced on one leg, bearing more witness to Tanaka-sensei’s skill in distributing her weight perfectly.
In short, this figure is stunning–her expression, pose, and color scheme all combine to make her one fighting female that definitely deserves to join your collection.
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