I have about a dozen figures lined up for review, but today I’m going to skip the queue and cover the most recent addition to my collection, a 1/8 scale Maxima Enfield from the JRPG Shining Hearts. I don’t know anything about Maxima or even the Shining Hearts game, but when Kotobukiya released the promo shots of this figure, I thought it looked awesome and I had to get it.
The figure is based off of an illustration by famed artist, Tony Taka (T2). For those of you who don’t know who Tony is, he did the illustrations and character designs for the Shining series of games, as well as for titles such as Sora no Iro Mizu no Iro, Tony’s Heroine Series, and Fault! All of his characters are female, and I think the most identifiable aspect of his work is the way he draws eyes.
Kotobukiya managed to recreate Tony’s illustration in figure form almost perfectly. The dress, sword, and even the card all match what was in the original illustration.
There is no illustration of Maxima’s back side, but I think Kotobukiya also did a great job here. Some figures look great from the front and have a horrible back, but Maxima looks great from every angle.
Now I did say earlier that Kotobukiya did an almost perfect job, so here’s the most obvious area where they fell short. On my particular figure, there are two smudges right around the area that probably (at least for guys) draws the most attention, highlighted by the top two arrows in the picture. From the size and shape, I’m assuming that one of the painters at the factory handled my Maxima when there was still wet paint on his fingers and it slipped through the quality checkers.
The second problem I had was with the design on the front of Maxima’s dress. From the illustration, the groove should extend down around the white design, not go through it. Unlike the paint smudges, this defect seems to be present in all of the figures and not just mine.
There’s nothing I can do about the placement of the design/groove, but I did try to fix one of the smudges. I tried using 600 grit sandpaper to remove the brown paint under Maxima’s boob, but I actually did not find any black paint underneath the brown paint. The only cause I can think of that would make the brown paint go all the way through is that the black paint was also wet when this piece was handled. That would also explain why there’s a black smudge on the white design.
Now I’m thinking of getting some black paint to paint over the brown, so if anyone knows what kind I should get, I’d be happy to hear. Enough with the defects though, back to the figure.
Tony illustrates characters with eyes that have a more circular iris (as opposed to a super-elongated oval) with a black outline. The eyelashes are relatively thin with a feathery appearance and extend across the top of the eye and down the outside corner, but never appear on the bottom of the eye. Kotobukiya managed to keep Tony’s drawing style intact here.
The ribbon around Maxima’s neck has some rough edges, but they aren’t noticeable from a normal viewing distance. I’ve seen better ribbons on other figures (i.e. Liu Meifeng by GSC), but realistically speaking, no one’s going to be sticking this figure in their face to examine the ribbon.
One of the things that make Maxima look great from behind is how her back is exposed. The large bow and the white lines on her collar piece draws your attention to the area, and her smooth white skin in contract with the white clothing, coupled with the excellent sculpt just make you want to stare.
While this has more to do with the character design rather than the figure, I love how it teases you with a peek at Maxima’s zettai ryouki and covers her panties with a semi-transparent underskirt.
Of course, if you really want to see everything underneath the skirt, Maxima comes apart at the waist. I don’t think it’s possible to tell what kind of panties Maxima is wearing (other than that they’re white) from the original illustration, so I’m guessing Kotobukiya took some creative liberties here. Personally, I think the design looks like an arrow pointed at a certain place, something for the guys I guess.
The high-heel boots are about as smooth as they can get, but while they look nice, I’m a bit disappointed with the white pieces under them. I know they’re used to keep the figure stable and prevent it from leaning, but I would have preferred for there to be a gap between the heel and the toe of the boots.
The base is nothing special, but the small size is great for someone like me who’s running out of shelf space for figures.
Maxima comes with two accessories, though I consider them essential to the character and have had them on throughout this photo shoot. The first is a card which she holds between her index and middle finger of her left hand. It is extremely, and I mean EXTREMELY detailed. I have never seen anything with such fine printing on it before. Unfortunately, even with my new camera, I can’t zoom in enough to show all the details so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
The card fits perfectly between Maxima’s fingers, there is nothing else holding it, which just goes to show the precision with which Kotobukiya made the thickness of the card and the gap between the fingers. You can also see from this picture that her hands are very nicely sculpted, with clear joints in every finger.
The other accessory is her katana. The hilt has a smooth and well-defined design, however, if you look at the original illustration, there should be a green glow coming from it. It would have been cool to have the sword glow, but to do that in a figure, you would need lights or use transparent plastic. I think having pieces of green transparent plastic on the hilt of the sword would have just made it look tacky, so I applaud Kotobukiya for making the right choice and sticking with black and silver.
The hand guard also has a star design on it.
The blade of the katana is finely sculpted with no rough edges whatsoever; it’s flawless.
That covers just about every part of this figure. One last gripe I have is that the hair ribbon that next to Maxima’s ponytail doesn’t extend outwards like in the promo shots, instead just goes straight down. It’s not really a flaw though, and moving it closer to the body made the box significantly smaller.
If it weren’t for the smudges and the placement of the groove on the front side, I think Maxima would have been perfect. She is definitely one of the coolest looking figures I have now and the quality is above and beyond any of the other Kotobukiya figures in my collection.