Soon after getting my new camera, I realized that it’s not the equipment that determines how good a photo is, it’s the skill of the photographer. For the past few months I’ve been (very slowly) leveling up my photography skills, and after a few tips from Aka of Tailgrab.org(y) I finally have something presentable. That explains in a nutshell why I haven’t posted a figure review in 4 months.
With the final season of Zero no Tsukaima set to air next season, I thought it fitting to review a figure of my favourite pink-haired tsundere. Before the re-release of this Louise figure by Alter was announced, I bought a pre-owned one from MFC, making this my fourth Louise figure. She was originally released in May of 2009 for a retail price of 6800 yen. The pose is based on an illustration of Louise that was used in a cardboard cut-out included in Megami Magazine’s Zero no Tsukaima artbook (I will also be reviewing this before the season starts).
There are a few slight changes between the illustration and the figure. The most obvious is that Louise’s undies are not visible in the figure version unless you go really low. Alter also decided to give Louise a more generic facial expression rather than an embarrassed look. Her hands are also in a more lady-like position on the figure, which I thought was a nice touch.
Besides those few changes, Alter has stayed true to the original design, as you can see from the shots below.
The overall look and feel of the figure is cute and attractive. The sculpting is perfect, with slim arms and legs like how Louise should be, and her long flowing hair does not suffer from the problem that most figures have of looking like a big blob. The base is nothing special, just pink and flat with a magic circle on it.
Going back to the face, while I would’ve preferred the one in the illustration, she still looks decent and recognizable as Louise. Thinking about it though, the face on this goth punk version is almost identical to Alter’s bustier version of Louise. The only difference between the two is that they’re facing opposite directions.
The paint job on Louise is nearly perfect. I did not see any obvious overlap or paint splatter anywhere. Two types of finishes were used on different parts. The dress and Louise’s hair had a more matte finish whereas her stockings and boots had a glossy finish. I actually found that decision to draw my attention to her legs and the ever popular zettai ryouiki, one of the big selling points of the figure.
There was one paint mishap though. On the back of Louise’s hair, I found what I believe is a small glob of paint, probably left by a brush. Normally this wouldn’t even be worth mentioning, but I was desperate to find something. That just goes to show what a high level of quality Alter put into this figure.
This is where I was most impressed with this figure. It’s the small things that often distinguish a good figure from an awesome figure. Bows often look disfigured because of their small size and relatively complex shape, but Louise has perfect bows with no sharp corners or squares. You can even see all of the folds in each one.
The cat skull on Louise’s boot is also very detailed, just look at the stitches on its mouth.
This is a combination of fine details and good painting, but you’ll also see that the painted laces on Louise’s boots never go past the outline, and the ring is almost of equal quality.
I think the hands are the most well-done detail on the figure. The fingers are individually sculpted so they are not stuck together, and they look like actual fingers with joints and bones, not sticks or nubs.
While I did pay more than the retail price for this figure, I’m still glad I got it. Alter did an exceptional job in everything from the sculpting to painting and the fine details. I was hard-pressed to find anything wrong with it and definitely recommend it to any ZnT or Louise fans. She’s available for preorder again and will be re-released in April so make sure you have your wallet handy :)