Character: Aoba Seragaki
Series: DRAMAtical Murder
Manufacturer: Max Factory
Release Date: April 2013
My Figure Collection Link: http://myfigurecollection.net/item/116883
I have been a fan of Nitro+ for quite sometime, although their games fall under questionable to say the least, I have found most of their anime adaptations to be quite entertaining. This being said the only one of their games that I was able to choke down was Togainu no Chi, whose manga I adore. I have never played DRAMAtical Murder, and probably never will as it seems much more brutal. I did however jump at the chance to buy another one of their amazing statues. GAME SPOILERS: you have been warned….
About two years ago I sent my proxy off to buy me a Nitro+Chiral poster set, and some other goodies at Animate Girl’s Festival. The posters were beautiful. There were images from Togainu, Lamento, Sweet Pool, the character Naitou, and a couple of images from things I had never seen before. One of those was the very image that this figure is based on. I had no clue what it was, but the image looked fun. I immediately took a liking to it.
So when this was announced in July of 2012 I got pretty excited. I knew I wanted it even then. The overall look of the figure was very dynamic, and different from everything else I own. Price wasn’t an issue. I didn’t care how much he was going to be. I was going to have it, and as his release loomed nearer I realized that wasting 202.00 hard earned dollars on Ultimate Madoka made this an easy pill to swallow. If he turned out half as disappointing as she, I may have never bought another statue again. This figure has a lot going on, so lets break it down!
I know this is a little bit backwards for me, but we are actually going to start with the base as I assemble him, and get to the “good stuff” later. When I first pulled the pieces from his protective blister this was what his base looked like. The rear chain was already attached. Lucky me, I was already terrified of putting this together. MyfigureCollection users were talking about things not fitting right. the birds, t.v., and tiny cubes were all already attached. The chain is very sturdy, and painted solid white, at least that is the case for most of it. It tapers to transparency near the bottom. The round part of the base is painted nicely, and angled upward towards the back. The center almost looks like a broken disc. I wonder if that is somehow symbolic to the game.
The second chain I added was the front one. This chain is unlike the others as it looks melted at the top. I am not sure why this is the only one that looks that way, but it is pretty cool. Like the other one, this chain fades to clear at the bottom. There is another tiny cube attached to this one, as well as two pipes.
The final of the three chain pieces is the tallest one. This was the one, I personally was worried about. I wasn’t to keen on the idea of assembling the umbrellas. Fortunately for me it was very easy. The umbrellas have metal rods, so they don’t seem to easy to break. There is another bird at the top of this chain, as well as another little block, and a halo that rests over Aoba’s head. Is he dead. Nah. It’s inside a game. Could be a GAME OVER though. Each chain makes a very solid click when it is pushed in. I don’t really recommend trying to take it back apart. The two television sets in the center are connected, and just slide right in. The two metal pegs sticking out of the top fit into Aoba’s back.
While researching the title a little bit I concluded that each of the items connected to the chains is a reference to one of the main love interests. The tiny cubes reflect a bit on Noiz. He has these little buggers hanging off his belt. Apparently Noiz’s allmate, Usagimodoki takes the form of a cube rabbit. Heh. I can totally see the rabbit ears. There are a total of nine little cubes scattered over Aoba’s base. Some of them have green faces, some black, and one even has a light grey face. Every single one of them looks good.
Here are close-ups of each of them, as well as Usagimdoki in his bunny form. I must say that is pretty darn cute. Each face has another face of the exact same colour on the opposite side.
The pipes would be a reference to Mink. Out of these four characters, I honestly think he is the most unappealing. The guy just sounds like a scumbag, and I don’t think his design helps that image much. The pipe doesn’t appear to symbolize anything particularly special. Both of them are pained nicely. One of them is light grey, and one is silver and brown.
Here you can see the light grey version of the pipe. I wonder if Mink actually uses both versions.
The clear umbrellas held by white gloves are obviously a sign of Clear. He can almost always be seen carrying his umbrella. These are pretty simple. The handles are plain white, as are the gloves. The clear umbrella part is a little foggy. I don’t think it was done deliberately, but it looks wet or steamy. There are little white balls at the tips, and a white pointed piece on the top. They look pretty good.
The gloves are fantastic. They are pristine white, but what stands out is the sculpt. There are sartorial seam lines around the base of the thumb, down each side, and over each knuckle.
Lastly are the pink birds. Realistically these could go to Mink or Koujaku, as both are pictured with birds. The silhouette looks an awful lot like Beni, Koujaku’s allmate. Since Koujaku isn’t otherwise represented I am going with that. There are three birds flying off of the two rear chains.
Beni is pictured above, resting on Ren’s head but here is a better picture of what the little bird looks like. I seriously think the little point on their heads is his tiny tuft of feathers. This bird is wearing geta sandals…How cool is that?
The last part of the base to get special attention would be the TVs. There are three different ones, all near the bottom. Each television shows a unique picture. The first one sits at the front of the base just below Aoba’s left shoulder. The screen depicts Usui’s logo. Each TV is pretty detailed. The frame around the screens are beveled inward, which makes them look really nice. The dials and knobs stand out nicely, and almost look as if they could be turned. The TVs also have four tiny legs.
The second TV screen shows the logo of the mysterious group known as Morphine. This TV, like the first one is a light blue colour that accompanies Aoba’s colour scheme well. I wonder what CHND stands for….
There is one more TV screen lurking around the back. This one shows a silhouette of a person in what appears to be a cowboy hat. While searching around for information on Morphine’s logo, I happened upon a blog featuring the secret characters route. I hadn’t realized until looking at this screen again that the shadow belonged to secret character, Sei. His TV is the only one that is a different colour, as it is a ghostly pale grey. The sides of each TV have a striped design. The paint on all three looks fabulous.
The back of the TV is also nicely detailed. There are vents, and screws. The back pale on the blue TV was slightly popped out when I put him together. I did push it back in with no problem. I think that wraps it up for the base.
Aoba himself his pretty impressive as well. At 1/7 scale, he almost seems a bit on the smallish side. Like his base, he has an awful lot to talk about, so bare with me. Here we go!
His scruffy blue bangs hang over his eyes, and down along his cheeks. The seamline between his bangs, and the back of his hair is cleverly hidden against the bright pink headphones, that Aoba is rarely seen without. The sculpt of his hair looks really nice. They did an excellent job on the shading as well. The darker blue is accented by areas of a very light baby blue. It looks very nice.
The headphones are very detailed. The black headband that crowns his head has a tiny pink stripe along the front side, and little connectors at each headphone. The ear piece has tiny text on the inner blue circle. It says Ai Catch, and Goatbed beneath that. “Ai Catch” just happens to be the title of Aoba’s character song, and Goatbed just happens to be the artist of said piece. The earpiece even has the black cushion part against his ear. They did a wonderful job on this accessory.
The back of his hair is just as shaggy as the front. The spikes all look really good, and there are no seam lines that are visible here. If you look inside his hood you can see where his scruffy mane gives way to the long locks of blue hair that lay over his shoulders. Aoba may have missed the memo about mullets being the worst hair style ever.
Near the nape of his neck, as seen above, his hair is a very dark shade of blue. It tapers down to a very pale blue near the tips. I think this looks much better than the transparent hair that seems to be all the rage. It looks great when put up against light, and ok without, but I think tapering to a lighter shade has a much more subtle appeal. The sculpt looks a little bit chunky. I think the strands could have been made to look a bit more wispy.
Aoba’s face is fantastic. The sculpt is detailed, and proportioned well. The decals for his eyes are well placed, and the outline around his mouth is perfect. After looking at it a bit closer I am not even sure it is an outline. It actually looks like his mouth is a separate piece, like those of model kits, inserted into the face from behind. Nope just shaded that well. Nice job Max factory. I love the line between his teeth too. It does a lovely job showing off his canines. Hehe he has nostrils and they aren’t painted brown. Sigh, I am going to be bitter about that forever…..
Aoba wears a tight navy blue long-sleeved t-shirt that conforms to his torso. There is a bit of lighter shading over his stomach. The thin wrinkles where the shirt is tucked into his pants are great. Aoba clearly has a fairly nice body under this shirt. He has a clearly defined collarbone, and you can see his stomach muscles through the t-shirt.
Over the skin-tight t-shirt Aoba wears an open puffy jacket. We used to call these Michelin Man coats. This one is white with sky blue trim, and a brain logo on the left shoulder. It looks like it says Jerry Blaine beneath it. The panels of the main body are separated into puffy sections. Each one of the sections has a large degree of tiny creases where the fabric is pulled together, and further highlighted by very light shading. The big bubbles along the trim are snaps to hold the jacket closed. The paint on his jacket is done very well, from the yellow stripe on the shoulders to the blue trim. It all looks good.
On the other side you can see the other part of the snaps. It is a bit funny though, the inside panel has no connectors. That made me laugh a little. The shading, and wrinkles in the fabric look just as good on the back side. Aoba connects to the TV via metal pegs that fit snuggly into his back.
Aoba’s hood shares the same puffy theme that the rest of his jacket features, complete with the tiny wrinkles where the fabric is pulled together at the trim. I couldn’t quite get a good picture of it, but if you tilt him forward you can see the back of his shirt at the base of his neck.
I really love his hands. I think reviewing figures has caused me to develop some strange hand fetish. There isn’t much that pleases me more than well sculpted fingers and toes. The sculpt is fantastic. Aoba has very slender well proportioned fingers. His knuckles are well-defined, and his tiny fingernails are glossed over, but the same colour as his skin. It looks natural, and very nice. You can see his bracelet poking out from beneath his sleeve. I had initially thought this was a watch, but now I think it may be his COIL (a bracelet used for communication). His sleeve cuff has a visible strap which is a nice touch.
His other hand may be my favourite part of him. I have always been a fan of fingerless gloves, although this is the point where Tekizen would butt in and say “but one glove is stupid”. That’s ok. That is why I am reviewing him, and not her. 😀 Back to his glove. The paint is done really well, and near his wrist you can see the adjustable strap. They did a great job. but what seals the deal is the way his fingers curl around the headset. It looks natural, and very relaxed. Overall I really love the way this hand looks.
Aoba’s studded belt looks nice sculpt wise. The paint is done nicely, but is overall unimpressive, given it is all one colour. The belt loops that cross it are also painted very crisp. The folds around his groin are done really well. The fabric of his jeans looks like it should given the position of his hips. His jeans clearly have a fly, and inseam. Another great bit of attention to detail by the sculptor. There are some more folds in the denim behind his bent knees.
The back of his pants feature patch pockets, as well as some pretty cool sartorial seams typical of blue jeans. He has front pockets too. You can just barely see it bunched out at his hip. From the back you can see the wrinkles in the fabric behind his knees. It looks great. Aoba has decent legs, but for whatever reason his lower half is nowhere near as defined as his upper half. This isn’t really a complaint. His jeans are just tight enough to look nice without being tasteless.
Aoba is wearing some crazy boots. They make me think of space snow boots. He is wearing leg warmers beneath the boots. Leg warmers, and mullets…..I know that past trends come back, but seriously put this guy in Kotetsu pants and we have a poster child for the 80’s. The boots match the jacket in an introverted colour kind of way. This time the puffy part is blue, whilst the trim is white. They even have a bit of yellow. All that is missing is a brain. The paint is done really well.
His hover board has some cool futuristic decorations on it, flanked by a pair of Jerry Blaine brains. This thing looks pretty cool albeit simplistic. The sides of it have fluorescent green areas that look like they should light up. The paint and decals are all done very well.
The bottom of the hover board is pretty neat. I’m not cool enough to own my own hover board so I don’t know what exactly is going on here, I’ll be sure to rectify that soon. We have more of the bright green lights, and two little cubbies that flank this cool thing in the center. Maybe the center piece distorts gravity, and the two cubbies on either side but out air currents to guide direction….hmmm….
The last thing that pertains to Aoba directly is his halo which I almost forgot. The halo is connected to the chain so it appears to hover over his head. It is semi-transparent, and looks pretty cool.
Aoba’s allmate Ren takes on the appearance of a Blue Pomeranian, but he can also take a human form. This dog is cute. I mean really ridiculously adorable. Ren is navy blue so it is a bit hard to see his beady blue eyes. He has a tiny black nose, and a little pink tongue sticking out of his mouth. His fur is sculpted very well from the tufts in his ears to his super bushy tail. each paw has tiny pink paw pads on the bottoms. He is also wearing a spiked collar with a hospital needle charm. Interesting choice…
From the side you can really see his tail, as well as his fluffy belly. I am absolutely in love with his sculpt! Ren’s front left paw has a metal peg that fits very tightly into Aoba’s arm. Be very careful assembling him. His rear left paw has a tiny plastic peg which fits into the chain. This stabilizes him, and adds extra support.
It is a good thing Ren turned out so damn cute, because as a pre-order bonus we get this super cute keychain. It is practically a clone of the one on the figure. He comes in a black bag taped inside of the box.
Speaking of his box…this thing is huge. What amazes me is how well the space inside was utilized. All of his pieces are safely held in place by his blister packaging. The design of the box is pretty unique. The front window shows him off pretty well, but it is impossible to enjoy this figure in all it’s glory from within the box. The striped windows are pretty awesome but offer little visibility.
The sides are pretty simple. There are a couple more stripe windows though.
The back of his box shows plenty of pictures, and shows off a lot of the cooler aspects of the figure. He is pretty awesome all around the board, if you are a fan of cool looking toys, or DRAMAtical Murder I highly recommend him. If you have a weak stomach though, I don’t recommend looking into the game. I can honestly say I regret it. What is seen unfortunately can’t be unseen….
He is amazing!
The use of game references on this figure is really cool.
He is full of personality.
The paint and sculpt are virtually flawless.
Did I mention he is flawless?
Ok. Maybe he is a bit too fragile…
Overall Enjoyment: 10/10