Title: DRAMAtical Murder
Manufacturer: Max Factory
Release Date: July 2015
I really hate starting off on a negative foot, but Ren and I are not off to a good start. What did Max Factory do “this” time, lets find out? (funny how I could reasonably start almost every GSC review this way.)
My relationship with this figure started off rocky. Max Factory announced that they were making a second figure in the Dramatical Murder line, and then proceeded to wait an entire year before spilling the beans on which character it would be. In this time I had been praying for Koujaku as he is the only character from this franchise that I liked 100%. On the opposite side I was hoping beyond reason that it wasn’t Mink. The results were somewhere in the middle. Ren is one of the more likeable characters so I decided to keep an eye on his progress. The conception art looked alright. His base looked really cool, but his face looked really bland. In the end I was sold on the base.
What could it hurt? He was only 175 USD, and Aoba was perfect! I really should have taken this moment to remember the disaster that was Goddess Madoka. Next time I order a big figure from GSC and her sisters I need to think about that. When I first opened his box I was impressed. He looked really good. Then I gingerly removed his cloak to examine his torso and tattoos. That was when I noticed it. The syringe attached to his collar was at an odd angle. I poked it and it fell off. Just like that!!! One thing I can say about GSC is that they are really famous for their excellent customer service…..the only problem with that is that there shouldn’t be a need for people to know that. How many figures do they screw up? That being said I emailed them, and they offered to send me a replacement body.
Flash forward two weeks later, and I finally have a pristine figure of Ren. Yay. I set up my figure for reviews, started taking pictures, and noticed the dark blue fingerprint on his cloak. Grrrr…..After another email to GSC they sent out a replacement cloak. If I had asked for a new head the whole damn figure would have been replaced. This is unacceptable for such a high tag figure.
Initially I was going to wait until I got the replacement to write this review, but if I am going to review him I prefer that people see the truth. Now that the major issues are out of the way I would like to talk about Ren overall.
From a distance Ren looks pretty fantastic. His billowing cloak makes him look a bit more dynamic (as opposed to without), and the base is very cool. As a matter of fact, the base is the only part that I wasn’t disappointed in.
One of my favourite things about Ren himself is his hair. It is well sculpted, and the shading looks good. I love the eartails and the way they frame his face. He has a super cute hairstyle. That aside I am kind of bothered by the obscenely visible seam line just above his forehead.
The messy spikes on the side of his head look really great as well. Ren also has very lovely ears. I don’t know if I ever mentioned it before, but pointy ears are dead sexy.
The back of his hair also looks tousled. The sculptor did a damn good job on his locks. I was totally weirded out by the hole through his neck. I had no idea this was a part of his design. Whereas he has quite the nice body, this definitely drops his sex appeal a lot. Could you imagine kissing around the giant gaping hole in your man’s neck…
His face has a good sculpt. His nose and mouth are nicely detailed. His expression is bland. I know that this is in character, at least for part of the game, but he does develop emotions. that being said why didn’t they give him a decent expression, as opposed to a look of mild surprise. It’s like someone called his name, he turned to face them, and they quickly snapped a picture.
The collar is sized too big for his neck, but secured in place through the neck tunnel. The paint on the spikes looks good, and the syringe has nice details but it is in entirely the wrong position. I suppose they did this for stability purposes, not that that helped me. The piece looks really good, but they probably should have just made it removable, for when he donned his cloak.
Ren has a very pleasing torso. His muscles are nicely “sculpted”, and he even has nipples.
From the side you can really see how the needle points down towards his chest. It is practically poking him. Why!? The muscles on his sides look good. Nanako was really on the ball with this sculpt.
His other side looks just as good. In this picture you can also see his fabulous profile. His face has such a nice shape.
Ren may be a bit on the skinny side, but he is one ripped dude. His back looks fantastic, and his tattoos are crisp and clear. No bleeding lines here.
Since the picture above has shadows on his lower back I added this one just for kicks!
Unfortunately when moving on to his arms, we find a whole new plethora of problems. His arm is aligned poorly so his tattoo has a ridge….more like an armband??
On this one we have ridiculously bad paint. This is my replacement body!! Other then that he has very sexy arms, but I can’t get past the arm band tattoos. Without the raised edge these would be great.
In this shot you can see both the weird ridge, and the sloppy paint job. Might I remind you that this is a 175$ figure.
This is the arm on the broken body. It lines up perfectly proving that it can be done…mine is just gibbled.
His hands look really good. For some reason this image reminds me a lot of Kotobukiya’s Akira figure, which cost half as much and looks much nicer. I think it is the hand position / gray pants combo. Anyway his fingers looks great and there is great detailing on his knuckles.
His pants look ok. The design of said clothing looks like it should be denim. All of the sartorial seams, and way the fly looks point this direction, but the fabric around his thighs is so smooth it looks like spandex. A few more wrinkles and crinkles would have been quite welcome. His belt is painted very well.
Ren has a small and fairly unimpressive butt. His pockets once again feed my belief that he is wearing gray jeans, but as before the only folds in the cloth are around his knees and backside.
The seams in his pants are cool and fairly realistic. I am not really on a push for nudity on my shelf, but given the great job done on Ren’s upper body, I wonder if he would look better pantsless. Can I get a special edition “REn in shorts” figure?? I bet his legs would look much better.
How does a guy with these muscle possibly have such bland legs. These pants are so tight we should see some muscle definition. Nope. Don’t care for his leg sculpt at all.
Ren wears some weird looking footwear. These are sculpted well enough but the paint is not particularly good.
Here I got some chipped paint. The rest of the light blue paint looks alright. If you look closely though, you can see places where it does not stay within the lines.
Here is an overall picture of the tabard’s front side. You can see that nasty fingerprint off to the right, and the blue is wiggly above the bottom left corner.
The tassels are fun. I like the way they are all raised, like there is some movement going on here. Maybe a slight breeze. The tassels are pretty delicate so be careful around them.
Another full tabard shot. He looks pretty cool when you can’t see the broken collar, or the blue fingerprint…
The back side of the tabard actually looks pretty nice, albeit the front looked ok too outside of that one big flaw.
The shading on this cloak is gorgeous, not quite as stunning as Suzaku’s cape, but damn cool nonetheless.
There are a couple more weird seams in the cloak, but they are only visible from the back, so they aren’t a big deal. The holes in the garment give it a very neat tattered appearance.
Here are some more tattered edges.
Instead of one big image depicting the cloak, I thought several smaller areas would show off more detail. The folds in the fabric are stunning. It looks great sculptwise. The shading isn’t bad either.
A few more tatters, and holes.
One thing has not changed since the first time I saw this figure. This furry hand is freaking great! The fur looks good, and the claws are awesome. You can also see a small crystal accent here. These are pretty neat looking.
It looks like it is going to grab his leg. So creepy. I think the furry hand is a great thing to added to Ren’s base to add a bit of character to it, especially given the lack of color and emotion. It gives the figure a bit more personality, as well as a tie in to his allmate self.
There are a couple of crystals accenting his base these are also welcome touches. They look really nice, and I love the weird little posts that hold them up. The blue gradient looks very nice.
Also instead of sticking some weird post into him, he is supported by a metal rod hidden withing this crystal. If you look closely you can see it, especially from the rear. It holds him up very well. Hopefully it continues to do so over time.
The base is huge! The design is nice and matches Aoba’s base very well. That being said they look ridiculous side by side. Without the cloak they look ok, but with it Ren is too big and dark to look good next to Aoba. He just over shadows him a lot. Regardless the bases go together well.
The hand is pretty big, in fact it is almost the size of my hand. Impressive!!
Ren without his cloak looks good, but fairly boring. I think he does look better with Aoba this way, but his furry hand looks out of place now. I guess I just can’t win.
On the note of not winning. I got my replacement cloak from GSC yesterday and it has a broken tassel. this has to be a joke! 175$!!
Ren has nice hair!
The base is really great!
The furry hand is very original, and a great part of the character.
Overall he is kind of unique.
His paint job is atrocious.
His pieces are super fragile. (I realize these are not meant for children, but mine came broken TWICE!)
His face is bland…but in character.
He looks great without the cape, but unoriginal and boring.
He looks great with the cape if viewing from at least five feet away.
Major buyer remorse. Not worth the money paid. Not at all.
Overall Enjoyment: 4/10