written by Jon Paik (@igfxbalance)
From another one of Kinoko Nasu's masterpiece, Kara no Kyoukai, we are here presented with Ryougi Shiki. While this mysterious woman often dons a badass red leather jacket, she will at times wear a beautiful kimono. This time, the amazing Good Smile Company decided to sculpt Ryougi Shiki using the cover illustration of the second book of the series. Not only did they manage to sculpt Shiki magnificently, they captured the atmosphere she portrays in the story and anime... a little bit. I'll explain that in a moment.
First and foremost, I must confess that I am a huge fan of Type-Moon. While I do write these articles with little to no bias whatsoever, I can't help but just feel amazed as I view this masterpiece. As with most of the figures I purchase, I own these figures not just for aesthetics but because I want to own a physical representation of what I like and admire. This pose and kimono, however, had me feeling overwhelmed with such awe that I had to order this figure. Yes, this was one of the first scaled figures I had purchased from AmiAmi. I was a little disappointed to be honest, but it still remains to be one of the most beautiful figures I've possessed.
Just one look and I lost my breath; the details that were placed on the kimono was simply breathtaking. The sword is just awesome, the flow of the kimono is amazing, and the design of the kimono is simply stunning. It is very evident the sculptor had crafted this masterpiece with deliberation on every stroke. The details seen on the sash, the bow, and on the chest part of the kimono is just astounding! Even if the human eye is incapable of spotting the most smallest of details, surely the lens of a DSLR camera would be able to spot some imperfections? No. Even after taking several close up shots of the designs, you can still see every little detail in the floral design of the kimono. When the light reflects of the kimono in just the right angle, you can see even more floral design! That's where my disappointment begins.
In the promotional image provided by Good Smile Company, we have Shiki with a warm, yet almost mythical atmosphere surrounding her. Not only that, her kimono is clearly much more pink than what came out in the end. While they do always note that the statue in the promotional image is only a prototype, it was a really a big disappointment that I had received such a... downgraded version of what they had promised. I think I'm more disappointed in the smile than anything.
As you've noticed by now, the "smile" in the final product is unapparent. In fact, it's not even really a smile. She appears to almost have a dull, indifferent face. The charm that surrounded her in the promotional image seems to have dissipated during the finalization of the sculpting. At times, I had even wondered if I even received the real deal. It didn't take too long to realize that I was not alone in my despair.
Don't let that lead you to believe it's anything but beautiful though! It is also well known that figures will usually end up being deviating from the original prototype image so one shouldn't always expect a figure to be 100% exact. Regardless of its variation, the figure is still beautiful. Even if the face may not be as beautiful as I had originally hoped for it to be, the kimono is still damn beautiful.
While the pose may be simple, the flow of the kimono offers a wide variety of possible angles when taking pictures. It's not because I don't like her face that I often clip out the head (well kind of), but it just looks that much better. The more I can fit the actual kimono in the picture, the more I find the photograph to be aesthetically pleasing.
Ryougi Shiki from Good Smile Company is still definitely a fantastic piece of art and I would highly recommend the figure for anyone who's a Type-Moon fan. Even if you're not a fan, she's still worth a grab! Besides, when has Good Smile Company ever disappointed?