Warning Spoilers from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica lay ahead.
Have a great start to Summer/Winter Everyone! This review will be about Good Smile Company’s (GSC) first 1/8 scale figure of Akemi Homura, a popular character from the hit anime Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. Homura was initially released in March of 2012, yours to keep for the retail price of 7200 yen. She was sculpted in a pose by Yotota Ken to match a piece of promotional art for Madoka, shown below. Before we proceed any further, I will state my dismay that GSC, a leader in production of figures, have chosen to base her pose off here instead of going for an original or more action orientated pose. None the less Homura will be scored in accordance with my figure scoring guidelines.
Below is what I believe is concept art of Homura in her Puella Magi outfit. I don’t know if it is official or done by her creator Aoki Ume or a fan though.
Here is a little run down on why I find Homura’s character so appealing, that I ran out to buy the first scaled figure available of her. Homura is there from the very start of the story of Madoka. Shrouded in mysterious, she is always arriving at the right place, on time and normally with a solution to resolve any conflict. After getting to know her a bit more it is revealed as a very determined yet cool and calculating person, something I hope that I could aspire to. She will achieve her goal, no matter what the means. This is exemplified in the past how she works hard to change her personality and fix her weaknesses.
Being in a magical girls show you would expect Homura to use some sort of “magical weapon or plain magic to fight her enemies”. Instead she is blessed with a purely defensive spinning magical shield. To help her dispatch witches Homura resourcefully relies on man-made small arms and explosives which shield gives her the space and time to collect. Her character design is often viewed as elegant, slender and mysterious.
The figure comes with a secondary set of arms allowing her to hold a Berretta in one and her magical shield on the other.
Here are the 360 degrees rotation shots of Homura to show off HomuHomu’s coolness
Here is the other set where her right arm is holding her Beretta and the second one is pulling down on its slide, readying the weapon. I like this display option better as it highlights Homura’s reliance on conventional weapons, and hence have her displayed as such. I must admit I didn’t initially read the instructions and replacing her left hand was actually quite tedious.
Homura’s box would be described as the standard fair when it comes to Good Smile company packaging, conservative, protective yet allows a good view of the figure. The designs of the Homura’s box are done to match to match that of the other Puella Magi in the initial GSC line up. So they will match if you display them in their boxes.
Its conservative space saving dimensions are
It has 3 window designs with an odd circular one on the front and a roundish rectangular ones on the top and the right sides. This allows enough light and viewing space for you to get a good view of Homura main features, especially the face of the figure where there is an enlarged window in the blister.
Like all Good Smile Company figures her plastic blister is well designed, well to protect the figure. Homura is suspended in the centre of it. There has been care in moulding the blister so it protects her flayed out hair, providing it with a smooth surface to defect against if the hair was to come into contact with the blister. I would be confident that the packaging would be able to protect Homura through the roughest of handling.
The outside design has are quite Homura inspired it makes use of various shades of purple contrasting with the white dots next to it. Around each window there is a gold trim and what appear to be rose like flowers as if it is from an encounter within a witch’s barrier. The back has a much sinister picture being mostly set with a black and white background resembling that of an important encounter late in the series. My only worry about the box is that there isn’t enough balance with the photos of Homura on the box. There are 3 which are essentially the same while only one of her holding her gun. Besides form this overall I think the box suits the figure perfectly. The inside packing is just circles in purple colors not really worth reporting about. The packaging gets 9 out of 10.
I am torn about Homura’s pose as I initially had my doubts about buying the figure because it just looked so generic. By all objective accounts believe that it excellently portrays her as the elegant and mysterious character which she is, yet it is not really attention drawing. She is set about to take a tiny stride forward with only the tip of her trailing foot contacting the ground. This is good at it emphasis her long legs done up in her magical outfit’s tight looking stockings. Another good part of the pose is Homura’s hair which is set billowing out behind her.
When she is set with her default set of hands without a weapon it looks like she is pulling down her sleeve revealing her soul gem to show everyone else that she is serious. When she is holding her gun her hand are up near her face like she doesn’t giving her motives. Her appearance is like that of a secret agent out of James Bond film who doesn’t want to disclose any information to anyone.
I think this is a pretty good fit for Homura personality. Since it is taken from the concept art it will Match Madoka, Mami’s and Sayaka’s as well if you chose to buy all of the figures.
On the other hand I do not find the pose to exciting or attention grabbing. Nor is it sourced from a memorable scene in the anime. Ideally what I would like all my expensive scaled figures to have at least one of these qualities in their pose. Hence I believe Homura could have been so much more, all you have to do is take a look at some of the resin kits the individual sculptors have put together of her. This is based on that she is a Puella Magi and that they all have a lot of reactive combat throughout the series. Considering Homura’s large arsenal of weapons it wouldn’t have been hard to construct a more action orientated pose. She is just standing there doing slightly more than a 1.5k yen Sega/Banpresto figure. In my opinion, GSC have gone with a conservative/greedy decision. Release a non exciting but accurate figure now and then a more exciting one later: hope the fans buy both. Hence pose score has been reduced from 10 to 8 because of this.
Homura like the other Good Smile Company figure which I own comes with a fine sculpt. Everything appears to be in proportion and faithful to her original design, no deformities which I can detect at all. She is sculpted lean, mean and elegant which is how she appears in the anime. I must bring special attention must be brought to how Yotota has sculpted her legs. They are long and slender yet have well defined and graceful muscle tone within her tights. It really gives the emphasis of appearing long and slender in her stocking part of her costume.
This slenderness has been translated to her torso as well.
Homura stands 19 cm tall which is around average for your 1/8 scale figure. However I would put forward the alternate view point, being OCD about scale. That it wouldn’t have hurt her if she was a centimetre shorter. This is because when compared to adults in universe all of the Puella Magi seem torso height, hence I would like this reflected in the figure. Overall she just blends in nicely on the shelf of my Deltof.
Homura’s face is well done and faithful to the style of the anime which is flat and roundish. Homura has a fairly neutral expression, giving you the impression that she is shielding her thoughts from you. However when you look at the fine details of the face you can truly appreciate the detail which has been put into it to give her an expression to match her personality. That her slightly slanted eyes brows and the tiniest frown on her face underneath her cute little nose are true to her character. For seam lines Homura only has her hair her hair seam line and the curve of her hair hides it well, which is really good.
The minute details on this figure are done very well. Yotota has done everything he could to replicate the original character art and more. There are fabric folds on her overcoat, a reaction to her twisting motion as well as where she bends her elbows. Plenty of folds on her purple skirt and a lot more on her white underskirt. The ones I like the best are the engravings of the diamonds on her underskirt and the bit where the black and purple border on the tip of her bow tie on her back.
The Beretta, shield and soul gem and shield are also engraved with nice details as well. As mentioned above her hair is sculpted nicely. It doesn’t have all that much engraved details however I believe it is true to her appearance in the anime.
I love it how the hair splits which keep as a group to go either side of Homura then each strand takes its own path. This makes it most excellent anime hair and probably a big problem to replicate in cosplay.
Since I am one of those people who are very concerned about scale I would believe that Homura could have being shrunk by a centimeter or two to truly fit in with her 1/8 scale. However given that all the girls are in middle school and not very tall when compared to in the show. None the less she still doesn’t seem out of place in my collection.
All up for sculpt I give Homura a 10 out of 10.
The overall paint job does an excellent job. The purple tone of her paint is rather soft and in my opinion could have been made. Her skin tone and blush on her face is excellent as well as the colour of the decals of her eyes. Though I must say the best part of the paint job is her Stockings. The Purple diamonds are clearly defined and the shiny finish given to them really adds to the definition of Homura’s firm muscle tone.
Obligatory shot of Homura’s Legs
On the paint defect side Homura had 3 rather small and unnoticeable defects. The first was a touch up which a different colour to the rest of her hair near its seam line. The other one is where a panel line on the purple part of her collar has been botched this thankfully is covered by her hair. More serious is the scrapped off paint on her sleeve collar where the black underneath is exposed. It is unnoticeable when casually observing. Taking this rather serious defect into account I give Homura’s paint job 9/10.
Homura comes with a circular see-through base in her theme colour purple. It will also match the other bases of the other figures in the GSC Madoka line up. It is slightly curved in the shape of the dome being lower than one of those extruded circular bases. This is good as the Madoka characters, being in Middle school, are meant to be quite short. Hence this allows the figures to be slightly bigger while not drawing attention for being too high away from your other 1/8 collection.
On a structural basis Homura is very sound while the base consumes a modest amount of shelf space. She is very easy to attach to the base but is secured quite well, so you shouldn’t have any worries of her falling off or breaking her pegs.
Like most GSC figures the sculpt, paint job and pose all work well together to bring a solid representation Homura to my collection. Since I like to collect figures which are accurate to their original characters which I believe I am quite thrilled to be her owner. However as mentioned above due to her pose she doesn’t draw attention to herself, which I think she should and therefore give her a nine out of ten.
Girls with Guns
Tallying up the scores Homura scores 8.66 out of 10 overall and 9 out of 10 in the important categories. Those being Pose, Sculpt, Painting and Enjoyment. Besides from the pose Good Smile Company have done everything right with her to make her the best she can be making her worth the money spent on her. Hence this makes her in my opinion the quintessential scaled Homura figure for the time being.
I should warn those who are sitting on the fence about acquiring her to stay a bit longer and monitor the market. Given Homura’s popularity I would bet that it won’t be long before Good Smile Company or another company would come along and produce a new figure of her. One being non neutral either showing her in a more action orientated pose or softer side. On that day I will probably kick myself for not holding out for it.