This month, I’m looking at Max Factory’s sultry 1/7 scale rendition of Tharja (aka Sallya) from Fire Emblem Awakening.
I picked up a Nintendo 3DS last summer, shortly before a business trip along with a copy of Fire Emblem Awakening and I soon found myself thoroughly engrossed. I have long enjoyed the strategy RPG genre, starting all the way back with the Shining Force series on the Genesis, and I found FE:A, my first Fire Emblem game, a very worthwhile entry in the pantheon of great SRPGs.
The game features a rather large cast, made larger if you fully explore the match-making mini-game wherein you pair up eligible males and female heroes to unlock their offspring as yet more playable heroes. Tharja probably wouldn’t be my first (or second) choice to start a FE figure lineup–I found her in-game goth-emo personality a bit grating at times–but I was still happy enough to see Max Factory unveil her as their selection, particularly given that they posed Tharja so nicely and made her a reasonably large 1/7 scale.
Tharja is seen leaning on a stack of tomes with her cloak conveniently swept back to reveal a shapely rump as she coyly looks back over her shoulder. She is displaying body language that is parts playful, mischevious, and seductive, which is all admittedly a bit of a 180 from her usual in-game demeanor, at least until that S-rank support is achieved. It’s a wonderfully expressive pose and the clear highlight of the figure.
Tharja can optionally be displayed without her cloak. Doing so mainly affords a better view of her back, which is pleasantly arched. At the same time, Tharja’s neck looks awkwardly thin and straight without the cloak in place, although you need to be looking at the figure from some unusual angles to truly notice this. Furthermore, Tharja perches precariously without support from the cloak which provides some stability for the figure absent from the display base design (more on that momentarily).
Max Factory has greatly impressed me with their work in the past. I feel like the overall craftsmanship on Tharja is a tad rougher than past MF masterpieces such as test-suit Asuka and maid Muramasa, but I don’t consider it a problem as the paint and sculpt work are still excellent.
Tharja’s display base is very similar in look and feel to Muramasa’s in that it features a colored felt-like texture. Unlike Muramasa, Tharja’s base does not actually feature any pegs to attach either the figure itself or the props (stool, skull) that it comes with. I’m not fond of this omission, either. I can see the ability to display the figure sans base being beneficial for creative photography, particularly when used with a diorama where the appearance of a typical display base could be immersion-breaking, but otherwise I find it to be a nuisance that I must take even more care than usual when moving the figure about as there’s nothing more than light friction mating Tharja to her base.
Lamentably, I can’t shake the feeling that Tharja isn’t quite the figure I’d hoped she would be. I can’t point to any technical flaw in the craftsmanship or the design, but I received Tharja around the same time as three other figures and I’m left with the distinct impression that Tharja is my least favorite figure out of that group, and that’s not the result I had expected going in. I’m not convinced that comparisons founded on temporal proximity are either warranted or fair, but for better or worse, that subjective ranking has weighed somewhat negatively in my estimation of this figure.
I imagine that last paragraph read like a bit of a downer, but I really don’t hate Tharja or regret ordering her. She’s a solid figure of a side character from a game I greatly enjoyed and I’m happy to have her in my collection, even if she’s not an instant favorite. This is all just my opinion, of course, and those seeking a different perspective would do well to check out the reviews over at Wieselhead, Reflective Boundary, and Otagamers.
I had hoped that Tharja would mark the beginning of a proper Fire Emblem lineup for Max Factory. With the WonFes announcement of a Cordelia (Tiamo) figure it looks like that hope will become a reality, although I had hoped we’d be talking about several such figures at this point rather than just one.