Review: MegaHouse 1/8 Risty *NSFW*

Just under a year ago, while evaluating MegaHouse’s Irma for preorder, I intimated that I would very much like to see a re-release of their Risty as well. I doubt representatives from MegaHouse or Hobby Japan were reading, but whatever the reason that desire has been fulfilled and I now find myself in possession of their recently reissued 1/8 scale interpretation of the honorable bandit from Queen’s Blade.

(This post contains artistic nudity. Reader discretion is advised.)

Gallery

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#1)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#2)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#3)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#4)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#5)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#6)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#7)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#8)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#9)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#10)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#11)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#12)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#13)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#14)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#15)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#16)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#17)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#18)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#19)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#20)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#21)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#22)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#23)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#24)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#25)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#26)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#27)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#28)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#29)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#30)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#31)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#32)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#33)

1/8 scale Risty PVC figure by MegaHouse (#34)

Review

As mentioned in my recent Alleyne review, watching the first season of the Queen’s Blade anime series did much to reshape my opinion of the various heroines portrayed therein. Though she was scarcely on my radar going in, Risty quickly won me over with her amiable personality and principled motives for participation in the tournament. Risty initially appears as an antagonist to Reina, but it is soon revealed that her activities support a group of orphaned children, not unlike Robin Hood, and before long she finds herself aiding Reina as well.

Whereas Orchid Seed’s handling of Alleyne was something of an aberration, MegaHouse has provided the vast majority of the many Queen’s Blade scale figures that have hit the market. They’ve produced at least one figure for practically every girl in the franchise and its iterations. MegaHouse doesn’t tend to produce a ton of figures that appeal to my sensibilities and subsequently I don’t own very many of their figures despite them being one of the larger entities serving the bishoujo figure industry. In fact, this marks my first time reviewing of one of their products.

Given that lack of familiarity, I don’t have a great read on what to expect from a typical MegaHouse figure. I purchased Risty primarily out of appreciation for her character and though I expected a quality figure, I wasn’t fully prepared for just how impressive the final product would be. MegaHouse definitely exceeded my expectations by delivering a figure that excels on a technical level with excellent paint and sculpt work that is about as good as anybody’s today. There are a few rough spots here and there like any figure, but it was only with the aid of a macro lens that I truly noticed them.

Risty is seen standing upright with a round shield in her left hand and a morning star in her right. It’s a fairly static pose, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I do get the impression that MegaHouse tends to be fairly conservative in this regard. Taken head on, Risty’s pursed lips and narrowed eyes suggest displeasure. Move to either side and her expression takes on a more neutral character. Given the overabundance of exuberantly happy bishoujo figures, I certainly won’t complain about Risty’s comparatively serious countenance.

One notable aspect of Risty’s sculpt is that it features a generous helping of muscular detail that you don’t often see on bishoujo figures. Sword-wielding heroines are a familiar sight in various anime settings, but their physical fitness and expertise is usually implied by characterization rather than visual cues and that tends to carry over into their figures as well. Risty, on the other hand, looks every bit the physical specimen with bulging muscles and numerous scars testifying to her credentials as a seasoned warrior. In a way, I feel her portrayal here is more akin to the western comic art style than anime and manga.

Queen’s Blade is a series steeped in overt sexualization with bared breasts and buttocks everywhere, so it comes as little surprise that Risty can be stripped down to nothing but her panties, which are the black thong variety. The availability of a cast-off feature serves this figure rather well as Risty has such an impressive physique. The cast-off is implemented as removable clothes and much like Amakuni’s Leviathan, I had some moderate difficulty getting Risty’s top back on after completing the nude shots. Once the pieces are in place, however, the fit is good enough that the fully clothed display mode feels largely uncompromised.

The display base is a simple design, identifying Risty and Queen’s Blade by name and featuring a logo pattern that I was not familiar with, all embossed on a circular disc and painted with a solid semi-glossy red complementary to Risty’s hair and outfit. The base seems to hold Risty quite securely, which is ultimately the most important feature of any display base, so I can forgive MegaHouse for not doing more here.

Though Risty’s re-release was widely available, orders placed through AmiAmi also included a pencil board as a shop-exclusive bonus. I highly doubt anyone would use the pencil board for its stated purpose, but it does feature some attractive artwork of Risty enjoying food and drink by the campfire. The board is double-sided, with the full color artwork on one side and a line art version of the same piece on the reverse. I don’t think I would be too broken up if I had missed out on the pencil board by ordering Risty elsewhere, but it is a nice little freebie.

All told, I find myself quite pleased with this purchase and I’m thankful to MegaHouse and Hobby Japan for making a re-release of my most-wanted Queen’s Blade figure happen. I think there was some potential that the old design wouldn’t have aged too well, but Risty honestly exceeded my expectations as she compares impressively well to the quality figures of the current day. I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to Tier’s review of the original release over at Tentacle Armada, which helped solidify my intention to pick up this figure in the first place.

Looking ahead, it seems as though the Queen’s Blade franchise may be on the wane. With this year’s Alleyne and Risty releases now out of the way, there’s practically nothing in the pipeline for the franchise in the way of upcoming figures. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more reissues from MegaHouse–they already reissued Alleyne prior to Risty–but I doubt that more than a select few figures will receive that treatment. If this is more or less the end for Queen’s Blade figures, I’ll be disappointed as I feel the wealth of unique character designs present in the source material could easily have produced more figure designs relevant to my interests than it actually has.

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