When I headed out on my trip to Japan, I’d intended to pick up some items to decorate my inspirational writing area back home. Whilst browsing some websites prior to my trip, I saw the latest range of Japanese action figures. They were based on modern manga and anime characters rather than more traditional Japanese dolls and they had a style that seemed uniquely Japanese so they seemed like the perfect things to give that Japanese feel to my writing area. A bit of research told me that Akihabara was the area of Tokyo where all the anime and hobby shops that sell those sorts of Japanese figures were.
The figure that I really wanted to buy in Akihabara was a 1/5 scale model of sniper Yoko Littner (or Yoko Ritona if you prefer the Japanese spelling) from the anime series Gurren Lagann. This particular figure was manufactured by a company called Gift and was just stunning in its detail and design. However, when I saw the Gift figure in a shop in Akihabara, I was shocked by how big the box was. There didn’t seem to be any way that I’d be able to transport it back home in my luggage so I started looking around for small alternatives.
The best, smaller Yoko figure that I found was this one from the Fraulein Revoltech range of poseable figures manufactured by Kaiyodo. With a box measuring just 220mm (8.5inches) high, this figure seemed a lot more convenient. As it happened, rather than buying the Revoltech figure right away, I actually browsed for a bit longer and actually ended up giving in and buying the Gift Yoko figure before going back and buying the Revoltech one as well.
According to the box, this is the Series No.016 Movie Version of Yoko Littner from “Gurren Lagann: The Movie”. I’m not familiar enough with either Yoko or Gurren Lagann to tell you what the differences are but according to the box there are some differences with faces, hair, and weapons between this figure and the previous version. Apparently, this Yoko figure has bigger breasts too.
Upon opening the box, I found that Yoko had been supplied with alternative hair and face as well as a selection of both left and right hands. There was also a choice of three weapons from a large sniper rifle to a small handgun.
Initially, I did try changing Yoko’s face for the alternate one with one eye closed and a scowling expression. However, I had a bit of difficulty getting the Revoltech revolving joint to fit into the hole in her head. It was clear that the moulding process had left the hole slightly smaller than it should have been so I got to work on it with a small needle file. In the end, lack of patience (and lack of the correct sized needle file) got the better of me and I went back to the original, smiling face that I knew fitted. I suppose that sort of “fine-tuning” probably isn’t unfamiliar to fans of these sorts of figures though and they’d probably have better tools for the job than me. I did change Yoko’s hair for the ponytail version though.
Apparently, a common problem with these Fraulein Revoltech figures is that the stands are too high. When I put Yoko in the stand with it clipped around her waist, her legs dangled as though she was floating six inches off the ground. It’s probably not impossible for a skilled figure collector to modify the stand to make it shorter but in the end, I decided to give Yoko a pose that did away with the need for the stand.
As I mentioned earlier, Yoko Littner is a sniper in the Gurren Lagann anime series and this Fraulein Revoltech figure comes with her trademark large sniper rifle. However, since I’d been forced to use Yoko’s happy face due to technical issues, I decided to make her more peace-loving. Rather than giving her a gun, I changed her right hand to the one making the peace sign that’s so popular with Japanese girls. It goes with the sweet expression on her face rather well. I can’t imagine her shooting someone…
Obviously, compared to the much bigger Gift Yoko figure, this Fraulein Revoltech figure lacks the level of detail and the high quality of finish. However, it’s still extremely well detailed for its size from the flames on Yoko’s boots and bikini top to the silver studs on her belt. What this particular figure does offer is the extra advantage of being able to put Yoko into any pose that you like (dubious as that may sound). This is bound to appeal to anime figure fans who want to recreate their favourite scenes from the Gurren Lagann anime series or movie.
This Fraulein Revoltech Yoko figure cost me 2800 yen (around £20) in Akihabara but it appears that prices on all Japanese figures seem to vary slightly depending on which particular shop you visit. There’s no doubt places on the internet where you can pick up Yoko even cheaper, but if you’re outside Japan then you should be aware that shipping costs and your local taxes may push the price up even more.
Just like her Gift big sister, Revoltech Yoko now sits on the shelf above my writing area, smiling and giving me the peace sign whenever I look at her. Cute!