Published on November 8th, 2014 | by Christian0
SAO Asuna Vignette Review
I can browse through figures indefinitely. I start by looking for a particular figure at a palatable price, by the end I’m just looking at figures. A lack of either display space or interest in the source material isn’t enough to dissuade me from wasting my time this way. I just like to browse. I guess it’s a kind of window shopping, but for PVC anime ladies. When I visited Japan I really enjoyed doing this. I was happy to dig through stacks and stacks of prize figs in Mandarake or other random lesser known anime goods shops, not really looking for anything; just looking at everything. A lot of them were prize figs that were still making the rotation in the arcades I’d been to. One in particular caught my attention inside of a UFO catcher machine, and it was this Sword Art Online Asuna Vignette.
I don’t even like SAO that much. I recall really struggling to get through the second season, not only because it was awful, but because they took the one decent character in the entire show and reduced her to a helpless damsel waiting to be saved by Kirito. Kirito, if you don’t know, is your basic reluctant anime asshole at the center of a harem of women who desire him for no apparent reason other than that he’s the protagonist. It was a disappointing turn for Asuna, who in the early episodes of the first season is presented as equal before later being reduced to a helpless plot device. Whatever I may think of how the show developed, there’s no denying that Asuna has a compelling design. The proof is in the sheer number of figures she’s received. Out of all of them, however, this is the only one that has really caught my interest.
It is a prize figure, so it’s by no means perfect, but as far as prize figs go it’s not terrible looking either. I’m not too crazy about her face, with its’ smooshed looking features. The sloppy paint job on her outfit is another tell-tale sign of her prize fig pedigree, but her cute pose and the accessories that come with the fig more than make up for these shortcomings. I’m particularly fond of the little picnic basket that she came with. This feature isn’t attached to the stairs, so you can set it anywhere else you like or even put it in another display where it should look alright with smaller figs. This Asuna isn’t made to any particular scale, but I’d put her at about 1/10. She’s a bit smaller than most of my 1/8 scale figs, but bigger than a figma. One other feature of the fig that appeals to me is her seated pose, which is a rarity among figs of the non-lewd variety. It makes it easy to set her unobtrusively into a bookshelf in front of some games or books.
You can currently get this fig for about $35 on Amazon, which is about twice what I paid for it in a little figure shop full of prize figs, in an underpass near Yodobashi Camera. I’m not sure if I would pay that much now, but at less than half of the price of a proper scale figure it’s not a terrible deal for big-time Asuna fans or completionists looking to fill out a collection. I remember being thrilled to find it in this shop. I had tried at a variety of UFO catcher machines to win it during my trip, but to no avail. The most devious machine I remember was one where the figure’s box was suspended by a thing strip of paper over the chute leading out of the machine. Instead of a claw, the machine’s arm held a hobby knife: it’s blade set about 45 degrees perpendicular to the strip of paper. I tried a three times for ¥500 total, missing the paper entirely on one attempt and poking just feeble holes in it the other two times before giving up entirely.
Anyway, this is the first post on the site about a figure I own. I’d to do a lot more, and I have a fairly large collection to work with in that regard. I hope my photographs get better, but for a first attempt I think these came out OK.