Thursday, September 5, 2013

Karen Araragi 1/8 Scale by GSC: Unboxing and Review

I only started watching the Monogatari series back in July, but it's quickly become one of my favorite anime series (I actually heavily considered getting the Blu-Ray box set for Bakemonogatari priced at $150). Unfortunately, due to its popularity, a lot of the released figures have skyrocketed in price. This is somewhat of a problem for me since, similar to the Strike Witches line of figures by Alter, I plan on collecting the whole Good Smile line of figures. I decided to start of the collection with the !!

One of the many good things about the Monogatari series is that I find all the characters to be very likeable and interesting. When you mix that with some beautifully sculpted and colorful figures, it really comes as no surprise that I want to collect the whole line of figures by Good Smile.

Karen went up for pre-orders in January 2013 and retailed for 11800 yen. Since I used AmiAmi like always, I only ended up spending 9060 yen on my pre-order. She shipped out to buyers in late August.

Some of you who have seen the Nisemonogatari series may be wondering where the design for this figure came from, as there isn't a scene with Karen and a road roller. Well, it is actually based on the illustration shown above, which was used for the first Blu-Rayas expected, since it's made by Good Smile. They also did an excellent job of giving this figure a very dynamic feeling. It really looks like Karen's hair and clothes are blowing in the wind; it almost seems like she's alive.

Now, I think the biggest concern that most people had with this figure, like me, was the road roller; for a few reasons. Firstly, the road roller itself is massive, meaning she takes up a large amount of space when displayed and probably costs more to ship as a result. Secondly, like I said above, the road roller doesn't really have anything to do with Karen. Thirdly, with the road roller she doesn't look very good from the back. Finally, there was the question of, "Could you display her without the road roller?"

After receiving her, apart from the amount of space it takes, I don't really have any problems with the base. Yes, she is removable from the base, so if you want to display her on something else that offers just as good support, you're more than welcome to.

The view from the backside isn't very good since the road roller just has a flat surface, but it isn't really too much of an issue. I mean when you display a figure, the back isn't really showing anyways.

If you actually take a closer shot with your camera, it sort of looks like she's standing on the roof of a school building; though she's standing on the wrong side of the railing (almost like she's going to jump of the roof .).

Anyways .. that aside, I think it would have been nice if the wheel had a textured feel to. It also would have been pretty awesome if they had made the lights work since the base was already big, leaving them plenty of room for a battery compartment. Still, I think the road roller looks pretty good.

The last thing I want to mention is that Karen's sweat shirt does come off. It loosely sits on her shoulders which is fine for the most part, except if you want to move her. Since it's just balancing on her shoulders, it can easily fall off when you move her around.

Before I move onto my final words on her, here are some more shots of Karen; with and without her sweat shirt on.


Of course, my standard spiel: "Buying a figure always depends on how much you like the character."

As far as I know, I don't think there are many Karen figures on the market right now, so if you're a fan of Karen, I highly suggest getting this figure. Like always, Good Smile did an excellent job executing this design; the paint job is flawless and the sculpt really captures the movement of Karen's clothes and hair blowing in the wind. Furthermore, like the other Monogatari figures, Karen is really colorful and brightens up the space around her.

Some of the Monogatari figures by Good Smile have gone up in price drastically (particularly and ), but others such as have gone down in price. I'm really not sure if this figure will go up or down in price, but I'm satisfied with the price I paid for her (9060 yen, which is around $95 USD I think). I'd say she's worth her current price. Here are a few places you can get her.PREVIOUS UNBOXING AND REVIEW ARTICLES

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