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 Karen Araragi 1/8 scale figure by Good Smile Company!!
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.
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-Ray & DVD volume for the Nisemonogatari series. This illustration is displayed on one of the sides of the box.
While the road roller’s color obviously works well with Karen’s standard uniform, I still question why they chose this design since the road roller doesn’t really have anything to do with Karen. I mean, consider some of the other figures Good Smile has created for the series. Their Shinobu figure has Shinobu sitting on top of a pile of donuts, which is fitting since she has an obsession with those things. Their Hanekawa figure has Hanekawa with cat ears in a school setting, reflective of both the oddity she possesses and her smarts in academics.
Don’t get me wrong, this Karen figure looks really nice, I just feel that it would have been awesome to see a design that was pulled from the opening perhaps, like in the artwork below. It would have been even more colorful and reflective of her role as a Fire Sister, but probably also more complicated to sculpt.
Now that I’ve shared my two cents on the design, let’s move on with the unboxing.
Firstly, the paint job is top notch; as 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.
To Buy or Not To Buy? That is the Question
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 Senjougahara and Shinobu), but others such as Hachikuji 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.