This Utena is the fourth in Active Styling Figure series by Kotobukiya. It was released in 1997 during the first run of Revolutionary Girl Utena in Japan.
There is also a plastic tube version, but I suppose the boxed variant was released first. The rose symbol is everywhere!
The side image demonstrates the '"Active Joint System" - we'll see how it works. As you can read on the box, the body is ABS, while the head is soft vinyl.
There is an instruction inside how to deal with the sword and the rose. As for the rose, which has a sticker on its reverse side, I've already attached it to Utena's jacket, so I can't show you the process.
The sword is unpainted and made of very soft and flexible plastic.
Here she is. In my opinion, it's a pretty good rendition of the character. Also, its good that her hair is molded: other Utena dolls have rooted hair and it looks rather unconvincing.
A closeup. Well, maybe the nose could have been bigger, but otherwise Utena is absolutely recognisable.
Her clothes are well-mde, especially for a 20cm doll. The chain is fake but it looks like real metal. The pockets are sloppy, though, and I don't like the way they made the epaulettes: they are strips of faux leather and don't have the necessary volume. But I honestly like this double skirt!
The shoes are molded together with the laces. They are so soft that I couldn't take them off.
So, this is the joint system. It looks fragile and sounds squeaky.
The body has metal screws on the back. As I said before, plastic hair is nice, but it limits the poseability to some extent and makes it hard to undress the doll.
The joints are actually ball joints, or rather pintles with tiny balls on tops; they are supposed to give unrivalled poseability, but in fact they are too loose, so the body parts just hang most of the time.
Which is a pity, because the potential is very good. Still she's totally unable to stand.
Out of her four hands, there's only one with Utena's famous ring. It's just a drop of paint, you won't see the rose on it.
Utena next to another ASF, Kanzaki Akari. It turns out that Utena's sleeves prevent her from bending her elbows.
One more comparison, this time with a vinyl prepainted figure (also made in 1997). Of course, the figure has more correct proportions, but the doll's face and hair are much better.
I can't say I'm really satisfied with this Utena, but she was among my very first anime dolls. I love the series so much that I'm really happy this doll exists!
- Written by Yoruno