Airu (air) – Non-Scale PVC (Kotobukiya)
Generally it takes a familiarity with a sculptor or an illustrator to get me interested in a figure based either off an original design or start-up production. Case in point would definitely be the Shuraki crossover lineup by Red Entertainment and Good Smile Company. All of the releases done for the Shuraki series have been, or will be, completely original creations for a universe that’s expanded through the drama CDs released with each individual figure. Anyway, what’s surprised me these days is that apparently figure manufacturers can definitely strike out of the blue and reel me in if they accessorize their projects correctly. Not only had I not heard of or seen Airu prior to her posting on アキバHOBBY, but until a moment ago I had no idea what the hell she was holding.
Sad excuse to keep thinking about this release? Maybe.
Unintentionally effective idea by Kotobukiya to grab folks’ interest? You bet.
The aim of this release was to definitely go for a clean, almost plasticy aesthetic. As you can tell from the pictures, Airu’s predominant color in this offering is white, but you’ll also notice that it’s not a full-on stark clean shine. In truth her dress, particularly her arm-length evening/opera gloves as well as the split hem of her skirt, have that pearly finish which gives off the impression of a slick texture that mixes well with her hair. To that end, her hair’s also finished in an interesting candy-esque fashion that I haven’t really seen used too much other than maybe… well, releases of Flame Haze Shana from Shakugan no Shana. The reason why I suppose why it’s not used too much is that it doesn’t really suit hair in the first place, I mean c’mon, who has transparent hair? But it’s this “airbrushed” look to her hairstyle that finally clued me in to what she was carrying.
I suppose I could’ve been less of an idiot and actually read the entirety of the アキバHOBBY article before trying to figure out what the hell she was carrying, but whatever. As stated by the photographer, Airu’s isn’t carrying some kind of crazy steampunk battle axe or anti-tank rifle. It’s an airbrush. Wow. Given how I’ve only really only used an airbrush maybe all of one or two times in my entire life, it was definitely not anywhere near the top of the list of things that popped into my head.
All in all, not a shabby release and one I would’ve considered getting had it not been for the limited release nature of its distribution (she’s only being sold through Kotobukiya’s store location and their online shop). The illustrator, Niθ, has some good things going for him/her (more of a fan of the character’s proportions in 2D form), so I suppose I’ll keep an eye out for any future projects bearing his/her namesake.
If you’ve got the urge to nab Airu and her funky giant airbrush for your desk, you better start looking into proxy services: she’s set to release some time this month for 7,350 JPY (~74 USD).