Previously I covered Rei Ayanami… now it is Asuka’s turn. Will Asuka’s bootleg be as good as Rei’s? Let’s find out!
MSRP (without tax): ¥5,980
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥8,079 (£57.51)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $12.80 (£10.42)
The official I bought from Nippon Yasan.
Same as Rei’s box, we have the NERV logo in the top left, and the rearranged text at the bottom including the product number prefixed with an “F”.
However, Asuka’s name has been butchered – she’s now apparently called Shikinami Asuka Rangur… Iiinteresting.
The bootleg box is also noticeably lighter coloured than the official.
As with Rei’s box we have the rearranged warning text blocks to avoid copyright and a lack of different card finish underneath the product images.
Again, the bootleg is filled with junky text whilst the official is about Parform line and the figure itself. I believe the text on the bootleg is actually about Ayanami Rei rather than Asuka…
The backdrop colour is a couple of shades darker on the bootleg inner. We have the same edits as Rei’s inner, with the boring text and the removed logos, however Asuka’s name doesn’t fit quite as well on the right flap due to its length.
This time I managed to remember to take photos of the base connectors. Each base comes with two, but here’s one of each for comparison:
Slightly less clarity in the bootleg’s connector, but essentially just the same.
Asuka comes with two faceplaces and four sets of hands like Rei. Asuka also has her doll.
Let’s start with the faces:
Just like Rei’s, the difference in finish is the first thing that’s noticeable. Looking at the irises, the official’s are a nicer print. With the mouth, the smiling face looks fine on both however the teeth have been painted poorly on the bootleg’s yelling face, making her expression slightly odd.
Looking to the bottom of both the bootleg’s faces we see a little bit of excess plastic.
Back of the faces:
The bootleg faces have a large mould mark in the middle, with what looks like a “1” and a “2” inside of it.
Looking at the bottom face, it doesn’t look like the parts of the mould were aligned quite right, leaving the peg hole in the wrong place.
Top of the hands:
The bootleg hands are noticeably a different shade of red, and have a certain level of sloppiness. The top bootleg hand seems to have not had its finishing layer sprayed onto it and the second had a bunch of dirt. The hexagon on the third hand down doesn’t look like it was placed in the right spot.
Bottom of the hands:
The black paint on the bootlegs is a bit sloppy in places if you look closely, but nothing too noticeable for the most part. The second hand down is probably the weakest – we have some excess plastic and some of the black paint is too thin, allowing the red paint to show through.
Not a terrible effort from the bootleg, but does have its flaws. The eye prints aren’t properly aligned, leaving the white part of her eye escaping the outside. We’ve also got some yellow on its right eye – not sure why. The bootleg doll also looks like its dress has been made out of plugsuit material instead of fabric and the “Asuka” text doesn’t quite follow the line of the dress.
Lastly, the bootleg doll is quite dirty – I don’t think Asuka would stand for that!
If you want to see all three of the dolls together (official, this bootleg and the static Parfom one), expand the spoiler below.
At a glance, the bootleg and official are looking pretty similar. However, when we look closer, the bootleg’s got a bit of a giraffe neck going on and the hair doesn’t have as many tones to it.
The bootleg’s plugsuit is couple of shades darker than the official and not quite as shiny.
Those ankle joints on the bootleg also stick out like a sore thumb with being a lot lighter red than the rest of the figure.
For the bootleg, we have shiny-face giraffe neck. Looking closer at the face, the bootleg’s has some strange white lines going across the bottom of her eyes and the print quality is poorer, leaving more visible dots in her eyes for the shading. Moving to her lips, the paint line is darker, making her mouth less subtle.
Moving to her hair, the bootleg’s fringe has a lot less shading and has a shinier appearance. The hair tips aren’t as dulled as other bootlegs I’ve looked at and are actually fairly comparable to the official’s. We do have some seams on the long edges of some strands though (most visible on her left side, near the bottom of the longer part of her hair).
Top of the head:
The official’s hair parts match in shading, and look part of a cohesive whole. Not so much for the bootleg – we have a lighter part on the back of the fringe that doesn’t blend in with the darker part behind it. The fit between the fringe and her head isn’t very good either, and we have a bit of a gap.
Looking at the top of the bootleg’s head we have a visible seamline and a scratch in the paint.
With the interface headset, the parts don’t sit as neatly on the bootleg’s head and generally look a bit cheapy.
Well, the upper chest of the bootleg doesn’t look so good… The red doesn’t match with the rest of the suit properly, and we have sloppy dark blue paint. The “02” is off-centre and printed in with thinner lettering than the original. Not sure what’s up with the texture on this part, but it’s very weird. The orange paint on her chest is a lighter shade than the original.
Looking at her shoulders, the “screwheads” are quite sloppy on the bootleg – the left one especially.
The linework isn’t as good on the bootleg – the line on her left hip doesn’t terminate where it should at all. The lines have been done thinner and darker than the original.
The line on her right actually goes slightly more in the right place than the official’s does.
Looking at the how the photography lights reflect off of both the figures, we can see the official has a much smoother and shinier finish.
This photo was originally to compare her hand joints – looking at the pegs, the bootleg’s wrist joints are lighter and have bits of excess plastic coming off of them.
Back of the legs:
The bootleg’s joints stand out from this angle – they really don’t match the rest of the figure as well as not being installed correctly, so that the peg parts of the joint are still visible.
We’ve also got some missing detail on the bootleg – the shape on the back of her leg is supposed to be filled in.
Outside of the leg:
Yeah, the bootleg’s leg fell off whilst doing this review, and the official’s comes off fairly easily too.
The black stripes at the top have more even painting on the official. With the foot, the black paint is very sloppy on the bootleg.
The linework over her knee is off on the bootleg, and the poorly done joint doesn’t allow the lines to meet where they should.
Hole for the left leg:
We have a fully-painted hole for the bootleg, and some bonus black paint… getting our money’s worth of paint… or something like that.
The official has some “1”s to assist with assembly. These have mostly been lost from the bootleg – we can see a bit of the “1” next to the black paint, none on the ring bit, but there is a chance it was installed upside down.
Yeah, not improving when separated – and this photo captures the stray yellow and black paint on her fringe better.
For the back, the bootleg has a very visible mould mark in the middle, plus they’ve added some grooves to try and improve fit… I guess. From the back, the sloppiness of the bootleg cast is more apparent, with a fair amount of excess plastic between the hair strands.
Behind the face:
Urgh, the bootleg really looks diseased like this! The moulding is much neater and sharper on the official. The holes where the fringe goes in look especially sloppy on the bootleg.
The face peg and its surround are close in colour on the official, but markedly different on the bootleg.
And here we can see why the bootleg has a giraffe neck – the joint isn’t recessed into the neck like it should be, and the casting looks awful.
Now to get down to some face swapping:
The bootleg faces work on the official, and vice versa. So you can use the bootleg for replacement faces, if you don’t mind the shininess/willing to sort it out and the not-as-good print. I did try the others and didn’t have any issues to report.
You do get some more flexibility out of the bootleg, but not in any way that truly looks good – the knees pretty much always look off due to the incorrectly installed joints and the hips can show some of a gap. The bootleg’s left foot also has a habit of bending as the joint is too loose. However, if you can get her so her legs don’t fall off, she will hold a pose.
The official’s right arm can come in a bit closer than the bootleg’s, and the opposite is true for the left one. All down to the shoulder joint and the clearance between her arms and body.
So overall, both can do this pose OK.
Telling the boxes apart is easy – same as Rei’s we’re missing key logos and text. Accessory-wise, the bootleg base misses out on the logo, the bootleg faces have a shiny finish and the hands aren’t as nicely painted.
Moving onto the figure itself, the joints are the easiest indicator – the bright red joints of the bootleg stand out. Looking closely at the body and the hair, we can see defects in the bootleg’s paintwork.
As a figure, the bootleg isn’t bad as far as bootlegs go – it’s a mostly functional figure, if you can get the leg to not drop off. Posing is made more difficult with the improperly installed joints, and cause the bootleg to look more unnatural. However, the accessories do all function properly. If you like to play with your articulated figures however, I can see the neck and wrist joints breaking – they didn’t look or feel particularly sturdy.
For me, the silly neck and the lack of proper shininess on the plugsuit would be dealbreakers for me. I could definitely see someone mistaking this one for the original though, at least until they see those stupidly bright red joints.