MegaHouse Brilliant Stage Taiga Aisaka

I got the chance to re-acquire this lovely  Taiga Aisaka figure from MegaHouse’s Brilliant Stage line during HobbySearch’s sale earlier this month.  I say ‘re-acquire’ because I had her on my pre-order list at one point, but dropped her after every figure on my pre-order list was delayed to August — the month this Taiga was released.  The funny thing is, I had my pre-order with HobbySearch back then; so this could be the very figure that I pre-ordered.  Instead of paying full price, I’m bought her for 60% off instead.  ^^v

MegaHouse’s Brilliant Stage Taiga Aisaka was released in August and retails for ¥6,800 — apparently that’s the standard price for 1/8 scale figures nowadays.  Sculpted by Hatsumi, the quality is really nice for this tiny figure.  But one shouldn’t expect anything stellar, given the somewhat boring pose and that controversial face.  Yes, I’m talking about THAT face.  The one where Taiga is smiling, as if she was taunting her next prey.

I’m a little bit torn when talking about MegaHouse quality because they always give us chocolate with a hint of shit in it.  MH never disappoints when you look at the figure as a whole, I”m all for the gestalt principle, but the sum of its parts never adds up.  There is always something missing or something neglected in these MegaHouse figures that is really shameful on their part.

First, it was the paint transfer and bulky clothing on those dreaded Queen’s Blade figures with no instructions.  They fixed that problem, minus the instructions, and gave birth to a bigger issue which I’ll talk about in my next review.  Then there is that hair seam line problem that seems to pop up on every other figure they release.  I’m not talking about the seam line that shows up on the top of the head; I’m talking about the seam lines at the BACK of the head.

Nonetheless, MegaHouse still makes really nice figures that suits my taste and preferences.  The paint job is spot on with Taiga, the sculpt looks lovely, and the base is tiny; three essential elements nicely covered by MegaHouse.  But, personally, I find the pose on MegaHouse’s Taiga a bit too static for my taste.  Normally, they do a really good job with boring poses by incorporating an element to indicate movement with their figures; but that wasn’t the case here.

As I’ve mentioned in my Kotobukiya Taiga review, I like Taiga’s dere personality more than her tsun side.  That’s why I like this figure, even though every soul who reads my blog have told me the Max Factory Taiga is better.  Read this: I am not paying $200 for that figure!

MegaHouse did a really good job with Taiga’s dere face.  Sadly, the same can’t be said with her smiley face.  I’ve seen many comments about her face being “off” when I first posted about her back in April, but I still don’t see what’s wrong with her face.  She might not have the Taiga face that you prefer, but you can clearly identify her as Taiga.

To all you Taiga fanboys/girls out there, please elaborate on what’s “off” with her face if you’re going to tell me “her face is off” because, sadly, telling me “her face is off” in the comments is not going to help me with identifying what’s “off”.

Taiga’s smiling face looks better than what I had in mind, but it creeps me out just looking at this. :S

I didn’t realize this at first, but you can see the HUGE contrast between Kotobukiya and MegaHouse’s colour pallet.  You can see that MegaHouse have some really good painters working for them.

The level of detail on MegaHouse’s tiny Taiga figure is right up there with the big girls.  But you can see the sculptor’s negligence amongst the beautiful details on the figure.  That dreaded pair of  seam lines runs the length of Taiga’s long hair.  The sculptor literally slapped a piece of  plastic on Taiga’s head to finish the figure and didn’t care to blend that piece in with the rest of the figure.  They did this for Zero and Sakura Nanako as well.  It’s a shame that they chose to use this crude method to finish these, otherwise, really nice figures.

Aside from the seam lines, you can see that MegaHouse put in the effort to make sure all the details are there to be seen.  The finish is a bit rough for MegaHouse’s recent standards; but I’ll give her a pass having just reviewed two Kotobukiya figures recently.

Taiga can stand without the base.  But that’s not necessary because the base is quite small, the smallest in my collection.

MegaHouse is one of the few figure manufacturers that knows how to make their bases.  If you can’t make a diorama, make it clear!  But you must add some etching on it to make it look elegant with a minimalist approach.

Obligatory pantsu shot.


The good:

  • She was on sale!
  • Taiga in her school uniform
  • Really nice paint job
  • Tiny, tiny base

The ugly:

  • Smiling face that no one will use
  • Nasty seam lines on her hair
  • Boring pose

There are a only a handful of Taiga figures on the market to date, and unfortunately, MegaHouse’s Taiga only manages to sneak her way to the middle of the pack…somewhere between Kotobukiya’s Swimsuit Taiga and Chara Ani’s  Uniform Taiga.  This doesn’t mean MegaHouse’s Taiga is inferior to any of them, it’s just that she isn’t well received among her fans and to those who highly value “anime accuracy”.

The beautiful paint job is this figure’s best asset.  The sculpt looks really nice, but the pose is boring and the finish is on the rough side.  Her pose is so boring that I got tired of looking at her already.  She’s definitely not the best MegaHouse, or Taiga, figure out there.  But, if you absolutely must have a Taiga figure in your collection and doesn’t want to drop a fortune for the Max Factory or Kotobukiya versions, this should do the job.  Otherwise, spend the money or wait for a future release.  Her pose is just too boring in a world of fancy and panties.

I haven’t noticed anyone else on my blogroll with a review of MegaHouse’s Taiga yet.  Please let me know if have one.


18 Responses to “MegaHouse Brilliant Stage Taiga Aisaka”

  1. 1 Leonia 11/28/2009 at 04:07

    She is nice, but I prefer Kotobukiya version. For her face, as you, I don’t like smiling face. It’s not my Temori Tiger more dangerous with the other face. I’am sad that her hair are not really good with nasty lines. Maybe I order her, if she will be at good price, but no at her original price. I hope that there will be another great version of Taiga.

    • 2 Tommy 11/28/2009 at 18:34

      I absolutely have no complaints for the price I got her at, though I would be less than happy if I paid full price. It would be nice if someone like Alter or GSC released a really good version of Taiga.

      Max Factory’s is nice, but it’s overpriced and over hyped.

  2. 3 Guy 11/28/2009 at 08:29

    I’ve only watched three episodes of Toradora, but unlike the cutey Taiga, this actually likes the psycopath we all know and cherish, including the slightly pinched face, which is how the anime style is drawn.

    But yes, if all you want is a cute figure, and care less for the true to the original, then definitely swimsuit cutey Taiga.

    • 4 Tommy 11/28/2009 at 18:39

      LOL @ psychopathic Taiga. I think that’s why I’m creeped out by that smiling face.

      I skimmed through a couple episodes of Toradora! before writing this and noticed a lot of variations on how she was drawn in the anime. Some times her chin is sharp as a knife, while her face appears round as a ball the next minute. But I think she does look close to how she appeared in the anime, that’s why I don’t see anything wrong with her face…not that I know how she looks like in the manga.

  3. 5 gundamjehutykai 11/28/2009 at 09:09

    Needs more Minorin!!!

    I dunno, the face looks like it should be a little longer. Bit too round for Taiga perhaps…
    And in certain pics, like Taiga_31, her right arm looks like it’s twisted awkwardly.
    Overall, it does look like this figure of Taiga is pretty decent, but it really leaves me cold for some reason…

    As for the seam lines in the hair, I would guess that’s more of an issue with the production rather than the initial sculpt.
    Tho, I don’t see why they wouldn’t just do the back hair in 1 big part in this case.

    • 6 Tommy 11/28/2009 at 18:47

      No one cares about Minorin!!!! :P

      As I mentioned to Guy, I did see her face like this in the anime, so I don’t really see what’s all the fuzz is about her face being too “round”. One of the problem with this figure is we don’t know the source for her…that’s why people judge her by their own definitive image of Taiga.

      Yeah, awkward angles appears in some figures, but I didn’t actually find that angle weird at all.

      It’s a pretty good Taiga figure, but she’s just too boring to look at. You lose interest after 5 minutes or so. She looks dead.

      I think MegaHouse could’ve done something about the hair before they started mass-producing her. Maybe they never delay their figures because they never fix problems like this?

  4. 7 enrius 11/28/2009 at 11:04

    Face is off – eyes proportion is not right if compared with the original setting. It would be a very good figure if this is an original character from Megahouse. Speaking of which, IMO MF and Koto did a better work on keeping the face eye ratio neat to the drawing.

  5. 11 Lylibellule 11/28/2009 at 17:06

    I’m happy to read your opinion on Taiga. I love that character who match me by her temper.
    I like MH’s work in general. Your remark is true about their paint quality and their simple but cute bases.

    Too bad that long line doesn’t give to Taiga’s hairs the honor she deserve. It’s ugly.

    The “Meatballs!” photo is incredible! I love it. Last photos on the black background are superb! Grats.

    PS : You did make a good deal by bought it with 60% cut.

  6. 12 Tommy 11/28/2009 at 19:06

    Thanks. I love that Meatballs photo too. Makes me wonder why she never tied up her hair like that when she’s not swimming. ^^

    I’m happy that I got her from the sale too. :)

  7. 13 Blowfish 11/29/2009 at 18:47

    Well I think that many people think that this figure is off mainly for the reason that the sculptor oriented himself more on the LightNovel/Manga Taiga and not the Anime Taiga.
    They actually look quite different from each other.

    I actually do like her grin face since it makes her look so evil :P

    I never noticed those Back Hair Seams you mentioned and I checked my Megahouse figures and none of them have it.Neither te QB Girls nor Clare have those seams.Luckily you wont look at her back too often.

    Im still waiting for an Ami figure for me.How come that the girls I like are so rarely turned into figures :(

    • 14 Tommy 11/29/2009 at 22:56

      I would love to have an Ami figure too. I kinda like her more towards the end of the anime. I think Cospa or Wave released one, but it was hardly any good.

      I might’ve exaggerated a bit when I said every other MH release has that seam line problem, but it is noteworthy when multiple releases has that problem. :)

  8. 15 Wolfheinrich 11/29/2009 at 20:16

    Nice that you got a price cut on the figure, I never got into Toradora myself, still dragging my feet as I found more interesting things to get into so it will have to stay in the back burner.

  9. 17 Q 12/02/2009 at 20:34

    Not bad especially when you got this one 60% off.

    I actually quite like this shot. Maybe it’s because of what you have done with the shadows there. It actually fits well with the grin too (but then again I don’t think I know Taiga that well as a character to make too much comments about it):

    • 18 Tommy 12/09/2009 at 02:55

      Yup, not bad at all.

      I think the shadows worked because it made her smile deviant, instead of happy – which most of us associate the smiling face with.

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