Now that the internet is buzzing with news of the live action Ghost in the Shell movie, I think it’s time to review a figure of everyone’s favourite anime cyborg – Motoko Kusanagi. This time around we’ll be having another double feature where I’ll be reviewing 2 versions of the Major. Both coming from the Figma stable, we have Motoko as she appears in the anime series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig, and Ghost in the Shell Arise. Although each figure represents the Major, they each have their own style.
Arise Motoko comes to us in a mostly all black, skin-tight, special ops outfit which is broken up with various seams and other details. There is a dark grey section that covers her arms and shoulders that is reminiscent of the jacket that the wears sometime later. Her hair comes in a deep blue finish and the face is a bit different from the one that most of us will be familiar with. The customary com ports that she has on the back of her neck are also present here. This particular version is an earlier model of Motoko since the events that take place in Arise happen before the Ghost in the Shell movie that came out in 1995 (which has been given an updated remake in 2015). She’s sporting a holster on her hip in which her sidearm can be placed which is a nice touch.
Stand Alone Motoko appears in a light blue outfit and it appears that she’s elected to put on some pants this time around. Her initial outing in the Stand Alone Complex series has her getting around in pretty much just a body suit, tights, a jacket and boots (when she’s not in her tactical gear that is). It also appears that her jacket had to be modified to allow for her “enhancements” in the chest area. Stand Alone Motoko has more alike with the movie Motoko, only more anime styled. She also appears to be slightly taller and a little bit bigger than Arise Motoko. Her “jacket” has slits near the shoulder joints to allow it to flex a bit when you lift her arms. Be careful not to leave her arms lifted for too long or the plastic will keep its position.
Both Motokos come with the usual figma standards – display base, snap lock bag. And each has the usual array of interchangeable hands – left and right splayed hands, closed fists, and weapon holding hands. In addition, they each have hands designed to hold their own sub-machine guns (Stand Alone Motoko’s sub-machine gun comes with a removable silencer), and they each have their own handgun.
Stand Alone Motoko comes with two hair pieces – one straight and one to show a wind-swept look, and three faces – neutral/smiling, serious, and shouting. Oddly enough, she comes with two different chest pieces. I can see why they would include such a thing, but it just strikes me as odd that they would bother to go to that length for “that” specific detail (really, Max Factory…).
Arise Motoko comes with three hair pieces – one plain and two with visors attached – one to show it being worn over the eyes and one to show it above the eyes. She also comes with three faces – neutral/smiling, serious and “extra” serious. Both figures also come with a spare wrist joint. Something that I think all the newer figmas come with.
Arise Motoko’s head has a good range of movement. She can look up and down as well as manage a decent left and right tilt, and turning is not an issue. The shoulders move pretty freely and the joints are solid enough to hold poses well. There’s a ball joint in the upper chest and the waist which allows for some nice twisting and tilting. Her left hip moves freely, but the right hip is hindered by the holster. It seems likely that the strap could be easily broken if it becomes over-extended. The knees and ankles move well enough and are also solid enough to hold poses well. It can be a bit tricky to balance Arise Motoko due to her “tactical heels”, but not impossible.
Stand Alone Motoko’s head can look down a bit, but can’t look up very far, if at all, and can only manage a slight left and right tilt. Turning is also not an issue. The slits in the jacket allow the shoulders to move more freely without breaking up the overall shape. The ball joints in the upper chest and waist also allow for a decent twisting and tilting motion. There are no holsters or straps on Stand Alone Motoko’s hips so she’s able to move her legs around to a good degree. Both figures are quite poseable in their own right and it’s not too difficult to get them into some dynamic poses/scenarios.
It’s a shame that there isn’t a Figma Motoko from the original Ghost in the Shell movie. Maybe they might consider making one when the new live action movie gets closer to its release date. At any rate, these two figures make a worthy addition to the collection. Arise Motoko offers a glimpse into her past whereas Stand Alone Motoko offers us a glimpse into her future in regards to the original movie. It’s interesting to see the same character presented in two quite different bodies.
Arise Motoko and Stand Alone Motoko can be found at the links below along with other figures in the Figma range.