A great action figure with some flaws
When it comes to female heroines, there’s no one quite like Bayonetta. The series of the same name is immensely popular, colorful, legitimately fun, action packed, yet also highly polarizing. Based partially on medieval European folklore, this confident witch is decidedly sexual and uses her hair as source of power and clothing. Originally designed by Mari Shimazaki (島崎麻里), her overtly feminine presentation isn’t mere eye candy: Bayonetta deliberately chooses to be that free-spirited and is shown to have actual control and power over the world she is in. As such, she is not only beloved by Bayonetta 2 producer Akiko Kuroda (黒田晶子) and Platinum Game’s concept artist Mai Ohkura (大倉麻衣), but by players all across the globe.
Bayonetta’s first story starts with her regaining consciousness after a 500 year long slumber and slowly trying to piece together what got her into the situation she is in now. As the offspring of an Umbra Witch and a Lumen Sage – two opposing factions, one fighting for darkness and the other for light – she, like many mixed children in the real world, ends up under a lot of scrutiny for her mere existence. (I know. I’ve been there.) However, instead of letting that get to her (and coincidentally letting that get to the games’ developer, Platinum Games), Bayonetta owns her heritage and wears it like a shield. Throughout most of her adventures, she enjoys the situation she is in and doesn’t let anything faze her, remaining level-headed, playful, but also cruel and sadistic throughout. Right after the sledgehammer like success of the first game, Bayonetta and Jeanne, her Umbra Witch sister, were both added to the Play Arts Kai catalog with their action figures released during the middle of June 2010.
About the figure
This Bayonetta action figure is made out of PVC, comes pre-painted, has 22 joints, and – because of Bayonetta’s beehive top knot – is a towering 22.8 cm (≈9 inches) tall. Articulation works very well with all joints allowing for great poseablity, however, it doesn’t come with a desperately needed stand. The figure stays true to Bayonetta’s in-game proportions, so it can barely stand on its own. Another concern might be the fragile looking, slim, two-piece wrists.
Aside from the main figure, you’ll get a set of interchangeable hands with this Bayonetta; but I’m too afraid to try them on as I’m scared to accidentally break the pins on which the hands are attached. On the plus side, Scarborough Fair, Bayonetta’s four pistols, are included. Two of them are 4 cm (≈ 1.6 inches) long handguns that easily clip into the hands, while the other two are slightly shorter at around 3.5 cm (≈ 1.4 inches) and can be slid into the back of her high-heeled shoes. The gems inside them are a clear plastic that has been tinted in the respective color schemes. What’s more, I was initially surprised that the two hair tips on the elbows are not only massive – each spanning around 8.8 cm (≈3.5 inches) at their widest point and reaching a height of 12 cm (≈4.7 inches) – but that they both have their own ball joint and wireframed core, making it a lot easier to put the figure in great poses.
Since this is an earlier Play Arts Kai figure, the double jointed knees leave an awkward gap when bent while other joints, like the ankles, are rather prominent. As most of the character is monochrome, you’d think there wouldn’t be a lot of paint on the figure as well. Well, you’re wrong. Bayonetta uses a combination of matt and glossy blacks to accentuate different areas, which becomes increasingly noticeable on the legs. The chest area, however, is highlighted by a subtle, yet very effective grey. And while the paint job on her face is on point, most gold and white areas could have definitely used more than one coating.
Despite the wrists and gold coating, this is action figure easily demonstrates just how the high standards were under which Play Arts Kai first started. The figure is great and the poseable hair is sure to make it an eye catcher in your collection. If you’re a fan of Bayonetta, you’ll definitely like it too. Now if only I could get my hands on Play Arts Kai Jeanne.