Today, we'll be reviewing one of my most-anticipated figures of 2018, which is also a figure of one of my favorite characters, Max Factory's Marie Rose. There might be a shot or two below that is a little bit NSFW.
About the character: Marie Rose is a character from the Dead or Alive series of fighting games who joined the cast in Dead or Alive 5. Marie is portrayed as a cheerful and gentle girl, it is strongly implied that she is on friendly terms with fellow DOAer Helena Douglas, and she has a very defensive fighting style which relies on holds.
Place of birth: Sweden
Fighting Style: Systema
Birthday: June 6
Height: 4'10" (147 cm)
Weight: 86 pounds (39 kg)
Blood Type: AB, ostensibly meaning Marie is calm, sociable, and intelligent.
Three sizes: 29"/22"/31" (74/56/78 cm)
Occupation: Wicked L'il Servant (presumably in the employ of Helena Douglas)
Favorite Food: Prinsesstarta (Princess Cake), which is sponge cake layered with cream and coated in marzipan. Trip to the dentist not included.
Hobbies: Sewing, watching horror movies
Max Factory goes with a very bold red and black package design!
One side panel features a small window and a "bust up" shot of Marie.
The other side panel features a very shiny Marie!
The back panel recycles those two shots and provides some very detailed character data about Marie.
Marie is 1/5 scale, so the box is correspondingly large and heavy. The box measures 34 by 16 by 16 cm and the package weights 700 grams.
The base provides good support for Marie, and you definitely want to follow the instructions provided when getting her attached to the base.
I would have liked to see a base that was just a little bit more elaborate. Maybe have the Last Round logo on there, or have the base done in a checkerboard pattern to match one of the photos on the box, or maybe have a slate-like finish on the base to match the color of the box, or...something.
So, the base works well enough but it's a little plain.
In game, Marie seems to be quite aware of how of she's perceived on the basis of her cute and petite appearance, and it's not uncommon for her to preen like this. Further, the Dead or Alive games are not shy about providing a little fanservice, and poses with the characters bending over are not uncommon.
Let's have a look at Marie.
My only real complaint about the pose is that the way Marie is holding her hands behind her back and bending her elbows, it makes her look a little awkward from certain angles.
This figure has a couple small quirks with respect to paint and sculpt, but these are balanced out by some very interesting and subtle details, and so I'd say the overall quality of the figure is excellent.
The art style of Dead or Alive has been gradually evolving from more of an anime-styled look to a point where the characters are meant to look more like real human beings, and this does present some challenges when translating those designs into 3D figures. Overall, I think Marie's face is very pretty, but there is one thing that I think could have been done better. Her lower lip seems a bit too thick, and I would have liked to see a less glossy finish on Marie's lips, as the gloss makes her look a little too "made up".
In some of the promo shots, Marie looked even more made up, almost as is if she was wearing thick pancake makeup (see PICTURE #1833622 for example), but fortunately it appears that was just a case of prototype weirdness or someone getting a little photoshop-happy. I was glad to see the final product did not have this feature, but all the same I would have preferred to see an even more natural looking Marie.
I think Marie might look best when viewed from this angle, with her looking off to the side. Also, Marie is the smallest-chested of all the DOA girls, but she is not a pancake and I like how you can see that very subtle swell of her breasts; that would seem to make sense since she's leaning forward and her bodysuit is quite form-fitting.
I really like the translucent effect in her hair! Blonde hair can be really tricky, and Max Factory did a really nice job in making Marie's hair look very soft and natural. In particular, the translucent effect makes the tips look very light and wispy. I also like all the texture in her hair, and how you can see the various directions that her hair is being pulled into the ponytails.
The shading makes the part in her hair look realistic, but Max Factory could have done one thing better. You can see a little bit of sloppy painting on the black ribbons in Marie's hair.
This shot is brought to you by the phrase "not too big and not too small". :)
The blue bodysuit is one of Marie's starting outfits in Dead or Alive 5, and minus the gloves and stockings it also gets repurposed into a swimsuit (the Cymric) in Dead or Alive Xtreme 3. The shiny, almost metallic finish on Marie's bodysuit is really quite impressive when you see this figure in person! Also, since she's 4'10", 86 pounds, and in fighting shape, Marie is certainly not carrying around any extra weight, but I like how you can see just a suggestion of her cute stomach :).
In Dead or Alive 5, a white color variant of Marie's outfit can be unlocked, and in Xtreme 3, the swimsuit version of this outfit has white and maroon (my personal favorite!) variants. If Max Factory made a maroon color variant, I might seriously have to think about double-dipping for it...
Max Factory did a really good job sculpting the collar on Marie's outfit. You could almost believe that the lacing there is made of natural fibers and not PVC!
Marie's bodysuit is backless, and the backless outfit really complements her slim and petite physique. Plus, Max Factory did a great job sculpting her back! You can see some muscle there and this gives her a very toned and fit look.
The backless outfit provides just a hint of sideboob as well.
Marie's outfit is supposed to be made of leather, so the thick seams make sense. The sculpting on the lacing is good, but you can see a few spots where blue paint spills over onto the lacings.
I can't quite make up my mind about Marie's gloves. They are supposed to look a little too big for her, particularly with the wide flared pieces are around the wrists, but I can't shake the feeling they make her hands look a little bit out of proportion with the rest of her body.
The thick ribs on her outfit really draw attention to her butt. The sculpt there is cute and perky :).
There's a lot going on with the design of Marie's thighhighs. The light blue and red accents make them stand out, and presumably the bands at the top of the stockings are made of leather to match the rest of her outfit. The stitching on the leather is a really nice small detail.
Marie's heavy platform shoes are another key feature. The sculpting on the zippers is clean, and you can see more stitching, too. I'd never noticed the little rose icon that's etched in the heel before.
At its tallest point this figure spans about 11 inches (28 cm) in height. Factoring out the base and the acrylic pieces that attach Marie to the base, it looks like Marie would be about 11.5 inches (29.25 cm) tall if she were standing upright. Since she's established to be 4'10" (147 cm) tall, I'd say her 1/5 scale is spot-on.
Here is Marie with an old figure of Dead or Alive castmate Kasumi. Max Factory's Kasumi ITEM #404 is listed at 1/6 scale, but in reality she is much closer to 1/5, and you can see how Marie compares. Kasumi's origin traces back to a 2002 garage kit, and in 2002 Dead or Alive 2 was the current title in the franchise. The character designs in DOA2 were still very anime-like, and comparing these two figures shows how the series' art style has changed over the years.
My two favorite DOA girls :). Kotobukiya's Hitomi ITEM #422 is 1/6 scale, and so despite her petite frame, Marie will look every bit of 1/5 scale sitting on the shelf. In DOAX, it's fun to pair Hitomi and Marie together since Hitomi has excellent spiking power but only so-so technique, and while Marie has less spiking power, she is a great passer/setter.
These two have radically different body types, but they are both favorite characters of mine. A-Plus' Super Pochaco ITEM #197427 is listed at 1/6, but she is more like 1/5.5, and you can see how Marie compares.
Blonde hair + blue eyes is one of my favorite combinations of moe points :). For comparison, Alphamax's Sena Kashiwazaki ITEM #106566 is 1/7 scale, and Rocket Boy's Slingshot Swimsuit Girl (I wish they'd given her a proper name!) ITEM #464771 is a large 1/6.
These two make an interesting pair. Despite her cute and waifish appearance, Marie is a capable fighter and similarly Ryuubi Gentoku has a fearsome power lurking beneath her bookish and slightly-dorky exterior persona. Amie-Grand's Ryuubi ITEM #80238 is 1/6 scale.
It should be noted that Marie will tower over smaller scale figures, so she is best displayed with other larger-scale figures. Alter's Amy ITEM #500 is 1/8 scale and you can see how she is dwarfed by Marie.
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------9.5/10
Arguments for: Many. The metallic blue finish of Marie's outfit, her large scale and her translucent blonde hair make for a very eye-catching figure, lots of interesting small details, excellent body sculpt.
Arguments against: The more realistic art style of the more recent Dead or Alive games doesn't necessarily translate perfectly into figures, Marie looks a little too made up (although the effect is not as extreme as in the promo shots), and Marie is of course a fairly polarizing character among Dead or Alive fans.
I like Marie, and since I wasn't sold on the Kotobukiya Marie ITEM #435986, this figure was an instant pre-order. My expectations were high, and while she's not quite a perfect figure, I'm satisfied with the finished product, and therefore I'd recommend this figure without hesitation to Marie fans.
Availability (as of this writing)
Easy to find new or pre-owned.
As I write this, both AmiAmi and Hobby Search still have Marie new, and right this moment AmiAmi has two preowned Maries available as well. Retail price is 19800 yen, but with a preorder discount my Marie set me back 15800 yen, and for that price, I think I got my money's worth. Right now, prices for a preowned Marie seem to be in the 13000-15000 yen ballpark if you want to go that route.
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews that you might also find interesting:
Max Factory 1/6 Kasumi (Dead or Alive) BLOG #12979
Kotobukiya 1/6 Hitomi (Dead or Alive Xtreme) BLOG #12493
A-Plus 1/6 Super Pochaco "Beer Girl" BLOG #38809
Alphamax 1/7 Sena Kashiwazaki (Haganai) BLOG #9423
Rocket Boy 1/6 "Slingshot Swimsuit Girl" BLOG #38618
Alter 1/8 Amy (Burst Angel) BLOG #18742
Good Smile 10th Anniversary Super Sonico "Wedding" BLOG #40435
New Line 1/5.5 Asuka Langley Soryu "Private Clothes" (Evangelion) BLOG #38729
Amakuni 1/7 Lilith Aensland (Darkstalkers) BLOG #41374
Yamato 1/6 Amy (Burst Angel) BLOG #41695