Today, we'll be reviewing a figure from one of my favorite anime franchises which had languished on my wishlist for quite some time - an old Amie-Grand figure of Henrietta from Gunslinger Girl.
About the character: Henrietta ENTRY #2334 is a main character from the Gunslinger Girl ENTRY #610 anime and manga. Like all of the characters in the series, Henrietta is associated with the Social Welfare Agency. The SWA portrays itself as a humanitarian organization which treats terminally ill and critically wounded patients, but in reality the agency is a shadow organization within the Italian government. The Social Welfare Agency uses cybernetic technology and brainwashing to rebuild and recondition many of those so rescued, turning them into special operatives who carry out assassinations and other covert operations.
Henrietta was rescued by the agency after an incident where her entire family was murdered. Henrietta survived, but she was repeatedly assaulted by the perpetrators, and during her recovery, she began expressing suicidal thoughts. As an orphan she was therefore a prime candidate for recruitment into the SWA, and her handler Giuse Croce selected her to be his partner in part because View spoilerHide spoilerHenrietta reminds him of his dead sister. Henrietta is fiercely devoted to Giuse, and it is not unheard of for her to go out of control when he is threatened or when he is in danger.
Henrietta is a polystone figure, and the packaging necessitates the use of a windowless box. Season one of the Gunslinger Girl anime has a very stark color palette with lots of grey and white, and the very minimalistic look of the box kind of reflects this fact.
Another panel of the box has a slightly larger vignette shot of Henrietta.
The other two panels of the box are mostly text, and interestingly Amie-Grand uses the logo for the second season of Gunslinger Girl (Il Teatrino) even though this is very clearly Henrietta as she appears in season one. If you're not familiar with Gunslinger Girl, different studios animated the two seasons of the anime, and the art style of the second season is recognizably different.
As expected with a polystone figure, Henrietta ships inside a styrofoam brick.
It's not a flashy package, but it kept 'Etta safe and sound in transit.
Some crouching/kneeling figures can stand just fine on their own without a base, but because of the way Henrietta is perched on her toes, the figure is not able to do so. As you can see, the clear base is very simplistic.
She attaches to the base via a single metal rod.
It's an extremely simple base and it doesn't really add much to the figure, but neither does it detract from anything, and it keeps Henrietta securely in place.
Henrietta's pose channels a very well known early scene from both the anime and the manga. Henrietta and Giuse are on a mission, and while Giuse tries to talk his way into an apartment, some of the bad guys of the week decide to put their hands on him. Henrietta does not take well to this, and she goes berserk in an attempt to protect him.
Let's now have a look at Henrietta.
I really like this pose since it brings to mind that very memorable scene from both the manga and the anime. IMO, it's a big plus when you can look at a figure, point to a frame or a panel from the source material and say "there it is!", so that is a huge part of the appeal of this figure.
It should be noted that she does look best when viewed at eye level. Below is a shot of Henrietta taken from above.
Because of her squatting pose, if you display Henrietta above eye level, this pantsu shot will be unavoidable. It should be noted that Gunslinger Girl has little to no fanservice, although in the very first volume of the manga, there are a handful of panels which feature pantsu shots like this. In later volumes of the manga and in the anime, the fanservice level is for all purposes zero.
Note how you can see her thigh muscles working.
All in all, this is a fine pose, since it so closely duplicates Henrietta's pose from this memorable scene.
This is an old figure (it was released way back in September 2008), and figure quality has increased by leaps and bounds since then. There are a few rough spots here and there, but overall the quality of this figure is surprisingly decent given its age.
This figure certainly looks like Henrietta, although her skin color is fairly flat.
Interestingly, her eyes are painted - they are not simply decals. You scarcely see that these days.
At first, I thought Henrietta's thick and wild hair looked a little strange, but if you compare her hair to the way it looks in the source illustration, it's actually a pretty faithful recreation.
I'm not crazy about that thick seam in her hair, though.
I do like how Amie-Grand handled the coloring of Henrietta's hair. It's not just a plain flat brown, and the color is accurate relative to how it looks in the Gunslinger Girl anime.
The red tie is a key feature of this particular outfit, as is the belt.
We'll look at Henrietta's main weapon in a moment, but her backup piece is a Sig Sauer P-239. The way her jacket is flying up lends a sense of movement to the figure.
The level of detail on her shoes is good. The trim is nicely sculpted, and I like how you can see that crease in her shoe where she's bending her foot.
Henrietta's primary weapon is a P90, a compact submachine gun manufactured by FN Herstal. The P90 is a small weapon, which allows Henrietta to conceal it inside a violin case, and the P90 is known as a weapon which can be used by individuals with only minimal arms training. Even though the girls at the Social Welfare Agency are trained in the use of a variety of arms, I'd guess that the P90 is one of the first weapons Henrietta learned to handle, and hence why she uses it. Two other Henrietta figures ITEM #3576 and ITEM #109819 give her a P90 as well.
The P90 viewed from the opposite side. The top mounted magazine, reflex sight, and the ambidextrous design are other key elements of the P90's design. You can see some sloppy painting on Henrietta's fingers. Before looking closely at these photos, I did not notice that Amie-Grand gave her pink fingernails.
Pantsu shots below. You could skip these if you want...
View spoilerHide spoiler
With her squatting pose, Henrietta spans about 5 inches (12.7 cm). If she was standing, she would be about 7 inches (17.8 cm) tall. 1/8 scale would make her 4'8" which seems consistent with her appearance.
Here is Henrietta x 2 with Good Smile's ITEM #39. The GSC Henrietta is also 1/8 scale, and IMO the GSC figure is better in terms of overall quality, but I prefer the more dynamic pose of the Amie-Grand figure.
Triela also hails from the Gunslinger Girl franchise, and GSC's Triela ITEM #13765 is one of my very favorite figures. Triela is also listed at 1/8 scale, and if you know Gunslinger Girl, you can see that Henrietta's appearance is based on the manga/season one of the anime while Triela's design is more in keeping with the character designs from season two of the anime (the eyes are the giveaway).
A couple of P90 users. Tessa Testarossa ITEM #6419 is also 1/8 scale.
Girls with guns is one of my favorite figure themes, and here is Henrietta with a figure from a little-known series. Sega's FNC ITEM #144495 hails from the Upotte! ENTRY #36838 anime, which contrasts starkly with Gunslinger Girl. GG is a grim and subdued character drama, while Upotte! is a fanservice show through and through. FNC is approximately 1/7 scale.
For whatever reason, I like how these two look together, and the sources of the two figures (Gunslinger Girl and Girls Bravo ENTRY #9105) are both early 2000's anime that could not be more different. Chara-ani's Miharu ITEM #1470 is 1/8 scale.
Here is Henrietta with one of my favorite underrated figures, Megahouse's Saya Tokido ITEM #28911. Saya is a largish 1/8 scale for comparison.
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------9/10
Arguments for: The pose immediately recalls a memorable scene from the manga/anime, dynamic pose, and fans of Gunslinger Girl know that there simply aren't that many scale figures from the franchise to choose from.
Arguments against: Quality is merely OK by today's standards, boring base, and shipping polystone figures always comes with a breakage risk, although the packaging seems fine for this purpose.
Availability (as of this writing)
I can certify that this figure is not a common one, as it took me quite a bit of searching to finally find my own copy of Henrietta. I paid 6200 yen for mine, and looking at Mandarake, the last time they sold one, it looks like 6000 yen was the price, so I'd say 6000-7000 yen seems to be the going price for this figure these days.
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews you might also find interesting:
Good Smile 1/8 Triela (Gunslinger Girl) BLOG #9286
Sega FNC (Upotte!!!) BLOG #13389
Good Smile 1/8 Tessa Testarossa and Kaname Chidori (Full Metal Panic Fumoffu) BLOG #16258
FREEing 1/4 Reika Shimohira (Gantz) BLOG #45348
Alter 1/6 Maia Mizuki (Daphne in the Brilliant Blue) BLOG #12215
Alter 1/8 Francesca Lucchini (Strike Witches) BLOG #15177
Yamato 1/6 Amy (Burst Angel) BLOG #41695
Aoshima Kooh (Pangya) BLOG #20261
Skytube 1/7 Inia Sestina (Muv Luv Total Eclipse) BLOG #11639