Ishtar – Fate/Grand Order (Aniplex) – Review

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INTRODUCTION

Today, we’re taking a look at Ishtar, from Fate/Grand Order. Ishtar is a Babylonian beauty goddess who inhabits the body of series mainstay Tohsaka Rin (which explains the obviously similar appearance). She’s become a very popular character not just as a “Rin-face”, but also in her own right.

This figure, manufactured by Aniplex, should be an impressive piece of work. At a roughly ¥17,500 RRP, you’d certainly expect a high quality figure. Displayed with her Heavenly Boat, Maanna (which also acts as her bow, as she is an Archer – who, as we all know, use bows), she does make for a bold display piece.



ASSEMBLY AND SPECIFICATIONS

All in all, this 1/7 figure stands about 35cm tall. By now you’ve probably gathered that it’s quite a big figure, and certainly would fill a shelf pretty fast on its own.

Assembling the figure is actually very easy. Inside the box you’ll find Ishtar, Maanna, a two-part arrow, and three metal rods of different lengths, along with a plastic seat for Ishtar to sit on. The rods fit into the attractive base stand, and hold up the figure and her bow. The arrow is probably the hardest part to put together, simply because it’s a bit fiddly. Everything else fits into place properly and easily, and the included instructions are easy to follow.

Unfortunately, that’s where the praise ends. The plastic seat is utterly useless at keeping Ishtar in place. She’ll happily tumble forwards and face-plant without provocation. Even the slightest jiggle of the base will easily topple this goddess. This is a common issue that’s led to all sorts of horror stories – paint scuffing, broken parts, collateral damage – you name it. In my own case, Ishtar’s arrow broke during the photoshoot.

It’s a stupid design that obviously doesn’t work, but by lining the seat with Blu-Tack I was able to get her to stay in her seat reasonably well – although it didn’t stop her from falling off a few more times for good measure. And for a figure of this price, probably the last thing you want to hear is that it falls over all by itself.



SCULPTING

If you’re not put off by Ishtar’s suicidal tendencies, then you’ll find she’s a well sculpted and attractive figure. Ishtar’s body is very nicely shaped, and her fluttering skirt and wavy locks evoke a sense of motion or weightlessness.

Based on her first ascension illustration, the figure features a lot of small details. Her hair is a particular highlight, as mentioned. Maana is well rendered as well – it’s a big, solid feeling thing that you can easily grip in your hand. Again, they’ve done a pretty good job with it.

That said, the sculpt isn’t quite perfect. There’s a certain lack of sharpness to some details, particularly on her clothing. It’s most apparent on the gold details on her dress, which lack crisp edges. As a result, they can look mushy and indistinct.



PAINTWORK

Ishtar’s paintwork is of a similarly solid quality. The colours are striking and vibrant, particularly on Maanna, and Ishtar’s eye decals are very sharp. Everything seems neatly painted, and I can’t say I noticed any glaring errors.

Subtle shading on Ishtar’s dress helps to make the figure more visually appealing and stops it from being a boring lump of white. The use of different finishes is, as always, nice to see – right down to putting a bit of gloss on her nails.

Again, though, it’s not quite all the way there. Her skin is quite flat, without much shading to speak of. It can look a bit yellow at times, too. Similarly, Maana might have benefited from a less glossy finish and slightly less saturated colours. While the bold, vibrant shades do stand out, they also make it look like a toy. Still, these are all smaller complaints.


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FINAL THOUGHTS

In the end, Ishtar’s a very nice figure that I find myself liking a lot. It isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly on the higher end of the quality scale. If you have the room to display something like this, then she would really stand out.

I just can’t really bring myself to recommend her, though. The ill advised decision to use a chair to hold Ishtar up – instead of just sticking a rod up her ass – really hurts the figure. It just doesn’t do the job it’s supposed to.

Even with Blu-Tack in place, Ishtar fell off her seat after sitting perfectly well for the better part of two days. And with a figure that costs as much as this, I just can’t tell people to take that gamble unless they really like Ishtar, or they have a more effective solution in mind for her balance problems.

It really is a shame, because while she’s otherwise not quite perfect, she’s still a very solid figure, and one of the cooler pieces in my collection. Perhaps one day Aniplex will release an updated reprint to fix the issue – but until such a thing shows up, think carefully before you buy this one.



Final Score
3

Summary

Aniplex has done a great job with Ishtar – she ticks all the right boxes, and while her quality is not quite as premium as some other figures in her price range, the inclusion of Maana helps make up for it. However, Ishtar has a fatal flaw which has led to several horror stories and broken parts – including my own Ishtar’s arrow. The poorly thought out seat – which does nothing to stop Ishtar from falling flat on her face at any given moment – is enough for me to dock a full star from her score. While you can mitigate the issue pretty well with a bit of Blu-Tack, it’s not 100% reliable (as I’ve seen first hand), and Ishtar is an expensive figure to break. Buy at your own risk.

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