Review - Figma Labrys (Persona 4 Arena)
Labrys is a mixed bag of visual styles that somehow manage to form an impressive and cohesive final product. Combining the looks of a traditional anime schoolgirl, a cyborg fighter, and a medieval knight, Labrys is an incredibly striking and interesting character to look at. This particular version is based on her in game model after joining Yasogami High, the same high school that the Persona 4 Investigation Team attends. The uniform top and skirt are expertly crafted to allow for maximum posability and still form a very cohesive blend with her more mechanical features.
Labrys' mechanical features, her hips and legs, lower arms and headband piece are all incredibly detailed with great paintwork to bring out even the tiniest detail. There are small tampograph applications such as her Yasogami high insignia on her chest and the yellow and black circle insignia on her thigh, it looks similar to the type of logo you'd see on a crash test dummy though I'm not sure if it has any other connotations.
One of the absolute most amazing elements of this figure is how beautiful the eyes turned out in both normal and shadow modes. The level of details and sharpness of the applications goes above and beyond my expectations.
Labrys has some incredible posability but she isn't without some limitations. She has a fairly standard suite of articulation for a Figma her size.
Here's a basic rundown; She has a Figma joint in her neck that allows her to look up, down, side to side and tilt her head left and right. The ponytail is on a standard Figma joint as well allowing for dynamic posing when Labrys is running or fighting. The hair is quite heavy so without her stand it is limited to more neutral poses. The metal armor piece on her hair is on a separate hinge so it can be lifted as well though I find it looks quite unnatural to move it separately. Be careful when manipulating the hair as there are 2 small blue wires running from her headband to the armor on her ponytail that could be damaged if not handled with care.
She has double ball joint shoulders allowing for a fairly wide range of motion, though you will have to maneuver around her uniform top and scarf for a few angles. She has a bicep swivel and a single hinge elbow, the elbow can go just over 90º and if you pull the joint out a little bit you can squeeze a few more degrees of bend out of it. Her wrist armor prevents a working wrist swivel beyond a few degrees but she has a full forearm swivel to replace the functionality of the wrist making most poses achievable even without wrist swivels. Most of her hands have a single axis joint allowing her hands to move forward, however the wrist armor prevents movement backwards. 2 of her hands (The straight axe holding hands I believe) have just a stationary straight pin in to the wrist.
She has a hidden ab and waist joint that can be utilized to a limited extent due to her soft plastic clothing and ball jointed hips. Her thighs have a dedicated swivel and she has fully double jointed knees allowing for a full curl, calve to thigh. Interestingly the joints in her knees appear similar to the type you would see in an S.H. Figuarts release rather than a Figma. I would love to see Figma utilize this sort of joint style more often. She also has ball jointed "ankles" on her small red platforms she calls feet. The feet are very small and can make posing tricky without a Figma stand but not impossible if you are patient.
Labrys comes with a good number of accessories to pull off any number of poses and attacks from Persona 4 Arena.
Like all Figma figures she comes with extra hands. 8 extra hands, 10 in total, including straight and angled gripping hands for her axe, dynamic pointing hands, straight flying hands and solid fists. She comes with a small white "tree" to hold the hands that are not in use. She comes with 3 total faces; One yelling attack face, one coy smile while looking to her left, and a shadow face to represent Shadow Labrys, technically a different character, the manifestation of the darkness within Labrys' heart. She has 2 different hair fringes, one basic and the other with her knights visor down in attack mode.
She comes with 2 chain accessories; One molded in plastic with a defined curve, and one that uses a metal chain for more flexibility in posing. The molded plastic chain is great for dynamic poses of Labrys swinging her axe around or letting loose one of her signature "Chain Knuckle" rocket fists. The metal chain allows for more options in posability including wrapping the chain around herself or other figures similar to some of her in game attacks such as the Chain Knuckle or Winch Dash.
Labrys comes with a small translucent pink blast effect that can be mounted on the rear of her forearms to emulate her rocket powered "Chain Knuckle" attack. Unfortunately at some point I must have misplaced this effect part despite keeping everything together in one box. Once I find it I will be sure to update the gallery with a few images of it.
Labrys' most important and most impressive accessory is her signature Butterfly Axe. This gigantic double bladed axe is huge and deadly when wielded by Labrys in P4A. The axe head and bottom pommel can both be removed to allow the shaft to be slid in to her hands without having to stress the fingers in any way. The axe is a bit larger than depicted in the P4A video game and as such, some of her poses and attacks are quite difficult to emulate. If you are patient with her she can hold the axe unassisted by any stands though the slightest breeze will probably knock her to the ground. Figma included 2 full Figma stands as well as a pincer style clip with this release so that you can dedicate one stand to holding her axe in more dynamic poses as it is quite heavy.
The axe head can be removed and the bottom pommel of the axe can be attached directly to it and then plugged in to Labrys' back to emulate her flight mode. The wings look great and have a good range of posability, though she does become quite back heavy with the wings attached. The final look resembles a mechanical angel and is marvelous to behold.
Finally there are 2 clear plastic attack effects to replicate her Persona, Ariadne's attacks in the game. One looks like a charging bull to replicate the "Weavers Art: Beast" attack and the other is a trio of spiked disks to emulate "Weavers Art: Breaking Wheel". These Effect pieces can be held by a small clear clip that is able to be attached to a Figma stand to emulate the in game effect. Unfortunately these effects really don't show well against my black backdrop so I used a piece of white paper to show off the gorgeous detail that went in to these often overlooked pieces. There are more photos in the gallery showing off the effects and emulating a couple of her attacks. Be careful attaching these pieces to the stand as the clip is very tight and I did cause a slight bit of damage to part of the effect clipping it in.
Honestly I love this figure. It has some flaws but it massively appeals to me both because I love the Persona video games and because I love cute robot girls... so yeah... It has some limitations but I didn't find many issues posing her or getting great shots so I've got nothing to complain about really. She is a mostly matte white figure so if you're not careful you could end up with scuffs if you aren't careful I suppose. If I had to nitpick something it's the fact that both Labrys and Aigis Ultimate Ver. from P4 Arena use the new smaller Figma body so they don't scale well with the original Aigis and Metis figures. Not a big deal if you keep them displayed separately but if you want a cohesive Persona display you will have to keep the poses fluid so you don't notice the height differences.
Check out the full gallery below and let me know your thoughts in the comments! I would love to hear from you guys!