Home > Figure Review > Review: Black Rock Shooter Animation Ver. by Good Smile Company

Review: Black Rock Shooter Animation Ver. by Good Smile Company

Black Rock Shooter Title

One of the year’s most anticipated figures. THE Black Rock Shooter figure. Sorry Original and Black Blade, you guys had boring poses. The chains, the motion, that gun! Awesome! But wait. Missing star? Hair breakages galore? MG grade assembly skills needed? What’s going on?


Black Rock Shooter Main

For a synopsis on who Black Rock Shooter is, see our review on the Figma here. Basically, an awesome character designed by an artist named huke got a song sung about her by Miku and an explosion of merch followed including an anime OVA and tons of GSC/Max Factory figures. Some of those figures include Figmas of Black Rock Shooter, her nemesis Dead Master, Nendoroids, and 2 other PVC figures. All the PVC statues made so far (including this one) are 1/8 scale, so you can mix and match. Our recently acquired Dead Master fits quite nicely with this BRS as they are the same scale. How the Animation version differs from the other 2 statues is her dynamic ‘animated’ pose. Chains whipping around, leaping across the ruined checkerboard landscape, Rock Cannon in hand, she is truly an awesome sight and when I saw the promo shots, boy was I glad I didn’t get any of the other versions.

Black Rock Shooter Side

However, when she was finally released after a months delay it seemed that all was not perfect. First people were complaining that the soles of her boots were yellow. And then the big one, GSC fessed up that they had forgotten the star on the breast of the jacket. Honestly, not many people knew it was missing before. But then BOOM, rage galore. GSC offered to make up for it by either mailing out star decals or (Japan only) sending in the figure so they could do the decals for you. Honestly, for me, it wasn’t a big deal. I got my BRS late due to order consolidation and thus AmiAmi sent the decals with her in the box. I’ve heard that for those that got her earlier, AmiAmi and HobbySearch are mailing out the decals afterwards (you might need to email them to ask about it) It was a slight pain to put on but water decals aren’t hard and GSC has a very informative YouTube video on how and where to put the star. Although ear scrapers aren’t quite as popular in the western world, I found no problems putting mine on using just a toothpick, Q-Tip, and a cup of water.

But really, the star isn’t a big deal. They give you 8 stars in their decal sheet so if you mess up, no biggie. And then you have 7 stars to stick on her bum, her cannon, other figures, your sleeping friend’s faces, endless fun! Oh, and they give you 2 BRS postcards to say sorry.

Included in BRS box

But the biggest gripe for me? Assembling her. They give you an instruction sheet but between what’s gibberish speak to me on it and the black and white photos that only give you vague hints as well as the crazy pegs the parts have, I actually struggled. Part of it was hunting for the tiny tiny holes and part of it was trying to be really really gentle with the fragile PVC. I can understand why they’ve done it though, there are a lot of fragile parts sticking out to get her dynamic movement and if they didn’t make it in parts, the already huge box would be beyond ridiculous and breakages galore. So I’d like to start off the review with a quick companion to the instruction manual to highlight the parts that I thought needed clearing up.

Taking Black Rock Shooter out of the box

Black Rock Shooter herself is mostly assembled but that can mean trouble. There have been reports of her twintails (can I still call them that even though they’re different lengths?) breaking in transit, thank god mine turned out OK. Anyways, during assembly, just like they show in the GSC star video, you should try to grab her like so on the body without touching the hair or putting pressure on her limbs.

Putting the chains on her handsTaking the Rock Cannon apart

The first step is removing the hand (you can kind of see it sticking out of her wrist in the ‘grip’ photo) and attaching the chain. They both have shaped pegs so you can’t mess up the orientation of the chain. Next is taking part the gun. Be very careful with this as it has 6 small pegs holding it together.

Rock Cannon ready to fire!

Attaching the gun to the base is a delicate step, I’ve heard a few reports of people breaking their bases while trying to do this one. GSC has a decent picture of where to attach the gun (and another shaped peg to help your orientation). Once attached, well, I won’t trust the strength of the peg to hold up that ridiculously large cannon by itself so even in this picture I held it up. For the next few steps, I either held the gun up or flipped the whole thing sideways to minimise strain on the gun peg.

BRS holding her cannon

And well, GSC has a decent picture of this step, putting the Rock Cannon in her chain wrapped hand but heres a pic in color for kicks. Don’t worry, I am holding the other end of the gun with my other hand.

BRS foot pegCramming that foot in its peg

This was the step that caused sweat to pour. Getting the cannon and Black Rock Shooter aligned so that you could actually get her foot in its metal peg, all while balancing the cannon and not touching BRS’s hair. I got a crappy shot above of trying to get the foot positioned, was hard to take the photo while precariously balancing the half-assembled figure. I should’ve asked Zai to snap photos! Anyways, once you have it in position, I found the best way to push her foot in the peg is to brace your thumb under the base and grab the top of her heel with the index finger, middle finger grab the top of her foot and squeeze. Do be careful not to force anything though. Yes, I know my fingernails are way long, when cropping these photos, I noticed and cut them, haha.

Congrats, we’re nearly there! The next few steps had decent pics in the instructions so I won’t redo those. Theres a pretty easy peg to attach her wrist on her outstretched arm to the cannon (Step 8 in instructions) and then there is a peg on the chain attached to her other wrist to attach to the cannon (Step 9). You can stop holding on to that cannon now. Reattach the plate on the cannon, pretty easy so far. But now, the pain begins anew.

Tiny hole for long chain
In the part of the base where the cannon attaches to, there is a tiny hole where the other long thin chain goes. Once you find it, its easy to stick in the chain and then more hunting for a hole in her twintail (the one near the cannon) to stick the other end to. These base holes are tiny, you could almost mistake them for crevices.

Attaching the larger chains

Finally the 3 large chains. I’ve created a collage above trying to illustrate where they go. Point B was pretty easy but hard to find, the unmarked short chain one is easy as cake. Point A though. The last chain I assembled and my arm had to slip and part of my peg snapped. Its hard to push in too since its at a 90 degree angle. Thankfully a little blu-tack and the chain stays upright. Finally, changing out the bangs to put the flame eye on. It was a little stiff, I almost had to resort to hair dryer but luckily it came off easily. The flame is so awesome, I’ve left it on.

Black Rock Shooter's giant box

On to the review. First of all, the box. It is massive. It is the largest box we have (although the largest we have is 1/8 figures). Here I’ve put Danbo inside the box and you can barely see his head. I had originally ordered 2 BRS figures. SO GLAD I cut it down to 1.

Black Rock Shooter's side

After all that constructing, you are rewarded with an awesome dynamic figure. Having BRS leaping forward, chains flying through the air, it will definitely stand out among your collection

Black Rock Shooter side shot

Where do I start? How about the base. The base is a piece of art with its checkerboard tiles falling apart under Black Rock Shooter’s feet, they’ve sculpted the ruin well on it. I don’t mind the crazily balanced blocks that the cannon is attached to, somehow with all the chains and motion, you don’t notice its a glorified stand. The base isn’t quite as solid as Dead Master’s but it definitely beats the pants off most of the bases on our figures.

Black Rock Shooter top down shot

Next is the cannon. Love this cannon. Its appropriately proportional, meaning its huge and it has all these nicks and scratches and wear and tear in it that gives it a nice grungy look. I lovelove the cast iron texture given to it, when put next to the Figma cannon, it makes it look like a cheap toy.

Black Rock Shooter's Face

They did a nice job on the face, one thing about the original version I didn’t like was the shineless spiral eyes. Yes, its Huke’s style but to me, it made her look hypnotized. I like having that little bit of twinkle. Otherwise, its the same old expressionless mask

BRS hair flowing

Switching to a white background to see the details better, we can get a look at the flowing hair. Black Rock Shooter has lots of motion in her many flowing strands of hair. Frankly, I’m amazed that they could do all that without more crazy packaging. Also, that flame is awesome. Like the Figma, it has a transparent gradient starting at deep blue at her eye going to clear blue at the tip. It does intrigue me how her hair does not catch on fire with a flame like that.

Black Rock Shooter's flowing coat

The coat shows good motion as well, nowhere near the details can craziness of Dead Master but hey, what can you expect out of a vinyl jacket (or whatever its supposed to be). But its got good details like her hood, the teeth on the zipper, and even the pull strings on the hood! This is where I found the only flaw in this figure (well, besides the omission of the star), the star on the back of the jacket. The paint looks faded and a little sloppy on it but I suppose that its in a hard to paint space in some folds of the jacket.

BRS from the back

The boots are cool too, there were some complaints about the soles being a bit yellowed but it doesn’t bother me much, its not like I’ll be scrutinizing her feet all day. Her hot pants are OK, nothing to write home about and you can see she’s got a bit of sex appeal with a butt cheek showing there.

Bright BRS Animation Ver
All in all, this is a must get figure even with the small defects like the missing star. If you have any inkling of liking Black Rock Shooter, don’t miss out. Just make sure you’re really careful in building her. You can find Black Rock Shooter Animation Ver at a retail price of 9800 yen although we got her at AmiAmi for 7450 yen (sadly they are sold out now) and Hobby Search has her for 7933 yen. Both retailers are also including the star sticker kit with purchases from reports we’ve heard. Zai and I have put her and Dead Master on one of our premier spots on our shelves (although VN02 still gets THE premier spot, lol).
Black Rock Shooter head on
Black Rock Shooter Animation Ver leaping away

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  1. December 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    thats a very good review πŸ™‚
    The BRS ~Animation Version~ is a very nice figure with an awesome pose.

    I didn’t liked the two Brs original version figures much.the pose looked
    not very interesting and the eyes looked a bit empty to me.
    I was really happy that GSC decided to maka a BRS with a more dynamik pose and different eyes.

    The assembling was no real fun for me as well,everything appeared a bit brittle and I was scared to break something. I guess I prefer non Model kit figures.
    haha I just realized that the long chain part of my figure points into the wrong direction πŸ˜‰

    The uproar about the color of the boots and the missing star was totally overhyped in my opinion.
    The soles of her boots weren’t that yellowish and GSC handed out the stickers.
    But I feel a bit sorry for the people whose figure arrived with broken pigtails.
    luckily my figure arrived safely without damages.

    • December 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm

      Thanks for visting Fabienne and thanks!
      Same here about the other 2 BRS figures. Although for Dead Master, we like the Orig ver more than the Animation version, strange, eh? Thinking about passing on the Black Gold Saw one too.
      I was having a bit of fun except for trying to get her back foot in that metal peg. And when I broke that chain peg. I can’t even imagine what assembling resin garage kits are like…
      Yeah, I wasn’t too concerned about those faults either. Sure, I would have liked them to get the star right and the white boots but I’m not going to blast them for it. They did a really good job on the rest of it, probably better than any other figure company that would have tried. But broken twintails would have definitely made me angry.

  2. December 9, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Great!

  3. December 14, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Zai, do you PO BRS nendo puchi?

    • Zai
      December 14, 2010 at 11:08 pm

      Nah, we don’t have them on order. We do have the full sized BRS nendo but neither of us have gotten around to reviewing her!

  4. Anna
    December 20, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Ugh mine just arrived today, and the part of the base where the cannon attaches was already broken off. )8

    • December 20, 2010 at 8:52 am

      Oh no! Can you try to contact the store you bought it from to see if you can get a replacement? Make sure you send them pictures. That’s a pretty major part of what keeps the figure standing so super glue might not be enough

  1. December 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm

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