Remember those kinda skanky-looking "anime" figurines that DC Direct released last year and created a bit of a stir around the comics blogosphere? Well, seems they're releasing a few more. I meant to post my thoughts about them when the buzz first started but never got around to it, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to do so now.
My main problems are twofold. First of all, they all look the same age. This isn't a problem for Batgirl or Supergirl, but Power Girl and Wonder Woman shouldn't have the same big eyes and proportionately large head. Which leads into my second problem: The anatomy is all kinds of off. I realize that they're trying to emulate cartoons here, but still, anime need not have bad anatomy (see Mai-HiME, which is pretty fanservicey but with a wide variety of body types well within the human norm). Some of these are approaching Liefeld-scale ugh-ness.
Anyway. These are my impressions, one by one:
Catwoman: Absolutely awful. I'm just not into those extreme fanservice extravaganza bishoujo series (Mouse and Najica Blitz Tactics spring immediately to mind), and she looks like she stepped right out of one. Last year I recall these figurines described as "masturbatory aids," and I think this one is by far the most blatant.
Power Girl: Looks pretty good, but I'd do away with the navel and knee holes and make her tights more like a normal one-piece and less thong-like. As noted, I hate her face -- no way Karen should look so vapid. Otherwise, fairly solid, especially the boots and gauntlets. I appreciate that they gave her a slightly more muscular physique than the others. I get a vague Evangelion vibe, but maybe it's just the color scheme.
Batgirl: Solid. Dig the sentai look. Lose the heels and maybe make the belt better-fitting, and it'd be perfect.
Supergirl: Bring the skirt up a little higher and make it a little longer and I'd be okay with it. The bare torso is also not really necessary, and it draws attention to the poor anatomy worse than the others. I do, however, like the gloves, boots, and cape.
Wonder Woman: By far the best of the bunch. Implausible anatomy, but since her outfit actually covers more skin than the "normal" Wonder Woman it's not as distracting. I love the shield, pauldron, (apparently) leather armor, and tiara-turned-helmet. I also don't mind the high heels; Diana can fly, so it's not like she needs to worry about tripping. They also got Diana's personality down pat with her pose. The sword's a little big, but since I enjoyed Berserk I'll let it go. I'd go so far as to say I like it better than the real Wonder Woman's costume.
Those are the first wave of figurines. Here's the new ones:
Harley Quinn: Another fanservicey bishoujo-looking outfit, but I think it actually works on the character. I doubt the artist intended it to look so... goofy... but again, Harley's a goofy person! That said, the little Joker-tassels are stupid and must go.
Poison Ivy: I'd make the bikini bottom cover a little more area, but otherwise I like it. The vine-hands and "snapdragons" are a very cool, kinda creepy touch.
Hawkgirl: She needs pants. I don't hate the loincloth, but in the immortal words of the Bowler, "Maybe you should put some pants on, or something, if you want to keep fighting evil today." I mean, you don't fly over peoples' heads in a loincloth, especially since she shows no indication of wearing undies. Also, her scabbards seem to be attached a little too loosely. Those complaints aside: I like the helmet, the bracers, the boots, and especially the finger-claws.
Cheetah: I'm mostly neutral on this one, though I don't like the bondage collar or the oversized paws (like Felicia from Darkstalkers -- animal parts are always a turn-off).
Black Canary: Where are the fishnets?!? You can't have Black Canary without fishnets. I mean, technically you can, but it sucks -- see her JLI costume. Otherwise I really like the ninja look, especially the flat boots and coat.
I kind of wonder who the target audience is supposed to be: American comics fans who are also into anime, or Japanese anime fans who might be curious about American comics. In any case, it's apparent that whoever they're aimed at it's exclusively male. I'm sort of disappointed that there aren't any male superhero redesigns, especially Superman, Batman, and the Green Lantern of your choice. And who wouldn't want smexy bishounen Nightwing? Just sayin'.
Anyone else have any more thoughts?