Play Arts Kai Advent Children Sephiroth

        Seemingly a million years ago, the movie sequel to Final Fantasy 7, Advent Children, came at a time when Square-Enix figures were... simpler.  Cheaper.  Both in price and in presentation.  They were smaller and didn't have a whole hell of a lot of articulation, but it was more than enough to satisfy the fans who just wanted figures of their favorite characters.  ...Technical villains or otherwise.
        Much like what happened with Riku, I rather promised that if there were ever a Play Arts version of one-winged Sephiroth, I would snag him immediately.  SOME YEARS PASSED.  I didn't expect Riku, but I sure didn't expect the actual release of a Play Arts Kai Sephiroth, with optional wing, and truly enormous sword.  Magical.  And, uh.  Well.  Pricey.  Though I admit I got a large discount on him as per usual.  Still kind of.  Ow for the bank account.  But let's see if he was worth it, shall we?

        The fact that I miraculously somehow managed to get a decent picture of the front of the box was surely a sign.  Of some kind.  I mean, just.  Look.
        It's worth noting that the box is notably a bit bigger than the standard PAK boxes, because there are some large pieces inside.  So yeah, extra shipping charge.

        Then look at the back of the box.  Fire not included.

        The glare reared its ugly head at this point, but not the worst photo.  The feathers and... "mist" all have that neat little "etched" into the plastic thing going on again, and surprisingly... thick plastic ties on the wing and sword?  Kind of annoying, sure, but once you get into the box you kind of understand that they were necessary to keep everything stable and in place during shipping.  Better than plastic twist ties.

        And the delightful inside flap that makes every Sephiroth fan ache because thanks for another blatant reminder, S-E.  Write-up typed up by my fellow Sephiroth fan Schala-Kitty:

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children

2 Years after the events of an epic battle...

In the wake of the epic battle between Sephiroth and Cloud two years prior to the events of FINAL FANTASY VII: ADVENT CHILDREN, the eco-terrorist group “AVALANCHE” continued their fight against The Shinra Electric Power Company in order to protect the planet. In those intervening years, Cloud lived a peaceful life taking care of orphans while running his delivery service. His heart still ached from a deep sense of remorse and grief as he continued to feel over his lost comrades. One day, an unexpected request for his services came in to Strife Delivery Service: Cloud's protection from Kadaj and his gang. Cloud soon discovered that the client was none other than the former president of  Shinra Electric Power Company himself – Rufus Shinra.

“I will... never be a memory.”
A burning hatred for everything in existence 
A hero, fallen from grace and dragged to the depths of hell.... This is Sephiroth. A burning hatred took root in his heart upon realizing the origins of his birth: JENOVA cells implanted in him were from the same being that once brought destruction and calamity to the planet. His passionate contempt was not only directed toward the Shinra Electric Company, who had condemned him to his horrible fate, but to everything around him, everything he had ever known, believed in or trusted, leading to the notorious Nibelhiem Incident. His rampage of madness continued, driving him to plot the destruction of the entire planet and everyone on it, but his plans were foiled by the planet itself, which released its power like a defensive burst of anger. 
However, his hatred for everything did not heal or disappear over time, even with his apparent death, and he would drift through space to plan to create a future for himself on a new planet, as his “mother” JENOVA once did... What will become of his hate-filled tour of destruction and chaos?
Sephiroth's signature weapon is a katana named Masamune. It is most notable for the incredible length of the blade, which surpasses even the height of its wielder. Depsite its impressive size, Sephiroth van swing the weapon with ease, and his swordsmanship is just as extraordinary as would be expected from a SOLDIER who is better than the rest.

        But now he is home, and he is free.  ...Everyone run.
        Sephiroth very obviously comes with a big-ass wing, a big-ass sword, two fists, a sword hand, and three various open hands.  I guess one's the "drama hand".  'Cause you gotta.

        Pretty much instantly the details on this figure blow all others which came before completely away.  Of course it is very clearly Sephiroth, but he's also got a wealth of "battle damage" on the pauldrons, "wear" on all of his leather, and buckles.  So many buckles.  Nomura-style buckles.  The eyes are green a vaguely distant, the expression just the slightest bit vicious... and the hair is shiny.  How shiny is the hair?

        Well it's super difficult to get a decent picture of, which is definitely a standard of shiny.  It's basically iridescent silver pigment suspended in translucent soft plastic.  His hair isn't poseable as much as it's just soft, easy to move, and layered.  This is... pretty impressive for long plastic hair.  Though I do have one completely legitimate gripe that I will get to later.  Moving on.

        A couple of random detail shots!  I figured the shoe bottom was just... I don't know, because.  Why not.  The wrists are uniquely new, however, in that they also have locking/clicking so the hand doesn't slide down from the weight of holding that big-ass sword.  You do definitely need to work the hands onto the pegs all the way, though, or the wrist will slip sideways.  ...I don't even know if that made sense, it's something easier to feel/show than explain, but.  Bonus feature etc.

        Speaking of big-ass swords!  The Masamune is appropriately represented here.  Which means it's insane.  [Place inappropriate joke here.]
        Also please take note of that left foot and how smooth and easy the bend at the ball of the foot is there.  Bliss.  It was bliss.  That's usually so difficult or wrong, but not here.  ...That's generally a Play Arts Kai thing as far as I know, though, not specific to this figure.  It's still nice and should be noted.

        Size comparison.  Conclusion: once again, insane.  But shiny and nicely detailed for all its simplicity.  ...Also yeah, I have a lot of Sephiroths.

        Finally, the wing!  It is unbelievably large and, for what it is, intricately detailed.

        Look at this thing!  Yes yes, I already know, people who can't stand to see the joints, just leave.  I don't want to hear it.  I'm here for a figure that both looks good and moves well, this fits the bill for me entirely, the rest of you go bitch elsewhere.
        Look.  At the detail.  And the size.  Of this wing.  I am pleased even if the separations are a little odd in and of themselves... but they also kind of aren't.

        The articulated wing, while looking a little awkward, actually poses well.  It moves, it has a decent range of motion.  And better yet... the locking joints let Sephiroth actually balance and remain standing even with the extra weight.

        A little mini-guide regarding how the wing actually attaches.  And does it stay in place?  ...Surprisingly well if you're not doing a lot of posing while the wing is attached.  It is plastic, after all, and nothing is truly locking about this, just tightly fitting together.
        But here come my two actual gripes about this figure, both on prominent display in these pictures.  That point where the layered hair meets, where it's just black?  Yeah.  Yeah.  That's kind of... what happened there?  Sure I can fill it in myself, but there's a little annoyance in having to, as it's not subtle.  And neither in the enormous seam line down his back.  I guess this could technically be considered part of the coat... but... it looks like a mold seam line.  A very deep, very obvious one.
        ...Considering those are my gripes, I can adjust.

        He is flexible.  He can sit!  And his coat can move out the way while he does it.  He doesn't have "ass flaps" like Noctis and Prompto, just a very flexible coat with one "main portion" and two side bits that are hardly even noticeable until you need to use them so it looks like a very "full" coat.  There is still a bit of stiffness, though, so it takes some effort to get it to stay flat here.

        And finally the actual comparison shot between the original Play Arts figure, and the Play Arts Kai one.  They both came with a "drama hand".  There's... quite a difference.  (No, I don't know where the actual closing buckle to the Play Arts figure went.  Don't look at me like that.)
        Definitely the same character in the same outfit.  Otherwise, they're kind of worlds apart.  The joints on the old Play Arts figure are so worn down that it took several minutes to balance him just right so he could actually stand, but that was clearly before locking joints.  While I realize the new lamp bulb kind of over-lights the faces (argh), those are also worlds apart.

        Of course, the shot we've all been waiting for - the ass shot!  ...Oh.

        Yes I did feel pervy and rude, thank you very much.  You can clearly see the three sections of coat and the fact that the ass is... not detailed at all.  Alas.

        This is another figure that I have waited a long, long time for, being pretty sure it wasn't going to happen at all.  Even when I pounced on the pre-order, I hadn't been sure I'd be able to pay, but... stars aligned, holiday money was gained, and here he is.  In need of me to actually get around to making room for him on the shelf.  Ha ha, oops.
        Worth the wait and the money?  For me, yes.  Not just because I'd said I'd buy him way back when, but also because it's another example of what I love in these figures: a lot of movement, a vast range of posing possibilities, good detail, and very much recognizable.  Once again I am happy.  But a little hopeful that S-E won't be coming up with any other must-haves for a while, because my bank account has been sobbing for some months now.