Banpresto: Ranka Lee (Encore Edition)

Like the Sheryl Nome and Klan Klang figures I received earlier, this Ranka Lee figure is part of Banpresto’s Ichiban Kuji (Premium Prize) set. And also like her predecessors, this Ranka is a re-release limited edition that Banpresto dubbed the Encore Edition. While I love the silver color scheme of the Encore Edition, I think Ranka looks the worst out of the three. Something about the yellow, white and silver just doesn’t seem all that compatible. Out of the three, Ranka is the only one that I think look better in the original color scheme; while the yellow and orange seem to fit her personality, the silver and white on her feels a little cold. But since I wanted to complete the set, here she is!

Ranka Lee

Even with the colder aura surrounding this Ranka figure, she hasn’t lost her cuteness. This sculpt captures Ranka in her signature kira pose with her “concert” outfit which takes me back to episode 12′s memorable Galia 4 scene with Ranka sing Seikan Hikou. For those that haven’t watched Macross Frontier, Ranka Lee is one of the main characters in the anime and Sheryl’s competition for Alto’s affection in the love triangle plot. While I rooted for Sheryl, there’ll always be a soft spot for Ranka. lol

Kira Pose! ^_~

Ranka close-up

The face is alright, not much to complain about, albeit lacking a nose. Her teeth makes her look younger than she is, look at it long enough and you get the impression she just lost her baby teeth and is starting to grow her permanent teeth. The paint job and sculpt is clean, but there is just a bit of excess material between her bangs that I didn’t notice till after I took the pictures. Comparing photos of the anime and the original Banpresto Ranka figure, it seems this version of Ranka’s hair is a lighter shade of green. I’m guessing this was done because her original dark green hair probably clashed in color with the silver outfit. One small drawback, I find, is that her microphone is really close to her face, which blocks a good portion from certain angles. I had to take the shots from a lower left angle to capture her face. The top portion of the figure is also filled with a number of bows to help enhance the look of cuteness.

The outfit

The skirt

Ranka’s dress is loose and looks like it’s flapping in the wind, it’s just short enough so you can see some abs which adds a small hint of sexiness to her cute nature. But the most notable feature of this figure has got to be her frilly skirt, I’m pretty impressed at the detail and attention paid to the skirt. You can see more detail looking upwards on the skirt and the amount of layering. I didn’t take any pictures, however, it just didn’t feel right. lol The skirt should be a cast-off, you can wiggle it and there was plastic wrapping underneath when I opened the package. I tried tugging on the torso but Ranka just wouldn’t budge – guess she really wanted to keep her skirt on – unlike Sheryl, who was all too happy to shed her skirt the instant I removed her from the packaging! I was afraid to break something so I decided to leave Ranka’s skirt alone.

Ranka’s legs are covered mostly in white stockings with her thighs showing some skin. Like the shirt portion, it blends in some sexiness to compliment her cuteness. What I like about about this portion of the figure is that the stockings look like it presses into the skin of her thighs like a real stocking. It’s small details like this that sets quality figures apart from the rest – this is no Alter or GSC, but it definitely shows that Banpresto cares about attention and detail. The shading in skin tone is also a nice touch that adds to the effect, but on this particular figure, the right leg looks a bit over cooked. If you stare at it long enough, it starts looking bruised or dirty, but its not something someone will notice by just looking at the figure. By her legs stands Ranka’s pet, Ai-kun, which also gets the special edition silver color rather than the original green.

The legs!

The shoes

Not much to say about Ranka’s shoes aside that the all silver color gives off the impression that its lacking some details compared to the original brown, even though there isn’t any difference in the two versions other than color. From the right side, you can see Ranka’s skirt rise, which shows the layering detail I mentioned earlier. Yes, I know you’re hoping for that skirt to rise up just a little bit more right now.. =P

Layers!

Rear shot

From behind, Ranka’s outfit looks more complex and you see more of the details in the wrinkles and frills. Her hair is more simplistic in design, like Klan Klang’s, where it doesn’t show the details in the strands of hair. The Sheryl Nome figure has much more detail in her long flowing hair. Frankly, if Ranka’s hair was brown you might mistaken her head for a dog’s when looking from behind. Her pony tails remind me of a beagle’s ears. :-) I think the outfit could’ve used a bit more paint work for highlights and shadows, but since the colors are solid, its up to natural lighting to work the shading. The rear bow should’ve been painted a different color to give it a bit more contrast, but c’est la vie.

Hair ribbon

Rear of outfit

The silver Ai-kun that comes with this figure is pretty cool though, it looks good in either silver or the original green color. There’s just a little bit of seam marking from the mold showing on the tail.

Ai-kun

Although I prefer the Sheryl and Klan figures of this set over Ranka, this figure is still one of the better Ranka figures I’ve seen. The overall paint quality is fair and the lines are mostly clean with very little overlap. There are some rough parts in the paint job due to the figure not being cleaned off properly before the paint application though. The paint on the clothing also feels a little thick, not sure if it’s because Banpresto painted over the original paint scheme. ;-) Ranka is 21cm from her feet to the tip of her hair, she’s not small, but she is the shortest in the set (see below). Her base features the letter S, which in combination with the other two makes SMS.

Encore Edition Set

From what I’ve read, the Encore Edition was a limited release and probably only a total of 800 were made. That could be 800 total or 800 of each figure, who knows! I’m not that familiar with this Ichiban Kuji lottery thing, but apparently these are pretty exclusive prizes. I’m just glad I was able to find a set – now my Yamato Valkyries won’t feel so lonely in the display case. But one conundrum remain, how the heck do you get Ranka’s skirt off?! lol