The release of Evangelion 1.01 has brought our favorite emotionally disturbed giant robot pilots back into the spotlight, and I for one am happy to see it. There remains, however, one cloud in my perfect blue sky of Evangelion bliss: Why is there never any merchandise featuring Rei Ayanami?
Just because she's a quiet lass who tends to sit in the back, that doesn't mean that none of us are interested in her! This unassuming little blue-haired teen has been ignored by fans for far too long, and I am going to use whatever leverage I have in the attempt to do the right thing and give poor, neglected Rei her day in the sun.The discrimination perpetrated against mysterious blue-haired girls with incredibly hot bodies is simply disgusting, and it stops today.
For these purposes, I have instituted the Rei Ayanami Figure and Resin Kit Awards, in the hope that this event will bolster support for Rei and help correct her lamentable under-representation in the realm of anime merchandise. Sadly, In preparation for the RAFaRKA awards (it's a working title), I only had about 42,976,552,738,220 figures to choose from. For SHAME, people. I don't know how you sleep with your anime body pillows at night.
Before I get on with the awards, I must preface this with the acknowledgment that the nominee pool for this award was more limited than it should have been, since I absolutely could not find decent pictures of some of the kits that I otherwise would have picked. Now, Rei being who she is, I still have more than enough, but if you're perturbed by my selections because surely there are weirder Rei figures out there, believe me I know.
Winner: Most Awesome Rei Figure Somehow Gone Awry Award
This figure is such a strange combination of "amazing" and "terrible" that I get confused every time I see it. While they've given Rei an absolute beautiful face, while still managing to keep her perfectly in character, just what is going on here? Has Unit 01 now become Rei's pants? Or is this supposed to be that gargantuan "Rei is now bigger than the earth, la la la Jungian archetypes" Rei from The End of Evangelion? If so, then why is she wearing clothes? It just doesn't add up. I can appreciate this on an aesthetic level, but until I know specifically which of the infinite versions of Rei this is supposed to be, I will remain on the cusp of an existentialist crisis brought on by this kit.
Winner: Figure That Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time Award
In theory, there's nothing wrong with a realistic version of Rei Ayanami, but in practice it is just so creepy. I can't decide if this figure is eerily lifelike, or if it's actually not lifelike at all and it's just creeping me out for some reason I can't even comprehend.
Winner: the Not-Rei Ayanami, Rei Ayanami Award
While this is a beautiful sculpt, and I'm very jealous that Colette has one of her own and I don't, this lovely lady is just not Rei Ayanami. I understand that she's supposed to be a re-imagined version, but you know what? I can "re-imagine" Rei as a sixty-year-old bag lady, but that doesn't make it right. This woman appears to be about 30 years old, and if Rei ever looked like this, I think Shinji would die. I think we would be spared the whole nine yards because Shinji would literally be intimidated to death upon their first meeting.
Winner: They've Officially Run Out of Ideas Award
In this case, I think the title of the award says it all.
Winner: They've Officially Run Out of Ideas AND IT'S AWESOME Award
Here we have Rei as a Mermaid: There is no good reason for this figure to exist. Presumably, it was created to please the people that list The Little Mermaid right alongside The End of Evangelion on their list of favorite movies, but to my knowledge, they do not create figures for a demographic that consists of three people. However, one of those three people happens to be me, and this figure is just so pretty that I love it against what's left of my better judgment. Hey, at the end of the movie her head sort of falls into the ocean, so that makes her sort of like a mermaid, right? I'm saved on a technicality!
Winner: Love-Child of Rei Ayanami and Betty Boop Award
A strong contender for the Not-Rei Ayanami Rei Ayanami Award, I guess this figure still looks tolerably like Rei, but the Boop resemblance is too strong to ignore.
Winner: Casting Aspersions Upon Her Virtue Award
This obscure wedding-themed figure has me spitting mad, and can you guess why? A blue wedding dress? Are they implying that Rei isn't good enough to wear a traditional dress of virgin white? That is simply unforgivable. I mean, yeah, she did spend a helluva lot of time floating naked in that tank in front of Gendo, but I really don't think he did anything inappropriate-- well, not until the movie anyway.
...you know what, that whole creepy incest/statutory rape times five hundred clones thing is just a RUMOR, and anyone who believes it is stupid, and I bet they don't understand all of the symbolism in Eva or anything, so if you think Rei is impure, it's just because you're stupid and no one cares about your opinion anyway. Blue wedding dress, my ass.
This concludes the first ever Rei Ayanami Figure and Resin Kit Awards, I hope to see you all again at our next ceremony, which will happen approximately whenever I feel like it. God knows, there are enough of these damned things.
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