God is a (magical) girl!

Welcome to the Solaris Blog! ヾ( ʚ̴̶̷  .̫ ʚ̴̶̷ )ノ”

Magical girls are all of the sugar and none of the spice. Their pure and earnest wishes are amplified by their innocence, which is powerful enough to bend the laws of physics. And then you have Madoka.
The main character of the series Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is a stereotypical magical girl, but her story tells a different tale. The series is as beautiful as it is shocking, and as painful as it is sweet. The deceivingly cute art style slowly gives way to an eerie darkness that unravels into a twisted reality as the story progresses.
Good Smile Company 1/8 Kaname Madoka front
Who would’ve thought all of that would be behind such a pink, lacy and ruffly character? It is, however, exactly what makes the series shine! The tragic contrast between hope and grief comes together in the spirit of 14-year-old Madoka Kaname.
This figure saw two releases in 2014, and we can see why. Her sculpt is stunning even now, over seven years later! 
We took all photos shown here and made minimal edits to them (rotating and cropping). However, we did not remove any blemishes or imperfections.
Good Smile Company 1/8 Kaname Madoka back  
Her power manifests upon setting eyes on her: those who have been previously touched by her are immediately swept up in a gale of nostalgia. Photographer-san’s eyes sparkled with wistful glee while setting up this figure. 
That was a much needed effect because it required patience. Lots of patience. ( _ _ 。)

“Some Cupid kills with arrows…”

GSC Madoka head tilt
“Love goes by haps; some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps,” said the Bard. This magical cherub ensnares you with that quintessential Madoka head tilt!  (*Л*)
Good Smile excels at capturing the essence of characters and translating them into a flawless 3D design. They saw the angel in the PVC and molded her until they set her free!
GSC Madoka bow
You know what they say, that a good-looking person can wear a pillowcase and make it look good? Madoka can wield a twig to battle and make it look good too. This ridiculously cute and dainty weapon shows nothing of the power it packs. Soft colors, subtle shading, and semi-opaque jewels form the body of the bow, which has pink roses on the upper limb and green leaves on the lower limb.
The arrow is as unassuming as the bow, made of a translucent carmine plastic. It is thinner than a toothpick, and just as easily lost against carpet, so be careful when handling it. Both weapons are very flexible.
In order to set her up, you will need to channel your inner magical girl to keep the witch of frustration in check. Choose to see the bright side of things: thankfully, this is a scale, and the laser focus and steady hands of a surgeon aren’t required. You need only a little bit of determination to get everything to line up and slot into place. 
GSC Madoka arrow placement
Expectation = Everything lines up and slots into place on the first try.
The bow has a tiny pink tab on the grip, which supposedly slots into a matching dent in Madoka’s palm. However, if those two are lined up, the arrow is not. You will have to find balance by wiggling the bow a bit. Some YouTube reviews got around the fiddling by placing the arrow on top of her index, but for this review we decided to go off of the instructions and manufacturer’s photos.
GSC Madoka manufacturer photo arrow comparison
Reality = Be prepared for some finagling.
The arrow seems narrower than the one shown on the manufacturer’s pictures. When you set Madoka up according to the instructions, it sits just in front of her fingers. You can’t push it back because of the tab that secures the arrow to the bow; if you choose to ignore this, it will just fall off the model.

The clothes are part of the magic

GSC Madoka dress ruffles
Her petticoat has more ruffles than I ever had in my entire life! They look super fluffy and bouncy! Each frill is carefully sculpted and spaced to flow with Madoka’s leap.
GSC Madoka soul gem and shoes paint detail
Less is more when it comes to paint! Especially when the character is dainty and with lots of pastels. Madoka’s outfit has minimal paint variation, with the most noticeable details being her soul gem and her shoes. Those are coated in a glossy red, while the rest of the model is a soft matte. You don’t need to go over the top just because something is meant to be kawaii!

A whirlwind of emotion

GSC Madoka base
The base is made of a clear pink acrylic and it’s shaped like a contact lens, doming towards the center. Because of its shape, only the pink rim touches the surface, which helps avoid scratches in the middle. That choice of material and color for the base also adds a luminous effect at her feet; when displaying, it would be good to set her on a light surface, where that would show well.
The manufacturer pictures, which are also the ones we use in our website, show the prototype version with the metal rod showing. The actual figure has a whirlwind effect wrapping around it, leaving only a small peg in which to slot Madoka’s foot.
GSC Madoka connector point
Which would understandably cause people to have concerns regarding her stability. After all, we don’t want our favorite magical girl to be reduced to the status of dashboard bobblehead.
Luckily, after setting her up, there was no noticeable wobble! But something else appeared...
GSC Madoka leg gap
We noticed a gap where her leg connects to her sock. This issue wasn’t noticeable in other reviews, so we’re thinking it’s maybe our bad luck. This is easily solved by pushing the pieces tighter together, but there is still a little bit of wiggle. A bit of super glue may be needed if your figure ends up having this issue.
As for leaning problems, there doesn’t seem to be any. Other reviews and collectors have pointed out that even after years of owning their figures, there was no perceptible lean. We believe that maybe for the sake of keeping the dramatic pose, Good Smile decided not to go the clear rod route, and let the metal peg hold her weight by itself.
Which we can understand; in figures like this Hatsune Miku by SEGA and this Ishtar by Aniplex, though the rods help appease our anxiety over the figure’s durability, they seem to take away from the realism of the picture.
Sega Hatsune Miku and Aniplex Ishtar 
Besides, if it can be done without a support piece, why not do it? Kotobukiya showed us how a smartly-sculpted base can keep the intensity of a pose without the interruption of additional pegs with this Joker figure.
Kotobukiya 1/8 Joker
This Madoka is Good Smile’s contribution to the roster of daring sculpts without support! And it’s done masterfully.
GSC Madoka Instagram

Closing thoughts

Despite the complicated setup and the minor anxiety over the stability of her bold pose, this is a quality figure even by 2021 standards. It can stand its ground against the newest releases, which speaks volumes about the quality of its sculpt. Good Smile did a great job capturing her sweet essence and innovating with a balance of daring pose and sturdy support!
That said, we still recommend displaying her on a stable surface just to be safe. Considering there is only one very short peg holding her up, you shouldn’t put any unnecessary strain on it.
And keep her away from Dark Magician Girl, as another measure of caution. (⌒_⌒;)
We hope you enjoyed this one!
Until next time! ヾ(^∇^)

By Carina

I'm a iyashikei addict. If you love Mushishi, we can be friends! Maybe. My hobbies are journaling, origami, and gaming. Casually dabbling in kimono as well.

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