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Howling Wolfinica

Resurrection of Monstress
by yo go re

Okay, so Noctilca was fine and all, but she wasn't the Resurrection of Monstress figure I was most interested in.

As a werewolf transforms under a full moon, she transforms under a crescent moon. She is the werewolf hunter who dances in the werewolves' nightmare.

The word "werewolf" comes from the Old English wir, meaning "man" - but specifically, male. Mann was the gender-neutral term for a human being, while wir (a cognate of the Latin vir that shows up in words like virile, virtue, or triumvirate) was the word for an adult male. So technically, a female werewolf should be a "wifwolf" - wif led to "wife," (which still shows its general "adult female" origins in phrases like "old wives' tale") while wif + mann turned into "woman."

Wolfinica may not have a big, confusing biography the way Noctilca did, but they share a pallid skintone - white skin is apparently just part of Yasushi Nirasawa's design style. Her face is rather plain and restrained, without any kind of personality or expression. The sculpt is credited to Takayuki Takeya and Kenji Ando, but this part of it isn't great.

This is obviously a more humanoid form of werewolf, because how else could she be sexy? That's not us being sarcastic, by the way: the point of Resurrection of Monstress was a line of sexy monster girls, so the less human they are, the less the design is going to work. Her truly lupine features are limited to her digitigrade feet, her slightly oversized hands, and the long, pointy ears. Sure, she has fur on her arms, a giant mane of hair, and a tail, but what girl doesn't?

Judging by her clothes, 'nica is a punk rocker in her spare time. She wears skintight black leather pants, two studded bands around her right arm (and two more around her tail), a bit of black sleeve strapped to her left arm, and a torn purple tank top. Like, really torn. Half of it is missing, and her breast is hanging out. The only reason we don't see any nipple is that she has a big silver piercing that acts like a pasty, covering just enough to claim that it's covering something. There are real metal rings in her ears, and she wears a spiked collar with a short chain hanging from it. Her belt and the straps on her arm have elements that are supposed to be crescent moons, but the paint has been slightly misaligned, so they end up looking like neon yellow eyes with black pupils. It might be worth giving those a touch-up so the intention is clear.

All of the (released) RoM figures were available in two colorschemes: the Wolfinica pictured in this review is the Limited Color, with bluish fur; the Standard Color is a more realistic brownish hue. Blue? Brown? She's just like Han's coat! Why get the blue one over the brown? Well, several reasons: I've wanted this toy for years now, so when I finally broke down and bought her, I just got the cheapest one Amazon had, without knowing which color it would be; and while I would have been fine with the tan, the blue is truer to the original art. If you get one, it's your call which color you like best.

Don't expect a lot of articulation - regardless of color, Howling Wolfinica has a balljointed head and swivel shoulders. Not a single joint more. But hey, these toys are about looks and accessories, not poseability. So let's talk accessories.

Like we mentioned before, Sheena Wolfinica is a punk rocker, so her display base is a stage. The floor is sculpted to look like wooden planks, with a hole on one side and two small speakers embedded on the front corners. It's 3¼" deep and 3½" wide, and ⅜" thick. At the back is a huge speaker, which adds another 1⅛" to the depth of the piece and stands 5" tall. The floor has a blue drybrushing, and there's green slime splattered all over the place.

But one speaker isn't enough, so the set includes three more: a tiny 1⅛" x 1¼" x ⅞" amp, and a pair of larger speakers that each measure 1¾" x 2¾" x 1¼". All the speakers have molded claw marks on them, and one of the medium ones also has a towel or rag laying on top, as well as a hole on the side where you can plug in the included severed werewolf paw - remember, Wolfie is a hunter, and apparently she keeps trophies. Only the gigantic one actually plugs onto the set in any way, so you can arrange the others however you like. Two on top? One on each side? One in front and one behind? (Whew, who knew arranging speaker equipment was so kinky?)

The set also includes a wolf skull, cast for some reason in translucent neon yellow plastic, and with a silver nail driven into its forehead. The same plastic is used to create a three-clawed wrist weapon, because apparently she's a fan of Wolverine. Finally, she has a ball and chain that fits around her ankle - the wrist cuff and the spiked ball are plastic, while the chain is real metal.

For the musical angle, there's a microphone that fits in a notch in the stage, and has a spiked tip (in case she runs into any vampires at a show, perhaps). Her guitar looks like a stylized canid with a grinning face and one big leg, and it has a black strap with silver spikes sticking out of it. Since she doesn't have a lot of articulation, she can't really pose with the guitar very well.

Just as Noctilca had a pet cat, Wolfinica completes the animal chain of command with a dog and a pair of rats. They're a deep indigo with pinkish-yellow teeth and eyes. The puppy is sitting peacefully, but has a manic look on its face - you almost expect him to be foaming at the mouth! One of the rats is on all fours, like a normal rodent, but the other is sitting up on its butt, perfect for peeking out of the hole in the stage.

And when it's time to pack your toys away/load up the hoopty van and drive to the next show? The speakers are hollow, and provide storage space for all the other accessories inside! There are various pegs and slots designed specifically to hold stuff, which shows some very clever planning. A lot of the pieces (okay, the animals and the microphone) just sit in there loosely, but it's still awesome that they did that.

There are a lot more days in a month where there's a crescent moon than days where there's a full moon, so Wolfinica definitely has an advantage over her prey. But werewolves who are the hero of the story and content with their fate aren't an entirely new trope - for instance, the 1947 story "Eena" by Manly Banister broke new ground by focusing on a sympathetic (and sexual) female werewolf, making her something of an ancestor to Wolfinica, here. And if you think the toy is dressed provocatively, you should see her in the manga/anime, where she's completely topless, with just some strategic swirls of fur on her chest and pants that ride low enough that you can see her... fur. Resurrection of Monstress is a weird, weird line.

-- 10/23/16


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