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Toru Hagakure

My Hero Academia
by yo go re

Toru Hagakure may be stealthy, but she's about to be the star!

When we first felt safe going out into public after the pandemic lockdown, a group of us decided to spend one Saturday morning at a local comic convention. Because the kinds of people I'd be friends with are various flavors of fanboys, perverts, and weebs, everybody else was thrilled to find the booth selling anime body pillows. (Technically just pillow covers; it certainly had never occurred to me that bringing an entire supply of man-sized pillows with you to a convention booth would be a fool's move, and that those places just sell the sheath and you have to provide your own pillow later at home; perfectly logical, just not something I'd ever put any thought into.) Anyway, while they were all picking out their new fabric waifus, they asked if I was getting one myself. I said I'd buy one when I finally managed to find the true Best Girl: My Hero Academia's Invisible Girl.

So naturally, I had to buy this toy as soon as I learned it existed.

Despite their shared supranym, Toru's powers do not work like Sue Storm's: she can't make forcefields, she can't turn anything else invisible, and she can't even stop being invisible herself; her quirk, Invisibility, just turns her invisible and nothing else. So to best depict a character who's never seen, McFarlane has given us an action figure that can't be seen.

In another (very loose) example of our April Fools Day jokes coming true, there is no toy in this figure's box. This isn't a case of taking your normal figure and casting it in "clear" plastic, because that wouldn't suit Toru: we really never see her unless she's covered in mushrooms or something. Sue Storm, the Predator, the Spy, Mirage, Space Ghost and other "invisible" characters generally remain visible to the audience, but Toru doesn't. So no attempt to create a physical body would ever really do.

What we get instead are two feet, two hands, and some clear stands to hold them in place. As we said, My Hero's Invisible Girl can't make anything else unseen - not even the clothes she wears. So her superhero costume comprises a pair of shoes and a pair of gloves, and then not a single thing else. (Her winter costume is a thicker pair of gloves and some taller boots.) The right foot is on the ground, the left foot on a short peg that lifts it slightly, and the gloves are on two posts of identical heights with identical bends ¾ of the way up.

Since Toru is a peppy and energetic girl, the shape of the bodyparts and the way they're posed helps suggest how she's standing. The right foot is raising up on the toes, and the left foot is kicked up slightly. Her left hand has the fingers splayed, while the right is flashing a peace sign. If you've watched much anime, it's not hard to decipher what sort of coquettish pose she's adopting, even if you can't see it: knees tucked together, elbows in, bent forward slightly at the waist, head up so the face is forward. But it's not quite right.

According to the official stats published in the manga, little miss Toru stands a scant 152 centimeters, or 5'0". McFarlane's toys are in a 7" scale, so that translates to a figure just under 5⅞" tall, meaning we can judge this by comparing it to any 6" figure we have handy. If we do that, we'll see that the hands are too low. Like, in order for the hands to be held at this height, they'd have to come forward more, not be this close to the feet. And even then, the gloves would need to be flexed back at the wrist, or else the hands themselves would need to be a lot more horizontal. Like, you won't notice it immediately, but it may nag at you subconsciously. With any luck, that'll get lost in the hecticness of a display.

This figure was originally a Funimation.com exclusive (now Crunchyroll), so while it does cost less than the average MHA figure you'd find somewhere else, it's still slightly more expensive than you'd expect for what you get in the box. Gotta pay that exclusives tax, ya know? The cost is mitigated somewhat by the fact that McToys has also chosen to include her stealth costume: since all anybody can see are her gloves and shoes, she can take those off to go full incognito (amusingly, even though she's regularly going into battle in the altogether, it's only when she has to shed these last few garments that she ever gets self-conscious or embarrassed). Two figures for the price of one!

This is a cute idea, but if McFarlane wanted to do a "real" figure of Toru Hagakure, they could: either the UA training uniform, which could be reused for other characters, or her class uniform, an articulated torso held up by a post in the back. Until then, this is silly fun, and I'm really glad it exists.

-- 05/26/24

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