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Zombie Lab
by yo go re

Going back to school after winter break can just be murder!

The seventh floor of Tower 101 was nearly clear. The residents and the survivors from outside were slowly reclaiming territory, exterminating the zombies and cordoning off safe areas. While the final few undead were being dispatched in the other wing, Zoe found herself distracted, looking at a framed photo on a desk. She knew the others had moved on, but it didn't matter: this section was clean enough. "Girl?" came the voice of the businessman from behind her. She didn't know how long he had been standing there. "Are you alright?" After a moment, she realized she'd been asked a question, and nodded. The photo in her hands showed a young man and woman with their son. Without taking her eyes off the picture, she said "my parents died soon after the first outbreaks. Today would have been my mother's birthday."

Chapter three of the Zombie Lab story actually tells us a little bit about Zoe, here (though not, sadly, whether she pronounces her name "Zoh" or "Zoh-E"), as well as some more info about the world: specifically, that the earliest zombie outbreak was three years ago. You'll recall that originally, we were dropped into the story in medias res, with Hong Kong quarantined and Lab 51 District already extant. Now at least we know the zombies have been around for three years, which adds a little depth to things.

On the other hand, that does raise some questions about this figure. She uses the normal female V-HACKS body, which is fine - some kids are tall, so there's nothing saying a school student would need to be shorter than everyone else. However: if the zombie apocalypse was three years ago, would there still be schools? If there were, would they still make the kids wear uniforms, or would they be more interested in, y'know, teaching them things than in policing how they dress? And even if they were still making the kids wear uniforms, why would it be a Japanese-style seifuku, and not the kinds of school uniforms that are actually worn in Hong Kong? Giving her a pleated blue skirt and a white shirt with collar and bow makes her look more like someone playing dress-up than an actual student. But hey, as long as she's doing it for herself, we're not going to judge. Get your kink on, girl!

Zoe's hair is short and straight, yet very large. It's possible this is meant to make her look young - if they can't make the figure physically smaller as a way of conveying her youth, then they can make the add-on pieces (in this case, hair) larger. Still, this seems to be shaped like an adult face, not a young one, which further makes the uniform suspect.

Being part of Boss Fight Studio's character kit system, Zoe has very nice articulation. She has a balljointed head and neck; swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists; a balljointed torso; balljointed hips; double-hinged knees; and swivel/hinge ankles. The skirt is a separate piece, but it has slits up the side so the hips can still be used. Now, do those slits exist diegetically as part of this adult woman's schoolgirl cosplay, or do they only exist within our reality, visible as though viewed from a higher dimension? It's up to you!

The figure comes with the usual base and the art card featuring some story on the back, plus some new weapons. Her skirt is a new piece, naturally, and so is the collar on her shirt - it works like a backpack, which is a clever way to hold it in place. She's wearing a police belt that she's picked up somewhere, and has a pistol to fit in the holster. She's also got a katana, because of course she has, and a baseball bat with a separate studded ring around the sweet spot. Now that's a cool accessory! The card art shows her dual-wielding the sword and gun, and also definitely plays up the "sexy schoolgirl" angle more than the actual toy does.

To really be a standout figure, Zoe would have needed an entirely new, child-sized mold. Even a few new pieces to make her shorter than average would have been enough to sell the idea of a teenager, because as it is, she looks like an adult who severely needs to update their wardrobe.

-- 01/11/19

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