Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: Umi Sonoda -Natsuiro Egao de 1, 2 Jump! version-

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Kotobukiya
Origin Series: Love Live! School Idol Project
Scale: 1/8
Height: Approximately 22cm tall
Original Price: 7,800 Yen


Before I start discussing the package, you might have noticed that the packaging setup is very different than my usual ones, that's because all of the photos that's in this review were actually taken at Team-Oniichan's booth while Ozine Fest 2015 Day 3 was on-going. So anyway, going back to the topic, Natsuiro Umi's box is very lively in design, it definitely screams summer/beach in just one look, the front of the box actually features the art where the figure was based from and still does retain Kotobukiya's design sense even from years back by putting the figure's name beside the art and putting the company logo beneath it. 

What's actually pretty interesting is that the figure highlights are put in one of the sides of the box while the other side gives you a glimpse of the figure rendition. The back does things more uniquely by putting both the artwork and figure rendition together while at the same time they actually provide you a bio of Umi. 


While the original art clearly puts Umi in the anime-series style art, the figure rendition definitely reminds me more of the old MV look of Umi because her face looks way more mature here. The face is definitely lovely, probably the loveliest face among all three 2nd years.

There's a nice flow in her hair and how it was finished looks definitely gorgeous as it actually gives an impression that Umi has soft flowing hair; while the hair deserves praise, looking at the mold finish closely, there are some minor rough work in there but not that big of an issue since it is your typical Kotobukiya quality which sits in a perfect description of "just the right bang for your buck".

Umi's swimsuit (or costume as my friends would define it) is perfectly translated into figure form detail-wise, the finish on this figure looks beautiful as the creases and frills look great, the varying shades of blue in the artwork looks terrific and spot on as well. What really makes it more amazing is that all the translucent parts on her swimsuit are actually finished in translucent plastic as well which definitely gives a lingering impression on the figure.

It's actually weird and amazing at the same time because she does have some kind of flowery detail on her right thigh, I don't know if it's an actual "tattoo" to accompany the outfit or was it supposed to be a "flower" that got stuck on her thigh because she's supposed to have her leg wet given the figure's base but yeah, pretty neat detail.


The base is actually both a hit and a miss for me; it's a hit because it looks good despite just being a plain clear circle with a watery splash; it's perfect for the outfit, at the same time, it's a miss because the base isn't completely flat, if you notice on the photo above, there's another inner circle and this is where the figure actually stands, the bigger circle is actually elevated so this doesn't give Umi a safer balance in times when things get shaky. (like quakes)

Pose and Appeal:

Kotobukiya's Natsuiro Umi definitely has a huge amount of appeal and quite frankly speaking, I LOVE the changes they did from the art because the figure looks so much better and more natural. The face value of this figure is definitely high and definitely supports a number of angles where she still looks good.

Again, the change in her original pose made her look a lot more natural than how it should've been, there's a good amount head + arm coordination in the change and it definitely makes Umi look like she's actually posing for you instead of just being ripped directly from the artwork that can be seen in her box.

Final Thoughts:

It was definitely a pleasure to do an impromptu photoshoot for Natsuiro Umi and I must say, had I not quit on swimsuit figures, I would've definitely got one by now. Of the three Natsuiro 2nd years. Umi definitely looks the best and given that most of her figures are just prize figures so far, this is definitely one to consider; Umi is definitely my favorite from μ's and the fact that I've managed to take enough photos to merit a full review definitely means I loved the figure and thus, I highly recommend it! A big thanks to one of Team Onii-chan's members, Deric, for allowing me to shoot this beauty as well as to my friend, Vhayste, for allowing me to use his armor (for his cosplay) as a makeshift background to complete such a photoshoot. You guys are awesome! 

I give Umi a 4.5 out of 5.

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