I’m not a big fan of swimsuit figures because I’ve always thought they were cheap gimmick, skimping on clothing design yet simulating primal urges of beasty fanboys. But in the end, I realised the truth – I am a beasty fanboy. While the actual price of the orange variant is the same as the white version, the rarity adds quite a bit to the price so I ended up paying about 30 bucks more for the colour change, which turned out to be a great move actually. This 1/8 figure is produced by Chara-ani and had an origninal price of 4800 yen (both orange and white versions).
The photoshoot turned out brilliantly. You know why a styrofoam board makes a good reflector? Cos it can also double up as a floating platform for Yurika! It was a bit hard trying not to get the camera swimming too. I think I should invest in an underwater casing lol. This time, the sun was just right, with a gentle warm light thanks to some rainfall earlier. As Siam Shade sang, "Kumori nochi Hare" (a good song too). The rain also drove away pesky children who’ll all the frequently come up and ask, "Why are you playing with dolls?" or "EEww nekkid dolls!"
The water also allowed for more creative angles and effects, plus acted as a natural reflector. Best of all, it was cooling so I didn’t have to sweat under the hot sun lol.
Check out the following three best pictures mini-gallery. I had a hard time picking out three best, because all of the ones here are good. So I went for three which have varied composition and angle. Btw I decided to stop using that Lightbox plugin java overlay thingy which blackens the screen and magnifies the pic. It was just too slow. If anyone thinks it’s good, just leave a comment.
This picture captures Yurika coming out of the pool, still soaking wet. She looks like she’s ruffling her hair to get rid of excess water, which makes for a very dynamic picture indeed.
This picture creates the illusionary effect of Yurika seemingly being life-sized. The water looks like it’s up to her waist. With the pool tile lines warping due to the macro mode, they lead into the background for some great sense of depth.
All three pictures make Yurika look lifesized actually. Who says swimming pools are for swimming only? Before I commenced this shoot, I checked up on the composition of swimming pool water to make sure there weren’t any compounds in it that would degrade PVC and paint. Beside water, which may rust the screw on her base, I doubt there are any dangers. I made sure to not submerge her more than a few seconds and to rinse off the poolwater with clean potable water straightaway, following up with pat and air drying with a soft towel.
And we have some swimming pictures.
The surface tension of water actually betrays the scale of this figure.
I never really liked Yurika at all, I mean the character. In Nadesico, my favourite, one and only, was Hoshino Ruri (like so many other people) but I don’t own a single figurine of her. But this Yurika figurine was pretty nice, in the promo pics she didn’t look special at all but when I saw Dannychoo’s gallery with the orange version, I was interested. And Urban Attic happened to have it, so I got her. I didn’t loan this, this one is MINE MINE MINE.
The character designer for Nadesico was Gotou Keiji (and his wife), who also did my favourite Gatekeepers and other anime including Kiddy Grade, Real Bout High School and Utakata. He has a style that stressed roundedness, both in face shape and especially the eyes and pupils. His girls all have wonderful figures with long slim legs and supremely perfect proportions. Nothing’s too big or small. The eyes are the most prominent part of his style though and you can tell straightaway it’s his work thanks to the almost circular shape.
This 19.5 cm tall figure has the usually conservatively-uniformed Yurika shedding her workclothes for a nice orange bikini. I’mno bikini expert, but this has ribbons on the side of her bottom and in between the cups, plus the Nadesico logo printed on her left cup. The logo is detailed and sharp and you can make out the words on it quite clearly. The orange is graduated with paler shades on protruding areas, such as the apex of the breasts and buttcheeks and this makes for a great sense of 3D quality. Her skintone is done just right. With ample toning on her cleavage, knees, torso and other areas, she looks alive. As for flaws, there are a couple of injection scars on her thighs and calves which are well-hidden but still visible if you really look hard. No issue. A bigger one would be a seamline running from her left armpit down the side of her breast. This one is slightly more prominent.
The hair, a brilliant blue, is totally beautiful. It’s dynamic, flowing and swirling naturally with lots of line details and subtle white shading for a glowing look. The sculpt and mould is crisp and sharp for a high-quality appearance, unlike other figures with stumpy bangs that look like plasticine dolls. The blue goes very well with her orange bikini. While the original white bikini does match the blue as well, I much prefer the contrast of orange.
Recently, through examining garage kit parts pictures, I’ve come to understand the construction of figures better. Yurika is a 11-piece figure, 12 including the base – fringe, main hair piece, face, torso, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg, 3 x ribbons and base. A rather simple design but an effective one, with the connecting seams all lying on places where a line would be natural, such as her bikini strap. As usual, the head seam is inevitable. Most of the weight is supported by her standing leg and hence a screw keeps her straight and secured to the base. For additional support, her right foot is also pegged to the base.
Yurika’s pose is very natural and fitting of a swimsuit-clad female. She’s standing straight, with back slightly arched and chest out, adding a slight emphasis on her nice mammaries. The leg crossing is an elegant female posture that says a lot about her good upbringing while her more open and raised arms are a great contrast, elaborating on her extra-verted personality. The arm posture also brings out the titties better and even shows the armpits, so often neglected. They also make for better sideboob shots.
Can Gotou Keiji’s fab face designs be brought to miniature life through PVC? Charani succeeded, that’s for sure. They stayed faithful to his eye designs, keeping them large and rounded. Her nose is prominently sharp and the mouth an open smile created by an incision deep enough to cast shadows. Normally large smiles are detesably ugly but Yurika’s looks so correct that you can’t imagine the figure with any other expression.
The butt and titties are hot. Completely pert, full and awesome. It’s sad but only the cream of the real-life women crop have these but they can be purchased for just 4800 yen. OMG. Figures 1: Women 0.
So this is quite the awesome figure. It’s quite back-to-basics stuff, with no gimmicks and shows just how solid basic design, great use of colour, good pick of posture and facial expression and good sculpting can go a long way to making a perfect figure.