This might be the first figure I bought that was released on time and was delivered in time…for the season.
I’ve talked about how watching anime is a seasonal thing–the right show gets better when watched during the right time of the year. Maybe this is why I sang 2 summer-themed songs during the last time I went to karaoke. Because it’s right about now that I am sufficiently “on the other side of the fence” and grass sure as hell was greener during summer. Nothing against Autumn and near-freezing temperatures–after all I still prefer cool weather over warm weather–but this thermal gap…moe-ness is simply irresistible. Coming from a self-professed Nayuki fan, it’s a routine I can get used to. You know, the “wake me up when we go to school since I sleep through 50 alarm clocks” routine.
Lamp Miku, on the other hand, is routine if you were collecting those pop-ish and stylish Miku figures that seem to come out every other month or something. Or if you were just collecting bishoujo figures with translucent hair made out of PVC. It’s pretty neat, this thing. What’s also kind of neat is the Brilliant Stage Makoto Kikuchi. It’s like they finally nailed one. I’ve seen a lot of iM@S figures over the past couple years and so few of them got it right. It’s all about appreciating that Bamco-style uncanny valley (best seen in screen caps from the PS3 games, or, say, from that All For One game they just announced) and yet putting enough details in to capture the spirit behind the figure. It’s like translating 3DCG into 2D and recapturing it in 3D again. It’s no wonder that so few got it right, given how it is excessively meta and convoluted.
Man, if they hand VampKyun nendos, Lamp Miku’s backdrop would make an awesome stand-in.
Some pictures after the jump, both Makoto-kun and Miku:
It’s all about the face. Makoto’s face is pretty simple, it’s not complicated like Ami/Mami/Iori/Hibiki or even Haruka and needless to say Ritsuko. I think it’s all about the mouth and nose. In a photograph the nose is really defined by light, since it’s just a plastic nub without that much highlighting. In fact it’s best defined in plain sight by the light it catches on one side of it. Which is why it’s not easy to photograph her in the dark. Brilliant Stage, eh.
The mouth is actually the most defining piece. The figure naturally tilts forward by her posture, and it is as if she is looking down while peeking up a bit. However if you angle your LOS below her nose, or even up somewhat, the mouth is a very defining feature that takes foreground in her facial expression. It’s entirely different when you look up at her face rather than look down at her face.
Granted that isn’t unusual in bishoujo figures because they tend to have relatively mild expressions where subtlety does the talking, and by omitting or changing those subtle aspects via lighting or framing you can use the same face to convey very different emotions. This one just does a better job than most. My favorite angle is about 40 degrees from her left side, eye level at around her tummy, and look up at her right eye from around her hand. It’s got her signature determined look but without coming across as forced. It’s a very mild look for something like that.
And Brilliant Stage outfits are a distinct Spring theme, unlike Lamp Miku.
You can see the “back” of the base. Some nice looking fence as if it’s out of a tabletop zombie game. Of course, you’re suppose to set it up with her facing the other way. Lamp Miku’s only moving part is her head, which rotates horizontally on the plane for 360 degrees. Well, assuming her hair doesn’t get in the way.
The original illustration shows her butt prominently. This might be my only figure that can do the standard back twist pose. I wonder how hard it is to add LEDs to her lights. Something to brighten up that All Hallow’s Eve.
PS. I mean, does this mean Madoka Rebellion should air in the Spring? It’s a very Autumn-feely movie I would imagine.