When I look at Alter’s lineup, there aren’t any figures that I’d consider bad. Oh sure, they’ve got quite a few figures that I don’t particularly care for, but they are supreme with respect to quality, and you can see it in every figure they make. On the flip side, consider Taki Corporation; they don’t have a single figure that I like and their works are distinguished only by their misshapenness. Then take a maker like Kotobukiya; they’ve been around forever and they put out pretty good figures. I can’t think of any that stand out, though; there are a number of Alter figures that I knew I was going to buy as soon as I saw them, but I can’t think of any Kotobukiya figures that I can make the same claim for.
Daiki Kougyou, however, is a different sort. While Alter is consistently superb and Kotobukiya is always solid and Taki is reliably bad, Daiki Kougyou’s figures are all over the place. They’ve crafted masterpieces like the miko version of Kanu Unchou, which can easily go toe to toe with anything Alter’s ever chucked out. And then you have figures like this, where you scratch your head and wonder what they were thinking. Further, while Alter, Taki, and Kotobukiya all tend to adhere closely to the original character designs, Daiki Kougyou often eschews convention and offers its own spin on existing characters. For example, many of their figures are sculpted by Toshirou, whose style has its own inimitable idiosyncrasies, and they have an upcoming figure of Ikkitousen’s Ryomou Shimei as re-imagined by Shunya Yamashita, who of course has an easily-identifiable and distinctive flair. They’ve also made a figure of Sei which is unusual in that they didn’t bother giving her a left arm, and her face looks a little bit like Dr. Julian Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
So when I look at this figure of Haruhi, it’s a bit surprising to me that it comes from Daiki Kougyou. It looks more akin to something that Max Factory or Good Smile Company would make, since it’s a very faithful representation of the character. It’s also an amazing figure, and while I think miko Kanu is the best figure that Daiki Kougyou’s ever made, Haruhi is right up there as well.
Haruhi Suzumiya is, of course, the titular character of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Normally I’d assume everybody who might read this review has watched the show and knows what it’s about, but I’d be incorrect on that score, since I haven’t finished watching the first season myself. On the unlikely chance that anyone reading this doesn’t know who Haruhi is, she is the effervescent, incorrigible leader of the SOS Brigade and the enigmatic epicenter of all the events in the show. All the events that I’ve watched thus far, anyway.
Sculpted in 1/8 scale, she actually looks a bit larger than that. It might be because her head is so large relative to her body, but just eyeballing her, I’d guess that she’s on the upper end of 1/8 scale or the lower end of 1/7 scale.
Haruhi comes with a rather unusual base. She plugs into a huge musical note, an eighth note I guess. The plug protrudes right from her rump so there’s no easy other way to display her. The note is made of plastic and is a bit flimsy, although it’s sturdy enough that it won’t bend unless you’re really putting some force against it (it’d probably break before bending, anyway). The note then goes into the second part of the base, a plain round plastic disc.
The other loose part in the box is Haruhi’s guitar. You push the neck into her left hand; the body balances against her leg and torso. She doesn’t really get a firm grip on it, so I’d recommend not jarring her too much. The guitar has real strings, which is good and bad; it gives it a more realistic appearance but it’s also an annoyance because the strings keep sliding out of the nut. The guitar does look quite awesome; it’s got twenty frets and the tuners, pickups, bridge, and volume knobs all have a chrome-look paint job.
Incidentally, I’m not sure what sort of guitar this is supposed to be. I also wonder why we never see pointy guitars like Ibanezes or Jacksons in anime. Personally, I like guitar designs with a Strat body and a pointy stock.
Haruhi herself looks absolutely incredible. Her face does an excellent job of capturing her lively personality, and the pose is both playful and hot. Her stockings are made of fishnet material rather than being printed on, and the effect is marvelous; there’s some natural shading around the back of her knees and towards her ankles where the material sort of bunches up which looks great. If you’ve got a pantyhose fetish, this is the figure you want.
In terms of overall quality, the sculpt is second to none. Her legs are long and well-proportioned and her ass is dead sexy. Her face lines up perfectly with her arm (I know you all remember Alter’s Hikaru, who was sighting down her gat with the wrong eye), and she’s got a guitar pick clenched between thumb and middle finger, which is a very nice touch. Similarly, the paint job is superb; she’s got a pretty simple color scheme here, but everything looks fine, from the muted tones of her guitar to her signature bright yellow hair ribbon. Daiki Kougyou also really nailed the color of her eyes as well.
I picked up Haruhi from HLJ’s sale and I’m wondering why I didn’t buy her earlier. As you can probably tell, I really like this figure; it’s cute, sexy, unique, an outstanding rendition of Haruhi and a remarkable figure in general.
Another review is up on foo-bar-baz. His pictures are quite brighter than mine. I don’t recall coming across any other reviews of this Haruhi.