The series Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai is an unqualified merchandising success, with scads and scads of licensed stuff hitting the hobby stores this past year. Unsurprisingly, figure makers have jumped right in, with numerous figures of Sena and Yozora either already released or in the works (unfortunately, fans of the other characters are left with much slimmer pickings). Most of those figures are coming from makers like Alphamax, Wave, and Kotobukiya, who are good manufacturers, but I would say that Good Smile Company’s products are generally more consistently high quality. So here comes Good Smile Company; they’ll show all the other makers how to make figures of the Haganai characters … right?
Yozora Mikazuki is one of the main characters of the light novel, manga, and anime series Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, or I Don’t Have Many Friends. The original light novel was illustrated by an artist named Buriki, whose style I’ve liked for a while now, pretty much ever since coming across this image a few years back on Danbooru or one of the other big anime art repositories. Going through his artist tag, I found that much of his recent art centered on a series called Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, which was enough to get me interested in the manga adaptation of the series. The manga – which was not actually illustrated by Buriki – was quite entertaining, and I hoped that the series would get an anime. After Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko got a television series, I felt reasonably confident that Haganai would get one too, though I didn’t expect it to be greenlit quite so quickly.
I enjoyed the Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai anime quite a bit, though in retrospect perhaps a little less now than I initially did. The show is at its best when the force of Sena’s and Yozora’s personalities bounce and rub against each other. Conversely, the show is occasionally encumbered by episodes focusing on the characters’s angst and that’s when the tone of the show really drags. In addition, the pacing is very quick and with so many characters, it doesn’t give all of them enough development (and comedy) time. However, apparently a second season is on the way and with the introductions out of the way, hopefully it’ll focus mostly on the interactions amongst the characters. Hopefully we’ll get the relay novel scene, too.
This figure is manufactured by Good Smile Company in 1/7 scale and stands a bit under 21 centimeters tall. She’s a very simple figure to set up; all that is needed is to stick her on her base. No accessories or castoff options are provided.
From the admittedly-cursory research I performed prior to Yozora’s release, a lot of people do not seem to be enamored by this figure. In particular, the design of her face is not without controversy, and it’s not difficult to see why. Yozora wears sort of an inscrutable expression; it’s difficult to guess whether she’s sad, exasperated, or in just a neutral state. I often like figures where the character’s emotions are left ambiguous but I think a more positively-asserted expression would’ve worked better with Yozora; while Yozora is capable of subtlety, the tone of Haganai is usually anything but subtle.
That said, a quick look at Yozora’s other figures indicates that most other manufacturers aren’t doing anything very different than Good Smile Company’s figure. In fact, the Kotobukiya figure seems to have an almost identical expression. The only exception appears to be Alphamax’s figure, which doesn’t look at all like the character from the anime (for good reason; the product description says that it is based off volume 7 of the light novel).
From some angles Yozora looks a bit angry.
And from other angles she looks quite sad.
Many other figure makers have elected to squeeze the Haganai characters into swimsuits, and Max Factory has done a couple of curious figures of Kobato and Maria in tight catgirl outfits (one wonders if FREEing will take inspiration from that), but Good Smile Company has elected to go with Yozora’s conventional appearance, putting her in a rather nondescript school uniform. It wouldn’t have been my choice, if I had the ability to choose; I think Sena’s and Yozora’s casual outfits are much more interesting. The color scheme – reminiscent of the Zentraedi uniforms from the Macross component of Robotech – is not one that I’m a big fan of; those were my high school’s colors and while I hold no rancor towards my high school, I feel no fondness for it, either.
That said, her outfit is done very well. Slightly different shades of green are used for her blazer and her skirt, giving it a greater sense of realism. The tartan pattern on her skirt is similarly realistic, and its complexity can be contrasted with Plum’s figure of Alisa, which features a much more simplified design.
And though I may not be a big fan of the colors, I really cannot hate on a skirt this short.
All in all, I like this figure but it’s far from a highlight of my collection. It’s sound in terms of manufacturing quality, it offers a reasonably accurate likeness of the character, and it is effective in conveying Yozora’s complex yet fragile psyche. Some figures you buy because you love them, and some figures you buy because you like the character. For me, this figure falls in the latter category; I bought this figure more because of my fondness for Yozora (though she is not my favorite character) and for the show and less because I was excited by the figure itself. Perhaps in the future, a different manufacturer will make a more definitive version of Yozora but for now, this will do.
For another review of Yozora, check out Neath Grim.
The success of Haganai and Denpa Onna has really elevated Buriki’s profile in the past year. Unsurprisingly, his distinctive style has spawned a host of imitations – such as in this eroge. Watch the intro video and tell me that it’s a coincidence.