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.
I enjoyed the anime quite a bit, however I feel Yozora was by far the weakest link in it. I’m sick to the ass of tsun bullshit characters. Also, I agree with some of the initial reception of this figure saying that at certain angles/lighting, she looks pregnant. Not that pregnancy is a bad thing (not seen a non-ero pregnant figure, though!) just that the sculpt is a bit strange.
But I skipped her because I loathe the character. I did preorder GSC’s Sena, and await her. Also Max Factory’s Kobato and Maria are due this month. They’ll be nice.
Ha! I’m on record as saying that I loathe the tsundere archetype (more accurately, the tsun side, but I don’t really like the implications of the dere side, either; I don’t like seeing female characters being artificially encumbered by a stick shoved up their asses [figuratively, I mean; I’m more of a fan of it in a literal sense], and I don’t like seeing female characters being demeaned by suddenly becoming mush-mouthed, lovestruck weaklings), but I must admit that I am enjoying watching it in MLA Total Eclipse. Those characters want to have Yuuya’s babies so badly.
I had not noticed the pregnancy thing at all – probably partially a consequence of being male – but looking at it, yeah, I can see it in how the way her blouse flares out. It is not something I notice unless I’m looking for it, though. It does seem more obvious here than on another figure I have heard termed pregnant (which would be gangsta-lean Saber. I don’t see it myself, but perhaps that’s because the first time I ever saw the figure was when it was in full castoff mode, and she definitely ain’t pregnant.)
Yeah the show was cool, I really liked the idea behind it with the bunch of friendless teenagers.
For a figure based on a Buriki artstyle there are too few details in her face, where are the rosy cheeks from her illustration ? The area between looks somehow empty like something is missing. A second season might bring new figures of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.
Well, I like the look and detail of her dress even though, the green color appears a bit sad.
Too bad Max Factory didn’t plan to make more figures of that line, like a casual clothes Yozora. I ordered their Maria, because she really looked like in this certain illustration.
A loli in a catsuit, I guess I will burn in hell for sure XD
I don’t think that this figure captures my Image of Yozora in a satisfying way.
I really liked her in this anime, but no if the figure doesn’t come close enough to my Yozora I’d rather have to pass.
The style in this intro video really looks like a shameless copy
Yeah, I liked the show a lot. Maybe the most refreshing thing about it (for me) was that there weren’t really any characters I detested. With those sorts of anime, usually there’s at least one character I loathe (often the lead male character), but I liked pretty much everyone. Except maybe Maria, I guess; she didn’t really interact with anyone else, apart from some cheap jokes with Kobato and a couple of short scenes with Yozora, and I didn’t like her voice much.
It’d be pretty nice if Max Factory took a shot at making figures of Yozora and Sena; they’ve often shown an inclination to make unconventional figures that GSC might not do (like catgirl Kobato and Sena, or the decidedly non-anime-looking Samus figure I’ve got still in its box). If you think Maria in a racy catgirl costume is racy, though, maybe I should review this one dakimakura cover I expect to get in a week or two (and maybe I should review my Kobato dakimakura cover).
It does! Is it not delicious? I ought to see if there’s a demo for the game, it looks neat. Particularly the ero; it is not too hard to imagine Sena swallowing that assemblage of pixels.
Haha yes the main character is mainly a dense idiot in such settings, but Kodaka managed to appear more reliable and self confident.
Well I also have no strong bonds with the Maria character, but as figure alone she was convincing for me, since the Buriki artstyle was very well recreated, I love these eyes and the happy expression. I would have liked to get Kobato as well, but her face is appears so ecchi, I can’t do it ! XD
Oh for a demo the girls seem to have some experience already, I want to play muhaha.
Ecchi! But Kobato is the character who shows the most skin during the show :O It’s only natural that she gets a perverted face.
I should look around for a demo, but I usually only like to play one H-game at a time and Revolver Girl Hammer Lady is coming out really soon. I ought to order that.
I’m probably weird since I’m going to say this but, I like this Yozora figure over the Sena one, and I like Sena a heck lot more than Yozora. Thinking about it though, I think this figure captures how Yozora looks when Kodaka is interacting with any other girl aside from her but more so when Sena is that ‘any other girl’, in particular. Having read up a bit of chapters of volume 7 of the LN, I kinda don’t like Yozora’s overall personality and realistically, just drags on. now. I ordered her and Kobato+Maria (in catsuits) but not a sena one yet. There’s something wrong with me. Anyway, good shots Tier.
I think you’re right that this version does a very good job of conveying Yozora’s personality; it’s not too difficult to look at her and guess that she’s a, well, difficult person with a short temper. Looking at GSC’s Sena figure, I am curious as to why she seems to be running while scowling; is she running to fetch some toilet paper because the lavatory was out of rolls?
I have not read the light novel, but I really like the way Yozora and Sena interact. However, she doesn’t seem to have much of a substantive relationship with any of the other characters, and I felt her relationship with Kodaka seem very forced and more than a bit arbitrary. Sena, in contrast, gets into interesting situations with Kodaka, Kobato, and Yozora, and I think that makes her a much more appealing character. (And, uhh, well, there’s the blonde hair. And the fabulous tits. I do not think it is any coincidence that I’ve seen Sena on way, way more dakimakura covers than Yozora.)
I agree with you so many points. It would’ve been nice if she were in her casual outfit; though I think the school uniform suits her sometimes uptight attitude, if putting her in the casual outfit meant that Sena would be in her causal outfit, then I’d be all for it. Still, I also enjoyed Haganai a lot, and though GSC’s more ambitious figures tend to hog the spotlight, I’m still glad that they’re making simpler figures like Yozora and Makise Kurisu — not every figure needs to be doing midair backflips while costing an arm and a leg.
What do you think of GSC’s Sena, by the way? She’s reasonably priced and probably will be nicely made, but her face looks…constipated. As if she’s running for the toilet. Come to think of it, Yozora is wearing an expression of discomfort, and she’s also kinda pinching her legs — does she need to pee :o?
Yeah, I think the school outfit was going to be the default costume for GSC; GSC always seems to use a character’s most common appearance as a source for their figures, at least for the first one (versus, say, Alter, who still seem to not have made a figure of Saber in her armored blue dress costume).
I like GSC’s Sena, though I’m curious as to why she’s running, and I’m not sure if I am going to get it. I ordered Alphamax’s Sena instead, in part because I thought she looked like the perfect foil to GSC’s Yozora (energetic pose rather than Yozora’s stuffy stance, big sunny smile versus Yozora’s scowl, lots of bare teenaged flesh and prodigious underboob versus Yozora’s formal uniform).
What I find disturbing is that I wrote my earlier speculation about Sena possibly running to fetch toilet paper before reading your comment, and now I am dismayed that possibly our thoughts are closer in accord than I had previously believed. I mean, you’re Canadian; I can’t possibly be thinking like you.
Nice Yozora figure. I agree with some points in your review as well, especially her facial expression. In certain angles, she looks demure and uptight, but from other angles, she may look a bit bored, snobby or jealous. Her pose also looks like she’s leaning against a wall or tree IMO. I also like her school uniform and her long hair. The paint is nice as usual. 🙂
I forgot to ask, but where do you buy your anime figures? Just curious.
I usually buy my figures from Hobby Search. I also buy stuff from Amiami but I’ve always ordered from Hobby Search so that’s who I usually go with. I’ll also get stuff from HLJ if they have a sale going on. Curiously, I’ve only ever bought one figure from Mandarake (that I can recall, anyway).
Oh cool. I browsed through Hobby Search and they have a wide variety of figures/statues. Some of these figures you did reviews on.. are they rare to find?
I’m thinking of buying a Kotobukiya Huntress bishoujo figure. I recently bought two Ame-comi figures, Wonder Woman and Catwoman (blue suit variant). They’re very cool, but I’d love to add Huntress. 🙂
Yeah, some of the older ones are. Quite a few of them, actually; a lot of figures sell out their entire production runs before actually ever hitting stores. Then again, quite a few of them can also be found cheaply at stores like Mandarake.
With Kotobukiya’s stuff, though, I would probably look at North American stores; I don’t know of any stores in Canada, but in the United States, you can get some of Kotobukiya’s stuff quite cheaply. I think Kotobukiya (and Yamato) have their own distributors in the US and so that drops prices; for example, the Bishoujo Huntress figure is $57 at BBTS versus about $74 at Hobby Search, and presumably shipping from the US will be cheaper than shipping from Japan.
Cute figure with great thigh-highs. I like that her facial expression changes with the different angles. Sometimes she looks like she is scowling and sometimes she looks like she is smiling. I don’t really like the shape of her head though.
As for the pregnancy look. It isn’t just the vest that makes her look like that though. Her skirt really helps with the look and it is especially noticeable in pictures 12 and 20. I really like that look too, even though I don’t have the anime pregnancy / pregnancy fetish.
I was scrolling through the pictures and it become apparent to me with shot 11, particularly with how her blouse casts a shadow over her skirt. That said, it’s still not obvious to me and I would not have thought about it had it not been mentioned. I guess my imagination must be becoming much less active as I get older.
also rather her in casual outfit ^^
seems GSC plan to make this figure looks like on the Light novel cover but sure like what you mention about the expression. GSC’s sena also have pose ;ike the LN’s Cover
Casual outfit would’ve been good, especially her big floppy hat. I like anime characters with big hats.
I know this will probably sound CRRRRRRRAAAAZY, but it seems that a lot of GSC’s newer sculpts have been…well…bland. Their Madoka Magica line is painfully dull to look at, and this is coming from someone who adores the show. Yozora here is pretty boring, and Sena’s figure is perplexing. That face and pose do not match up. AT ALL.
Ah, wait. Scratch that. GSC’s non-___gatari, non-Fate and non-Vocaloid figures have been dull. But I guess that’s because those three lines are the big money makers right now, and thus have more leisure room for experimentation and dynamic poses.
Anyway, on to Yozora. It’s strange. She’s a good looking well made figure…but there’s just nothing really exciting about her to make her stand out from the staggering amount of Japanese schoolgirls in thigh high stockings. Not even her scowl can save her, thanks to pouty tsunderes…tsunderi…tsunderees….tsundere girls being the IT THING nowadays.
I dunno. Maybe I’m just being a jaded old sourpuss.
I don’t think that sounds crazy; actually, I’ve thought the same thing about Alter recently. They haven’t released or shown anything that I’ve been really excited about for a while, and I wasn’t too thrilled by anything they showed at Wonder Festival the other month.
Though of course, I can’t really judge GSC since I haven’t yet taken that bike Saber figure out of its box yet.
Yeah, this is a figure where I bought it because I really liked the character and the series that she comes from (well, she’s my fourth-favorite female character from the series but I still liked her). I would not have paid any attention to her had I not known who she was. (She kinda reminds me a bit of the two Candy Boy figures GSC released a year or two ago; I didn’t know anything about the characters so I did not buy them. They were pretty cute figures, though.)
I’ve felt pretty old recently as well (well, okay, I am old, compared to the average anime fan). I’ve noticed that I’m more frequently feeling that I’m too old to be watching anime, that I’m getting older while anime is getting, well, dumber and less mature. I’ve already decided that I’m not going to be watching any non-hentai anime with the phrases “otou-san” or “onee-chan” in its title.
I definitely know that feel. I’ve largely turned away from anime due to it getting harder and harder to find a show that can hold my interest. My younger friends ADORED Panty & Stocking but I just felt old and annoyed watching it.
I’ve found some solace in manga, at least. Heck, recently I just read Sakuran and Nana to Kaoru. Sakuran’s a great counterpart to Memoirs of a Geisha. It’s like a much more cynical take on the same basic concept, though this one focuses on oiran as opposed to geisha. And it’s got a lot more sex. I ain’t complainin’.
Then there’s Nana to Kaoru, which I was expecting to be mindless smut but was surprised when it ended up being a surprisingly realistic and emotional portrayal of people getting into BDSM.
Manga! It’s where it’s at! At least for us older fans. I guess…
Anyway, you’re right about Alter. They have seemed a lot less ambitious lately. Their stuff still looks good (I can’t wait for Kongiku and Stocking) but most of their new stuff is just “characters standing there looking pretty”. I’ve got enough of that in my collection…I need more stuff like their Honmei or Mercedes.
I was excited by the summer anime season but many of the shows aren’t quite as good as I had hoped. Total Eclipse seems to be a harem show with a huge dose of race-baiting and bigotry tossed in. So, I Can’t Fuck Her! (not the most common translation, admittedly, but I think it’s the best one) seems to be about the lead girl getting tossed around until she activates her limit break and beats the monster of the week. I still like Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere, but I like it more because of its quirks rather than its storyline. I haven’t seen Sword Art Online, and it seems to be the hot new show (judging by how much doujinshi it got at C82), but I have a tough time watching anything based on an MMO; I know I’d keep thinking things like “Hit it like you mean it!” or “Train to zone!”
That said, I can’t wait for episode 2 of Shoujo Senki Brain Jacker. It’s going to be amazing.
I don’t read a lot of manga but when I do, I’ve found that I often prefer the manga to the anime. Particularly in the case of Ikkitousen; I really liked Battle Vixens, despite the butchery inflicted on the translation in the early volumes, but I don’t care much for the slapstick comedy of its various anime series. The characters in the manga still get their clothes shredded, but they still have a level of dignity and gravity that the anime’s characters are not given.
Her face has different expressions depending on the figure’s orientation or viewer’s perception. Anyways, she’s well made as expected from gsc, but I guess only the fans of the show will most likely get her. The alphamax figure is more promising, although in a swimsuit outfit, she has a very unique expression along with blushes and short hair. So far, only Yozora and Sena has a ton of figure renditions. How I wish we could also have Yukimura or Rika as well to complete the club. Oh and Maria’s voice is lovely.
Having watched the anime, the story is good and relaxing. Also, there are things that we ourselves; could relate to them, that’s why I liked the anime somewhat. About the eroge, I think the designs are made by buriki himself, so this could be his so-called hidden ero stash.
Gee, I never responded to this comment. Now I feel bad about that. Yeah, I’d like to see the other club members get figures; especially Rika. Kobato too – I seem to remember that she joined the club in the manga though I don’t remember if she actually did so in the anime. I’m kinda tempted by that one where she’s in the cat ears and leotard outfit with the drugged look on her face.
About that VN you mentioned above, I read on the internets that Yoshihiro WATANABE (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=1369), haganai anime character designer, was rumored to be the person responsible for the buriki look-alike designs. That’s one possibility at least.
Ah, that would make sense. The artwork for Aorio is credited to someone by the name of Moo Do Dan, though looking at some of his/her/their artwork on Danbooru shows some really disparate styles; some of his earlier work looks a lot like some of the character designs in Sora no Otoshimono, and the ANN profile shows that he worked on that show as well.