Back to figure reviews, and what more appropriate character to feature than Miku Hatsune, that ubiquitous, protean pitchwoman of software products, racing teams, and Toyota automobiles?
Miku Hatsune is, as everyone knows, one of the voice packs of the Vocaloid software system. Over a rather short period of time, she has grown into so much more than just a corporate mascot, and if you haven’t heard of her, chances are you don’t buy many anime-themed products. I haven’t done a Miku review in a while, but besides cheerleader Miku, I’ve got Good Smile Company’s race queen figure on order, and I’ve also got that Love Is War version, which I haven’t yet reviewed. In fact, I’ve never even opened its box. I probably ought to try to do that post before the year is out.
But first, we’ll look at this one, which presents Miku as an irrepressibly effervescent cheerleader, complete with pom-poms, a short skirt, chunky heels and a winning smile. She’s manufactured by Good Smile Company, like most of Miku’s PVC figures, and is sculpted in 1/8 scale. I usually don’t include the base when listing figure heights, but with this figure, it’s an integral part of her design. Overall, this figure is around 23 centimeters tall.
Cheerful Miku was sold through the Good Smile Company online store; specifically, through the Cheerful Japan! section. This is the second product that I’ve purchased directly from GSC, the first being Lacia. However, while Lacia got the premium treatment, being packaged in a slick, specially-designed box with a very nice artbook, Miku gets a fairly straightforward box with no extra goodies. Also, her packaging was pretty terrible; the shipping company (located in Singapore, oddly) threw her in an oversized box with one wadded-up sheet of foam, presumably to provide a pretense of padding. Fortunately, neither Miku’s box nor the figure were damaged, and I guess I don’t really have a beef about the packaging, either, since I can reuse that foam sheet as a light diffuser and I can cut up the box to use as set-building materials.
Sporting a friendly look and a big smile, Miku looks like the very embodiment of glee and enthusiasm. The sculpt is dynamic and energetic, with Miku caught in mid-jump, with her arms splayed out and her back strongly arched. This is the sort of figure that makes you smile when you look at it.
Miku’s hair presents a striking contrast to the linearity of her outstretched arms and the sharp angles of her bent legs. Her twintails sweep inwards in giant circles, nearly touching each other. The dominant direction of their movement is from her upper right to lower left, the opposite of her arms, which provides another contrasting element that creates additional energy.
Miku’s age and body build vary depending on the whims and purpose of whoever is drawing or sculpting her. Here, she’s given a very youthful look that mitigates some of the sex appeal generated by her skimpy outfit. This is a figure that would probably be better described as “cute” rather than “sexy.” Nonetheless, her outfit still is fairly sexy, with a top that is a bit loose, providing a peek under it. She’s wearing the requisite miniskirt, which is actually loose rather than glued down. However, it doesn’t seem to be removable unless one were to cut either it or Miku’s body in half.
Rather than the usual thighhigh socks, Miku wears some unusual sleeves that cover up the middle of her legs. They give her a sporty, youthful look and add a great deal of distinctiveness to her design, but I kinda think I’d like the thighhighs better; her sleeves remind me a bit of capri pants and I don’t really like capri pants. Similarly, she’s wearing some chunky shoes with big heels and toes, and while they also enhance her youthfulness, they look rather like clunky work boots to me rather than athletic shoes. That said, I do think that they work with her design, which is clearly meant to be more cartoonish than starkly realistic. Adding to that perception is her necktie, as expected, and also her hood, which doesn’t seem like it would be large enough to fit over her head.
Miku’s base resembles a giant speaker cone, and she attaches to it via an L-shaped metal standoff. Although she’s suspended in midair, she seems to be stable enough. Miku wears some headphones and I hope they’re of the closed type because she might be deafened if that woofer goes off.
Getting a panty shot is a bit difficult without tipping the figure over, and Miku’s panties aren’t particularly racy or unique. They do have orange waist and legbands, matching the design’s color scheme.
There is a veritable crapload of Miku figures out there, but I think this is one of the best of them all. Admittedly, I’m predisposed from the start to not like Miku’s figures very much just because of their sheer, suffocating quantity, but that said, I really do like this figure. Her sculpt is far more interesting than her initial batch of figures, such as Max Factory’s one, where GSC’s, Max Factory’s, and Volks’s figures all seemed to have the same upright pose, and she’s a lot cuter than Miku Append, who looks a bit like an extraterrestrial. I do not know yet whether I like this figure better than GSC’s Love Is War one – that judgment will have to wait until I get around to unboxing her – but regardless, this is a fine figure in itself, and as I said, it makes me smile when I look at her, and that’s something that is worth appreciating.