The plan was to do a porno figure review but the gods of lighting and set design are fickle. Instead, with the To Love-Ru series getting quite a bit of love from figure makers this year, we’ll take a look at Alter’s Mikan Yuuki. This is the second figure of Mikan that they’ve released; I didn’t get the first, as I generally prefer figures that are standing upright, or at least kneeling. Considering its origins, it is perhaps not as lewd as one might expect, but there’s something to be said for a relatively innocuous figure of a cute anime girl.
Mikan is the sister of Rito Yuuki, the main male protagonist and unwitting harem master of To Love-Ru. She is presented as diligent and mature, keeping their household running smoothly in the absence of their parents. She’s also one of the youngest characters in the series’ central cast, which obviously heightens her appeal amongst a certain segment of the its fanbase.
This figure is manufactured by Alter in 1/7 scale, standing about 20 centimeters in height. Alter figures tend to be on the larger side but Mikan is a slightly-built character and so this figure does appear a bit small. Notably, she’s considerably smaller than Max Factory’s Momo and Mea, and presumably their upcoming Haruna as well, which is a bit of a shame as they would have looked quite nice together. Perhaps Max Factory will one day do a figure of Mikan in her underwear and a veil – as wrong as that might be (the original illustration doesn’t show a veil but it’d be hilarious if they added one).
Incidentally, I seldom comment on the price of figures but I was looking through Hobby Search’s back catalog for Mikan’s release date and I was surprised to see that this figure went for nearly 10,000 yen at release. I didn’t notice her cost as I haven’t bought many figures in recent months; the exchange rate also improved rapidly at the start of this year, making her quite a bit less expensive than she was when I preordered. Nonetheless, I really don’t understand why this figure was priced so high.
That’s not to say that this figure looks bad – far from it, actually. Being an Alter figure, manufacturing quality is top notch. So is the aesthetic appeal, at least for those who like this sort of thing. Me, I don’t really have a huge thing for lolis, but I do like Mikan – more for her personality, oddly enough. Judging strictly on body type, I guess I’d say I like Yui best in that regard, but I’m really not at all a fan of the tsundere archetype, and I guess Nana falls a bit into that category as well.
Mikan’s sunny expression is one of my favorite aspects of this figure. She has a warm smile that, unlike Max Factory’s figures, doesn’t really exude raw sexuality; it’s a nice, friendly look without some of the more peculiar overtones that can only be found in Japanese anime. That said, the completely casual way that she’s clearing a wedgie from her backside does provide a naughty subtext to her affable demeanor.
For those who don’t like smiles, Alter includes an optional head with this expression, in which Mikan seems apprehensive or unimpressed by something. It’s actually a head and collarbone; her head detaches around the boundary of her swimsuit, which keeps the seams to a minimum. It’s a nice touch, and an unexpected one, too; Alter rarely ever provides optional parts, except with some of their more dynamic figures, such as their Nanoha lineup.
The archetypical school swimsuit isn’t one of my favorite outfits, but it’s a pervasive symbol in anime, particularly of youth, and Mikan makes it look good. It’s not at all a complex design, but skillful sculpting and shading give it a highly realistic appearance, avoiding the painted-on look that is commonly seen on anime figures.
Mikan’s hair is more detailed, with her happy face head sporting a ponytail. Individual tresses writhe like tentacles, which looks quite cool.
She wears her hair down on her frowny face head, with a familiar sprig of hair sprouting from her head. Personally, I like both her smile and ponytail so I’m using her default head.
Alter has a reputation for ambition in the design of their products, but Mikan is a fairly simple design; she’s just a friendly young girl in a somewhat boring outfit. I quite like her bright expression, and there’s always that less cheery look for those who prefer frowns with their anime girls. Her contrapposto pose is also very attractive, giving her an appeal that is both subtle and obvious all at once. Overall, this is a very nice figure, though I suppose I would have felt less enthusiastic about it had the exchange rate been 77 yen to the dollar like it was for so long.
I’m not sure if the next review will be a porno figure review or the kickoff of Blonde Bikini Girl week; we’ll see.