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.
I wanted to get this figure but the exchange rate is not in my favour and hasn’t been for quite some time. It’s essentially 1:100 between the Canadian Dollar and Japanese Yen. So the figure would have cost ~$100+ Canadian. I just can’t justify that for such a simple figure. So now I just hope that somehow I manage to find a deal.
Ouch; that is unfortunate (particularly since I recall that the USD-CAD exchange rate was sub-1.0 not long ago). Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t think that this figure is worth more than $100, or even $90 (it comes in a small box and as I recall, I had a bunch of other figures shipping that month, so the shipping cost probably wasn’t that large for me).
I would pay maybe $80 tops really. So I’m priced out of the figure market these days. Good thing I moved on to dolls I guess!
This is a nice little sister figure, the two face option is something great. The gentle smile makes her really sweet , but I also really like her evil looking face, it makes her look strong.
I like simple figures when they have a good quality and a nicely sculpted body (and wear a swimsuit.) The color and texture on the school swimsuit looks fantastic.
Yeah, well loli’s are cute and all, and anime often gives them beautiful butts, but I’m more interested in Older sister, since I’m getting older in rare cases I also turn my head at auntie characters with more developed bodies ;D I’m not that interested in To Love Ru figures, with the last season I came to the conclusion that A: harem can be an annoying genre and B: that they are all too young in appearance. Anyway I preordered Max Factory’s Haruna, she was the first girl I really liked in TLR and was happy that finally a beautiful figure was made.
I’m actually against bride figures, but I won’t get a better Haruna.
I like that ALTER focuses more and more on other scales than 1/8, I’m quite delighted about the announced 1/6 Saber Extra figure.
I like simple figures when they don’t take me half an hour to figure out how to remove their clothing (like the aforementioned porno figure I was planning on photographing). Or when they’re an Alter figure.
I’ll admit, I really like bride figures when they’re wearing nothing but lingerie XD It’s one of those peculiar things that doesn’t show up a lot but I really like it anyway. I guess I don’t really have a ton of preference in terms of harem archetypes, though I do like the quiet characters and the friendly characters, and I still don’t really like the tsundere personality type very much. Watching the third season of High School DxD, I agree that the harem stuff is a little tiresome. That’s one reason I still haven’t gotten very far with watching To Love-Ru Darkness; I already know there’s not going to be any payoff or resolution so I don’t feel that compelled to watch.
She’s cute but I’m kinda with you on the Alter’s recent pricing (actually, they’ve since moved well beyond 10k). I haven’t had an Alter preorder for probably over a year now due in equal parts to their significant price increase and their weird habit of closing preorders a year or more before the actual release date and then underproducing it such that there are very few to none to buy after I’m reminded of its existence again. There are at least a half dozen figures I’d buy right now were they prices fairly [and a couple are] and available.
It’s a great sculpt with expert shading as you point out, but this Mikan figure is also a frustrating example of them picking a far simpler pose that otherwise understates their exceptional finish quality. Still, I wasn’t aware of the alternate head and this variant seems head and shoulders above the typical alt head implementation.
Perhaps I’m finally losing my initial fanboy zeal (my first 10/10 figure was their original Aegis figure which I still love just as much today as when I first got her) but for the first time in….well there’s been the rare tie or two but, now that I think about it, maybe ever….I actually like a competing figure, Max Factory’s Plamya, better than Alter’s and not by a small margin.
If “Blonde Bikini Girl” means that you’re reviewing “Honey Blonde” then I’m very much looking forward to it. Should it mean some other blonde in a bikini….then I guess I’m still very much looking forward to it! (Unless it’s a dude.)
I vaguely recall hearing that Alter had some production issues not long ago, particularly with counterfeiting, and I wonder if their higher prices reflect a higher cost of manufacturing. I guess I feel compelled to buy Mu-12 and Black Heart, despite their high price tags. The funny thing is that I forgot to preorder the Tales of Zestiria girl even though she had a relatively low price, and so I wound up having to order at a US retailer for a much higher cost.
Yeah, it’s a nice figure but it’s still a little difficult to see a 9500 yen figure there, even with the second head. Personally, I would’ve been okay with a cheaper price and just the happy head, being that only one head can be used at a time, anyway. Unless one were creative with turning the second head into some sort of gory prop.
Personally, I really miss back when Alter made a bunch of figures from eroge and less-popular properties. These days it seems like it’s all Kantai Collection and Vocaloid and stuff.
By “Honey Blonde”, do you mean the Eleanor Mercer figure Orchid Seed released way, way back? I’ve got that review buried in the archives somewhere. Nah, I’ve got a bunch of other blonde bikini girl figures stacked up here; even the porno figure I was going to review counts as such. I’ve probably got enough of them for a month’s worth of reviews, actually.
Heh, now that I look at it, yes, that is the exact figure I was talking about. I hadn’t realized it was several years old by now. Odds heavily suggest that, most likely, I was made aware of her by your review. I’ve long since read them all but clearly it’s time for me to make a nostalgia tour through your archives.
Alisha (Tales of Zestiria) was one of the Alter figures I was referring to; despite an acceptable price, she’s just not in stock anywhere. Regarding the two pricier ladies you’re considering, at least they can justify some of their additional cost due to sheer complexity; both of them have a lot going on.
I’ve heard sporadic rumors of various companies/figures moving their production back to Japan to discourage rampant piracy when sending the work to China so it’s likely that Alter’s been doing the same. Unfortunately, of the handful of figures that are fairly solidly confirmed to have been produced in Japan, I’ve notices several that already have bootlegs.
I’m waiting for figure companies to have the wherewithal to embed registered RFIDs into their figures.
Every time I look through this site’s archives, I cringe. At the least I really needed an editor.
I’ve heard the same; I recall either one of their Sora Kasugano figures or their Super Sonico figure (or both) were readily available as bootlegs before they were even released. I’m sure that had to be disconcerting, particularly since it seems bootleg quality has come quite a long way since the early days. I imagine it won’t be much longer before you won’t even need to have access to the manufacturing molds to pirate a figure; instead you’ll be able to just get the CAD drawings and print them in a 3D printer. Maybe you can even do that now.
Nice review! I like the ponytail + smiling expression. Guess I’m just a ponytail kinda guy… The best detail has to be the butt tug. It’s by far my favorite detail from Max’s Mea Kurosaki although that one’s a bit naughtier.
Even though this figure looks fine, it’s still kind of a super Beach Queen. IMO Max Factory pulls off these simpler designs better… probably by just making them really sexy. I dunno.
Thanks! Even though Mikan is arguably one of the more innocent (and certainly younger) characters in the series, I’m sure they felt compelled to put an element of naughtiness into this figure’s design. Yeah, I’d definitely agree with that, and that’s sort of the problem I’ve had with a bunch of swimsuit figures; I mean, I’ve got no problem with anime girls in bikinis but they usually aren’t special in the least. At least they could give them some more revealing swimsuits, like Max Factory’s Misty.
“Perhaps Max Factory will one day do a figure of Mikan in her underwear and a veil â€“ as wrong as that might be”
Looks like you got your wish (and mine too)
Indeed! I kinda wish her underwear were a little more revealing, but I won’t complain.