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Hello Tomopop, I've returned for another figure review! Actually, I had planned to post this review months ago, but of course, there were delays with the release. In any case, I was very excited about this figure. Having largely moved on from figure collecting, I made an exception on this purchase because of my great admiration for Range Murata. So how did this figure pan out? Let's take a look!

As a warning, this review is for a slightly NSFW loli figure. If you're offended by potential loli sexualization, then this is probably not your cup of tea.

The packaging



This figure stands out in a lot of ways and the box is one of the big ones. The packaging has a modern, minimalist design with very bold colors that highlight the text. The large space given to the figure's window box really draws the eye and doesn't have to fight with any distracting elements.

The back portion doesn't break away too much from the usual, but does feature promotional images in large rounded squares that continue the modern look. I really like the side windows they employed here. Although they don't provide as clear a look into the box as other designs, it does add a stylish touch and creates some cool shadows under light.



Pretty standard top and bottom. For the front window, I liked that the plastic cage had a hole cut out to give a clear view of the face. It's always a pain when you're trying to get a good look into the box or taking a nice picture, but the darn reflections get in the way.

All in all, this box is definitely a keeper.

Opening stuff up

If you've opened one figure, you've opened them all. There's a bit of tape holding the top flap down and more tape on the plastic cage. The plastic cage actually had a lot more tape than I expected, something like 8 pieces on my cage all around.

Once you get the cage open, you have three major pieces. The actual figure, the scarf, and the red chair. The chair comes in its own smaller cage that's held down with tape. I actually only needed to cut one side for this one as the other piece of tape can act as a hinge, which makes it easier for you to repackage it in the future.

With the cage out, you'll see that the inside of the box can come out and act as a backdrop for your photos, if you want. I decided to give it a whirl and tied the sides together with some tape.

Although I kind of wish that they'd used grid windows instead of big squares, the backdrop works adequately for this particular figure (and likely others). The backdrop is somewhat reflective, which gives you some nice diffused light coming back to fill out shadows in your figure. These reflections end up adding color to the neutral backdrop, which lets it adapt easily to any figure you stick in there.

Now I want to talk about the base. Because the base is sexy. I love this base. It's so simple and the colors just pop out. Unfortunately, this means that it's a crazy fingerprint magnet and you'll get smudges from your finger oil just by handling it. Still, since it's a black base, it's not very noticeable unless you're looking closely. And I still commend Alter for making a base that fits so well with the rest of the figure.

Assembly

Inside the box, there are some instructions on how to assemble the figure (mine were hidden behind the inner backdrop piece). Even without them though, you should be able to get your figure up and running.

There are two pegs that connect your figure to the base. Just line the boot up and give it a push. Alter's quality control seemed to have worked out for me as the pegs weren't loose like some of my other figures. It required a bit of force, but even after multiple detachments, the fit was very snug.

If you want to put the scarf on, you'll have to pull the head off. It might require some force, but it should loosen a bit after you pull it off for the first time. Because this figure has a head piece and pretty detailed hair, I had to fumble around a bit to find some purchase with my fingers.

Now the scarf is pretty straightforward. You can look at the promotion pictures on your box to make sure you're getting it right, but the way the scarf is shaped should be enough for you to figure out how it should be placed on your figure. There are some indents for the scarf to rest nicely on her shoulders and an indent on the top to give some room for her chin.

For my figure, there was a nice tactile snap to tell me I had the head back in properly when using the scarf.

Details

One aspect that makes Range Murata's character designs very distinctive is that he usually uses minimalist fashion with lots of small details to keep your eye entertained. Could you call it tasteful sexualization? Perhaps. Or maybe it's just loli bait. In either case, the vibrant color scheme with splashes of orange and purple against light skin, white bikini, and black leather is certainly eye-catching.

Here we see Alter just being awesome at what they do. With what's essentially blank canvases of vibrant colors, these small pieces stick out like sore thumbs. With Alter's careful attention to details, rather than being eyesores, the small pieces just elevate the rest of the figure to a higher plane. Nice work was also done with the paint to give strong texture to the pieces such as the silvery metal and the wool scarf. It's great to see because another trait of Range Murata is a high degree of realism in textures and material detail.



The boots and gloves are amazing to look at on their own. Each teeth of the zippers is cleanly sculpted and we have a modern shape for the slider. The leather has plenty of shiny buckles to contrast with all the black. And you can even see the stitching of leather on the gloves and boots.

Of course we also have the great chair to look at. Aside from its very clean, geometric shape, we also have lots of little detail in the metal leggings and support. The support in the bottom is actually a little flexible, as it probably would be in the actual chair. The chair is actually interesting because the back two legs are slanted compared to the front legs. I want to say this is to provide more support to the back of the chair, where all the weight goes, but I'm no expert at this stuff.



Everywhere you look on this figure, there's some sort of small detailing that really impresses. With the scarf off, you can see the collar on the Muse's neck and the metal piece on the back of the bikini.

 

And of course, what's the point of having skimpy clothes on a figure without some cleavage. Bouncy, round cleavage.

Even the butt has some nice detailing! Look at those circle patterns on the bottom piece.

Overall Evaluation

But in the end, the parts aren't what really matter. It's what the figure as a whole looks like. And boy, does it look great.

With a relatively dynamic pose, plenty of elements and small detailing to keep your eye entertained, the Muse of Range Murata is gorgeous to look at from any angle.

Being a 1/6 scale, the Muse takes up a good amount of space and commands a lot of attention in your collection. It's not so tall heightwise, but the pose along with just the general filled-outness of Murata's designs means this figure will just feel more substantial than other figures.



Here's a comparison of arms between 1/7 Menma and 1/6 Muse. I know Menma's a slender girl, but this really was the first time that the sort of "anorexic" quality of the majority of bishoujo figures really became noticeable to me.

If there was a con to this figure, I would say it'd be the face. For some reason, my reaction to the face changes frequently. Sometimes I think it looks too flat and long but other times it just feels right. I'm not sure what exactly is causing it; it seems independent of angle or lighting. But it's a minor impediment that I'm hoping will go away with time.

But when you just get down to it, the 1/6 JC.com Muse of Range Murata by Alter is an amazing figure in so many ways. It's certainly worth every penny it cost and will bring glory to any figure collection out there. Truly outstanding work by Alter.









http://www.neverwet.com/

I'm wondering how hydrophobic coatings affect the paint on figures. It seems that on glass, it leaves a frosted residue, so perhaps it may not be suitable after all.

But a clear coat is on the way...if it was applicable, I think this would make figure care a bit easier. Since dust gets swept away by the repelled water, it would be an easy way of getting all the nooks and crannies in your cleaning. Also, I'm going to assume it'd provide some protection against moisture in humid areas.

What do you guys think? If this product could apply to figures, would you consider buying it?







wilda
2:28 AM on 10.01.2012

"Knight" Miku to be exact lol. I feel pretty stupid for not having switched Saber's body with more heads over the past 2 years or so that I've had her. I tried using lens flares this time, which was pretty difficult as my flashlight's light was so weak that I had to constantly reposition my other lighting, not to mention that I had to hold the camera with one hand. need to get a stronger flashlight for more impressive flares...









On another note, although I haven't had much time lately, I've been wanting to get more practice in making photostories. To make it a bit more community-inclusive, does anyone have any particular topic/theme/genre that they'd be interested in reading?








My entry for this month...cutting it pretty close. This time, I thought I could focus on getting my image count down. It's still over 50 pictures, but I think that's progress! But...looks like the length is still around the same orz.



Once upon a time, there was a girl and a princess who became the best of friends. They were inseparable, like long-lost sisters that fate had finally brought together. The girl introduced the princess to all of her friends and they played in the fields underneath blue skies and warm, golden light. The princess brought the girl to her castle, where the scholars taught them how to read and write and why dragons didn't like pickles. Every day was fun and rose-colored, an endless dream that tickled their hearts.

But then, calamity struck. An envious witch cursed the princess, sealing away her smile and laughter. The devastated king forbid the princess from leaving the castle and kept her under constant guard within its stone walls. Magicians, sages, heroes, and doctors were brought to the castle, but none could find a way to restore the princess's smile. Refusing to give up, the king offered any one wish within his power to grant should anyone be able to make his daughter smile and laugh again.

And so, the royal Joke competition came into being, drawing in thousands of comedians across the kingdom in hopes of one day breaking the witch's curse.

The contest still continues to this day.



"Did you ever hear about the Red Indian chief, Running Water? He-"

"What is a Red Indian chief?"

"Eh...? Uh...it's the leader of a Native American tribe..."

"...I see. I'm sorry for my interruption. Please continue."

"Oh...no...it's of no consequence, your Highness. Well...so the Red Indian chief...uhm...He had two sons...one was called 'Hot' and the other called 'Cold'..."



"I see. The Red Indian chief is aptly named. I'm sure being involved in such a terrible joke has left him a weeping, broken man."

"...Eh...huh!? It wasn't that ba-"



"...Ow."



"Uwah...they don't hold back with that do they?"

"Well of course. It is called the Hand of Punishment. If your joke fails, then you get hit with something that could knock out an elephant! According to the rules, you can continue saying jokes as long as you're standing, but the Hand of Punishment's never left anyone on their feet."

"What did the lawyer name her daughter?"

"Sue?"

"Yeah, how'd you kno-"



"...I can see why."

"Speaking of which, you look pretty serious about this. A suit of armor, huh? I don't know how it'll stand up to the Hand of Punishment but it's good effort..."

"Oh, no. I received this from my teacher. It's kind of like a uniform."

"Really? And here I thought you were a suitor. You look like you could be a knight."



"A suitor? No, no, no. I'm a girl after all."

"You'd be surprised. The princess is pretty popular with girls too."

"Eh...? Who would be the king then?"

"The world's moving on, you know? There's talk about a new system called democracy, where everyone gets to elect officials and vote on issues concerning the state. Pretty soon, we won't have a king."

*silence*



"WAHAHAHA!!!"

"Oh, that's a good one. You should use that in the contest."

"No way! The princess is too sophisticated for absurdist humor!"

"If the next contestant would please come forward-"

"Princess! It is an honor to be at your feet. Today, I have a joke that I have crafted carefully and lovingly for over twenty years! It is guaranteed to make you laugh until you turn blue! So, your Highness, once I have broken that accursed witch's spell on you, I have only one humble request: please become mine!"

"Duly noted. Now, if you would please start."



"Wow...even Snowmen want to marry the princess."

"Like I said, you'd be surprised. It's not like there are any other princesses around this entire kingdom."

(thought) You've really grown, Inori.

"Very well! This is my joke! Prepare to explode into stitches!"



"Actually, I'm not just an ordinary snowman. I'm a snowMAN!"



"..."

"Disgusting. Please die."



"...I think the Hand was too lenient that time."

"He had guts, I'll give him that."

"Guts for thinking that someone like him could marry a princess..."

"Well...I mean, there's always a chance..."

"Huh? What are you talking abou-"



"Oho..."

"...What?"

"Looks like someone else here is a dreamer too."

"I-I don't know what you're talking about."

"Since when?"

"...Shut up."

"Oh, you're so cute, you little lovesick puppy!"

"I-It's not like that, ok!? I mean...since this contest is open to anyone, I thought I'd give it a try but normally I wouldn't even think about it cause she's the princess you know? I mean, there's no way the princess would go for a guy like me, I mean...it's just wishful thinking, I'm doing this on a whim, it's not like I have real expectations...I want to dig a hole and die now..."

"Haha, ok, ok. Well, I'll just let you know, I'm rooting for you."

"Thanks, but save the jokes for the stand. I know you have your own wish too."

"Well, I never said I'd root for you to win. Who knows, maybe destiny has some unexpected plans for you two."

"E-Enough about me! What about you? What's your wish?"



"...Me? ...It's nothing special."

"What is it? And don't try to back out on me, I spilled my guts to you (sort of)!"



"...My best friend and I got separated three years ago. We always had fun together...it was almost like we were sisters. Sometimes we got angry at each other and sometimes we couldn't stop laughing together. But it didn't matter how things were. I just didn't want anything to change.

But when it did, there was nothing I could do."



"I knew that there was nothing I could do. Circumstances forced her into solitude. Even if I did something, it would only make things worse."



"But I couldn't accept that. There was no way I could accept that...

So...I made her a promise. I promised that we'd meet again. I promised that when that happened, I'd make up for all the time that'd pass. I'd take her away and show her everything she missed out on, never leaving her side ever again. Next time, I would always protect her, no matter what.

I want the princess to help me fulfill that promise."



"Sniff...that's...that's beautiful..."

"...Huh?"

"D-Damn it! You make me want to surrender! Y-You're unfair!"

"No...that wasn't my intention..."



"As an airplane is about to crash, a female passenger jumps up frantically and announces, "If I'm going to die, I want to die feeling like a woman.""

"She removes all her clothing and asks, "Is there someone on this plane who is man enough to make me feel like a woman?""

"A man stands up, removes his shirt and says, "Here, iron this!""



"Too sexist. Next."

"My mother-in-law fell down a wishing well. I was amazed; I never knew they worked."

"You should be ashamed. Next."

"Slept like a log last night........ Woke up in the fireplace."



"Oh..."

"Ye-Yes, Princess?"

"...I've done that once."

"Next."

"Why did the boy drop his ice cream? Because he was hit by a-"

"Oh, I like the boy in this story."

"...a...a rabbit... A fluffy white rabbit."

"Ahaha, you pansy."



"Now, if the next contestant would please come up..."

"Oh, it's your turn! Break a leg! Err, not literally, I mean, I guess it'll break if you fail, but-"

"I get it. Thanks."



"Before you begin, please tell us what wish you would like to have granted."





"...I guess you don't remember me, do you Inori?"

"Contestant. Your wish?"



"My wish is to have the princess do me one favor."

(thought) ...That's the same thing, you retarded trash. "Very well. Please begin."



(thought) ...You might have forgotten me. And that's natural. It's been three years. But I haven't. I've never forgotten my promise, Inori. And I haven't forgotten you.



(thought) No one else knew, but I do. Your favorite jokes were dry humor. That's why...



"This is my joke."





"HAHAHA, THE DUCK WANTS GRAPES! Why would a duck want grapes!? HAHA!!"

(thought) No...that's not...oh boy.



"That was quite funny."



(thought) No...it wasn't enough?

"I also thought it was quite funny. But, I'm sorry. Rules are rules."





"GAH!"

"No way...Sena got whacked!? But...that was pure gold!"

"Evidently not good enough. Now, if the next contestant would please-"

"WAIT!"



"Wait...I'm not done..."

"Sena...how are you still standing?"

(thought) Heh...those three years weren't wasted after all.

"Wah...what a stubborn low-class girl."

"Shut up and listen to my next joke! Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other si-"



"Excuse me, how many grandkids do you have to even think that's a joke?"

"...A rabbi, a priest, and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them-"



"A baby seal walks into a clu-"



"How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision-"



...

...



"Sena...that's enough, Sena! You've done enough!"



(thought) My legs are like jelly. My vision is blurring. I can't believe I'm thinking straight...

It hurts. Everything hurts. Why am I not dead? I should be dead by now...

Damn it...

Damn it...

I'm out of jokes.

"If you would please present your next joke."

"..."

"Sena..."

(thought) A joke...I need a joke. I can still stand, but I don't have anything to say...



(thought) This is fine, isn't it? You promised her...but it was three years ago. It's not like she remembers you. Even if you do get her to laugh, then what? She's a princess. She's heir to the throne. You think you can justify taking her away? You think you can just do whatever you want with royalty?



"Your next joke, please."

(thought) Shut up. I know. I know! What am I thinking? It doesn't matter if she's a princess! It doesn't matter if she doesn't remember me! I'm her friend!

"I can't...I can't just stop here...even if it's just one more..."

"What?"

(thought) Even if it's just one more! Anything! Just one more!

Inori. Inori.

"INORI!"



"...Listen to me. This is my last joke

...So listen well"



(thought) Ah...

Damn it.



...Damn it.

...

...

...



*Clap clap clap clap*



"Seriously...what the hell? I can't even feel resentful if you look so happy, you lovesick puppy..."



"But man...it's really frustrating losing after everything I said..."



"Sena."

"...Inori."



"...What's with that face?"

"Stupid Sena...you lost."

"That's because you wouldn't laugh, you stupid princess!"

"Well, maybe if your jokes were funnier-"

"Oh my god, I'm going to go crazy! I can't believe I came all the way back here for you!"

"Me either. You spent three years training just to faint in the end."



"You know what, forget my promise! I'm never talking to you again! Stupid Inori! Jerk! Dummy!"

"Sena."

"Retard! Monkeyface! Pink-hair!"

"Sena!"

"What!"

"...Welcome back."

"...That's not getting you off the hook. You know, I'm the one that encouraged your fiancee when he was down! If it wasn't for me, that witch's curse would still be on you."

"Ok, ok. I get it. I'm sorry for making fun of you Sena."

"...That's not good enough."

"Eh...What do you want from me?"

"...

Well, you know I was knocked out during the rest of the competition. I didn't get to hear your fiancee's joke so..."



Tell Me a Joke, Please.








started using my other camera to capture more detail. larger size and a new title eyecatch too. because of the size, this arc is becoming longer than i expected it to be. please bear with me.













Part 2 of the 2-part review of Nendoroids Yuzuriha Inori and Kashiwazaki Sena! Skip down to see the Pros and Cons for Kashiwazaki Sena.



A review of the accessories Sena comes with:

- Three face plates, one happy, one stern, one tearful
- A pair of crossed arms
- A pair of straight, pressed arms
- Two pairs of bent arms
- A hand with controller
- A hand with portable console
- A Playstation 3 (?)
- Television
- Couch
- Television stand
- One sitting lower body
- One bent legs lower body
- One bent arm
- Yozora couch connectors

The Yozora couch connector won't be demonstrated here as I don't own Nendoroid Yozora.



Starting off, we have Sena's standard face and her crossed arms. One arm comes with no hand as that hand is sculpted onto the elbow of the other arm. The two crossed arms fit snugly under her breasts, although you may want to attach them with Sena's head off first.



Sena's tearful face and straight arms pushing into her breasts. The two arms curve so that they can fit against all that "useless meat."



The poses here are pretty much what they are as trying to deviate from the pose shows some unsightly gaps with the way the parts are designed to fit. They are unique poses though, so I can't see much of a benefit with trying to switch things up.



Sena's happy face and her portable console (a PSP?). She comes with a separate hand for the PSP that can be switched out with a hand for the Playstation controller.



The PSP is fairly detailed with the buttons and screen clearly sculpted.



At the top, there's a gold slot that I'm supposing would be for PSP accessories. Even a logo has been sculpted on the back, which I thought was a nice touch for a very tiny accessory.



Sena's most identifying feature is probably the large butterfly hairpin she wears. The sculpt and painting here is very clear and the use of clear plastic makes the hairpin look quite elegant. It attaches on the side of the hair piece and while it does look like it might be removable (probably not), I haven't dared to try.



Unlike Inori, most of Sena is hard PVC, including her long strands of hair. While Sena's hair is well-shaped and has excellent painting, all that hair means her range of motion is pretty limited and putting together her parts can be a hassle.

Sena doesn't have a leg base and her hook base doesn't attach to the back of her hair, like with previous Nendoroid bases. Sena uses a shorter, curved hook that goes underneath her hair. This means that Sena cannot look too high up if you have the stand in, but it doesn't look as bulky when you use it.



Sena's couch is quite the attention-grabber. Taking up about half the box, the couch was so large that I didn't include it in the accessories image. Being so huge, you can easily fit any size Nendoroid onto the couch (two would be very tight, perhaps impossible depending on which Nendoroids you use) and it's also a good fit for figmas.



The television and stand are also great additions, with even some rollers sculpted on the bottom of the stand (gaming on the go, Sena?). There are two shelf spaces in the stand that can hold whatever you can fit into it.



The back of the television is perhaps more impressive than the front. Lots of details here to look at.

I decided to stick the Playstation in the shelf space so it didn't get lost. Nice detail on the Playstation's sculpt also and it fits easily into the shelf space.



Sena also comes with two bent arms and a lower body for her fighting pose!



The lower body can be used to have Sena sit comfortably on the arm of the couch.



Switch Sena's hands out with her controller hand and she can get right on to gaming!



She also comes with another lower body piece for sitting down on the couch. Being a Nendoroid, you have to position Sena at the front of the couch or she'll overbalance and tumble. But I suppose being the gamer she is, this is a prime spot for her.

















And that was Nendoroid Kashiwazaki Sena!

Pros:
Comes with lots of accessories. If you're the bang-for-your-buck kind of collector, then Sena won't disappoint. All those extra parts give you the ability to show off every facet of Sena's character. The butterfly ornament is just really nice too. And there's even some furniture for your other figures to use.

Cons:
With the way the parts are designed, some of them aren't very multi-purpose. Her hair and hook design restrict some movements.