Sometimes I get so caught up with other stuff that I forget there are things in the c-blogs that should be on the front page. This review of Alter's Tainaka Ritsu from K-On!, contributed by community member BakaJon, is definitely one of those, while late (on my part), reviews that really need to be shared!
I'm not a huge K-On! fan or anything, but I can't deny that this is a great piece, and you should click past the jump and check out the great pictures posted here. BakaJon is devoted to his K-On! collection, so it's nice to see the toy being reviewed in the perspective of someone who really loves the character as well as what Alter did with her design in this figure (and by extension, the set for the entire band). Check it out!
Today I was busy cleaning and organizing things on my day off when my doorbell rang! I was so excited because I knew that I had ordered a figurine from AmiAmi recently and it was about time for it to show up! Just as I thought it was Ritsu Tainaka by Alter!
Her box is a brilliant bright orange and due to her and her lovely drum set inside she is quite heavy and large. I had envisioned it to be yellow but orange really fits Ritsu perfectly.
As I opened the box the first thing I noticed was how full it was, everything inside of it was packed tightly with absolutely no wiggle room! Inside were five layers of plastic that protected all of the parts inside, not only were they taped together but they were fastened together with metal wiring too!
As you can see there are a lot of parts to this particular model, not something I am used to seeing in an alter design however I love Ritsu's design and I was excited that everything was built to Alters amazing level of detail. Fortunately for me Alter did provide me with good instructions.
I unpacked her and checked out her base, not bad, it will fit in with the rest of the series. I liked how large this base was, but I wish that it had some way of fixing the drums or her chair or anything to the base itself.
After fully unpacking her I began checking her out. All of the usual Alter trademarks were there, painted fingernails, check, nice attention to folds and details, check.
Ritsu looks very energetic and aggressive from both her front and her backside, so very Ritsu! You can see her under shirt under her uniform here, detail like this is always a nice touch and one that Alter only recently began adding to their figures. Good to see it on Ritsu!
Her face sculpt amazes me, you can really see the energy on her face and how nice and wide open her mouth is, her expression nearly rivals Yui's level of happiness and energy.
I am not sure why but I found myself very drawn to her feet while I was photographing her, I liked the attention to detail on her socks, how you can see the red trim line at the top of them and slight gradients of rich brown on the shoe itself. Also her chair much like her drum set is no slouch when it comes to level of detail.
Speaking of Ritsu's chair, I found it very impressive indeed. As you can see in the picture it has little indentations on it to make it easier for Ritsu to sit on it, as well as making the chair look more believable itself as having been sat on for long practice sessions.
After checking her out for a bit I began working on assembling her drum set and found this little foot pedal, which was highly detailed and very cool in itself.
However then I realized, it can move! This is epic! Details like these make Alter figures shine above the rest to me.
After a little work and fiddling I finally got the drum sets assembled and they looked great! Care to play?
I really really liked how richly the drums were painted with a bright yellow chrome paint.
My only real complaint here is that the snare drum does not have a HTT or a Yamaha logo on it. I may have to try to fix that myself. two of her drums have clear tops and bottoms, at first I thought this was a mistake but a fellow Tomopeep informed me that this was intentional to allow the drums to make different kinds of noises.
Enough of just looking at the drums, Look, Ritsu wants to play them!
One minor nit pick I have though is it was slightly difficult to set everything up as again the base has no obvious anchoring points for the drum set or seat base. Still the pictures speak for themselves, it was worth the effort.
I could go on and on about how the paint is done perfectly, but this is Alter we are talking about, of course it was painted perfectly.
You know you want to play with these drums too. I found it really interesting how they did the drums down to the smallest details like a set of strings attached to the underside of one drum, to the metal clamps that hold the drum arms in place, I could swear they could be turned they looked so realistic.
Finally I will touch on how well they integrated into my collection, those who know me, know I love K-on and own the other four figures in this set, not only that but I recently purchased good smile companies mini K-On! Nendoroids, they do look good together. I found the splash of bright metallic yellow to be a welcome addition to my collection
Here Azusa stole a little too much of the spotlight... But that's okay! I started my K-On! band collection, and my Tomopop account with her after all, we've seen a lot together!
In conclusion I do really like her figure, there were things that stood out to me and impressed me such as the attention to detail on her drums and seat and socks and clothing that went above and beyond what I had expected. Her energy and brightness came across even stronger than i had expected as well. Of course I am a fan of Ritsu, I was thrilled the moment I heard she was announced and pre-ordered her straight away!
Her drums could be a little tedious sometimes and the metal bits of it are a little delicate, they must be handled with care, but this is true for every highly detailed model with small parts. She was more expensive than most models but I do not regret purchasing her one bit. There are very few if any figurines made on this quality level that are of drummers, thus making her very unique.
Really, even if K-On! is not your thing, Alter probably made their coolest K-On! model with this release and if you just like loads and loads of sparkly awesome detail I would suggest you pick this one up if you can.
A few last looks at her before I score her.
Her score is as follows.
Summary on a scale of 1-10
Paint 10 I could see no flaws on her paint job and I really really loved the bright yellow chrome paint finish. Sculpt 9 I was drumming recently, and I looked a lot like her, but less cute. Pose/Emotion 9 Very, very Ritsu, good work! Detail 10 from her to the foot pedal to the drums, every bit is brimming with detail. Concept 7 Nothing special about her concept, she is a K-on girl in an epic band, she will sell. Ease of Assembly 7.5 She has a lot of parts, but they are organized well and she has instructions. Tilt 10
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