Every time this lovely lady shows up, I've mentioned my attraction to the similarly styled Mizuho from Onegai Teacher. That series may be long since over, but Mizuho's successor from Waiting in the Summer has certainly been making a splash. With similar long red hair, glasses, and an equally curvaceous figure, it's no wonder Ichika is almost as popular as her predecessor.
I've had my eye on Alphamax's version of the fiery redhead since they first showed her off, so of course I had to get my hands on her when she hit the shelves. It should go without saying that if you're a fan of her look, or enjoy the previous series as much as I did, she belongs in your collection — but skip past the jump for a closer look!
Figure Name: Ichika Takatsuki
Figure Maker: Alphamax
Retail Price: ¥6,120
Available at: HobbyLink Japan
A simple box for a simple character. Ichika isn't the most complex or detailed figure, and the same holds true for her packaging. The wide open front window gives you a fine look at the product within, and her own appeal is probably enough to sell the figure without a lot of extra pizazz. You may notice that while packaged, her glasses are not in place. I thought nothing of it at the time, but we'll soon see how an innocuous detail becomes the one nightmare of an otherwise lovely figure.
When suddenly, glasses! Removing her from her plastic prison, you can see she's quite the lovely lady, and fortunately once in place her glasses are quite sturdily settled in. I didn't expect it, but once you fit the glasses in place, they slot nicely behind her hair and over her ears, and don't feel like they'll slip off at all.
You can also probably tell how tiny and thin the glasses are, and therein lies the problem. The glasses are not sturdy themselves, nor do they come pre-shaped. Instead, you'll have fun fitting the arms into just the right angle to slide into place, all while crossing your fingers that the miniscule pieces don't snap off in the process of being bent. Alphamax seems to have anticipated this, providing two pairs of glasses, but after snapping the side of one while fitting them on, I was too nervous to even attempt taking them off and trying the second pair.
Luckily, as you can see, her hair is formed in such a way that even with the arm missing, it's not very noticeable at all. Again, even with one arm holding them in place, they still manage to be quite locked in place once you actually get them there, so as long as you can get this far it's a small, if fairly annoying detail for perfectionists.
Of course, with a character like this, I'm sure few people are caring about a detail like her glasses. When it comes to this sort of figure, the figure is what it's all about — and Ichika certainly doesn't disappoint. You won't be finding any waifs here, Ichika has curves in all the right places, perhaps even just shy of to an overly stylized degree. Anime may not be known for its realism, but it is nice to have things at least somewhat based in the realm of logic. Thankfully as voluptuous as Ichika may be, she still stays on the side of believable, if quite "blessed" proportions.
As expected, she looks just as good from behind, which is great if you're like me and really dig a nice back. I am not so sure how I feel about her hair fanning out instead of lying naturally, however. The hair itself looks great, but it just seems slightly odd. I'm assuming we're supposed to think it mimics the normal sea breezes, but that's an effect usually conveyed better in a more dynamic pose overall.
Despite this, I really enjoy Ichika's simple, relaxed demeanor. It certainly suits her character, and Alphamax conveyed her calm well in the way her legs are settled with one tucked beneath her, along with the casual placement of her hand against her foot.
With such focus you may notice the faint remnants of pvc left attached to her hand, but it certainly looks worse in photos than it does in person. Thankfully without the high zoom of a camera lens, it's not something you'll see even under close scrutiny without really looking for it.
In the long run, Ichika ended up getting some great treatment from Alphamax. Other than some minor issues like the forming of her glasses and the mark on her hand, she's certainly a worthy addition to the collection of any fan. If this kind of work keeps up, she's well on her way to reaching the popularity of her similarly red-headed predecessor — if not there already!
[Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for getting us this review sample!]
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