Figure Name: Portrait of Pirates Shirahoshi
Figure Maker: Megahouse
Retail/List Price: ¥8,360
Available at: HobbyLink Japan
Like a previous review of mine, you notice Shirahoshi's size even before you take her out of the box. This is one big fish, and even though she's not to scale Megahouse didn't take the easy way out by making something tiny. As for the box itself, even though it features no art it's a pretty decent design. The bright ocean-blue coloring and P.O.P. logo are very fitting for both One Piece and a mermaid alike, so I'll forgive them for only including pictures of the figure itself on the panels.
Removing our catch from the box, she's heavy. I'd say even heavier than the aforementioned Tamaki, which is no small feat. Her base is sturdy and solid, and she fits nicely in the indentation atop it, though there are no pegs to keep her in place. The tiny little included Luffy has no peg either, however, which is a minor disappointment. He balances in her hand well enough if you don't move ever, but as even a stiff breeze will send him toppling, you'll either want to have some solid shelves or just leave him somewhere else. Given the amount of movement she'll go through for photos, this is the last Luffy you'll see paired up with her.
I'd be remiss if I didn't at least take a shot of him though, even as difficult as it was to get a little thing in perfect focus. He's very detailed for being so small, and is a bit reminiscent of Takara Tomy's Pokemon Zukan line, highly detailed 1/40 Scale Pokemon gashapon. It was difficult to grab a shot of, but Megahouse even managed the scar on his face as well as a trademark smirk, ending up with a thimble-sized figure more true-to-character than some normal-scale figures.
With Luffy out of the way, we can get a better look at Shirahoshi's face, and I have to say, it's absolutely lovely. As weird as One Piece can get, when Oda tries, he can make some darn fine looking ladies, and Shirahoshi is definitely a testament to the fact. Her art appealed to me from the minute I saw her, and Megahouse captured the expressions I've seen from her to a tee. I can't say whether it suits her personality, but for straight-up appeal she's quite pretty. Oda's trademark wide eyes and somewhat thinner lips are noticeable, but on Shirahoshi they suit her well, looking more delicate than many of the series' characters. I particularly like the tiniest bit of messy bangs over one eye.
Speaking of her hair, I certainly can't go without giving such a critical part of the figure a look! And what hair it is! Sculpted in a wild, thick mass, Megahouse fortunately made the right decision to separate into numerous strands before going very far down her back. While it might be a bit "solid" for some, it's thankfully tempered by the nice gradient work at the tips, fading into lighter pink translucence that breaks up some of the monotone look. It's not the best hair I've seen, but it's fitting enough for the style, and Shirahoshi's coral pink coloring is attractive on its own as well.
Megahouse didn't skip out on details, however, though there may be some curious choices. Shirahoshi's accessories are in place and true to source for the most part, with some carefully crafted clam shell earrings and her fish-shaped hairpin. One Piece fans may correct me, but I seem to recall her pin being gold like her top. Despite this, Megahouse decided to give it a translucent red look, though in all honesty I like the red much better -- even if it does make her look like she's wearing a Swedish Fish, and about the same size as one!
The detailing continues as we move down, with some decently done beading around her hips and nicely folded fabric. I'm not entirely sure what she's covering given, you know, the tail. But all the same when it comes to merely fashion sense, it definitely looks nice, with parts of the fabric exhibiting the same translucence as elsewhere to mimic a sheer silk feel.
The big stand out though -- in more ways than one -- is the effort Megahouse put into her tail! It shouldn't be surprising given being such a major part of the character, but I'm still pleasantly startled to see the scale work on her tail isn't skimped on in the least. Megahouse could have gone for a minor paint job, but nope. Every single scale is sculpted individually, providing a very realistic look and feel. It's helped by the shimmery coloring done as well, and I've had a few people a bit unnerved by the "fishy" look. I'd call that a success!
As mentioned early on, Shirahoshi's been provided with a rather comfortable perch. Solid enough to make her not feel like she'll fall over with every motion, it's also been given the appearance of a bit of undersea rock. Adorned with colorful flowers and some coral, the little things go a long way in making a figure a complete package instead of merely sitting on a plain oval.
Perhaps I was wrong! Luffy makes his return in one last photo, resting in her lap for a bit better sense of scale. Unfortunately, the folds in her fabric and curve of her tail don't make as nice of a seat, so he doesn't sit there quite as well as her hand. In the end though, Shirahoshi is one great looking mermaid overall. Perhaps it's due to the series' overwhelming popularity, but I'm not used to seeing shonen figures get such high quality treatment -- or any for that matter. Megahouse did right by me though, translating the lovely Shirahoshi into an equally gorgeous figure from head to...fin, and for that, I say well done, Megahouse! As I've made clear, I should hope, Shirahoshi is definitely worth considering even if you've never read a chapter of One Piece in your life!
[ Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for providing this sample! ]
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