*New* 19-Jul-2003 Added new Saki-chan figure review
This page will contain images and mini reviews of any Yujin's SR DX (Super Real Figure DX) figures that I manage to get. What's so special about this Yujin series you wonder? Well there's nothing that unusual except that they release anime figures which are generally in very "in character" or unusual poses. The kind that you would normally only find in expensive resin kits. They are often flawed in some way but I feel they deserve credit for making figures for series that other figure makers won't or don't. The downside is that these figures are very hard to get hold of. Usually they are available long before a show becomes popular outside of Japan and become very hard to track down beyond that. Even on Ebay they are rare and on the odd occasion when they show up they are usually for new shows you most likely haven't heard of. Anyway, here's a few of these I've managed to track down so far.
Aoi Sakuraba - Ai Yori Aoshi
(Note: click to enlarge)
This is the first figure of this series I managed to get and that is kind of amusing in a way since I tried to get a number of others before it but had no luck. I had watched the first disc of Ai Yori Aoshi and decided to go have a look around to see what figures were available. Much to my surprise I found this SRDX figure on HobbyLink Japan. Needless to say I put in an immediate order. Many figures of Aoi-chan have way too much fan service which is totally out of character for Aoi (much to the disgust of fluxcore and myself) but this one is different. It's a nice sitting pose with her in her traditional Japanese clothes. The base is mirrored so you get nice reflections in there although it does tend to need dusted a bit more often than regular figures since dust sticks out like a sore thumb on it.
The figure is about 6-7cm tall and the base is about the size of a CD. It's made of some firm plastic which is flexible, not brittle. This PVC variant seems to be a Yujin thing, I've not seen any other figures that feel quite the same. The paint job is overall very nice, the highlights on the dress and hair are very well done and the fine detail on the face is of a high standard. The eyes, lips and gently reddened cheeks are very well done. Overall the face could look a bit more like Aoi-chan but it is by no means a bad likeness. I think overall this is one of my favourite figures. There is also a similar resin kit available which has a touch more fan service. (I'd recommend E2046 for resin kits but before you buy you should keep in mind that you have to build and paint them yourself unless you are buying one of their pre-painted kits.)
Mahoro Ando - Mahoromatic
(Note: click to enlarge)
I really like this figure, it really captures the essence of Mahoro. It comes with two right arms and two faces which can be swapped. Thankfully one of the poses that can be done is Mahoro's infamous "Ecchi nanowa ikanito omoimasu!" ("I think dirty thoughts are bad!") one with a pointing finger which can be seen in the first picture. Ther other face has a more cheerful Mahoro and the second arm can hold a duster or anything else that can fit the hole in her hand. Of course you can mix and match these parts to get other poses. As I type an angry Mahoro is cleaning my computer with her duster. :-)
She is about 12-13cm in height and made of the usual firm PVC plastic. The painting quality in general is great. There are no real shadows or highlights but this is typically how Mahoro is drawn in the anime. Again they have done a great job on the face(s). The flaw is (all Yujin figures seem to have at least one flaw) that the inside portions of her hair that hang beside her face are not properly painted. This doesn't particulary bother me since it isn't too easy to see and I can fix it in two seconds next time I have my airbrush out but it's the kind of thing that's holding Yujin back from action figure perfection. Overall though, a great figure which I'd definitely recommend to anyone who likes Mahoromatic and wants an authentic looking figure.
One other thing I should mention is that there are a few variations of this figure available. One has a broom and the other has a frying pan. There is also another different Mahoro figure Yujin make with her wearing her Vesper battle suit. It seems she is one very popular android. ;-)
I bought this on Ebay, but the seller was Japmax who have their own online store and you can buy directly from them. This figure could have been packed a bit better but it was well padded with a string of air-sacks surrounding the main body of the package which would have protected the figure from damage but the cardboard on the back was a bit bent. This didn't matter to me but if you like to collect things and keep them unopened in their box, it may be an issue for you.
Komugi Nagahara - Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Maji-Karte
(Note: click to enlarge)
Now Nurse Witch Komugi-chan is probably a series you haven't heard of since at the time of writing, it is only just becoming available on region 2 DVDs in Japanese language only. This series was a spin off from the anime Soultaker of all things (How such a cute show can spin off from something as dark as Soultaker is beyond me) and is a cult favourite among those who have seen it. I haven't seen it yet myself although it seems to be the kind of show I like and I am currently waiting for the first DVD to arrive from cdjapan. This figure was a case of me buying the figure for a show in anticipation that I'd like it since there's no way I'd ever find this figure cheap once there are masses of people who know what it is and decide they want it too, i.e. the usual problem with this Yujin figures. ;-) Of course I liked the figure anyway so no matter what I'm happy to own it.
Without having seen the show I can't really comment on how "in character" this figure is but it certainly is recognizable as Komugi-chan from all the DVD covers and images I've seen around with just the right amount of cuteness and zanyness. She is about 12-13cm tall and once again is made of the usual PVC plastic. The painting is just great, especially the face (They really seem to take a lot of care there) no complaints from me. This one actually has some shadowing around her joints and on her socks which work well. The flaw this time is that some of the molding is a tiny bit rough. There are some visible molding lines on the back of her left shoulder and her left wrist looks a tiny bit square. Nothing too serious though, neither problem stands out unless you take a close and critical look. Overall I have to say I really like it. Definitely one of the most cute figures I own.
I bought this from Robert's Anime Corner Store. I'd definitely recommend them to anyone buying figures. Their shipping was a little dearer than I usually pay but it was very fast and the figure was securely placed in the center of a huge, strong cardboard box filled with packing peanuts such that it would survive the heaviest of blows without damaging even the slightest bit of the figure's packaging. I have to give them some kudos for that, such quality should not go unnoticed.
Nurse Witch Komugi-chan - Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Maji-Karte
(Note: click to enlarge)
I must say this figure came as a bit of a surprise. As I mentioned when talking about my first Komugi-chan figure, I was waiting for some DVDs to arrive. I'd ordered two volumes of the show, the second of which was a special edition disc with a box and some "unannounced bonus materials". It seems one of those bonus materials was another Yujin Komugi-chan action figure! Needless to say I could not be more happy with turn of events, in fact I can barely believe my luck!
Having actually seen some of the show now, I can attest that both of these figures are "in character" for Komugi-chan. In fact they are some of the most in character figures I've seen. They really capture the feel of the show which is incredibly bright, cheerful and highly insane (Exactly one of the kinds of show I like :-)
As far as the quality of this figure goes, I must say it's great. It's another 12-13cm tall figure made of the same firm plastic. Maybe Yujin put a bit more effort into this one or something being a special edition since there's little I could complain about. There are a few spots where the paint could have been applied marginally better along an edge or the moudling could have been made a little more perfect but this is really just nitpicking. Overall the job done is great. The level of detail on the paint job is a real step up from the other Yujin figures I have with even the smallest of touches being carefully applied such as the little rabbit faces on her shoes. The quality of the face is excellent like most Yujin figures, the eyes especially look just like in the anime with their big black outlines and two-tone centers. Don't know what else to say. Great stuff.
I have not heard of this figure being sold separately so I assume the only way to currently get it is to buy the Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Maji-Karte 2.5 Limited Edition DVD. Be warned, the DVD is Japanese language only and has no subtitles at all of any language. About half of this disc (a short 35 mins or so) is musical numbers which require a bit less Japanese comprehension than a typical DVD so this may be less of a problem. I certianly had no real issues following it and await the release of english subtitle scripts that are supposedly being fansubbed some time soon. Think I need to order another volume myself though, it seems it has been confirmed that one disc comes with a figure for Koyori-chan, Komugi-chan's similarly costumed friend in the show. ;-)
Magical Maid Koyori-chan - Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Maji-Karte
(Note: click to enlarge)
Yet another bonus figure arrives with a Komugi-chan DVD. I could really get used to this. This is Magical Maid Koyoroi-chan and this, as you can probably see, is another hyper-cute figure from Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Maji-Karte. Now you'd probably never guess this from looking at the figure but Koyori-chan is the evil villan of the show. Though of course she's not always bad, there seems to be some kind of split personality/mind control thing involved. The rest of the time she seems to be Komugi-chan's best friend (Awfully convienient for the plot methinks). Oh, and before you ask, yes, she does have a tail but it's attached to her dress. ;-)
Like the last figure, she is about as in character as you get. She looks like just the character in the anime and appears ready to burst into one of those loud and obnoxious "Oh ho ho ho ho" laughs at any point. In fact, she almost looks like she's posing during the fan service battle she has with Komugi-chan at a doujinshi convention on the DVD (Yes, you read that right...don't you want to watch this show now? ;-)
Quality is once again great just like my last Komugi-chan figure. Yujin just seems to do a great job with these limited edition figures. Lots of fine detail and very nice molding. It's about 13-14cm tall and again made of the usual plastic. The detail on the face is great as usual and really looks like that character. I really don't think the photo does this figure justice. I know I've said that before about some figures but usually the photo looked worse than this. ;-) The closest I could come to a complaint with this figure is that Koyori-chan's clothes in the show look like they're made of PVC whereas on this figure they have a matt finish.
As I mentioned before, this came with a Komugi-chan DVD, specifically the Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Maji-Karte 2 Limited Edition. I got my copy from cdjapan but I'm sure other places would sell it too.
Steel Angel Saki(aka Saki-chan) - Steel Angel Kurumi
(Note: click to enlarge)
Finding this now rare figure on ebay was a bit of a surprise for me since I'd been looking for Steel Angel Kurumi figures for ages with no luck. It's Steel Angel Saki, the sister of Kurumi. The guy I bought it off also had the Karinka figure (Kurumi's other sister) but I never liked Yujin's figure of her since she seems to have an "evil squint" (I never really liked Karinka much as a character in the show anyway).
The quality of this figure is pretty low really (Probably since it's one of Yujin's older figures). It's about 12-13cm tall. The paint job is rough, especially the lines of dark blue paint which can clearly be seen in the first photo. That said, some of the detail work such as the gold buttons and the eyes are nicely done. The plastic feels different, more brittle than Yujin's usual stuff. It looks like they tried to do shading with a very watered down blue paint which in most places almost looks right but in a few places looks like they overpainted the area they actually wanted to paint and then tried to fix it with water
The likeness is not too bad but could be better. In fact, I think it looks more like Saki in my photo than the figure itself does. She comes with a replaceable "angry" face like my Mahoro figure but it really doesn't look anything like Saki in the show (When she was under Dr. Amagi's control she looked somewhat like she was in an emotionless rage with red eyes and the rest of the time she looked happy, confused or shy...not really angry). All in all though, I think the figure has been well sculptured, it's the paint job that lets it down in my opinion.
Overall I do like this figure but I think it could have been quite a better. I am a fan of Steel Angel Kurumi and Saki (with Japanese seiyuu, not an evil dub voice) is probably my favourite character from the show so you might want to take my opinion with a grain of salt. That aside, I think I've been honest. If I was rating it out of 10 with all bias aside, I'd probably give it 6/10 since it's still better made than many a figure sold in stores. If on the other hand you're a Saki fan like me, I'd up that to 8/10...Not perfect but cool to have none-the-less.
As a bonus, she also comes with a 3cm tall super-deformed clear Karinka. I tried to take a photo but they just didn't come out right. This is nicely done and is a good addition. The supplied stand can hold both of them and is nice and stable.
My Wish List
As you may have guessed by my comments about these things being rare, there's a few of these figures I'd like to track down. First up, a figure from Steel Angel Kurumi, specifically Kurumi herself. I have tried to find this everywhere. The closest I could find was their Kurumi Pure figure which is from the live action Steel Angel Kurumi show.
Next up is one of the Kazami Mizuho from Onegai Teacher figures. This one comes in three variants and they have a mirrored base just like my Aoi-chan figure. I think I like the green one best since so few figures make good use of green. :-)
There's also a cool looking Amazing Nurse Nanako figure. I think I could live without this one since I have a very nice Nanako resin kit but don't get me wrong, I certainly wouldn't turn it down if I saw a bargain.
Lastly for now is the set of mini Hand Maid May figures. Not going to give away too much to anyone who hasn't seen the show but at one point there are five mini-Mays running around each with their own personality. The sixth figure here (last in the picture) is a mini figure of the actual May. My favs in the show were the one wearing black who was always grumpy (yet she looks surprisingly cheerful in this set) and the yellow one that eats all the sweet stuff and tries to pretend she hasn't. What else can I say about this one....kawaii ne? ;-D