Alter - Kanzaki Ranko - Memories Ver.

Alter - Kanzaki Ranko - Memories Ver.

I like the iDOLM@STER, I like the iDOLM@STER girls, one of those girls is Ranko.

I want more Ranko in my life and it seems Alter heard my prayers since they decided to make not one but two Ranko figures. Sadly one has been delayed to early next year but Alter didn’t leave me empty handed and released their Kanzaki Ranko Memories Version from the popular iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls spin off.

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Kotobukiya - Takagaki Kaede

Kotobukiya - Takagaki Kaede

Howdy folks! Is the new year treating you well so far? The first few days have been fairly uneventful for me. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for a nice calm year!

I suppose starting the year with a nice mellow idol is a perfect match for these easy going days. I just so happen to have the perfect idol for such an occasion! Hailing from the ever so popular iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls comes the charming Takagaki Kaede - Hajimari no Basho version from the good folks at Kotobukiya.

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Good Smile Company - Shimamura Uzuki New Generation Ver.

GSC Uzuki Hi peeps! Are you all doing your best today?

I sure tried do my best and finish the year with a strong note with a nice look at the very lovely Shimamura Uzuki New Generation Version by the folks at Good Smile Company.

GSC Uzuki

Last time when we took a look at my favorite Cinderella Girl, Ranko, and I mentioned how Uzuki had grown on me as I watched the show.

Uzuki was in my radar in the early episodes that focused on the creation of New Generations and their struggles but quickly got lost in the background. I expected her to have a similar focus to how Haruka had in her show but the show quickly changed gears to the other girls.

GSC Uzuki

As the show kept progressing Uzuki kept fading more and more out of focus as the other characters came into the spotlight. By the time New Generations had been introduced and their initial struggles resolved the only thing I cared about was not having to tolerate Mio appearing on screen as much anymore and waiting anxiously for Ranko's turn in the spot light.

The rest of the first half of the show was spent with me happily getting to know the other girls and shipping Rin with the Producer.

GSC Uzuki

As the first half came to a close and the second started airing Uzuki had really cemented in my head as not being particularly noteworthy. The only two things I remembered is that she was part of the group with Rin and would say "ganbarimasu" a lot.

GSC Uzuki

Apparently I was not the only one who thought as much. In the Cinderella Girls game she was one the girls that kept getting passed up when it was time to get upgraded forms and nicer cards. She was so ordinary no one really thought much about her apparently other than remembering she was the starter card for the cute idol type.

GSC Uzuki

That is, until people started to notice how unpopular she was.

According to the Im@s wiki, she became more popular as people starting noticing how unpopular she was and began rooting for her. Bandai Namco took note of this and finally granted her an upgraded form.

I actually have been wondering if her back story as a passed on idol where other girls would get picked over her in auditions or move on had some basis on what happened in the card game.

GSC Uzuki

Uzuki came back into the picture for me in the second half of the show. The shake up that occurred as a result of the machinations of Director Mishiro after she set her eyes on Rin for Triad Primus and it's effect on Uzuki caught my attention.

Typically the happy, air headed protagonist will persevere through the trough times and bring everyone together back again! I expected Uzuki to give it the good fight like Haruka tried before her.

GSC Uzuki

With Uzuki though, seeing her insecurities come to the front was an interesting subversion for me. Watching as the events unfolding around her affected her more and more this in turn and in turn this extending to those around her.

Slowly realizing how her catch phrase of "I'll do my best!" kept becoming more and more a way for her to mask her true feelings from others rather than her actually trying her best.

GSC Uzuki

The culmination of her repressed feelings coming to fore front during confrontation with Mio and Rin and the anime rendition of Uzuki's image song S(mile)ing was the last push I needed to become a fan.

Uzuki has rocketed up the ranks in my idol fandom essentially through the power of character development!

Which leads me to this figure.

GSC Uzuki

Last year Good Smile Company released their rendition of Uzuki labeled as the New Generation ver. At the time I thought it was fairly pretty looking figure but I had only passing knowledge of Uzuki from reading the first few chapters in the New Gens manga.

Without the emotional attachment and not yet having descended into idol fandom I skipped on her.

After watching the anime and https://goo.gl/photos/wYcsQ2SK8rPvEZL67 the latter episodes focusing on Uzuki I had an immediate desire to own this figure. I event went back to order the figma I was also gonna skip and didn't think twice about it to get my ganbarimasu fix!

Uzukisr2

This figure showcases her as she looked in the illustration for her S Rare+ card with Good Smile Company doing what they do best bringing her to the third dimension.

The figure as a whole nothing short of perfect as a reproduction of the original illustration.

GSC Uzuki

Uzuki comes with an alternate smiling expression showing her nice pretty eyes. I find the default expression based on the illustration to be the more charming one, I just think it makes her smile more powerful.

GSC Uzuki

Uzuki's outfit is done well, all the frilly bits look like frilly bits. The small details such as those in the ribbon above her midriff show a nice amount of detail.

I got to say though, this outfit sure shows a lot a Uzuki with that exposed belly. Plus the way her pose is pressing her breasts together sure draws my eyes.

GSC Uzuki GSC Uzuki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uzuki's rather short skirt continues to show off her beautiful long legs quite nicely with the details on the shoes and her frilly socks all done fairly well.

GSC Uzuki

Uzuki's hair is well executed with all the curly ends and strands all well defined with the gradient giving the hair a nice sense of depth and volume.

The different strands spreading out adds to the Uzuki's over all sense of motion very nicely.

GSC Uzuki

The ribbon in Uzuki's hair is painted perfectly, the different colors all kept within the boundaries of their respective flowers. The plaid pattern on the ribbon itself is done without any issues at all and looks the part.

I will continue to be amazed at significantly small details like these done well.

GSC Uzuki

My favorite part of this figure though has to be Uzuki's radiant smile! It just makes me happy whenever I set my eyes on her .

The producer choose Uzuki because of her smile, Rin's motivation to become an idol came about after watching this same smile. I can easily see where both are coming from!

GSC Uzuki

That smile coupled with Uzuki's energetic pose just fills me with intense happiness and brightens my mood! The original illustration and this figure both have done a good job in capturing Uzuki's essence!

GSC Uzuki

If I have only one regret with this figure is that I did not buy it sooner, Uzuki was released by Good Smile Company during late May last year!

I do suppose timeliness is a very rare in this hobby in the first place. Although, if you want to see a more timely review from when Uzuki was released you can do so at Wieselhead.

GSC Uzuki

I am completely satisfied with this rendition of Uzuki, I feel I could ask for nothing more. This is one of those times were I fall in love with a character and a figure comes along that just captures all the things I love about that character!

After the excellent work done with this figure I am definitely looking forward to Good Smile Company's next rendition of Uzuki!

In the mean time I will continue to do my best!

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls - Kanzaki Ranko - Anniversary Princess ver.

Ranko Curse you, day-moon… (Good morning!)

Continuing on from last time's look at my top idols from 765 Pro we move on the more recent The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls. This time we will look at the bestest Cinderella Girl, Kanzaki Ranko.

Ranko

How did you guys like the recent show? Did your favorite girl get enough attention? I enjoyed it over all, glad my favorite girls got their time in the spot light.

I did have some annoyances with a few characters though.  Cough, Mio, cough... Triad Primus... I also ended liking a few girls who I previously had no interest in or knew very little about.

Uzuki is a perfect example of that but I will save her for next time. :)

Ranko

The show was my first proper introduction to the majority of the girls from the Cinderella Girls game. I had developed an interest in some girls, such as Kaede for example, through some rather amusing fan works. I had only read the first few chapters of the New Generations manga but never got far into it.

The dozens of characters didn't help in making it all a big jumbled mess in my head as to who was who. I can only tell so much from fan portrayals and reading the quotes from the game to get a grasp of the different idols.

Ranko

Ranko though, was a different experience for me. I was aware of her existence, I had seen her card illustrations and various fan art of her, I knew she was a quirky chuunibyou.

It wasn't quite love at first sight though... That is, until saw the figma.

figma Ranko

I just couldn't resist how incredible cute her figma was! Ranko's pouting is just so irresistible to me! This had just sealed the deal, I had found my Cinderella.

As I kept learning more about Ranko I started to love all the different aspects of her.

Ranko

Her bombastic, hammy "Ranko-speak" is just so amusing to me, seeing other character's confused reactions to her statements amuses me to no end. This ended up causing one of my favorite punchline for an episode of the show.

For all her showing off she is still very much a shrinking violet resulting in some rather cute moments such as when kept trying to talk to the producer in the show. Amazing how many words start with "pro"!

Ranko

I was quite happy with her episode as it showcased all the different bits that I love her.

Elaborate high strung speeches? Checked. Troubled shy and cute Ranko? Yup. Everyone wondering what the heck she was going on about? Of course!

Ending the episode with Rosenburg Engel was just the cherry on top for me.

Ranko

I was quite saddened that the rest of the show didn't really focus on her at all afterwards apart from a few lines here and there. Doubly annoying as some of the girls got a second episode focusing on them. Why not Ranko dammit! She won the 2nd Cinderella Girls Election for a reason!

Alas, with so many girls I suppose it couldn't be helped.

Ranko

As a good idol fan I of course went out and bought some merchandise, namely this figure we are taking a look at.

Phat has brought us Kanzaki Ranko - Anniversary Princess ver. This figure also has a fancier and more expensive variant, "Mad Banquet", which includes a more elaborate base.

Ranko

I opted for the cheaper version as I didn't feel the fancier base was worth the price hike. In retrospect I do find it adds quite a bit of oomph to the overall presentation and regret not buying that version just a tiny bit.

Even so I'm quite happy with my first scaled Ranko figure.

Ranko

Looking at her energetic pose I can easily imagine Ranko happily expressing herself in her well known manner.

"Heh, heh, heh… a demon is on the loose… (I’ll do my best!)"

I still have no idea if Phat actually stands for "pretty hot and tempting" or not but Ranko sure fits that description! The sculptor, Knead K@Z, has already proven him/herself in that regard with their previous work with Plum's Erio and now here with Ranko.

Ranko

One of the reasons I like idols is seeing them in their nice stage outfits. These outfits usually tend to be an elaborate affair, Ranko's Gothic Lolita image only serves to take this up to the extreme.

This rendition of Ranko does not disappoint in that regard at all!

Her clothes definitely follow the Gothic Lolita theme, her outfit has all the necessary lace and the bodice hearkens to that style. The bodice which I find emphasizes her bust quite nicely. Hmm... did Ranko always have such a nice bust?

Ranko

The stockings follow the rose motif that can be seen with the rest of clothes, the glossy finish given them a nice silky look and feel.

Ranko

I find the choice of head wear quite interesting, she is sporting a tiara, a hat, pearls and ribbons, that is a lot going on there!

Ranko

Ranko is sporting a nice vibrant smile, happy idols make me happy, I can feel her deep crimson eyes staring into my soul.

Ranko microphone

The only accessory in my version, the fancy old school microphone in her cross handle looks fairly nice. My only complain is that it only rests against the base rather than using a peg so small bumps send it flying.

Ranko

If you look quite closely you can see some small imperfections such as with the roses at her waist, practically invisible to the naked eye. Nothing too out of the ordinary for scaled figures though, so not an issue to me.

Ranko

Phat and Knead K@Z have done an outstanding work with their rendition of Ranko. Together with my previous experience with Phat and now with Ranko I can see myself getting more figures from them in the future.

Ranko

This figure definitely reinforces my adoration of Ranko, I can see myself getting more. I already snatched one I had my eyes for a long time and I am starting to seriously consider going for something a bit bigger.

Until then though...

May you all be blessed equally, my compatriots! Be wrapped in holy light and enjoy good fortune!

Hoshii Miki, Kisaragi Chihaya and Shijou Takane Yukata ver.

Yukata 765 Pro Hey peeps! Hows are the cooling days treating you?

I decided to have one last reminder of summer with a nice look at my favorite 765 Pro trio. FREEing provided the perfect set of figures for me with their Chihaya, Miki and Takane from the nice classic The IDOLM@STER.

Nothing like pretty idols in yukatas to remind you of summer.

765 Pro Yukata

I'm not one to usually buy complete sets of scaled figures. Price is definitely the major factor for my decision not to. This is followed by the characters themselves, very rarely do I feel attachment to all the characters in a set that I find it I would like to get them all. The last reason is the typically large gaps between releases.

It was quite unexpected for me when all three those fell to the wayside... mostly anyways.

The average price that I paid for each of the girls was around 7500 yen. Still pricey indeed but definitely a far cry from the typical 10,000 + yen prices that are becoming increasingly common.

If you ask who are my top three favorite girls from 765 Pro you are looking at them right now.

Amazingly enough all three were released in about a month, I find that nothing short of miraculous when it comes to figure releases period.

Essentially, the stars just aligned for me when it came for these beautiful set of figures.

Yukata Miki

Let's start off with Miki, I talked a bit about her last time when I showed off my super nice prize figure of her. To recap, Miki is the best idol, the idol of idols!

This rendition of Miki is just so super nice to look at, I just can't but help feeling re-energized when I do so. This definitely Miki when she is on her "on" mode.

Yukata Miki

I am just so in love with her nice dynamic pose, I can just picture her calling  out to her "Honey" as she excitedly runs off.

Out of the three girls Miki is definitely the one with the most energy and excitement.

Yukata Miki

The yukata shows off her a different shade than her typical signature color but looks really well. The accents of yellow from her obi, bag and geta go well with her overall theme.

Yukata Miki

The flower patterns on her bring that nice girlish charm as does the flower adorning her hair giving a nice contrast.

Yukata Miki

I'm quite pleased as a Miki fan with this rendition of her. My only complaint is that her base is a tad too small, as Miki is leaning forward her center of gravity causes her to topple easily. In fact while taking photos she went face first to my desk a few times, I'm super glad nothing really happened to her.

Other than that, I'm happy I added my second Miki figure to my collection.

Yukata Chihaya

On the other end of the spectrum on several fronts we have the stoic Chihaya. Oh boy, don't you all love Chihaya?

I just love her depiction as the best singer in universe, this is one of those rare occasions where I just find the casting perfect. I mean , have you guys heard Isami Amai singing Arcadia? It's just sooooo darn good.

Yukata Chihaya

I also like her sense of humor, I always found the contrast of her fairly serious persona and when she breaks up laughing over the silliest of things. Like that one time with the box and Haruka.

My favorite thing about her is how she is damaged goods thanks having "murdered" her little brother. All the delicious drama that resulted from that, the amazing recovery together with the rest of the 765 Pro girls, if there was one overarching storyline to pursue in the anime that was the best pick!

Yukata Chihaya

Chihaya's slim profile definitely works well with a yukata, the line of her body is very lovely to look at.

Yukata Chihaya

The pattern with the fish and the ripples are just nothing short of beautiful. The splashes of red with the flowers and ribbon just compliment her colors.

Yukata Chihaya

Her ponytail has a nice swaying motion and showcases the sexiest part in a woman, the beautiful delicate nape. That is one of the reasons ponytails increase a girl's cuteness after all!

Yukata Chihaya

While serious, broken on the inside Chihaya is nice and all, seeing this depiction having fun is pretty nice too.

Yukata Takane

However, the idol that looks best in a yukata is without a doubt is Takane. You can tell she comes from the Old Capital, the elegance of her posture, the way she carries herself just sets her apart.

Yukata Takane

While her image is definitely one of elegance I always found it very amusing with how eccentric she can be at times. I can't help but find it charming when she expresses joys at the simplest of things or her love of food. I suppose when you are from the moon even small things are a new experience.

Yukata Takane

The darker color scheme of her yukata really highlights her more mature charm when compared to the other girls. The flowers once again accentuate the yukata with the moon as a nice focal point. A shame FREEing ended up changing the design slightly and removing the clouds covering part of the moon.

Yukata Takane

Her flowing long wavy hair looks very alluring, I'm glad FREEing did not end up putting some horrible seam lines along the hair.

Yukata Takane

The umbrella looks fairly nice but I think it missed the paper texture and sadly looks like just a piece of plastic. A bit of a shame, could have really been a nice plus on the figure.

Yukata Takane

I can forgive that though, just looking at Takane's demure smile makes me all ready to fall in love whenever I set my eyes on her.

 

A few years back I saw a couple of their works, they were a bit rough here and there but fast forward to today and I got almost no complaints. My first experience was pretty good,  for my second first hand experience with FREEing I'm not disappointed by their work. Over all I think the three girls look excellent!

I would have been happy with just any one of them but that I would get the chance to get such a nice set like this with all my three favorites makes me nothing short ecstatic.