Today we'll be taking a look at another one of Gift's take on Super Sonico in 1/8th scaled figure form. Super Sonico was created by Tsuji Santa of Nitroplus initially to be used as the mascot for 2006 "Nitro Super Sonico" annual live music festival. She quickly gained popularity and spawned various merchandise such as music products, mangas, video games and quite a few figures such as the one we'll be looking at today. There was even an anime series starring her in 2014.
Initially I don't believe she had much of a background but they eventually filled in some of the blanks about her such as she's an 18-year-old college student that can always be seen with her signature headphones. In most if not all of the official illustrations of her she appears as a gravure idol, which basically means she's not supposed to get naked but still excite the male audience with skimpy outfits and lots of exposed flesh. I find that funny since almost every figurine of her allows you to cast off most of her clothes. Some of those illustrations also shows her in a band called First Astronomical Velocity and her band mates actually have a few figurines of themselves as well.
The figure was a standard release and came out in December 2014 retailing for around 9,800 Yen. At this time you can probably only get her on the secondary market and she seems to command a premium price due to her popularity.
The goal today is to take a closer look at her to see what she has to offer in the endless line of Super Sonico figurines. Does this one manage to stand out or get lost with the rest?
Please understand a score of 10 will never be given as there is always room for improvement no matter how perfect a figure.
Packaging: 9/10 ♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫
Gift went with a rectangular layout that offers plenty of viewing portals from practically every side. You're given a decent view of key points of the figure and the view portals highlight them very well. The color scheme and illustrations utilized fit perfectly with the theme of the figure and Super Sonico's background quite nicely. Some profile pictures of her were also used that illustrate again the key points of the figure. You can see a lot of thought and effort went into the design and layout. The packaging looks good enough that I think probably have the option of leaving her in the box for display purposes if desired.
A lightweight non-corrugated cardboard stock was used for the figure box. An additional cardboard liner was used for the backdrop of the interior which further added to the overall strength of the packaging. The top flap was taped down at the 3 separated edges to further secure and add strength. They achieved a decent balance with the size, weight and protection of the packaging. She should get to you relatively safely and at a reasonable cost. Having packed and shipped a few hundred figures from my collection, I can appreciate the decent packaging and know it should definitely get to you safely if packed correctly.
Packaging weight and dimensions:
Weight: 495 grams
H: 290 mm
W: 190 mm
D: 141 mm
A typical two piece blister was utilized to protect her. The two pieces are taped together at several places to help secure the blister in additional to the four sockets at each of the corners. The application of the tape actually adds a lot of strength due to the tensile strength of the tape. You actually have to exert around 20 lbs or more force to break the tape. The tolerances on the pockets in the blister for the figure and her accessories was adequate enough that nothing should come loose while in the packaging. Instead of doing a punchout of the blister at the face, they flattened it instead to give you an undistorted view of her face while still in the packaging. Instructions were included for the care of the figure which was definitely appreciated as it's just not done enough.
What can I say? I'm very pleased with how Gift handled the packaging. Protection is adequate but not at the expense size or weight and it actually looks pretty good. Also the design and art style supports the theme of the figure very nicely. If needed, you could probably leave her in the box for display purposes. Expectations were definitely met.
Sculpting: 9/10 ♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫
Sculpting credits go to Hiroshi (Sakurazensen) who has worked on a large number of figures for quite a few years now. I have some other figures from this sculptor but I haven't had a chance to actually take them out of their boxes yet so I can't show other examples from the sculptor. Here is the thing, many sculptors have worked on various Super Sonico figures based off of various illustrations from different artists showing their own take on her. As long as she has pink hair, her signature headphones and large breasts then she is Super Sonico. This figure is no different as she meets those criteria. Below you can see various other Super Sonico figures by other sculptors and illustrators with the common points being pink hair, the same headphone and large breasts.
Her left arm and hand can be removed to allow for the installation of a guitar case. Note her tail also has to be removed when installing the guitar case. I don't know about anyone else but I actually had some difficulty getting the arm socket to fit even though it looks like it would only go in one way. Basically it may take some practice to angle it in right but the fit was snug and I don't think you'll have to worry about her arm falling out. They actually put some details into the guitar case with the material wrinkling in some places, stitching and detailed buckles and straps.
In any case, let's move onto the main show.
All I can say is the pictures do not do her justice as she looks much better in person. Starting with her face you can see the detail they put into her mouth and teeth. Her cute little nose and heart shape face that transitions seamlessly down her neck. Her signature headphones can be seen from under the hood and on closer examination they are actually pretty detailed even from angles that you can barely see with the hood on which makes me wonder if they were going to have a alternate version with the hood down?
Since the hood is up can't really talk much about her hair except that it appears they only provided details to her bangs. Her hair below the hood lacks detail, actually she barely has any hair under the hood. What you can see of her hair has sufficient detail and the longer strands are actually pretty flexible and should resist damage. So instead of her hair I guess we can look at her hood. I like the job they did on her kitty ears especially the fluffy parts which I thought were executed quite nicely. The shape/outline of the hood seems realistic in how a real hood would actually rest on a person's head.
Her parka is actually quite flexible as well and should resist damage. Those dangling puffy balls on the other hand are quite rigid so care should be taken less they get caught on something and snap off. Her shirt and skirt are detailed in the way they hug her curves/body as well as how they wrinkle up which looks very natural. The same can be said for her sleeves as well. Even clothed you can't but help notice her above average bust size which is causing that shirt to work overtime in containing them.
You can see something peeking out of her skirt onto her thighs, I have no idea what those are supposed to be? They look like armor pads but no idea what purpose they serve other than padding. I tried to figure it out but you can see her panties so she's not wearing shorts under the skirt and those pads only seem to cover part of her thighs and the colors do not match the skirt. I'm perplexed?
If you do not use the guitar case then her kitty tail is attached by themselves via a small little peg on the end of the tail. The tail itself is very sturdy and you would have to break it on purpose but that connection peg seems like it could easily be snapped off if you're not careful.
Her legs are long curvy with those thick thighs of hers. I really like detailing they did with the back of her knees as well as the transition from her thighs to her shapely calves. Her legs seem proportional to rest of her body. I really like how they have her legs going into her boots to add to the detail and realism. It really looks like she's wearing those boots. Those puff balls on the boots are not secure and could get caught on something and snap off so care should be taken. Note the details in the boots with how they wrinkle at the various bends as well as show the outline of her ankles. She may seem to be a simple/straight forward figure but they put a lot of details into her from kitty ears down to her boots. Also, if you're wondering her right leg is very stiff I suspect there may be a metal rod inside or else it's just very sturdy and no give at all so I don't see any leaning issues in her future.
Gift did a fantastic job with the fit and finish of the figure. I couldn't find any assembly/sculpting issues at all. She was well put together and contained details in basically every part of her. For such a "plain" figure they put a lot of effort into her and you can tell. Hiroshi (Sakurazensen) succeeded in bringing Super Sonico to life. Expectations were definitely met and possibly exceeded.
Painting: 8/10 ♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫
In the recent past Gift has caused me some concern because for period of time the figures they were releasing had a skin tone issue where the figures were yellow like a banana which caused me to call them banana girls. The past few figures I've received from them appear to have the correct skin tone including this one thankfully so hopefully they corrected the issue and there will be no more banana girls.
If she was based on some illustration, I couldn't find it to compare with the figure. All I can say is she meets the criteria for Super Sonico, pink hair. Now her eyes are detailed but I really wish they weren't reflective because I find that distracting and taking away from the details. She actually has a blush and I thought they did a decent job coloring her mouth and teeth. Speaking of her hair it isn't a flat shade but various shades to give her hair more depth and dimension. And as mentioned her skin tone looks great. I love the job they did on her parka with the tiger cat silhouette pattern. If you look at her long legs you can see they used shading and accents on her flesh to breath life to them.
There was nothing exceptional about the coloring job they did but at the same time nothing bad either. My expectations were actually exceeded because she didn't end up being a banana girl but otherwise they did a decent job bringing her to life.
Posing: 8/10 ♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫
If there is an illustration that this figure is based on, I couldn't find it. You're given two display options to choose from which basically the same with the only difference being the guitar case. Even the pose without the guitar case still has her grasping the invisible case. They could have offered a different pose for her left hand/arm. The one thing that I thought was weird was the positioning of her right foot which looks really uncomfortable. I tried to stand the way she is in the pose and it freaking hurts! Aside from that I do like the pose and the typical flashing peace symbol you expect to see from a Japanese idol.
Display wise, you'll want her at eye level or above. Otherwise the shade from the hood obscures her face.
Without an illustration to compare to I don't know how accurate they were except that doing that pose in real life freaking hurts! Her expression and overall vibe seem to fit with the personality you expect from Super Sonico so I think achieved their primary goal of bringing her to life.
Base: 5/10 ♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫
I guess they put all their effort into the figure and nothing into the base. The base seems to be an after thought. Like they were getting ready to box her up and someone pointed out there was no base so they whipped out something quickly. It's a fairly compact but not very sturdy. They could have at least used metal pegs... She's also wobbly on the base so if you display her somewhere with vibration she'll probably eventually wobble until she falls off. I'm so disappointed with the base that I just don't want to talk about it anymore as it just doesn't deserve anymore time spent on it.
Bottom line, it gets the job done but barely. The figure may not lean from being on one leg but you may have issues with the base breaking or her falling off it eventually from vibration. They could have put more effort into it, even just putting her name on it or some tiger stripes or something. So disappointing.
Enjoyment: 9/10 ♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫
I need to issue an disclaimer first. I probably have around 20+ Super Sonico figures I have yet to take out of their packaging to actually examine/display. So if I'm comparing this figure to my collection, I'm only talking about the figures I've actually examined.
Enjoyment of a figure is subjective so for the purposes of this review it will be whether I think she was worth acquiring and adding to my collection. In regards to the sculpt, I thought they did a fantastic job and I couldn't really find any faults at all. The details were plentiful for such a straight forward design. The big thing for me was she wasn't a banana girl, I can't how count how many times I was disappointed when I got an anticipated figure to only find out she was a banana girl. Looking at the various Super Sonico figures that I have in my collection that I've had a chance to examine I'd say she's easily ranks up there. The fact that she's actually fully clothed which everyone points out makes her unique in my collection. She definitely exudes that Sonico spirit with her expression and dare I say stands out from that endless line of figures of her. I do not regret getting her and I'm happy to have her in my collection. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't hesitate in getting her.
She definitely stands out from the other Sonicos just like Bunny Super Sonico stands out from the other bunny girls.
See you later.