What better way to start the year than with a figure review of one last year’s most cheerful characters whose figure was also highly anticipated as well.
I totally didn’t expect to review Honoka Kousaka, or enjoy watching Love Live for that matter. Personally I’m a Maki Nishikino and Sonoda Umi fan and I’m not that into idols, but watching it made me realize what the hype was all about.
Special thanks to fellow comrade Edrell for lending me his beloved Honoka figure. He co-owns an online store in the Philippines called “Onegai Onii-chan” (please don’t ask me why, I have no idea either ^^;;). Please visit their shop whenever you can as they have good deals and they’re very friendly to boot. You can check them out here. You can also opt to check their facebook page as well.
In the anime, their fellow μ’s member Kotori makes their costumes, but I really have to hand it to the character designers of Love Live for making their costumes cute and more importantly attractive. Personally I’m a Maki and an Umi fan, but I can’t help but appreciate the amount of effort that GSC placed in this figure. From head to toe, you can feel her liveliness pouring out as she dances and sings with a smile for the audience (or at least frozen in the middle of it ^^).
This outfit can be seen during the their opening song for the first season, ‘Bokura wa Ima no Naka de’. Despite the influx of Love Live figures, along with figures based on costumes from other songs (No Brand Girls and a whole lot more lol), GSC was able to make this Honoka figure stand out from the rest with the energetic vibe that you get just by looking at the figure.
I always love eyes that aren’t glossy and noses that don’t strike you odd, so it really doesn’t strike anyone odd if I were to like a figure where the face is done absolutely good. The most important portion of this figure though is her smile! I remember reading that the production team had to look at several of Honoka’s pictures and listen to her song to get that smile down. Without that smile, I don’t think this figure will be as good as what we see here today!
Love the gradient on her hair here. It really sets her aside from majority of the prize figures out there (which are also good by the way).
Thing with hair clumps in figures is that there has to be some detail in them so they don’t look like it’s wet hair and the right volume per hair clump. Pretty sure it was a challenge for the sculpting team to ensure the proper volume of material goes to each since they’re not exactly bendable unlike other figures. Her hair clumps are somewhat solid so i really suggest to make sure she’s secured firmly on her base or else D8
Although the frills could be a wee bit thinner, I still think it’s good because they made it look like folds of the frills are not uniform in terms of the size per fold. I believe this makes it more believable and realistic in a way, especially since she’s in the middle of moving. Consistency of the checkered portion is solid too!
The gap from her garterbelt is a surprising detail since most figures, especially prize figures, would opt to have the belts attached to the clothes (well they aren’t attached to her garter either so yeah hahaha)
Love the body language of her arms. On one hand you can say that Honoka is showering her adoring fans with her presence and her affection, while at the same time they could mean that she is beckoning you. Being a 2d idol is tricky business it seems.
To me, the piece that makes this entire ensemble stand out is Honoka’s skirt! Love the usage of the black transparent plastic on the side instead of a simple black solid plastic
I’m totally digging the golden chain around the skirts along with the plaid pattern around it that makes it look like polka dots from afar. I believe the skirt area is where Honoka has the most skin exposure. Her stomach is as flat as it can be thanks to her diet regimen.
For those into zettai ryouki. Honoka’s outfit fit is cute even upto her thigh high socks. The ribbon lace around it look fragile though.
Her right side is prolly Honoka’s most skin exposure which makes it really tricky to shoot her from that angle without showing too much of her undergarments.
Would’ve been better if the lace was in red or the shoe itself was red leather while the lace was black, but it’s still ok. Her boots are the most normal looking thing found in the figure in my opinion.
I’m somewhat iffy with this peg since the sole of the shoe and boot itself looks like they were made separately. If the boot was the most normal looking thing, then the base is perhaps the low point of this figure. It doesn’t seem to be fitting for a great figure like this to have such a boring and passive looking base like this (even if her name is on top of it). That’s just my take on it though.
They say idols thrive under different places and will brighten it up so I tried to experiment with different backgrounds for Honoka and take good pictures of her. Hope you guys like them.
The tricky part here is the stage. You have to make it believable through the angles and the lighting (especially the lighting). Of course you can’t take pictures from behind without changing your background into a crowd of people or an empty stage if that’s what you like.