Been excited to see this figure to come out the moment I saw the prototype.
Maeda Keiji has been one of my most favorite character designs from Hyakka Ryouran followed by Cottage-san. It’s not really the exposed chest that got me to like it (it does help though),
Nothing special with the box despite being a limited exclusive figure, however I do appreciate the yellow flower accents found in the packaging instead of just sticking to a gradient red color. I know that most of collectors nowadays buy from online shops instead of going to toy shops to look around for the latest figures, but boxes do play an important role especially in Japan since a lot of collectors in Japan still buy from shops. The same can especially be said with preowned figures (aka second hand figures).
It’s hard to say no to such a lovely piece of art with all the fine touches found in this more-tangible piece of NiO’s body of work. Small nuances like the way she is standing , the paint job and the character design makes the figure stand out like majority of its other Hyakka Ryouran counterparts.
I might get shot by fans for this but Maeda Keiji reminds me of a lot of Lacus Clyne (or Meer Campbell) from Gundam Seed. Lacus with just a wee bit less clothes. It’s probably the hairstyle and the pinkness of the hair ^^
The beauty of having asymmetrical bangs, is that you don’t get bored looking at the face from whichever angle you are looking from. If you want to see some sort of partition, or some forehead then you can look at Keiji’s left side.
Personally I like seeing more of her bangs as it makes her more look relaxed and a wee bit feminine as opposed to the strong aura she possesses from the character design she has.
Also, the “unified” sideburn looks weird, I admit. I mean I don’t even know which end is shorter. But I guess because of that certain quirk, our eyes’ attention are pulled towards Keiji’s face even more. ^^
Nothing really spectacular with the backside of her hair aside from the fact that it’s tied up in a ponytail.
The ponytail on the other hand is different as it perfectly mixes thick and thin strips of plastic to make the hair look more freeflowing without making the hair look brittle and fragile. I love the pipe being their on her ponytail too. The gold paint job doesnt look cheap and fora small part, it’s been painted well without any markings of clumpy dried paint found in small parts.
I think the eyes are by far the hardest to paint. If I’m not mistaken, a lot of figure makers make use of decals to easily reproduce these wonderfully painted eyes without sacrificing quality and production efficieny. Imagine having to paint each and individual figure’s eye without losing on consistency @__@
I have to give it to NiO, he’s even imaginative down to the design of his character’s undergarments. Sure they don’t exactly look “protective”, but the crisscross laces/string of ther undergarment really does capture the eye.
Found on borth sleeves of her are patterns of flowers which were executed really well on the figure. The gradient sleeves which transform from brown to orange yellow to red is perhaps the biggest draw-in to this figure (aside from her exposed body :P). On a side note, the entire ensemble completely reminds me of autumn which is somewhat contrast to a character that seemingly has a sunny disposition.
Even the back portion of the sleeves get the same treatment of detail. No laziness found here. The folds of the clothing look more like flat pieces of clothing than mere clumps of plastic putty which we see in some figures that really try hard to recreate layers and layers of fabric.
Oh right, the “butt window” of Maeda Keiji can’t be seen well in this figure because of the amount of fabric on her obi. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing ^^;;
Those fingernails and clumps of fat found on fingers. Not much details found on her hands aside from that but that’s ok really.
It would’ve been really awesome if NiO places some gold studs on her shorts, but then again if he did, that would’ve taken away our attention from the upper half since that’s the focal subject of this character design. At least Alter got the folds down and it didn’t look like she was wearing some really really tight shorts XD
Despite the simplicity in design, Alter managed to add folds and even ensured that the leg fat would be seen because of the tightness of the stockings. Even that white star there has creases also.
Her stockings remind me of BRS for some odd reason though
Maeda Keiji comes with two accessories, the first being her umbrella. It really goes well with the entire “autumn ensemble” she has going for her and it brings a bit of elegance to her otherwise exposed self.
It’s kinda nice that the umbrella’s “stems” (whatver you call it) have dark red gradient to prevent it from looking flat even from afar. They also applied a more deep matte red look to make it look like it was made of rice paper.
Her second accessory is a sword painted in sparkling orange paint. Despite having a good paintjob, I have to say the umbrella brings more oomph to this figure than her sword.
Camera has been focusing sometimes on certain parts. I sometimes leave my camera on auto focus whenever i take pictures because my eyes are really bad. I’m almost legally blind, that kind of bad/ But so far, my eyesight has been slowly improving thanks to proper nutrition (go carrots!). Sometimes making the aperture go 7.1 helps the sharpness issue and the auto-focus problems i’m having when it comes with figures with lots of reds.
As you guys who have read my reviews before would know, I’m pretty particular when it comes to the base also. Although we didn’t get something like a mound of red leaves as her base, at least we didn’t get some clear plastic 😛 I bet they were going for something like a black lacquer finish here
And from this point on wards, I’ll just have some fun with the camera and the figure part, which is my favorite part. I’m actually thinking of stopping reviewing figures objectively and just go with this sort of segment. Editing and doing 50+ pictures takes a toll on productivity when there are a lot of things I want to talk about. What do you guys think?
Feel free to check these other reviews as well ^^ I’m trying to test a related search toolbar, so it might appear that the content doubled below. It kinda irks me that it’s a plug-in that randomly generates related searches based on tags and keywords. It would be nice to have some control on that lol.