Today I’ll be giving nendoroid reviewing another try with Nendoroid Miku Hatsune Ichigo Shiromuku ver (also known as Snow Miku 2013) by Good Smile Company.
Ever since the idea was conceived in 2012 by an evil genius, Snow Miku has been a yearly tradition of Goodsmile Company. The first few iterations were merely recolors of Miku’s signature outfit, but as the years went on, and better ideas were needed, Goodsmile Company added a design contest to the Snow Miku tradition. 2012’s contest was jewel themed and yielded a refreshingly cute, but still fairly typical fluffy coat Miku. When 2013 arrived, the contest was dessert themed, and we ended up with this little cutie designed by Nijita:
At first glance, this design is very pretty. She’s wearing a snowflake kimono, has a new hairstyle, and is completely different from past Snow Mikus. But the dessert theme may not be easily recognized by some, and it was not until I learned a little more about traditional Japanese desserts and clothing that I was able to fully appreciate the brilliance of this design.
The dessert from which Miku’s inspiration is drawn is strawberry daifuku. Strawberry daifuku is mochi(rice cake) filled with strawberry.
(picture obviously not mine)
Ok, so now we know what ichigo daifuku is, but what about “shiromuku”
Shiromuku is the name of traditional Japanese bridal attire.
(Once again, picture is not mine)
Hmm where have I seen this before?
With this knowledge, we can truly appreciate Miku’s design! That Nijita sensed a correlation between these two things and was able to combine them so successfully is amazing, and after learning of this costume’s origin, I came to love it even more.
Boxes do not normally earn their own showcasing, but this one deserves it, so I’ll give it a little more time.
The box breaks away from what is typical for nendoroids to adopt the appearance of a fancy package of sweet treats. It comes shrink wrapped and is quite heavy from not only the contents, but also due to the materials the box is made of. Good thick cardboard is good for protection, but it’s volume may add to shipping costs.
Wrapped around the red box itself is a white sleeve. The sleeve can be slid off and also has a tab in the back for easy removal.
With textured paper, gold lettering, and snowflake indents, it already looks like a luxury item.
And removing the sleeve reveals a large picture of Miku on the front.
Notice that the box has absolutely no windows. This makes spotting a bootleg a little more difficult, so take note of the quality of the genuine product. It looks and feels fancy, and the colors are vibrant.
Although I always keep track of the yearly Snow Miku, I never look with the intention of buying one. When this Miku’s prototype was revealed and orders went up, I certainly liked her, but that is the case with a lot of nendoroids that I end up being able to live without. Yet as time passed, I found myself coming back to her, and in a moment of weakness ended up joining a group order.Part of what contributed to my breaking down and getting this Miku is my recently discovered kimono obsession. I bent my own scaled figures kimono only rule for you, Miku!
Now for the real reason I wanted this: Miku!
Observing her color palette, Miku screams winter. The combination of pure white and alpine teal gives me chills, and just looking at her reminds me of cooler days.
It feels like she should be mint scented!
And on the sides of the hood are flower adornments. They are painted a dusty brown which helps them to stand out against the kimono and have a natural look. Both flowers are made of hard PVC, so they do not bend at all.
Miku’s kimono is made to appear as several layers (it is formal wear after all).
The outer layer is pure white and decorated by subtle silver snowflakes. It is fastened with a pin like those on the hood and has a flexible collar. The collar is not soft PVC, but it’s loose placement helps Miku to move her arms a little better.
The innermost layer is red which compliments the inner hood and reinforces the shiromuku theme. Both kimonos open at the bottom to provide a peek of Miku’s feet.
One detail that I did not notice until seeing Miku for myself is the strawberry shape on her chest. It’s very cute!
Because Miku is mostly white, color rub-off needs to be taken into consideration. The kimono makes it so that Miku is not very flexible, so her parts often rub together during posing, and I noticed small blue scratches left by her hair after a while.
Speaking of base, here’s what it looks like.
Rather than the frosted base I’m accustomed to seeing, this one is a clear icy plastic. I prefer it.
The hourglass shaped piece is what Miku stands on. Simply put her legs over the thin part. The base holds her quite well, and because there is no arm, Miku does not have to have a hole in her back!
Although pretty, the hood is rather bulky(not to mention heavy) and hides some of Miku’s lovely details. Thankfully it can be removed.
Not only is the inside of the hood red, it also has little strawberry seed patterns on the inside!
The hood connects with three pegs. I find it quite bothersome to put back on, and the pegs are small, so it’s important to be careful.
In order to be put on Miku, the sticky side needs to be stuck to the non-sticky side to create a loop. Then you can just place the loop on Miku’s head and put the hood on over it.
The strip looks ok, but it’s a far cry from that shown with the prototype. In comparison, the final product’s strip is dull and loses a lot of the crisp beauty of pure white snowflakes. I’d have preferred better printing on the plastic strip or even sculpted snowflakes attached to the hood.
I love this hairstyle on Miku. It drifts from the childlike pigtails we are accustomed to seeing on Miku in favor of an appropriately mature and elegant appearance. The strands coming from the buns also add to that and have a lovely blue to pale green gradient.
To me, Miku’s first face really brings the winter theme across. Her pale skin and slight blush make her easy to picture in a field of white and help her appear more grown up. It actually reminds me of the face on Goodsmile Company’s Saber Lily: Golden Caliburn.
The second face is my favorite. It has not only an adorable sideways glance, but a cute “V” shaped smile. It makes me think of Erio Touwa!
The third is included because of the wedding kimono, and although there’s nothing wrong with it, I find it to be my least favorite.
For the sake arms, the hands holding the sake cup are one piece and there is no hand hole for the right hand–they merely fit together. This prevents you from having Miku hold the cup with one hand or using it with any other arms.
These were the obligatory accessories, so let’s see what there is to pose Miku with!
Because of her kimono, Miku lacks the pose ability of many of her nendoroid counterparts. To make up for this, Goodsmile Company provided many lovely extra parts!
But even with all of these extra pieces, Miku still is not a very flexible nendoroid. To give her a few more poses, a sitting body is included.
Rather than the seiza sitting position you would normally see when one is wearing a kimono, Miku is placed in a more relaxed pose. This makes her extra cute!
You can see that Miku’s right foot peeks out from underneath her kimono. This foot is not attached to the sitting body and needs to be taken from her standing body.
With two bodies and two heads, you’d think that there would be enough in this package to display two nendoroids, but because of the shared front hairpiece and foot, this is not possible with just one Miku. Sneaky, GSC…
I happen to love sitting poses, so this body is perfect for me, but it does come with it’s flaws. The first is that because of Miku’s enormous head, she can be difficult to balance when sitting(especially with the hood on). Using her straight arms for balancing helps, but this reduces your posing options. I also noticed that the faces fit into the sitting body very tightly. Make sure not to push too hard on the neck joints!
Now that we’ve seen absolutely everything ShiroMiku (ahaha) comes with, let’s give her her very own photo shoot!
I noticed this area while photographing Asuna and immediately knew it would be perfect for Miku.
Worn wood is so charming~
Black and white is what I do when the colors don’t work out XD
You’ll notice that I used the sitting body a lot in this shoot. In fact, I didn’t even notice until I was going over the pictures. I did say I liked it…
I hope to be able to photograph her in the snow one day!
For the indoor portion of the shoot, I finally got off my bunny butt and did something I’ve been meaning to do for months: make a shoji screen! I’ve seen many handmade Japanese rooms for nendoroids, and always love what people are able to do with them. So who better to inspire me to finally try making my own than Miku?
It took a long time, and the lines are not entirely straight, but I’m still quite pleased with it for a first try.
I did my best to fill the room with Japanese decorations. I really should go back to the hobby store and replenish my props.
This is a beautiful iteration of Miku, and the most unique Snow Miku so far. And even if she was an impulse buy, I do not regret adding her to my collection. However, the many pieces make her very fiddly while the kimono greatly hinders her pose ability. Still, I think that the extra pieces offer excellent compensation. Now both yukata Miku nendoroids and Maiko Madoka are on my list!