Review: Nendoroid Miku Hatsune Ichigo Shiromuku ver.

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:
I_Kyubey1340887442
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.
4407391571_2b7258c439_z_large
(picture obviously not mine)
Look familiar?

Ok, so now we know what ichigo daifuku is, but what about “shiromuku”
Shiromuku is the name of traditional Japanese bridal attire.
shiromuku01
(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.

But was the figure able to live up to its fantastic design? Let’s find out!
miku and box
Snow Miku is off to a good start with an amazing box!

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.

011
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.

On the sides of the sleeve are pictures of Miku in various poses.
miku box side
miku box side 2

Also on the top and bottom.
miku box top
miku box bottom

And removing the sleeve reveals a large picture of Miku on the front.
miku box sleeveless
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.

miku box inside
And once you open the box and take Miku out, there’s a little strawberry surprise at the bottom! Awwww

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!
miku front
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!

miku side
Having this frosty princess in the direct sun of my backyard feels like a sin!

miku back
The back of her shiromuku.

Now to appreciate some of her finer details.
miku hood leaf
Miku’s hood is smooth with the only adornment on top being a small leaf. This is referencing the mochi which can be served with an edible leaf.

miku hood jewel
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 body
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!

miku body side
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.

miku back close
Here we can see the folds of the hood and her white obi. There isn’t much opportunity for shading with an all white color scheme, but the sculpt is solid enough to survive on its own.

miku feet
Miku’s itty bitty feet!
The feet are moveable, but this makes little difference since they can barely be seen. And because of the kimono, she can even stand without a base!

Speaking of base, here’s what it looks like.
miku stand
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.
044
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.

Part of her hood’s decoration is the snowflake strip.
miku band
The strip is plastic, and has one sticky side.

miku snowflakes
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.

miku no hood 1
Without the snowflake strip and hood, we are free to admire Miku’s formal up do.
Her cool blue bangs frame her delicate face and are decorated by a vibrant origami style pin.

miku no hood 2
From the side, her twisted hair buns become visible.

miku no hood 3
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.

miku bun close up
The strands are inserted via plug, and can turn slightly. But they’re still breakable, so be careful!

Finally, we’re ready for Miku’s accessories!
We’ll start with her faces.
snow miku faces
A beautiful mature expression, a charming smile, and tears of joy.

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.

Part of the fun of nendoroids is of course swapping the faces.
mikuto
Mikuto looks surprisingly fabulous, but I fear I’ll be seeing Kiriku in my nightmares.

Next is the optional arms.
miku arms 1
The default is a pair of straight arms. They have separate shoulder joints and are able to rotate at the elbows and shoulders.

miku arms 2
Second is a pair of bent arms for holding sake. This also fits with the wedding attire since sake is used in the rituals of a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony.

miku sake hands
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.

miku arms 3
The third pair of arms are bent as well, but these are meant for holding a parasol. The attached left hand has a hole for inserting the parasol while the right is shaped for keeping it in place.

miku hands
There is also a pair of open hands.
Remember that all hands are swappable among the arms which gives you the liberty to create your own poses.

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!

It starts with an optional hairstyle.
miku pigtails
You didn’t think Miku could survive without her signature pigtails, did you?

miku pigtail close
The pigtails are for those who prefer Miku’s classic look, and although I like her new hairstyle, the pigtails are very well done. Each tail features a snowflake pattern and blue to green gradient.

088
Her pigtails are fastened with white ties.
The head is different, but it still uses the same front hairpiece as the bun hair.

pigtail joints
And of course they’re jointed!

miku parasol
Next is a parasol to shield delicate Miku from the hot sun. We wouldn’t want her to melt!

097
The parasol comes in two pieces and connects easily.
Paintwork on the handle of mine is a little sloppy. And I’m not sure if it was intentional, but the parasol handle looks like pocky!

miku umbrella underside
The underside of the parasol has painted supports.

104
And the top is a pale yellow with snowflake decorations. The dab of pink provides some color without being obtrusive.

But snow makes everything quiet, so we wouldn’t want Miku to be lonely.
miku and bunny
Because of that, she has a snow bunny to keep her company!

bunny front
The snow bunny is s simple white lump with red eyes and leafy ears.

bunny side
Come to think of it, both of my nendoroids came with bunnies…

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.
miku sitting
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!

miku sitting side
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…

miku sitting bac
The back has a chest joint to aid is posing Miku, and the hole on her lower back is for the obi which is attached to the standing body.

kiriku
And don’t forget that you can swap the body with other eager nendoroids!

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!

But Miku is a bride! And not just any bride, a mochi bride! You wouldn’t want her sitting on the ground, would you?
miku on plate
That’s why Miku has this little dessert plate to sit on instead!

miku toothpick close
And completing this beautiful plate is a little toothpick.

miku toothpick
Only the best for you, my tasty beautiful Miku.

Now that we’ve seen absolutely everything ShiroMiku (ahaha) comes with, let’s give her her very own photo shoot!

miku outside
I noticed this area while photographing Asuna and immediately knew it would be perfect for Miku.
Worn wood is so charming~

miku vertical

purple dots
Some small flowers.

black and white dots
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…

zen
I was going for a rocky zen garden look…

I hope to be able to photograph her in the snow one day!

rock
Miku is able to sit with her hood on in these pictures, but that is only because she is leaning on the statue. Without something to lean on, Miku topples right over.

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.

sake room
Enjoying your sake, Miku?

I did my best to fill the room with Japanese decorations. I really should go back to the hobby store and replenish my props.

lounging

resting
Nap time!
That blanket sure has been appearing a lot…

plate

Final Words
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!

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Review: Nendoroid Miku Hatsune Ichigo Shiromuku ver.

  1. Pingback: Postcard Giveaway Winners! | Never Outgrew Toys

  2. Pingback: Postcard Giveaway! | Never Outgrew Toys

  3. Pingback: Figma News Fridays: 5/16/14 | Never Outgrew Toys

  4. Pingback: Swinging into Spring | Never Outgrew Toys

  5. Pingback: Surprise Snow Day | Never Outgrew Toys

  6. Pingback: Summer with a Splash of Autumn | Never Outgrew Toys

  7. Pingback: Review: figma Black Rock Shooter 2035 | Never Outgrew Toys

  8. I like this version of Snow Miku, because it simply is not just a recolor, I’m not a fan of figure recolors. I also like the whole idea of the design being both crowdsourced and chosen in pretty neat. For the fans by fans kind of deal.

    Like

    • Yep, this Snow Miku is definitely more creative than the first two. I also like that the fan designs give her a more stylized appearance. I most likely won’t be getting this year’s, but I’m still looking forward to seeing her finished!

      Like

  9. Awww she’s so adorable! Reading your review makes me regret too for not making a PO when she came out, now I’ve been staling hobby shops for the greatest deals. T,T

    Lovely photos! It makes me even want her more! The third from the last photo is my favorite. I also shared your review to my fanpage coz I loved it so much! Maybe you could take a look! http://www.facebook.com/lovepinkcheeks

    I hope I could get a Snow Miku soon, she’ll be my first Miku ever. ^_^

    Like

  10. She’s really beautiful! ❤ I like your indoor photos of her, the light shining through the shoji screen is very nice. How did you make it? XD Can't wait for mine to arrive. ❤

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s