The article of interest today is everyone's favorite Toudanshi: Mikazuki Munechika by Orange Rouge. In case you don't know yet, OR is co-founded by Good Smile Company and Max Factory with a focus on making male figures for the female fans! This is their very first figure and it is already breathtaking.You must all be wondering since when did I unbox a figure days after receiving it? Now, here's a starter: Mikazuki Munechika. When he was first released onto pre-order status, there was a huge fuss over his price (13k yen) and whether his details were worthy of such a pricey price tag when his pose was that stagnant.
I pre-ordered him after nearly a week of hesitation, and actually did so on a whim when I was stressing out over my work and research. I never really regretted the decision though I wasn't really excited for him either, but now that I have him by my side, I can finally say that I'm glad I ordered him!
I can't actually find any flaws on my copy that's worth pointing out, so bear with this lengthy post that will be full of praise for the figure.
Here is a 360 of the box. It is is quite similar to Kogitsunemaru's box design, with the difference being that Kogitsune's had yellow/brown with black and Mikazuki's play on his main colors, blue (and black) and a touch of gold to boot.
The box is sturdy and holds the figure's weight well. There is no huge issue with the box and I'm pleased with the huge window and the different views of the figure that's captured on the box itself.
Likewise, a sturdy blister with the sides taped together to prevent unnecessary moving of the figure. Though, he only comes with two parts, the base and the main figure itself.
Opening up the blister shows Mikazuki with a lot of plastic covering, which makes sense because he comes with so many intricate details and trinkets and has so many vibrant colors. Paint transfer might very well be an issue. Thanks to their thoughtfulness, nothing on my copy had paint transfer.
Furthermore, as the manufacturers think his sleeves are easily broken (raised arms leaving empty sleeve area), they added foam on one side and a custom-made plastic on the other for some additional support.
If there is anything I'm unhappy with, it will be the base. It's so plain.
While it has details of Mikazuki's crest, it is nowhere near enough for it to complement the figure. The 4 plastic pegs are tiny too and make me worry if it can hold the weight of the figure in the long-run.
Other than these, the base is still working fine, and the lack of a dynamic pose does put my mind to rest about leaning issues.
Posing and Assembly
Contrary to my usual 4 to 5 captures of a figure's 360, I have chosen to take many more images to illustrate how pretty he looks in most views.
Even with only a white background and such a simple pose, Mikazuki draws attention like no other!
His assembly, you say? Well, it's just putting him onto the base. But more importantly, let's look at the specific areas of this figure which I love!
Sculpting and Painting
The details on this figure is simply amazing. And that's my one and only focus for this entire section -- "Details". Let's see...
First, his face. While I'm not a big fan of how feminine he looks, there are several parts I have to applaud the sculptor and his team for. And that is his lips. Unlike most figures out nowadays with the same :) smile, Mikazuki's lips doesn't form such a perfect arc, and has a dip in the middle like how normal lips look. Also, another point is that his lips has a pink shade to them, again unlike usual figures which would stop at putting a pink line in for the lips.
From the same image, you will see a pattern on his blue cloth. You will continue seeing this throughout the figure. GSC said this was sculpted in, hence making the price 13k. I was initially very skeptical to this, but you can actually feel the lines when you run your finger past them. It's amazing!
Of course, no work was cut when it came to Mikazuki's hair. His unique hair design is one of the reasons why he is so popular after all! None of the strands look out of place.
|He looks so relaxed here TwT)/|
In addition, the tassels at the side of his head has each strand individually sculpted, then dusted gold. And the back of his head has the knot for the tassels (in the image above). A point to note is that the black string could have been made slimmer to make it look more realistic, however, that is not to say that it looks chunky and bad but just me nitpicking as usual.
Back onto the theme of details, we move down the outfit to examine it closer and... we see the gold plate at his neck. Amazing work with the tassels aside, you do see that the white bars are each individually shaded, right? That sure takes a lot of concentration and effort, and all these details might be why he kept getting delayed.
Now at his waistline, we see yet another gold plate amongst other stuff. There are at least two different textures here: the glossy gold, the red and yellow tassels, and the gold plate thing again. The glossy paint is extremely eye-catching but the main catch of this is the red obi, which has intricate winding of the strings, captured perfectly in figure form. Underneath all this, we even see a patterned cloth, which has no paint spills and each pattern printed on it is crisp.
And this adds up to 3 different layers in the same area: patterned cloth (lowest), pale yellow gold plate (similar to the one on the chest), and the red tassels. Amazing! How do they manage to do that?
Even his arm parts leave me in awe. The ring-like object on his finger (is that really a ring) is so intricate and dusted gold to match the rest of his outfit. Again, I wonder if they actually made that part and then added it on since it would have been a pain to paint that onto the figure after. But if they did, bravo for not leaving any glue stains.
With this image, I'll like to take the opportunity to mention his gloves/gauntlets as well. There's so many details there. First, you are see the two textures there, one at the finger area and the other at the back of the hand. The former is thin and you can see beige showing through to illustrate that effect. The latter has appropriate thickness and texture to set it apart from the former.
The sword hilt is also visible and is very detailed, It's beautiful, even when considered only on its own.
Second image to highlight the gold band on his wrist as well as the clip at his sleeves just under his hand. That same clip is seen on the other side of the figure and yes, they are identical. The effects of having the clip there is shown throughout the sleeve in the form of creases that change the flow of the material.
Nice realistic creases and shading, which make the sculpt look real and soft. I can't believe this isn't just cloth! Again, we see the sculpted pattern and the amazing tassels.
The back of the sword uses a darker color that isn't out of place. The rustic feel adds to the figure by providing another color and texture dimension. Not to mention that it ties in with Mikazuki and his concept of the crescent moon.
Here's to point out the identical details on the other side of the sleeve.
Looking from the other side of Mikazuki's waist we see the same detailing for the layers. Now, with a crisscross of the obi, which is traditionally accurate, and quite difficult to pull off in sculpts without the end-product looking all chunky and undesirable. Kudos, Orange Rouge!
Not to mention, realistic creases around his waist which are more visible in the next image.
The gold-plate-like thing is on his back too. Here his tassels look even thicker than usual and quite mortifying actually. I wonder how much weight all these add up to. Can Mikazuki actually battle like this?The details aren't only for his blue outfit parts but the white ones as well. Though I haven't been mentioning them. the creases for these white parts are superb and are what gives that push in the background for this figure.
We look at the hakama part here and the plaiting. Since we have so many school girl figures, figure company must have became really adept at sculpting plaited things, however that's not my focus. I want to zoom in to the diamond spots on Mikazuki's hakama, each of varying sizes but a repeated pattern. It's a really nice touch to add in.
His shoes (or sandals) are really superb too. The brown straw is rather flatly painted but to make up for that, each knot is clearly and cleanly shown. I would also like to highlight the socks, which look white but are actually slightly tinted yellow to match with the material that was used in that time period when Mikazuki came from. Not to mention, not having it pure white likely means that more effort was put into painting!
The pinched part of the socks is cleanly executed as well.Similar to his sleeves which are sculpted quite deeply, so is his hakama parts. His legs reach all the way in, as far as I can see and that's a very nice detail to add in. All these little details, big and small, all adds to the cost of the figure making him 13k yen. In fact, I think he is really worth that 13k yen.
When Nendoroid Mikazuki was released, and people wonder that since Nendo him didn't come with panties or boxers, would the figure him have more details in that aspect. Unfortunately, I don't think they went to that extent. However, that's what I can judge only from this image and the next. If there's someone out there who is willing to cut open Mikazuki's outfit to find out the answers, by all means. I love the details on the outfit, and the character too much to even dream of doing that.
A second image to illustrate the deep sculpt of the sleeves, as well as the deep gap between the hakama and the pants.
If you have read to the end of this article, thank you! It has been a really lengthy read!
For anyone who can afford Mikazuki, please do buy him. He is fantastic, so much so that I can't put it properly in words. For those who don't, perhaps you can focus on other characters you like, or wait for his damaged version. While I have my doubts if I'll be purchasing his damaged version as well, I'll make sure to review him on here if I do~