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Figure Unboxing and Review: Hanairogoromo Meiko

I got this figure in July (together with Kaito) but it took me this long to review it. Due to my busy school schedule daily, I have this huge pile of figure reviews piling up and now I'm just finding time every month (or rather, week) to clear this backlog.
Today, I've decided to take some time back into the past to review this figure that has been in my collection for some time. I would like to think that this is a great time to review her, as Luka's Hanairogoromo version will be released in a few months (November), so it might be a great time to order both of them for your collection, if you'd like to!

The theme color of Meiko is generally red, and this is why there is no surprise to me that her feminine side featured in this figure has a more feminine color in the same color scheme -- pink! The box itself is made from normal (quite thin) cardboard. Though not flimsy, it does give a quite "cheap" feel to it when you compare it to figures giving more sturdy cardboard boxes, such as Myethos.

The outside of the box features a lot of shots of Meiko from different angles and the pattern on her attire. The patterns are an important part of traditional Japanese wear and seeing it immaculately featured on figures is always a selling point for me!
As with the other Hanairogoromo figures, the inside of the feature features the background of the illustration (which is the same one as her printed base). You might want to pull this background sheet out to use as a back piece when displaying Meiko too.

And here is how she looks while still in her blister. You can see that her blister is all tight and secure and she does come with a ton of plastic to prevent paint transfer, especially since she has so many vibrant colors on her.

It even comes with a tiny bit of foam to prevent damage to her feet!
On the other hand, the protection for the sakura branch that came along with her is rather lacking. It is placed directly behind Meiko, without an additional blister for protection and only comes with a thin plastic sheet to cover it. This kind of protection is definitely not up to my standards. Fortunately, the branch and leaves came without any damage.
Well, I've decided to take the sakura branch as part of the base so let's look at this first, then at the circular base itself. As you can see, the sakura branch actually has a lot of dimensions to it, especially with all the shading that brings out all the textures that a tree branch has.

The pink leaves have a gradient effect to them, going from darker pink to almost translucent. I don't think my camera managed to capture that on each group of leaves, but you can see that overall, the colors get lighter the higher up on the branch it goes.
Her circular base is the same as with all the other Hanairogoromo figures, even using the same illustration. There is a silver peg where she/branch connects with the base and so both can be spun around to get a better angle to view the figure from.

First, let's start off with a simple 360 of Meiko.

From these few pictures, you can already see how vibrant her colors are and how soft the kimono appears to be. I especially like how fluffy the fur around her neck looks but I'll get to that part slightly later.
Her hair ornament mixes blue and red together, which is a very bold move in my opinion, as the red might get washed out due to her brown hair. In reality, the red flower stands out a lot less than the blue one, which affirms that it is the right choice to add the blue flower to the red (Meiko's image color), as the color of the former just pops against this red-toned color palette.

You can also see that blue plays a lot of roles in this figure, especially with the undershirt which adds a cool elegance to this figure.
The pose is pretty simple but each crease in her outfit is immaculately sculpted to make the fabric look soft and appear as if it really is draping down. The fur looks warm and fluffy against her neck, and we all know how irritating it can be when something that is supposed to look warm and soft turns out to look stiff and chunky in the final prototype.

Another point that I like about this figure is the obi area. Effective use of gold there adds to the elegance of the figure. However, what I like most is that gold parts are only restricted to these areas. This helps it make the obi look more special and with everyone who is trying to get more unique and pretty obi... well, this is definitely a good way to go about doing this.
Before we talk about the patterns on the kimono, let's take a step down to look at her shoes. Whenever I get figures with traditional Japanese attire, I like to take a moment to see how they actually sculpt the tabi and geta. In this case, I love how there is a gap between her big toe and other toes as it helps to illustrate how a tabi actually looks and functions, with a gap there for the strap of the geta to fit in.

The geta also makes use of paint which makes it look polished as well as a navy blue strap. While the strap doesn't look as close as it should be to authentic fabric, it actually looks great to have that color there to set it apart from the other pink and red colors.

The main pattern on her clothes are flowers and it comes with a few colors. The main parts are red and white, thus tying in with the main color scheme and the fur. However, the center of these flowers are yellow, thus tying in with her gold accents. However, the minimal use of yellow parts actually accentuates the gold at her obi instead!
Now let's take a look at her hair. I find that no matter which angle I view her hair from, be it from the back like the image above, from the top, or from the front, it looks nearly perfect. Her hair looks very well combed and simply styled for a perfect day. While I like the flower ornaments on her hair, I also love how you can't really see the hair seam at the top of her head, as well as how the side of her hair is all slicked back to clip these ornaments on. It adds a touch of realism and elegance to the figure.

A gripe that I have is that her face could have been done better, especially the eyes. Her eyes seem pretty flat to me, perhaps more depth would be better. I have the same issue with her hair, that is, there is insufficient shading. While that wouldn't be a cause of concern usually, but with the amount of shading her kimono has, especially around the sleeves, the minimal shading around her hair makes her hair look pretty lacking as a result.

And last but not the least, let's take a look at how she looks with the cherry blossom branch once more~

Hanairogoromo Meiko is definitely one of my prized possessions and I hope more people will appreciate this figure, especially with the few Meiko scales available!

~ Reina-rin

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