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Figure Unboxing and Review: Kousaka Honoka ImaBoku ver. (Good Smile Company)

This is one of the first figures for Love Live, featuring Kousaka Honoka in the stage outfit of Season 1's opening theme: Bokura wa Ima no Naka de. This figure drew a lot of negative comments due to the huge tilt in her pose, which caused worry for possible tilting in the future, as well as from fans of the other eight members who were unhappy that their favorite member would not get the same figure treatment.
Quite frankly, one would think that they have gotten a steal for this figure as I found her unopened at around 4,000 yen. However, unfortunately, even the box itself looks and feels quite compact and cheap. The back of the box features the figure's back view, but at the same time, also fleshes out how tilted the figure is. Honoka looks like she is about to fall over!
This problem seems to be gone when you see her in the plastic blister, but it quickly resurfaces when you attach her to the base as the two connect at an angle.
The base is plain and has light pink lines running across it. Definitely not too much to inspire or see here. It can certainly offer a lot more, even with something as simple as adding in her name or the title of the series in a font that stands out more.

What is good about this base would be how compact it is. It does serve the purpose of anchoring the figure well, and when mixed with its small size, makes it incredibly easy to fit Honoka into displays.
The peg is a small white plastic peg that does its job amazingly well. While the base is plain, it is debatable that there are some nice touches to it. First, there are two shades of pink: a lighter pink for the stripes, and a darker pink when the stripes cross each other.

At this angle, you would be able to see 'Honoka Kousaka' written in white font on the base. I do wish that it was in a darker pink instead so the font can pop better.
With Honoka out of the box and placed onto the base, we can now take a simple 360 of her to see how the figure looks from different angles. Fortunately, she still appears quite presentable from the front!
Her hair color is a lot more saturated on the figure than in the illustration on the box, so that's a minus for me. Her pose is quite Honoka-esque and you can sense her liveliness emanating from the figure itself!
I especially like the ruffles down her shirt and around her arm. 
In Love Live, there is typically three different styles per outfit, with three girls in each style, and I'm really glad that they gave Honoka this particular one as I find that it suits her the best!
From the back, you can see that Honoka's hair is nearly the shade of ginger and more close to blonde than brown. This is the natural color and shade that the figure came with, and is by no means due to sun damage. Likewise, the tilted slant of her pose closely resembles the original, and is not from any tilting or damages due to weight distribution.
Changing Honoka's angle slightly rectifies the visual aspect of the tilting issue and we can now concentrate on how puffy her red skirt is. 

The black parts are slightly translucent too and that really adds an extra touch of color, texture, and dimension to the figure.
The suspenders crossing at the small of her back are also lifted off her shirt to illustrate the tug of the material. This adds a slight bit of realism which I always appreciate in a figure.
However, what isn't realistic to me is how her hair is sculpted. There is too much one-directional movement in her ponytail, suggesting that Honoka just made a huge movement, however, the same amount of movement are not seen in the sculpt for the rest of her hair and clothes. 
Strangely, despite that, GSC seems to have paid quite a bit of attention to the yellow ribbon on her chest, making it puffy and giving it nice creases. The paintwork is impeccable and all the stripes are painted on cleanly with no paint leaks.

GSC also took the time to make her hands really detailed, especially her outstretched hand, which had quite a bit of shading in addition to the realistic sculpt. The heart cutout on the back of her hand is precise for both shading and sculpting too. While I appreciate the efforts here, it might be more appropriate to divert this attention to the other aspects of the figure so as to balance things out.

And last but not the least, Honoka comes with knee socks which end with a red ribbon lining. The stockings are in opaque matte grey that is a very different shade and texture compared to the glossy two-toned color used for her black boots.

Posing ★★
Painting ★★★


~ Reina-rin

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