Phew, it’s been a while since my last blog post. Thankfully, my website is still functional after I tweaked the theme in various places. I must set aside some time to complete the revamp. さてと, let’s move onto the main topic of this long overdue post which is, incidentally, rubber straps again! I couldn’t stop myself from buying these Uta no Prince-sama straps even though most of my Hetalia ones are still sitting in their boxes. And it doesn’t help when Uta no Prince-sama is the only fandom that I’ve been obsessed with for the past couple of months. Bishies and ‘eargasmic’ music is a lethal combination. Well, I’ve only got myself to blame, and maybe Kotobukiya for constantly churning out irresistibly cute products. Alright, without further ado, here are Nanami Haruka and her potential in-game love interests!
The MAJI LOVE 1000% collection is the first set of UtaPri rubber straps released by Kotobukiya. As suggested by the name, it was based on the fabulous anime from last year. The boxes are decorated with crowns, stars, and stripes that somewhat remind me of school uniforms. There are 10 straps in total. Designs of the A class members are shown on one side of the box while the S class and secret character are shown on the opposite side. I thought the ST☆RISH members would be donning their stage outfits but Kotobukiya saved them as exclusive designs for the es fest and Kotobukiya Direct online shop. *Shakes fist at the lack of international shipping*
First up is the heroine Haruka, cheerful Otoya, ‘Dam of the Heart’ Masato and derpy Natsuki. The psychedelic pink suits Haruka and Otoya’s character designs well since they’re both on the red end of the colour spectrum. Funnily enough, Haruka actually looks less crazed in her rubber strap form. On the other hand, Masato and Nacchan look a bit like bloodthirsty vampires.
Unfortunately, cool-headed Tokiya also suffers from a vampiric guise thanks to the contrast with his dark coloured hair. His classmates Syou and Ren look slightly healthier but still a bit odd. I really wished they had used a darker, neutral colour for the base. Also, I found the musical note ♪ charm to be a bit sharp on the edges. This generates some concern if you want to accessorise a screened devices because it might become a victim of etching. For positive feedback, it’s impressive that they managed to squeeze in the embellishing stripes and tartan patterns on the Saotome Gakuen uniform worn by the characters.
The last three straps from this set are Ringo sensei, Hyuuga sensei and… Cecil the secret character (surprise, surprise)! Ringo’s voluminous pink hair has curls in all the right places and ‘she’ looks perfect with the pink eyes and outline. Cecil’s exotic tanned skin and dark hair clash horribly with the fluorescent pink, otherwise he’s got a pretty cute design. Hyuuga sensei’s huge forehead made me take notice for the first time that the rubber straps designed by Sakurai only have one eyebrow. Poor sensei, you look like you’re troubled by your pseudo monobrow.
Next up is the Debut collection where the four senpai’s also get the chibification treatment and are made into rubber straps. The box design utilises bright pastel colours and little clover-shaped patterns to match the in-game user interface. There are 12 straps in this set but that doesn’t help with the gender imbalance at all. Haruka, you lucky girl.
The outfits from this set are from the Debut PSP game box art illustrated by Kurahana Chinatsu. The details on the military uniforms are superb but the pink is still overpowering. The characters also have new facial expressions in this set, which is great because Masato and Tokiya get to smile for once! They also managed to fix Haruka’s hair so her ear is visible like it’s supposed to be.
Details on small objects is great but I’m not particularly fond of how the fingerless military gloves look on the boys’ hands. They almost resemble hooves. The straps in this set come with a metal crown charm which is more rounded and didn’t feel sharp when I ran my fingers around the rim.
Last, but not least, is the quartet of senpai’s (カルテット ナイト おほほほ)! These straps are a perfect representation of their personalities. Reiji with his cheeky wink, bad-ass rocker Ranmaru, stoic Ai, and Camus looking extremely displeased at your peasant ways. Everyone looks good but it’s sad that Ranmaru’s heterochromia was lost.
Well, that concludes the post. I think I’m finally desensitised to the pink-ness after staring at the photos for so long. I would have preferred to invest in UtaPri figures since they can easily be displayed on their own, but to my frustration, only small charms and voice mascot sets have been released so far. Thankfully, my shipment of UtaPri Nendoroid Petites will arrive in November. Ufufufu! お楽しみに！
(During the process of writing this post, I realised how difficult it is to compose a WordPress post on the iPad using the WordPress app or Safari. Since I’m still relatively new to the device, I’d appreciate if anyone can divulge some tips on managing blogs with iPads.)