ドキドキで壊れそう1000％LOVE! I had this post in draft form for the past four months but the five-day Easter weekend finally forced me to finish it. Woo, just in time for the second anime season! I had my eyes set on these Uta no Prince-sama Nendoroid Petite figures as soon as their production was first announced at the Winter Wonfes early last year. Alas, I was in much despair when I found out they are exclusive to Animate stores in Japan. 絶望したわ (;*´Д`)ﾉ In search of a solution, I went to MyFigureCollection.net but was hesitant to order from the secondary distributors suggested in item discussions. Thankfully, a kind MFC user organised a group order and I was one of the lucky select few to be included. Phew, やっと手に入れた! Read on for a brief review where I did a mini photo shoot with some UtaPri bromide cards that I had handy.
I don’t quite understand the logic of marketing these Nendoroid Petites as exclusive figures since UtaPri is a popular fandom and they have great potential for sales given the scarcity of male figures compared to female figures. Well, it hasn’t stopped global fans from obtaining them through proxy, which may be the reason why they were placed 12th in terms of total sales (counted as per box-set) for products released by GSC in 2012 (ref Mikatan’s report here). Quite impressive given the fact they were released late in the year.
Seeing the multi-coloured silhouettes on the big box reminded me of the part in the anime where ST☆RISH leaped out on stage for their debut performance. Each box is a complete set and includes all six boys shown on the package plus the secret character. There’s also a random double-up since there are eight figures in a box-set. I was hoping for either Tokiya or Natsuki so I could modify them into their respective alternative identities but I got Masato-kun. (2 x 心のダム!)
Time to take them out of their packaging! This is the first time I’ve purchased a complete box of Nendoroid Petites. They were wrapped in plastic and bubble wrap which provided some additional protection. Even their hind views have much to say about the personality of each character. The gradient paint work on their hair is nicely done. Syo is probably my favourite since the pink tinge blends well with his blonde locks. The shading isn’t as conspicuous for the boys with dark-coloured hair but they do appear sleek and shiny. (I wonder if they can recommend me a good hair conditioner. Split-ends have been troubling me lately.) However, setting up the figures was an excruciating process because the stands don’t fit perfectly into the holes on their backs. The whole ordeal left me with small blisters on my thumb. ヘ(>_<ヘ)
プリンスたち参上！My lovely friend Angela sent me these clearfile folders exclusively from the Kotobukiya online store for my birthday last year. Thanks again! ♡ I thought pairing the princes up with their clearfile counterparts was a cute photo idea.
Now for a closer look at the actual figures. First off we have the cheerful and energetic Ittoki Otoya! His facial expression certainly makes him look really bright and happy. His headphone are made of flexible plastic so you can adjust or remove them as you please. Personally I find them a bit annoying because they don’t sit well around his neck and restricts head movement. I love the minor details on the school uniform though, especially the buttons and gold stripes on his blazer.
Next we have uptight Ichinose Tokiya who is most displeased at my incompetent photography. (キャァァァ～ ハズバンド出た!) Okay, I joke. It’s funny how I have an urge to pinch his face when he looks really serious standing with his arms crossed like that. He also has well-defined butt cheeks but it’s not shown in the photo. ほほほ (*´∀`*) His left hand is sculpted onto his right arm but the separation is pretty well concealed. I really like his general appearance but limitation in poses is inevitable.
Hmmm, I wonder what Masato is contemplating about with that stern look on his face. The number of melon breads he should have for lunch perhaps? Masa’s left arm is moulded to rest snugly against his cute argyle sweater so I guess he’ll be forever ruminating about his lunch menu and future idol career. His teardrop mole is a subtle yet prominent feature on his face and complements his well-groomed hair. I’m constantly reminded of Atobe Keigo’s song チャームポイントは泣きボクロ ‘My Charm Point is my Teardrop Mole’ from The Prince of Tennis which, ironically, is sung by Ren’s seiyuu Suwabe Junichi.
And now we have Mr Sexy Jinguji Ren! *Swoons* I think the winking expression and pose captures his flirtatious personality perfectly. I read on Mikatan’s blog that some fans noticed that Ren was missing the bracelet on his right hand as a prototype figure so it was only added after the official product photos were taken. It’s good that attention has been paid to such details. However, it would’ve been nice if they had some variation in skin tone since Ren and Otoya are supposed to have slightly tanned skin compared to the other boys.
Natsuki is the resident cloudcuckoolander of the series. You can actually take his glasses off but I don’t have a suitable Satsuki faceplate to demonstrate the look. I like how they simplified his messy wavy hair and made his ahoge point downwards so it’s not susceptible to damage. For those who don’t know what an ahoge is, here’s a description from the Animanga Wiki:
Consisting of a single, often large, lock of hair sticking out from the top of the head, it is most often used to identify foolish, bumbling or carefree characters
– Animanga Wiki
I guess that half sums up Natsuki’s character, haha.
Here’s Syo-chan and his massive hat! It was mentioned in the game that he wears hats to appear taller and I guess you can say that he has succeeded in his Nendoroid Petite form. The hat is not specifically sculpted to fit Syo’s head so other characters may also don it. I created a mini story based on that which you can check out later in this blog post. My Syo figure has a weird indentation on his left shoulder joint that’s probably a manufacturing flaw. Thankfully it’s not too conspicuous from the front.
Last but not least, we have our secret character Cecil – the first prince of Agnapalace (surprise, surprise). He looks super adorable with his tanned skin, emerald eyes and innocent smile. On closer inspection, sculpting of his left hand seems incomplete as four fingers are reduced to a single blob. Poor Cecil. I like how the nehru-collared shirt distinguishes his uniform look from that of the other boys.
Mini story time!
S: 俺様参上！ (M: 何をしているんですか、四ノ宮さん？ O: ねね！ 俺も被りたいよ！)
S: The awesome me has arrived! (M: What are you doing, Shinomiya-san? O: Hey, hey! I want to wear it too!)
N: はい～ どうぞ～ C: ステキ！面白そうです。
N: Sure~ Here you go~ C: Lovely! This seems interesting.
R: 次はセッシーか… T: 以外に似合いますね。
R: So Cecil is next, huh?… T: It’s unexpectedly fitting.
S: 那月！ヽ(#`Д´)ﾉ 俺の帽子勝手に取るな！返せ！！ … あぁ、ヤベェ…
S: Natsuki! ヽ(#`Д´)ﾉ Don’t take my hat as you please! Give it back!! … Ah, this can’t be good…
And that concludes this blog post. I leave you with close-up images so you can appreciate the sparkly details. またね～