Figure Review: Massugu GO! with Amamiya Manami

December 16, 2007 | Author: | In: Anime Blogs, Figures, Manabi Straight!, Merchandise, Photography

As the end of the year approaches, my work load at work has been increasing rather dramatically. However, I do manage to squeeze in my free time to bring forth another figure review. Though it’s probably not a review anymore since all the figures I do now have been out for quite a number of months already. Anyway, a long overdue figure that was screaming for a figure photo shoot, and one I had trouble determining a good location, but in the end, it’s back to the indoor shoots. So now I present to you, Amamiya Manami (or Manabi for short) from Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!

Manabi Straight! was one of those surprise series for me this year as I wasn’t sure on what to expect when I did the season preview for it. The initial impressions was of fat lolis, but as the series progressed, it became something more than just your average everyday school life series. It became a story about friendship and enjoying your youth and your school life, and to fight for it. Manabi, who is a rather overly energetic girl, is the main girl of the series, and it’s only right that there is a figure made of her to show that energetic attitude of hers. And that’s what Good Smile Company have done.

The moment I saw the promo pictures for this figure, I knew immediately that I want this figure, as it captures that energetic passion for life that Manabi has, but really, it’s in such an awesome pose, who could pass this one up? The other thing that it brings out from Manabi is her MASSUGU GO! motto, with her dynamic entry, and her left arm punching the air. The addition of Manabi with her hover scooter just adds to the dynamism to her pose as well as her character.

The amount of detail in Manabi is exceptionally high, even for a regular school girl figure, and I expected nothing less from Good Smile Company. The sculptor, Hiro, has also done a wonderful job on making this Manabi figure, not in just the level of detailing, but making Manabi exactly that of her anime counter-part, which is something not easily done. Some people may disagree with me on that as this Manabi figure may appear to be a simplistic figure, and that the Manabi Straight character design isn’t all that complex, but really, how many figures come to exactly like their anime/game counter parts?

One of the defining features of this figure I would have to say is the hover scooter. Props like these are something that aren’t present in a lot of the figures that I collect, and it doesn’t leave the figure to be a static type that just stands/sits there. Plus GSC didn’t skip on the detailing of the scooter either as it is equally good as Manabi herself. The base itself also adds to the scenario look to the figure, but it does make me wish I could’ve done this figure shoot outside. But one thing for sure about this figure, it’s easy to take the pantsu shot, lol.

Product: Amamiya Manabi
Anime/Game: Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!
Produced by: Good Smile Company
Sculptor: Hiro
Scale: 1/8
Material: PVC
Release Date: July 2007
Price: ¥5,524
Available: HLJ (in stock)

After having photographed the Tohsaka Rin Maid version from GSC, I was a little worried about the Manabi figure. Keep in mind, I don’t open any of my figures until the time comes for me to photograph them. But I am glad that this Manabi figure was beyond my expectations in terms of quality, but also the figure as a whole. What I also like about this figure as well, and with the Manabi Straight! series, the girls are all high schools, yet they also look as if they are elementary-middle schoolers. Even the use of the backpack, which is something you see elementary kids use, gives the feeling of Manabi being a child.

Quality is definitely on the excellent level, on both paint and sculpting work. A lot of detailing has been placed on the uniform, especially on the logo of Manabi’s uniform, but even the mobile phone hanging from her waist. Proportion wise it’s quite accurate to that of the character design, where they have a small frame body, but the head is slightly larger, and also rounder than most figures. Even Manabi’s fingernails are painted as well. Despite the colour scheme of the uniform being blue, I find it to be rather bright in contrast to Manabi herself, and her pink hair, but also to the way she is posed, and how much of her leg is exposed.

Really I can’t seem to find anything bad at all about this Manabi figure. Except maybe when putting the scooter control thing together as I almost broke it, even though it’s made of metal. It’s definitly a great figure and I’m glad that I bought this one compared to the swimsuit versions that have been released. Not really a fan of the school swimsuit look, plus this one is a hundred times better.

Photography Notes:

I was really hoping that I could do this figure shoot outside as I really wanted to test the macro lens out in the field. But given the circumstances of work piling up, and me dong work from home at night as well, plus the weather in Sydney for the past month haven’t been ideal. I notice with this shoot, when editing, the colouring has varied in some photos. Still, I haven’t done much indoor shooting, and so the thing that bugs me about these photos is how the background varies in colour shading. But then I myself am not too sure what kind of style I’m looking for in an indoor shoot, not to mention I should also try using shadowing with the figures if I do it indoors. The other thing I need to play around with is the position of lighting, although I have very minimal room on my desk, it does get tricky.



11 Responses to Figure Review: Massugu GO! with Amamiya Manami

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valho

December 16th, 2007 at 3:58 am

A larger space is definitely a plus when shooting indoor, hence the reason I move my whole setup from my small table to my work table. It actually takes up half of the table :D.

valho’s last blog post..Pumpkin Scissors

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super rats

December 16th, 2007 at 5:01 am

This one had too much undies showing on a loli in normal mode for me. It’s too bad because it looks like a cool sculpt.

Variance in coloring comes from variance in exposure. It’s tough to avoid, especially if you are prone to moving the lights around, since you’re changing the amount of light the BG receives. If you’re leaving the lights stationary and you’re still getting varied exposures, you’re meter is being fooled. In that case, you might want to take a couple of test shots to find the best exposure (or use a hand held light meter) and manually set the exposure.

super rats’s last blog post..Amami Haruka from GoodSmile Co.

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omo

December 16th, 2007 at 6:53 am

I second super rats. I would’ve bought this if not for the blatant fanservice aspect.

omo’s last blog post..Year in Review: Japan Just Can’t Get Some Things Right…

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M12

December 16th, 2007 at 8:01 am

An otaku with photography skills = awesomeness. Nice figurine and photos.

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AS

December 16th, 2007 at 11:26 am

Nostalgic, Manabi straight was a great anime to watch. Her character is truly captured in this figure and the sculpt reminds me of the first episode. Too bad you couldn’t do an outdoor shot, the weather hasn’t been good for me either but I did get enough sunshine to take pictures of Ryuna yesterday, I would have loved to see Manami outdoors. I admit I was confused about the characters age as well when I first saw this anime, I mean look at them lol, something out of elementary school.

AS’s last blog post..Dou-ble the i-dol, dou-ble the fun

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Adun

December 16th, 2007 at 6:36 pm

valho: The problem is that if I move to a larger space, I have nothing I can use as a hair light, well more specifically nothing I can use to hold the hair light. I may have to rethink with what I can use for the time being, but soon enough I’ll head back outside to take photos.

super rats: Nothing wrong with too many panty shots :P Well with this photo shoot, I’ve been varying the aperture and shutter speed, but they are relatively close settings for different shots. I think I’ll mainly have to shift around the lighting to get the desired results.

omo: It’s alright, you can just put her on a lower shelf so no one can see it then.

M12: Thanks.

AS: A shame indeed because I REALLY want to try this lens out in the field. It’s indeed a good figure and I’m rather surprised that there aren’t a lot of people who posted pictures.

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ron~

December 17th, 2007 at 8:42 am

hmmm, I’m still contemplating whether to buy this figurine or not… looks cute, but I already have manami with mikan figurine ._.

one thing I don’t like about this figurine is the white line across her hair :(

ron~’s last blog post..Game: Agarest Senki CG Pictures

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Aya Kyunik

December 17th, 2007 at 4:58 pm

I had to pass on this figure, but I agree about the details, it’s quite exceptional.

I don’t have room for a good indoor photography rig, so I tend to do them outside. The Manabi would of been awesome outside, expectially with your creativity in that area.

Aya Kyunik’s last blog post..To the eastern front!

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blu chocobo

February 3rd, 2008 at 3:45 pm

You know, I’ve recently finished this series, and I really adored it! Seeing this figurine… indeed they’ve captured her spirit well! I love the little details on her uniform, and her cheery expression gives me a smile :)

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July 27th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

[...] as I consider them to be one of the greater gods of the gods of figure producers. Items such as the Manabi, or the Alice L. Malvin are great examples, even though Tohsaka Rin was a bit of a let down, you [...]

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Leonia

May 25th, 2009 at 7:14 am

Oh ! Manami is nice ^^ Your picture a sweet, great works ^^

Leonia’s last blog post..“Twinkle Stars” T.1, Natsuki Takaya (-Otaku-)

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