Figure Review: Shinku inviting you for tea

January 21, 2008 | Author: | In: Anime Blogs, Figures, Merchandise, Photography

Now this was a figure I was really looking forward to in 2007. The moment that this figured arrived, I actually opened the box up just to see just how awesome it looked compared to the promo pictures available, and my word was it a beauty. Definitely a figure long overdue for a photo shoot, but I wanted to do this one right. But alas for this kind of figure, it’s a little hard to take outside without the risk of damaging it in anyway, thus an indoor shoot was done. So this time around, it’s Alter’s Shinku from Rozen Maiden. Hit the jump to check out the rest of the photos.

Ever since I watched the Rozen Maiden series, I’ve been a fan of the series and was hoping for some figures to come out for them. Of course there are the Suiseiseki and Souseiseki, as well as the Suigintou, but the quality of these figures is something best to be left forgotten. But with the rise in figure quality over the past years we finally get what we Rozen Maiden fans have been waiting for. A good quality Shinku figure. And Alter is the one who brings us such a wonderful figure.

At a glance you just just tell that this figure is astonishing. Every little detail has been given close attention to bring out the the things that make Shinku come to life, but also retain that doll-like attribute. Now I wouldn’t say I know much about dolls, or the Victorian era, but after watching a series like Rozen Maiden and seeing this Shinku figure, I can come to appreciate the them more than I have before. But I guess with a series like Rozen Maiden it has gotten me interested in the dollfie world as well.

The one major point about Shinku’s character design is the dress that she wears. From what I’ve seen of Victorian style dresses is that they have a lot of lace patterns, and also have that ruffled, patterned look, as well as ribbons. Here with Shinku, we get exactly all of that with the headdress that she is wearing, to the big green ribbon on her chest. Like I mentioned before, even the smallest of details were looked at, and that includes the little roses her headdress, green ribbon, and even on her shoes.

Her actually dress is wonderful as there are so many ruffles and creases. Although some would be thanks to the pose that she is, but this is essence of the dress. In the photos, her dress may look a bit of a vibrant red, but in fact it’s more flat and slightly darker. This is thanks to the shading placed throughout the dress to emphasize those ruffles and creases, but with the flat look, it makes it much more easier on the eyes.

Another defining feature of Shinku would have to be her hair. Her long blonde twintails is what stands out and makes a nice contrast with the red dress. The curliness in both twintail and her side ones (what do you actually call these? sideburns?) is something that you can only get with dolls, and this again emphasizes that she is a doll. What I like best is that it’s not a constant spiral look, but an eractic look and it makes it rather unique. Her shoes I think are the cuteness part of the Shinku costume as they have the little rose on the front, but as well as a ribbon on the back. The base she comes with is a plain black one, but this I don’t mind as it overshadowed by vibrancy of Shinku.

The last thing, and this is what I like about Alter’s works, is the face. With other figures, it makes them much more alive and look close to their anime counterpart. But with Shinku, not only does she look real, it’s her face that is the most doll-like feature. Her cheeks aren’t rounded, but more sharp, as well as her nose. Her eyes are large but look deep a well as giving that glass like look and that is what a doll is supposed to be like.

Product: Shinku
Anime/Game: Rozen Maiden
Produced by: Alter
Sculptor: Nekomaru
Scale: Non-scale
Material: PVC
Release Date: September 2007
Price: ¥6,476
Available: HLJ (out of stock)

This is actually the 2nd Shinku figure that has been released, with the first one being released by Good Smile Company. When I first saw the promo pictures for it, I wasn’t all that impressed with it as it looked way too glossy, her hair overpowers the size of her face, plus the base she is attached to didn’t look very secure. Luckily my patience paid off as Alter released their one about half a year later and this is the result of it. I am literally blown away by the quality of this Shinku and the ability of the sculptor Nekomaru. Every single piece has been crafted wonderfully and there is really no flaw in this figure overall.

Though if there is anything to be disappointed about is that we probably won’t see another Rozen Maiden figure of this kind of quality again, or perhaps for at least a year or so. If Shinku could be brought to this kind of quality, I can only imagine what Suigintou or any of the other Rozen Maiden dolls would be like under the care of Nekomaru and Alter, unlike the ones we’ve seen in the past by other companies. So a worthy figure for the fans of the Rozen Maiden series, but I hope you can find one since it’s currently out of stock. For the time being, this is the best Shinku I’ve seen, however that may change if I ever see my dearest friend Roobar in a Shinku dress, but that’s a story for another day.

Photography Notes:

Yes once again I have been confined to the depths of my bedroom due to the crap and random weather of Sydney. An indoor shoot that took place during the wee hours of 2-4am on a Saturday morning as I passed out pretty early and woke up at 1am. Anyway, with this Shinku figure, I wanted to take her outside, but alas I couldn’t find a suitable place, but I was more worried about damaging her. So with the indoor shoot, I thought I’d try the black background and as you can see from the results above, they turned out really good. Below is the setup:

Majority of the photos you see above were also taken with only one light, and that is the one of the left. Of course I did have to use a hairlight for some, but due to the vibrancy of Shinku’s colour scheme, it didn’t require all that much light. Plus vibrancy was what I was aiming for in this photo shoot. The petals you see there are ones I bought from IKEA months ago when this figure arrived. By far this is the best indoor photo shoot that I have done and I’m quite happy about the results.

Also the EXIF for these photos, for those interested: ISO 200, f/22, and a shutter speed between 0.8 -2 seconds. Post-processing wise mainly just some filters to enhance the red and yellow, but I was also aiming for that light skinned toned look that you get with porcelain dolls.



15 Responses to Figure Review: Shinku inviting you for tea

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ron~

January 21st, 2008 at 11:10 pm

I like this shinku alot, Alter really did a great job ^^

about the photgraphy: hmm.. seems like there’s too much light on shinku face =\ and also would be nicer if you make the black background darker :)

ron~’s last blog post..Game: Disgaea 3 ~ PS3

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lu-k

January 21st, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Was also very surprised by this figure’s beauty when it first was annonced. The best Shinku so far. Her face’s very closed to the original design. This could have been enough, but indeed, details on her dress and of her hair look awesome.
I preordered this Shinku, but chose to cancel it on a second thought, due to the “too many figures” usual stuff -_-”
Maybe if I see her in a shop nearby, I’ll be tempted to go back home with.

Nice compositions with rose petals. Your pictures looks very lighted considering you’ve used only one lamp! :)

lu-k’s last blog post..Fire in her Eyes

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Fisherman Horizon

January 22nd, 2008 at 12:32 am

Very well arrangement with the flower petals. Maybe petals with more difference in size would make it bettwe. But very well done

Fisherman Horizon’s last blog post..Random Thoughts

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super rats

January 22nd, 2008 at 1:43 am

I get that same feeling when looking closely at an Alter figure, that every detail seems like it’s more in focus.

super rats’s last blog post..Le Chevalier D’Eon, Series Review

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Bubby

January 22nd, 2008 at 2:34 am

Nice idea with the petals…maybe some should surround the feet. i find the black background a bit distracting..She’s got a nice bright red dress with pink petals surrounding her and then…theres a black wall behind her…
and f/22!?! maybe im still too nub to understand why you did this.
but who cares…I would have gotten this too…but sadly I have to restrict myself… =(

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Fox

January 22nd, 2008 at 5:31 am

Very nice set pictures. Love the petals.

Fox’s last blog post..Mila & Hyde

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Adun

January 22nd, 2008 at 6:28 am

ron~: I think it may be because your screen has it’s brightness higher than my monitor. Shinku’s face may look bright because of that, same with the black background.

lu-k: Well if you do ever get one, you’d be a very happy man. Very bright indeed. I tend to find bright coloured figures on a black background don’t require all that much lighting since the light used enhance the vibrancy.

Fisherman Horizon: I actually wanted to use real roses, but they don’t come cheap, lol.

super rats: I only hope we see more Rozen Maiden figures like this.

Bubby: Purpose of this was I was trying to emphasize the brightness of her dress, plus I didn’t crop some of the photos since I’m lazy like that. f/22 was used so I had a deeper depth of field. This is so that everything in the foreground would get focused rather than the one point and then slow becoming out of focus.

Fox: Thanks

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AS

January 22nd, 2008 at 11:45 am

That’s pretty amazing that you only used one lamp, I recently tried indoor photo takes and needed 2 light sources to really balance things out. Look forward to seeing it in a couple of days ;p. The figure itself isn’t something I would buy, only because dolls creep me out lol, though I do like the petal effect you used.

AS’s last blog post..Mirai, May the force be with her

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Jais

January 24th, 2008 at 12:48 am

I was just randomly browsing for Anime websites when I found this post… That Shinku is really beautiful with the details on the hair and the dress… it rocks!!! I wish figure-making was this advance during the Chobits era… I have yet to find a detailed and beautiful Chii figure… maybe I haven’t searched deeper but it’s been frustrating so far…

Jais’s last blog post..Ozine Fest 2008

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valho

January 25th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

nice touch with the flower petals ron, I really love that twirl on her hair, it’s so nice :).
Hmmmm I have nvr use f/22 for indoor, usually I found f/16 is enough for me to get a deeper depth of field

valho’s last blog post..Will be @ MAGe Festa ‘08

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Aya Kyunik

January 30th, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Huhu, Shinku eh?
I do like this version of her compared to the GSC version.

I do agree the Yujin series of Rozen Maidens have issues… however the Volks line of Rozen Maiden resin figures look pretty spiffy… and expensive XD

I love the petals at Shinku’s feet for this, and the black BG does give it a nice mysterious feel…kinda like being in the N-field itself~

Aya Kyunik’s last blog post..New year, New look

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blu chocobo

February 3rd, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Wow, again, I’m impressed at the quality of your photos…. and of this Shinku doll. ;) Best Shinku I’ve seen!

It makes me wonder if there’s a good Hinaichigo one out there…. :\

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Herbal Tea Remedy

December 31st, 2008 at 12:32 pm

i love that hair, incredible detail on the doll.

thanks for the information on the photoshoot as well. i’m always taking pictures of stuff for ebay , i’m going to try to copy your setup!

Herbal Tea Remedy’s last blog post..In-Home Tea Party

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kodama

July 5th, 2009 at 7:26 am

She is lovely. I have been looking at the new Good Smile model on HLJ, sadly the one you have is no longer available and I feel it better matches the anime! I hope you enjoy it :)

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kodama

September 26th, 2009 at 1:49 am

Ahh.. love this figure and would sell a kidney for a real one. Just bought a Hong Kong one.. what can I say.. You get what you pay for, still it’s all I could get so I’ll have to grin and bear it.

Oh how I’d like one.. hint hint ;-)

kodama’s last blog post..Shinku

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