Figure Review: Shinku inviting you for tea
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.
Anime/Game: Rozen Maiden
Produced by: Alter
Release Date: September 2007
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.
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.