I waited till I got the full set before taking them all out of their boxes. It was a three month gap between the release of Ana + Miu and Chika + Matsuri though. This is a budget (read: Cheap) series from Banpresto’s DX line of figurines and ithe first 2 cost 1,500 yen while the later two cost (I’ve been wondering why people use "costed" when there’s no such word) 1,400 yen.
Honestly, the gashapon sets of Ichigo Mashimaro are a masterpiece, the summit of gashapon beauty. It’s an example of how the small size actually makes the figurines cuter. These DX larger versions are a lot less petite and cute.
Nobue: "So cuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!"
The greatest power of Ichigo Mashimaro is the sheer lolimoeness, which makes even manly men melt. See how Nobue squeals in excitement at the sheer cuteness? So far, the gashapon sets of Ichigo Mashimaro have been able to induce such dizzy excitement but the DX series doesn’t fare as well. Ok let’s look at some pictures and explain why.
The four can actually be arranged in a dioramatic way. Nobue is missing though, which is pretty sad.
Miu: "Put John on your head."
Matsuri: "Like this?"
Chika: "Micchan! Stop bullying her! and who’s the old guy taking the pictures?"
Ana: "I no speak Japanese."
The four girls are in their summer wear. Loose casual, cooling clothes are not exactly too cute are they? It was a grave mistake to pick this selection of clothes when the girls have so many nicer ones. At least Konami is releasing expensive versions in fancy clothes, like Vet, Stewardess and Loli Waitress.
I actually wanted an outdoor shoot in the sun, since it’s a summer set after all. But I didn’t want to dirty my strawberries. These berries are no longer in existence at the time of writing. All the four girls use the same base, an ABS plastic base that had the right idea but terrible application. Banpresto really should have designed custom ones for each girl, or even better, make a jigsaw type that can combine together. Each of the bases have two holes and each leg has one big plug. Big plug. I don’t see any leaning problems because the plug is so huge and the figurines are rather light. They don’t fit too tightly and can fall off, especially Ana.
All the girls have the trademark IchiMaro blush. Well done.
Fresh, juicy and tasty.
First up is Matsuoka Miu, the crazed hyper-active mischievous monkey. As the most image conscious (but ugly) member of the quartet, she’s naturally in the most showy outfit, a layered frilly spagetti strap top and a pink skirt. There are two strawberries tampo-printed onto the left side on her skirt. Miu’s wearing white dress shoes.
I feel the proportions are off. The head naturally should be huge, but the limbs are too lanky and this makes the figurines lose the "chibi" effect the gashapons had. The finish is also plasticky and too shiny. There are several painting issues such as poorly defined lines but I guess it can be forgiven since the cost is low anyway.
"Look at me! I’m wearing a really ugly top!"
Her clothes look the same from the front and the back.
I found Chika’s face here to be a bit too broad. Her dress sense sucks too, I hate shorts. But knowing her personality, it’s not too out of character. The bear tampo-printed on her top is quite cute. She’s in matching blue flip-flops and her hair has the usual ball accessory, which sadly isn’t too well made, with the paint overflowing onto her hair as seen in the second picture.
Sweet sweet Chika.
Notice the poorly painted bow and hairthing.
Typical kiddy clothes.
Interesting scared/curious look.
Looks like FLCL got to her too.
Vanilla ice-cream with mango sauce.
Look at the fingers. Fused.
I’m doing away with the rating system because it was pointless.