Characters: Ayumi Yamada
Series: Honey and Clover
Sculptor: Kobayashi Makoto
Release Date: January 2007
My Figure Collection Link: http://myfigurecollection.net/item/376
Every figure collector has been burned by that figure that they really want, but somehow missed when it was released. Ayumi was one of those figures for me. Her pastel colours, and coral looking base really drew my attention. Besides I have always had a thing for mermaids, I blame the picses in me for that! Finally after almost completely giving up on her, a fellow collector offered her for an acceptable price. I was in luck! He even still had her box. So after a long trip from Russia, Ayumi was welcomed into her new home.
This figure makes me think a lot of the Evangelion mermaids. At no point in Honey & Clover is Ayumi transformed into a mermaid. So for a girl with no other figures, why a tauric fish? She apparently was made based on a chapter introduction splash page. Neat-o! At just over 5 1/2″ tall, Ayumi is one of the shortest statues in my collection. I had been told she was tiny, but honestly it was no exaggeration.
Ayumi’s face is cute, but a little bit on the bland side. Her slack-jawed expression leaves a bit to be desired. Her eyes are large, and fairly happy looking, but her mouth gives off the impression of sadness. She could be sighing, or singing. Mermaids are known for singing, so I have just decided that is what she is doing. It makes me feel better, you see? Also, it may just be a flaw on my figure, but her eyes are two different colours. One is gold, and one brown…..
There is no detailing in, or around her mouth. No teeth. No tongue. No lips. For that matter if you look at her profile you can’t even see her mouth. Awkward.
The front of Ayumi’s hair looks really nice. Her bangs cover her forehead well, and hide her lack of eyebrows. The right side of her head is decorated with a pretty pink flower. The transition between the pink, and her hair is a bit sloppy. The long pieces that hang over her shoulders are a nice touch, and do well to hide the nasty seam lines where her arms attach.
There is a pretty obvious seam on the top of her head. At the bottom of this seam, I noticed Ayumi has no ears. I would look sad, and confused if my ears were traded for a fish tail too! The back of her hair looks really nice until you get to the bottom. The way the locks appear to overlay going down her back is nice. The ends look chunky, and tentacle like though.
Ayumi’s slender frame is fairly decent. Again there is a striking lack of detail around her neck, most notably the lack of a collarbone. This poor girl also has no ribs, or abdominal muscles. She is missing her belly button too. Her clam shell bra is sculpted well, and shares a healthy amount of cleavage. I think under boobs looks a bit better with sea shells, then with clothes that are too small. The funny thing about her bra is that the straps end at her sides. No seriously they didn’t bother to continue the tiny silver beads around the back. the paint job on her beads is also a little rough.
You can clearly see their absence behind her arms.
Ayumi does have nice squared shoulders. Maybe she was just startled. The position of her shoulders, expression on her face, and way her body is turning support this theory. Her arms are long, and shapeless. From shoulder to wrist, her arms are the exact same width. Her hands actually look pretty good. Her fingers are all clearly defined. She even has a little silver bracelet. It goes all the way around her wrist I might add. If they were aiming for a bit more monster than human, I think they hit the nail on the head. She is quite alluring though, as any mermaid born of fairy tales should be.
One of the things that I really appreciated about this figure’s design was the subtle way her torso turned into a tail. There is no clear line where one part starts, and the other ends. Truly a brilliant use of linear gradients. The upper portion of Ayumi’s tail has a subtle indentation, where the separation of her thighs would be. I haven’t quite figured out why all my mermaids have thighs. Have you ever seen a fish with thighs?
The lower portion of her tail is slender, and the fin at the end, is very elegant looking. It kind of reminds me of a butterfly wing. The fin’s shading is very nice as well.
Another really neat aspect of Ayumi is her base. The underwater reef that she has found to perch upon. This was a very cool idea. There is a large piece of coral behind her, which really emphasizes the underwater feel. It is sculpted, and painted well. The top of each little platform looks soft, as is it is covered by a mossy plant. The ground is also littered with sea shells and stars….not starfish. Stars!? What?
The really big problem with the base is this seamline along the front. There is no way to hide it. It is just a big scar marring the front of an otherwise very attractive figure. If you turn her so she is facing you less of the seam is visible, but is still there, and glaringly obvious.
Her box is small, perfect for this diminutive figure. It is covered in tiny white polka dots. The front oval window makes her easy to see. Each side has a star window as its feature. One side the window is near the top, the other it is near the bottom. Both sides have images of bubbles, and sea horses as well. The back side shows a full picture of Ayumi.
In closing I must say depending on how you interpret what she is feeling, or doing makes a big difference for this figure. Another thought is how you feel mermaids should look. Personally I find the lack of muscle definition annoying, but at the same time it makes her look less human. Is that a good thing? I think so. I really am glad to have finally gotten her, quirks and all.
She is very cute.
The paint job on her tail is quite gorgeous.
She looks less like a girl wearing a fish costume, and more like a mythical creature.
Ayumi is fairly unique.
Lazy sculpting on her back.
Hair looks a bit chunky.
Some pretty harsh seam lines.
Average paint job on most of the figure.
Lack of facial details.
Overall Enjoyment: 7/10