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Phat 1/8 Meruru

Today we'll be doing a review of Phat's 1/8 Meruru. She's generated a lot of comments during the last couple of weeks on MFC!

About the character: Meruru is the lead character from the Gust RPG Atelier Meruru-The Apprentice of Arland. Meruru is a princess in the small kingdom of Arls. Arls is a pretty backwater place, and Meruru is much more interested in the study of alchemy than in her duties as a princess. Thus, she pleads with her father and his advisor Rufus to allow her to freely study alchemy. At first they refuse, but a compromise is struck; if Meruru can use her alchemy skills to improve the kingdom, then she will be allowed to freely continue her study.

Vital statistics:

Full name: Merurulince Rede Arls
Height: 155 cm (approximately 5'1")
Blood type: O, which is supposed to indicate that she is self-determined, optimistic, and strong willed. That sounds pretty accurate.
Mentor: Totooria Helmold

A shot of Meruru, from the art booklet that came with the US release of the game.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/victorviper1373995985.jpeg

Now on to the review.


Packaging----------8/10


The front of the box features the Atelier Meruru logo and a large window.

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The sides of the box are identical, and feature a large image of Meruru and a cute flower-shaped window.

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The back of the box.

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The blister inside. The trail of stars is a separate piece and it was wedged tightly inside the blister. Some caution will definitely be needed when removing it.

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Phat includes a small handout showing how to set up her staff.

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The top of her staff comes off so it can be placed in her hand.

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Once the stars are secured, she's ready to display.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/victorviper1373995436.jpeg

Overall the packaging does what it needs to do, but as mentioned, some care will be needed when unpacking her.


Posing----------8/10


Her pose suggests that she is strolling somewhere. She appears to be pretty relaxed, as she's holding her staff rather nonchalantly.

Let's do a quick tour around the figure.

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The pose is not exactly dynamic, but neither is it static and boring. Meruru is a pretty laid-back game, so the pose is fitting enough. I do have some concerns about her standing on one leg; more on that towards the end of the review.

Sculpting----------9/10
Painting-----------8/10


Now, let's see how well she is sculpted and painted. There has been lively discussion about the color of her hair and her outfit, so we'll pay close attention to that.

A close-up of Meruru. You can see her hair is a sandy color with a trace of pink. I think it's pretty close to the character's design, but I have no doubt there will be disagreement here. Initially, I worried about the shade of that yellow on her outfit, but it is not as electric as it appeared to be in some shots that came out a week or so ago.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/victorviper1373995517.jpeg

One of Meruru's key features is the tiny crown she wears. You can see a little bit of sloppy painting, but overall the crown looks good. You can also see a small flaw or two in her hair.

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Another view of her hair. Around her ear, the finish is a little messy.

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A view of Meruru's hair from the back. She has a lot of hair, and it's decently sculpted.

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Here, you can see one really messy spot.

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You can see that perhaps her outfit is not quite the yellow/orange depicted in the official art, but neither is it the fire-hydrant yellow that was generating some concern. Her outfit is well-done, as you can see slight rumpling of the fabric, and there is nice detailing on the bodice. She shows off a little bit of skin, but the design of her outfit is cute and tasteful.

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A closer view. You can see one spot where the silver from the trim bleeds on to her skirt.

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Her cuffs are nicely done, but you can see some wayward paint.

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Her other cuff. A little more detail on her fingers might have been nice.

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The sculpting and paintwork on the flowers and the cape is good. I like the subtle color shading on the inside of her cape.

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Every alchemist needs to carry a variety of stuff, and so Meruru wears a small pouch. You can see the painting on the pouch is not quite perfect.

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A view of her shoes. There are some nice points here, like the stitching. The creases indicate these shoes are well broken in, as you'd expect from an adventurer.

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If you want to be picky, the laces are a bit chunky.

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I think Meruru's legs are pretty attractive. You can see a spot of errant paint on her lower leg.

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Meruru wears bloomers under her skirt, so no there will be no panty shots in this review.

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Another view of her legs, viewed from behind. The detail behind the knee is a nice touch.

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Now, the time has come for the contentious part of the review. There was a small furor here on MFC a week or so ago when some shots of the finished product emerged.

A lot of people seemed upset that her hair was not as pink as it was shown in the promo shots. Here is Meruru with the box art.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/victorviper1373995918.jpeg

You can see there is a difference between her hair color and that in the official art.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/victorviper1373995920.jpeg

In my opinion, her hair color is definitely not perfect, but it's not ridiculously far off model either. In the image below from the Artwork of Arland artbook (ITEM #80154), Meruru's hair does look much more sandy than pink.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/victorviper1373996031.jpeg

I did notice that under bright light (suitable for macro photography), her hair looks more sandy brown, while under more "normal" lighting, the slight pink hue is more apparent. The photo below was taken under normal lighting; the difference in hair color between Meruru and the others is apparent.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/victorviper1373995871.jpeg

Base----------5/10

I have to give Phat a "should do better" in this area. As you can see, the base is just a plain pink disk. In addition, it is ***very*** light; she can easily be tipped over so use caution when handling her. Since she stands on one foot, I would have preferred a more hefty base with her foot screwed into it.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/victorviper1373995916.jpeg

Overall verdict and enjoyment----------8/10

The sculpt is generally excellent, and the overall fit and finish of the figure is very good. The deal breaker for some will be the hair color, but those who were alarmed that her outfit would be electric yellow can breathe a small sigh of relief.

Meruru and Totori. Again, contrasting her hair color with Totori's, the pink hue in Meruru's hair is more apparent.

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Meruru and Rorona. Of course, View spoilerHide spoilerRorona spends most of the game in the form of a young child, having been the test subject for a youth potion (made by Astrid) gone awry. However, by completing certain tasks in the game, it is possible to restore Rorona. Once restored, her appearance reverts back to essentially what it was in Atelier Rorona, even though at this point in the Atelier games' timeline Rorona would be almost 30 years old (as over a dozen years have passed since the beginning of that game).

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The three heroines together.

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Availability (as of this writing):

Still easy to find new. Her suggested price is 7429 yen, but around 6000 yen is what you should expect to pay.


THANKS FOR READING!


As always, if you enjoyed the review, leave a comment!
8,554 hits • 19 comments

Scores7/10

Sculpting
Painting
Posing
Base
Packaging
Enjoyment

19 comments

0pt
Thanks very much for the review, I've been considering buying her for a while and I think you helped with my decision; best get on AmiAmi shortly and secure her! ^-^
4 years ago
0pt
MikainoRGBlv21 Going to Gencon!
victorviper (4 years ago) #1614434Thanks for the kind feedback. If you haven't played Meruru, it is the best of the bunch, and Meruru, Totori and Rorona do look nice sitting on the shelf.
No problem. ^^
Oh is it? I was really fond of Totori, so I didn't want to end it.. 8D;; She's my favorite of the bunch so far.. I'm terrible at finishing things I become overly fond of. xD
4 years ago
0pt
Mikaino (4 years ago) #1613464This reminds me to go finish Totori so I can start Meruru. >_>;; *cough*
I think this is a wonderful review, especially with the comparisons with Rorona and Totori. :) I think this is a figure that'll definitely be worth picking up somewhere down the line..


Thanks for the kind feedback. If you haven't played Meruru, it is the best of the bunch, and Meruru, Totori and Rorona do look nice sitting on the shelf.
4 years ago
0pt
MikainoRGBlv21 Going to Gencon!
This reminds me to go finish Totori so I can start Meruru. >_>;; *cough*

I think this is a wonderful review, especially with the comparisons with Rorona and Totori. :) I think this is a figure that'll definitely be worth picking up somewhere down the line..
4 years ago
0pt
Conae (4 years ago) #1611208I've never played the games before but the colours of the prototype made this a very tempting order. The yellow actually looks ok in your photos but the hair colour is still a deal breaker for me. Thanks for the review! It was great!

Yeah, that seems to be the common theme...

Maakie (4 years ago) #1612122Since I have a big love for ITEM #61401 / blog/6016 I am interested in other figures from the Atelier-series to find a match for her, but I think Meruru doesn't look like they're supposed to be from the same game-series...

Personally, I'd be over the moon if Phat did a figure of Mimi from Atelier Meruru. She was a pretty awesome character.

_thricegreat (4 years ago) #1612676Over all, I'm happy with my purchase and am hoping Phat eventually make a 14 years vers of Rorona! Need all the Atelier figures I can get my grubby hands on.

Hopefully they will make more after the older Totori comes out later this year.

zierli (4 years ago) #1612838thanks for the review. :D
I still have yet to play Atelier Meruru, but I played Totori and Rorona. Imo the best scale is the Rorona-Scale, in both versions (young and older) I only have the Totori-Nendoroid and I'm pretty happy with it.


I think Meruru was actually a better game than the first two. You have a lot more time to do what you want, and it's a little more upbeat than was Totori.
4 years ago
0pt
thanks for the review. :D
I still have yet to play Atelier Meruru, but I played Totori and Rorona. Imo the best scale is the Rorona-Scale, in both versions (young and older) I only have the Totori-Nendoroid and I'm pretty happy with it.
Maybe someday I will get one of the Rorona's but.. Meruru is just not my cup of tea.
4 years ago
0pt
victorviper (4 years ago) #1611022I think she is better than Phat's Totori, although if you combined the best elements of the two you might have the perfect figure...

Sadly, I don't own the Phat Totori as I'm not a fan of her appearance during the events of her game (prefer her appearance in Meruru!) but own the Phat Rorona. But from what I can see, Meruru looks near enough the perfect representation of the character. My only little complaint is the back of the stars on her base are flat/plain. Would've been nicer if they, too, were the same as the front of the stars. Oh well! Over all, I'm happy with my purchase and am hoping Phat eventually make a 14 years vers of Rorona! Need all the Atelier figures I can get my grubby hands on.
4 years ago
0pt
So disappointed in her hair. Not the colour, but the blotchyness, especially at the back. s1.tsuki-board.... <--- The shape here! TT^TT

Since I have a big love for ITEM #61401 / blog/6016 I am interested in other figures from the Atelier-series to find a match for her, but I think Meruru doesn't look like they're supposed to be from the same game-series...

And bloomers are still pantyshots for me, haha! xD I really like that she wears bloomers since I felt quite bad photographing my own Rorona's panties (for my review), since I think pantyshots don't fit these character/series.
4 years ago
0pt
Conae (4 years ago) #1611208I've never played the games before but the colours of the prototype made this a very tempting order. The yellow actually looks ok in your photos but the hair colour is still a deal breaker for me. Thanks for the review! It was great!

Thanks for reading. I was sort of surprised by how many people were thinking about buying this figure but had never played the game. In that case, I can understand why the change in her hair color would be a big deal.
4 years ago
0pt
I've never played the games before but the colours of the prototype made this a very tempting order. The yellow actually looks ok in your photos but the hair colour is still a deal breaker for me. Thanks for the review! It was great!
4 years ago
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