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Strike Witches - Yamakawa Michiko - EX Figure (SEGA)

MaakieMaakie1 year agoReview
! There is a wall of text in the beginning! If you want to see the figure + pictures and not the background information, you can scroll down a bit. ;) !

! This is a review of a figure in an outfit that can be considered NSFW as she is not wearing pants!

Keep in mind the following before reading this review:
- This is a review of a cheap prize figure.
- This review uses pictures I have been storing on my computer for a while and don't make use of my new photography set-up.

Welcome to my review! Today I will be talking about a figure of Yamakawa Michiko ENCYCLOPEDIA #31347 from Strike Witches ENCYCLOPEDIA #2 ! This figure ITEM #85718 is made by SEGA ENCYCLOPEDIA #7642 .

I will start off with telling some more about her background.

Background

Michiko is the cousin and best friend of the main character in Strike Witches, Yoshika ENCYCLOPEDIA #2026 . The series Strike Witches is known for their Striker Units, mechanical legs that make the characters fly. Michiko doesn't have any. That is because she doesn't have the required magical powers to use them. Even so, she keeps on supporting Yoshika and looks up to her. She has a shy personality and seems to have trouble with expressing herself without getting too emberassed.

The reason why and how I got her

I had shown interest in this figure for quite some time, because she is so different from the other Strike Witches figures. Being different is probably also the reason why it took me so long to eventually buy her, as I couldn't think of a good spot for her in my collection. I ended up picking her up at a local convention when I saw a sealed one for sale for only 10 euros ( ~1200 yen / ~$11 ). I saw it as a good and cheap opportunity to welcome her to my Strike Witches/Mecha Musume collection!

Original art

As far as I know and could find, there is no artwork this figure was directly modelled after.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QHWUlSfO4Og/VxkniL_rhLI/AAAAAAAAE6Q/LxSj-wYctcgMqMLr24LXgM1l6WbPMjuBwCCo/s500-Ic42/tijdelijk6.jpg

Artwork like the above is I think the feeling/setting they wanted to give with this figure. Even though Yoshika left Michiko behind to pursue her career as Witch, Michiiko tries to keep positive and enjoy the simple things in life. View spoilerHide spoilerMan, it sounds rough to say it like that. I don't know how it is for the other people that watched Strike Witches, but I always had a bit of a melancholic feeling with Michiko.

The Box

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-h-P_sEa7uq4/Vxkncu-QIvI/AAAAAAAAE6s/JdcR-El3GPokbjE3FtH2SqZetdqw799PgCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8849.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jfwjBMYxn34/VxknctX7vcI/AAAAAAAAE6s/zmWnawWgco0jyaYCx8Gr6evLRYR1MLCewCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8850.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lHbJvFY3azI/VxkncqxOPsI/AAAAAAAAE6s/bZUMQnEWPDEMQtQeRLdosHBXNSs-zqtPwCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8851.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uh1pE5ywv0A/VxkndCNaCWI/AAAAAAAAE6s/dgjYfvNmqHsACaZawUGDs972moSaPIdsQCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8852.JPG

Michiko comes in a standard prize figure box with the front showing a picture of the figure.

First Look

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uo_3b-uw1xc/VxknddhXpbI/AAAAAAAAE6s/Q8p35-v0DR4parPqsTK-br8ztN9k0t88ACCo/s912-Ic42/IMG_8853.JPG

I was surprised to find the figure sideways inside the blisters when I opened the box!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_OxrCmTNWrw/VxkndnPP5oI/AAAAAAAAE6s/2nali6VNNnM4MLDV-IgKuulnhZeTS98VwCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8854.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dqX79cM4qBs/VxkneM-MDLI/AAAAAAAAE6s/V_QL02ooMHEEj8I8skaRAfq-9h7OJsvkQCCo/s912-Ic42/IMG_8855.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VvAkwK6568M/VxknedSYGaI/AAAAAAAAE6s/-ui4YQVjVusmahlrFmkUwyYfzRpYmeKbgCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8856.JPG

The blisters are big and protect the figure well. For a prize figure she comes with an high amount of pieces (5), as most prize figures come screwed onto their base as one-piece or with only 2 or 3 parts (base, small prop).

The Figure

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8Dh-LZl7Pow/VxkneORaLtI/AAAAAAAAE6s/m3dMIikcGUMM1dIJt9RcCAb5aypOmvsSQCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8857.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-p1W6k0ufYfo/VxknehY8YUI/AAAAAAAAE6s/ongO-Giejz0qQMCn0n5vOY86Ky6KVPN5gCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8858.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FgYy8LSzgXE/VxkneiXHM9I/AAAAAAAAE6s/Q9fb68W1ZhofR71aEjToPOnfm14OdaVMgCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8859.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oRW3TYBstI8/Vxkne7uJaSI/AAAAAAAAE6s/psd_LlDAAugTMfPbdaYBjyGoNtMOuQWIwCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8860.JPG

I was very impressed after I set her up the first time. The figure is like a small diorama with a lot of things to look at!

Looking at all the details!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4vuPhr3kPz4/Vxkne1A9HdI/AAAAAAAAE6s/-qv69W-U0ictyqIo8xkLuHCEOU5B95wsQCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8861.JPG

A big eye-catcher is her expression and the bright and nicely detailed eye decals. Her bangs and hair are also incredibly clean and detailed for a prize figure.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hmI92Faw_TM/VxknfGOBiII/AAAAAAAAE6s/14Wg8qdeHqswKfRiyzqXwzElHAZD7JUhgCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8862.JPG

Unfortunately the hair has one big seam line and some small glue leftovers.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TTWff1jOwsk/VxknfYbTz7I/AAAAAAAAE6s/xO3xL-jCWqEBM5YuJpnJ6PVsgf8jJn94ACCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8863.JPG

The back, and especially bottom of her hair make up for that as the sculpting and casting is very nice there.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N14ToDkNJeY/VxknfZ_0IZI/AAAAAAAAE6s/snay-YiYGIUoY3-IHzeFOE4Ggu227vDogCCo/s912-Ic42/IMG_8864.JPG

The bird is another focus point of the figure and well, here the details aren't as crisp. I guess it couldn't be expected to be very high as the bird is very small, but the bird is a bit derpy to be honest. Michiko's hand sculpt here is nice, but there are some tabs and PVC leftovers.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yGvGDElvLlk/VxknfhuMbjI/AAAAAAAAE6s/L6Jqs9Extq0INRm1dv8ji9MY0K4YxxGmACCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8865.JPG

Michiko's outfit is very similar (if not exactly the same, actually) as Yoshika's. She wears a sailor tank top with a ribbon, no pants, and instead you see the bathing suit she wears underneath. As far as I know this outfit is never explained in the series or universe, but I'm guessing it's meant to be a school uniform/local outfit from Yoshika's homeplace.

The painting on the shirt is not completely clean, the blue line at the bottom of the shirt has bled quite a bit onto the white. The collar and ribbon are seperate pieces that were glued on later. It's a bit hard to see in the picture, but there are some glue leftovers. The detailing and paint on the ribbon and collar themselves is very nice.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-A9kbPkxeYSg/Vxknf-KHgrI/AAAAAAAAE6w/N_2GS8aEfaIfmzemw0UVCQZB1bztvNq3gCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8866.JPG

The sculpt of Michiko's left hand is very intricate and I like the posing. You can see some seam lines on her side and arm in this picture. That was to be expected from a prize figure.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QA2V1ekAM-Q/VxkngBqJvZI/AAAAAAAAE6w/gsdEdYdR_jkPgDQFvFQs4RiWsnW6WJpjQCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8867.JPG

Just putting this out here: Michiko has a nice pair of legs! I really like the sculpt of her thighs.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qYp7OCuDD2o/VxkngLempBI/AAAAAAAAE6w/sxpsU75fJwM54E_QAI6LvWwBWL21eblgQCCo/s640-Ic42/IMG_8868.JPG

The lower half of her legs are very fine too and Michiko wears cute and simple sports shoes. The detailing on the shoes is a bit crude at some parts.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-W2n4XINFJ1A/Vxkngo0rF5I/AAAAAAAAE6w/NsLn8P7u538HqALt4IaeZm9UH4lCtsJxwCCo/s912-Ic42/IMG_8869.JPG

And now we're getting to another fun part: the diorama! A small accessory this figure comes with is a plate with 2 cups of green tea and 2 steamed buns (or they could be 2 pieces of mochi, but my guess is steamed buns because of the size).

The fact that there are 2 pieces of snacks and 2 drinks makes me a bit sad, though. In combination with Michiko looking at the bird (representing flying), it looks like she is waiting for Yoshika to return home. Even though she is smiling, it makes me feel a bit sad. It would have been nice if there was a matching Yoshika figure that could also be put here, there is enough space on the bench!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LNa5rxL0rEg/VxknhaeW9zI/AAAAAAAAE6w/aIm5Rsq5-AcI2i8Mk-y2_uPkpdH97ilnACCo/s912-Ic42/IMG_8870.JPG

The buns aren't very special, but I'm really impressed with the tea! Even inside the cups there are multiple gradients of green to show depth in the drink.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8Me-vu4z63M/VxknhaScS_I/AAAAAAAAE6w/rFS0K8NIAb0IQeSC6HPfcZNcGqMRNQUSACCo/s912-Ic42/IMG_8871.JPG

And now we come at the bad part of the diorama/base, I have no clue what or why, but for some reason the pillars underneath the floor Michiko is sitting on, have been glued/attached to the base with some weird green material. It reminded me right away of the epoxy putty I sometimes use to fill in or attach parts of my Garage Kits. I tried to remove this material, but I'm afraid of damaging the base underneath.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mKBdzygikoI/VxkniLcCBcI/AAAAAAAAE6w/0EWuW0UyMRY9gCVRLS_ifMlfVV4-H31ggCCo/s912-Ic42/IMG_8873.JPG

As for Michiko's actual base, it's a big disc, like a lot of prize figures come with. There is a lot of wasted space here, as the figure takes up only a bit more than half of the base.

Summary or tl;dr

Positive
- You don't see much prize figures with a diorama-like set-up!
- A lot of very nice details, such as the sculpt in the hair.

Neutral
- The paint is crisp and nice at some places (such as the hair, ribbon and collar) and at other places pretty lacking (such as the paint bleeding on her shirt).

Negative
- She doesn't fit in very well with other Strike Witches figures or prize figures in general.

The Scores

Sculpting 8/10
She has a lot of very good details, especially for a prize figure. Defenitely worth the price you can pick her up for.

Painting 7/10
I wish I could have given it higher, but there are just some mistakes that are hard to ignore, such as paint bleeding.

Posing 9/10
The posing is perfectly fitting for the character and very original. Multiple people seeing her in my collection did say they find her boring, it all depends on personal taste. I personally like it a lot, but that could also be because of the story it tells.

Base 8/10
The diorama is really original and she comes with a lot of intricate pieces for a prize figure. I give 1 minus point for the base being so big and 1 minus point for the weird adhesive material that is hard to remove.

Packaging 7/10
Pretty standard prize figure packaging, but very sturdy (both the cardboard and blisters).

Enjoyment 9/10
Even though she is not perfect and even seen a bit as "boring" (especially compared to flying, weapon slinging Witches), I think the simple set-up and small scène this figure has is really special. Combine that with her cheap price and we get a very solid and interesting prize figure.

Conclusion

This is a very interesting prize figure. To me it looks like SEGA wanted to do something different for their Strike Witches line and in my opinion they succeeded very well. I can imagine people not being into Strike Witches liking this figure for the small, cute and cheap diorama it is.

Availability

With Michiko not being very popular, she seems to be more available on second hand sites than other prize figures from this set. She also seems to get sold a lot by users over here and on other sites, that bought her as a set with ITEM #85330 . You probably can't find her available at all times, but if you do, she barely goes for prices higher than 1000 yen. Which she is defenitely worth in my opinion.

And to finish it!

Currently I have my figures in storage, but here is how I used to temporary display her in my collection!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fepVKsSFJ3Q/Vxkn6SJeJxI/AAAAAAAAE6w/5n-iQVyej7skpitfSzJEwG8b1HQmnlidgCCo/s912-Ic42/IMG_8874.JPG

Together with some other cute and bright-colored ladies!

For those who read all this way, thank you! My next review will hopefully have my new photography set-up! I don't know which figure I will review next, but I left a list on my profile of the ones I want to review soon!

I hope you enjoyed this review, you could also check my other reviews when interested! Here are a few of my recent ones:

Vocaloid - Calne Ca - Hdge - Nurse Cos ver. (Union Creative International Ltd): blog/18523
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters - Malik Ishtar - ARTFX J (Kotobukiya): blog/17970
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st - Fate Testarossa - SIF EX (Yamato): blog/17523
Shuraki - Nida Schuetlich (Good Smile Company) Shunya Yamashita: blog/17385
Shining Hearts - Melty de Granite (Alter): blog/16911
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters - Yami Malik (Kotobukiya): blog/16783
iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls - Futaba Anzu - Figma #EX-012 (Max Factory): blog/16685
Mecha Musume - 5shikisen (Toranoana): blog/16332
Hello Kitty to Issho - Rio (Eikoh): blog/16277
Shimada Humikane Art Works (Kadokawa, artbook): blog/14967


All pictures in high resolution and some extra pictures not used in the review will be uploaded here later today: profile/Maakie/...

Thank you for reading this review!

And if you like my reviews and would like to receive e-mail updates when I have a new one, you can subscribe to my blog on MFC! --> profile/Maakie/...

See you at my next review!
2,130 hits • 14 comments

Scores8/10

Sculpting
Painting
Posing
Base
Packaging
Enjoyment

Comments14 comments

0pt
Maakie (1 year ago) #14830628The risk of prize figures is them being so cheap, you can easily buy too many from them. xD Which is why I'm holding off with the Strike Witches figures right now. xD
It's so true! I had to resist the temptation of picking up a few more of the Sega figs for cheap on Amiami. Soooo tempting!
1 year ago
0pt
WolfiePie (1 year ago) #14678285Hahaa I will also have to see how much space I have when I actually get my own place. My bedroom is cram packed. XD

The risk of prize figures is them being so cheap, you can easily buy too many from them. xD Which is why I'm holding off with the Strike Witches figures right now. xD
1 year ago
0pt
Maakie (1 year ago) #14652552I'm planning on getting all of them! :) I think I will get to it once I have all my figures displayed in my house and have inventarised how much space I have left.
I defenitely recommend this cute little Michiko. She is so different from the rest and I love the diorama!

Hahaa I will also have to see how much space I have when I actually get my own place. My bedroom is cram packed. XD
1 year ago
0pt
WolfiePie (1 year ago) #14584348The Sega figures are actually my favorite line of SW figures. I'd love to get the whole set some day. I got my Erica when I was in Japan for 1,400 yen, and I honestly wish I'd grabbed some of the others. This one is really cute!

I'm planning on getting all of them! :) I think I will get to it once I have all my figures displayed in my house and have inventarised how much space I have left.

I defenitely recommend this cute little Michiko. She is so different from the rest and I love the diorama!
1 year ago
0pt
The Sega figures are actually my favorite line of SW figures. I'd love to get the whole set some day. I got my Erica when I was in Japan for 1,400 yen, and I honestly wish I'd grabbed some of the others. This one is really cute!
1 year ago
0pt
solluxcaptor (1 year ago) #13763363This is a really sweet figure! I haven't seen the series, but reading your thoughts on it made me feel like a lot of thought was put into the design of this simple figure, and as far as prizes go that's really nice. She might look a bit messy with paint errors up close, but honestly from far away like in your final display pic she looks nice :D I love the mini diorama aspect to the base

Hehe, that's right! From a distance she looks really well-made and the diorama is so love-able! :) Strike Witches is always a bit of a though serie to recommend or not... I personally really really like it, mainly because of the action scènes and character designs, but the series has a lot of fanservice. So you either have to be okay with fanservice or good at ignoring it, haha!
1 year ago
0pt
This is a really sweet figure! I haven't seen the series, but reading your thoughts on it made me feel like a lot of thought was put into the design of this simple figure, and as far as prizes go that's really nice. She might look a bit messy with paint errors up close, but honestly from far away like in your final display pic she looks nice :D I love the mini diorama aspect to the base
1 year ago
0pt
victorviper (1 year ago) #13760385I liked your comment about feeling a little melancholic about Michiko. I had never really paid too much attention to the fact she's got two cups of tea before, but it does really seem like she's waiting for Yoshika.
It's too bad that Sega didn't make a Yoshika that could be easily paired up with this figure. That would really have been cute!


I think it's nice how small details like that can tell a story with a figure. :)

Yeah, that could have been such an easy move for SEGA! Yoshika wouldn't even need a base as there is more than enough space for her next to Michiko! Maybe Yoshika pointing at the bird next to her would have been a nice pose. :)
1 year ago
0pt
I liked your comment about feeling a little melancholic about Michiko. I had never really paid too much attention to the fact she's got two cups of tea before, but it does really seem like she's waiting for Yoshika.

It's too bad that Sega didn't make a Yoshika that could be easily paired up with this figure. That would really have been cute!
1 year ago
0pt
HobbyCentric (1 year ago) #13758555Nice review. It also shows why I value prize figures. You can often get those characters that are left out of scale production. They are, of course, often lacking in the quality department. In my opinion though you learn to expect that and love them for what they are.
They also are a way to easily expand one's collection at an affordable price although I have seen some ultra rare ones go for ridiculous prices. This figure has some nice features as you pointed out, a diorama and in my opinion she is very simple and clean. A nice addition to a collection.


Thank you! :) And yes, prize figures are for sure on a completely different level than scaleds, but that's what you can expect for paying 1/10 of the price of a scaled one. ;)

I actually do own 2 prize figures that gotten extremely rare. They go as a set of 2 nowadays for $200+. I'm actually a bit glad about that, because I got them overpriced at a convention from when I didn't know better, haha!

I wish more people owned this figure, as I'm curious what people would do with her display-wise!
1 year ago
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I mostly write reviews for this blog, since I like to read and write those kind of articles the most! I also think of them as very useful for other collectors and Japan enthusiasts!

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