Every now and then, it's fun to "go into the vault" and take a look at an older or somewhat obscure figure, and so today, we'll be reviewing such an item, Solid Theater's "Himo Mizugi Onnanoko" (which translates to "String Swimsuit Girl"), released way way way back in October of 2008. I wouldn't necessarily classify this figure as 18+, but the design of her outfit means that pretty much every shot below will be NSFW to some extent, and she does have a cast-off feature, so proceed accordingly...
About the character/figure/manufacturer: The subject of this figure is an original character who was the cover girl of the September 2006 issue of Comic Papipo magazine.
Since she is an original character, there is not too much more to say about her origin, other than the fact that this figure was first released in October 2008 and apparently she got a re-release about a year later by manufacturer Solid Theater.
Solid Theater had an interesting slate of releases - they made many figures of visual novel characters, including characters from the well-known Happiness! ENTRY #9640 and Jingai Makyo ENTRY #161 franchises, a number of figures of original characters, including several of the Win-Chan ENTRY #9541 mascot character, and they even made a few figures from the ever-popular Fate/Stay ENTRY #57 series. Then, in 2011 they just sort of disappeared. There's probably a story there...
Solid Theater goes for a fairly standard package design - large front window, and not too much else going on except for the company logo and the logo for Comic Papipo magazine.
One side panel has a reasonably modest shot of swimsuit-san...
...the other, not so modest. Closer inspection of the figure makes it pretty clear this shot was of a prototype of this figure, rather than the real deal. We'll get to that shortly.
The back panel features a montage of shots and the usual consumer warnings.
The box measures 29 by 17 by 16 cm. It's not particularly flashy, but I do like the blue water box insert.
The base is not too flashy, but it's functional enough. Note that the character comes secured to that plastic wedge which in turn attaches to the base. This does have the effect of making the figure extremely stable and I found that she will stand just fine on the plastic wedge without attaching her to the base, although I'm not quite adventurous enough to attempt to display her that way...
I guess that they were going for a marble-like effect on the base, but it just came out looking like plastic with some grey stripes.
The figure's pose attempts to duplicate the source artwork. Swimsuit girl (I wish she had a proper name!) apparently was wearing a very light dress over her skimpy swimsuit, and the cover illustration makes it appear that the dress has gotten soaking wet; therefore, she's stripping down out of the dress. As we will see, this is one of several different display options for this figure.
Let's have a look at her.
In the shot below, you can see how her dress is slightly translucent in places, and the little ties there in the back are well-sculpted, even if they don't really stand out. I also like how you can see the material stretching around her butt cheeks :).
If you'd prefer to display her without the dress, that is an option, although removing the dress requires a little care. First, the shoulder strap comes apart (note that the strap inserts into holes on the top and bottom of her hand). The long strap feels quite rigid, but it has some give to it, and I found the easiest way to remove the dress was to carrrrefullly maneuver the strap around her hair and body.
That little wedge of material allows it to appear that she is grabbing onto the dress. Step two is to pop that out of her hand and slide the body of the dress and other shoulder strap away from her body.
Dress removal complete! Let's have a look at her in this configuration.
Personally, I think she looks much better without the dress. The dress is supposed to feel very light, but IMO it simply looks too thick and heavy. In fairness, sculpting paper-thin fabric out of PVC is no easy task, so this not really a criticism. I do wish, however, that Solid Theater had included an alternate right arm part that could be swapped out for the one holding her dress strap, but such things were not common circa 2008.
All in all, it's a fine pose that reasonably duplicates the source illustration and I like her rather meek body language. The way she's holding her arms in close makes it look like she's a little bit embarrassed to be seen in such a revealing swimsuit!
Overall figure quality (and prices...) have increased substantially in the last decade, and older figures can be all over the place in terms of the quality of their paint and sculpt. This figure shows its age in a couple of spots, but when comparing her to other figures made around the same time, I'd say her quality is above average. The main complaint her involves the design of a particular part of the outfit - more on that in a minute.
I like her cute face, and her neutral expression is consistent with the source artwork, but I would have liked to see the blush on her face from the artwork.
In addition to the skimpy swimsuit, an equally eye-catching feature of this figure is her very wild hair! It gives the impression that she is outside, perhaps at the sea, on a very windy day.
That is definitely some epic hair. I like how her hair frames her body, and I also like how she pulls some of her hair into ponytails while leaving the rest of it to flow free - that's a good look!
The very delicate looking green ribbons in her hair play up what I presume is supposed to be the chaste and innocent nature of the character.
The same comment could be made about the yellow flowers in her hair.
The ribbon on her arm further plays up the feel that she's outside on a breezy day. Note that you can see little gaps between her flesh and the ribbon. That's older figures for you...
Of course, the most obvious feature of this figure is her outrageously skimpy swimsuit, which is not much more than a lattice of black string with tiny pieces of white fabric covering her nipples and lower body. If you wanted to be critical, you might note right about now that the material in the string lattice is quite a bit thicker than it appears in the source illustration. You'd also be forgiven for thinking this getup is just elaborate kinbaku work. Nothing wrong with that...
The spots where the strings lace together could potentially be a sculpting disaster, but that is reasonably well done. Again, if you're being picky, you could observe that in the illustration her outfit is held together in sections with tiny brass rings, but this feature does not make it into the figure.
There's a number of interesting things going on in this shot. I like how you can see a suggestion of her ribcage and that silver strap, while it looks kind of uncomfortable, draws attention to her large breasts. Also, the back of her swimsuit is similar to what you would see on a sling bikini and I like how you can see the tension in those straps as they tug on the g-string back :).
I like how you can see her thighs transition into her round and full backside. Note that the metal clip attached to the g-string back did not get totally painted in places, and it seems to melt into her body.
The g-string kind of disappears in there.
I like the asymmetric design of those straps around her thighs!
The armlet she wears gives a nice frilly feel, but you can see some messy sculpting there.
The platform sandals are an interesting choice.
That brings us to a feature of this figure that almost certainly could have been better done. In the source illustration, her swimsuit has tiny pieces of thin white fabric (which are wet and semi-transparent) covering her nipples, but in figure form you can definitely see these parts definitely look more like clear plastic.
If you prefer, the plastic nipple shields can be removed. They are held in place with some adhesive, but it wasn't too tough to remove them. You can see, however, that some of the black paint from her swimsuit came off when they were removed. I suppose this could be touched up easily enough (maybe just a once over with a Sharpie?), but still...
Interestingly, some of the adhesive must have stayed behind since it was easy enough to reinstall the nipple shields after they were removed, but YMMV there.
Today, magnetic parts would probably be the solution here, but such things were not common circa 2008, so I'm not going to be too critical here.
Including the plastic stand that attaches her to the base and the height added by her hair ribbons, Swimsuit Girl spans just over 10 inches (25 cm) at her tallest point. Modulo those things, it looks like she would be just under 9 inches (23 cm) tall, and so her listed 1/7 scale seems about right.
These two are a couple of interesting older figures that pair well together, and interestingly the companies that made both of them are no more. CM's Corporation didn't list a scale for Mineko Sudo ITEM #167409, but she's 1/7-ish.
The ridiculousness of the outfits makes these two an interesting pair. Good Smile's "Hot Limit" Super Sonico ITEM #501974 is 1/7 scale. This reminds me that I need to write a review of Sonico one of these days...
Swimsuit Girl's outfit is not unlike a sling bikini, and so here she is with one of my favorite figures, Rocket Boy's Slingshot Swimsuit Girl ITEM #464771. Slingshot Girl is a large 1/6 scale.
The common element here is that both the outfits have a certain bondage/SM quality to them. Daiki's Mei Senou ITEM #618732 (*another* figure I really ought to review) is 1/6 scale.
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------8.5/10
Arguments for: The design of the skimpy swimsuit is interesting, epic hair, good body sculpt, several display options, reasonably good quality for a decade-old figure.
Arguments against: The design of the swimsuit deviates a little bit from the source illustration (with the nipple shields being the worst offender), the dress looks thick and heavy as opposed to light and delicate, merely OK quality by today's standards.
This is really quite a neat figure and a fairly ambitious one at that with the design of the swimsuit and the various castoff options. It's not a perfect figure to be sure, but she is quite eye-catching and if you like figures that kind of toe that line between definitely-NSFW-but-not-quite 18+, you might consider adding this one to your collection.
Availability (as of this writing)
Long sold out new.
This is not a figure you'll find every time you browse Mandarake or AmiAmi, but I see this figure pop up every now and then, so with a little persistence you should be able to track one down. I've seen prices all over the place from 2000 yen on the low side to as high as 5000-6000 yen. I got mine about 3 1/2 years ago for 3600 yen, which I think is a good deal for an interesting item.
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews you might also find interesting:
Rocket Boy 1/6 "Slingshot Swimsuit Girl" (Cle Masahiro original character) BLOG #38618
Orchid Seed 1/7 Push! Cover Girl (Alpha original character) BLOG #34116
Daiki 1/6 "Kanbanmusume" Kurara-chan (Kurara Suzutsuki original character) BLOG #40436
Rocket Boy 1/6 Kurone (Asanagi original character) BLOG #41984
Skytube 1/6 Hermaphroditos (Ban original character) BLOG #43402
Skytube 1/6 Matsuri Tougetsu (Misaki Kurehito original character) BLOG #25817
Wave 1/8 Elyse (Oretama) BLOG #17530
Lechery 1/8 Shamsiel Shahal (Kyonyuu Fantasy) BLOG #19344
Chara-Ani 1/7 Akane Suzumiya (Akane Maniax/Kimi ga Nozomu Eien) BLOG #29184