Astro Toy with Rob Bricken: Mikuru Asahina, Bunny Girl Version

by Rob Bricken,

Series: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Toyline: Treasure Figure Collection
By: Wave Corporation
Cost: ~$50

After months of nothing but robots and action figures, I figured it was high time I took the hit and got myself a girl. A girl statue, actually. I know they're incredibly popular—head to any online import store, and vinyl figures of anime chicks in various states of undress make up half the inventory—but not only are they a little sleazy, they're boring as hell. At best, I could tell you how accurately the sculpt matches the character and a few physical details, but I have no idea what else. But they're popular, so I was gonna do it. For you guys.

So I ordered the above figure of Mikuru from Haruhi, figuring if I had to order a static figure, I could do worse than a bunny girl with a machine gun from a legitimate, non-hentai anime. And I was pleasantly surprised to discover a great many accessories—enough to put Mikuru somewhere in that gray area between statue and action figure that the Japanese specialize in. She's supposedly at 1:10 scale, but all that means is she stands about seven inches tall, although that's only with the help of her bunny ears.

If we start with the sculpt, it certainly looks accurate to me. The head looks accurately oversized to her body, just as in the anime, and while she's the most buxom of the Haruhi girls, her body isn't absurd. Actually, her face is her best feature—there's about 10 paints per eye—it's incredibly vivid, and clearly nothing was sacrificed for cost. As an action figure, she has one whole joint—her neck, which, because of her enormous hair and sideburns, allows her about a 15-degree range of movement up and down, and maybe 50 degrees left-to-right. The about the only reason she can be called an action figure is because of her several switchable arms and accessories.

Now, one strong argument for Mikuru as a statuette is the fact that she will never, ever stand on her own. If you don't use the accompanying stand, she's laying down, thanks to a combination of high heels and feet sculpted at slightly different angles. The stand—bearing the SOS-dan logo, natch—has pegs to accommodate her tiny feet. Unfortunately, the way the figure is designed, unless you put her at eye-level on a shelf or something, she's looking slightly down. Like someone who refuses to make eye contact with you, it gets more frustrating the more you look at it.

The figure comes with two swappable faces: a normal, happy one, and a slightly concerned one. Like most Japanese figures nowadays, you have to pop off the bangs to be able to detach the face and insert it into the larger hairpiece (also, the neck joint is actually attached to the face pieces, which I thought was unique but not particularly important). Since Mikuru has a bunny ear-headband on, the break between the pieces is natural and virtually unnoticeable, which is cool. The concerned/embarrassed face, besides having the same elaborate paint job, has a hint of blush around the cheeks as well. She'll have a lot to be embarrassed about, as we'll see.

Mikuru comes with three sets of arms, each for one specific task. The first holds a microphone, which can be removed from her hands. The second set features two gripping hands to hold a sign (more on the sign below); interestingly, although the microphone-holding hand and the sign holding hands have the same basic function, the mike won't fit into the sign hand—Wave Corporation went out of their way to make them as item specific as possible. Incidentally, the sign hands are tight, making it tough to get the sign in her grasp—but it's better this way, since the hands grip the sign firmly, meaning it (and she) won't fall over.

The last set of arms carries an assault rifle, or at least a model of one). The rifle has her right hand attached to the handle, which slides easily into her arm; the gun rests on her left hand, positioned to keep the rifle pointed up.

Other than the arms, extra face, rifle and microphone, the big accessory is the sign—or more specifically, the four signs that are included. Basically, the post used to hold the sign up is removable, and you can trade one of four signs, all seen held by Mikuru in the home movie Haruhi makes at the beginning of the series. The four signs say (clockwise from upper-left):

• Oomori Electronics Shop
• Yamatsuchi Model Shop
• Beef Skirt Steak 100 grams 298 yen
• Chinese Cabbage Half Off!! Limited Time Only!

Amazingly, the post fits firmly into the signs, and comes out easily. If any American toymaker tried to make a similar accessory it would break in seconds.

Last but not least, the figure comes with a small sheet of stickers—one with the SOS-dan logo, one with a vertical version of the Haruhi series logo, and three small stickers which can be turned into envelopes…meant to stick in the front of Mikuru's corset, which is soft plastic and indeed a separate piece from her torso, alas (yes, you can pull her top down, but she has no nipples. So sorry to disappoint). Although this replicates the scene in the movie where Mikuru is forced to put her store mascot pay in her cleavage, it's still a creepy feature.

However, it's not nearly as creepy as the vinyl figure's biggest feature, which I only learned after I opened it up. This Mikuru is one of those elite Japanese figures with soft, squishable breasts. Press them, and they squish appropriately, as they did when I was trying to get her to hold her gun, causing me to drop the figure in shock and horror, then sob hysterically, then drink a great deal and pray for the release of death. Please note her sad face in the above picture, since I was equally sad that I had to examine the feature for the review.  We were both sad together.

Now, I'm well aware how much of the Japanese economy is based on perversion—I've been to Tokyo a dozen times—but there is no need for a figure with specially soft breasts. Worse, when doing research on this figure, I found Hobby Link Japan had a warning to buyers to not press the toy breasts too hard, or they'd break. I can think of nothing more pathetic.

If can you get over Mikuru's squeezably soft chest—and I hope you can't—I'm still not sure I can recommend this figure over the billions of other Haruhi Suzumiya figures, since she's constantly looking down. It's a shame, because other than that, it's a fabulous, incredibly anime-accurate toy of a bunny girl holding an assault rifle. At any rate, this Mikuru Bunny Girl Version figure seems to have sold out at most online stores anyways, but figures of Haruhi and Yuki in their school uniforms are available in the same sclae and series, along with a two-pack of Tsuruya and Kyon's sister.

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