Well then, it feels like it’s been quite some time since I last did a review (Chag: actually, to everyone else who’s reading the blog, it’s only been 2 weeks =P) I guess that’s what happens when the few things you actually like are all delayed…But now I can finally break this long dry spell with the finally arrived Ika Musume!
Ika Musume is…errr…Ok noone is quite sure what she is actually. She claims to be a genuine squid (ika) given human form to protect the oceans, and her various abilities seem to support this claim, but even the person in question herself is unsure of how she went from a lowly squid to a full fledged squid girl.
Even with this identity crisis, she is hell-bent on “invading” humanity for its mistreatment of the world’s oceans. For better or worse, this rather serious sounding premise gives way quickly to a heartwarming comedy show that sees any attempt Ika makes at actually invading failing miserably and instead slowly integrating herself in with humanity (although she still does diligently clean up the trash along the beach and will occasionally remember she wants to conquer humanity.).
I had originally planned to cancel Ika here because I just haven’t been terribly impressed with Wave’s quality as it where, but as misfortune would have it, Hobby Search pulled a fast one on me changing their cancellation policy and thus I was suddenly stuck with her. Ironically, in that space of time Kotobukiya has also released their own Ika Musume, but for me I still liked this one better for her face and pose which played up her arrogant side more than the cutesy look Kotobukiya chose, so perhaps not being able to cancel this figure was a blessing in disguise? Let’s find out, shall we?
The first thing to note is this is the DX version of this figure. Basically all that means is she comes with her lovely little white and blue one piece she usually wears, as well as the white swimsuit look of the normal version in addition to a more determined looking alternate face. The reason I went for this one was partly because her one piece is her more iconic look, but the bigger bonus for me was the alternative face that I thought looked to get her personality right more than “happy smiles” face (she can be an insufferably headstrong albeit lovable idiot most of the times…).
Opening her package has answered one question I had…In the promo shots you notice that Ika not only gains her dress but her shoes as well when changed, so I was curious how they where going to do this. As I thought, they give you a second pair of legs so you could technically do some mix and matching such as wearing the dress barefoot! Wave has also provided instructions on her for things such as swapping faces or removing her dress.
Removing her dress is a mostly painless process. Firstly you pop her head and then arms off, after this you simply roll up her dress which is made of soft plastic up over her body and voila — swimsuit! Her legs on the other hand are a bit harder to coax out, as I had to put a pretty considerable amount of force into popping em out. I’d highly suggest removing her arms first lest you accidentally damage them while trying to get a good grip on her! That tightness does come with its own benefits, as the fit on her legs is much more flush than her much looser arms and has a far smaller gap between her body and the limbs compared to her arms.
Changing her face is slightly odd, but not terribly hard. Generally with figures you change the face by removing the forehair and then pulling straight out, but Ika’s hat is glued to her head so instead you sort of pull her face forward and down. It took a minute to figure it out, but once you’re used to the process it’s even faster then standard face swaps. For some unkown reason though they gave you an extra hat which makes no sense as it looks exactly like the one she’s wearing and that one is firmly glued to her head? Am I supposed to make one of my other figures wear it?
Ah anyway er last bit of assembly has another quirk to it…Due to the swappable nature of her legs, the actual bit that connects to her base is first attached to her foot and then the base. I’m not quite sure why these two things weren’t simply glued to her from the start as there’s no possible way she can stand without a base?
Another oddity is the underside of her barefoot legs has a second hole for an additional peg unlike her leg with shoes still on, but her base only has a single peg? Erm ok…Now normally I dislike single peg designs especially for a figure on one foot, but Ika-chan is so damn light weight it really doesn’t matter!
Wave figures are small in general, but Ika takes that a step further for sure with her small body. She does technically look like a middle schooler in the show, so she is very much in scale, and the swappable nature of her body probably accounts for her waif-like weight, but there certainly is not much to this figure!
Well now that I’ve fiddled with her so much and have her in her swimsuit state I guess we’ll go with that first to talk about! Eh and honestly I don’t like her in this look that much…
I know the anime had fairly large heads, but Ika’s giant noggin paired with her very petite body just looks…odd. She’s certainly far from the worst BQ out there looks-wise in her swimsuit, with some nice amounts of body sculpt detail on her and some nice gloss paint on her swimsuit, but the overall look just isn’t that great.
Paint wise her exposed skin has a nice warm feeling with nice shading, although sadly she had a pretty big splotch of blue on her left leg. The other problem with her clothes off like this is of course the gaps where her limbs fit. No matter how hard you try to force them in there is a fairly noticeable spacing where they fit in sadly, so lets get those clothes back on, shall we?
Ahhh much better! Her dress nicely conceals all of the ugly gaps that stood out! It also adds a lot more balance to her head making it not look so conspiciously huge! The dress itself is pretty nice as well with some nice shading and very clean painting on the small blue detail areas.
Being soft plastic, the dress also has a very pleasent feeling to the touch. It’d be nice if Wave did this sort of thing more often, as this is easily one of the more impressive pieces of sculpting/painting I’ve seen them do with all its little folds. The slight fluttery look of the dress comes across very as very convincing with only a few very faint mold lines in it! It really does compliment her pose perfectly.
Moving from that, her legs with shoes thankfully have no blue on them like her bare feet legs did, and of course, they have the same pleasant skin shading they had. The white painting on her shoes and hat are a little rough, but it’s nothing you’d notice from a distance.
The glossy blue bits on her ankles and wrists however were done pretty much spot on with nary an error. I do wish her hair had that same gloss to it, seeing as they really are tentacles and always made a rather rubbery sound when touched, but they still look fairly good as-is. The base is Wave’s standard fake sand hexagon thing Wave uses for all of their Beach Queens.
- Great Pose
- Character accurate faces
- Generally well done painting and sculpting
- Head looks far too large for the body when cast-off
- Few paint slip-ups
Overall I gotta say I’m pretty damn happy with the way Ika turned out! I wasn’t expecting much from Wave, but apparently they are far more skilled at working with soft plastics than PVC.
In any case, Ika looks great with her face full of confidence, along with the body language to match! The dress and the way her hair is moving really just sells the whole package to give you that great sense of motion…just don’t take her dress off!
Haha…But yea, I honeslty wouldn’t suggest getting the non-DX version. I guess it wouldn’t have the same gap problem since you presumably can’t remove her limbs on that one, but that wouldn’t solve the problem of her head looking far too oversized. >_< So my reccomendation would be to go with this DX version and just forget about the swimsuit look.