Thought you were free of the Summer Uniform Version figma? Guess again, with the famous SOS Brigade leader taking up charge, you know you better watch it. The title character of the highly successful The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Haruhi is a bored god; one unhappy with the mundane and common, though she doesn’t know it. Unaware that her dreams and wishes become reality, often playing them down as strokes of luck or coincidence, she has inadvertently surrounded herself with those she intends to seek out; aliens, espers and time travelers. Quite unaware (and to the credit of her friends’ able secrecy) of it all, Haruhi continues her search for the abnormal.
Sometimes rude, sometimes crazy, sometimes harassing, Haruhi exudes a ‘tough’ character. But of course, like all anime, there’s an oft-unseen soft side to her, and this figma attempts to show those two persona’s with the Summer Uniform Version. As you’d expect from such an iteration, the long sleeved top of the Winter Uniform Version has gone and been replaced by short sleeves, showing marked improvement and range in her fresh, new arms. Just about everything else however, has remained the same, bar something significant, a ponytail!
Yes, the memorable hair style that shot Haruhi into the hearts of millions of otaku has been recreated by manufacturer Max Factory and brings a new level of cuteness to Haruhi. Her trademark yellow ribbon remains, but that imperfect though sincere ponytail is the real highlight of this figma. Kyon was dying to get into this photo-shoot, but security wouldn’t allow their big star to be distracted. Her usual haircut is included too, and looks to be the exact same mould as the original. No complaints though, since it still looks great. The two faces we get have Haruhi in her classic “Haruhi is not pleased” look; frowning with her lips pursed, and the other has her more joyous; eyes shut in what could be a fit of laughter or joy, and both suit her perfectly. Naturally, these faces can be swapped with all existing Haruhi figma.
We’re given a nice spread of hands to choose from for Haruhi too, with twelve individual parts in total. There’re the usual suspects like a fist, flat open, and spread open hands, two grasping hands, as well as a pair pointing. There are also a few individual ones, the first has Haruhi giving a thumbs up (or thumbs down, however you want to review the film) and the second is specially moulded to hold Haruhi’s tiny digital camera. Painted entirely silver except for a black lens and screen, this easily-losable object slides into a carved spot in Haruhi’s special right hand. The camera can be held on various angles if you please, and if you find the right pose, looks great, adding another aspect to Haruhi’s personality.
Two other, equally small accessories round out the set, with Haruhi’s famous “Brigade Leader” pyramid sign, always prominently displayed on her desk at the SOS Bridge headquarters, and an arm band that reads “Master Detective,” which you can have her wear if you like, just (carefully) remove her arm from the shoulder and slide on. In the first batch of this figma, a limited edition school bag accessory was given out, and while I was able to obtain this ‘rare’ and frivolous item, it’s hardly worth mentioning since a lot of schoolgirl figma these days have them. But add the bag, the arm band, and the camera, and one would suspect that Haruhi is doing some SOS Brigade work during or right after school – investigating paranormal activities or solving some mystery.
That certainly gives me more reason than to think of this as ‘just another’ Haruhi figma, even if it really just is. Those whacky legs of the original remain, and since the school uniform she has is both classic and well made, the (mould of the) legs remain her only downfall. Haruhi comes with just one pair of shoes this time, not two like the original, but the accessories, and most importantly that ponytail, bring a much more interesting and engaging side to Haruhi. The two faces are great, and just different enough to make some fans want the other(s) to get a more complete range of emotion from this unique individual. Winter or Summer? Mmm, probably Summer.
Originally posted 15-02-2010 here.