Hidamari Sketch

“I don’t want to graduate!”

Wow, has this photo been sitting around forever waiting to go up!  (Like, January of last year!)  I haven’t watched the anime of Hidamari Sketch, just read the manga, which was given the translated title of Sunshine Sketch.  This photo was taken in response to what was at that time the latest volume (there’s been one more since then; not sure if the manga’s over, or if Yen Press decided to give up on translating it) in which two of the cast were about to graduate from the high school they’d all been attending.  Which is a big deal, because the primary cast is all living in a little apartment building right across the street from campus, a sort of unofficial dorm for high school students from out of town.  Hiro (the one with the buns) was especially broken up about it, hence the photo.  (They’re in a candy shop largely because I still had the MiWorld Sweet Factory set up, and it’s the right scale.  But Hiro does love sweets, so it’s easy to imagine them going there to try to distract her from her sorrow at their impending graduation.)

Anyway, these two aren’t officially a couple, but it’s one of those things where they’re a couple in all but name.  And probably the only reason they haven’t figured it out is because they’re both girls.  But after graduation they move into the same apartment, so they’ll probably figure it out long before they finish with college. 🙂  The manga (and likely the anime as well) definitely encourages the audience to ship them. 😉

Holding Hands

And now you know why I wanted to rush that Princess of Power post through before June:  I wanted to photograph Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune in the Crystal Castle.  Because seriously!  Isn’t it a perfect set for them?  (After all, isn’t the future Tokyo called Crystal Tokyo?)

There are, of course, more photos coming.  Though not quite as many as I wanted to take.  I’ll have to do another photo session after I do some actual planning.  (I was kind of winging it…)  I need to plan how to best use some of the alternate faces and hands.  (Though one of the faces Haruka came with isn’t even hers!  That one’ll be harder to find a good excuse for…)

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Technically, that piece that’s two clasped hands is supposed to be used to have Michiru hold her own hands clasped in front of her.  But I’d seen promotional photos of the Figmas of Tomoyo-chan and Sakura holding hands by way of Tomoyo-chan’s clasped hand piece, so I figured if it worked there, it should work here, too.  (Not that I’ve tried that with my own Tomoyo-chan and Sakura yet…)  It doesn’t really work, though. 😦  I mean, it looks sort of okay in the photo, but the hands kept detaching from one or the other of them, and made posing them almost impossible.  I wanted a more complex pose, but I quickly got too frustrated, and went with this simple one instead.

Also, sorry for the slight up skirt on them.  Those freakin’ things are too short!  If they were cloth, gravity would prevent at least some of the panty shots, but unfortunately…  (Okay, I know they’re not technically panties, because they’re sort of wearing leotards, but…)  Well, at least it’ll be easier to avoid panty shots with dolls.

My June Posting Plans

So, for the last few posts, I’ve mentioned having plans for the blog for the month of June, without ever mentioning what they are.

So now I’m mentioning what they are. 😛

As you may or may not be aware, June is Pride Month.  I’m asexual myself, but I’m very supportive of the LGBT community.  And in today’s political atmosphere, I feel like it’s very important to voice my support.  Or in this case, photograph it.  So my posts this month are going to be either rainbow-themed or same-sex romantic (but always safe for work!) photos.  You’ll be seeing a lot of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. 😉  (But also some other anime, Monster High, possibly Vocaloid if I can figure out the right way to handle it, and anything else I can think of that actually seems appropriate.)

Today, I’m just going to recycle some rainbow-themed photos that have been on the blog previously.

New photos will appear next time I post.  (And I’ve already taken several photos of the Uranus and Neptune Figurarts, so I’m almost kinda sorta prepared!)

Princess of Power

So I’ve been meaning to get to this post for a while, and I managed to get the photos taken before I started working on the photos for June.  (I’ll explain in my first June post as to why I have a special theme for the month.)  It’s not that I want to show off my She-Ra collection, it’s that I’ve got two big purchases I want to squee about. 🙂

And here’s the first one:

Front

 

Back

Sadly, there’s only one half of the front door (and it doesn’t actually stay in place, due to broken hinges) and only one window pane, but still!  She-Ra’s Crystal Castle! 😀

And it has pretty much all its interior accessories:

 

(Though from looking at a list I found online, it turns out the purple fur thing I put on the bed as a comforter is supposed to be a rug.  Oops. 😛 )

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AZIAM Yoga Doll Niyama – Comparison and (sort of) Review

I have literally been planning this post since December.  I bought this doll as part of a Black Friday sale.  That’s how long I’ve been having trouble motivating myself to take pictures.  (Although the lack of good photography space around here is a large part of it.  To the extent that I literally took all these dolls over to my brother’s (much cleaner) house to take the photos.)

Anyway, AZIAM Yoga Dolls is a new(ish) line of dolls with a mission.  And I’m feeling too lazy to try to paraphrase it, so I’m going to quote their website instead:

The AZIAM Girlz brand is dedicated to teaching girlz to love who they are, as they are. Using the basics of Yoga to teach positive self- and social- awareness, we have designed clothing, accessories, bags, yoga products, jewelry, headwear, games, programs and books to make the Yoga experience more colorful for our Goddess in Progress™.

And so on.  So this is an independent doll line attempting to bolster girls’ self-image and helping them build up a positive outlook on life, et cetera.  A noble goal, well worth supporting.  (And OMG, when I was on the site to get that quote, I noticed they have a plush meditating cat.  I think I may need that.)  I’ve been keeping tabs on the prices since reading about their Toy Fair 2016 appearance at Confessions of a Doll Collector’s Daughter.

So, way back in late November when I bought this doll, there were two dolls on the site that got the maximum sale.  One was a Californian blonde, and the other was a Brazilian brunette.  Obviously, I went with the brunette.  (I mean, okay, yeah, I have lots of brunette dolls, too, but…I’m pretty sure blondes still outnumber everything else.  (I’m looking at you, Mattel.)  It would have been cooler if the redhead or the African-American had been on the sale, but they weren’t.  I’m not even sure they were in stock.  I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen that website list them as being in stock, in fact.)

So here’s Niyama in her box…in a really lousy photo. 😦

And here she is out of her box, in a much less lousy photo. 😛  In person, the first thing that always strikes me when I look at her is how odd her skin tone is.  It doesn’t really feel like a shade found in human beings, though I lack the appropriate terminology to explain why.  (I think the brown needs a touch more red in it?  Maybe?  I don’t know…it’s more of a gut reaction than anything logically definable, and the color doesn’t come through totally accurately in the photos.)  Probably the first thing you noticed in looking at the picture is that her knee joints are really ugly. 😉  Nothing to be done about that; the design is necessary to give her the full range of motion required.

Okay, the title promises a (sort of) review, so let me get that out of the way before I get to the comparisons, which will make up the bulk of the post.  (And will contain large amounts of nude dolly yoga, so be forewarned!)  Her range of motion — as you’ll see in a moment — in the legs is impressive, and well worth the unattractive joints required.  The clothes are nicely made, and her accessories, while nothing special, are quite acceptable.  The box proclaims that her yoga mat can turn into a “Girl Power Cuff”, AKA a slap bracelet, which is true…and also means that her yoga mat is really, really narrow.  You’ll see it in one of the photos below.  As to her clothes, I don’t know if she can really share clothes with any other dolls.  Maybe Barbie.  I forgot to check that, unfortunately.  (Although as I was dressing her again after the yoga photos, I started putting Barbie’s pants back on her by mistake, and they were fitting, so I think she probably can wear at least some Barbie clothing.)

One of the main selling points on any doll is, of course, the doll’s face.  And that’s where it all gets largely subjective.  Unfortunately, I look at the faces of this doll line, and I’m not impressed.  Something about them just doesn’t speak to me.  They’re a little like Winx faces, but not quite as charismatic, or something.  But, as I said, it’s subjective.  I don’t much care for the faces, but I can only speak for me:  I’m sure there are others who like them, and I haven’t the foggiest where the majority opinion lies on the subject.  (Actually, the majority probably lies with “never heard of it/don’t care.”)

Okay, so moving on to the comparisons!  The main comparison, of course, will be a Made-to-Move Barbie.  Specifically, the African-American one from the first wave:

But there will also be cameo comparisons with other dolls, two of them new.  (One, in fact, literally arrived the day I took these photos!)  So before I get on with the comparisons, let me introduce the new dollies.

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Partial Mail Call

I’m so unmotivated to take pictures right now.  I can’t explain it.  😦  Anyway, because of that, there’s a lot of stuff I want to show you that I didn’t end up taking pictures of.  (This is, after all, like two and a half months’ worth of purchases we’re talking about.  And I’ve been down in the dumps, which means I’ve been spending more money, ’cause I’m a moron.)  Hopefully I’ll get motivated later on and take more pictures.  Hopefully better ones, too.

Anyway.  So new clothes and wigs were something I wanted to fill you in on.  I finally got Ivy some new shoes:

There’s something massive about them that doesn’t really come across in the photo:  in person, they’re like a girly version of the Frankenstein monster’s boots.  And they don’t entirely match Ivy’s butterfly outfit.  (Though I’m admittedly at a loss to guess what would match it.)  Fortunately, I got her a new outfit that matches her rainbow booties, but I’ll show you that a little later on.

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