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Yin and Yang, Sheryl Style!

I think I’ve been pretty open about my love for the Galaxy Fairy on this blog. Sheryl Nome is one of the few anime characters which I can say wholeheartedly that I like, a LOT!!! So it’s a bit of a mixed bag when I say that she has quite a few figures on the market. Far more than Ranka at least (Hurrah!). And so far, I’ve managed to get a fair chunk of the Sheryl figures available, as my images of my Sheryl Nome army will attest. But a few items have eluded me thus far. Specifically, the Ichiban Kuji lottery figures. One was self inflicted. The first Ichiban Kuji Sheryl figure with her last concert costume is HIDEOUS!! I would never stain my collection or waste my money with that monstrosity!  But when the Macross F movie came out, they released 2 more Sheryl figures in 2 new costumes from the movie, dubbed black and white bunny. And those 2 looked rather good. Well, now I’ve finally gotten around to actually acquiring them!

Yeah, I know! I fail at outdoor shoots! I much prefer the clinical (and infinitely warmer) feel of my makeshift studio anyway! I got these 2 from Mandarake for a reasonable price. Not too expensive, and the conditions were really great (though I don’t think they were unopened like the description claimed). While I was there, I also nabbed pretty much everything else Sheryl which I didn’t own yet!

I’ll leave the DX figures out of this post and focus on the bunnies. I also tried something a little different and shot the photos in RAW format instead of JPEG like usual. That’s also why this post is a little late this week. I had to put in a whole bunch of addins and stuff to get Lightroom to recognise the olympus RAW format before I could do anything! It did make things easier to edit in photoshop but since I don’t really fiddle with them too much, I don’t think that it made that much of a difference. Let me know if you think otherwise.

Guess I can unload some more failed outdoor shots first. I don’t normally do these kinds of shoots, and with good reason. GK are really fragile things and taking them out will invariably damage them and require constant repairs. PVC figures are more robust but I don’t have many of them and none really felt like they deserved the effort. But these 2 did.

There was a light source just underneath the steps which helped to create the glow effect here. Sadly, the steps were also very shallow, which made it difficult to get a good angle for the photo.

Black bunny on her own.

A shot taken slightly further away from the opening image. You can probably tell the landmark in the background this time!

I had thought of doing a few more but then I hit a little snag. The 2 Sheryls (black in particular) are rather fragile and Black bunny got a little damage in transit so I decided to cut things short to repair her. It wasn’t a major issue. The red ribbon on her hair snapped off so I needed to glue to peg back in. The later shots were done after the repair. I doubt anyone would notice.

Back to more familiar territory with the 2 standing side by side. Let’s tackle white bunny first!

White bunny kinda stands out from the other Sheryl figures in that she’s not being portrayed as a sexpot like most other figures. In fact, this is one of her most subdued costumes but that’s not without its charms. It’s also a rather nice break from the usual T&A fest.

The costume spreads out a little at the back due to the large tail but it still doesn’t take too much space.

Side shot to complete things. And if you’re thinking that she may be a little *too* conservative, do not worry! She’s castoff-able!!

Well, partially. The figure also seems to have a fair few little pieces of details as well. From the cherry pattern on her skirt to her heart on her right cheek…

To this really bizarre bit here. From what I can tell, it’s a seashell hanging off her fingernail!

Since I’m not a follower of fashion or trends, I have no idea what that is about. I did see something similar in real life many years ago but it faded even quicker than it arrived so I just assumed it didn’t catch on.

The base also deserves a mention. A cog design with various icons printed on it. The heart and butterfly motif at the top distinguish this as the white bunny base. It’s possible to lock this base with the corresponding black bunny base but the 2 figures make it very difficult to put the 2 too close together due to their designs.

And now, just because…

Well, I had to put Sheryl down while I took the photo of the base and she just happened to be at this angle, facing the camera. SERIOUSLY!

OK, I turned her around for this one…

Next, we have black bunny. No upskirts this time because… well It’s pretty unnecessary, don’t you think?

For whatever reason, black bunny gives the feeling that she was the favourite of the designers. While both look like a fair bit of effort was put into making both of them, black bunny simply feels like more effort was put into her design and build. Heck, even the packaging was overdone compared to white bunny!

Look at all that wrapping! white bunny Sheryl had none. NONE!!!

And here’s the damaged part. Easily fixed but it was a minor shock when it broke off so easily.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I am a little snobbish when it comes to PVC figures. They have to work very hard just to get my attention and even when they arrive, I tend to think that they look nice but they don’t “grab” me like a good GK will. The last figure I bought which I was really taken aback by was Triggerheart Excelica by Alter!! Since then, I’ve acquired several Sheryl Nome figures, Saber Lily ~ Distant Avalon, Fate T Harlawn from Volk… All were pretty good but none truly impressed me. This one did!

You wouldn’t think that if you just went for the promotional images from the ichiban kuji site. The promo images look rather flat and don’t really convey her very well.

More than any other PVC in recent memory for me, Black Bunny Sheryl simply has a commanding presence. The extra little touches like the shiny black on the cape and the flowing hair at the back  all help to grab your attention but unlike Saber Lily or Fate, somehow, this figure manages to keep my attention while the other 2 lose it rather quickly. Maybe I’m biased because it’s Sheryl Nome, one of my fave anime characters, but I’m very fond of adult Fate as well.

The staff is actually made of very flexible rubber and can bend quite considerably. On the down side, the hands of the figure aren’t really designed to hold the staff like others may have been. Instead, the fingers have been positioned so that you can rest the staff on them and it won’t slip but it is still very loose and it effectively boils down to you balancing it as best you can.

Neither black nor white bunny Sheryl come with instructions of any kind. That isn’t a problem for white Sheryl because she doesn’t have any accessories to worry about. But it took me an age to figure out where this scabbard went!! The tip is meant to rest on the loops near the ankle but I raised it for this shot to make it easier to see. I had honestly no clue where it was meant to go originally. It was just a black triangular thingy which came in the box! I lucked out when I looked at my chibi black bunny figure as I was able to work out where it was meant to go from there.

Now, I’m not a follower of fashion or anything but is it just me or does leaving the ankle exposed like this look a little, I don’t know, odd? I guess it’s good if you have an ankle fetish or something (Lightning saber?) but I found it to be rather peculiar.

Look to the left. I said the LEFT!! see the glitter on the inside of the cape? Yeah, I missed that too first time around. And stop looking at the right hand side!! Yes, Sheryl herself said that they are real! The makers even sculpted some details on the fabric to make it look like it’s being stretched to cover the “essentials.” That kind of detail is often missed on PVC figures.

I think some kind of karmic balance must be in order here because while I think the Black bunny Sheryl is much better than the White bunny, the same cannot be said of their bases. The base for Black bunny is pretty boring!

Along with the 2 main figures, I also nabbed a couple of SD Ichiban Kuji Kyun-Chara figures. Each were about the size of a nendoroid.

Sadly, I was unable to get the regular colour Black bunny figure and gor this weird gold colour instead. Out of the 2 I prefer the white bunny Sheryl in this instance.

Gold really doesn’t suit the costume IMO. But even as a SD character, they managed to give her a rather mischievous facial expression!

The white bunny Sheryl is much more suited for the SD form, don’t you think? Though the shoulders do feel like a little throwback to the 80s… Both were on sale at one of the Mandarake stores where I bought one of the full sized Sheryls (I bought everything through 2 different stores) and were only a few hundred Yen each so I think they were a pretty good additional purchase.

A few shots of the “big sisters” to finish. Played a little with the lighting to get the bloom effect at the back. Black bunny Sheryl doesn’t benefit as much because she’s tilting her head forward.

Both figures really did impress me. After the catastrophe that was the first ichiban kuji Sheryl Nome figure, I really didn’t have any hopes for future releases but these 2 are very good. White bunny Sheryl gives a version of her which you don’t really see in the figures, which clearly are focused on her sex appeal. This figure is more subdued and more about emphasising a more cute image than sex and it works! One can’t really say that the Sheryl Figures are all about sex appeal now! Though any attempts at moving Ranka away from cute and into sexy will probably fail horribly! Ranka is, as Taokaka in BB puts it, a “lacking lady!”

But it was black bunny which really impressed. While I bought these 2 mainly because I wanted to add to my Sheryl army they both exceeded my expectations (which were’t very high if I was to be brutally honest) but white bunny was cute and different and black bunny was just amazing. I don’t think I’ve just sat down and admired a PVC figure like I did with black bunny Sheryl for a long time! She’s my fave Sheryl figure in my collection thus far.

I can compare getting the bunny Sheryls to when when I got Celia Kumani Aintree and Laila Ria Sorel from Volks and the 2 kits easily became favourites after I got to see the details and extras for myself and I kept thinking “I’m glad I got these.” The same applies to the bunnies. I’d definitely recommend Sheryl fans to try and track down the 2 figures if they can. Be warned though. For whatever reason, the twin set, which has both figures in a single box, goes for a ridiculous sum (¥100k) and you don’t need to go to that length to get them, unless you REALLY want the limited colours they contain. I’m not too fussed on recolours so these 2 are more than satisfactory!

  • Ken

    wait a mimute, i think u might have picked up a limited edition set here, i believe these are from the offical macross store back in august…cause the white 1 is supposed to be light blue, cause I got the normal light blue version, and the pure white I think was limited to the store in japan only….hmmm.

    I’ll give u a call about it asap if u dont mind…!

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    Haha! Good eye, sir, though I don’t think you’re quite right!

    I did a little digging after taking the photos and it would seem that all but the white bunny were actually part of the Ichiban Kuji Macross F encore release. So they’re not part of the first release but I don’t think that these were any more limited than the previous releases, which you have. There were some really random recolours and pair sets which are rather rare but I don’t actually like them! Silver? Seriously???

  • Ken

    Ah…

    Yeah its the recolour of them and I’m always confused to which colour is limited (my god they worth soooooooooo much), currently Im trying to find myself a dark bunny but when i was hunting it down back in March this year in HK everywhere was sold out, now im looking at online sources but no luck… seems mandarake dont have anymore of those either, I just gotta wait…

    p.s. hmmm, seems like theres one from a Japanese seller on ebay (international seller) for £120, how much did u pay for urs from mandarake?

    and also, u have any plans of going to Japan? currently me and some DC members(from aussie land and canada/japan) are looking to go and trying to find more people who might be interested (2012, gonna try for comiket on those year but dont expect it cause its the most expensive period, but if we do go, we’re all veterans to comiket)

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    These? I paid ¥5000 for the white bunny and ¥6000 for black, not including shipping, which had to be separate because they were coming from 2 different stores. Have to say that I prefer the brighter colours on this newer Black bunny compared to the older, darker scheme. It just looks more vibrant! But it does look like mandarake only have the one I bought in their shops. So you’re out of luck for the first colour editions.

    And funny you should ask about my plans. I’m considering going to Japan this summer. Been saving up a little so it depend on how much I have left around february. Sadly, Comiket is of no interest to me. I’ll be aiming for Wonderfestival and/or the tokyo Game show. in the summer. Will be expensive but meh.
    My Kendo club might be trying to organise a training camp trip to Korea around the same time so I’ll have to wait and see what happens. I won’t know the date for summer wonder festival until february anyway.

  • http://tomopop.com hko

    Great pics! Uber Jealous!

  • Ken

    Just recieved mine from mandarake, thanks for the help! :)

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    Glad I could help. Hope the shipping wasn’t too bad in the end.

    I’ve been thinking about getting the encore white bunny for a proper set, but I don’t want to get one figure on its own from mandarake… Guess I’ll have to wait till there are a few more things worth getting