Review: Orchid Seed’s Seena Kanon

Tony Taka goodness this week, Orchid Seed’s Seena Kanon from Shining Wind, and more specifically a piece of artwork by the man himself. Kept this one sitting around unreviewed for quite a while until I let a friend of mine decide. She wanted me to review Aki Hanazono but we compromised on Seena Kanon. I wonder if she has a penchant for redheads?

I’d taken most of the pictures for this set ages and ages ago when I first got her and removed her from her box. However, since so many people were reviewing her at the time, and I’d received mine long after most since I ship using SAL instead of the much more expensive EMS I decided to leave her on hold until people had forgotten about her. This way when I finally did review her, people wouldn’t be so apathetic towards her and would feel invited to view and reminisce about her once again. That’s the theory anyway.

This particular Seena Kanon 椎名夏音) comes from the 2007 title Shining Wind (シャイニング・ウィンド) on the Playstation 2, sequel to the 2004 game Shining Tears シャイニング・ティアーズ) from the Shining series of games by SEGA dating as far back as 1991 with Shining in the Darkness on the SEGA Genesis. Kyosuke Arai sculpted her on behalf of Orchid Seed オーキッドシード) and like many of their releases was given the 1/7th scale treatment. Between Seena’s sitting pose and her diorama-like base she measures 19 cm tall and around 78 cm² in area making for a fairly small footprint which with my growing collection is becoming more and more valuable. Originally released in December ’09 she retailed for ¥7,800 / $88 CAD minus the usual discounts, now however she sells in between the $110 to $150 range on sites like eBay and Mandarake. Sometimes I wish I kept these figures in their boxes and just held onto them until their prices peaked and sold ’em. Could get a better ROI than I do with my mutual funds.

When Seena was first released, many people seemed to complain about her quality and how she didn’t live up to the expectations of the promo shots. For quite a while I wondered just what they were complaining about as I couldn’t find anything wrong with her, but after much asking the only real response I remember getting was that her hair wasn’t pointy enough. And sure enough it’s not as pointy as the promoshots, it feels a bit bulkier and thicker but it in no way detracts from the figure’s appearance, though I do prefer the pointier hair when comparing. One difference noticed on my copy though that I don’t recall reading elsewhere is that her left twintail isn’t one piece like the prototype, but actually two pieces with a seam and tiny hole, visible in this shot and this shot.

Other issues with Seena, there’s a visible seam just under her panties at her bum, as well as some odd discolouration that look like perhaps she’s bruised, poor girl. On the bottom of her right thigh there’s some black marks as well as a strange rippling texture. There’s also some over painting between her legs and thighhighs but that’s more or less expected as unfortunate as that is.

The colour choices Orchid Seed or Kyosuke Arai chose are a bit interesting. Seena’s hair isn’t the same red as the illustration, nor is her blazer entirely black like the illustration. Her hair comes off much more faded than it really is due to this variation. Additionally her hair appears to lack any depth of colour whatsoever appearing very flat in tone drawing ones attention and distracting. Her blazer on the other hand appears to have depth to it due to their choice to lighten it up a bit from jet black. By adding in some dark blue to the mix they’ve Tailgrab.Org(y)to add a nice texture and appearance making for a rather well executed attempt. However that’s about all there is on Seena that has depth, her skirt is lacking, as is her skin tones, though neither of which is distractingly so. Oddly, her base appears to have more shading than she does in places, why does this seem familiar?

Pose wise she’s a fairly good match with the original illustration along with some improvements as well. Seena has a much more pleasant face that works much better than it did in the drawing, where her nose appeared offset and her face angled the wrong way given the way her head was situated. Arai also had to extrapolate out from the drawing to finish off her legs, left hand as well as the base. One thing I’m not necessarily fond of oddly enough is her skirt, it seems to me it should dip down more like in the drawing, her panties are perhaps too visible, though I like that they’re shimapan. On that note, I’ve had people tell me it looks like she has a package down there, not cool. I’m interested why Arai chose to make the base broken and falling apart, the illustration doesn’t seem to indicate anything is wrong, is there something in the game? Also, in the illustration she’s sitting on red tiles, where did they go?

To try and make this figure fit in better with my recent reviews I took a bunch of brand new shots last night in an attempt to liven up what otherwise would have been a white background only set. Using my handy old IKEA GRUNDTAL halogen lights, a black sheet of paper, a 23 watt 6500K “daylight” CFL, a set of dioders, the chair from CDB Chair and a glass shelf, this is what I came up with.

While Seena could have been better in a few key areas I’m fairly happy with how she turned out, especially considering how my other Orchid Seed figure turned out. I’m reluctant to buy from Orchid Seed in the future due to that issue with Corti, but if they can at least maintain the quality of Seena here I’ll likely be able to continue buying from them in moderation with figures who appear less likely to lean such as Kawai Ameri.

I didn’t mention anything about zettai ryouiki…

-Aka

Pros

  • Nicely sculpted cute sitting pose
  • Base raises her up nicely and isn’t an ugly disc
  • Seena’s face is improved over the illustrations

Cons

  • Some paint defects, bruised bum etc
  • Paint is more faded than the original illustration
  • Paint also lacks depth
  • Panties are too visible, her skirt should be longer

Gallery

Comments

  1. Rico-sama says:

    This shot and this shot are my two favorites. Did you use a photo filter in that first shot or was that another plastic bag trick? Either way the the effect is quite phenomenal. The second on is awesome because it reminds me of Batman. Does Batman really make sense here? No not really. But I guess I’m trying to say that I like how dramatic and stylized it is.

    The set up with the mirror and GRUNDTAL lights is also a fantastic effect but not really fitting for this figure I think. It would’ve been much better for a particular type of figure, say Gekisou Ver. Haruhi? So given that you should totally go out and buy Gekisou Ver. Yuki and/or Mikuru so you can do a review of those with that set up! 😉

    Seena herself is quite a nice figure, but with her share of problems you’re right. It’s funny that I see Orchid Seed’s Corticarte Apa Lagranges in your Related Posts section below and even from that thumbnail alone I can see how much better hair coloring and shading was on her than it was on Seena. It’s a pleasant color but it needed a little more depth to make it really come to life. Though given Taka Tony’s style highlights might’ve been better than shading for Seena.

    I guess I’m not the only one who thought that her skirt was too revealing. It’s like why even bother making her cast-off at that point?

    Great post, as usual.

    • Aka says:

      First picture is a combination of lighting and white balance. I used the IKEA Dioders in my cabinet along with the IKEA Grundtal halogen lights from the side. I set the Dioders to I believe a red colour, started a 5 second exposure, during which I flicked the halogen lights on for a very short period as they’re much more intense than the dioders. Combining that with a white balance adjustment nets you a picture similar to this.

      The 2nd shot turned out so well I’m surprised. I’d changed the lights to a purple colour and placed the halogen lights under the glass infront of the figure as well as held one in my hand. Set the camera for a 6 second exposure and like the first, only let the halogen lights stay on for a very short period so as to not over expose or overwhelm the subtle colours from the dioders.

      I tried my best to use shadows to cover Seena’s pantsu. It seems counter intuitive for me to do I know, but they really were too revealing making it actually less attractive.I prefer the hint of reveal to full out reveal.

      I agree with you on the lighting setup, I had the exact same thoughts when viewing the results. It seems much more suited to a performance than a girl sitting with a sword. I think in the future I’ll have to re-use this effect for another figure. Perhaps when I get around to reviewing Ogata Rina from White Album. Though ideally I think smaller lights, and much more of them would be a better effect in that case. Who knows.

      I don’t think Corti necessarily has more shading to the hair, just more detail in the sculpt creating wonderful shadows that seem to add depth. Which of course is very much desired as she looks better detailed.

      Thanks for the comments!

      PS: I’d like to get Gekisou Yuki, still not a fan of tamborine Mikuru though.

      • Rico-sama says:

        Wow, you really do like to experiment with lighting; the flickering the lights on/off during the shot is something I had not considered doing ever but that low saturated, slightly over exposed first shot ended up amazing because of it.

        I might make a trip to Ikea this weekend. Not to copy you (well, maybe to copy you a little bit 😉 ) but it’s the best place I know of to get colored LED lights. That and I probably will get myself another DETOLF.

        Ooo. You’re right I forgot about the White Album figures – they’d work too. Can’t wait to see that!

        PS. Complete the set, you know you really want to. 😉

        • Aka says:

          IKEA isn’t the place to get LED lights. They’re expensive at IKEA, and if you’re just looking to get coloured LEDs for photography there are many better places on the internet. Electronic hobby shops and the like are much cheaper. Remember the Dioders cost me $80 CAD a set, I think they’re cheaper in the US, but regardless they’re still pricy for just photography.

          I don’t like Yuki. But I sorta want to complete the set.

  2. Ashlotte says:

    Ah hell Rico pretty much said everything I was gonna haha…Aye seriously use that lighting setup for some singing figure or one with an instrument pleeeeeease!!! :p

    • Aka says:

      Totally, hopefully I can recreate it in some manner. I need to thank my friend though. She pointed out to me that the overblown pictures could actually be good. Next time I’ll also have to try and make sure there’s less dust. Good for making stars perhaps, but bad at ruining my reflective surface.

  3. Chag says:

    From the frontal angle, Seena looks as she’s trying to shlick with the sword. This is probably why I prefer her holding the the sword with the tip up rather than down — if you’re going to pleasure yourself with a deadly weapons, at least don’t use the sharp end!

    I’m really, really liking this shot, by the way. The way the lighting highlights the thighs and conceals the crotch makes the shot all the more deliciously scandalous. The angle of the shot is just the icing on the cake.

    • Aka says:

      Wow, you take the award this week for top perv, out doing even Tier below. Amazing, I never once thought anything dirty about the sword, and only rotated it because on the couch/chair it wouldn’t stay in place unless I did so. Now I can’t help but see that in each picture with the sword reversed.

      I wasn’t sure how my ‘censoring’ would go over, if people would be disappointed with my use of shadows to conceal her pantsu or delighted. I’m thankful that people like it and feel it adds to the shots.

  4. Tier says:

    Sometimes I wish that I stocked up on rare figures so that I could hock them at a 100% markup in a few months. Like Alter’s recent Fate figure, I bet you could move that for two hundred easily (I’d insert a joke here about Canadian dollars but I have learned that Canadian dollars and fat American dollars are approximately equivalent o_O How the hell did we let that happen? Why haven’t we invaded yet to right this wrong?)

    This is still one of my favorite figures from last year though I’d probably move her behind Narika in retrospect. The short skirt is too cool. And that bruise on her backside is kinky; I always knew Seena had a naughty side.

    I bet Ameri is going to be shorter than a salt shaker, given the way Orchid Seed cooks the numbers.

    • Aka says:

      Not too long ago, as in say a week or two, the Canadian dollar out valued the American dollar for a couple of days. The dollars have been neck and neck for quite some time, which really helps me a lot when ordering things from the US. I remember when it was like $0.70 USD would get you $1.00 CAD, that sucked for me because everything was stupid expensive from the US. But because stuff used to be priced that way, cars are much more expensive in Canada than the US because they rarely adjust the value because that would devalue many used cars. That and why adjust when you can continue to rip off and make more money?

      I wouldn’t go so far as to call Seena one of my favourites. She’s got many of the feature that I might consider my favourite, but their execution by Orchid Seed is lacking. Narika on the other hand is just top notch, everything about her is done right. And while I’m into some kinkier stuff, bruises isn’t one of them. Not into spanking and such, so the bruise on her bum doesn’t really do much for me and sort of detracts from her bum. Combining your thoughts of Seena being a naughty girl and Chag above you, I’m getting all sorts of pleasantries going through my head, and I like it.

      I hope Ameri isn’t too small, or that salt shaker you compare her to isn’t. I’d hate for a Aisaka Taiga sized Ameri.

  5. Nopy says:

    Her base reminds me of a toilet for some reason, maybe it’s the shape and how the clock is sorta like the lid.

    • Aka says:

      Haha I can see somewhat how you’d think that. A rather large toilet though, and sitting like that she’d totally be falling in.

  6. Fabrice says:

    All shots are great! i actually like this figure, well im not keen on the base since it looks…..weird. haha like nopy said i guess, a toilet seat XD
    i wouldnt use the base if the figure is detachable, in which im sure it is.
    anyway enough with the base lol

    she looks good, nicely done mhmm i got no negativep point…(except the base XD )

    nice addition.

    • Aka says:

      Of course she’s detachedable, but I’m curious what you’d place her on otherwise? With her feet being below her bum, resting on a flat surface doesn’t work well at all. And resting her over the edge of something would seem precarious due to not having the butt grooves the base has to hold her in place.

      Thanks!

  7. lovelyduckie says:

    I agree with your theory, I don’t really like doing reviews of the figures that are “in” for that month. I’d rather grab something older that others may not be currently thinking about. Although its been ages since I’ve done a figure review at all! I’ll be changing that soon!

    I like what Tony Taka did with the Shining series, I own the art book and a few figures.

    • Aka says:

      I think in terms of hits for you site, doing the popular figure when it’s popular is probably best. And while I’m a stat whore, I still feel mixing it up is better, following the trend is boring.

      I must like what Tony’s doing with the Shining series, I keep investing in it and I don’t know very much about it at all. Yet I have 6 figures from the series, 2 Seena (soon 3), Elwing, Blanc Neige (x2), and Mao. And there are more I’d like to purchase, I have Kureha on the way eventually, and would like to get the Xecty in the military uniform figure, among other older figures by Max Factory and the like. Maybe I should play a game finally?

  8. Blowfish says:

    I really eyed this figure back when it was announced because i really like her pose and hell shes offering an innocent view at her panties XD

    In the end I discarded her because I a) Know nothing about her and b) have the Max Factory Seena which offers a nice view at her butt

    I could have sworn that those Spots were the Ikea Holmen ones but looks like I was wrong.Guess my Ikea knowledge isnt good enough ^^;;

    • Aka says:

      She’s actually quite a nice little figure, I really like her outfit and the long hair. But I definitely agree, Seena in a swimsuit from Max Factory is a much better buy quality wise, or at least expected quality. And I prefer the innocent look at her butt than the not so innocent view of her panties in this figure. I think it’d be more innocent if the skirt was longer, it feels too easy to see them with her short skirt.

      I’m not sure what the IKEA holmen are, are they the ones that are supposed to fit in the lights that fit in the DETOLFs? I can’t find the holemen at IKEA.ca. Maybe they’re a replacement?

  9. “Other issues with Seena, there’s a visible seam just under her panties at her bum, as well as some odd discolouration that look like perhaps she’s bruised, poor girl.”

    LOL, you’ve been tapping her rear too hard maybe? =P

    I really like this figure and with the long hair, I think she looks pretty good with this hair rather than her usual short hair. Dunno why some people complain about her, I don’t think the “flaws” are all that critical.

    Love what you did with your shots, especially the ones with the lights. But I think my fave is still #54. My figure is still sitting in her box waiting for a photo shoot. I’m having the hardest time trying to find the right background for my shoot. I know what I want to do but just don’t have the “props”. =(

    • Aka says:

      Well… She likes it rough.

      I’m having a hard time coming up with new ideas for figures. I have some but some just aren’t working out how I wanted. It’s rather disappointing.

  10. Emily says:

    “Other issues with Seena, there’s a visible seam just under her panties at her bum, as well as some odd discolouration that look like perhaps she’s bruised, poor girl.”LOL, you’ve been tapping her rear too hard maybe? =PI really like this figure and with the long hair, I think she looks pretty good with this hair rather than her usual short hair. Dunno why some people complain about her, I don’t think the “flaws” are all that critical.Love what you did with your shots, especially the ones with the lights. But I think my fave is still #54. My figure is still sitting in her box waiting for a photo shoot. I’m having the hardest time trying to find the right background for my shoot. I know what I want to do but just don’t have the “props”. =(

    • Aka says:

      I suppose I was a little rough, but she likes it that way, I couldn’t say no could I?

      I definitely prefer her with long hair, I tend to like women with longer hair more.

      Collectors can be a fickle and picky bunch, and I’m no different really. I’ve done my fair share of complaining over miniscule specks that really don’t affect a figures appearance much. I think a lot of it depends on expectations and how a figure hits you when you first see it and when they first arrive.

      I think over my collecting career I’ve calmed considerably with regards to my critical eye. I still point out things, but I don’t think I hate on them as much as I once did, but maybe that’s just my perspective.

      #54 seems to have really hit it off with most people. I wish I had some of the props people find, some people are great with their imagination as well at creating props out of otherwise average items.

      I hope you find the right background for your shots!

  11. […] since I saw some of Aka’s new work with lighting I’ve been inspired to try and push myself to do innovative lighting as […]

  12. […] be noted during the same month Louise arrived I received “World is Mine” Hatsune Miku, Orchid Seed’s Seena Kanon, Kotobukiya’s Kirisame Marisa and Alter’s Al Azif. So it’s likely my perception […]