Review: Orchid Seed’s Kawai Ameri

Likely the last Orchid Seed figure I’ll buy for quite some time, and not through much fault of Kawai Ameri here and more to do with Orchid’s Corti and their upcoming figures.

Kawai Ameri (河合 アメリ) comes from the visual novel and anime series Tayutama: Kiss on my Deity (タユタマ -Kiss on my Deity-). The light novel fared quite well achieving the rank of 6th most sold game in 2008 on Getchu.com. The anime however seems to have been all but forgotten. I watched the anime, it existed, I know that much. I however watched because of a certain character with a tail, Mito Mashiro (泉戸 ましろ). While Mashiro has a figure by Volks, it was no where near as… revealing… as Ameri and also only available via Volks’ Online store, meaning a middleman would be required, screw that. Anyway, Ameri is the childhood friend of the young protagonist Mito Yuuri and from what I recall of the anime, was fairly jealous towards Mashiro’s presence in Yuuri’s life. Beyond that it doesn’t matter as the series was bleh.

Ameri arrived at my door nearly 10 days ago in what seemed like an averagely sized shipping container, upon opening said container I was greated with well, a very small box. What would have been empty space in the shipping container was filled with packing material, surely they could have saved me some money as well as space aboard the plane by using a smaller box? The container Ameri’s tiny box arrived in was 30x23x20 cm (13.8 L), her tiny box itself measured only 11x11x16cm (1.9L), only 13.8% of the volume of the larger box. I suppose this is more a complaint of standardization more than anything but it still feels wasteful and really what I’m trying to get at is, well Ameri is small. Orchid has given her just the right size box but as always has their claimed scale just a little bit off, that is of course unless Ameri is only ~147 cm tall (4’10”). Their claim is that she’s 1/8th scale but well ok I guess she’s close enough but I still can’t get over how small she is, measuring only 11.5 cm (4.5″) tall.

I’ve been trying to think of a nice way to say this next part, really, but well Orchid Seed’s screwed up the sculpt. Ameri’s face is all wrong, her shirt’s spread too much, her head’s not tilted enough, her gun is pointing nearly 90° straight up, her heart tipped tail-like thing  is in the wrong place and her body tilts too much. I know all this because this figure is based upon an illustration by Moekibara Fumitake (萌木原ふみたけ). This isn’t however to say the sculpt is bad it’s just wrong, though I would argue her face is bad. The rest of her is acceptable, the original illustration has no indication that the other heart tipped tail-like object is penetrating her yet the sculpt has this feature, additionally Minheru has sculpted Ameri’s breasts smaller and much more pleasant. A bit of a trade off between matching the original and improving and I can accept this but damnit Minheru what did you do to her face?

Ameri’s got a very similar paint job to the other Orchid Seed figures I own that is to say she has a faded appearance. Her hair doesn’t seem as powerfully purple as the original illustration, nor do her eyes have the proper depth of reds and purple as the illustration, it almost feels like she’s lacking contrast, something I almost kept adjusting for in post. She’s painted with solid colours with pretty much no depth whatsoever save for around her nipples through the shirt as well as on them physically and the tips of her hair. In sticking with such a simple solid colours paint scheme they’ve managed to remove pretty much any paint fault that could be present she’s nearly perfect in this regard, save for perhaps the blue edging on her shirt which varies in thickness too much.

The biggest problems with Ameri though has much to do with Minheru or Orchid’s choices when sculpting. I’m not talking about screwing up the overall sculpt like I mentioned above, but other things, like how Ameri’s panties go around her legs. They don’t look right at all, they just disappear and re-appear on the other side. I can see why this was done, but I’m sure someone could have come up with something better, the edges seem too solid to imagine them passing behind her knees like they should. Another example of this problem is behind Ameri’s right arm, her shirt just stops, it doesn’t look like it goes behind her arm, it looks like it stops at her arm. There’s another problem with that right arm, instead of appearing like a straight arm like in the illustration, Ameri’s arm appears to have no affect on the shirt or skin underneath that it’s pressing against. It just wraps around her in a very unnatural manner, bending over the entire arm instead of at any one joint and in fact looking rather flat around the elbow area. The way these 3 things are executed ruins much of the illusion this figure should otherwise have had and is really unfortunate.

Ameri’s pleasant to look at, she’s very revealing, her breasts are nice, I really do love all the exposed skin. Adding in the tail-like almost penetration was a nice pervy touch but I can’t get over how much Orchid did wrong with Ameri. She only cost me $52 CAD so I don’t feel like she was a terrible waste but I don’t think I’d buy her again at that price.

Mmm… tail (almost) penetration…

-Aka

Pros

  • Playful and revealing pose
  • She’s doing more with those ‘tail’ ends than you might think

Cons

  • Pale paint scheme, no where near as vibrant as the image it’s based on
  • Ameri’s face is sculpted poorly
  • Her panties are poorly sculpted as well, too thick and just disappear behind her knees
  • Small

Gallery

Comments

  1. Ashlotte says:

    Geez Akho (Yes new nickname, just made it up…YOU NEED ONE!) I’ve not seen you go into such detail about not liking something while saying so little about what you did like in quite some time…And yet your pictures make me genuinely regret having canceled her order during my great purge. T_T

    Ah but you know I always told people “You want to know what I thought about the figure…Look at the way I shot it.” and it surely shows here…Sort-of muted lighting with no flair and a distinct lack of life. Practically breaths “meh” from every pixel. :p

    Now if you’ll excuse me its picture ogling time…

    • Aka says:

      I didn’t really mean to be so mean… But it felt like they messed up a lot, and the things I did like were simple and explained with fewer words. I’m sure part of it is due to my dislike of Orchid for their leaning Corti, but Minheru really did mess up as far as I’m concerned. At a distance Ameri is acceptable, but on inspection she’s so wrong.

      I mentioned in the review her subdued colours and how I kept wanting to adjust for contrast because of them. I’d argue a lot of the muted lighting comes from this. I personally love a contrasty image but when trying to represent something faithfully I do try and not lean on it so much. So again I would blame their paint job more than my photography. Though it is the first series of images to use my new Sigma lens, I’m still getting used to it as well.

      I’m not sure if the “meh” in the pictures comes from my laziness or the lack of enthusiasm I had shooting Ameri, it’s likely both and as such you’re likely right.

      -Akho

  2. Ichigo_m says:

    Wow thanks for this review! I was planning on ordering this figure in the near future and thanks to this review I won’t be. Very nice review. Help a whoooooole bunch (=

  3. Tier says:

    I think mine’s getting delivered in a day or two. I’m not too surprised by the problems since, for some reason, Orchid Seed’s smaller figures seem to be a bit shoddy while their larger figures seem to turn out okay. Their Red Stone Lancer, Happoubi Jin’s Hustler, Seena, and the Comic Aun girl are some of my favorite figures but I’m not as impressed by Seira Orgel or their Mikuru figure (especially the later, she’s leaning on a row of books right now, far out of sight). I’m not bothered if the sculptor deviates from the source material – actually, I wish more sculptors would do that – so I’ll wait and see whether I think this figure is any good.

    • Aka says:

      I don’t mind if they deviate from the source material if the pose isn’t directly related to a single image or scene. But since Ameri has that image right on the box and she doesn’t look very much like it at all, it feels much more like a lie.

      Seena Kanon didn’t score all that much better than Ameri for me. I do like Seena more though. But Ameri averaged 3/5 and Seena averaged 3.5/5. I think Orchid Seed fails to live up to my expectations more than even Kotobukiya, their figures seem to come out very average.

  4. […] another review of Ameri at OMGWebsite AKPC_IDS += "1855,";Popularity: unranked […]

  5. rook says:

    hum, thz to this blog i think i will stop buying from Orchid Seed until their figures are really better 0.o…. Too bad, this Ameri has a lot of potentials >.<

    • Aka says:

      I really liked Orchid Seed’s Seena Kanon, I didn’t rate her well due to various things, but I did like that they brought that figure to the table. And Ameri is similar in this respect, it’s a cute figure, it’s just the execution is flawed. So for me Orchid Seed just doesn’t live up to expectations.

  6. Nopy says:

    Thanks for the review, I was looking for one since I was on the fence about this figure. I don’t know much about Tayutama so I didn’t notice that Ameri’s face was different. She still looks pretty nice in my opinion though.

    If I find one for a good price, I’ll probably get it.

    • Aka says:

      She’s worth it if the price is right I can agree to that. And she may even be worth it at retail, but I just felt too many little things added up for me…

  7. Fabienne says:

    Oh Ameri *lol* I must admit that I hated her in the show.XD
    well I actually liked the show a bit, the end of “Kiss on my deity” hit my emotional spot pretty hard.
    I never was so sad after watching an anime.

    First I wasn’t sure about commenting on this figure
    but since you’ve put a lot of effort into this review I’ll comment… ;D

    In comparison with the cute illustration the face expression of the figure looks a bit crazy.
    The pantsu thing you’ve mentioned really looks strange to me, as well as the tail penetration.
    The detail shots are pointing out her flaws very clearly, but judging from the full body shots, the look of the figure seems to be ok.
    she looks very cute in this picture “figure-orchid-seed-kawai-ameri-17.jpg”

    • Aka says:

      Ameri was such a terrible character… Mashiro FTW.

      She’s a cute figure definitely, I may not have conveyed that opinion well in the review, but the flaws added up for me and I just couldn’t be happy.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  8. VF says:

    Don’t think I would’ve noticed all the small flaws just by looking at the pictures, if you haven’t mentioned it in the review. She looks pretty good in your pictures though. lol

    I don’t think I’ll ever understand the concept of these poses, girls holding a gun but their clothing are falling off. Kind of like that (MegaHouse) Tokido Saya figure.

    • Aka says:

      The concept is that it’s cute and playful… or something. I find it attractive anyway.

      I’m pretty good at finding flaws, it’s my job, almost quite literally.

  9. […] just read ambivalent. Want negative? Aka has you covered. Want positive? James has you covered. There’s a little something for everyone out […]

  10. Fabrice says:

    I like the gun 😛

  11. Rajura says:

    Woah… that figure is a little steamy… sensitive tail(?) in sensitive area…

    Ummm, yeah, them underpants just ain’t right lookin’!

    • Aka says:

      Well truthfully her tail isn’t a tail, it’s a part of her shirt. So, not sensitive itself, however where it’s going…

  12. meronpan says:

    interesting reading your review, tier’s and james’ … everyone had such a different point of view ^^;

    for some reason the face doesn’t really bother me at all though i didn’t even recognize her a character from tayutama if that tells you anything about how much i know about her character ^^;;;

    lotsa flaws i think i would overlook if i really liked her character. but that + small size for a 1/8 – i can see why you’re not so hot for her. as a part of someone else’s collection though, i enjoy her just fine ^^;;;

    • Aka says:

      lol as a part of someone elses collection… I like many figures with that in mind. They’re great, but just not for me sorta deal.

      I found it interesting as well reading everyone’s reviews, One comes out super positive, one middle and mine so negative. But if you take into account my rating for her, Satisfaction gets a medium, as does overall. So I may have written negatively, but she fared alright all things considered.

      The face is still the worst part for me. I think even if I didn’t see the original artwork, it just looks strange anyway.