Sayame by Questioners

It’s been almost 3 years since I originally posted about Sayame at Wonder Festival 2010 (Winter) and longer still since I originally saw her and wished for her. With that kind of build up it’s near impossible for her to live up to my expectations. So, instead of the usual ‘studio’ review, I’ve decided to do something a little different.

I’ve often wondered why Sayame aka Torikago no Shoujo (Birdcage Girl) was locked in the birdcage her original garage kit included. A number of scenarios exist in my mind some of which I’ve wanted to capture in a photo. The bridging theme for many of these scenarios is “seclusion” or “isolation” but capturing such amorphous concepts in a photo is rather difficult. I’d long wished to find a single tree in a large field as I felt this would help portray the concept of seclusion. In addition to that however, I also wanted to find this tree during winter as this would take the concept a step further. Had there been leaves on the tree one might have seen it in a happier light despite her longing expression, perhaps melancholic. Without the leaves however the tree would appear dead and the surrounding area desolate and bleak, elevating the concept to despair or hopelessness. That’s how I always viewed Sayame, trapped, helpless, anguished and that butterfly she’s producing with her wing is either her trying to cheer herself up or her last hope for help. Sayame is the most depressing figure I own.

It wasn’t until today that I found just such a setting and the weather couldn’t have co-operated more. The sky was a solid grey, there was fresh snow on the ground and best of all, even better than I’d hoped, there was a dry (shallow) lake bed I could walk in to an isolated dead tree in the middle. I don’t think I managed to capture the despair or hopelessness I desire, but it’s a good first attempt. Mixed in are also some photos from a forest near by that I’d found first, so they had more light available to them where it was quickly getting dark by the time I found the dead tree in the lake bed. So unfortunately I may not have got the best out of the situation.

Depressing or not, Sayame is a gorgeous figure. For a happier setting and an actual review visit EmencyBlazer Works’ post.

Walking on the frozen mud of a ‘dry’ lake bed is creepy… And operating my camera with bare hands in the cold is damn near impossible, could barely operate the shutter…




  1. Quazacolt says:

    nice pics, always a fan of good outdoor figure shoots 🙂

  2. Chag says:

    Ah, that feeling of finding the perfect spot outdoors — those are the most memorable moments for me as a photographer. Reading this reminded me of the time when I took the dip at high park. It doesn’t matter if you’re stepping barefoot over slippery rock or freezing your digits off on frozen mud — when an opportunity like this arises, we are simply compelled.

    Nice shot buddy, this one is for the ages.

    • Aka says:

      It’s funny, I knew of the spot previously, but didn’t recall any trees in the middle of the lake, likely because it was the middle of the lake and who looks for trees there? Here’s a photo of the same place from back in May of this year.

      I think the attempt was definitely worth it, if only to find out what it’s like to walk on that much frozen mud.

      Thanks man!

  3. Miette-chan says:

    The previous pictures of the figure hadn’t really done anything for me, I couldn’t really put finger on why that was. Now though, I know exactly why, they were too happy, in places filled with bright colors.
    This is something I find odd, most figures typically go for a more positive outlook quite refreshing to see a figure that lies on the other side of that.

    • Aka says:

      I liked the happy photos, many were well done but I never felt they invoked the right emotion.

      I’m not sure if I own another figure that falls in on the opposite side of happiness. I have some that appear indifferent or angry, but melancholic or sad? Quite possibly only this one.

  4. Tian says:

    Great job, this review and photo set are fantastic! I really like your interpretation of the figure. I didn’t get a sense of hopelessness from it by itself, but the setting on the lake bed and solitary tree really amped up that quality. Mine’s still sitting in the box because the box is awesome.

    • Aka says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the set. I keep thinking I should go back and redo this set and try and hide the hanger more, or increase the chain length to hide the hanger. But overall, I’m pretty happy with it.

      My Sayame is in the plastic once again, I’m not sure where to hang her unfortunately.