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Product:
  Yotsuba&! - Ena Ayase Summer Version

Product Type:  Display Figure

Number of Figures in Range:  1

Manufacturer:  Kaiyodo

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  2940 (Around 20)

Purchased from:  Orbital Manga, London

Rarity:  Rare

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)
 

A couple of years ago Kaiyodo released some figures based on Kiyohiko Azuma's manga Yotsuba&!, which was slightly unusual as a series normally has to become an anime before this kind of merchandise gets released.  They must have proved successful though as they have followed it up with a trio of new figures as a summer collection!

The first of the three figures is this one of Yotsuba's friend and neighbour Ena Ayase, the younger sister of previous figure subject Fuuka.  Once again the figure is a statue that is made to compliment the poseable Revoltech figure of Yotsuba herself, and once again it is excellent.  The figure stands at approx 12cm (5") tall and depicts Ena in a summer dress clutching a teddy bear.  As with the Fuuka figure there's a small stand included, but unlike the Fuuka figure there is also an alternative costume and accessory (see Extras, below).
 

I've been really impressed with the Yotsuba&! figures so far, not only because the quality is excellent but because they were even made at all.  Azuma's characters are often cute but generally quite simplistic, and as previously mentioned there's no anime series to tie into.  As with the Fuuka figure this one is quite simple, with an uncomplicated outfit and facial features.  However the sculpting and level of detail is excellent and distils the essence of the manga character perfectly.  Unlike many anime and manga figures this Ena one is pretty understated, and like the previous figures this makes a refreshing change.

Unfortunately though it does mean that it doesn't exactly stand out as a display figure, and really need to be combined with the other figures in the range for it to really come into its own.  This is a problem if you want a centrepiece for your shelf, so it's worth picking this up along with the Revoltech Yotsuba&! figure if you want to get the most out of it.  That's not to say this figure is bad, far from it.  I really like this figure.  It's cute and really compliments the other figures in the range, it's well made and painted with no colour bleed and few visible mould lines.  In fact the only problem is the costume change.


Basically you can remove Ena's dress to reveal a swimming costume underneath, and swap the teddy bear for a towel.  Although having a second costume is a nice touch, it must be said that it's incredibly annoying to put the dress and teddy bear back on if you remove them.  Even more annoying is the fact that you have to take them off to get the figure out of the packaging!  Gah!  It took me a bit of time to lever it all back into place after getting the packaging and inexplicable plastic bags off the thing, after which I vowed never to take the dress off it again.  This negates the point of it somewhat but it's nice to have the option I suppose.

This infuriation aside the figure really is excellent.  It captures the manga perfectly, it's a unique and understated figure but then it's quite a unique and understated manga!  If you have any of the other Yotsuba&! figures then this is a must for your collection, if not what the hell are you waiting for?

Extras

The dress is removable (but don't do it.  Seriously.  It's so damn annoying to put back on) and you can either have her holding a teddy bear or a towel.  The spare parts are surprisingly difficult to swap over.  It's quite frustrating, it comes with great accessories and it's damn annoying to use them!  Also comes with a stand and a nice box.

Ratings

Product:   Extras:
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