Loading

Hikaru Shidou necklace (SuperGroupies)Hikaru Shidou necklace (SuperGroupies)Review

Ruben77Ruben775 anno/i fa
Hikaru Shidou necklace
by SuperGroupies

ITEM #353456


(For bigger pictures just click or open in new window, they're at 1600X1200 px size)

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391893.jpeg


The Magic Knight Rayearth anime turned 20 years old in October 2014. As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, Super Groupies launched their collection of MKR merchandise, consisting on jewelry and footwear (you can see all the items in the following link: www.super-group... )

Announced in November 2014, the limit of the pre-orders for the jewelry was reached in just a couple of days. That, added to the fact that SuperGroupies only sells domestically to Japan (not overseas), made it really difficult (no to say impossible) to get any of the limited-edition and exclusive items they offered.

View spoilerHide spoilerI contacted a couple of people living in Japan, but none of them could do anything. Being a huge Rayearth fan for so many years, all I could do was to sit and cry. For all was beautiful, carefully manufactured, and not really expensive. Actually the price for those exclusive products they offer seems to me to be normal.

A couple of weeks ago while going through evilBay I almost had a heart attack when I saw the listing of all the Rayearth Super Groupies products. The prices were pretty high, almost doubling the original retail price in Japan. But the option was clear: getting nothing from Super Groupies, or buying it at a high price from the middle man. As could be expected, my money went to the eBay seller. Who by the way has great reputation. The transaction was smooth and delivery was very fast. User Kinopiyo www.ebay.com/us... at eBay has many great products that you probably won’t easily get from the exclusive stores in Japan unless yo uare already living there.


At the time of writing this article it looks like pre-orders are open again at SuperGropuies. However the restrictions are the same: for sale only in Japan, and in limited quantities until the limit of pre-orders is completed.


Packaging:

The necklace comes in a simple 8.5x11X4 cm (4.5x3.5x1.5 inches) black box stamped in gold with the SuperGroupies Femme lettering. The finish of the box is matte with a very soft and nice delicate texture to the touch.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391894.jpeg


Inside the box we find a piece of paper with basic information about the materials used in the necklace, and basic precautions ("sharp edges, risk of itching if allergic to materials... keep out of reach of babies and small children" and the like). There’s also a phone number to call when in need of assistance.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391895.jpeg


A piece of delicate thin paper protects the piece of jewellery from scratches. And a piece of white foamy material serves as cushion.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391896.jpeg


The packaging is simple, but effective. It looks pretty, but lacks any special characteristics to make it feel as something really unique. I have no doubts that the same box may be used by SuperGroupies to package any of the other pieces of jewellery they offer from the other series in their catalog.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391897.jpeg

The use of a generic box, and the lack of a unique design element to make the box feel as specially related to the Rayearth franchise subtracts points in scoring the packaging. However, I will try not to be too hard on it for all its other qualities and sheer exterior elegance.



Design:

The design of this necklace may be a surprise for a serious Rayearth fan. This line of jewellery is inspired on Magic Knight Rayearth, and the necklace is designed to be part of a family of jewels consisting of earrings (blue, for Umi) and a bracelet (green, for Fuu) to complete a piece for each of the Magic Knights.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391930.jpeg

But when checking all the artbooks and the mangas, you will never find this specific design anywhere. Lantis' necklace (which he gave to Hikaru at the end of the anime) and the two or three necklaces that Hikaru wears when drawn in "goddess" attire by Mokona Apapa are all different to this one.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391900.jpeg

However, the sun-like design of the central piece, and the small companion satellite stones, are actually all cleverly thought.

The central part of the necklace represents the sun (Hikaru's ruling planet according to her zodiac), it has flame-like stones irradiating, in reference to her element. And it certainly reminds of the sunflower, associated to all Leos in general and to Hikaru in particular.

The central piece of the necklace has eight red marquise-shaped stones, and eight clear round swarovski crystals. They perfectly represent Hikaru's birthday (8th day of the 8th month).

View spoilerHide spoilerGoing a bit farther, one could identify the two small red satellite stones as Hikaru's family and Hikaru’s friends: one stone with her three siblings (Satoru, Kakeru and Masaru) that give her strenght, and the other stone with her close companions in Cephiro: Umi, Fuu, and Mokona, each person represented by each marquise red stone.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391901.jpeg


Hikaru's sword evolves 4 times through the series (the 4 smaller crystals on one stone interspersed with her brothers). And she has to defeat 4 great enemies, which she ultimately kills: Zagato, Emeraude, Debonair and Nova* (the 4 crystals on the other stone interspersed with her companions). And by adding all the smaller stones and crystals of the satellite stones, they complete 14, which is her age.

* Although Nova is not really a “kill”, Hikaru still had to face her dark side and defeat her in order to bring back everything to normality.


OK, I admit I may be pushing interpretations too far. But at first sight all those symbols and numbers were self-evident to me when opening the box. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the designers took all that into consideration when creating the piece.

Probably the nicest touch is the Rayearth logo behind the main stone (which is about 15 mm - 19/32 in diameter). It is clearly carved on the metal case with all possible detail and accurate proportions, and shows perfectly through the stone. It looks very nice from any angle.


http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391902.jpeg

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391903.jpeg


Mokona, the white fluffy companion that guides the girls is attached to each piece of MKR jewellery. It is very small, and doesn't add much to the weight of the necklace.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391904.jpeg

The finished necklace that came to my hands is pretty much the same as the prototype in the official photos. The most notable difference being the color of the chain that looks silvery on the official photos, but is actually brassy in the final product. And even that may be an effect of different lighting when they shot the photos.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391909.jpeg
Notice also how fine and delicate the chain is. It has a nice design too interspersing small round and long oval links.


Materials:

SuperGroupies states that this necklace is made of:
- Tin alloy
- Brass
- Nickel silver
- Glass (main stone)
- Swarovski crystals

All of them are of good quality. It looks and feels durable and finely manufactured.

And even the rustic finish of the backside only makes it nicer, and takes it closer to the textures and details of the imagery used in the manga and the artbooks.


http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391910.jpeg


My only real concern, and the only flaw I could notice was the fact that the metal of all the four arms that hold the main stone in place are slightly torn. Granted, they had to be bent to hold the stone, otherwise it would fall, and the resulting tear in the metal is really tiny (less than a hair width). But it really shows prominently on the unforgiving macro photo, and generates worries. That defect should not be present in any piece of jewellery.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391911.jpeg


I don’t know if this particular characteristic is present only in my necklace, or if it is the product of the assembly process and common to all. Which I believe it probably is since it is evidently a difficult design and not an easy piece to assemble. I’m guessing the small bars could not be heated to be smoothly bent in order to avoid damage to the main stone. But I’m not an artisan jeweler at all, so please don’t take my word for it ;)

If you purchase this necklace beware that it may also appear in your own item.

If handled with care, and if kept as properly as any valuable object, this problem should never get serious. But if for any reason the necklace falls to the floor, chances are that the already delicate arms will break completely.



Enjoyment:

As much as you can have when you finally get your Holy Grail :D



Final considerations:

Not only is a nice piece. It also really feels (and looks) like a very exclusive item, and a great companion to my ever growing Rayearth collection. It is by far the most elegant, and the most unique. And being as exclusive as it seems to be, it certainly now holds an honor position in my collection.

To anyone who can afford it, it really is something that will be with you the rest of your life, and that you can pass to your descendants. I’m sure I will never get tired of this necklace. Just watching it under the sunlight is amazing. The static photos cannot show the real fire the stones irradiate. Something to be treasured.

I’m trying very hard to refrain from buying Fuu’s bracelet and Umi’s earrings. I wasn’t moved at first, but after actually seeing and touching SuperGroupies quality I’m sure it would be awesome to have them too.




Detail Photos:

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391912.jpeg



http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391913.jpeg



Here it is sitting on the back cover of the Spanish edition of the first manga:

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391915.jpeg


I also felt the urge to take a photo with one of my favourite illustrations from Atsuko Ishida from her first artbook ITEM #107585

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391916.jpeg


And I don’t doubt for a second that this necklace would look perfect on Hikaru’s neck, since its design is quite close to Cephiro’s own jewellery:

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391917.jpeg

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391918.jpeg


The final four photos really show the glittering the crystals emit when shining under proper lighting :) (not retouched, straight from the camera -except for the watermark).

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391919.jpeg


http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391927.jpeg


http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391928.jpeg

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/upload/pictures/2015/10/12/1391929.jpeg


Thanks everyone for reading this review.

Shine on, and keep searching for your grails!

Rubén Andrés Martínez.
5,252 visite • 0 preferito6 commenti

Punteggi9/10

Sculpting
Packaging
Enjoyment
Design

Commenti6

sarahjayne5 anno/i fa#3947636The necklace looks beautiful. I don't know anything about Rayearth but I enjoyed reading your review. I've just ordered my first super groupies item via a proxy so I'm happy their products are as good quality at as they appear to be online.
In terms of design, all the SuperGroupies products are very attractive. From footwear to jewellery, including accessories, they are all finely designed. Very elegant. And now I can attest their manufacturing quality too: just as in seen on the web ^_^

I'm sure your purchase will bring you a lot of joy too! :)
5 anno/i fa
The necklace looks beautiful. I don't know anything about Rayearth but I enjoyed reading your review. I've just ordered my first super groupies item via a proxy so I'm happy their products are as good quality at as they appear to be online.
5 anno/i fa
theyasminshow5 anno/i fa#3943313Congrats, that's a beautiful piece as is expected from Super Groupies.
View spoilerHide spoilerThe only thing that bothers me is the inclusion of nickel in the materials. Nickel is a metal that some people are allergic to (will cause skin rashes), but even if they aren't, they can become allergic with enough exposure. I hope the nickel is beneath the glass where it can't touch anyone's skin!


Thank you :)

I'm not really sure, but I think the nickel is included in the alloy of the body. I've heard about the allergies. But maybe the finish and paint of the piece will prevent a direct contact with the skin. ;)
5 anno/i fa
theyasminshow Militant Missionary
Congrats, that's a beautiful piece as is expected from Super Groupies.

View spoilerHide spoilerThe only thing that bothers me is the inclusion of nickel in the materials. Nickel is a metal that some people are allergic to (will cause skin rashes), but even if they aren't, they can become allergic with enough exposure. I hope the nickel is beneath the glass where it can't touch anyone's skin!
5 anno/i fa
Bearcat5 anno/i fa#3936428What a wonderful collector's piece! Congrats :) Out of curiosity, are you going to wear it or just display it??

Thanks for your words :)

I will surely display it once I get a proper shelf to showcase my collection. I'm not really sure if I will wear it.... I probably will on a very special occasion. ^^
5 anno/i fa
What a wonderful collector's piece! Congrats :) Out of curiosity, are you going to wear it or just display it??
5 anno/i fa