Today, we'll be reviewing one of my most-anticipated figures of the last year or so, Union Creative's Mikan Yuuki. Mikan is sporting the rather skimpy "Darkness" outfit normally worn by her BFF Yami, so some of the shots below could be considered a little bit NSFW.
About the character: Mikan Yuuki is a character from the To Love Ru media franchise, the younger sister of series protagonist and resident harem-attractor Rito Yuuki. She is very smart, independent, and reliable, and once Yami ENCYCLOPEDIA #1875 has a change of heart and decides not to eliminate Rito as planned (probably not, anyway), she and Mikan become good friends. Further, Mikan shows a little bit of a brother complex and she goes so far as to really tease Rito from time to time, even suggesting that they are not truly blood-related and could therefore get married. This combination of factors thus makes her what I would consider an archetype of what might be called the modern imouto character type.
The box design is relatively simple. The box is glossy black with a photo of Mikan on the front.
One side panel features a full body shot of Mikan.
The other side panel features a number of different photos of Mikan.
Union Creative also puts a window on the box's back panel, showing off the daring design of the Darkness outfit.
Mikan requires zero setup, so once she's removed from the blister, she'll be ready to display.
Mikan is 1/6 scale, but because of her seated pose, the box is not excessively large. The box measures 25 by 21 by 20 cm and figure+box weighs just over 600 grams.
Because of Mikan's seated pose, she does not really need a base nor does Union Creative include one with the figure.
I like Mikan's pose. Her body language suggests that she is quite relaxed the way she's sprawling out.
Let's have a look at her.
Because of her seated pose, presumably if you saw her like this you'd be glancing down at her and so Mikan might look best when she's displayed slightly below eye level.
Overall, Mikan looks good from a number of different angles, and so Union Creative did just fine posing her.
Union Creative's figures can be all over the place in terms of quality, but the last couple of their figures that I've acquired have seen them trending up in overall quality, and Mikan continues that trajectory. The paint work on the figure is generally fine, but there a few spots where there are some very noticeable sculpting quirks.
Mikan's coy smile paired with the Darkness costume is a very nice look. Her yellow eyes are one of her key features, and the black outfit really makes her eyes stand out.
Interestingly, from certain angles Mikan's face appears quite round but from other angles you can see that her chin is quite pointy. I wouldn't necessarily say that is a flaw in the figure's design; rather, it's just one of the challenges in translating a 2D design into 3D.
I also like the subtle blush on her cheeks. Mikan is an innocent girl, and so I would tend to think that wearing the rather skimpy Darkness costume might evoke a little bit of a blush.
I was glad to see that Union Creative did not just make the horns flat black. The purple color gradient gives a little bit of extra color to the figure and draws attention to that part of the figure.
Mikan's spiky hair bun and the scrunchie that holds it together are also key features of her design. Also, Union Creative did a good job coloring Mikan's hair. Brown hair can be surprisingly difficult to realize, often looking very drab and flat, but you can see subtle variations in color in her hair.
Mikan is often seen fiddling with her hair, so it's kind of neat that she still does so even in Darkness mode.
One of the key features of the Darkness outfit is these fearsome looking claws, and you can see a few imperfections on the claws. In particular, there's a number of visible paint runs.
Probably my biggest complaint with the figure is apparent in the shot below. There's not much detail on Mikan's lips or mouth, and it's almost as if her smile was just painted on as an afterthought.
On the other hand, Union Creative did a pretty good job sculpting and painting the spaghetti straps on Mikan's outfit. The painting is cleaner than I had expected, and the straps have sufficient depth to them while at the same time they don't look like they are just growing out of Mikan's body. Also note the subtle definition on her collarbones.
The little star emblem on the front of the outfit is another key feature of the Darkness costume, and even though Mikan is one of the smaller-chested members of the To Love Ru cast, the outfit provides just a glimpse of sideboob.
Another rather obvious sculpting issue is seen in the shot below. The cloak attaches to the front of the outfit, and with Mikan's sitting pose, part of the cloak is supposed to be wedged between her hipbone and the flesh of her thigh. However, the cloak just seems to abruptly terminate at that point. Also, you can see a spot where there are little air bubbles on the cloak.
I really like the shading on her navel, as it gives an impression of some depth there.
The way the cloak splays out around the figure makes Mikan quite stable. Additionally, the shiny black finish really accentuates all the folds and creases in the material.
There's a number of interesting little details that can be seen in the shot below. First, I really like the way the strap on the outfit hangs off of her shoulder. Also, note the subtle definition on Mikan's ribcage and stomach. Even though Mikan is a very slim girl, you can see how her ribs, stomach, and pelvis are differentiated.
The thong back on the outfit makes for a very daring look!
You can see more air bubbles on the bottom of the cloak, and for some reason Union Creative decided to stamp some sort of copyright information on there. Granted, this won't typically be visible, but for some reason it kind of bugs me when companies do stuff like this...
Since Mikan doesn't have a base, note that they flattened her butt cheeks to keep her stable when sitting. However, the wide splayed out cloak gives her plenty of stability, so I don't think this was really necessary.
Someone at Union Creative really worked hard sculpting Mikan's inner thighs!
She has cute pink toenails, and I like the detail on her ankle bone.
With Mikan's sitting pose, she spans right about 5.5 inches (14 cm) from the bottom of her cloak to the tips of the horns on her head. If she were standing, I estimate she'd be just over 10 inches (25.5 cm) in height. She is established to be 4'11" (149 cm) tall, so she is toward the large side of 1/6 scale. The added height of the horns will also make her look just a smidge larger than 1/6 scale, too.
When Mikan's best friend Yami transforms, the Darkness outfit is part of her transformation, but To Love Ru mangaka Kentaro Yabuki seems quite fond of drawing other characters wearing the outfit. For scale comparison, Aquamarine's Yami ITEM #300672 is 1/8 scale, and you can see that Mikan is substantially larger. It's also interesting to note the subtle differences between the two renderings of the outfit. Aquamarine gives the cloak a subtle purple color gradient, while the cloak on the Union Creative figure is flat black. On the other hand, comparing the two figures, you can see how the purple coloring on Mikan's horns is a very eye catching feature!
There are not a ton of Mikan figures out there, and the Mikan figures that have been produced have a huge variance in scales, so I decided to take a shot with the only other 1/6 Mikan currently available, Pulchra's ITEM #331830 offering of the character. Looking at this photo, I obviously should have dusted Pulchra Mikan first :).
These two complement each other surprisingly well, as the Darkness costume is not unlike the outfit that Sonico is wearing. Sonico ITEM #198576 is 1/6 scale, and given that Mikan is much more petite than is Sonico, you can see that Mikan will look just a tad larger than 1/6 scale in person. Now that I think about it, a crossover figure with Sonico in the Darkness outfit would be an interesting concept...
Mikan and Shamsiel Shahal ITEM #144626 make an interesting pair because of their similar outfits but radically different body types. Shamiel is 1/8 scale and you can see how Mikan compares.
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------9/10
Arguments for: Mikan and the Darkness outfit is an interesting combination, good body sculpt (the details on her ribcage, stomach, thighs, etc.), the purple color gradient on the horns is a cool touch, and Union Creative looks like they plan to give many more characters the Darkness treatment to go along with Mikan.
Arguments against: No base and those corresponding weird indentations on her backside, a little bit of sloppy sculpting here and there, lack of detail on Mikan's lips and mouth, and some quality control issues (like the little air bubbles on various spots).
While this is not a perfect figure to be sure, it is a good one, and since Mikan is one of my favorite characters, this figure was an instant preorder. While Mikan has some flaws, this is a very eye-catching figure and I like it enough that I've preordered the next one in the line (Tearju Lunatique ITEM #781911) and I've got my eye on Darkness Lala ITEM #806302 and Ryouko-sensei ITEM #806304.
Availability (as of this writing)
Still available new.
As I write this in March 2019, both AmiAmi and Hobby Search still have Mikan available new, and she's been fairly easy to find through the preowned channels. If you go the new route, you'll pay about 13000 yen, and preowned Mikans have been showing up in the 10000-11000 yen range.
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews that you might also find interesting:
Max Factory 1/7 Mikan Yuuki BLOG #35150
FREEing 1/4 Mikan Yuuki BLOG #39926
Pulchra 1/6 Mikan Yuuki BLOG #33002
Aquamarine 1/8 Konjiki no Yami (To Love Ru Darkness) BLOG #25276
Sega Konjiki no Yami (To Love Ru Darkness) BLOG #38727
Lechery 1/8 Shamsiel Shahal (Kyonyuu Fantasy) BLOG #19344
GSC/Wing 1/6 Super Sonico "After the Party" BLOG #20463
Amakuni 1/7 Lilith Aensland (Darkstalkers) BLOG #41374
Yamato 1/6 Amy (Burst Angel) BLOG #41695
Union Creative Meiko Shiraki (Prison School) BLOG #30143
Union Creative Reika Shimohira (Gantz:O) BLOG #32708