So, what do we have here?
A lovely figure of our dear Menma ^^v
Being my first Max Factory figure, I can surely say that I am very satisfied by its quality. Would it make sense that it seems better than GSC? Meh. We’ll see. I hope to get my hands on more Max Factory figures in the future. *coughBelldandyHolybellcough*
Honma Meiko, or Menma, is a protagonist from a popular anime Ano Hana (short for Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai, translated as, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day) which I absolutely love. If you haven’t seen it, you should give it a try. The anime is pretty much about how childhood friends were able to repair their lost friendship thanks to their dear friend Menma. It’s very emotional, heartbreaking, nostalgic.
Her box is alright. I’m not a box person, but I wish they could have gave her some cut-out flower shaped windows on the side instead of your typical round ones.
She is almost faithful to her original illustration. Aside from the color changes (yes, they are two different hues of red and/or blue), her tube and bottom bikini ribbon shrank, and her skin tone is a lot more pale and yellow. The only major complaint I have is that the sculptors weren’t able to capture Menma’s eye direction. In the original illustration she’s kinda lookin’ at you, but on the figure, she’s looking straight somewhere else.
Let’s spin her!
She looks great in all angles ;D
Menma comes in one body, but you have to pull her torso off because there’s a sheet of plastic there to prevent paint transfer. To my surprise, she came off so smooth like butter!
Her tube also doesn’t come attached on her, so you’d have to spread her arm out a little and gently slide her tube up. No worries, this was a very easy process.
Okay, let’s start reviewing this sweetie.
Sharp popping large eyes. I like it. I love how Max Factory was able to sculpt Menma’s “real facial structure” because among all the other Menma figure I see (besides Alter), they all have funny faces, which doesn’t represent Menma at all. Real bummer. Why is it so hard to capture her charm?
Her face may seem really flat, but that’s how the art is and not the sculptor’s fault.
We might as well talk about her mouth and popsicle here. This was the charming point that made me buy the figure. So cute! The mouth is perfectly sculpted, along with the shading of the interior and teeth. It looks like she was about to bite into her popsicle and something caught her attention.
She also has a light natural blush.
Her hair. Oh my. It’s probably the most finely detailed hair out there for Menma. Look at those fine strands of hair running off her arm, sticking out near the back of the neck, and curling up on the top of her head. Very faithful to the original illustration.
As you can see, her hair is blueish toned grey and the bottom of her hair is semi-opaque (while the top of her hair is matte thankfully). I think it looks great on the figure, kind of gives you this extra shading. It also looks beautiful when there’s light behind her, kinda representative of how our hair lightens up under the bright sun.
Speaking of shading, there is some and it’s not very obvious. I personally don’t mind it.
Ah, fair warning here: even though her gentle hair strands & hibiscus are a bit soft, it probably won’t break if you accidentally poked on them. But still, they are fragile.
There is only one seam which is around the crown. Although it looks obvious, it doesn’t bug me because there are no huge gaps and uneven spaces around it. Also, it may seem as if there are two different shades of grey on each side, but I assure you that it looks worse than it is because of my camera.
In addition, she has a blue scrunchie hair tie and a red hibiscus flower. Very lovely and matching for a beach Menma, versus a plain headed Menma (ahem, her Beach Queen’s version).
Overall, great sculpt & paint for the whole head.
Let’s move down to her outfit now.
Her bikini is so adorable! Ruffled bikinis are sort of overused for cute characters, but whatever works right? I’d rather see her in this kind of outfit than a small narrow thin strap bikini or a one-piece school swimsuit.
And, yes, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The bikini does have two different hues of blue (like the original illustration in a different color). I don’t know why the artist went ahead and do that… but I got over this small distraction fairly quickly. Her bikini is well sculpted and I haven’t come across any major errors. Paint job is good (I do have to point out there are a few very small weird paint “loss” in some areas), especially the little blue flower on her ribbon! Max Factory seems to pay a lot of attention to details.
Tubes are also nothing special when it comes to beach figures, but oh well. It’s a great addition, and on top of that, her tube is not just a regular tube. It’s a symbol for her love (whether it’s friendship or more) for her dear friend Gintan. The characters on the tube are the same ones on Gintan’s favorite shirt ^^ Adds a lot more emotions and familiarity to the figure.
She also has carefully painted blue nails which I didn’t like at first. I thought it kinda made her look alien-ish (I’m not a fan of bright blue nails — sorry D: ) but I got used to them the more I looked at her promo pictures.
Another thing that kind of irked me was the blue flower on her belly button. I still wish it wasn’t there, but oh well! I can overlook that because the overall figure is just so lovely.
Moving onto the body sculpt…
Menma’s body has a lot of definition and I think she does look a bit taller than she usually is. I kind of see this Menma as an older version.
You can clearly see her pelvic bone, a subtle labia, her butt crack (oooh Max Factory, you just had to throw some sex appeal to Menma…!), her spine, her subtle abs, and her ankles are very lovely.
If you’re wondering why she looks anorexic is because the original art is like that.
Menma has a semi-opaque round base with blue flowers on one side, and green flowers on the bottom. She has standard pegs: two on the flat feet and one on the other.
Overall, I am very pleased with Max Factory’s rendition of Menma.
I think the reason why this version of Menma is not popular at all is because of the choice of outfit and perhaps even the size since most people lean towards the 1/8 scale.
When I first saw this Menma I thought to myself: “Oh wow, why give her a bikini? She doesn’t even look like Menma! Where’s her white dress? Her hair’s tied up!”
After staring at her pictures over and over, her eyes and popsicle really captivated my heart. She’s so charming. And since she has a popsicle, I guess it’s only natural that pairing her with a swimsuit and tying up her hair would be fitting. Meanwhile, Alter’s traditional version of Menma is sure getting a lot of attention, which I almost bought as well. I honestly think they are both very good and that if you have the money, go for both ^^