Hi, today we will take a look at the latest Love Live! School Idol Festival figure from ALTER, Sonoda Umi.
Even though Umi wasn’t a favorite character when I watched the anime for the first time, although her figures design was just too good to ignore, in the summerly yukata Umi looks simply gorgeous and the pose is also really adorable.
Umi was manufacturered by ALTER and released in August 2017. As her other School Idol Festival friends she is scaled 1/7 and 20 cm in height. Nearly every of those figures was made by a different sculptor, Umi was sculpted by Sai.
Umi’s character is relatively complex, she is a level headed girl with a quite conservative and demure view on everything. Nevertheless at heart she is a pure maiden with sweet natured behaviour. Umi has problems with showing her legs in public, she feels quite embarrased about it and don’t want to wear the skimpy idol outfit, that Kotori desinged. The regular school uniform also features a quite short skirt, so it is kind of weird that Umi isn’t bothered by that.
Another funny thing about her is that the level headed attitude often leads to her bossing around her less level headed friends, which often lets Umi appear a bit too strict for her age. In the idol group Umi has 2 different tasks, in the first place Umi is in charge of choreography and the regular fitness training, but also is the main lyricist for the songs.
An distinctive feature of the Love Live! anime(s) is the beautiful character design, the characters have very detailed, sweet faces and sparkling eyes. In these Love Live! School Idol Festival figures this particular style has been adapted faithfully. Umi looks quite happy in her idol performance, her winking eye is quite charming. The open amber colored eye on the other hand is so beautiful and shining, these is a gorgeous eye decal there. Furthermore eyebrows and other details as well as blushmarks are also really nice. Something I really appreciate on her face are the lightly painted lips.
Umi has dark blueish hair, the front hair is pretty and sculpted after her appearance in the anime, the hair at the backside is quite long, it is sculpted in a flowing backwards style, at the sides she has two strands separated by frilly ribbons, it looks like narrow twintails. On the left side she wears a pretty orange flower and ribbons as decorations.
The outfit of the figure is so pretty, the yukata combines a traditional look with a mordern design. The dress consists of a top, a skirt with transparent underskirt, as well as separate sleeves and loose “socks”, around the waist she is wearing a cute belt, The details on it look really elaborate. The light blue dress has a lovely flower pattern with blue, purple and violet and orange flowers. The geta shoes fit to the overall design, although they might no be too practical for dynamic dancing. Everything looks really nice together. The Love Live! School Idol Festival figures have all different outfits which is nice, if I would have to decide for one outfit for all 9 members, this yukata would be my favorite choice.
At her back Umi has a fancy fan with her name printed on it, unfortunately to my discontent it can’t be taken off.
Umi is articulated in a cheerful and quite dynamic pose based on one of her Love Live! School Idol Festival cards; with the right hand she is pointing at the audience while holding up the vintage microphone with the other hand she is holding the cable, so that she is not stepping on it accidently. Haha while assembling the figure getting that cable into place as it was shown on the box was quite a challenge. The pose also accentuates her pretty legs, behind the separated sleeves, the figure shows a bit of her bare shoulders and you can also take a peak at her nice armpits.
About the setup, because of a change of the figures release date, the setup was planned a bit more in advance, I had the idea of Umi performing at the beach. So at first I made a pier matching the figures sïze, painted it and added weathering effects. Flower chains of different colors were wrapped around a wooden bow, at the end I also added LED lights to the low cost construction. For the figure shooting Umi was put on a transparent base. For a complete look sand and a background were added, scrunched transparent gift paper works great to create a realistic water surface.
On summary I’m very happy to have this sweet figure of Umi – chan, she looks very lively and I’m impressed by how elaborately made this figure is. The lovely face and her stunning yukata are so nice with ALTER’s Sonoda Umi you would have a extremely beautiful and also adorable Love Live! School Idol Festival figure at home. Before sitting down to write this review and taking another look at Love Live!, I actually did not have a real liking to Umi, but now I have grown fond of her. I might have ordered this figure just for the looks, but now I’m even happier that it’s a great figure of Umi.