Sonoda Umi – Love Live! School Idol Festival – ALTER

posted in: Figure Reviews | 2

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.

Final Words

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.

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2 Responses

  1. Miette-chan

    Haha, poor Umi such dislike, but she did grow on me the more I watched. That’s one thing I love about the Love Live franchise, turning seemingly one dimensional characters in a nice developed person. The nice elaborate set sure goes on to show such a nice live atmosphere, Umi’s pose and demeanor in this figure is like my mental image of an idol performing. Love arrow shot! 😀

    This figure is quite rare for me lately, the more I buy the figures the less I would fall in love at first sight. Until Umi came along it had been a while, after all these months I’m still not sure what it is but something about her just catches my attention. While very annoying to have multiple delays it was worth it in the end, while Umi might not be my “best girl” she is looking to be my favorite Love Live figure for the foreseeable future.

    I’m glad you did this figure justice with your nice setup and photos.

    • wieselhead

      Haha, after a second look, I think I have been too hard with, although one should not try to make Umi angry XD
      The anime is actually amazing with portraying a 9 character cast so satisfyingly and heartwarming.
      When performing Umi is a different person somehow, she really loves to be part of µ’s.
      Thank you, I really tried my best to create something idol like and ome on her name is already Umi.
      Unfortunately I don’t have the idol stage framework, I think it have made it look more technical.

      I know what you mean, recently new figures make me feel less excited, of course there are exceptions. GenerallyI don’t really like the high prices and release ates that often turn out unreliable, too. I only instantly order really nice figures like a few of the Love Live figures from Alter.
      Hehe in my opinion Umi has thebest costume ❤.

      I did it for Umi-chan

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