Saturday, October 24, 2015

Capsule Q Fraulein Yotsuba & Monochrome Animals Part 1


Still fresh from the more "serious" review on Play Arts Kai Gabranth, I'm thinking of starting on a gashapon series that is simple - even simpler than Megurine Luka & race car from Nendoroid Petit Racing Miku Set 2011 Ver. covered in the previous posting, but still very fun. ^^

Picking this gashapon set to review because it's not just simple and fun but very adorable as well. ^^

Capsule Q Fraulein Yotsuba & Monochrome Animals
Production company: Kaiyodo
Release date: Mid November 2012
Price: All five types, 400 Yen each (inclusive of tax).
Merchandise link

Released in mid November 2012, Yotsuba & Monochrome Animals was one of the two releases in Wave 2 of the Fraulein subseries of Kaiyodo's Capsule Q line, with the other set being Bakemonogatari Vol. 2 (化物語 Vol. 2). I was immediately attracted by the figurines' intricate sculpt work, painting and detailing when the sub-series was first announced. They seem exceptionally well done for their small size, more so than other gashapon series in my opinion. The amazing craftsmanship is especially obvious with Bakemonogatari Vol. 2, which looks very much like a collection of mini scaled figurines to me. ^^ The rich color palette as seen on those figurines is not obvious with this Yotsuba set - the monochrome feature should be an obvious hint to that simpler design, ^^ but the theme is very adorable and seems much more fun to me. ^^

As commented in the review on Revoltech Yotsuba years ago, the character is very cute, but perhaps somewhat awkward as well. ^^ The world is a giant playground with endless possibilities to explore for the little girl, and her adventures are up to our imagination. With this gashapon set, Yotsuba is presented with the opportunity to interact with five different animals in monochrome color scheme.

The animals and character images are actually based off illustrations from the art book with the same title released by Yotuba Sutazio in December 2006.

As the figurines were meant to be released through capsule vending machines, paper bands meant to accompany the capsules are included with the bundled pack as its product label.
All five types, so five paper bands are given. ^^

Front view of the paper band.

All five types of the set can be seen on the paper band.

Rear view of the paper band.

A comparison between the illustration of the first type and its gashapon version reveals how well the character image is realized. ^^
It would be very more accurate if the exclamation mark is also being included as an option part. ^^

Preview of a few other illustrations from the art book. The Dalmatian and Abyssinian Black and White Colobus can be seen in this set, while the panda is included in Vol. 2. ^^

Five packs of parts from the package.

I saw the design for the first type of the set - Yotsuba drinking a cup of milk right next to a cow, presumably the "fresh" provider of her drink and I was thoroughly amused. XD Certain types in the set are somewhat more generic-looking at first glance, but they make up with interesting scaling and detailing for the included Yotsuba figurines. ^^

It's fun imagining how she thinks about the animal she is interacting with in each of the five types. ^^

Starting the review series with the first type of the set that was briefly mentioned just now: Yotsuba & a holstein.

The pack containing parts for the figurine.
Besides the display base, the parts are contained in their own tiny plastic bags.

Illustration of the figurine image as seen on the paper band.

Some information on the animal itself:
Holstein Friesians (often shortened as Friesians in Europe, and Holsteins in North America) are a breed of cattle known today as the world's highest-production dairy animals. Originating in Europe, Friesians were bred in what is now the Netherlands and more specifically in the two northern provinces of North Holland and Friesland, and Northern Germany, more specifically what is now Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The animals were the regional cattle of the Frisians and the Saxons. The Dutch and German breeders bred and oversaw the development of the breed with the goal of obtaining animals that could best use grass, the area's most abundant resource. Over the centuries, the result was a high-producing, black-and-white dairy cow. It is black and white due to artificial selection by the breeders.

Information and image are from Wikipedia.

A bit of assembly is required as the figurine is being separated into a few parts.

The cow.
It's able to stand firmly without the display base.


Size comparison between the figurine of Yotsuba and a 10-cent coin.

Small as it is, the sculpt work on the mini figurine is quite amazing - the four pigtails behind her head can be seen very easily, among other details
Even the milk inside the mug appears to be sculpted and painted (I have no idea how that was done but it's very impressive). ^^

The display base.

(Left) The base has a diameter of 5cm.
(Right) The gashapon series' name is tampo-printed on top the base.

Rear view of the base.

Copyright information molded on the rear face of the base.

The four pegs very close to the edges are for the cow to be attached onto the base, while the other single peg is for Yotsuba.
The latter is not completely round, so Yotsuba's position, as with the entire figurine's image is completely fixed on the base.

Done with the assembly. ^^

More images of the figurine:

Closeups on the details:



As mentioned at the beginning, I like the somewhat wacky tone of the figurine's image when I first saw it. Seeing it upclose, the image still gives me a chuckle, but I'm more impressed by the craftsmanship of the figurines, especially the 2.5cm-tall Yotsuba. ^^. The overall detailing is just unbelievably crisp for something that tiny, regardless of the product type. ^^

Also, despite what the product name suggest, the holstein's color isn't consist of just black and white. ^^ Its mouth area is painted in flesh color, and the hooves are in gray. Even the black used on the body is of glossy finishing to reflect the skin texture. ^^ Besides the paint work, the sculpting is also well done in realizing the realistic details of the animal - the overall silhouette showing off its sharply defined bone structure for the spine and hips immediately jumps out as the feature to illustrate that.

Speaking of which, in relation to the character image mentioned just now, I couldn't find any trace of the holstein showing any sign of annoyance on its face, not that I know how an angry cow looks like anyway. XD I suppose it doesn't mind Yotsuba drinking a mug of milk right next to it. ^^

Just for the fun of it, here's a comparison between the gashapon and Revoltech Yotsuba:

Revoltech Yotsuba's display base is on the left.

Besides the font face of the labels, the soft, light color scheme as seen on the two bases is consistent. ^^

Will be reviewing another figurine from the set another time. ^^

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