Some very promising images of a prototype figure of lovely Ritsu have just gone up at the Kyoto Animation Shop, the second in a line of the shop’s exclusive limited edition K-ON! figure series following an already-announced Mio which is also shown further down.
It is exceedingly unique for a production studio to directly release figures for its own series, something likely due to the massive popularity of K-ON!, so it is interesting to see just how well the figures came out:
Both the newly revealed Ritsu and Mio are sculpted by 小笠原侹人 / Taketo Ogasawara, whose past work includes some of Kotobukiya’s Shunya Yamashita ero-figures, and both figures are designed by KyoAni animators Naoko Yamada (director of K-ON!) and Yukiko Horiguchi (K-ON! character designer.)
The website doesn’t talk about how much of the figure work is being “in-house”; presumably an animation studio might require the assistance of a specialist figure studio to produce something like this, but the exact details seem to be unsaid.
The figure is, of course, based off the outfit from the first season’s ED, with Ritsu wearing what may be termed in Japanese a “culotte-skirt” and a huge decorative flower ribbon/hat.
This is the second figure in a series that will presumably cover all 5 of the main girls, so it is a bit odd that Ritsu, typically the club’s least-appreciated member, got a spot in line in front of the remaining girls.
Yui’s splendid, billowy white dress or Tsumugi’s form-fitting one-piece seem to be more obvious choices for a figure, but this Ritsu’s post manages to make for an especially appealing silhouette nonetheless…
Taking the attention shown to the completed Mio version (shown further below), we can reasonably expect a good quality paint-job to accompany this already impressive sculpture.
Ritsu’s odd finger flourishes are the sort to not likely come out as well in a 3D shape as it would on the banner image shown at the top of this page (which will likely end up looking funny unless viewed at just the proper angle), but the pose is still quite attention-catching.
The one-leg standing position might be of concern to some figure enthusiasts – the website only mentions PVC plastic being used, but it is hard to believe any modern figure would not use sturdier ABS in the construction of such a risky pose.
If so, leaning should not be an issue, unlike older nineties figures that were often miniature Leaning Towers of Pisa.
One (aesthetic) concern that comes to mind are the baggy pants/skirt: they might just be too baggy, and draw the eye away from the thin waistline further down to the clothing’s less-appealing bulges, as well as covering up the lines of Ritsu’s hips too well.
This is something that will likely come down to the paintjob to handle; a semi flat-black on the pants with a glossier paint for the blouse and knee-high boots should work out well.
Some images of the complete Mio figure, due out in July:
Aside from something being slightly off with the positioning / size of the mouth and nose, the figure looks excellent with a top-notch paint-job.
The folds inside the dress look great!
The K-ON! figure section of the KyoAni Shop happens to also have a blog, which might be interesting for having amusing pictures like the one below:
An editorial meeting on the painted Mio prototype.
There are individual pages for both the Ritsu figure and her Mio predecessor at the website, and the general Shop page from where one would actually make an order is here – they are already selling out.
As many have probably already realized, the KyoAni Shop, like most Japanese online stores, will not ship internationally, so interested parties will need to either seek out the help of a Japanese shipping proxy/mailbox service, or risk scouring auction sites once the figures are out.