Gift’s Hakurei Reimu – Another look at the Shrine Maiden of Paradise

Why go and take pictures of a new figure when I can go take pictures of an older one again I really, really like!

Actually this is a result of an itch that has been bothering me since the last post I did about my upcoming pre-orders. In that post I linked to the original post I did for this figure and it bothered the hell out of me when I looked at those pictures. I felt the pictures were so darn… meh, this is one of my most liked figures, I felt I had to do better.

So, I went and did another photo shoot of it. The super lovely Hakurei Reimu from Gift.

The original post is back from May of 2010, at the time this blog was only about six months old. Back then there were a few things that bother me today when I look back. One of them was I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my blog, I have reached the conclusion to do what I want. I quite simply blog for myself as an enjoyable outlet for my figure collecting and photography hobbies.

The other thing, the more related matter is of course the pictures. 2010 was the year I actively started using a DSLR for photography. As such I didn’t know what the hell I was doing with it, after all a DSLR just offers way more control and as a result way more complexity. I was definitely doing it wrong! Just look at that horrible white balance! Now though, I have used my lovely D3000 for some 3 and half years, now I know how to get the desired effect in my photos more easily than before.

That leads to this set of pictures, as I blog for myself I feel no pressure to do something new or something popular. With a better working knowledge of my DSLR I can take better looking pictures than before, add to that my personal vow to stop relying on simple variously colored backdrops so much I thought I could take a little more interesting photos.

I also feel for Reimu being the blog mascot more or less this blog sure has a lack of her. The world needs more Reimu figures, too bad pretty much the only ones I don’t own from the usual manufacturers are the Griffon ones and I just don’t like Griffon. Kind of a shame GSC, Max Factory or Alter didn’t jump into the Touhou band wagon would love a Reimu from either of those.

Yup, bloomers on Reimu is still the best!

Aside from wanting to retake the pictures there were a couple of other reasons I want to reuse this figure. I had this idea for set for a while but I didn’t really have any Reimu figures to take pictures of with that idea. Alas as with any overly ambitious set ideas I tend to think of, I keep underestimating them. Thus that ended not necessarily in failure per say but somewhat far from what I had envisioned. I should really start splitting the work and do at least a mock up before the actual day I set aside for picture taking.

Instead I went and did what I end up doing like 90% of the time, improvise!

I went and dug a couple of vaguely looking oriental place mats I bought while I was in Canada of all places. I used those as a backdrop and for the floor. Then I simply threw in the flowers you might or might not be able to recognize in the background that I bought  for my original idea.

It’s a somewhat familiar idea that I seen been done before, or at least something similar to it. I liked, seemed to look decent enough. Plus I got an idea that I would like to revisit using a similar set up as this one.

I also wanted to play around more with Lightroom, I think I’m starting to figure out what does what and how I can use the tools provided to get the desired effect. I’m starting to get more comfortable with it but still not super accustomed with it that I can easily tweak every picture one at a time. I think for now I will keep to just doing batch processing for most of the pictures.

Looking at this figure now, it still holds up pretty nicely, good job Gift! Although it does still have some mishaps here and there like some residue on Reimu’s right sleeve. I still love the face too, the reason I bought it still holds true. I wish people would stop getting their panties in a bunch when figures take some artistic liberties, figures at the end of the day will always reflect the individual sculptor after all.

Thinking about it, complaining about this with Touhou stuff is really pointless, nothing really looks like ZUN’s charming art. Except for the bestests more accurate Touhou figure ever, which I actually own… that figure looks exactly like the title screen of Undefined Fantastic Object.

Hmm… thinking about it, I don’t own much Reimu stuff for her being one of my all time favorite girls.

There is this figure and the one I mentioned, the Kotobukiya one I showed before and of course the figma. My favorite out of all of them is the figma, it’s just so nice and cute.

Although I haven’t taken that many pictures of it, I notice that for the figures I really, really love I tend to take less pictures of them. I wonder why that is.

Looking at these pictures while I write this post sure has made me want more Reimu stuff right now. I never been much for merchandise as I don’t need even more stuff to take up space in my room but some Reimu stuff would be nice. Aside from the figures I only own one of Gift’s Touhou plush of her and some decals I never applied to anything.

I think I want at least a shirt, gotta show my love for my favorite Touhou after all!

Before I continue rambling I want to ask you guys something.

What do you think of revisiting figures just as I have done here? For bloggers is a figure a one shot kind of deal?

Has there been any figure that made you think, I want to shoot it again for whatever reason?

Do you try to forget about your earlier days of blogging and photography or do you look back on them fondly?

Well, I think I’m quite satisfied now when it comes to this figure now. I’m not sure if I will end up retaking photos for other figures I done before, I will just cross than bridge when I get there I suppose.

So long peeps, until next time!

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19 Comments

  1. Pictures look nice. What scale is the figure? For some reason, it looks like it’s small or something.
    I’ve actually been thinking about getting the Figma Reimu to replace my deteriorated Nendoroid Reimu. Of course, the re-release is well over with, but seems like Mandarake would just be cheaper than paying the 2000 yen flat shipping, anyways…

    I feel like I should be doing stuff like this for a lot of my figures, actually get some use out of them, but I am lazy and I never feel like I’ve made/will make any actual improvement.

    Just merely forgetting about old shit? No, that is not good enough. We put that shit to death. Burn and salt the Earth! Let it be erased from all memory!

    • The figure claims to be 1/8th and is about the usual size for that scale. figma Reimu is cool, I love it!

      Ever checked out Figure Haven? They are an American based distributor, Exilehero has bought from them before and it is the genuine items. Last time I was at their shop they had Reimu in stock and the have a $5/item shipping fee. Their prices even out to what you pay full price for a figure but unlike other shops you pay in dollars.

      Well, after dutifully reading everything you uploaded to WordPress I can at least attest to your improving story telling and always thought your pictures were just fine.

      I just end up neglecting older stuff, I don’t hide it but no need to show it off either.

      • Hnn, I happened to just check that shop, going from MFC’s “Buy” links, and they want $70 for her, which is kind of ridiculous with the yen back down to what it was some years ago, and there’s unopened Reimus on Mandy for only 3500 yen. It’s kind of a low-priority idea, though, maybe if I find something else I want on Mandy or sell off some more stuff.

  2. Ah yeah, I can understand that she is one of your favorite figures. This Reimu looks totally charming with her face, the beautiful eyes and the clothes. The setup looks nice, the flowers give it the final edge, girls go always well with flowers. My props feel a bit outdated, I should buy and make a few new things.

    I guess someday you will see Touhou figures from better companies than *puke* Griffon, just a matter of time ^^

    Well, yeah sometimes taking new pics is a wonderful idea, i already did this a few times, especially when the first attempt didn’t brought the desired results. It’s nice to play with the older figures again. I have two “updates” up my sleeve ^_^

    Taking less pictures, is mainly because you already know most sweet angles of the figures, well sometimes not.

    • She is awesome, my favorite scaled Reimu in the market so far. Glad you liked the setup, I’m actually starting to accumulate more and more props I should really start using them. Although for a great majority of them they are mostly for my figma stuff.

      Ques Q’s is doing some, I like their upcoming Kazami Yuuka and at least that one is not crazy expensive like the last two they did. Sadly no Reimu though.

      I think the only other figure I might re-shoot would be Max Factory’s Shana. For being a grail figure for me I should really do something way more special than what I did.

      I had that problem with this figure, I knew I should have taken more angles but I ended doing pretty much the ones I knew looked nice already.

  3. Nice photos! the flowers in the background are a nice touch. I think it’s a good idea to re-take photos if you aren’t satisfied with how the old ones came out. I’ve been thinking about doing this myself as I recently got a DSLR and looking back at old photos makes me want to redo them. Even some photos that I’ve taken with my DSLR I want to redo, maybe because there was dust on the figure or the color balance was bad.

    Looking back at earlier days of blogging is almost sort of embarrassing ^^. But it allows me to see how far I’ve progressed as far as content and photography goes.

    • Yup, my lack of experience working with a DSLR and using manual controls are one of the biggest motivations I have when I want to retake pictures. Back then I was really stumbling in the dark for some things.

      It sure is, I think I cringe more at what I wrote than the pictures I took though. However, it is really nice to see how far I have come since then indeed.

  4. Oh man, that’s a bloody brilliant idea — it just goes to show that having the right visual motifs is more important than making literal sense in the backdrops. I’m really digging these photos, though I would recommend trying to sharpen and de-noise them in Lightroom. ISO 400, eh? That D7100 is making more and more sense!

    I say go right ahead and revisit your old figures. If you have trouble writing an entire post on one figure, throw more figures in there. A few set of photos makes for an entirely new story, after all.

    I want to shoot the Kagamine twins again, since they are special to me (i.e. I seem to be the only one who loves them, thus they tickle my hipster senses). I can’t really think of a feasibly idea for them, since I can only see them situated on a stage. Hmmmm…

    • I suppose it is a great example of “KISS”, I think I liked this backdrop more than the more complicated one I had in mind. Yup, I don’t like 400 that much, serviceable enough but someone noticeable when you look closely. Anything above is plain useless, never bothered with it. I did some noise reduction but it was starting to look kinda mushy, should have sharpened up some more though. The joys of learning.

      Next time I get a grand of disposible income I might drop it for the D7100. At the very least by then there should be ample samples of its prowess and reviews.

      I might done for one other figure at least, thanks to the conclusion of the show I got plenty to talk about that one. I actually considered including more pictures of different figures but decided to leave all as Gift’s Reimu in the end.

      Do it, I say all the Vocaloids besides Miku need more love! You know I share the same thought for Lat Miku, I kinda want to make a stage for her but feels like too much of a pain thus I never made a post with her.

  5. Lovely, I love her face in this one and nice selection of background it really suits her.

    I actually did without realising it in re-taking pictures of the figures. Dont know if you remember but mine was before was just taken on a desk without background or anything but then decided nearly a year ago to re-do them with plain white color in the bg.

    Its a great idea and re-posting them reminds us how lovely it still is. :)

    • Indeed the face is just so nice, I love it.

      I do, I remember when you did that.

      Indeed it is, usually when I look at a figure I will like it but after I looked it through the lens I end up really appreciating them more. When I was taking these pictures I was going through all of that again.

  6. I don’t actually do blogging over figures even if I own a good chunk of them, but I do understand the feeling of “I want to give some extra shot to that particular figure”.

    About the old days of blogging, well I do look back at times and see how much things changed since then. It’s kinda refreshing and nostalgic…:)

    • Yup, yup there are some figures I just don’t get tired of taking pictures of them. I do hold myself back, can’t bore everyone after all and other figures need love too.

      I recently learned about Wyaback and was looking at my older stuff. Man, so cringy it’s like looking at family pictures of when you were a child.

  7. I’ve thought about re-reviewing some of my figures since a lot of my pictures from years past (more like all of them) look terrible compared to what I can do now. My problem is finding the time to actually take pictures when I have a whole bunch of unreviewed figures and what I would title the re-review. For now I’ll just leave them be.

    I like how you made the background with the mats and flowers for Reimu, very fitting for a shine maiden.

    • That’s a big reason why I didn’t do it before, someday I should really catch up with all the boxed figures I have sitting in my room.

      This time the urge was too great and actually for once had a really nice improvise idea that worked out perfectly for a figure.

  8. Damn, long time no post for me :/

    Anyways, she looks cute here, charming and bloomers and detached sleeves and all. I might agree with nopy about the background. It can be the clear blue sky if I can suggest too, heh. She’s the flying miko after all.

    • Yup, she sure is one sharming miko.

      Yeah, I think I might want to stop being so ambitious for some of these shots. I thing I will just go an apply some KISS.

      You know, I never really considered using the blue sky or the sky in general for Touhou girls. Fitting with how much flying they do, I will think about ideas to use for my next Touhou figure.

  9. Aahh in my defense the world needs more Flandre figures..and with Orchidseed and Ques Q jumping in..all I need i just the dough to splurge..

    I suppose for certain figures it’s easier to re-shoot them if their friends or enemies get newly released and you dig them up for a group shot. That pretty much works for most S.H.Figuarts but for figures it really depends..

    I don’t wanna lug a scaled figure out to snap repeatedly since if it gets scratched or something..I would be very sad..=(

    • Well, the world has answered apparently to your pleas. I kinda want those two Flandre figures too.

      Indeed for figmas and stuff I end up using them many times in my photos so I don’t really feel any regrets there though.

      My problem with scaled figures would be lack of ideas if anything, sometimes I might not be happy with what I did but I might not have another idea handy.