Today we’re taking a look at Enterbrain’s Pleinair. Pleinair is the mascot of Takehito Harada, an artist who frequently provides character designs for Nippon Ichi’s games (check out Harada’s personal website here). She makes cameos in most of his games, usually as an unassuming, mute demon. The version captured by this figurine is “Hero Pleinair”, dubbed so because she’s wearing the hero scarf.
I’ve never gotten anything from Enterbrain before, but I’m a huge fan of Harada’s work and they’re the only company that does large figures of them. This figure is true to Harada’s style, with the distinctive facial proportions kept intact.
Pleinair’s two friends are represented here as well: the sword is actually her stuffed shark Same-san, and strewn about the base are copies of her stuffed rabbit, Usagi-san.
I dig the elaborate base and the little touches on the sheath of the sword.
Here’s a close-up of the base. The text says “Pleinair de ikou!!” (Let’s go Pleinair!!), the name given to this series of figures.
They actually put a lot of detail into the base. The figure comes as two pieces, and both of Pleinair’s feet peg into spots on the base. When I put the figure in place, it didn’t quite sit on the stone part. I kind of jiggled the pegs a bit loose so that she would physically rest on her seat.
The only real blemish is that weird white mark by the fingers.
Here’s another view of the base. Very weird but cute, a Harada trademark.
What’s in her mouth? One of Usagi-san’s ears? Well Pleinair is a demon after all…
So… let’s discuss the choice of clothing here. Harada is not above catering to lolicons, as evidenced by the Disgaea series. Do I feel dirty for buying a figure of a little girl dressed like this? Only a little. I guess you could also choose to see Pleinair as an adult female demon with a very flat chest.
This is the first shoot I did using manual focus. This is where live view comes in handy, as you can use the zoom function to really get your focus right. I decided to eschew the autofocus because it’s not always 100% accurate. At close ranges, you really have to be super-precise to get the sharpest focus where you need it.
One challenge I had was dust. Dust is a real killer in macro photography because the camera will pick up lots of stuff that’s invisible to the eyes. In fact I had shot an entire set before checking the output. That glossy black base there picks up a ton of dust. So I discarded the entire shoot, wiped down the figure with tissue paper (an air blower wasn’t enough), and started all over again.
I had an acrylic sheet for the figure to sit on, but as you can see it was pretty worthless. I think it was sitting too close to the light source, and the reflections got washed out. On the plus side, it did provide a nice stable platform for the figure.
This version of Pleinair is a cutesy spin on the action girl archetype. It goes for at least $75 from online retailers before shipping, so it only makes sense to own if you’re a fan of Takehito Harada’s work. You certainly don’t see many figures based on his characters, so this was a no-brainer for me.