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Dated 27 July 2007: Figure 17 not actually about teen models

Figure 17
Figure 17.

Now that I've finished Macross 7, I've moved on to Figure 17. I've been assured that it is good, and it was a convenient excuse to pick another show with a seven in the title. And I've already seen Eureka 7.

Figure 17 is a lot less dirty than its name might lead you to imagine, even if it is about two 10-year-old girls who combined to form a 20-year-old.

Hikaru and Tsubasa
Hikaru and Tsubasa.

Let me start over. Figure 17 is about an introverted Tokyo girl, Tsubasa, who moves to the country. Her new classmates shun her because they misinterpret her shyness as conceitedness. An alien spacecraft crashes nearby one night, and Tsubasa meets Hikaru. Hikaru takes Tsubasa's form, except with high-test-genki (pleasantly voiced by Fumiko Orikasa).

Figure 17 is sort of a mahou shoujo show, although there are no naked transformation sequences and no animal sidekicks. So far, it's mostly about Tsubasa coming out of her shell, making some friends, and becoming more confident, with occasional unremarkable fights against space monsters with too many teeth.

Hikaru, Sakura, and Tsubasa
Hikaru, Yui Horie's Sakura, and Tsubasa.

But it does feature Yui Horie in a Love Hina-era role playing a surly, selfish teenager. So consider the Yui Horie Clause officially invoked.

Figure 17 seems to be a pleasant enough show. It's not wildly impressing me by any means, but it is entertaining enough, and novel in that its episodes are double-length. I also enjoy the music in Figure 17 more than the music in Macross 7. The OP and fight music rock, and the pastoral bits are soothing.

Hikaru makes the :3 mouth again.

One thing I I don't like is how Tsubasa and Hikaru persistently have that stupid cat mouth thing that's supposed to be moe. You know, the wavy smile represented in the emoticon :3 except with sizable overbites. I'm going to go on record as saying Cat Mouth is not cute; it looks retarded.

Dated 19 August 2007: Final thoughts after finishing Figure 17


Final thoughts after finishing Figure 17: The MONSTERS FROM SPACE! element and the Figure itself were entirely unnecessary. The show would have been just fine if Hikaru really was Tsubasa's twin sister, sent away to live with relatives at a young age. It might even have been better that way.

Figure 17 had enough story in the "Tokyo girl moves to Hokkaido" aspect and with the contrast between Hikaru and Tsubasa's characters. I didn't need unremarkable fight scenes sprinkled throughout to keep my attention. In fact, the fights were the least interesting part of the series.

Tsubasa, Kyoko, and Sakura
Tsubasa, Kyoko, and Sakura.

I would have enjoyed more recalcitrant Yui Horie-type Sakura, though.

Dated 30 May 2012: I acquired some more shelves in a game of chance, and some more viewer mail too (through wholly legitimate channels)

I bet these discs will still be unorganized months from now.

In semi-related news, I'm partially responsible for at least one more To Heart purchase in addition to my own. Brendan writes:

...your recent comparison of Idolm@ster (which I haven't seen) with the original To Heart (which I also haven't seen – yet) was instrumental in my otherwise blind purchase of the To Heart box from Nozomi. Likewise, following the blog and flipping through the archives have led me to a number of shows of varying popularity which I might not otherwise have bothered to research or dig up – chiefly Figure 17 (was sold by the piano solo in episode 4 – I now own two copies, and the show is easily in my personal top five), but also Nanaka 6/17 (bought blind), Piano (bought blind)(may also have been influenced by the AMV "The Most Exciting Thing, Ever, In the Entire Universe"), Pita-Ten, Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo, Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight (would totally buy, having seen it), B Gata H Kei, Chu-Bra, and maybe a couple of others. For all of these, I am grateful to you (even Chu-Bra).

I really need to merge the old archives with the "new" WordPress stuff. This is getting ridiculous. It's been like six years.