Entering a bit of new territory for HD this evening we take our first plunge into the world of hug pillow reviews! Tonight we take a look at the recently released Ryomou Shimei and Kanu Unchou offerings from Machi Chara, and I must say they’re quite well done. Being new to the pillow review thing this is a rather experimental post, though hopefully it will be of some use if you’re contemplating a purchase; those turned off by the concept of a body-length pillow with scantily clad 2D girls printed on it will probably not want to read past this point.

Original Design: Shiozaki Yuuji
Pillow Illustrations: unknown (perhaps Rin Shin?)
Source: Ikkitousen (manga, anime)
Size: 140 cm x 60 cm
Materials: smooth knit 100% polyester
Release Date: October 26th, 2007
Production: Machi Chara (Ryomou and Kanu)
Price: 10,500 JPY each (pillowcase only, tax included)
Current Availability: Hobby Search (Ryomou and Kanu)
Support HD!: J-List (Ryomou and Kanu)


Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara

I’m going to skip the descriptions of Ryomou and Kanu (we all know who they are, right?) and get down to the nitty gritty of what can be said about these pillows.

Production Quality

Being relatively new to the world of pillow collection I don’t have a very broad perspective on the range of production qualities that are out there (the majority of my collection is shown in the last few shots above), but being one of the most experienced hands in the business seems to have served Machi Chara well. In terms of print quality the colors are bold and vivid and lines are crisp, if not quite as well defined as those on Menace or the Linda character pillow above. The fabric is well chosen: smooth, durable, closely woven and slightly stretchy. Stitching work at the seams and around the zipper seems solid, with no hanging threads to speak of.

Durability won’t be tested until after a few washes, so I can’t speak to color fading issues or the long term resilience of the seams. The Dakimakura Integrated Research Institute doesn’t list pillows from makers who fudge these things, though, so I think we can be assured of a baseline standard of quality in that regard.


Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara Heisei Democracy goods review: Ikkitousen's Kanu Unchou and Ryomou Shimei dakimakura covers from Machi Chara

original pillow design illustrations

Specifications

In my limited experience with dakimakura thus far I’d say that generally speaking I prefer pillows with length and width of roughly a 3:1 ratio (150 x 50 cm as in the case of Cospa pillows like Misaki, or ~ 120 x 40 cm like Menace, etc.). Long and thin also seems marginally preferable to short and fat, and from that perspective the 140 x 60 cm measurement of Ryomou and Kanu seem a bit puzzling to me. I can understand if the dimensions were chosen to match the art (of the laterally posed sides especially) but Ryomou’s second pose in particular seems not to make effective use of the space allotted, and is probably my least favorite of the four. Generally I prefer two frontal pose variations on a thinner pillow, but when I try to tell that to Kanu I find my voice not working properly…

Pillow Tips

I’ve found that building my own pillows saves a lot of money and requires only a modest amount of time to complete. To do this all you need is a sheet, a tape measure, needle, thread, scissors, and either a few bags of raw pillow stuffing or a few pillows you don’t mind sacrificing to the dakimakura gods. After cutting the sheet to size a simple, weak stitch should suffice to contain the stuffing; once you get it down I’ve found it’s possible to fly through two of these in a couple of hours, and it cost less than half as much as premade ones you’d buy from Machi Chara (at 5,250 yen each).

I didn’t stuff the pillows I’m using for Ryomou and Kanu quite as much as the ones I made for Masane and the Linda pillow, and am finding that I prefer the slightly less stuffed feel to the overstuffed one. They’re a bit floppy, but rather more comfortable to hold.

Overall Impressions

Other than a slight misuse of space on the lateral pose side of Ryomou’s pillow I’m very well pleased with both offerings in all respects, and would recommend them highly to anyone in the market for such a thing. Ryomou’s front side pose and Kanu’s back side are probably my favorites, and even if circumstances prohibit their use as actual pillows they would be great as (rather pricey) tapestries. After the cash outlay for these I may not be able to eat for the rest of the month, but at least my bed will be nice and toasty. :3

So what do you think – HD pillow reviews, yeah or nay? This turned out as a piece for the airing of random thoughts, more or less, but hopefully it’s of some interest; I’d welcome any and all suggestions regarding how such reviews could be improved in the future (likely to be few and far between regardless, as pillows I’m interested in don’t come around that often).

Also, if there are any other shops you know of that have pillows available for international sale, I’d love to hear about them. I’d recommend purchasing from J-List (linked at the top of the review) as a means of putting a few extra bowls of ramen in my stomach for the month, but in the interest of making subsequent posts more useful I’d like to know of any and all places that offer other competitive pricing options.