Ever since she was first announced at the tail end of May I’ve been following Toranoana’s maiden voyage into the world of augmented hug pillows with an all-consuming curiosity that is certainly not the mark of a completely sound mind. We tracked her from the introduction of her first color sample through her preorder, to her sale date and shipment, and ultimately to her final destination on my doorstep this evening. Read on for the details of an item that marks a milepost in the development of Japan’s maniac 2D culture!

Original Design: Sano Toshihide
Pillow Illustration: Sano Toshihide
Source: Anata no Shiranai Kangofu [Erogamescape] (eroge)
Size: 170 cm x 45 cm
Materials: unknown (not specified); speculated 100% polyester + cotton cushions
Release Date: November 27th
Production: Toranoana
Price: 9,450 yen (case only) 15,750 yen (case + pillow)


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When she arrived this evening and I opened the box I found the pillowcase, nicely packaged, and what upon initial inspection I believed to be an inflatable air matress. I had received an email from Toranoana yesterday indicating that some of the Purichichi mail orders had shipped with incorrect contents in the box, so I leapt to the conclusion that instead of the pillow I’d ordered they had put something else in… thankfully what I thought to be a mattress turned out to be the vacuum-packed pillow with a particularly fancy valve on the plastic bag enclosing it.

Character Description

Shiratori Amane is the main heroine of G.J?’s August 2007 eroge Anata no Shiranai Kangofu. In it you play the role of the first male patient given exclusively to her care as you recover from a mysterious head injury, and gradually develop an attraction to her (romantic, physical, or both) throughout the course of the game. She’s a pretty typical main heroine – pure, honest, hard-working, and generally too nice for her own good. Honestly speaking she’s a pretty boring character, and I found Akira a lot more fun to pursue, but I digress; it’s Amane’s show today.

Design


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Goods Review: Toranoana's Purichichi Heisei Democracy [ERO] Goods Review: Toranoana's Purichichi

original Sano Toshihide design

If you’ve been reading HD for awhile you know that I venerate eroge artist Sano Toshihide as a minor god, and the mere thought of one of his designs being rendered in pillow form was enough to do incredibly pleasant things to my physiological state (the details of which will remain absent from this review).

While Amane is perhaps not the character I would’ve chosen first for a pillow incarnation, her design is certainly serviceable and carries all of the trademark qualities of Sano’s artwork that hooked me back on Akibakei Kanojo – the supple curves, amazing proportions and refined, beautiful face are all there. The illustration that serves as the basis of this item will find no complaints from me, though I do have to take issue with the shade of pink chosen for the background; I tend to prefer a more textured bedsheet illustration (preferably white) as the backdrop for pillow artwork, and the pink chosen here goes a bit poorly with Amane’s color scheme.

Lack of a reverse side illustration is understandable given the chest gimmick, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing for one all the same…

Production

Production is decidedly a mixed bag. First up for criticism is the print quality: a look at the original illustration clearly shows that she is outlined in black with a slightly bronzed skin tone, and the printing on the case is definitely more washed out than the original. This is perhaps most evident when placed next to other pillows for comparison.

Next, the chest. It’s hard to know where to begin… first off, the stitching is rather awkward and ugly. In certain lighting it actually looks concave. Secondly, the nubs on the cushions used show through like a second pair of discolored nipples. It seems they used off-the-shelf “breast cushions” to stuff her chest, and the pink nubs look hideous – if Tora had custom made their own with white nubs the problem could’ve been avoided (it can also be avoided by flipping the cushions upside down, thereby losing the protruding nipple effect).

The washed out paint job combined with the pink nubs showing through make it look like her actual nipples are just accidental smears of color on the underside of her breasts – awful. They could’ve fixed this by fully saturating the colors, producing custom cushions with actual breast shape in mind and stitching accordingly, and engineering the nubs to land approximately where the illustrated nipples are – not too tall an order, I’d think, and it’s sad that they didn’t rise to the occasion. The fact that the cushions are easily removable is a silver lining, meaning they could be replaced (or left out for washing). Still, a disappointment.

The most surprising aspect of the production (other than quad phantom nipples) was the uncensored area beneath her panties. Not detailed to any extent, true, but typically even that level of detail warrants some sort of amendment. I’m surprised and pleased that they left it intact.

In a final production note, Amane is a big girl. This is the largest pillow in my collection, and as far as I know 170 cm is the upper limit when it comes to dakimakura; any larger and they would begin to dwarf many of their buyers. I wouldn’t mind another 10 cm on top of that personally, but I doubt many of Tora’s typical clientele (other than the rare giantism fetishist) would prefer much larger.

Conclusion

I’m sad that I can’t report an unqualified success in this first Purichichi installment. The choice of artist and subject matter was perfect, but a few design decisions and some production elements that were mishandled or simply overlooked combine to make this an item with some serious flaws. While I don’t regret the purchase, I hope this isn’t the end of the road in terms of craftsmanship when it comes to the brave new world of cushily-breasted pillows.

This is our second dakimakura review; the first was of Machi Chara’s Ryomou Shimei and Kanu Unchou. If there is anything I can do to improve these reviews, or anything else you’d like to see, I’d be happy to hear your suggestions!

Footnote: Shiratori Amane is not the first chest-enhanced pillow on the market; she has been preceded by others, at the least the Satoshi Urushihara offering that was a Megami Magazine mail-order special a few months ago. She is, however, the first known proper dakimakura to come with contoured breasts attached.