Whether you love the franchise that surrounds her or hate it, there can be little doubt that the unknowing controller of the universe that is Haruhi Suzumiya has an enduring popularity amongst anime fans - A popularity that has moved beyond the light novels that spawned the series and the later anime adaptations into a love of the character herself for all of her foibles.
Of course, this popularity means that there are more Haruhi Suzumiya figures on the market than you can shake a stick at, bolstered by Kyoto Animation's eye for equipping her with various outfits throughout those aforementioned anime outings; the figure we have before us today takes advantage of the baseball tournament episode aired as part of the anime's first season, giving Haruhi the chance to pose as both baseball player and (more prominently) cheerleader as per that instalment of the show.
As you'd expect from any figure from Figma, Haruhi is completely poseable thanks to moveable joints from head to toe and a flexible stand to attach her to, giving you a wide range of poses and positions to play with before you've even started taking a look at the range of accessories available to her. As far as Haruhi's cheerleading outfit goes, the obvious addition to complement her clothing is a pair of pom-poms which act as hand attachments - These can either be used together, or with some of the other various hand attachments present, from an open palm through to a pointed finger.
Also provided are hand attachments which fit in with the baseball aspects of the figure, allowing her to wear a pitcher's mitt and hold a slightly battered old baseball bat and/or ball, although unfortunately getting her to hold the ball can be a rather delicate affair as it has a tendency to slip out of her hand like a clumsy England goalkeeper at the slightest provocation. To cap off the baseball look, Haruhi's winking face and hairband-wearing head can be replaced for an alternate look complete with baseball helmet and an extremely cheesy grin from Haruhi herself.
The poseable nature of Figma's figures, as always, finds its major drawback in how much those joints stand out on the figure; something which is anathema to some people, while for others it's a compromise that they are happy to make in return for people able to move and pose their figure for maximum impact and personal preference. Personally, I have to confess that I'm a little on the fence about this - There is something to be said about looking upon a figure with smooth, more natural looking limbs, yet at the same time I've had great fun switching this particular Haruhi figure from cheerleading one day to swinging a bat the next before pointing a finger and winking at whoever enters the room for the weekend.
Really, it's that fun factor coupled with a certain respectability that makes this particular Figma outing for Haruhi so appealing - It's less revealing than her bunny girl outfit yet something different from the normal school uniform look, and the dual baseball and cheerleader themes give you plenty of range in terms of poses and looks to mess about with while still (all-importantly) capturing Suzumiya's defiantly oddball and unabashed personality.
All in all then, this Haruhi Suzumiya Cheerleader figure does everything you'd hope in terms of both representing its character and making the most of Figma's expertise at creating poseable figures, all at a decidedly decent price. If only her baseball was less fiddly and liable to vanish in the blink of an eye, and if Haruhi attached to her stand just a little more solidly and easily, then this would be a perfect addition for any Haruhi Suzumiya fan out there. In fact, that reminds me; time to go crawling behind my DVD shelves to find a miniature baseball...
It may not be one of Haruhi's most iconic looks, but this is still a figure ripe with potential.