Houtengeki is an established illustrator, well known for his ability to draw girls that are for lack of a better word—
t h i c c
And if we're being honest, he's pretty good at it:
My first encounter with Houtengeki's work was actually in 2016 when he published his book, Choppiri Ecchi na Onnanoko no Kakikata or "How to Draw a (Slightly) Sexy Girl". Even if you don't ever plan on learning how to draw, the book itself is a great way to understand the elements that Houtengeki and other artists must consider in order to create great art.
If anything, it provides background context into why Houtengeki's art is so aesthetically pleasing—comprehensive knowledge of the art fundamentals. Accentuating the breasts, butt, and crotch areas in an illustration whilst avoiding a... comical-looking final product requires strong understanding of proportion (size), form (shape) and perspective (view). Combined with anatomy (body), gesture (pose) and value/color theory, Houtengeki's illustrations exude a certain air of "realism", whilst also being deeply rooted in fantasy.
Great. Now that we've established the deliciousness that is Houtengeki's art, it's time to get to the meat and potatoes. And boy, is there plenty to go around.
Lilly Relium is an original character that you may have spotted in the collage earlier. An elf with porcelain white skin, Lilly is the second in a series of Houtengeki figures titled "Caress of Venus" and manufactured by ICHIRO's. Vehement. Erotica. or I.V.E.
I have no idea who Ichiro is or why he feels so strongly about erotica, but anyone making scales of Houtgeki's artworks get's a nod of approval (and dollars) from me. I should also probably mention that their figures are distributed by Native, which is why I didn't hesitate to pre-order her.
And here she is.
Atop her pillar shaped base, Lilly sits at around 24cm tall at a scale of 1/7. The base itself is quite unique and compliments her regal aesthetic well—both with regards to her fair skin and "fancy" elven clothes (if you can call them that, she isn't really wearing much of anything).
Referring back to Houtengeki's original artwork, I'd like to point out how well I.V.E have executed Lilly's proportions and pose in their sculpt. They appear to have made the creative decision of enlargening her breasts, which actually works well from... certain angles (more on this later).
Moving a little closer, we immediately notice strong contrast between the golden jewelery pieces and Lilly's fair skin. Another creative decision enhancing the fantastical nature of this scale was to paint these pieces in a lustrous metallic gold—the aforementioned regal aesthetic really "shining through".
Turning her head with a sultry gaze, this angle greatly captures the strong balance in Houtengeki's original illustration—Lilly's undeniably thick legs, butt, and breasts flowing in a seductively shaped S pose from top to bottom.
As we take a macro shot of her face, I immediately noticed an unfortunate paint defect on her mouth. It appears that they missed painting her lower-lip, but this is thankfully only really noticeable at very close ranges.
Nevertheless, a defect is a defect and I'm still quite disappointed that they missed this during quality control.
Also, the hair could certainly be better in terms of how it's been painted, as it appears to be somewhat flat and lacks texture. This is alleviated by Lilly's headress, which is actually quite striking in it's once again metallic gold sheen and accompanying ruby/earrings.
On a more positive note, we also get a closer look at Lilly's stunning eyes. Their greenish hue and contrast with the rest of the figure does a great job in solidifying the fact that Lilly is indeed an elf—if her ears didn't tell you that already.
Sticking to the theme of positives, let's take a closer look at the posterior side of this figure.
Much like the OC, a narrow white loincloth drapes from her gilded belt onto the cushion to hide Lilly's naughty bits—which is somewhat redundant (perhaps intentionally) because you can pretty much see her ass anyway.
Nothing much else to really say here except,
Moving on, we again see the front part of the white loincloth. An admirable attempt to keep things seiso, I must say.
The real reason why we're here is to examine how I.V.E have decided to handle Lilly's breasts. Like I had mentioned earlier, they actually looked quite good from the front with Lilly facing the viewer, as we aren't able to see them directly head on. The emphasis on her seemingly erect nipples are also a nice touch, as they are quite noticable from this angle.
However, we can immediately notice a few issues when looking more closely.
First off, there appears to be a signifcant weld between the top half of chest. Now, this isn't the end of the world as it may be for some other figures, as we don't actually see the weld from the front angle. So it's forgivable in my opnion.
What is NOT forgivable however is the pieces of cloth covering her nipples—they're glued on! I personally don't like displaying figures without their clothes (if it's an option), but that certainly is not the case for everyone so this may be a pretty huge issue for some. I'm not comfortable with permanently removing them for a photo, so I've refrained from doing so here.
It's really unfortunate because the figure itself is actually pretty well done for the most part.
Of course, this is an 18+ figure so her genitals are included in the sculpt.
That brings us to the end of this figure review.
What can I say? Lilly Relium by I.V.E is a fundamentally flawed figure because of some questionable decisions. In spite of that however, I still think it's a pretty nice figure. They nailed most of the important parts with regards to sculpt and emphasis on certain details, so the figure still looks great in spite of these issues
She certainly isn't the best elf on my shelf, but a fine addition nonetheless. I can only hope that I.V.E improve on these shortcomings for their next figures in the "Carress of Venus" series.