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Last Sunday, while the Tokyo area was still blanketed in white from the previous day’s snowstorm, we braved the cold and made the trip out to Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture for the winter installment of Wonder Festival. The bi-annual model expo is packed with the latest anime and video game-inspired figurines, including a fully-operational robot suit and hyper-realistic sculpture of one of Attack on Titan’s monsters from the torso up.

But the Attack on Titan figure wasn’t the only giant bust on display, as there was also a life-size statue of voluptuous anime character Super Sonico. In keeping with her exotic dancer-quality figure, though, her display area had some strip club-style rules, such as no groping allowed.

Super Sonico got her start as the mascot for a music festival sponsored by video game (and pizza) maker Nitroplus. In the eight years since her debut, Sonico has appeared in manga, video games, and exactly the kind of merchandise you’d expect from her design (i.e. erotic bed sheets).

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Her star appears to still be rising, too, as she’s even got her own anime TV series that premiered last month in Japan and is officially streamed online in America. When you’ve got an asset that hot, the only thing to do is keep milking it, which leads us to the full-scale Super Sonico figure at Wonder Fest:

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As can be clearly seen, Sonico’s body isn’t exactly the type that makes men want to sit down and discuss international monetary policy with her. But while the character’s designers chose her proportions to trigger an obvious response, Sonico herself generally isn’t shown to have a sexually aggressive or freewheeling personality. Although the character works as a gurabia/swimsuit model, she’s also a college student and talented rock musician (hence the headphones, the second thing people notice about Sonico).

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Further contributing to the contrast between Sonico’s NC-17 physique and PG-13 demeanor is her manager, known only by his family name of Kitamura. Always portrayed wearing a demon Noh mask, Kitamura is extremely protective of Sonico, and despite scheduling photo shoots that require her to wear revealing swimwear, doesn’t take kindly to his client being drooled over. As a result, hanging on the wall of the Super Sonico exhibit are three iron-clad rules laid down by the manger himself, written in both Japanese and English.

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The prohibitions are:

1. No touching. No groping.
2. No taking low angle picture.
3. No close up boobies shot.

We’ve got to say, in contrast to the ordinarily atrocious quality of English-language signage in Japan, Kitamura seems to have gone the extra mile and gotten himself a qualified translator. We’re especially impressed by the rendering of oppai (a slang word for breasts often used by pre-pubescents and the elderly) as “boobies.”

As for the prohibition against low-angled photography, Sonico is decked out in a mini-skirt, and rule number two is there to keep lonely shutterbugs from taking up-skirt shots.

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Seeing as how it’s the responsibility of good journalists to push the envelope, we asked the staff in charge of the display just how low we could go with our camera. “Well, as long as you keep her underwear out of the shot, it’s not a problem,” came the reply.

▼ Wait, does that mean they actually bothered to put panties on her?

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As our reporter snapped away, we were impressed by how high quality the statue is. Setting aside the issue of whether or not Sonico’s build is possible in real life, the 3-D representation of her 2-D design comes off looking remarkably natural. 2-D anime designs are, on the whole, both stylized and simple in their economy of lines. It’s not at all uncommon to see figures that look great from the optimum angle used for promotional photos or packaging, yet look warped or distorted when viewed from a different perspective. This wasn’t a problem with Sonico, whose hair and face in particular looked consistently great as we worked our way around the model (while of course taking care not to touch her).

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▼ This one slipped by the ban on “close up boobies shots” by technically being a “boobies foreground shot.”

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One thing did slightly puzzle our reporter, though, who commented, “Since she’s arching her back and sticking them out a little, don’t her breasts look kind of big?”

▼ Our reporter, Meg, early favorite for the Understatement of the Year award for 2014

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Eventually we exhausted our options for allowable photos and had to say good-bye to the pink-haired lass, and Wonder Festival, being a one-day show, has already closed its doors. The life-size Super Sonico is scheduled to make appearances at a number of upcoming events, though, and while fans still aren’t likely to be given the green light to cop a feel, barring any further crackdowns from manager Kitamura, they can at least stare to their hearts’ content.

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Related: Super Sonico Official Website
Top image: RocketNews24
Insert images: FC2, RocketNews24
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