In which I’m not so impressed by the facilities, but you can’t beat the staff.
I always hate admitting it, because I’m 4.51 million years old for starters, but I’m afraid of going to the doctor’s office. I have my reasons, none of which are super pleasant, but I get so nervous about visits I have made them and cancelled them, and once just got up and left a waiting room because my anxiety was so great. That said, I also love “kawaii” medical themes — give me a smiley syringe or a little pill with a face any day — and my all-time manga crush is one of the most horrific evil doctors basically ever, so, uh, I’m a study of contradictions and all that.
All of this is just a lot of backstory to explain the fact that I sort of went back and forth on this set. I don’t particularly need to see my Sumikko friends dressed as doctors, necessarily, and the accessories didn’t look all that on-brand (I won’t be surprised at all if there is, or will be, another series like Kirby or something from Sanrio using very similar accessories). And I ended up about as mixed on it as I anticipated, but overall Sumikko adorableness wins out over whatever gripes I have. So let’s talk about this Re-ment collection called Sumikko Gurashi ドキわく健康診断 (Doki Waku Kenkoushindan, Heart-Pounding Health Checkup)!
Our first set, Set One: First, Let’s Take Your Temperature, starts off okay (if you ignore just how crookedly I applied the sticker to the sign — well, you might know it’s just not my skill set by now). But nothing here really impresses me all that much, except for Tokage (Honmono) with his cute little bandaged-up tail. The little stool is probably going to get some use, too, but the thermometer and sign are just enh, and the clipboard (and you’ll see a lot of these in this collection) is just a piece of plastic to which you can attach a piece cut out from the card.
Set Two: Have You Grown?, can also go take a flying leap. I just don’t see much to like about this one. The sticker is printed backwards from how it’s supposed to go (unless I’m missing something, which I might be) which is why the sticker looks slightly like an animal has chewed on it). The Shirokuma figure is underwhelming, not only because they have their seemingly–required nose paint rub, and not only because Furoshiki is permanently stuck to their head, but because Furoshiki looks off. Weird. And this isn’t the only off-model weirdness we’ll see in this collection, I’m sad to say.
Set Three is called I Might Have Eaten Too Much and, well, whatever, I think it’s been established I think Japan can engage in some weird body shaming with young kids, so I’m just going to leave this here. The needle on the scale moves, which is cool, I guess. But nothing is branded in any significant way, and while Neko will always have a corner in my house, the figure is just nothing different than many others I have.
Luckily, Set Four: Can You See Them All?, marks the beginning of some better sets (for, er, the most part), to my immense relief. While I’m on the record as not loving when figures must hold a prop and have a weird hole if they’re not holding it, and that’s the case with Penguin? below, I’m still okay with it. I do hate the sticker I had to put on the eye chart, though. And on the Hokori pointer I’m a bit mixed, because it’s very cute, but there’s no easy way to display it — why not have this be the item Penguin? uses, perhaps?
Despite similar issues with the mirror (the head lamp does come off), I really ended up liking Set Five: No Cavities, Right?.
Tokage looks cute in his dentist gear, and the sliding curtain panel seems like it might have all sorts of miniature display uses.
Set Six: Deep Breath In, Deep Breath Out, features Tonkatsu, so you know I don’t have too much to complain about (except for the holes left in his ears when you take his stethoscope off, but whatever). The stool is nice and I quite like the depressable syringe (though it seems it could have been a little more on-brand). Enh, it’s pretty nice.
Next we have Set Seven: Panic and You’ll Get Hurt! On the one hand, I absolutely adore the Obake first aid box and the bandage Nisetsumuri (and thank you, Re-ment — really, thank you — for not making me somehow make that out of stickers). But…um. Does Penguin (Honmono) look kind of off here?
It helps to open this set in number order, because the worst ones are certainly near the beginning, and by the time we get to Set Eight: Pain, Pain, Go Away, it’s hard to remember just how underwhelming some of the earlier stuff was. There are really no complaints about this set; between Ebi Furai no Shippo and Blue Tapioca with their little nursing caps, the handy cart, and the little cotton swab jar with (kind of) squeezable tongs and a really, really cute Hokori — it’s my favorite of the collection for sure.
When I opened all of these, I went from dislike to boredom to interest and finally to liking what I was seeing, so across all those reactions, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this set. I ended up putting the vast majority of it in storage, because even in my Sumikko-themed shelves space is still at a premium.
I did, however, end up displaying all the character figures, as you see above, and that’s really where the value resides here. In a set that didn’t excite me all that much, the character figures still make up for it. And that’s why I’m so likely to buy the Sumikko Gurashi collaborations with Re-ment, not because I trust Re-ment to come through on its end all the time, but because Sumikko just make it all worth it.