Ever since we explored Metabirds and Kabuki back in April of 2007 in our search for Donmai Frederick’s Back and Forth (the only Japanese designer we were well-acquainted with at the time), to us, Japanese sims have provided a wealth of unique shopping opportunities. The variety and innovation to be found in their shopping districts is astonishing, as well as the adaptability and range that the designers showcase in commonly having a wide range of products under one label. Only in a Japanese sim have I seen boutiques selling katanas side-by-side with nail polish and cowboy boots.
Although for some time the focus has been upon such talented clothing designers as Kotobuki Jewell of Bijou and Bettypage Voyager of BP, I visit Japanese sims these days for smaller, but no less delightful finds: beautifully made eyes, delicately hand-painted stockings, inexpensive but well-done poses, and other treats.
I would never have discovered this boutique without the help of Beyonce Quinhua, even though I’d visited Higashioasaka many a time. A member of the virtual “idol group” Piatto, I came upon her blog and immediately noticed the lustre of the eyes she was using in many of her photos. A helpful IM and landmark later, and I was hooked on what I believe to be some of the best eyes in Second Life.
The Transparency Shine series eyes by Tsuru Shan have detailed, shimmering irises combined with sharp highlights for an exceptionally luminous quality that’s evident even to people not zoomed in on your face, and well-shaded, realistic whites devoid of the excessive redness and veins that mar many otherwise decent eyes. They come in sets of two sizes (medium and large) for 300L, which is higher than most, but considering the quality and detail that went into these eyes, and the fact you get two sizes, they are well worth it. These eyes are no-copy and transfer and look good in both Windlight and without atmospheric shaders.
L-R Top: Glanz Eyes in Clear Grey; Glanz Eyes in Noble Purple; L-R Bottom: Glanz Eyes in Ocean Blue; Glanz Eyes in Fresh Blue. 300L each for two sizes, M-L.
The poses sold here by alu Voom are promising as well, and like many in these sims, relatively affordable at 30L for photo poses and 80L for animated ones; I already have two of her animated stands in my ao and replaced my old sit with the free one from their store. I’m looking forward to the poses that they’ll be putting out in the future. Glanz also sells stockings, and Tsuru graciously provided a few samples of her new offerings – metallic knee stockings with black lace trim.
Named after its two proprietresses, Halhi Yoshikawa and Hinako Runo, a branch of their store was my first stop in the Aventi Islands, a string of shops located in an idyllic little beach atoll (the “Hal*Hina open!” drawn in the sand is a cute touch). I came too late for their free Christmas gift, a set of lace-trimmed stockings in jewel colours, but you can still buy a free set of stockings, some basic eyes, or join their group to avail of a charming set of eyes with coloured hearts in the pupils. These, like many of the eyes I’ve discovered in the Japanese sims, are of good quality and a noticeable lustre, and I immediately went back when they released the plain version, Pure Eyes, the next day in their main store. All their various eye sets are very reasonably priced at 120L per pack of five colours.