Chris Yukine from Senki Zesshou Symphogear G (Bunny Style Version)

Chris Yukine from Senki Zesshou Symphgear

And we’re back to our irregularly-scheduled program of figure reviews. Today we’ll be looking at Chris Yukine, one of the lead characters from Senki Zesshou Symphogear. For some reason or another, the series hasn’t gotten a lot of figures, despite apparently having been popular enough to receive a two-season anime adaptation. In fact, a quick survey suggests this is the only one scaled-size PVC figure from the show. This is also the first figure I’ve bought that is made by Aquamarine, a company that seems to be under Good Smile Company’s corporate aegis, and it’s always interesting to see whether a figure from a new company can measure up. That is, unless the figure is terrible, but happily, this figure of Chris is anything but.
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Year Six Retrospective

Azone's Inori Yuzuriha 50cm doll

As usual on February 23, today we celebrate the anniversary of this website – Tentacle Armada is six years old today. It’s sort of an anticlimactic anniversary, as I have been far from diligent in keeping this website updated. Oh well. On the other hand, just the fact that this site has been around that long is a decent feat, I think.

Usually I try to include some sort of thematic photo up at the top of this post but I couldn’t really think of any auspicious way to denote a six year anniversary, so instead there’s an unrelated picture of Inori wrapped up in tentacles.
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Touko in the Lavatory from the Native Creators Collection (NSFW)

Touko from Recollect

Anyone who has been in this hobby for a while can’t be too surprised by the concepts embodied by certain figures. I mean, there’s a figure out there based on an anime-fied Adolf Hitler, every now and then a company shows off a tentacle rape figure, and there’s even a very nice necrophilia-oriented figure up for preorder at the usual stores right now. Still, it was a little strange to see three figures involving toilets going up for preorder at approximately the same time (this one, obviously, and the other two were Ringo Hanamaru and a Kaitendoh figure). To be a fan of anime culture often implies being a fan of certain themes and fetishes, but I freely admit that toilet usage is not amongst mine. Still, if anyone could make this look good, it would be Native, no? Perhaps – but only if they didn’t botch it for other reasons. Which they did, unfortunately.
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My Five Favorite Figures of 2014

Here are my five favorite figures of the previous year, fashionably late. The tardiness is only partially due to laziness; I don’t think I felt as excited about many of last year’s figures as I did in prior years. Maybe I’m just getting old or something. I did see a number of figures that I liked in all the Wonder Festival (also known as KanColleFest) coverage this past weekend, so that’s a good thing (most of those figures were from Alphamax/SkyTube, curiously). As usual, the ranking presented here does not reflect the popularity of the figures or the characters they represent, it doesn’t reflect preorder hype or community consensus, and it doesn’t mean that I think the number one figure was the very best figure released in the last year. This list solely expresses my own thoughts and preferences.
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Preorder Outlook XL

It’s been a couple of months since the last preorder post and I was a little worried that this post would be overly long. To my surprise I only found six figures that have gone up for order that I am interested in, or at least interested enough in that I’ll pay a full-price preorder rather than wait for a price drop. I figured I’d get this post up anyway, though, and then I’ll post the long-delayed favorite figures of last year post early next week, and that will be followed by some porny Tony Taka figure reviews, of which quite a few are in the queue.
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Sumika Kagami from Muv-Luv Alternative (Kotobukiya Version)

Sumika Kagami from Muv-Luv Alternative

For the first review of the year we’ll be going back eleven months with this figure of Sumika Kagami, one of the central heroines of the popular eroge Muv-Luv Alternative. She’s the third figure from this series to be produced by Kotobukiya, following lead girl Meiya Mitsurugi and a peculiar figure of Kasumi Yashiro in a skimpy bunnysuit. It’s possible that Sumika will be the last figure that Kotobukiya produces from the core science-fiction series, as it looks like they’ve moved on to the Carnelian-illustrated spinoff Schwarzesmarken, though who knows; they’re still producing model kits of the mecha from the game, so perhaps they’ll revisit Alternative someday. If not, at least Sumika is quite a nice figure to end the mainline run with.
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Dakimakura Review – Shizuku Sawatari from Bishoujo Mangekyou -Wasurenagusa to Eien no Shoujo- (NSFW)

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Happy holidays to everyone. The usual five favorite figures of the year post will be coming soon, probably a couple of days later than usual since I haven’t even photographed three or four of the figures that will probably be on that list, and there might be a figure review post before that depending on whether I have any problems assembling and setting up my new computer (specs here if anyone is curious).

Holiday time means that it’s also winter Comiket time, and although Comiket is obviously a doujinshi convention first and foremost, a variety of goods typically are displayed there – posters, music albums, video games, and, notably, dakimakura covers. I started collecting dakimakura covers not too long after starting up this site (nearly six years ago now) and back then, they were highly niche items that were quite difficult to acquire. These days, they are still somewhat niche but they are also much easier to find. This pillowcase, for instance, was bought right off of Hobby Search, with none of the contortions typically needed to procure unusual hobby goods.
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Kasumi from Dead or Alive 5

Kasumi from Dead or Alive 5

We’ve noted before that fighting games don’t seem to get a ton of figures, at least relative to the number of popular and well-known characters that would seem to make for attractive figures. Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo series has ameliorated this dearth to some extent, though I admit I kinda have a hard time taking that product line seriously. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see some of the girls from Street Fighter and Tekken getting some love from a figure company.

One series that hasn’t gotten much love in terms of merchandising – at least until very recently – is Dead or Alive. It’s an unexpected situation since Dead or Alive’s main appeal stems from its female cast. Street Fighter, Tekken, Soul Calibur, and other fighting games are known for the sophistication and responsiveness of their combat systems, and one can find many videos of tournament matches attesting to their gameplay depth; meanwhile, it is equally facile to find videos of the Dead or Alive girls in their defeated poses, the camera lingering on their succuluent, sweat-streaked bodies. As crude as that may seem, that type of content ought to be old hat for anyone who watches contemporary anime and particularly for anyone who collects anime figures, and it seems like the Dead or Alive series should have more figures than it does. Well, now we have one more, of lead girl Kasumi. Unfortunately, its manufacturer has a reputation that is charitably described as mixed. Seeing the Griffon logo on the box doesn’t engender confidence but it’s not like there’s a surfeit of Kasumi figures to choose from.
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Preorder Outlook XXXIX

Happy Black Friday to everyone. Unfortunately for me, the most attractive deals I’ve found have been discounts on character services for a couple of free-to-play MMOs, which is a little depressing. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything to spend my money on, and so instead of pursuing instant gratification, let’s take a look at some upcoming figures that are available for preorder.
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Cover Girl from COMIC X-EROS (NSFW)

Cover Girl from COMIC X-EROS

Alphamax – or SkyTube – has made a number of exceptionally nice ero-figures over the last couple of years, many of them adapted from Tony Taka’s artwork. This time, they’ve turned to the portfolio of another popular artist: Kizuki Aruchu, very well-respected for his doujinshi work with the circle Udon-ya. He is particularly famous for illustrating their long-running series of Monster Hunter doujinshi and like Tony, he combines a unique and readily-identifiable style with an impressive level of skill. Unlike Tony his work has historically not received a great deal of attention from figure manufacturers, although that has begun to change recently, and the figure we’ll be looking at today is the most recent one to be released.
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