Ringo Hanamaru from Ane to Boin (NSFW)

Ringo Hanamaru from Ane to Boin

In anime and anime culture, it occasionally happens that some unusual aspect or theme suddenly becomes popular, seemingly all at once. For instance, a couple of anime series centered on futuristic depictions of Oda Nobunaga appeared earlier this year. More broadly, incest has became a strangely persistent and ubiquitous feature of contemporary anime, and I’m at a loss to explain why. Figures are no less immune to this confluence of peculiar themes, and with this particular example, we may observe a tangible specimen of the phenomenon: namely, the toilet bowl seen here. Strangely, girls on toilets have become weirdly visible in figure collecting as of late, with Kaitendoh having released such a figure a few months ago and with Native set to release their own a few months from now. Why is the commode a thing amongst figure makers? Damned if I know. I do know it isn’t the first weird fad we’ve seen, though, and it certainly won’t be the last.
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Iris Hartley from Lorelei; Sea of Stars (NSFW)

Iris Hartley from Lorelei; Sea of Stars

Another day, another Tony Taka figure. Not long ago, seeing so many Tony figures would’ve prompted a collective sigh of exasperation but these days, the way Alphamax does them, I’m very happy to see them. We looked at Velvet a few weeks ago and today, we’ll be looking at Iris Hartley. Iris is grouped under the Skytube label, which means that she has some significant differences from Velvet, particularly in ero content, which I’m sure will make some collectors happy.
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Thalia from ORI Infinity

ORI Thalia figure

Ostensibly, one of the best things about reviewing stuff is getting free figures from manufacturers. Not that I would know for myself; in the first five years of this website I’ve never gotten a review sample. Personally, I think I prefer it that way; as nice as it is to get free stuff, they tend to come with strings attached, whether explicitly defined or merely suggested. I run this website purely as a hobby and as such I don’t like taking on unnecessary work or responsibilities.

A few months ago, a representative of E2046 asked me if I would be interested in reviewing their figure of Thalia. I was a little hesitant to accept, being that I take great pride that this site is completely independent and is, at least in my perception, detached from the larger figure-collecting community, which is how I like it. However, I find it difficult to turn down free stuff, even if strings are attached, and in this case, the only obligation I would undertake would be to photograph and review the figure, which I’ve been doing for years, anyway. Therefore, I agreed that I would review Thalia; they shipped me the figure and here she is.
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Preorder Outlook XXXIII

A number of figures have been announced recently, including many that we saw at last month’s Wonder Festival, so let’s take a look at some that I’m considering ordering. Most of them are very pricy, which unfortunately seems to be the norm nowadays, and for some reason most of the ones listed here have ship dates crammed into August. Happily for me, I’ve got some credit card points and a larger-than-expected tax refund to draw from, and that should cushion the checking account shock a bit. Meanwhile, let’s get going with the post.
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Velvet Batrass from Shining Ark

Velvet from Shining Ark

In the anime figure world, Tony Taka is clearly the man of the moment, with Kotobukiya’s Daisy having generally received positive acclaim and with Native having recently put Touko on the Can up for preorder. Recently, however, it has been Alphamax who has shown the most enthusiasm for bringing Tony’s artwork into the three-dimensional world. In the last few months they’ve released not one, not two, but three figures based on his illustrations, including Iris, Rikka Himegami, and Velvet, the figure we’re looking at today. Velvet stands out a bit from her Skytube counterparts in that she is not an ero figure – unsurprising, being that she comes from a PSP game – and that she’s nominally a bit smaller than her catalog cousins. Nonetheless, I’m a big fan of Alphamax’s recent work, and I had high expectations for Velvet; happily, her quality is well in keeping with the standards set by her forebears.
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Cyril Brooklyn from Pieces 2 (NSFW)

Cyril Brooklyn from Pieces 2

And it’s back to figure reviews – delayed due to an annoyingly persistent case of the flu. Winter’s end cannot come too soon. Today we’ll be looking at Cyril Brooklyn, a character that comes from the artwork of renowned artist Masamune Shirow. Shirow is best-known for creating the series Ghost in the Shell, and his style is perhaps most closely associated with that of the 1980s and 1990s. It seems appropriate, then, that this figure is manufactured by Arcadia – the reincarnation of Yamato Toys, who were well-known for their Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Macross Plus, and Macross 7 toys. Figures based on his illustrations are not all that common, but fans of his art now have this one, the previously-released Iris Hallett, and the upcoming Daiki Kougyou figure of Nanal Grahambury. It’s not exactly an embarrassment of riches, but it’s nice to see his work get some love from the figure makers.
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Year Five Retrospective

Tentacle Armada is five years old today! Hooray! Time sure does fly right by. I don’t know of too many figure review sites that have been updated continuously for five years, and with 263 figure and doll reviews currently listed here, I don’t know of many that have been as prolific, either. I don’t often talk about the state of the site but today I indulge myself: as usual, this post is the post where I pontificate about where this website has been and where it is going.
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Preorder Outlook XXXII

A couple months back, I mentioned how the improving JPY/USD exchange rate was making figures more affordable, at least to American customers. However, figure companies seem intent on spoiling that happy situation by affixing insane prices to their products. I remember when gangsta lean Saber caused a stir due to her 26,000 yen price tag (she also sparked some controversy due to her idiosyncratic sculpt, but we’ll talk more about that in the future), but at least she partially justified her cost by being 1/4 scale. Now, it’s not a rare thing for 1/7 scale and even 1/8 scale figures to come in at around 15,000 yen, which is, well, insane. Nonetheless, that is the reality we are faced with, so instead of complaining, we’ll take a look at some figures I’m thinking about ordering.
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Konoe Tsuruma from Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!

Konoe Tsuruma from Nakaimo - My Sister is Among Them

Today we’ll take a look at another figure by FREEing. That’s three figures in a row; their overall level of quality might be equivocal but no one can cast aspersions on their profligacy. This character is Konoe Tsuruma and she is the lead heroine of yet another incest anime. She’s all wrapped up and showing everything off, so let’s oblige her and take a look.
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Dakimakura Review – Kanane Kurashiki from Kokuhaku Lovers (NSFW)

Kanane Kurashiki from Kokuhaku Lovers

The winter Wonder Festival convention will be upon us in just a few days and as the tradition here is to not write a post about it, we will instead take a quick look at a dakimakura cover. This one is by Yoshiaki Katsurai, an artist perhaps most famous for his erotic doujinshi, which are published under the circle name Basutei Shower. He’s also known for his contributions to the character designs of Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai (officially translated as “So I Can’t Play H” but occasionally rendered “So I Can’t Have Sex With Her” or “So I Can’t Fuck Her!”). The particular character presented here is Kanane Kurashiki, one of the main characters in the manga Kurohaku Black Rubbers, which is a volume of the larger series Kokuhaku Lovers.
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