‘Tis the season to be thankful and hopeful here in the United States, and I’ve had a lot to be thankful for in my life. Some of the things that I’m thankful for are my figures and dolls – which are the entire reason this website exists, my camera equipment that gives this site its content, gaffer’s tape – an absolutely vital aid to my photo shoots, hip hop, tentacle porn, Wikipedia, and Fate Testarossa’s thong – sadly ignored these days. The things I’m hopeful for are that Irma and Subaru get figures, that Good Smile Company doesn’t screw up Rin and Saber Alter next year, that the Lakers’s team plane explodes in mid-flight, and that this ridiculous postal embargo blows over. I was also very hopeful that Alter’s Buddy figure would turn out well, as she was one of the figures I was looking most forward to. Now that she’s here, I have another thing to be thankful for.
Buddy is a character from the eroge Kimi ga Yobu, Megiddo no Oka de, or Voices from Har Megiddo. The game is developed by Leaf, the visual novel powerhouse known for popular titles like To Heart, White Album, Comic Party, and Tears to Tiara. Unlike many of their games, Voices from Har Megiddo is a role-playing game in the vein of the Final Fantasy series, a heroic tale of valor, tragedy, and sacrifice. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an anime adaptation at some point, as many of Leaf’s titles have already received such treatment. The main character has the unfortunate name of Beigel Loco, and Buddy’s name is just as strange. Also strange is that Alter selected her for figure production; she’s not a playable character in the game and a more obvious choice might have been any of the three heroines who join Beigel’s group. It’s a fortunate choice since I think Buddy has the best character design of all the game’s girls, though Yaha looks pretty good, too.
If anyone was wondering what Har Megiddo is, Wikipedia – that 21st century library replacement – tells us that it means Mountain of Megiddo, where the last battle at the end of days is scheduled to take place.
Sculpted in 1/8 scale, Buddy stands about 19.5 centimeters tall. She doesn’t require much assembly, which is a nice change given how much effort my last figure required to put together. All that needs to be done is to put her scythe in her hands and attach her to her base, which is a piece of pink plastic with imprints of clock gears – appropriate given the source material. Speaking of the base, I placed her on it backwards, which I didn’t notice until just now; whoops.
At first glance, Buddy isn’t one of Alter’s more impressive sculpts. She’s standing straight up, head slightly cocked – not the most exciting pose that they’ve done. She’s not very colorful, with pinkish-reddish hair and flat gray tones dominating her look. The flare of her dress looks very stiff; contrast its look to the wrinkles found on the jacket of the first Black Rock Shooter figure. There is little shading on her stockings, giving her legs a textureless appearance. Also flat is the top of her head; she’s got the helmet hair look, with a large seam line laterally bisecting her head.
Look again, however, and there is a lot to like. I loved Buddy’s character design when I first heard of the game, so I was very happy to learn that Alter was making a figure of her, and I’m even more pleased that they’ve done a fine job replicating her look. She has heavy lines above her narrow eyes, imparting a sense of mystery and gravity to her presence. Her blank stare is unreadable, and yet does a fine job of giving her a personality when taken in concert with her clothing and weapon.
And while her stance isn’t particularly energetic, it complements her impassivity beautifully. Her legs are set wide, giving the impression that she’s getting ready to switch to an action pose. Her overall look also suggests anxiety as she furtively glances sideways in worry and fear. And yet, it also implies confidence and cockiness as she nonchalantly tilts her head while hefting her scythe, distinctly unimpressed by whatever is before her. Or perhaps it intimates nothing at all. Her look is a protean one that can take on wildly different meanings depending on what the viewer sees, and that level of mutability is both admirable and rare in this medium.
Also key to her expression are her lips. Lips aren’t often drawn on anime characters, but they’re almost critical for figures. They also play a very important part in conveying emotion, along with eyebrows and hands, and while the latter two don’t play much of a factor in bringing Buddy to life, the downward turn of her small mouth is essential to establishing that impassive look. It’s a subtle thing but a crucial one, and it’s something that Alter understands very well.
There seems to be quite a few scythe-wielding girls getting figures: Celty, Airi, Laila, and of course the Dead Master figures that everyone but me are looking forward to. Buddy holds a scythe as well, which has a nice, airbrushed faux-metallic paintjob that still looks rather plastic. It fits pretty easily into her right hand without any separating parts.
Buddy isn’t meticulously detailed, but there are still a number of nice touches that show Alter’s unparalleled talent at their craft. Buddy’s fingers all have fingernails that actually resemble fingernails, not just stubs with a blob of paint; two locks of her hair are twisted into an impossible corkscrew that add a bit of levity to her otherwise somber look; and she has several small aqua-colored jewels affixed to the hilt of her scythe and to the ends of her dress.
I love Buddy’s expression and body language, but they aren’t the only things that I love about this figure. I obviously also love her costume; Buddy’s attire is striking despite its monochromatic simplicity, highlighting her small breasts and girlish build and also revealing her shoulders. And of course, Buddy’s not wearing any pants, as she is evidently comfortable with covering her lower body with nothing more than a pair of low-rise panties and stockings. Her panties aren’t particularly detailed, which is a bit of a shame and represents a missed opportunity. Regardless, she presents a sexy look that doesn’t actually show a lot of skin but still reveals more than enough to be very erotic.
I’ve been looking forward to Buddy since she was announced – and even before that, she was a character that I wished would get a figure. Alter’s rendition doesn’t disappoint, of course, but I’m even happier that not only is she everything I expected her to be, she’s even better than I hoped for. Her character design is among my favorites, and Alter has done a marvelous job of bringing her to three dimensions. I have a fairly large figure collection, but Buddy already stands exalted in my esteem.