The period before last month’s Wonder Festival was weak with respect to preorders, but with the sequence of major conventions over and done with, figures have been going up with great speed. Figures are also getting released, but I wouldn’t know anything about that because Amiami is not shipping one of my orders, despite me e-mailing a request to do so. It’d be really nice if they had an automated order management system like a certain other retailer so I could get my stuff with a minimum of fuss.
Tomoyo Sakagami from Clannad
Kotobukiya plans to release this figure of Tomoyo nearly a year after their figure of Kyou. I have fairly limited familiarity with Clannad – though I’ve heard the anime is good. Nonetheless, I like Tomoyo; from the one episode of After Stories I’ve seen, she seems like a girl who doesn’t put up with much nonsense. Unfortunately, I’m not as fond of the costume Kotobukiya has put her in, which is a rather garish yellow blazer. I’m not really digging it much. I’m probably going to pass on this one and hope someone does a gym outfit version later.
Satsuki Shinonome from Love, Election & Chocolate
This figure mysteriously appeared for preorder a couple of weeks ago, even though I hadn’t seen it in either Hobby Japan’s previews or throughout all the Wonder Festival coverage. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention. She comes from Love, Election & Chocolate, which sounds like a Soderbergh eroge, and I do like her style, particularly the knee-high boots and short dress. Her bust also looks pretty nice. I’m leaning towards preordering this one but I can’t help but think it looks a lot more like a Kotobukiya figure than a Megahouse figure.
Asuka Langley Shikinami from Neon Genesis Evangelion
The Evangelion franchise is still going strong and Max Factory has jumped in with their own series of scale-size figures. Their figures are 1/6 scale, which I like, but this figure depicts Asuka in her test suit, which I don’t like. It’s relatively cheap, which I like, but she seems to have typical tsundere look on her face, which I don’t like. That said, I’d definitely get this figure if she were wearing her normal suit but I don’t really dig the test suit much so I think I will pass on it. I might eventually pick it up if it hits the bargain bin. If somebody makes a good figure of Asuka in her normal suit with her Slick Rick eyepatch, I will definitely pick that up, but that is far off in the future.
I’m not planning on buying this figure since the price is prohibitive, but man, what an awesome stand it comes with! It comes with this mildly-suggestive accessory too. It’s no surprise that the base is awesome since it’s from the Real Art Project and that’s the same group responsible for the tentacle stand. I ought to try building something thematically similar in a smaller size; I think it’d be a great way to photograph certain figures.
Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Unsurprisingly, Alter is doing another figure of Fate Testarossa, this one putting her in a white swimsuit. Their figure lineup from the Nanoha movie thus goes from barrier jacket versions to casual outfit versions to swimsuit versions. No doubt they’ll be doing maid costume versions next. It should come as no surprise that I’m going to preorder this figure, but I have to admit that on the surface, it’s not the most exciting figure around, and that bikini bottom doesn’t really flatter Fate’s body shape – although given that Fate is presumably nine years old here, perhaps that’s excusable. I’m looking forward to photographing it anyway.
Leicia from Beatless
A few years ago while browsing DeviantArt, I came across the work of an artist named Redjuice999. The picture that caught my eye was called “Stupid Missiles” and I thought that was a stupid name, but I really liked the image as well as the artist’s style. I went to his homepage and after seeing his user avatar, I thought it was unique to see a white guy living in Japan who could draw in a distinctive anime-influenced style so well. It wasn’t until a couple years later after Max Factory released a certain Figma that I realized that Redjuice isn’t white, he was just using a picture of famous (except to me) bisexual porn star Billy Herrington as his avatar.
Anyway, this figure is being sold through Good Smile Company’s web store. It’s a nice-looking figure, but you know, something about her head and hair looks off. Her forehead is enormous and her face looks kinda compressed, and the way that her hair is flying sideways makes it look like she’s wearing a toupee, and … wait, what’s this from Mikatan’s blog?
“Gakkun: ”The parts around her hips are planned to be removable.”
Despite some minor misgivings, I’m actually really looking forward to this figure; her outfit looks fantastic and I like how the bold, slanted pose of her body and construction of her base contrasts with the tranquil look on her face. Hopefully Good Smile Company doesn’t screw up the shipping.
Sniper Karin from To Heart 2
The To Heart franchise is reasonably well-known but I must admit, I have no clue who this character is. I have a cursory familiarity with the better-known (read: more-merchandised) characters like Tamaki and Sasara and Konomi and Lucy and the maid robots, but I do not think I have seen this character before. That means I must assess this figure on its visual appeal and I like it quite a bit; I’m always partial to fighter girls in abbreviated attire, and Karin looks like she’d go great with Samurai Tamaki.
Azalee from Dendrobium
Nishieda’s artwork is getting some love courtesy of Native and also Yamato, who are selling a couple of figures from the Dendrobium artbook. Generally speaking, I like how they look and at 1/6 scale, they are built to the right size. However, I can’t help but think that their necks look unusually long. This was a problem with Yamato’s Compact Hog, a figure that I looked forward to but was somewhat disappointed with. Their heads also look a bit small. On the other hand, that could be considered a stylistic affectation. I’m still waffling on these, and I’m not sure which way I’m leaning right now.
Christie Monteiro from Tekken
I have mixed feelings about Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo series. On one hand, they are anime-styled figures of comic book characters that I like. On the other hand, a lot of them don’t look too good. This figure of Christie looks pretty good from what I’ve seen, though. It’s certainly more ambitious than a lot of the other Bishoujo figures, with a great deal more color variation and stuff whipping around. I’ll probably order it but I’m half-expecting the production figure to not look as good as the prototype. I wonder if Christie will make it into Street Fighter x Tekken? I wonder if Kotobukiya will do a Bishoujo version of Unknown?
Viola from Dendrobium
Everything I mentioned about Azalee applies here, plus Viola also has animal ears, which I don’t prefer. Still if I were going to get Azalee, I think I’d feel compelled to get her counterpart, since they look better together than separate. And the iguana is pretty cool, too. I wonder if anyone will make a figure of the cute girl from the Pornographic Movie Club?
Mai Ichijo from Mai FAVORITE
Here’s a figure that, a couple of years ago, I would have ordered for certain. Nowadays, castoff options aren’t often a big factor for me (though I still very much wish gangsta lean Saber had been given one, and I obviously like its inclusion in GSC’s Leicia), nor are exposed breasts, since there’s a ton of figures out there that feature nudity. This is a cute figure, I’m just not so certain I need to own it. I’ll wait and see what else is scheduled for early next year since that’s quite a ways away – though it seems like time flies really fast these days.