Preorder Outlook XVII

The pace of figure releases was rather languid at the start of this year, but now that we’re past Wonder Festival the preorder announcements have been popping up with the quickness. There’s lots of new faces from recent series and a lot of old staples, like Miku, Saber, Sonico, and Fate. No Tamaki Kousaka, curiously – though I’ll be photographing another Tamaki figure soon. As if the world really needs another Tamaki figure review; regardless, it’s coming later this week. But for now, let’s look at some stuff that I’m thinking about buying.

June

Haruko Amaya from Maken-ki!
First up is Haruko from Maken-ki!, a show that didn’t make much of an impression on anyone or anything other than Haruko’s shorts. Far be it from me to criticize the concept – I enjoy fanservice-centric school fighting shows as much as anyone – but it just didn’t grab my interest. I’m not sure what the difference is between shows like Maken-ki! and High School DxD, but I like the latter a lot and didn’t care for the former. Anyway, Chara-ani has a couple of figures of Maken-ki! girls in the pipeline, including lead girl Haruko Amaya. She’s cute enough and she’s wearing a thong, which is a huge plus. On the negative side, I don’t have much familiarity with the manufacturer’s work, although what I’ve heard isn’t glowing, and her neck looks overly long the longer I look at it. The paucity of preview pictures works against it as well, and absent any convincing prototype reviews I think I’m inclined to pass on this one.

Kodama Himegami from Maken-ki!
The second figure from Maken-ki! features Kodama Himegami. I barely remember anything of the show’s first episode other than that the protagonist had a ridiculous haircut, but I seem to remember we got a good pantyshot while Kodama was sitting in a tree. I don’t think that’s enough reason to buy this figure, but her swimsuit is pretty cute, and 1/6 scale is nice. The face looks a bit frightening, though, and so I don’t think I’m going to pick this one up either. I could change my mind, though; I do really like the pretzel swimsuit she’s wearing here.

Inia Sestina from Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse
Kotobukiya is following up their upcoming Yui Takamura figure with figures of the Scarlet Sisters. First up is Inia Sestina, clad in a school swimsuit rather than her turquoise piloting suit. I’d have preordered this figure except she’s already listed as sold out at both Amiami and Hobby Search. That’s rather strange since I haven’t noticed a great deal of hype or excitement regarding this figure. Regardless, it’s a Kotobukiya product so I’m assuming availability won’t be a major issue.

One of the curious things about the Muv-Luv girls is the inconsistency of their breast sizes. Even in official art, Yui is depicted as enormously racked and with a relatively reserved bust. Inia typically has a small bust – though not as small as Tarisa Manandal’s – but this figure looks a bit enhanced. Not a bad decision, all in all.

Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse is getting an anime this summer, and the show’s website was recently revamped to include some background information and a list of the show’s cast. It also features a picture of Yui and Cryska looking quite cute, though they seem to be in need of hugs. Curiously, nominal lead male Yuuya Bridges is nowhere to be found, though that appears to be his XFJ-01 mech in the background.

Well-known voice actress Mamiko Noto is providing the voice of Inia. Her Wikipedia article suggests that she’s known for voicing gentle and calm characters, but I associate her mostly with her roles as Masane Amaha, the grunting, moaning, orgasming weapon of destruction in the anime adaptation of Witchblade, and as Satellizer el Bridget in Freezing, who was of similar temperament, although minus some of the sexual innuendo.

July

Cryska Barchenowa from Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse
Unsurprisingly, Kotobukiya is making a figure of Cryska Barchenowa, who appears to share female co-lead responsibilities with Yui. As no manufacturer is inclined to make figures of the Total Eclipse characters in their piloting suits, it is also not surprising that Cryska is wearing a commie-red bikini. She’s also wearing a Santa hat – a bit odd given its summertime release date. Personally I would’ve liked it if she wore a thong as she does in some of Miyata Sou’s artwork, but I like the figure anyway and am looking forward to both it and the anime.

Fate T. Harlaown from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Alter is making a Fate figure to go with their upcoming Nanoha figure. It seemed unlikely that they would base their figure off of the same source art, given that Fate is turned away and while her rear is very respectable, many collectors would probably rather look at her face. Indeed they’ve gone with an original pose for their figure, which looks pretty good – she looks sexy, confident, and cheerful. Her face probably isn’t the best Fate figure face I’ve ever seen – it seems like they were trying to incorporate the blocky, rectangular eye shape from her anime design, which I’m not a huge fan of – but my main problem with this figure is a few inches lower. Alter’s younger Fate Testarossa figure had a curious bulge in her crotch which I was willing to overlook, but Alter’s gone ahead and done it again.

I … don’t really know what that is. Given that Fate tends to not show much modesty in her choice of working clothes, one must assume that she’s aware of the importance of a trim appearance in that region. This is a Fate figure and I have a mandate to buy every good-looking Fate figure, but I’m hoping that the production figure is, uhh, better-groomed. I’m not even thinking about possible alternative explanations.

Iris from Pieces2
Ordering this figure is a bit like coming full circle; some of the earliest anime figures I owned were Yamato’s small-sized figures of Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell and now, eight or nine years later, they’re making another figure based off of Masamune Shirow’s characters, albeit in much larger size and from a more obscure series. This figure comes from Pieces2, an artbook published just a couple of years ago. It looks great and I’m assuming it’ll be just as good as Heat Blade is.

Masamune Shirow is certainly best known for creating Ghost in the Shell, and Appleseed is also fairly well known, but he’s also created a large body of rather risque work. I’d come across some of it while running “monster rape -male -yaoi -trap” searches on Gelbooru, but I didn’t know that he had whole artbooks with hentai art. Such as here. I’d say I’m a casual fan of Shirow’s artwork but seeing the sort of stuff he’s done lately, I think I ought to take a closer look at the art he has created in recent years.

Megurine Luka from Vocaloid
Probably one of the most anticipated figures of this year, I freely admit that I have no idea who this character is supposed to be. I know that she’s a Vocaloid character – I’ve seen her enough times on Danbooru to know that – but I’ve never heard any songs created with her voice pack nor do I know what her personality is supposed to be like. Then again, being an entirely synthetic character presumably created to sell software, her personality isn’t as important as her commercial appeal. She looks pretty nice, though I’m not too fond of her long skirt or wrestling boots, and I’ll have to think a bit more on this one before making up my mind.

Saber from Fate/hollow ataraxia
One of the most baffling announcements at last month’s Wonder Festival was that Alter is (re-)re-releasing this version of Saber. It dates all the way back to September 2007, so I suppose it gives newer collectors a chance to pick it up, though I think Alter has got a bunch of other figures that would have been more deserving of a second (or third) production run. It would seem more logical for Alter to capitalize on the Fate franchise’s resurgent popularity amongst the anime zeitgeist by looking at Fate/zero or Fate/extra rather than their five-year old back catalog; I think an Irisviel or Saber Extra figure would have been more warmly received. Not that any figure maker cares what I think. Anyway, Good Smile Company is cashing in on Fate/zero’s second season with motorbike Saber; Alter is chucking out this five-year old figure. I’m only getting one of those and it’s not too hard to guess which one I’m buying.

For people who have the Saber Alter maid figure or are planning on buying it, it appears that Alter is making the bases interlock. That’s pretty cute. I’d still prefer to see a Saber Bride figure.

Yozora Mikazuki from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
I very much enjoyed the recent anime adaptation of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai; at the end of the past anime season, I thought it was my favorite show of last fall, though with a little more contemplation, I think I’d now give that title to Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere instead. Haganai has some great characters with great chemistry, with the relationship between Yozora and Sena probably being the best part of the show (though I’m sure there are a lot of people partial to anything involving Kobato). This figure of Yozora seems to be getting a mixed reaction, with her face being a major point of contention. It looks like they were trying to give her an aggravated look, which seems right, but from some angles she also looks like she’s about to cry, which doesn’t really look appropriate. Yozora does have a sentimental side but I’m pretty sure they weren’t trying to bring it out in this figure. I’m not too thrilled with her outfit; I’m probably alone in this but the first thing I’m reminded of are the Zentraedi officer uniforms from Macross and Robotech.

But regardless, I like Yozora so I’ve ordered this figure. I’m looking more forward to their rendition of Sena, though.

August

Miku Hatsune from Vocaloid
Once again Good Smile Company makes good use of Miku Hatsune’s commercial versatility by casting her as a cheerleader for Japan. And while it’s easy to be cynical about the number of Vocaloid products they put out, this one represents a good cause, with 2000 yen of the sale price going to earthquake relief. That makes its 10,000 yen price tag a bit easier to accept, though let’s hope that they don’t repeat the shipping fiasco they instigated with one of their charity nendoroids last year. Wait, what was that I was saying about being cynical?

Miku looks really cute here, and despite my continued apathy regarding the whole Vocaloid phenomenon, I’m liking a lot of the Vocaloid stuff that Good Smile Company and Max Factory have been making. I’m probably going to order this one, though having to pay in entirety up front is a bit of a drag. If you want one, the order page is here; the process is fairly straightforward and no issues cropped up while ordering Lacia.

Naoe Kanetsugu from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls
Fresh off of Alter’s first release comes this figure of Naoe Kanetsugu. It’s labelled a swimsuit version, though her outfit looks more like lingerie to me. Unfortunately, it’s a Japan-exclusive, mandating that overseas collectors use a proxy service to buy it. I ordered the version that comes with a luncheon mat; I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. Probably the same thing that I do with all my breast mousepads, which is wrap them up and throw them under my bed (except for the one that came with the Agarest War Really Naughty Limited Edition; I’m actually using that one because the Logitech mouse I’m using now doesn’t track well with the mousepad I’d been using for the past fifteen years).

Super Sonico from Nitroplus
This list wouldn’t be complete without a Fate Testarossa figure and without a Super Sonico figure. This one comes from Orchid Seed and seems to have the same stumpy legs as their bondage figure. Curious. I’m pretty sure I’ll order it anyway, though I’m a bit saddened that while her clothes are removable, she’s not wearing a thong. Sonico used to always wear a thong but now that she’s hit the big time like Jeremy Lin, I guess she’s too good to show off her butt now.

September

Ai Saeki from Fault!
Now here’s a very surprising figure. Alphamax used to be known for making very expensive polystone statues that nobody actually bought; now they seem to have switched over to making PVC figures of popular characters like Tamaki Kousaka, Super Sonico, and the girls from K-On!, Queen’s Blade, and Samurai Girls. Many of those figures exhibit quite a bit of fanservice but they’re still fairly tasteful, as far as anime figures go. However, here we have a figure from a hentai series with about as blatantly sexual a pose as one can imagine. I’m pretty happy with that, of course; I enjoyed the H-anime and while I’m getting a bit tired of Tony’s work on the Shining series and with the Vocaloid characters, I’ve always felt that his ero work is his best work. I don’t know that this figure bears a strong likeness to Tony’s style, but it looks fantastic anyway. I’m definitely looking forward to it and I hope Alphamax makes more figures from H-anime. It’ll never happen but if they or somebody else manufactures a figure of Brain Jacker, that would make my day.

Reika Shimohira from Gantz
In several of my figure reviews I’ve included a Hot Toys doll that bears a marked resemblance to the president of the United States. I’ve been trying to find him a running mate for a while and I haven’t yet found an acceptable candidate. I’d bought a doll of Deunan from Appleseed a while back to fill this role, but I decided she wasn’t a good fit because nobody knows who she is. I’m wondering if Reika could do the job; she’s pretty sexy and her Gantz suit is easily recognizable. On the other hand, quality and practicality are legitimate issuse: I’ve got a couple of Medicom’s Real Action Heroes dolls – the first-run Rei and Asuka dolls that they manufactured before the movies came out – and they aren’t that great. They’re rather floppy and don’t pose very well; I’m hoping that Medicom’s products have gotten better in the last eight years.

Actually, I think maybe the best candidate for running mate might be Azone’s Erio Touwa doll. The president adds a measure of levity to my reviews and having a bare-legged futon-wrapped girl lending support to his initiatives could be pretty funny. At least, I think seeing a futon-wrapped girl stumbling after the president while he molests my figures would be funny. I might be alone in that, too.

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47 Responses to Preorder Outlook XVII

  1. Asa says:

    Many, manymanymany figures to keep an eye on. I pre-ordered Luka, and I’m awaiting Sena (I did not much care for Yozora) though as per usual, not much here that I’m buying; I largely favour mimified girls while you rather dislike them (despite owning a Charlotte). Disappointed there are only two girls with guns here though; everyone needs more weaponslingers. I know you largely collect sexy girls though, so eh. I just think a girl with a large weapon is sexier than one not wearing much clothing. :D

    • Tier says:

      I did think about ordering Barkhorn to go with Charlotte; I’m still thinking about it, I guess, though I don’t think she’s available now. Girls with large weapons who aren’t wearing much clothing are the best; I’ve actually got a ton of such figures in the review queue, as soon as I can tear myself away from Robo Defense to work on those shoots.

      • Asa says:

        I sourced an Eila, hope I can pick up a Sanya, or that her second version isn’t a few years off. I really want the pair of them; they were the best pair in the show. Not to mention some of the only ones that wore anything on their legs, even if they were largely translucent stockings. Some effort at pants, and they had skirts.

        I will probably pick up Lucchini, too. She was lovely.

          • Asa says:

            All I wanted was an explanation as to who girls didn’t wear pants, and the men did. It wasn’t touched on at all whatsoever, the viewer is just supposed to take it at face value. I found it irksome.

            Obviously the show is all about cramming as much fanservice in as possible, lolis, big breasts, action combat, mechamusume, kemonomimi, pantsu, all typical archtypes (even slight yandere from Miina) but there was still no explanation, at all whatsoever, about why they didn’t have pants. It would have been fine to give them all short skirts like Eila and Sanya had. Still plenty of low angles to be had, and in flight you can still look straight up there.

            IT JUST MADE NO SENSE AND IT MAKES MY BRAIN HURT. D:

  2. Wieselhead says:

    Do you actually mind space problems with more and more incoming figures?
    Sometimes I feel like getting interesting figures just to take some pictures of them and return them afterwards ^^ With so many nice figures since last year I find it more and more difficult to decide what I really want and what not. When I started with collecting it was easier for me.

    The two Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse figure are both so appealing, Inia is damn cute and Cryska is quite hot in her pose where she presents her appeal points from the front and backside, Im quite happy with her normal bikini pantsu ^^

    The bulge on Fate is quite weird, I always had the impression Nanoha would be the male part in their lesbian relationship. I’m a bit dissapointed that they didn’t adapted the bend over pose from the illustration bikini Nanoha was from.

    Yozora looks a bit wrong, I dislike her face, I think Max Factory did a better job in recreating the buriki style with the faces of their Maria and Kobato.

    I already ordered the dynamic Miku figure, I like the whole concept with pose and base + the figure has a very enchanting face. I could have ordered Naoe for the price, but I decided for Miku, even though I haven’t entirely given up on getting this pretty figure, I also would have ordered her with the desk mat, it looks nice =)

    This Soniko is so cute as nurse, her face is even cuter than usual, but I like her more in the optional alternative dress. Well, her empty needle holding hand looks a bit funny to be honest. Im still uncertain about getting her, maybe I should wait for other adaptions to come,
    like the Cheerleader,AKG version, the 1/4 bunny ear maid, even Banpresto’s prototype looked promising.

    Ai Saeki is a lovely Ero figure, everything looks very nice so far, like the hair or the slightly undressed shirt.

    Im voting for the Azone’s Erio Touwa doll ;D

    • Tier says:

      I have huge, huge space issues. I’m throwing more and more figures back in their boxes, which is a problem with some older figures – the older figures generally being the ones I like the least – as I don’t have their boxes anymore. I’ve been thinking about hocking some of them on eBay, though some of my figures that I like the least are in very poor condition and probably couldn’t be sold. Still, I can’t help but think that if I can sell maybe ten figures, that pays for Azone’s 50-centimeter tall Saber doll, and then I can stage epic battle/makeout/bondage sessions between her and my other dolls.

      I was thinking a bit earlier that I’ve rarely ever seen Fate presented as a futanari; whenever I see that sort of thing, it seems more common for Nanoha to have that problem. I even have a doujinshi where Nanoha gets transformed into a teenaged boy; it’s pretty funny. Fate figure’s crotch is not so funny, though. I’m hoping that problem disappears from the final figure.

      I was thinking about Orchid Seed’s mecha nurse figure while looking at Sonico. A mecha musume nurse Sonico would be pretty cute, especially if she had thermometers and scalpels stuck in her underpants like Nana does.

      Speaking of Sonico, I liked the version of her by Mr. Surprise. Shame nobody picks up his figures for PVC production. Though he does have a PVC version of his Miku figure on his website for sale; I wonder what the quality is like.

      I’m thinking Erio is probably the best choice; she looks awesome and she’s a lot cheaper than Reika.

  3. My Pre-order outlook is pretty bare right now, Probably just as well. I’ve already got a few figures I’ve ordered from a while back but none of the later announcements have really grabbed me.

    The Saber maids are a little tempting but I passed over them back in the day so the pull isn’t too great.

    • Tier says:

      I thought about Saber Alter maid when I saw her listed at Tokyo Hunter a couple weeks ago but then I was like, I’d rather order Kanetsugu instead. Saber Alter looks nice but I think GSC’s version is enough for me.

  4. Wolfheinrich says:

    I have always been longing for a Megurine Luka figure cause she looks like my kind of bishoujo figure, I have no idea why it took this long for the figurine manufacturer to make an official figure for her; while there are probably hundreds of Miku figures out there. It make absolutely no sense to me, they are both computer software mascot designed to market the software, why is Miku having all the glory but not Luka? No I can’t stand those high pitch voice from the vocaloid software myself so I am definitely not listening to them; regardless of all that, it’s a Tony Taka inspired figure and it’s Luka, I am buying it.
    The characters from the Fault! series didn’t give me a particularly strong impression when I watched the OVA, but I did feel they were very much “Tony” like, I only found out later that they are indeed Tony’s work. Having said that, I found myself looking for that OVA to rewatch just as the figure pre-order announcement came out, it might be coincident, but I can’t go wrong with this Ai Saeki figure right?

    • Tier says:

      It seems like a lot of people were befuddled that Luka hasn’t gotten many – or any – figures until now. I haven’t heard many songs made using the Vocaloid software; basically what happened was I listened to a couple and they were okay, and then I heard the Black Rock Shooter song and I was like “oh fuck no” and never listened to any of them afterwards.

      Yeah, Fault wasn’t a hugely memorable show – I watched the subbed versions out of sequence so I don’t actually remember the plot very well – but I did like how enthusiastic all the female characters were. Ai is looking great, you definitely can’t go wrong with her. With Imari getting a figure this summer too, hopefully more hentai heroines get figures; a whole bunch of them used to get figures, like the Beat Blades Haruka characters, Escalayer, the Chu x Chu Idol characters. Now if you look at Alter and Good Smile Company’s upcoming catalogs, you don’t see any eroge characters anymore. Other than Fate/stay night, anyway, which I guess is technically an eroge.

  5. BioToxic says:

    I’m really looking forward to Cryska Barchenowa (her name seems to change spelling depending what site I’m on) personally. Inia is nice, but I’m not going to be picking her up. If she was dressed as shown in the image you posted then I’d maybe re-consider, but the one piece swimsuit is too bland for me. Oh I also agree Cryska would have looked better with a thong bikini. At least we get a santa hat, which I’m oddly excited about o.O. The Muv-Luv anime will hopefully be interesting and help expose some of the characters/plot to me as well, so I’m looking forward to that one.

    I’m also picking up Naoe Kanetsugu hopefully. I’ve opted for the regular release, don’t need extra clutter. I’m really liking her swimsuit design with the cyan & black rose lacing. She also has roller blades which is something a little different. Sadly they’re hidden due to her sitting pose.

    I seriously considered picking up Ai Saeki, despite my disdain felt towards Alpha Max after picking up their 2 Samurai Girls figures. She has a really cute face, and her pose is especially nice. The choice of half undressed and fully cast-off is also something I’m liking. In the end I’ve decided to stick to my guns for now and not pick her up. However if a positive review of her pops up I’ll have to re-consider ;). Hopefully she’ll still be available if I do change my mind after her release.

    • Tier says:

      Her name was spelled “Cryska” in the TSF Cross Operation vol. 1 book published by Tech Gian, so that’s what I go with; I’m not sure if that’s actually a current romanization of her Russian name, though. I like her Santa hat a lot as well; I do have this thing for Santa costumes. Hopefully the anime will be good; I’m an eternal pessimist at heart and so I have this bad feeling that it’s not going to be very good, or very memorable (anyone remember the Super Robot Wars anime that aired not long ago? Yeah, me neither.), but I’m very much hoping that I’m just being overly negative.

      I didn’t even notice Kanetsugu had skates; that’s pretty awesome. I pretty much loaded Tokyo Hunter’s page a couple weeks ago, saw “Alter” and her tiny swimsuit and hit the order button. The skates make the figure even better.

      Ahh, swimsuit Senhime … I’ve still got that figure in her box and I dunno what I should do with her. The Alphamax PVC figures I’ve got are decent enough – the ones I’ve opened, I mean – but Ai’s lewdness puts her over the top. I wonder if they’ll be making more raunchy figures in the future.

  6. Shashin says:

    Pretty good overview of what’s coming up. I actually have a fair amount of figures on preorder myself, despite not buying any for about the last year; there are just a ton of good ero-minded figures that I couldn’t resist. I’m probably most excited about the Momoka Kamijiri figure. Wielding two dildos in a legs up pose is just too good to resist. Not sure how it will turn out as the producer’s figures seem to be really hit or miss, but the fact that this one is PVC versus the more expensive coldcast they normally do, I couldn’t resist. I also preordered the Ai Saeki the minute I saw it go up on AmiAmi.

    I know nothing about the series, but I thought about the Kodama Himegami figure. The wonderful swimsuit (or lack of one) and the fact that she’s fairly small breasted made it a lock for me… until I looked closer at the sample shots and noted that Chara-Ani was making it. Yeah, my very first figure was from Chara-Ani and I decided that after that I would never buy another one of their figures, and this one isn’t going to change my mind as much as I like the potential it has.

    Speaking of figure producers just killing any hope you have for a figure, I was really excited when some of Keumaya’s figures were getting a PVC release… and then once again, I noted that it was Beat doing them. That just killed all interest, even though I’d still love to own the Hotaru figure. Just not going to buy the Beat version. The two figures they’re doing are also the ones that have reignited my dislike for J-List. They have both of them listed for $230, while they’re still readily available from practically every other figure site for 8300 yen. I imagine when the American sites get them, they’ll be selling them for less and the main reason I imagine they’re more expensive on the US sites is that they have to foot the shipping bill, whereas J-List just ships from Japan.

    I like some other figures on this list, but I’m still up in the air about them. I quite like Luka but the pose isn’t really doing much for me. I did regret not buying Tony’s Miku originally, but I really liked the pose she had there. And I’m also not a fan of the way her hair kinda fades out in color near the end. I’ll definitely have to look into the Naoe Kanetsugu figure if she isn’t too expensive, and I really like the Yozora figure.

    On one last note, that Fate is definitely packing something.

    • Tier says:

      I’m pretty sure I don’t own any figures made by Chara-ani, but it’s telling that nobody seems to have anything good to say about them. I do own figures made by BEAT and I was also rather disappointed to see that they were making PVC versions of Keumaya’s nurses. I had a little bit of interest in Erika but I think I’d rather just get the original kit figure from eBay or YJA.

      J-List has some wacko prices. I pretty much buy from them only if I can’t get something somewhere else, like h-manga, which is still really expensive to get from Amazon JP (not that most of the titles are available for overseas ordering). I also buy JAST’s games too, I guess. I’m hoping Amiami will stock a bigger selection of h-manga on their international site.

      I need to ask Yokatta and see if they’ve got all my stuff; I had a bunch of stuff on order scheduled to ship this month. Hopefully they’ve got it all so I can request shipping.

      Yeah, I wonder what the sculptor was intending there. I would’ve much rather seem some nice cameltoe or something instead of that bulge she’s got in her swimsuit. Very strange.

  7. Devastator001 says:

    Still on the fence on Koto’s Muv-Luv girls, but definitely getting Luka and the Cheerful Miku will prolly my first ever Miku fig XD, been immune to most Miku releases, but the color and pose on this one make her a get! :D

    • Tier says:

      She’s really cute, and quite a bit different from their recent Miku figure, who I’ve still got in its box. After seeing so many Miku figures that looked so similar, it’s neat to see how different her newer figures look.

  8. Aaron says:

    I am not a big fan of a decent number of these figures. The first two look kind of plain to me and the second one (Kodami) looks to have really weird body proportions.

    I love the Inia figure though. I like the pose, the hair, and the look she is giving. It will probably be a shame about the rendering of her backside though since it appears to be covered be her hair.

    As for the Cryska, the only thing I really like about her is the shiny stockings which is weird because it is nearly the same as the Inia figure. I know it isn’t the Santa outfit because I like that, but something is telling me I don’t like it.

    As for Fate…I like the pose and it appears that she has nipples, but I am not a fan of just straight black bikinis. The enormous bulge is somewhat concerning, but other than that it doesn’t appear to be too bad.

    I love the Iris figure, but I have never really been a fan of Shirow. I know I am a blasphemer. It looks like a great paintjob and I hope it turns out as nice as the promos.

    I am a fan of the Luka figure, but the skirt really bothers me. I did think about getting this when I saw the preorder, but the skirt just annoys me. I would love for GSC to come out with the Vocaloids in their Race Queen outfits though. That would be a day one pre-order for me. And I already know about the Race Queen Nendroids…not interested.

    Saber Maid does nothing for me.

    I also like the Yozora figure. I like the outfit and the stockings and her pose, but is it me (or maybe it is like this in the anime) but does her head look to be a little oversized?

    Cheerful Miku…I love this figure, everything about it. I am not a Miku fanatic although it seems like stuff I want is mostly of her. I haven’t pre-ordered yet because of the price, but I figure I have a few weeks to decide. I know 20% goes to the Cheerful Japan thing, but 10000 yen just seems expensive. I really want to know how her top is fitting her though. It almost appears that she has a castoff top.

    I like the Naoe figure. I especially like the bikini design.

    No interest in Sonico.

    I love the Ai figure, and cannot wait until your review. I doubt it will be as accurate as the Native figures though which would be a shame, but maybe it will be a surprise.

    That Reika doll just looks badass. Great design and everything. I didn’t ever see it on Amiami though.

    • Tier says:

      I’m not a big fan of Fate’s swimsuit, either. The top is okay but the bottom looks too triangular; it doesn’t seem to flatter her body shape. Nor does that suspicious bulge. Nice nipples though, I don’t think that’s a feature that was included with the counterpart Nanoha.

      Yeah, all the Haganai characters had big heads; in the anime, it sometimes looked like Sena didn’t actually have a stomach because her head and bust are so large.

      I’m pretty sure I’m going to order Cheerful Miku but man, I just had a ton of orders that came into stock and I’ve got a credit card bill that includes a few hundred dollars worth of unexpected car maintenance bills to pay off this week. Having to pay up 12k yen up front is going to hurt. On the plus side, the exchange rate is improving dramatically so that takes a bit of the pain away.

      Reika’s over in the dolls section on Amiami, which is probably where I’d order it if I got it; I think it’s a helluva lot cheaper there than it is on Hobby Search (curiously, Iris is cheaper on Hobby Search than Amiami, last I checked).

  9. Nightmare says:

    Why am I finding myself scrolling back to that swollen bulge in ultramarine when checking out these figures.

    I recall Chara-ani showing off Haruko and Kodama with interchangeable outfits between the two which might explain why one is a 1/7 scale while the other is 1/6, considering the smaller body size of Kodama. While the poses and outfits are somewhat interesting, the faces are sadly lacking something.

    In terms of quality, Megurine Luka looks absolutely fantastic. Many seem to disapprove of her face but I think it looks good enough to be a worthy investment, especially with all the details going into the rest of the figure.

    Much like you I really enjoyed Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, mostly because of the relationship between Sena and Yozora. But even though Yozora was a good character and Good Smile Company being one of the best manufacturers, it’s slightly disappointing that this is the pose they went with. I agree fully with your take on the angles and the limitation they bring to portraying her through photography so I’m guessing I won’t be picking her up. I still hope you make me regret that decision come July.

    Very much looking forward to your session with Ai, few can display these figures without reminding me of a colonoscopy. While not as impressive as Imari, Ai is still a good looking figure. Hentai figures have been lacking for quite some time but with Ai and Imari on the horizon the future is looking brighter.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ll be skipping the Chara-ani figures, unless I decide to watch the show and appreciate the characters, I guess. I kinda doubt I will since Guilty Crown is taking up all my attention at the moment (as well as exhausting my enthusiasm for bad anime).

      I wish they’d gone with a different outfit for Yozora, too; her school uniform isn’t all that interesting, and it isn’t helping that my high school’s colors were green and gold and I don’t have a great deal of spirit or enthusiasm for my old school.

      With a figure like Ai, even a colonoscopy can be pretty sexy.

      >.>

  10. Cantan says:

    I saw the Ai Saeki figure and my first assumption was that it would have nipples but no detail on her crotch. I made the mistake of getting Kaitendoh’s Miss Photogenic (Kanu) figure a year or two ago and that one is cast off top and bottom… with absolutely no features under her bikini bottoms… didn’t stop them pixellating/using no entry ribbons to hide it in the promos though.

    Guess you’d have to stick to Native or Keumaya (or those freaky Gigapulse) figures for more than that.

    Talking of which… did you notice that Beat seem to be taking preorders for some of Keumaya’s back catalogue?

    I didn’t know you liked futanari figures Tier. I know you got that Kampfer cover a while back and maybe I should have twigged then but even so. I might have to skip those reviews when you do them I’m afraid. Not to my taste, but each to their own.

    • Tier says:

      I’m really hoping she’s not undetailed, though I noticed that Moeyo’s recent preview skipped the full castoff photographs. That’s rather out of character for Moeyo so I’m assuming Alphamax mandated that, and I wonder why. I don’t recall that they’ve ever made a figure with full frontal explicitness so it’ll be interesting to see how she turns out.

      Yeah, that was pretty disappointing, I was thinking of getting Commander Erika but I don’t think I want to buy a BEAT figure. I’m not a big fan of the new paint schemes, either. Curious that BEAT got the gig, though; those figures were sculpted by Vispo and they generally release their own stuff under the Questioners marque.

      • Shashin says:

        On the subject of Ai, I think I saw a picture somewhere that had her hand placed covering the goods, similar to the way Native’s Chie does it. Think that might have been from a model or something though and not the actual PVC figure, as the pose definitely looks a lot more open in the production shots.

        • Tier says:

          I looked up Moeyo’s preview of Ai and they said they weren’t allowed to remove the figure’s clothing, but they also seemed to say that she doesn’t have smoothed-over Barbie doll anatomy, which is promising. Hopefully we’ll see more detailed previews soon.

  11. azn0will says:

    Looking good!

    …That lump on Fate is kinda a drawback wouldn’t you say so?

    I just pre-ordered the Megurine Luka one myself. The “wrestling boots” are pretty icky in terms of fashion. Also, if you’re a fan of Miku’s songs, I suggest you check out Luka’s as well–it wouldn’t hurt right? :3

    For Ai Saeki, I think she looks pretty well made, not too sure about her vagina though. -_-

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, it’s a pretty significant drawback; at the least, it’s a very conspicuous curiosity. I didn’t mention it when I wrote about the little Fate swimsuit figure, but I don’t think there’s any way to skirt around this issue if it’s still there this summer.

      I must admit I am not a big fan of Miku’s songs XD Mainly because the software is still a bit iffy in performance; it’s still an amazing achievement but her voice isn’t the most pleasant to my ears. It doesn’t help that one of the few Vocaloid songs I’ve heard is the Black Rock Shooter song and I cannot stand it.

      We should all pray that Ai remains the way God intended her to be throughout the design and approval process.

  12. aya says:

    I miss one here, what do you think about the Diabolus Ungulate Figure from Milestone/Embrace Japan? Awesome isn`t she? Ordered the Naoe too and for this month, Catgirl with Chair from Embrace Japan.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, she looks pretty good too; I was going to include her before deciding the list was already getting pretty long, and I’m going to hold off on considering her until I get a couple of Embrace Japan figures that I’ve ordered (the catgirl chained to the chair and the white catgirl in the tiny swimsuit). On the plus side, the earlier Diabolus figure looked pretty good; actually, I’d say I probably like it better, though I think it’s sold out everywhere now.

  13. Luth says:

    Luka. Huge fan. Day 1 preordered. Your comment on her wrestling boots made me laugh and she looks even cooler in my eyes now.

    I’m really glad Alter is rereleasing the Saber Maids, the craftsmanship and detailing on them still seem to be excellent even in today’s standards. They were so rare before that I had given up all hope of getting either of them and now presented with this opportunity, I couldn’t pass so Saber Alter was added to the cart.

    • Tier says:

      It is too bad Luka doesn’t come with facepaint. I stopped watching wrestling when I was young, but I remember some of the people I lived with in college were big into wrestling and I noticed that none of the newer wrestlers wear facepaint. The Ultimate Warrior was always my favorite wrestler, partly because of the wacky paint he always had on.

  14. Halbred says:

    Cryska’s the big winner for me. I hope the hat is removable, because it looks out-of-place and kind of stupid. I’m looking forward to Orchid Seed’s Kurumu Kurono figure which comes out in…June? I want to see a full preview or review before I plunk down the scrilla, but she looks like a sure thing.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, it’s removable. I’m taking the same approach with Kurono; I like it though I thought she looked kinda bulky in body shape, then I saw her castoff pictures and she looks pretty good. Orchid Seed’s Yui figure from the same series looks great (in unpainted form, anyway) and I’m pretty sure I’m going to get her, so I might decide to get Kurono as well, assuming preview pictures are favorable.

  15. Adam says:

    I’ve been largely ignoring or avoiding Yamato figures for years, but Iris definitely caught my eye. Shirow’s characters haven’t gotten much attention outside of Ghost in the Shell, which is a bit of a shame as I’ve always been rather fond of his work. There are some sample shots of Iris on Moeyo where her shirt and panties (or is it a leotard?) look considerably more pinkish than in the official shots. Not sure how I feel about that color if the Moeyo pics are accurate, but it didn’t stop me from preordering.

    Tony’s Luka looks way better than Miku did. I’m leaning toward preordering her. My only concern is that in the WonFes pictures her face looked pretty chubby. More recent shots have looked better, though, so I’m hoping it was just bad lighting in the early shots.

    I wasn’t expecting much out of the Cheerful Japan project after waves of Nendoroids and figmas, but Miku is a nice surprise. The overly cutesy cheerleader motif doesn’t particularly motivate me, but I do love the vivacity captured in the pose and the unique display base. Leaning toward ordering this one, too, though I’m annoyed that they made the preorder window so short.

    I guess I’ll cast the dissenting vote and say that I’m disappointed with the Saeki design. I’m not intimately familiar with Fault!!, but practically all the CGs I’ve come across feature an obvious tennis/athletic theme, so I expected figures hailing from the series to follow suit. Instead we get generic seifuku that could come from anywhere. Seems like a missed opportunity to me. Then again, I don’t buy a lot of ero figures, so I’m probably not the target audience.

    • Tier says:

      Yamato gets a bad rap, and it seems like a lot of it derives from a certain website which has a lot of readers who are completely incapable of making an independent assessment. In my experience, they have some really terrible figures and some really fantastic figures. Some of the first anime figures I owned were Yamato figures and I got back into collecting anime toys when they released their 1/48 scale VF-1 toys (still my favorite mecha toys) so I have a more favorable opinion of them than most.

      I did not play the eroge, but while the anime did have some tennis scenes, it was (unsurprisingly) mainly about the four lead girls wanting to knock up the main character. It had a bunch of different costumes, including kimonos, swimsuits, gym outfits, and if I remember right, Ai wound up wearing a bunnygirl outfit with pantyhose and fake ears for most of the last episode.

    • Tier says:

      Ha, I am not. As fond as I am of the themes depicted therein, I don’t particularly like the face. Good concept, though.

      • Shashin says:

        I’m not expecting much in the quality department, but I doubt it could be worse than Gigapulse figures… so I can’t resist it. It’s like explicit dakimakura covers; gotta buy them if just to support more explicit works.

        Speaking of which, I’m really looking forward to the B&W Store loli Scarlet sister set. I’ve been following it since the original sample image, and they just kept adding more and more detail. Overall, I think all the changes they made were for the better, though it’s a bit disappointing because the original sample images had one of the girls peeing, which just struck me in an awesome way.

        Also, know you’ve been looking out for a Fate cover and you have a thing for Nanoha, so if it doesn’t get too expensive, this auction might be something to keep an eye on:

        http://page18.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/w72758467

        Marks has done a couple of versions but the sample shots on Mandarake should give a basic idea of what the two covers looks like:

        https://ekizo.mandarake.co.jp/shop/ja/item_s-366197.html
        https://ekizo.mandarake.co.jp/shop/ja/item_s-366198.html

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, I wasn’t going to say anything about the figure when you mentioned it but I got asked directly. I’m not a big fan of Okayama Figure Engineering’s style, though I approve of their themes.

          Thanks for the links – I did actually get a Fate pillowcase, the HOP one that you mentioned was on Mandarake a few weeks back. I figured I had the Vivio and Nanoha pillowcases already, I might as well get Fate and make the family complete. I was thinking of getting the Fate and Nanoha pillowcases by CAT=KATZ too, since they look really nice; I see them pop up on YJA every now and then. For now, I’m probably looking at picking up one of the reissued Tony pillowcases off Toranoana and Ordin Soft’s Erena one, since Mahou Shoujo Erena is awesome. I’m also thinking about getting the official Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere dakimakura covers; curious how not too many circles are making pillowcases of characters from that series.

          • Shashin says:

            I wanted one of their previous figures, but it was too expensive to justify buying it. Overall, I don’t really care for their figures but this one I just couldn’t resist. If I had to go through a proxy to pick it up, I wouldn’t but since AmiAmi has it available I figured I’d give them a chance.

            Ah, nice. I’ve gone way too far with my spending and despite spouting it for the last year, I really need to cut back. Still, I’m tempted by the C68 Tony case; I think it’s one of the two I don’t have and I remember it was one I posted about when I first started commenting on dakimakura covers here. I’m definitely want to get the two Erena covers, though.

            Heh, I just watched the series the other day. Started off a little slow (but still enjoyable) and I had no idea what the hell was going on for some time, but I really liked it. It doesn’t hurt that all the girls are cute, either; can’t wait to see more covers and some figures for the property. I do kinda regret not picking up Evening Call’s Nate cover now, but I didn’t know the character at the time so she didn’t take priority. Hopefully they’ll get some of her in stock like they have some stock of the Rin and Saber cover.

  16. nagisa says:

    at least luka gets some love from them. Although her body is perfection defined (all the fetishes you could imagine has been realized in her 3d form), some people hate her due to her chucky-like face. As for me, I cannot see the fault here. Maybe the figue is out of her character and designed differently by tony taka.
    Oh and I also saw the “fated” bulge of hers, its too pronounced as if she has transformed to male (or is that erio changed to fate hehe). They still have some time to rethink on that. Space management is my top priority so far since the dust concentration here is high, the maintenance could be a pain, along with some pending gunpla projects to be done.

    • Tier says:

      I’d seen some complaints about her face; I guess maybe her chin looks a bit big but otherwise I think she looks good. I’m not sure what she’s actually supposed to look like so I don’t know whether Tony’s design is a big departure. I think my reservations are mostly about her costume; I’d have bought her instantly if her clothes were a bit sluttier or if she had some awesome hooker boots or something. I don’t really dig those wrestling boots much, but I really like the exposed thigh and stomach.

      I’m choosing to believe that Fate is always prepared for action and is wearing an athletic cup to protect her sensitive parts. She’s supposed to be the mother in her relationship so it’s important that she takes care of herself.

      I’m going to be throwing a lot more figures back in their boxes soon, I think. I’ve got some 1/4 scale stuff that needs to be displayed and I don’t have many places that will fit figures of that size, so I’m going to have to do some reshuffling.

  17. Elixir says:

    Getting kind of tired of people complaining about Luka’s face, I think it looks really good.

  18. Cantan says:

    Can’t help thinking that a new Preorder Outlook should be due soon.

    Seem to be a few nice figures coming along but a fair few of them exclusives which are never good.

    Notice you have ordered that Angel-like figure from Native – have to say that her proportions put me off a bit.

    I do like the looks of Volks’ Hanna-Justina Marseille, think I will get her though I might have to wait until pretty close to the cut-off date as money is tight at the moment.

    The one figure I have preordered though (but there is no guarantee that I will get her) is Embrace Japan’s White Diabolus Unglate – was very unsure as 14,000yen is a hell of a price, but anyway…

    Here’s betting you put off issuing another Outlook for at least another month!

    • Tier says:

      You are prescient, though you’d lose that bet; there’ll probably be one up in the next couple of posts. Probably Super Sonico next and then a preorder post, since there’ve been a bunch of nice figures that opened up for order in the last couple of weeks. And also because an old college friend of mine is coming to town later this month and I won’t be around much, so I probably won’t be doing figure reviews for a couple of weeks around then.

      The Strike Witches girl looks really nice; I like it quite a bit and I might be tempted if it were a regular figure. I’m not inclined to go through a proxy though, particularly since Alter seems intent on making figures of all the Strike Witches cast and their figure ought to be both cheaper and higher-quality, at least from a technical sense.

      • Aaron says:

        There are actually colored pictures of an Alter version of Hanna-Justine on myfigurecollection.net. Thanks to your blog and the pictures of Charlotte Yeager, I have started buying Strike Witch figures so I try to stay in the know. I do need to find a good price on Shirley though since she is sold out everywhere.

        I am torn between the Alter and Volks versions of Hanna though.

        The Volks version is by far more interesting in face and pose than the Alter version, but I know Alter has great quality and I plan to get many of the Alter version witches, so Volks’ different base and propellers would bother me a little. I have heard about Volks’ sketchy issues with their Moekore Plus line and also don’t want a figure that may have shoddy paint, etc.

        But the ass on the Volks version is so much better.

        • Tier says:

          Ah, you are right; I thought I remembered that Alter was making one, but I had not seen what it looks like. It’s, uhh, pretty uninspired, particularly compared to a lot of their other Strike Witches figures. If the workmanship on the Volks one is good, I think I’d go with that one then; the pose is a helluva lot more interesting. As well as the ass.

          Kinda wish I picked up Gertrud; she’s probably my favorite of the bunch. Personality wise, anyway. I got a big order payment waiting at the end of this month, though, so I haven’t looked around for her.

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