Dakimakura Review – Tony Taka Girls from Puella (NSFW)

Tony Taka Dakimakura from Puella

Today’s dakimakura cover features the artwork of Tony Taka, an illustrator who needs no introduction. A number of pillowcases have been produced that feature his work; in fact, the very first dakimakura cover review posted here was one of his, from Comiket 75. His doujin work often focuses on well-known characters – he’s published work based on Clannad, Stellvia, and Working!!, among other series – but this one includes a couple of girls who, as far as I know, are original characters. Also, I don’t know if either girl has a name, as the doujinshi they come from – titled Puella – features only a few pages of text. Incidentally, the product description of Puella states that its title simply comes from the Latin word for “girl”; it has no relation at all to the well-known anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

Tony Taka dakimakura, full view, front side

This dakimakura cover debuted at Comiket 81, held in December 2011, and like most of Tony’s doujin goods, went up for mail-order sale at Toranoana early this year. Like many doujin dakimakura covers, this pillowcase measures 160 centimeters by 50. The material is a bit thinner than the fabric used in some of the other pillowcases that I own, particularly the ones manufactured by A&J. As you can see in the photographs, the image on the opposite side is visible through both sides of the pillowcase. This is obviously not an issue when the dakimakura cover contains a pillow body. Also, while the other Tony pillowcase I own had a shiny, pearly sheen, this one does not have anything like that.

Face and torso of Tony Taka dakimakura

This pillowcase is a bit unusual in that it features different characters on each side. The characters are presumably featured on the cover of Puella. The brown-haired girl – whose hair and eyes look rather more purple on the dakimakura cover – is featured on the nominal front side, wrapped up in ribbons. Though she seems anxious in the doujinshi cover illustration, she’s sporting a friendly look and a satisfied smile here.

Hips

Tony has achieved a great deal of fame in recent years. Figure collectors will perhaps be most familiar with his work on Max Factory’s recent Vocaloid figures and Sega’s Shining franchise. Before he became a relative household name, though, he did a good deal of ero work, and it shows here.

Feet

A check of the feet shows that the toes are lined up on the right side. The brown/purple-haired girl’s hands also look correct. Tony is known for occasionally screwing up on hands and feet; his Comiket 73 dakimakura cover famously featured such an error (look at the bottom-left girl’s feet).

Tony Taka dakimakura, full view, rear side

The blonde girl takes up the opposite side. While she displays a confident attitude on the doujinshi cover, here she seems to be in a state of consternation.

Tony Taka dakimakura, face with tongue hanging out

I think it’s pretty cute how her tongue is hanging out; one can imagine a sort of ahegao look on her face. Not that Tony really draws ahegao faces much; actually, the old bugaboo about Tony’s work is that his faces don’t feature much variation at all. The blindfold provides a neat sidestep for avoiding that criticism.

Hips and hands

Once again, a check of the hands shows they are in the correct position. It’s not just extreme paranoia that compels me to check, I do actually own a dakimakura cover where the feet are incorrect.

Tony Taka dakimakura cover showing blindfold

And the feet are properly drawn. Though it’d be pretty hard to mess them up, I guess.

Tony Taka dakimakura

I really like this pillowcase a lot. Like many hobby collectors, I’m a big fan of Tony’s artwork, though I have a natural bias against his Shining stuff just because I am quite displeased with the way Sega is handling the franchise, after I spent so much time playing Shining Force 1, 2, and CD as a kid. I particularly like the bondage elements; Tony’s artwork has been more on the conventional side as he’s become better-known, and it’s nice to see that he’s still willing to do work like this. I’m not sure which side I like better; I guess maybe I’d go with the side with the blonde girl, since the blindfold is pretty cool, but both sides are very appealing to me.

I actually got this pillowcase quite a while ago, and I’ve got a bunch more in the review queue, including Yukikaze, Erena, and Tsugumi Aisaka. I’ve also got an Inori dakimakura cover on the way, which I’m hoping looks good. I’ll be showing those here in the near future.

Tony Taka dakimakura cover review, closing image
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37 Responses to Dakimakura Review – Tony Taka Girls from Puella (NSFW)

  1. bear says:

    The blonde got an audible, “wow,” out of me. It’s always breathtaking to see one of TT’s refined beauties exuding such explicit lewdness.

    • Tier says:

      Indeed! I wish he’d do more of it. And I wish there were more ero-anime based on his work. Genmukan, Sora no Iro, Mizu no Iro, and Fault!! are pretty good shows.

  2. Kyzel says:

    That’s a very beautiful daki, explicit, but beautiful nonetheless. Though, I’m not audacious enough to own an explicit daki but maybe in the future, and I’d definitely go for a T2 one, even though I find his art to get stale after a while.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, whenever I see a Shining Wind/Blade/Hearts/etc. figure go up for order, I tend to ignore it since they don’t seem to be too distinctive (I’ve got one bikini figure of, uhh … Yukihime or something? She basically looks the same as Blanc Neige). I guess after producing such a large body of work, he’s found what he likes to do and doesn’t desire to change up his subject material much.

  3. Shashin says:

    I love the art on this case, but I really wish I had held out for the Toranoana mail order version. I don’t remember what I paid, but I know I certainly had to have overpaid since I bought it shortly after C81. The quality of the Smooth Knit (material used for the event version) was pretty lackluster; it was very smooth when rubbing your hand downward, but if you tried to rub your hand against it in an upward motion, it led to a prickly feeling. Even if the 2WT isn’t as nice as that of a top level manufacturer (A&J, Seiren, etc.) I would have much rather had it. Oh well, I’m still happy to own this case. :D

    • Tier says:

      The two-way tricot material feels pretty nice; a bit thin compared to the Stylus or Evening Call pillowcases but still pretty smooth (somewhat ironic that it seems smoother than smooth knit). But yeah, regardless of the material, I think this is a really nice pillowcase. I should review the official Horizon pillowcase I’ve got, the material isn’t nearly as nice.

      • Shashin says:

        Yeah, I think it stems from it being a more popular material than 2WT a few years back. Circles used 2WT even then, but the big companies like Cospa, Chara-Ani, and so on didn’t really offer many cases in 2WT. It seems that the most common were Polyester Twill, Suede, and Smooth Knit. Compared to the other two, Smooth Knit is a definite upgrade but it really can’t compare to even the crappiest 2WT. Cospa still does a lot of Polyester Twill/Smooth Knit cases, but I’ve seen them offer 2WT a lot more frequently and most companies offer it as well.

        • Tier says:

          Speaking of Cospa, you ever notice that it seems like the heads often look mismatched to the bodies (thinking of that Horizon pillowcase, specifically). I kinda wonder if they have different artists drawing the heads and bodies, or if they’ve got some body templates somewhere and they just draw new heads on top of them whenever they need to pump out a new pillowcase.

          • Shashin says:

            Honestly, I haven’t given a Cospa/Chara-Ani (other big companies, as well) cover more than a passing glance in at least a year. For me, the quality just doesn’t compare to what you can get from circles, for a price that’s only a bit more. What I call company covers are improving a lot, thanks to Takumi Makura/CranCrown/Lilith and so on, but I still don’t really pay any attention to the releases of the bigger companies.

          • Tier says:

            Yeah, I usually don’t look at them too often either. The exception is when I really like the official artwork, which was the case with the Horizon characters (an exception is Anko Koubou’s Kimi, which looks reasonably close to the anime style). I should do a Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere Dakimakura Week just to show the differences.

  4. Chag says:

    One reservation I’ve always had against Tony Taka was how vanilla his ero work tends to me. I haven’t explored his game CGs beyond a couple of sets, but his print materials were pretty predictable and safe for the most part. Naturally, I was really happy to see these two covers — even some mild bondage is a step in the right direction.

    …I wonder if we’ll ever see Tony do ahegao.

    • Tier says:

      I have the opposite view; I really like his ero work and I think his ero work is his best work, while I find his commercial work to be more boring. In the past, he’s done some interesting stuff; I liked his concept for this little reaper girl, as well as one of her ero scenes. I’m sure you’re familiar with his work on Genmukan but if not, there were some interesting ideas there as well.

      I went through some of the CG sets I have but I did not really see any ahegao, which is sort of a shame. I did see a couple of images where the girl had her tongue out, but none were rolling their eyes, and they probably had their tongue out because they were either being strangled or crushed rather than being sexually spent, anyway.

  5. Aaron says:

    This cover is pretty interesting, but I am not a huge fan of covers featuring different characters on the front and back. I like it, but I couldn’t buy it for that reason in this case.

    The best part about this cover are all of the little details. The letter and the anus on the purple-haired side are things that make the image unique. The hands being tied behind her back do the same thing on the blond-haired side.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I feel the same way; I don’t really like seeing different characters on the same pillowcase (there’s a nice pillowcase of Fate and Nanoha that I like, but since it depicts different characters on each side, I don’t really want it). The exception is if I like the artist or the themes. I actually have another pillowcase on the way that satisfies those criteria; it has different characters but also features sort of a bondage theme, and it’s by a reasonably well-known artist (by Pixiv standards; I don’t think he does commercial work).

      For such a straightforward pillowcase from an artist whose work is often considered not particularly adventurous, I think there are a lot of things to like, such as everything you pointed out. The illustrations are fairly simple but still very appealing.

  6. azn0will says:

    Yay, playful bondage. How fun!

    Great Review!

    The red ribbon makes it seem like she’s a present :3 Me want her as a present!

    They are both very well presented, very steamy. They make my laptop screen fog up ^_^

    • Shashin says:

      Mandarake has the cover for a very reasonably 10k, though you may want to email them before hand and ask which material it is, since I definitely wouldn’t recommend the Smooth Knit version unless you didn’t have any other options.

      • Tier says:

        I was cleaning out my drawer the other day and came across the old Tony pillowcase from C75. I hadn’t noticed how stiff the material is but when I unfolded it, it kept much of its shape, as if it had been starched or something. I don’t think I’ve seen any other pillowcase use such a fabric.

        • Shashin says:

          Yeah, I have a Tony case that uses the same material. I’m pretty sure it’s suede or satin. I do know, that unfortunately, it’s very similar to peach skin – so for the longest time I was questioning if it was a bootleg or not. Either way, it isn’t a material I’m very fond of personally. It seems like Tony always chooses the weirdest materials for his covers; the satin/suede/whatever it is, the shitty Smooth Knit, and the average 2WT. I just it does keep prices low (the Toranoana order for this cover was like 9500 yen, I believe) but I’d rather pay 12000 for A&J or Seiren.

          • Tier says:

            Yeah, it’s pretty odd; I wonder who makes his pillowcases. The cheapness definitely is a nice thing, though; I was surprised that this one was 9,500 yen, as you say. Prices seem to be going up and the exchange rate seems to be staying in neutral, so every extra dollar saved is nice.

    • Tier says:

      She even comes with a greeting card, too. Interesting to see how happy the front-side girl is compared to the other side.

      • azn0will says:

        Wait, I’m confused.

        What’s wrong with Smooth Knit compared to 2WT and the others?

        @Tier How come you didn’t show use the greeting card?!

        • Shashin says:

          I like to consider myself pretty well versed when it comes to dakimakura covers, but even I openly admit that materials are probably the most confusing part of dakimakura covers. There are maybe about 10 base materials that I see used often: polyester/twill, satin, peach skin (bootlegs), (sk) suede, smooth knit, lycra, 2-way roika (I believe it to be the Japanese phonetic of lycra), 2-way tricot, and I’m sure there are a few that I’m missing.

          You can generalize materials, but along with those base materials, there are a ton of different manufacturers. At least 5-10, if not more. Most of the materials of the same name are relatively similar, but there can be some very big differences in quality, feel, look, and so on.

          So, generally speaking, 2-way tricot and 2-way roika are pretty much the same thing, and considered to be the best material available. Personal preference in what manufacturer people consider the best seems to differ here; from what I can tell, A&J 2WT is considered to be the best material, but I personally prefer Seiren Pearl Roika or P80 2WR.

          Smooth Knit is usually considered to be the next best material on the rung, but the quality differs wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer; once again, A&J’s Smooth Knit was considered the best, but I don’t believe they make it anymore. Cospa and the other big companies frequently use Smooth Knit, as well.

          2WT/2WR share some similar qualities with Smooth Knit. The materials are usually rather soft and have some stretch to them to make it easier to put a pillow inside of it. Generally speaking, 2WT/2WR has slightly better image quality and is softer/slicker.

          In this case, both of variations of the Tony cover were produced by an unknown manufacturer (this usually suggests a Chinese printer, but not always), the C81 version was sold in Smooth Knit while the Toranoana version a few months later was sold in 2WT. Tier’s version is 2WT while the version I have is Smooth Knit.

          The Smooth Knit material looks fine, and feels very good when rubbing vertically down the cover. However, for whatever strange reason, while rubbing vertically up the cover, it is no longer smooth and has a prickly feeling to it. This is the only Smooth Knit I can recall in recent memory that had such strange feeling to it.

          The bottom line: Dakimakura cover materials are confusing and complicated to explain. D: 2WT good; smooth knit bad.

          • azn0will says:

            I recently received Somei Yoshino and she is on 2WT, and my current Satellizer el Bridget is on Smooth Knit and I can’t really tell which I like better. Because the smooth knit is indeed smooth, while the 2WT I haven’t tried yet besides feeling it with my hands.

            From what I felt, my 2WT feels a bit rougher than my smooth knit, where as I get a gliding sensation when I feel it.

            To be honest, I only hope whenever I purchase a Daki cover, that it isn’t printed in China…not bagging on them, but their stuff sucks–even though 80% of U.S. goods are made there.

          • Shashin says:

            That’s fairly strange; Somei Yoshino (the Carnelian cover, right?) was printed on A&J 2WT, which I would generally consider the material with the most “glide” or slickness. But like I said, no Smooth Knit is the same and no 2WT is the same. Some Smooth Knit might be slicker than most 2WT, while other varieties of 2WT will be slicker than most Smooth Knit. It’s just impossible to accurately generalize how all of one material type will feel.

            Well, there are some circles that print their covers in China and the quality is fine. But it’s anyone’s guess where the material is printed when the manufacturer isn’t known.

          • Tier says:

            I actually got a couple of Chinese dakimakura covers on the way. I guess they’re in New York, which is surprising since it looks like it’s a mess up there. I don’t know when they’ll get delivered but given some of the pictures I’ve seen of NYC, I can’t really whine, being that we didn’t get much damage down in DC.

        • Tier says:

          Nah, I meant the greeting card in the illustration, which is tied to her leg. The actual pillowcase comes with no extra goodies, or at least, orders from Toranoana come with nothing extra. Presumably if you bought it at C81, you got some cool swag since circles and big doujin makers seem to love coming up with bags of cool swag.

          • Shashin says:

            Yeah, just wanted to add that there is a whole mess as to what is made where; I’d imagine that a good number of Japanese circles have their covers printed in China. It isn’t so much the printing in China that you should be worried about, but rather if it’s a bootleg or not. Similarly, there are quite a number of Chinese and Taiwanese circles that put out some really high quality products, but some use Japanese printers.

            I loved the card on tied to her leg. It was definitely one of my favorite details of the side, and it is my favorite side. I don’t remember if I bought the case separately or if I bought the goody bag/doujinshi that came with it; I think I just bought the case because it was about 10k yen more for everything else that came with it. It’s a shame too, because I really wanted the telecard that Tony was offering for the event. I normally don’t care about telecards, but I really liked the illustration that was on this particular one.

  7. Wieselhead says:

    You really keep up your post rythym, that’s good to see.
    ATM it seems like everyone else is on hiatus or “dead”!

    I like sexy ribbon girl a lot, this side seems to be more romantic.
    I wouldn’t mind a present wrapped like this. The other one is more special, but the details at her mouth(s) XD are quite nice.

    Do you actually miss the second side of each girl?

    • Tier says:

      I am! I stay consistent. I am the hardest-working figure reviewer in the western hemisphere. Other people should stop being lazy and take more pictures and write more posts so I have things to look at while I am slacking off at work.

      They are actually the same pillowcase; this pillowcase has different girls on each side. Both sides have the bondage theme but as you say, the ribbon girl seems to be a bit more playful and the blonde girl has a bit more of an ominous feel.

  8. cipher says:

    bondage! ftw

  9. Hot damn that purple haired ribbon girl. I’d get the pillow case just for her, were I a pillow enthusiast. Good to see that Tony got the feet right this time around. I’m sure he’s horribly embarrassed over the screw up on that Comiket 73 one.

    Tony Taka’s an odd one for me…I both like his stuff and find it horribly dull at the same time. Maybe it’s the lack of variation in the female faces? A lot of them seem to share the same body build as well. I admit to really liking his costume designs for the Shining series, and his soft coloring (and color choices) have always been appealing.

    • Tier says:

      I kinda feel the same way about his stuff. I’ve liked his artwork for a while (one of the first pictures of his that I saw is one he did of FF7′s Cloud standing over Tifa; I still really like it) and much of the stuff he draws is really beautiful. However, as easy as it is to like his style, it’s not that hard to dislike it as well, or to get tired of it. I’m not disposed to like his Shining stuff because of my displeasure with the way Sega has handled that franchise, but even if I hadn’t had my own preconceived opinion, I think I’d be kinda apathetic to his characters just because we’ve seen them before.

  10. Wolfheinrich says:

    Tony Taka is always cool, I have heard all about how his work lacked variance but why have to change for the sake of having variance at all? I like his style the way it is! Having spent the past couple of years in the DD world, I know that just a change of wig and eyes can make all the differences in the world, there is no need to reinvent the wheel just for the sake of being different.

    • Tier says:

      I think the thing about his work is that it often looks too similar across properties. He’s very skilled but when his catgirls and elves all start looking the same and all his girls have the same basic faces (pretty much any series he draws, I’m expecting there to be the baseline girl with a normal-looking face, a mature girl with a confident face, and a somewhat immature, younger girl with a mischievous face). His stuff becomes less interesting when it looks the same. I’ve always thought he’s best at drawing porn, since porn is always interesting.

      • TomTheCat says:

        Well, even porn gets boring after so much repetition. It depends on what one likes. If one basically likes to watch porn, they’ll watch porn forever. If one likes a particular actess in porn, they’ll watch her being banged forever, no matter how long and often they already did. And if one basically likes the style of a certain artist, they’ll look at this artist’s work forever. Nothing wrong about that in my opinion. Personally, I like Tony Taka’s style very much and I own not nearly as much of it as I would like, even though I assume that the characters would indeed look very much alike and the actions be sort of repetitive after a relatively short time.

  11. Kimera says:

    Accompanied by a letter

    Seems to be a gift for someone

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