It’s been a couple of months since the last preorder outlook post, so let’s take a look at some of the figures I’m thinking about buying. There’s no Alter figure on this list, which has become a depressingly regular occurrence of late. There’s quite a few porno figures, which has happily become a much more common thing in the last couple of years. Sometimes I have to wonder whether this is really all that healthy for the hobby or anime in general but well, social norms change rapidly. On to the preorders.
This is a figure I’ve known about for years, though I never expected that it would get a PVC version. I’m highly pleased that it is, though I know nothing about the manufacturer, except that it seems to be affiliated with the company that made those unimpressive Kanojo x Kanojo x Kanojo figures. That’s not at all encouraging but well, I’m going to remain optimistic regardless. If this figure comes anything close to decent, it could be a candidate for the premier spot on my five favorite figures list for this year.
Saber of Red
It seems like we’re getting more and more weird-looking Saber figures these days. There was the one by Alter of her in the dress (review pending here), there’s all those wacky Fate/extra figures, and then there’s this one. I suppose there’s something to be said about the strategy of protecting the dignity of the franchise’s leading lady while sexing up various spinoff versions of her (and giving them alternate identities, to further accommodate plausible deniability). At any rate, this is quite a different take on Saber, with a tube top and booty shorts. I like it a lot, though it would’ve been nice if Saber’s ass were a little larger. I think I’ll probably get this figure, and maybe I’ll do a series of weird Saber figure reviews one of these days; I know I certainly have enough to make it happen.
Ai Saeki from Fault!!
This is a figure I didn’t really notice until I was going through the Hobby Search and Amiami listings today. It’s a nice representation of Ai, seemingly spacing out while brushing her teeth. The clothing doesn’t really look that great and it would be nice if she were fully castoff-able – the description indicates only her panties are removable – but it’s an otherwise good-looking product at a reasonable price (these days) for a 1/6 scale figure.
Mio Naruse from Shinmai Mao no Testament
Shinmai Mao no Testament was a surprisingly enjoyable show to watch; the plot moves briskly, the characters are attractive, and the male protagonist is a cool and capable dude rather than being useless. Mio Naruse is the lead girl, though I don’t know if I would call her my favorite character in the show. Nonetheless I like her and the series enough to be interested in getting a figure of her, and this one will be the first available. Unfortunately, it looks sort of like Dwell is implementing some kind of semi-castoff system, which I don’t think looks all that great. It doesn’t look bad, though, I guess, so I’m probably still going to buy this figure, but I’m curious to see if someone else will do a better version.
Angela Balzac from Rakuen Tsuiho: Expelled From Paradise
I haven’t yet watched the movie that this character comes from, but what little I saw of it looked a little strange; it’s all animated in 3D, like many mecha anime, and so the characters sort of look and move like giant robots. I have no problem with the show’s concept art or character designs, though, particularly that of Angela Balzac. The price tag is pretty high, particularly for a 1/8 scale figure, but the figure looks so nice that I think it will be worth it.
Sakura Harumoto from COMIC Kairakuten BEAST
This character is actually designed by the same guy who designed Angela Balzac. This figure is obviously quite different in theme, but still looks great. It’s obviously a figure that I am going to buy. Alphamax’s SkyTube brand is one of the best things to happen to figures.
Percival from Eiyuu Senki Gold
I own several of FREEing’s bunnygirl figures so it’s natural to consider their newest one. Percival looks pretty nice, and the armored gauntlets (with something like exhaust fans) are a nice touch that differentiates her from the traditional bunnygirl look. The main issues I have are her price – less of a big deal since this is a 1/4 scale figure – and the way her upper torso seems overly large for her hips and legs. Then again, the artist of Eiyuu Senki definitely has a peculiar style so perhaps that could just be chalked up to artistic license.
Bertille from Walkure Romanze
It’s great to see Daiki Kougyou making another bikini armor (or armored bikini) figure from Walkure Romanze, an anime that I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. I was hoping they would make one of Akane, though it seems Alphamax is doing one of their own so that base is covered. I actually think I’d prefer to see a figure of Bertille in her normal armor, which isn’t much more modest than what she wears here, but this is good too. Bertille is going to look great next to Celia and Mio.
Diabolus Macrodontia from Black Arts Keeper
I’m not actually sure I got the character or series name correct, but anyway, this girl looks very nice – surprisingly nice, even, and that would normally be a good thing, except I own a few Embrace Japan figures and while I generally like them, I would not call them very impressive in a technical sense, and that makes me wonder about this figure. It’s particularly problematic being that this figure is listed as non-scale – a complete lie to anyone who can do arithmetic – and is very, very expensive. Admittedly, this figure might not actually be more expensive than the original Diablo Inclinatus figure, which was much cheaper but was released when the USD to JPY exchange rate was something like 65% of what it is now. I’m probably going to need to see a few more pictures to make a determination on this demon girl.
PUSH!! Cover Girl
This is a nice figure from Orchid Seed; the girl is pretty, the swimsuit is cute (though a little odd in how her top is tied in front), and the size looks good. It’s a cheery, happy figure, and I’m pretty sure I’ll order it, particularly since her top can be removed.
Utaha Kasumigaoka from Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
I have the feeling that I enjoyed Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata less than most people. The female characters were okay, in sort of a one-note manner, but the male lead was an irritating douchebag. But the character designs were nice, and fortunately that’s all I need to evaluate here. Utaha looks very nice, though there’s a bit of a disconnect here in that the character designer for the show is known for doing hardcore anime porn but the anime did not seem to feature much fanservice. I suppose this figure is going for a happy middle ground.