Category Archives: Figure Review

Mu-12 from BlazBlue: Alter Memory

Mu-12 from BlazBlue Alter Memory

Arc Systems Works has been pushing the BlazBlue franchise hard in recent times. Notably, the fifth and most recent console iteration of the game – BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma Extend – is due for release in the North American market in just a few days. In addition, its ofttimes incomprehensible plot has been extended by a dizzying array of multimedia: spinoff games – including, rather incongruously for a fighting game series, some visual novels – manga, light novels, and a poorly-received anime series. Concomitant with this expansion is the sort of product push that the better-known Guilty Gear series never received, comprising a variety of wall scrolls, stickers, hugging pillowcase covers, and of course, figures such as this one. This isn’t even the first Mu-12 figure to hit the market – that distinction goes to FREEing’s version from well over a year back – but being that the last time Alter made a figure of an Arc System Works character turned out quite well, the redundancy is not at all unwelcome.
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Hell Seducer from the Shungo Yazawa Original Figure Series (NSFW)

Hell Seducer from the Shungo Yazawa Original Figure Series

I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m the only reviewer to cover this figure. However, despite its obscurity, I’ve known about this figure for quite a long time. In fact, I’d go so far as to call it a holy grail figure; I’d even been thinking about looking for the garage kit and trying to assemble it myself, as I never expected it to become available in a prepainted format. Much to my surprise and delight, it has, though courtesy of a manufacturer that I have no personal familiarity with and whose back catalog does not at all inspire confidence. But then again, when you’re working with a leering skeleton feeling up a naked, chained-up girl, how can you really go wrong?
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Mikan Yuuki from To Love-Ru Darkness (School Swimsuit Version)

Mikan Yuuki from To Love-Ru Darkness

The plan was to do a porno figure review but the gods of lighting and set design are fickle. Instead, with the To Love-Ru series getting quite a bit of love from figure makers this year, we’ll take a look at Alter’s Mikan Yuuki. This is the second figure of Mikan that they’ve released; I didn’t get the first, as I generally prefer figures that are standing upright, or at least kneeling. Considering its origins, it is perhaps not as lewd as one might expect, but there’s something to be said for a relatively innocuous figure of a cute anime girl.
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Satellizer el Bridget from Freezing Vibration (Y-Shirt Version) (NSFW)

Satellizer el Bridget from Freezing Vibration

We go from the regrettably miniature to the sublimely large today. The sheer size of FREEing’s 1/4 scale figures constitutes a large portion of their cachet, with their sculpts typically towering over a foot in height, or in this case, length. Their appeal is not based on size alone, however; these products almost always depict sexy anime girls in showy or compromising positions. Satellizer is obviously no exception.
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Ines from Busou Shinki (Image Model Version)

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It’s time for another review of a figure made by a company I am not at all familiar with. Technically this figure – of Ines from Konami’s Busou Shinki series – isn’t the first Ques Q figure, I’ve bought; I have their Neptune buried somewhere in my closet, I think, and I don’t remember anything about it other than being amused that whoever packed the box put the figure in backwards. I’m a little surprised that doesn’t happen more often. Despite not knowing much about the manufacturer or their track record, it wasn’t too difficult a decision to order this figure, for reasons that should be apparent in the image above. However, this figure did come with a very high price tag, and I felt some trepidation as to whether I would feel that my purchase was worthwhile. Is this figure satisfactory? Well, yes and no – always an annoying thing when one is a collector, to find something that is almost but not quite everything you were hoping for.
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Chris Yukine from Senki Zesshou Symphogear G (Bunny Style Version)

Chris Yukine from Senki Zesshou Symphgear

And we’re back to our irregularly-scheduled program of figure reviews. Today we’ll be looking at Chris Yukine, one of the lead characters from Senki Zesshou Symphogear. For some reason or another, the series hasn’t gotten a lot of figures, despite apparently having been popular enough to receive a two-season anime adaptation. In fact, a quick survey suggests this is the only one scaled-size PVC figure from the show. This is also the first figure I’ve bought that is made by Aquamarine, a company that seems to be under Good Smile Company’s corporate aegis, and it’s always interesting to see whether a figure from a new company can measure up. That is, unless the figure is terrible, but happily, this figure of Chris is anything but.
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Touko in the Lavatory from the Native Creators Collection (NSFW)

Touko from Recollect

Anyone who has been in this hobby for a while can’t be too surprised by the concepts embodied by certain figures. I mean, there’s a figure out there based on an anime-fied Adolf Hitler, every now and then a company shows off a tentacle rape figure, and there’s even a very nice necrophilia-oriented figure up for preorder at the usual stores right now. Still, it was a little strange to see three figures involving toilets going up for preorder at approximately the same time (this one, obviously, and the other two were Ringo Hanamaru and a Kaitendoh figure). To be a fan of anime culture often implies being a fan of certain themes and fetishes, but I freely admit that toilet usage is not amongst mine. Still, if anyone could make this look good, it would be Native, no? Perhaps – but only if they didn’t botch it for other reasons. Which they did, unfortunately.
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Sumika Kagami from Muv-Luv Alternative (Kotobukiya Version)

Sumika Kagami from Muv-Luv Alternative

For the first review of the year we’ll be going back eleven months with this figure of Sumika Kagami, one of the central heroines of the popular eroge Muv-Luv Alternative. She’s the third figure from this series to be produced by Kotobukiya, following lead girl Meiya Mitsurugi and a peculiar figure of Kasumi Yashiro in a skimpy bunnysuit. It’s possible that Sumika will be the last figure that Kotobukiya produces from the core science-fiction series, as it looks like they’ve moved on to the Carnelian-illustrated spinoff Schwarzesmarken, though who knows; they’re still producing model kits of the mecha from the game, so perhaps they’ll revisit Alternative someday. If not, at least Sumika is quite a nice figure to end the mainline run with.
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Kasumi from Dead or Alive 5

Kasumi from Dead or Alive 5

We’ve noted before that fighting games don’t seem to get a ton of figures, at least relative to the number of popular and well-known characters that would seem to make for attractive figures. Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo series has ameliorated this dearth to some extent, though I admit I kinda have a hard time taking that product line seriously. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see some of the girls from Street Fighter and Tekken getting some love from a figure company.

One series that hasn’t gotten much love in terms of merchandising – at least until very recently – is Dead or Alive. It’s an unexpected situation since Dead or Alive’s main appeal stems from its female cast. Street Fighter, Tekken, Soul Calibur, and other fighting games are known for the sophistication and responsiveness of their combat systems, and one can find many videos of tournament matches attesting to their gameplay depth; meanwhile, it is equally facile to find videos of the Dead or Alive girls in their defeated poses, the camera lingering on their succuluent, sweat-streaked bodies. As crude as that may seem, that type of content ought to be old hat for anyone who watches contemporary anime and particularly for anyone who collects anime figures, and it seems like the Dead or Alive series should have more figures than it does. Well, now we have one more, of lead girl Kasumi. Unfortunately, its manufacturer has a reputation that is charitably described as mixed. Seeing the Griffon logo on the box doesn’t engender confidence but it’s not like there’s a surfeit of Kasumi figures to choose from.
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Cover Girl from COMIC X-EROS (NSFW)

Cover Girl from COMIC X-EROS

Alphamax – or SkyTube – has made a number of exceptionally nice ero-figures over the last couple of years, many of them adapted from Tony Taka’s artwork. This time, they’ve turned to the portfolio of another popular artist: Kizuki Aruchu, very well-respected for his doujinshi work with the circle Udon-ya. He is particularly famous for illustrating their long-running series of Monster Hunter doujinshi and like Tony, he combines a unique and readily-identifiable style with an impressive level of skill. Unlike Tony his work has historically not received a great deal of attention from figure manufacturers, although that has begun to change recently, and the figure we’ll be looking at today is the most recent one to be released.
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