Mu-12 from BlazBlue: Chronophantasma

Mu-12 from BlazBlue

Arc System Works’s BlazBlue is the spiritual successor to Guilty Gear, and on the whole both series are quite similar. Both are fast-paced 2D fighting games; both feature a colorful cast of eclectic and memorable characters; both feature awesome instrumental rock and heavy metal soundtracks. However, there is one area where BlazBlue diverges from its forebear and that’s in how it has been marketed. Guilty Gear is by no means an obscure series but it has always been something of a niche game; furthermore, its popularity has always been keyed by the game itself. With BlazBlue, however, Arc System Works is evidently trying to expand its appeal beyond its core fanbase. The most obvious attempt is its recently-concluded anime adaptation, titled BlazBlue: Alter Memory. BlazBlue has also been the subject of a heavy merchandising effort, including the usual telephone cases, telephone cards (often depicting Noel being molested by Rachel, or vice versa), soundtrack collections, and dakimakura covers – Arc System Works released the first dakimakura cover of Noel Vermillion way back at Comiket 76 in summer of 2009, and apparently she’s getting another one next month, and several other characters (including Jin Kisaragi, which surely made the ladies happy) have gotten or will be getting immortalized on a pillowcase. And of course, BlazBlue has gotten a variety of figures, including one of protagonist-turned-antagonist-turned-protagonist-again Mu-12, which is what we’ll be looking at here.
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Dakimakura Review – Nagato from Kantai Collection (clesta Version) (NSFW)

Nagato dakimakura from Kantai Collection

It’s pillowcase show-and-tell time! Believe it or not, the dakimakura reviews are some of the most popular posts on this site. Yeah, I don’t understand it either. It’s been a while since we last looked at one, so we’ll take some time from the figure stuff to take a look at a pillowcase from Kantai Collection, the big new sexy thing in anime culture. We’ve seen this sort of thing before, such as with Touhou, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and the Vocaloid stuff, all of which have established enduring appeal, and also with Black Rock Shooter, which flamed out with scarcely so much as a good-bye. Time will tell whether Kantai Collection will last through the fickle transience of modern culture. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Kantai Collection, it’s apparently a web browser-based card battling game, in which female characters named after Imperial Japanese Navy warships take on a variety of pasty-faced, glowy-eyed female adversaries, most of which are named after characters of the Japanese syllabary. I suppose that in this day and age, the United States Navy is an unsuitable opponent for this sort of thing, but I’m a little disappointed that there isn’t more fan art of the cute Japanese girls being accosted by personifications of Third Fleet warships. I mean, given how many famous US Navy officers served in the war, there are, at the least, some really good NTR possibilities there. Not that I like NTR or anything. But anyway! We have here a pillowcase featuring Nagato, one of the most famous ships of the Combined Fleet and, from what I can tell, one of the more popular characters from the series. Let’s take a look at her.
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Eucliwood Hellscythe from Is This a Zombie? (Bunny Version)

Eucliwood Hellscythe from Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?

I always like receiving FREEing’s bunnygirl figures. Sure, none of them are exemplars of precision craftsmanship and they are invariably a colossal pain in the ass to photograph, being that all of my backdrops are constructed for smaller figures, but their titanic size commands attention. Their outfits – generally a leotard and fishnet pantyhose ensemble – are also attractive, and even the bunny ears are kinda growing on me. This particular figure features its own unique cachet in that it’s one of only a couple figures – that I am familiar with, anyway – of Eucliwood Hellscythe, the quiet necromancer from Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?, or Is This a Zombie? The other one is some midget Beach Queens figure so it doesn’t count. Arguably this one shouldn’t count either, being that neither her sunny disposition nor her outfit really fit her, but it’s not like Eu has many more figures to pick from, and so beggars can hardly be choosers.
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Mary Stuart from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere II

Mary Stuart from Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere II

Despite its impressive array of attractive characters, there still aren’t that many figures from Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. What few there are are distributed by a wide variety of companies, and that means that those few figures comprise a myriad of looks, styles, poses, and sizes. Further, for some reason or another many of those figures were not sold through normal retail channels. Such was the case for Mary Stuart; she was supposed to be a Dengeki Fan Shop exclusive or somesuch, but HLJ stocked this figure and that’s where I bought her from. That was a fortunate thing, as I wasn’t inclined to get this figure if I needed to put in a special order, but since I have her, let’s take a look at her.
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Peace Keeper Daisy from Tony’s Heroine Collection

Daisy from Tony's Heroine Collection

Many figure companies have made figures of Tony’s artwork. In recent times, many of those figures were based off of characters designed for existing properties; Sega’s Shining series, the Vocaloid image character lineup, and eroge like Fault!!, for instance. This figure is a bit unusual in that, although she comes from a very big toy company known for making figures of well-known characters from popular game and anime franchises, Daisy is, as far as I can tell, an original character whose sole earlier appearance was on the cover of the artbook Girls! Girls Girls! 9 ~Decoration Girls~. That title might suggest that the book is full of naughty pictures but it’s actually quite tame, with illustrations contributed by artists like Kantoku, Hiro Suzuhira, Oyari Ashito, and of course, Tony Taka. I’m not sure what “peace keeper” denotes – Daisy looks neither aggressive enough nor adequately dressed to conduct peacekeeping operations – but I’ll assume there’s some meaning to the title. In the meantime, let’s take a look at our heroine.
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My Five Favorite Figures of 2013 & Year-End Thoughts

2013 is on the verge of twerking its way into memory and of course, that means it’s time for a customary year-end list. Such lists often purport to rank the best things of the nearly-departed year, but that’s not the case for this particular list. Rather, this list contains my favorite figures, which means I speak for nobody but myself and I rate solely by a single criterion: how much I liked the figure. Hype, popularity amongst the collecting community, and manufacturer reputation count for nothing here. We’ll also talk a little bit about the year that was in figure collecting; without further ado, let’s jump in.
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Preorder Outlook XXXI

2013 is almost over, which means that the usual end-of-year favorite figures post is due soon. Being that I’m still not sure which figures belong on the list or in which order I should place them, we’ll first take a look at some figures that I’m thinking of ordering.
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Kuroyukihime from Accel World (Death by Embracing Version)

Kuroyukihime from Accel World

Sometimes, I buy figures because I like the character, or because I like the series or game that she comes from. Those figures tend to be the most meaningful to me, but that’s not to say that familiarity automatically elevates a figure in my esteem. As an example in counterpoint, I know a bit about Saber, I’m a fan of Saber’s personality and I have a ton of Saber figures, but while I like them, I wouldn’t really describe any of them as treasures of my collection, aside maybe from gangsta lean Saber, and that’s mainly because she looks so damn peculiar. (Speaking of Saber figures, I’ve got that one with the motorbike still boxed up in my closet, where it’s been sitting for around 17 or 18 months.) Also, that’s not to say that not knowing much about a character means that I view it with less warmth than would otherwise be the case – even if I loathe the game or show that she stars in. Indeed, if the figure looks really cool, unfamiliarity is no impediment to appreciation. Which brings us to this figure of Kuroyukihime, a cute girl from a show I disliked so much that I dropped it fifteen minutes into its first episode. Despite my contempt for Accel World – or at least, its anime adaptation – I was very much looking forward to this figure. It’s not hard to see why.
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Rias Gremory from High School DxD (Pole Dance Version) (NSFW)

Rias Gremory from High School DxD

High school harem shows are a dime a dozen in anime, and most of them aren’t particularly memorable. That’s not to say that I think that most of them are bad or that I dislike them, though; actually, I’ve wound up liking quite a few such shows, even though I’m often predisposed to think of them as stale, generic, and vapid. One such show that I’ve taken a liking to is High School DxD, which, admittedly, includes many aspects I do not like about anime but leaves out a couple of notable tropes, greatly improving its standing in my view. Furthermore, it features an engaging cast of attractive characters – particularly female characters. One such character is Rias Gremory, the lead girl, and that’s who we are going to look at today.
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Kitana from Mortal Kombat (Pop Culture Shock Version)

Kitana from Mortal Kombat

As an even cursory inspection will make obvious, this site focuses mostly on figures from Japanese anime culture, and so we don’t spend too much time looking at figures made for white people. Every now and then, though, we’ll make an exception. Today is such a day; here we’ll take a look at Kitana, the ten thousand-year old princess of Edenia and leading lady of the Mortal Kombat series.
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