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Tomo Asama from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Zudon Miko Version)

Tomo Asama from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere

As we’ve noted before, there aren’t that many figures of characters from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, and those that do exist are mostly from relatively minor manufacturers. Fortunately, a couple of exceptions have been recently released: Alter’s Kazuno and Tomo Asama by Kotobukiya. This happiness is tempered by the realization that those two figures may be amongst the last figures from the series to be released (Wave has a Beach Queens Kimi Aoi scheduled to drop next month, and Volks is supposedly doing figures of Kimi and Kazuno, but who knows whether those will ever materialize). A sad state of affairs, that, and it appears that figure companies are moving on to the next big thing, such as Kantai Collection, which somehow feels a bit like it’s worn out its welcome before even having arrived. The only consolation is that if Tomo is the last Horizon figure to be made by a major figure company, she is at least a very fine one indeed.
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Kouko Kaga from Golden Time (PS Vita Version)

Kouko Kaga from Golden Time

Kouko Kaga is the lead female character of the light novel and anime series Golden Time. The show seems to have done reasonably well, having received a full 24-episode run along with the usual array of merchandise – posters, telephone cases, keychains, and so on – that accompany a popular series. However, it has yet to draw attention from figure companies, which is too bad, since the characters are both memorable and attractive. This particular figure of Kouko was not sold by itself; rather, it was a pack-in with the limited edition version of the PS Vita game Golden Time: Vivid Memories. That means that expectations need to be tempered, as such throw-in products are rarely as good as a figure that is sold by itself. However, it is to date the only figure of any Golden Time character, at least as far as I know, and I’m not aware of any upcoming figures depicting any members of the show’s cast. Again, that’s too bad, but I suppose one figure is better than none.
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Velvet Batrass from Shining Ark

Velvet from Shining Ark

In the anime figure world, Tony Taka is clearly the man of the moment, with Kotobukiya’s Daisy having generally received positive acclaim and with Native having recently put Touko on the Can up for preorder. Recently, however, it has been Alphamax who has shown the most enthusiasm for bringing Tony’s artwork into the three-dimensional world. In the last few months they’ve released not one, not two, but three figures based on his illustrations, including Iris, Rikka Himegami, and Velvet, the figure we’re looking at today. Velvet stands out a bit from her Skytube counterparts in that she is not an ero figure – unsurprising, being that she comes from a PSP game – and that she’s nominally a bit smaller than her catalog cousins. Nonetheless, I’m a big fan of Alphamax’s recent work, and I had high expectations for Velvet; happily, her quality is well in keeping with the standards set by her forebears.
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Konoe Tsuruma from Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!

Konoe Tsuruma from Nakaimo - My Sister is Among Them

Today we’ll take a look at another figure by FREEing. That’s three figures in a row; their overall level of quality might be equivocal but no one can cast aspersions on their profligacy. This character is Konoe Tsuruma and she is the lead heroine of yet another incest anime. She’s all wrapped up and showing everything off, so let’s oblige her and take a look.
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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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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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Irma from Queen’s Blade (NSFW)

Irma from Queen's Blade

The Queen’s Blade series has come a long way from its humble, game book-based origins. Over the last few years, it’s gotten several anime shows, a number of artbooks, numerous fan-made doujinshi, a few large-scale dolls from both Azone and Volks, and of course, a ton of figures. MegaHouse has been the most prolific producer of these, and their releases have progressed in roughly chronological order, starting with the original Queen’s Blade girls, moving on to the characters of Queen’s Blade Rebellion, and continuing with Alicia from the ongoing series Queen’s Blade Grimoire. Notably, they skipped over Irma, much to my chagrin, being that she is my favorite character in the Queen’s Blade series, and for a while, I thought that they would never make a figure of her. Happily, and much to my surprise, they reversed course earlier this year and finally released her and now I can stop whining about how figure makers don’t love Irma. (Figure collectors who happen to be Melpha fans, I know your pain and feel for you.)
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Mikan Yuuki from To Love-Ru Darkness (Precious Collection Version)

Mikan Yuuki figure

The harem high school comedy is a staple of contemporary anime. To Love-Ru is representative of the genre and, judging by its three seasons of shows, is one of the most popular examples of the type. However, despite its success – and its expansive and attractive female cast – it hasn’t gotten a lot of figures. The few that it has gotten come from a variety of manufacturers, several of them being rather less well-known. Such is the case with this figure of Mikan Yuuki; let’s take a look at it.
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Miku Hatsune from Vocaloid (Racing 2011 Version)

Miku Hatsune Racing 2011 figure by Good Smile Company

Another day, another Vocaloid figure. The Vocaloid phenomenon offers a little something for everyone. To amateur musicmakers, it is an empowering tool, giving them the ability to add vocals to their instrumental tracks. For artists, it is a source of inspiration for their illustrations. For companies, it’s a reliably fat cash cow – slap a Vocaloid image on a product or insert one of the characters into a video game and watch the units fly off the shelves. A few companies have taken this commercial exploitation to another level; Sega, for example, loves throwing her into games that she has no business being in. And Good Smile Company too, who have made so many products featuring her likeness that she might as well be their mascot. At least in the case of their auto racing team, it seems that this is literally true, as this figure represents.
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Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

Yagyu Gisen figure by Alter

Many, many companies make figures of the characters from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, but nobody does it better than Alter. It has been a while since we’ve gotten a new figure of a core character, though; in fact, it’s been over a year since they released Naoe Kanetsugu. Charles d’Artagnan is still MIA, with not even a hint of a prototype sculpt, but presumably she’ll be along at some point in the future. In the meantime, today we will take a look at Gisen, the erotic seductress whose fiery passion and icy resolve conceal a variety of secrets.
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