Preorder Outlook VII

I like to do preorder posts every three months or so, and as it’s been exactly three months since my last such post, today is an auspicious day to write one up. While putting this list together, I was surprised to find that there aren’t any Alter figures that I’m looking forward to that I didn’t list in the previous post, and that there are five Good Smile Company figures in the list despite me having not bought a single figure that GSC released this year thus far. There’s not a single Max Factory PVC figure in the list either, though as they seem to mainly do Figmas these days, that’s not too surprising. As usual, most of the pictures come from Hobby Search, my favorite figure store.


Kyoko Kaneda from Personnel Section Drop
This office lady seems like the sort of figure I’d preorder instantly, but I haven’t done so yet, and I’m not sure if I will. I like everything about this figure but the coloring; I don’t really dig the pinkish-red hair and salmon suit, and I’m hoping Orchid Seed will chuck out a recolored version. They’ve done three versions of their Hustler and Rider figures, so I think there’s a reasonable chance it’ll happen.

Kaori Saeki from Bible Black
I’ve got Kaori preordered. She’s 1/6 scale, which means she’s out of scale with fellow classmate Shiraki, but that’s okay; she’ll be the right size for the president, and her pose will make photography very easy. Her school uniform looks a little shabby, but I’m not buying her for her to keep her clothes on, anyway. Akibahobby has the pictures of her sans uniform. One odd thing about her; she looks like she has some huge hands. Those are some thick sausage fingers, too. Kinda strange for an anime girl, but maybe not so strange given the sort of anime she comes from.


Kyou Fujibayashi from Clannad
I’ve got Kyou preordered too, and this’ll be my second figure of her. The first also had her in her gym suit with a confident smirk on her face, but this version shows her a good bit more vulnerable. And on all fours. And she’s 1/6 scale. I’m thinking the same idea that’ll work for Saeki will work for Kyou. Yeah, it won’t be original but hey, I monitor this site’s traffic stats, I know what y’all perverts want.

Tamaki Kousaka from Manaka de Ikuno!! Final Dragon Chronicle
It’s another Tamaki figure. Kaitendoh’s Tamaki is one of the most popular pages on this site, and the picture of her with the president and US flag might be my most-downloaded photo. It’s even been posted on Danbooru, though it got deleted pretty quickly. That reminds me, I still need to review Max Factory’s Tamaki; maybe I’ll trot out the commander in chief for that one, too, since my Kaitendoh review isn’t really that great. Anyways, this version of Tamaki is a bit different than most, dolling up the fiery redhead in a belt, boots and battle bikini ensemble. She reminds me a lot of Lightning Warrior Raidy, which I enjoyed, so I’m looking forward to this figure. I’m hoping they also do a figure of Sasara in this vein; Sasara’s outfit looks a lot like Tyris Flare from Golden Axe, which is really cool.

Nanoha Takamachi from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
This is one of Good Smile Company’s actsta figures, which are 1/8 scale action figures. I’m not really certain how poseable they are or whether they’re any good overall, but I’m gonna preorder this figure anyway. Not because I care much for Nanoha – I don’t – but I know somebody who does. And when she gets here, Nanoha’s got a date with the foot-long Mothra larva. And the Master Chief. And some mysterious guests. Getcha condensed milk ready.

On an unrelated note, while I’m generally unfamiliar with the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha franchise as a hole, Nanoha’s coolness rating has gone way up in my view after she’s changed up her weapon’s appearance to what appears to be a gigantic three meter-long hand cannon. And gotten older. I approve.


Nadeko Sengoku from Bakemonogatari
Despite the considerable amount of hype and esteem Bakemonogatari gets, I haven’t seen it and don’t really know anything about it. Nadeko is very cute, though, so I’ve preordered her. I really like her hat. I don’t like the removable legs gimmick so much, since she’d look very odd with amputated legs while placed next to all my full-bodied figures on my shelf. I’ll probably use the amputated legs to take a couple of photographs and then toss them back in the box and forget about them.

Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2
Every Saturday during the fall, I tune in to watch my alma mater’s football team. And inevitably, I wind up disappointed because my school’s football team really sucks and we haven’t been any good in years. We got beat by a I-AA team last year, and we’re headed for the bottom of the standings this year. There’s some good individual players on the team, and we’ve got a lot of alumni in the NFL, but on the whole, the team stinks. And yet I watch every game because I’m an idiot like that.

That’s also kinda how I feel about this version of Tamaki. I’ve got one figure by BEAT, which isn’t all that great, and I also know of their Chouun Shiryu figure, which was also pretty bad. This figure of Tamaki is going to suck, I know it. And yet I can’t help but like it. It looks great in the promo photos. She’s got some great curves. She’s got a great rack and a great butt. BEAT will somehow find a way to screw things up but I can’t help but preorder Tamaki anyway.

Lily from Vocaloid
Yet another Vocaloid figure and I think I like this one the best out of all of them, so far. She’s got a very nice body and looks like she’s got a bit of attitude, which is a welcome change from all the generic Miku figures I’ve seen.

Yagyu Jubei from Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls
Yagyu Jubei has accomplished the impressive feat of having three figures of her announced before her anime was even broadcast. This version is perhaps the most risque, as she is wearing not pants, not panties, but a bandaid. Racy. I’ve got this figure preordered from Toyslogic, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll be able to fulfill it.


Eleanor Mercer from Honey Blonde
I can’t say I’m all that impressed by the quality of this figure. The hair paint looks really flat, her navel isn’t very convincing, and she’s got the same salmon-colored clothes that Orchid Seed’s other figure has. And yet, I’m gonna preorder this one. How can I not?

Super Sonico from Nitro Plus
Yamato has a couple of Super Sonico products coming up, this figure and a vmf50 doll. Actually, there are two version of this figure, one with just the girl and one with the girl and a guitar and a refrigerator and a teddy bear. Those extras will cost you over fifty bucks, which I don’t think is worth it, so I’m just gonna preorder the girl. I might’ve rolled with the other one if the guitar were a Jackson or something but it’s not.

Black Cat from Spider-Man
My main complaint with Kotobukiya’s first few Marvel Bishoujo figures was their small size. Listed as 1/8 scale, they were more like 1/9 or 1/10. It appears that Kotobukiya has gotten the message since starting with Felicia Hardy here, they’re bumping up the size to 1/7. This rendition of the Black Cat makes her look very young; she’s got a lithe, spindly body build and kind of a flat butt, which makes her look very girlish. It’s a pretty cool look so I might get this one.

Junko Hattori from Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou
Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou doesn’t seem to have made a huge impression on the anime fanbase, at least outside of Japan, but I guess it did well enough that fundoshi-clad tsundere girl Junko Hattori got her own Queen’s Gate book. And like many of the Queen’s Gate girls, she also gets her own figure, though this one comes courtesy of Good Smile Company rather than MegaHouse or Kotobukiya. Like many castoff-able figures, her sculpt is a compromise between looking good while clothed and looking good while nude, and GSC has gone with the former; she looks a bit anorexic with her clothes off. However, her ass is in full view even with her clothes on, so I don’t mind. She’s a limited release like all of the Queen’s Gate figures but I’ve got her paid for already.

Kaguya Nanbu from Super Robot Wars OG Saga Endless Frontier
It’s another figure by Volks of the buxom princess. The first was okay but not spectacular, and I don’t know that this one will be, either. Nonetheless, I’ve paid for it too. The tits did it. I really can’t turn them down. Unfortunately, she’s 1/8 scale rather than 1/7 like the first Kaguya Nanbu figure so she’s out of scale with another version of herself from the exact same manufacturer, which I don’t really understand, but that’s the way love and life go.


Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Here’s the fourth of GSC’s actsta figures from the Nanoha series, and presumably she’ll sell the best out of all of them. I’m going to order this figure since there’s not much point in getting Nanoha without also buying Fate to backstab her. I mean, to work alongside her. Crap, what did I just say? Oh, and it doesn’t look like Fate’s suit has a thong back which is kind of messed up, since it’s canon. Canon, I tell you.

Ziska from Brandish
I was a bit surprised to see Orchid Seed make a figure from one of Kill Time Communication’s ero-manga, since KTC’s stuff is a bit hardcore, but here’s Ziska replicating her pose from the cover of volume 2. I’m not sure if I’m going to get this one; for some reason, I’ve got a bad feeling about how it’s going to turn out. And it’s sorta sucky how her thong doesn’t seem to go all the way around. I’ve also got a feeling I’ll cave in sooner or later. Incidentally, I don’t think the Brandish that Ziska comes from has any relation to the Falcom video games but I could be wrong on that.


Ms. Marvel from the Avengers
After they announced Psylocke, I had hoped that Kotobukiya would do a figure of Ms. Marvel, and here we have the superheroine, Air Force officer, and rape victim in all her glory. She looks absolutely fantastic, with a great backside and a solid action pose. Trivia note: Shunya Yamashita is actually the second Japanese artist to produce official art of Ms. Marvel. The first was Sana Takeda, who worked as the series artist of Ms. Marvel’s solo book through much of the second half of its run. She also drew this controversial cover of Heroes for Hire #13, which a bunch of wimps cried and shouted over. Chumps. I don’t understand what they were fussing over, personally.

Wonder Woman from DC Comics
Kotobukiya is also doing figures of DC Comics heroines. I’m not a fan of DC’s books, but I do like Wonder Woman’s look. I’m not really sure why her navel is visible through her belt or why her neck is so long, but she looks very nice anyway. I’m gonna have to think about this one, but it definitely has its charms.

Saber Alter from Fate/stay night
If you look through Hobby Search’s product page, you’ll see the following comments:

“this figure is a halloween joke.”
“Not again a fighting Saber! So boring!”
“feels bland to be honest.”

I don’t get it. This figure looks like one of the best of 2011. I think it looks like one of the best Sabers ever made and one of the best figures Good Smile Company has ever produced. Heck, I think it looks like one of the best figures ever, period. I guess I must be missing something. Anyway, I’ve got Saber Alter preordered and I can’t wait for her.

Chie from the Art of Ishikei
Chie is another figure that I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time, and I’d have preordered her except the Tokyo Hunter guy is not responding to my e-mails. And he hasn’t updated his website in a long time. Does anybody know where the Tokyo Hunter guy is? He’s not dead, is he? Cuz if he is, it’s gonna be really hard for me to get my money back on Junko and Kaguya. Hopefully he turns up before preorders are closed off because otherwise, I’ll have to get Chie off of Yahoo Japan or something and I would prefer to avoid that.

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139 Responses to Preorder Outlook VII

  1. Marcucho says:

    Hi again dude!
    good choices tier, many of the figures are what I would like to buy me more ….no doubt that we like the same figures jajajajajaa

    you know what? have you heard about these figures?


    I think they should be on your list

    -fortunately i preordened Elsa from E2046 , she is really wonderful, gorgeous! jajajaja
    – The second one is really good too
    -The last one… i cant wait! jajajajaja

    What do you think?!


    • Tier says:

      No doubt indeed, I think my tastes are a little outside the mainstream but it is always good to see that other people look for the same things in figures that I do. I’m hoping that Daiki Kougyou will do a version of Elsa; I think there’s a good chance that they will since they often pick up Diskvision’s work for mass manufacture. And I’m definitely looking forward to Dizzy; it’s probably the figure that I want the most (even if MegaHouse or someone miraculously announces an Irma figure). And I’m interested in Orchid Seed’s version of Sonico, but as Yamato is getting theirs out first, I might just stick with their’s.

  2. Shashin says:

    You know, I came into this entire post excited to talk about the new Native figure that covers one of my favorite artists, Ishikei! And you beat me to it. 😛 I actually just became aware of the figure a few days ago and still don’t know how I think about it; I absolutely love Ishikei’s art style when it comes to doujinshi and the facial expressions are very unique but I believe they work very well. Seeing it in a 3D figure though seems a bit weird, so I’m still not sure if I want to go for it; as far as I understand I still have some time to decide.

    As for Bakemonogatari I watched a few episodes but couldn’t really get into it. I really liked the main heroine, but from what I’ve heard, what makes the show great is all the references/word play, which I feel I’m missing out on.

    I think I’ve decided that once I move into a new area (still looking for a place) I’ll start up my dakimakura site; I’ve figured out how I’m going to introduce it. I’ll hang up all the dakimakura and take a few shots then upload them to the site as a teaser of things to come until I sort out exactly how I want to go about it. NoReal finally released production shots of a new dakimakura; this one of another K-On girl, but it looks fantastic. I think I’ll ask SMJ to place an order for two (thinking I’ll go cat girl with clothes/juices and normal without clothes/with juices)

    • Tier says:

      Haha, yeah, I’ve had on my eye on Chie for months. Maybe even a year, Native’s been teasing her for a long time, kinda like how GSC has been teasing people with their Rin Tohsaka figure. I did come across a post on the Tsuki-board page where one commenter noted that she’s got a big-ass seam around her left shoulder, as you can see here. I’m not really sure what’s up with that. I’m still gonna see if I can find a way to order her, anyway and even if I can’t, I can probably just get her from a US retailer, since it seems like they have no problem getting Native figures.

      I heard the same thing about that show, and I’m pretty sure I’d miss out on most of the stuff that makes it clever. It’s kinda how I felt when I was playing Zanjibaru; part of the story is rooted in Japanese mythology, which I know nothing of. Like I was looking at the translator wondering what the hell a “lawnmower sword” was until I punched it into a romaji converter and found that it referred to the Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi, an old-ass Japanese sword. It’s gonna be tricky trying to write up the plot summary for that part.

      That sounds like a cool idea. I recall when I finally decided to kick off this site and start up a figure review blog, I registered the domain name, picked a theme, and then had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. If you look at my Nora Stuart review (NSFW), you can tell I pretty much had no clue what I was doing in both taking pictures and writing reviews, and it took me a long time to find a format that I liked.

      I wonder when that BRS dakimakura cover I ordered will be released … if I remember right, the product page says it was scheduled to ship in mid October. I ordered through M-World, so I hope he gets it and the Nanoha pillowcase soon.

  3. Shashin says:

    Yeah, I really hope the Rin Tohsaka figure gets released sooner than later… I think I’ll hold off on going through a proxy for Chie; as you said, US retailers seem to acquire them easily enough. I’ll probably end up paying a good bit more for it, but I’m not even sure if I want it at this point, so I don’t mind waiting. And a massive amount of dakimakura that I want have been released for preorder in the last day or two… so I’m going to be spread even thinner when it comes to secondary interests (I fully realize at this point that I want to focus on dakimakura and maybe doujinshi.)

    I want to pick up two from this blog:

    The K-On and Asobi Ni Iku Yo covers; I’d like the two character one too, but apparently it was a limited release and the only one on YHJ is listed by fwisy for 400/600. No thanks. I came across this circle the other day which was fairly funny consider I already own two of their covers (Kampfer/Evangelion.) Then there are a couple other that I’m actively pursuing and more are constantly announced (such as the NoReal earlier today.) Why must they all cost over $150? T_T

    Oh, and on the subject of Asobi Ni Iku Yo, I recently watched it. Know cat girls are a big turn off for you, but I’m highly anticipating the DVD set to release today with episodes 3/4. The episodes had a crazy amount of censored fan service in the broadcast versions and I’m expecting quite a lot from the DVD. Was a mildly entertaining series if you can put aside your hate for cat girls and terrible, terrible male leads.

    It will be a few months at best before I get the website up, but I think an image that encompasses 40+ (conservative estimate >_>) dakimakura covers would drum up a lot of hype… at least as far as something can be hyped in a very small niche of a rather small community by word of mouth alone… so I might get like 10 visitors in the time I put up the photos and actually decide what I want to do with the site (a few months probably.)

    M-World is looking even more painful these days with the way the yen has been going. Granted I haven’t tried any other services, but at least with SMJ their fees are in USD and unless it’s a really big order, shipping costs are often times a bit cheaper (even factoring in the cost from them to you… unless you have a big bulky order.. paid $80 for my last batch of dakimakura via first class.)

    • Tier says:

      I notice dakimakura cover prices seem to be going up. They used to be around 10,500 for the doujin stuff but now I’m seeing a bunch at 13k or more. It really sucks, particularly given the way the exchange rate has cratered.

      It’s pretty tough for me to get over the animal ears. I can kinda do it for Strike Witches since they don’t always have them, there’s no milquetoast male invertebrate in the cast and I like mecha girls and military stuff. Who knows though, I’ve changed my mind before.

      Haha, yeah … one thing I’ve noticed about my site’s web traffic is that I don’t have any real control over it. It comes and goes, and the first couple months this site was up, it got pretty much no hits at all.

      Yeah, I may try rolling with a combination of Yokatta and SMJ for most of my purchases. I do have a level of trust with M-World so that if I think I’m buying something questionable, I might roll with his service for it, though.

  4. Sloth says:

    Imagine if you were living in Australia. I’m pretty sure 90% of the above won’t make it past customs. It’s not a problem for me however because I don’t have much interest in most of the ones you seem to like. What you said about the highest hits and such got me thinking, do you find that your choice in figures these days are influenced by the potential amount of hits it may generate on this site of yours? If so, how much does that weigh in to your purchase decisions? I’m genuinely curious as I’m sure it’s as issue that will arise with a popular site like yours because like you said some draw in much more visitors than other reviews.

    Sorry for being slightly off-topic, I simply can’t come up with much to talk about regarding the figures you listed.

    • Tier says:

      I would rather not imagine that, I am quite comfortable here in the DC suburbs, where there aren’t any poisonous snakes or jellyfish and there is little risk of me being punched out by a kangaroo. Though we do have cicada swarms every 17 years, which I completely missed the last time it happened. I was pretty disappointed by that.

      Nah, I don’t directly think about traffic when I buy a figure. I monitor my site’s stats closely, but I don’t care a great deal for what the statistics actually represent. I’m not really active on any other figure-collecting board or community other than occasionally uploading a photo to Tsuki-board and I don’t really do anything to promote this site. I’ve actually got a suspicion that my porno figures may hurt traffic overall, since I know of at least a couple workplaces that’ve blocked my site, I’m filtered out of Google Images unless the search filter is disabled, and I’m uncertain whether Google penalizes keywords like “nsfw.”

      What I do think about is whether I can photograph a figure in an interesting manner; I’ve bought some figures that I might not otherwise have bought because they presented an opportunity to be creative and that sometimes draws a larger amount of traffic, but I don’t specifically account for that when I decide to order.

  5. Fabienne says:

    Interesting that some figures which recently catched my interest made it to your pre-orders,I like a little bit ecchi figures a lot , but well unfortunately Im not as brave as you in some cases. XD

    Kyou Fujibayashi
    Im not sure if I should order her, too
    The pose and her outfit make her really alluring.

    Tamaki Kousaka
    Ehh! not the white version? ;D
    Well from behind I like her but she has really too big boobs for me.

    Yagyu Jubei
    Indeed a very cool one, if she had a closed mouth I would have tried to get her for sure.

    Eleanor Mercer
    A blonde with nice curves and a lovely face with freckles.
    I’m very close to order her, but can I display such a big bare boobed figure?
    *damn* she looks so nice =D

    Super Sonico
    I ordered her as well.
    She’s a highly anticipated figure of mine since her gray prototype from Wonfes.
    It would be very nice if her face turns out like that in the latest preview shots.

    Black Cat
    The first Marvel Bishoujo figure which catched my interest.
    I like her young appearance the pose let appear her butt a bit flat, thats true.
    the base looks some kind of strange maybe its not the final version.

    Yeah her face is very pretty, but this pose is a totally no go for me pretty daring.
    I would die of embarrasement if I would have to pick her up personally from the customs office XD

  6. Ashlotte says:

    Better hope that skirt of Nano’s strips off otherwise I’m not sure how Ero of a pose you can get out of her. :p

    And damn this is a long list…

    Holy shit @ Saeki though…She’s not much to look at with the clothes on but they really did an absurd job on her paint. Very very detailed…Love how they got the flesh tones looking and the body sculpt is…damn…Be looking forward to that review!!!

    Samurai Tama-nee is ok, but like you said gimme Sasara in that bikini warrior get up she has in the game! Several other sets of armor on some of the gals that I’d kill for but sadly they seem to be sticking with the boring ones so far (Seriously Manaka? Ugh could you pick anymore of a frumpy character…)…shame.

    Other then that Sonico is about the only other one that really grabs my attention…Some great little ques in her design that speak highly of the original artist/sculptor.

    Oh and your gonna order that brandish figure…you know you are…Shame they didn’t put much detail at her crotch considering its the focal point…Could at the very least use as chag seems to have termed it “The Moist Effect”.

    • Tier says:

      There are ways. I already have most of the scenario planned out in my sick, sick brain. I do not believe the skirt will be a major hindrance.

      Yeah, I’m not digging Manaka so much either. I saw that Volks is also doing figures of the To Heart/Final Dragon Chronicle characters so if Kotobukiya passes on Sasara, maybe Volks will oblige.

      I’m certain I will. I don’t think my misgivings are as strong today as they were yesterday. Regardless of how I think the figure is going to turn out, it’s really hard for me to turn down a pose like that.

  7. Aka says:

    Saeki’s hands are huge, it’s terrible, that’s all I see is man hands. She’s the chick from Seinfeld! Oh god…

    Kyou, damnit stop wearing the gym uniform. I’m not a fan, I’ve never been a fan of the buruma, it’s a terrible piece of clothing, I much prefer shorts actually. But Kyou wore some cute outfits in the series, why can’t any of these be made? I know they’re less pervy or fetishistic but damnit they’re cute!

    Ehhh… more Nanoha crap… I do approve of that large weapon though in that link, quite the item. Well, I look forward to your first? attempts with condensed milk. Related note, I wish figmas were 1/8th scale, I think I do anyway. Could get just that extra little bit of detail on to them like 1/8th scale figures.

    Nadeko, I’ve been debating how I’ll display her. I think I may actually display her amputated because of the scene that’s supposed to be created but I really will have to wait until I receive her to tell. Somewhat surprised you ordered her, she is wonderful looking but seems more against your type. I really enjoyed Bakemonogatari and can’t wait for it to come out on bluray, or some of the other stories to be told.

    More Tamaki… Why, why can’t they stop. Doesn’t she have enough figures? And my word, those breasts are enormous. I find this figure repulsive…

    Jubei, I remember being intrigued by this figure when I saw shots of it from WF2010S, but I’m over it now. She’s not that interesting to me anymore.

    Black Cat’s a surprise to me, I saw the figure posted elsewhere and didn’t know who she was. She’s a very cute figure and I like the girlish attributes for sure. Most American comic book characters do not appeal to me, like Wonder Woman they’re generally too ‘womanly’. Black Cat seems more my style, I almost want to order her actually. I’ll have to take a second look at some different angles before I actually consider it. I suspect she’s still got the American style bust but how big I’m not sure yet.

    I watched Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, it was entirely forgetable. I think I’d rather have a figure of the red headed girl who kept leaving her clothes behind and being naked.

    Surprised you’re not getting Ziska right off the bat. Orchid Seed seems to like the disappearing panty thing, and they pull it off terribly. I hated that effect on my Ameri figure by them, it just looks wrong. I like Ziska’s hair though, it seems to go everywhere like the tentacles of a tentacle monster before they attack. I don’t get the wings being so level though in that pose…

    Those comments about Saber Alter are just stupid. I can’t understand what they possibly mean, unless they were commenting on a place holder image before release shots or something. I’m never one to rate a figure number one anything because I never can, but Saber Alter does look well done and I look forward to her. One thing that’s been bugging me though about her, I think with the other figures the armour looks like armour, but Saber Alter’s seems to bend with her more like a piece of clothing. It’s not unattractive, but it also doesn’t seem quite right.

    I knew you’d order Chie, hopefully you get her. Interesting they gave her panties, not once did I ever see those in any shots at the various events. But I guess they had to give her some modesty… if you can call it that.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, dem is some huge hands. She looks like she could palm a basketball. It’s pretty weird to see such big hands on an anime chick, I usually don’t pay much attention to hands but Saeki’s stand out so prominently.

      I love bloomers, or any sort of spandex athletic wear. I’d love it if someone made figures of girls in trackwear, or gymnastics uniforms or something.

      I’d really like it if Figmas were bigger, too. That’s the main reason I don’t buy very many of them, though I might get KOS-MOS just because she looks pretty cool. If I do, she’ll probably just get tossed on top of the Figma pile on my shelf, though … I don’t really play with the ones I have all that much.

      Yes, more Nanoha crap! I can’t get enough of them. I guess I might need to watch some of the TV show so I can write reasonably plausible dialogue for my story idea.

      If Nadeko were more covered up I don’t think I would’ve gotten her, but I like the combination of swimsuit with big hat. The big hat is really cute, I like it a lot.

      I was sorta uncertain on Black Cat and I think I still am, though that’s partially because I’m not all that familiar with her since she’s sort of a B-list character in the Marvel pantheon and I’m mainly familiar with her incarnation in Ultimate Spider-Man. I hope neither she nor Ms. Marvel will have leaning problems, since it doesn’t look like they’re supported very well.

      I got through the first third of Ichiban, I guess I liked it from a fanservice perspective, and there was a bit of nice violence there too, and I definitely liked Junko’s ass. The red hair girl, I remember her, I think her name was Keena or something, I remember she had a cute obsession with rice which I could understand, since I was one of the few people in my dorm in college with a rice cooker.

      Yeah, I’ve been kinda underwhelmed by some of the figures Orchid Seed has put out. Some of them, like the Hustler and Rider, are really good, and some of them, like the Lineage II elf, aren’t as fantastic as they should be. I kinda think I ought to cut down on the amount of stuff I buy since I’m running out of room.

      Saber Alter’s breastplate does look kinda like it’s flexing there along her sides. I dunno, maybe those comments are a backlash against her popularity or something. I know I’ve made my share of critical remarks regarding nendoroids and BRS stuff.

      The panties on Chie kinda surprised me, since Native seems to have no problem with all-out nudity. Maybe they had to offer some sort of modesty option so it wouldn’t get seized by customs inspectors across the world or something; that’s not something I think much about but it seems like mail services in a lot of other countries are kinda stringent about what they’ll allow.

      • Aka says:

        The closest thing to spandex I can remember that I like is either thighhighs or plugsuits… oh swimsuits I suppose as well. But leotards and bloomers and spandex shorts really aren’t my thing, unless the spandex shorts have a skirt over top of them, then it’s stylin’ 80s.

        I liked Nadeko as she is, but after Ashlotte reminded me that she needs her pants way back when, her appeal actually dropped for me. I really do thinks he needs her trademark pants, they were cute. They could be removable and she could have the swimsuit under or something, I dunno but the pants should have been added.

        I wonder what happens at customs when something is prohibited, do they just send it back and you get a notice it wasn’t allowed in. Or do they arrest you or something? Suppose that depends on what you’re importing and where you live. I imagine if I imported tasers and marked them action figures like many Canadians seem to be doing right now, I might get into a bit of trouble.

        • Tier says:

          I’m unfamiliar with Nadeko’s pants, and while I generally support anime girls in pants – I kinda wonder why we don’t see more anime girls in jeans – if the choice is a swimsuit or pants, I’m going with swimsuit all the way.

          I’m not sure what happens … the only instance I’ve ever heard of someone getting arrested was the famous Handley case. Oh, and I guess people get arrested for trying to smuggle in drugs all the time. I’m not even sure how thorough Customs is, most of my packages get processed so quickly that I can’t imagine that they spent much time looking at my stuff if they even bothered, which I really doubt.

  8. Halbred says:

    Kaguka Nanbu = WIN. If I find this, I may also pick it up. I actually don’t like how Kotobukiya is protraying Black Cat. She usually more voluptuous and looks like a pin-up from every angle, but I think this sculpt makes her look like a teenager. I do like the base, though. I’m totally picking up Ms. Marvel and Wonder Woman, though (I share your sentiments about the latter’s bellybutton). What did you think of their Catwoman? Personally, I like it, and not just for the skin. It’s a dynamic pose with a cool base, and a very Adam Hughes costume.

    And Eleanor Mercer? DAMN.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, Black Cat’s look seems a little incongruous to me, especially since in Ultimate Spider-Man, Felicia Hardy was a grown woman who got nauseous when she realized she was macking on a high school boy. I guess I’ll chalk that up to the anime effect. I’m kinda surprised they didn’t give Ms. Marvel high heels like they did with pretty much all of the bishoujo figures, but while I usually like hooker heels, I think it looks pretty good here; Carol actually looks really close to her actual comic book appearance. Though I guess her hair is usually more of a yellowish blonde than the sandy color they’re going with. I like their Catwoman a lot as well, though to be honest, since I don’t read any DC books, when I think of Catwoman, I always think of Michelle Pfeiffer’s blonde hair and slashed-up black catsuit from Batman Returns. I’m less fond of the goggles and the purple suit. Man she’s got a nice backside though. And man I really like how her suit is unzipped. I’ll have to think about her too. It’s a good thing these Marvel/DC bishoujo statues are really cheap compared to a lot of other anime figures.

  9. Kaori Saeki: Was thinking about getting Saeki since doing the review of Shiraki, but the pose and look of this Saeki just doesn’t seem right to me. Her face look a little wide, compared to the game art / anime.

    Yagyu Jubei: Ordered this from TL too! Hope they come through – damn exclusive figures! I thought she had a cast off (really really short) skirt thing? The band-aid thing is a little odd though, considering other Queens Gate figures openly expose themselves with no issue?

    Kaguya Nanbu: Love the character design, I thought the first figure from Volks was pretty good, although the finish wasn’t the best. For some reason this pose doesn’t feel like Kaguya to me, still, I’d probably try to get one.

    Saber Alter: Really looking forward to this figure, I saw those comments too on HS and thought it rather odd people would say that. I think this is one of the best Sabers being released…

    Chie: Okay, so I have some Native figures already but I think this one is out of my league. LOL

    Overall, it looks like you’re gettinga decent haul in the upcoming months – can’t wait to see your reviews.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, Saeki doesn’t really look a lot like the official art … if she weren’t wearing her uniform, you might not even know she was Saeki unless someone told you. Saeki’s not one of my favorite characters from Bible Black, so I’m okay with that; this is one of those figures I’m getting solely for her looks.

      I think I might’ve gotten my second Collet figure from Toyslogic … I don’t recall if I got it from them or Toylet. They seem to be able to get limited-run figures, but I’ve also heard some less positive stories about their ability to fulfill preorders. I’m keeping my hopes up anyway.

      If people think Saber Alter isn’t interesting, I wonder what they’re gonna say about Rin Tohsaka … I saw her pictures today and I’m not impressed. I dunno how you go from awesome unpainted prototype to painted big bag of WTF (I’m still probably going to get her anyway, though.)

  10. BioToxic says:

    When I first saw the prototype of Junko Hattori I just knew I had to get her. Her cast-off looks amazing, I just hope the final production model is similar. I’ve got mine pre-ordered and paid for as well. While the anime was total tripe I did enjoy the character designs. Hobby Channel did a lot of promotion for Ichiban so it’s no surprise someone from that anime got added to the Queen’s Gate roster.

    I toyed with the idea of getting that Yagyu Jubei as well. But in the end I decided against it since I’m not a huge Samurai Girls fan… yet.

    • Tier says:

      I should get back to watching the anime, I’ve skimmed through the episode synopses and I guess it goes from futuristic high school harem show to uhh, ninjas? That kinda reminds me of Nanowrimo; if you write a story into a dead-end that you can’t get out of, one thing you can do is crash a spaceship full of ninjas right up your plotline’s ass. That’ll get any story moving straight away.

      I mainly like the show for Junko’s fundoshi. More anime girls should wear fundoshi. Though I’m less fond of the front flap.

  11. Alex says:

    I love that Miss Marvel figure and I admit I’m to close to order this one too.
    I also not a fan of Dc, except for the amazing Batman, but I sure love the design of Wonder Woman, and here must complain and say i’m a little desapointed ’bout her looks. The face don’t seem appealing and the proportions feel’s funny.

    Pta: What about the Catwoman statue? I’m still having some problems digesting her face, but the figure looks stuning

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, someone seems wrong with Wonder Woman’s shoulders, neck, and head. I’m not exactly sure what it is; her neck looks too long in some pics but I can convince myself that it’s okay in other pictures. I like her thighs, though; I kinda wish her shoulders and arms were a bit more muscular to match her lower body.

      Looking at the Catwoman photos, I’m thinking harder about picking her up … I don’t really know anything about her DC Comics character but she’s looking better and better the more I look at her.

  12. JessyP says:

    Can’t wait to see your photos of Saeki. should be great. Are you picking up bishoujo batgirl? Blackcat looks great. super cute and fun pose.

    • Tier says:

      I don’t think I will … I’m not a big fan of the gray, gold, and blue suit. I think I’d be more interested if they went more for the Cassandra Cain than Barbara Gordon look, though I guess they’d have to modify the cowl to show her face, since that’s one of the most distinctive aspects of Yamashita’s style. You know, the Bishoujo statues are looking really nice now, I ought to be hesitant about preordering them since the initial batch of Marvel figures fell well short of what they ought to have been, but these look much better than Kotobukiya’s first effort.

      • JessyP says:

        The Black Widow figure was great. The rest definitely meh. Speaking of Black Widow, any interest in the hot toys iron man 2 1/6 figure?

        • Tier says:

          I’m not sure, I like the figure but she looks like she has a blank, mannequin-like expression. Plus I haven’t seen the movies yet, strangely. There’s a ton of comic book movies I need to see still … Batman Begins, the Iron Man Movies, Wanted … I want to see all of these but I seldom have the attention span to sit down and watch a two-hour movie.

          I just remembered that the Iron Man anime is airing this season. I wonder if it’s any good?

  13. Cantan says:

    Oh looky there… another Fate figure… who would have thought?

    Have had to seriously scale back on my purchases recently – other costs are just too high. Am seriously considering allowing my preorder on Buddy to lapse – have just been hit with a $4,000 quote for my boiler and central heating system! The one item on your list that I am seriously considering is Lily – liked her the first time I saw her.

    Saber looks… alright. There do seem to be a lot of figures of her around at the moment, including with that variant. If they keep this up she may eclipse Kanu soon for sheer quantities on the market.

    Have a friend with a Spiderman obsession with a birthday in Feb. Black Cat might just do as a present!

    Have to ask though, have you had bad experiences with pre-orders or something? I tend to wait until a month before until I submit a pre-order and haven’t had any real trouble thus far. Committing to buy so far in advance would run the risk of being stuck buying things I no longer wanted etc. Have never really had any problems with items being unavailable by waiting.

    • Tier says:

      Who indeed! Though this one won’t have nearly as nice an ass as the other ones I’ve got, I think.

      Ouch, that sucks >.< That reminds me that I probably ought to get new tires and an alignment done on my car, I tend to push these things off and I've been pushing it off for over a year now. I wonder which character has the largest number of PVC figures. If it's not Kanu, I'd guess it's Tamaki Kousaka. And Saber has to be way up there, too. She's got a massive draw for a character spawned from a hentai game. Nah, I figure that I'm gonna buy these things anyway so I may as well put in my order just to make sure I get it. I haven't actually gotten around to ordering a lot of these figures just because I'm really lazy, though. I did get sorta burned by my procrastination in that I knew I was gonna preorder Buddy as soon as I saw her promo pics but I wound up being lazy and I missed out on Hobby Search's shipping discount promotion back during the summer since they shut down preorders. And of course, they opened up preorders again a month later. I've noticed that it seems less important to preorder stuff in recent months though; it used to be that figures sold out before they were even released but nowadays, you can get some good deals in bargain bins if you wait.

  14. Shashin says:

    So my Kenshin came today, strangely enough as I was playing Big Bang Age. I’m truly astounded by the size of her; she’s absolutely huge, and I now agree with you that 1/4 is God’s scale. However, her arm was broken off, so I have a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. 🙁 I might stop by a hobby store and pick up some glue, but I’m really not too handy with these things. Other than that, there are some minor paint blemishes that seem to be common on figures (black lines), but overall the figure looks great. Still disappointed about the broken arm, though.

    • Tier says:

      Damn, that blows >.< Was the break in an unobtrusive location? It's pretty easy to fix things with ordinary superglue (just make sure you test fit it before you apply the glue, and don't apply too much). The Rei Ayanami figure I purchased from them a while back arrived decapitated, but fortunately the break was below her collar so it was not noticeable.

      • Shashin says:

        Yeah, it looks like it should be fairly easy to fix. the break is a little uneven on both sides, but it’s up near the shoulder where the arm was attached to begin with; so it’s not like the arm was torn in half in a very unnatural break. I actually wondered if it was intended to begin with, because I opened the package and there’s a ton of foam over every piece and the main body is encased within a plastic bag… and the arm somehow managed to make it out of the plastic and be on the side of the other arm. So I really thought it was intended, but when I connected the arm in what I think is the proper position, while the body was still within the box, the box fit perfect around the arm. So I really have no idea how it happened, but it definitely wasn’t intended as far as I can tell.

        • Tier says:

          Ah, that’s good, at least. I saw a picture of one guy’s Jian Xue figure and one of her thumbs had broken off in transit, and I’d imagine that’s a much more difficult thing to repair. That’s one of the things I worry about with figures built from model kits, since they seem much more fragile than PVC figures; I recently got Volks’s Senhime figure and a couple pieces of her hair snapped off in the box, whereas I don’t recall ever getting a PVC figure with major damage.

          • Shashin says:

            Yeah, I’d imagine so. Who knows how th packages are treated during transit; despite having a massive fragile sign on the box, there was a couple large gashes on mine.

            Things have been really tight this month, so I did try to contact Hobby Search about canceling Tomoe, and they basically said “sorry, but no, cancel items that haven’t been released and under 20000 yen if you need to.” I can’t blame them though, it was my own stupidity that preordered the item and I’m more than willing to go through with the purchase.

          • Tier says:

            Ah, that’s unfortunate. I guess they’re pretty stringent on that. I suppose if someone really wanted to be a douche they could have their bank block the charge or they could never tender Paypal payment, but I’m sure that’d put him or her on a blacklist with the quickness.

            Yeah, my expenses are spiraling out of control this month as well. It’s mostly big-ass doll and camera stuff-related, though; I got some more bondage stuff for the big doll and Canon put out a new round of rebates, and I couldn’t control myself. I haven’t actually gotten many figures recently … I think Sasami was my last one and I’m not expecting another one for a couple of weeks at least. I’ve been busying myself playing through Zanjibaru so I can do a post on that and I’m hoping to get that out in a couple of days … reviewing an h-game is a helluva lot more work than I thought it’d be.

          • Shashin says:

            Yeah, it would be a pretty douchey move, but if I literally couldn’t pay, it’s what I’d have to do. Luckily I can afford it still, but the figure being pushed back a month into a really expensive month was harsh. It truly is a shame that they weren’t willing to budge, but I understand they have these policies for a reason, and I know I’d be absolutely screwed if they were stricter on cancellations as it is.

            I cancelled most of my figure preorders for this month, and most of them remaining got pushed back months. The only things set to drop this month as far as figures go are Tomoe, Sasami, and Selvaria. Then a couple magazines and tapestries to go along with that. I do everything at the end of month, as it’s usually easier to handle and cheaper on shipping.

            So it would be a fairly manageable month, but with all the dakimakura purchases and Kenshin… it’s really tough. Wouldn’t be so bad because I have the money, but when trying to get a loan… yeah, not so much.

            Speaking of eroge, I’ve been playing Big Bang Age for about two days, and it’s absolutely amazing. Think Sengoku Rance with a slightly tweaked combat system, more in depth nation management, a bit harder, and some great H scenes… with voices. Haven’t really uncovered more than a vague idea of the main story, but some of the side stories for the varioius characters/countries are good.

            So far the only thing that’s really bugging me is that most of the H scenes are a static image. The main character H scenes might have 2-3, but most are just 1. And it was really prominent in Rance to show the progression in love juice, but not this time. The screen still does the flash thing when the characters are wrapping up, but the CG on the screen doesn’t change. It’s a bit disappointing, though not the biggest deal, I guess.

  15. radiant says:

    That Junko figure looks freakin’ awesome! Definitely do want! Dang, I don’t know any proxy to order from, and Tokyo Hunter not replying makes me a little worried…
    What to do?!

    Black Cat looks very pretty too. Very attractive looking figure… plagued by the usual Kotobukiya display base. 🙁

    • Tier says:

      I wonder where Tokyo Hunter went. I wound up asking Yokatta Web to preorder Chie and it looks like they can do it, but I view proxy buyers kinda like automobile mechanics; if you find a shop that you trust and does good work, you stick with them. Hobbyfan appears to be taking preorders, although I do not know how good they are about fulfilling orders for Japan-exclusive items.

      That base is funky indeed, and the red is kinda bright. I really hope it’s sturdy because she looks like she’ll tip over very easily.

      • Cantan says:

        Did buy something from a Japanese guy off ebay a while back who was volunteering himself as a sort of proxy – don’t think he had much custom so he’s probably still fairly amateurish. Still if Tokyo Hunter isn’t responding, presumably all you need is a Japanese speaker and a Japanese address. I cannot vouch him as a proxy but I had absolutely no issues with the item I did buy off him. Give me a shout if you want to try him – have just asked him how much he would charge to act as a proxy – may be useful for future reference.

        As I said, no blaming me if it all goes tits-up!

        • Tier says:

          I actually ordered Chie off of Yokatta Web (whom I’ve had good dealings with recently) so I’m covered in that respect, but thanks for the offer, I appreciate that. Now I just need to wait for half a year for her to be released. Put that way, it’s kinda hard to justify paying the whole cost up front, but then again, with the way the exchange rate is cratering, it might be to my advantage.

  16. Tier says:

    >> Shashin
    Yeah, I don’t actually even know how many figures I’ve got preordered next month. I think it’s a lot. I probably should keep better track of them since I’m pretty sure it’s looking like a very expensive month.

    I finally finished writing up the plot summary for Zanjibaru, now I need to edit it down because I’m quite certain nobody is going to actually read it. Yeah, I’d find that sort of CG style to be disappointing as well; you already have to use your imagination for a lot of things when it comes to h-games but it’s preferable by far to at least be able to see the way that things wrap up.

  17. Shashin says:

    I unfortunately just cancelled a lot more figures for the coming months, including Saeki, Buddy, and no ass Asuka. Just really can’t afford to spend the money at the moment, and I’ll have three dakimakura coming in the next few months from SMJ. On the plus side, Saeki is fairly expensive and her uniform doesn’t look all that great, so I’m hoping she’ll hit the bargain bin. Don’t really have hope for the other two hitting it, but I do hope that I have a chance to pick up Buddy at a later date.

    Still, most of the CG is really nice. The main girls (I believe there are 6 total) probably have 10-15 CG a piece, if it continues at the rate it’s going at. Whereas all the others have 2-5, I’d say. Almost all start out as enemy characters, and most have a scene while they’re still an enemy and possibly a scene if you fail to recruit them before a certain point; then they usually have a scene as you work on their character clear (not quite the same way Rance worked, but similar.) While the finishing touches and lack of multiple CG during scenes is disappointing, there really is a nice variety of both characters and scenes; including at least one loli-tentacle scene.

    But as I mentioned, the game is worth it otherwise. I would have played Rance for just the gameplay; the mix of strategy and management has always been one of my favorite genres. If Rance had been a bit more complex, it would have been absolutely perfect; and this delivers. If you’re ever feeling the need to play a new eroge, I highly recommend it.

    As for Zanjibaru, I’d say keep as much as you can that doesn’t create more work for you. It’s an eroge review, so people might not read it anyway, as they do figure reviews. Then you might have people who just skip through to see the CG that you choose to post. But the remaining few (myself included) who choose to read the review will probably read the whole thing, no matter how much you write about it. Seeing as I probably won’t be playing the game myself unless it gets and English patch, the more I can gather from your review, the better.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, when the money is tight, I’m thinking figures ought to be the first thing to go. I could probably live fine without flatback Asuka and Saeki but I’m really looking forward to Buddy. I’d guess there’s a decent chance of both of those hitting the bargain bin; Daiki Kougyou’s figures are sorta an acquired taste it seems, and I’m not seeing a whole lot of love for that Asuka (even from myself).

      I might try that game out sometime, then, it’d be nice to play an eroge with gameplay. I liked Zanjibaru but it was a whole lotta reading and trying to figure out what was going on.

      Speaking of which, I finally got the review up, and it’s not quite as comprehensive as I had hoped it would be but I did a page estimate on it and I think it’d run around thirty to forty double-spaced pages, so I guess that’s not a bad thing. Yeah, I really doubt anyone’s gonna read it, but I’m fine with that … I really write this blog for myself and it’s always all about what I enjoy, not what I think other people want to see, so I have no problem at all spending a ton of time on stuff that nobody’s gonna ever look at.

  18. Shashin says:

    Yeah, especially since I prefer dakimakura these days, it’s really not a choice for me. I will keep up with magazines, though, since you never know what goodies they’ll have coming and the comic itself is actually pretty decent to flip through (screenshots on Jlist for this month’s Dengeki G Festival show a scene with Senhime, for example.)

    I actually really enjoy the straight visual novel format, but even though I’ll start many games, I make my way through very few. I was able to do Fate/Stay Night easily enough, and made it through two routes before I lost my save; since you have to play the routes in order, I haven’t made my way through the third. I’ve played through Clannad and really enjoyed it, but it took me awhile; Kanon I’m still going through at a snail’s pace. I’m sure there are others that I’ve completed, but none of them are really sticking to my mind right now, and there have been many, many others that I haven’t completed. My first dating sim was True Love, which I still go back to every now and then, as I like stat building and such; if more games had a system like that, I’d definitely play them. I played Raidy II, despite it having a fairly simple combat system and some frustrating mechanics… though no where near as bad as the first, which I didn’t finish. Finished Pretty Soldier Wars, which has a ton of tentacle/monster rape scenes, despite it having a terrible gameplay system, still it wasn’t too bad and only took 3-4 hours to finish. So despite enjoying visual novels, I definitely trend to those that have some semblance of gameplay, no matter how bad they are. Rance and Big Bang Age are actually good in that aspect, while having a decent story and some great hentai.

    It was an enjoyable read. Not going to discuss it anymore here since I posted a comment in that thread, but I’m glad you got the review up.

    • Tier says:

      Raidy II definitely has a lot of issues. I liked it and Raidy I mainly for the h-scenes, and I guess the mindlessness of walking around the maze was moderately entertaining, but it coulda been a lot better. I enjoyed Beat Blades Haruka mostly for the same reason; I really played that game for the porn and the characters, I was less fond of the gameplay. I don’t think I’ve really played any great dating sims; I guess Cosplay Fetish Academy and BBH kinda/sorta let you pick which girl you wanted to end up with (though in BBH, I somehow wound up with Haruka anyway, even though I was macking on Subaru hardcore). I’d like to try one out just to say that I’ve played one. Visual novels are kinda tough for me to get through if no translation is available; I had extra motivation for Zanjibaru since I wanted to see how the story ended, but I think the characters and h-scenes will have to be very compelling for me to play one like I played through Zanjibaru.

      Man that review was long. I still want to get the voice clips recorded though.

  19. Shashin says:

    Yeah, the h-scenes were definitely the main draw; and the animated gifs Raidy II added were great. More games should definitely add some type of movement, be it gifs or actual video (like School Days.) Dungeon crawling was moderately fun, but having to acquire an item for some bosses was fairly annoying; I gave up searching the empty rooms after the first couple, and then I find that there are items in a few that you need to advance… I had to backtrack a ton.

    GSS is the only VN that I’ve gone through without any translation whatsoever; the voices, music, and CG were all absolutely amazing (excluding the guro, of course, but I just had to see it all once.) Every other VN I’ve played has been mostly/fully translated. It’s a shame more of this stuff doesn’t get picked up commercially; I understand that Jast and the like probably want to avoid anything too heavy (loli, guro, etc), but their game selection is fairly disappointing when you consider how many amazing “vanilla” eroge are out there. I’d buy 10 copies of Sengoku Rance in a heartbeat if it received an official English translation, but the majority of the stuff they choose to release doesn’t appeal to me. I do want Shin Koihime Musou which MangaGamers is supposed to release, but I’ve heard that they’re withholding voices unless they sell a ton of copies.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I think I consulted a walkthrough or something. That was pretty annoying. And I guess I coulda done without the flying poop too; I like seeing enemas in hentai but I don’t really much care to see the aftereffects.

      I think I read somewhere that licensing is a big problem for companies like JAST, since a lot of Japanese eroge makers don’t really care about foreign markets, and I guess they have to pick the most commercially viable stuff, since they have the double problem of being an extremely niche publisher whose products are often pirated. I guess the Koihime Musou thing is an example of that, the way I heard it was that they couldn’t get the licensing rights to the voices unless they sold a bunch of units. My lifelong ambition is to someday make an awesome hentai game, but I really do not envy anybody who works in overseas eroge localization; that’s gotta be a really unstable job with a ton of hassles to deal with.

  20. Shashin says:

    Yeah, that was a bit of a turn off for me. I would have been happy to have an non-enema scene between the two characters it involved… I do agree that the scenes were enjoyable up until the point the shit hit the fan.

    I’m sure that’s very true; I’ve always heard that Japan has been on the rather xenophobic side of things. Still, to not care about foreign markets at all seems rather silly, since even if the game doesn’t sell that many copies, they could still receive a licensing fee at almost no loss in sales to them. You’d think it would make perfect business sense on the Japanese side, though if I recall, there have been some issues about hardcore games being translated and the Japanese companies have basically said they didn’t want to allow it because of the potential fallout ( I think RapeLay would be a good example of that.) Makes sense on the side of the foreign publishers, though. Yeah, that’s what I heard on Koihime Musou, but I believe they’re already charging something like $60 (or 50 Euros), which would be quite expensive for an eroge without voices, at least by foreign standards. I’d buy a copy to show support if there was a guarantee that voices would come somewhere down the line, but there really isn’t (and I know the game has been delayed several times, so I don’t know.) I’m honestly hoping that someone in the community decides to make a voice patch, similar to the Fate PS2 -> PC patch there was; I’d definitely buy the game then, and not give a damn about pirating the voices. Yeah, I think you’re right on that, though on the plus side, Jast/Peach Princess are a part of J-list (I think), so it’s probably a fairly small company overall and there could potentially be room elsewhere if they decided to stop doing eroge translations. But that’s just pure speculation on my part.

    • Tier says:

      I’m guessing that there are a lot of variables; there’s some history of how one US hentai anime licensor screwed over some Japanese studios by failing to make payments, and I’ve heard that some Japanese hentai makers don’t want to license their stuff overseas because the US stuff has to be uncensored for it to sell, and some Japanese fans then reverse-import the products (which I’m sure would be even easier these days, since US DVD and game releases are so much cheaper than they are in Japan and the yen is so strong compared to the dollar). I’m only guessing, though; I don’t know very much about the way the industry works and I’m not going to assert anything definitively, since it drives me nuts when people who don’t know what the hell they are talking about talk like they are experts. I see that sort of thing happen all the time on the message boards of ESPN and my local newspaper, and I wonder why they continue to run them because they contribute nothing to the site other than as an exhibition of how a qualification test ought to be required to go online.

  21. Shashin says:

    Hadn’t heard about the licensor screwing the Japanese studio; would suck if that ruined it for everyone. I could understand the second point, though, and I’ve heard something similar before. I actually see it happen a lot, too. I know of a Japanese porn torrent site that uploads maybe 5-10 movies a day (they also have a hentai and manga section.) Generally, 80% are uncensored Japanese movies that were licensed in the US, then American movies, and every now and then a censored new release. Granted that’s torrents, so no one is paying for anything, but if you could get a superior product for a cheaper price, why wouldn’t you? I’d imagine the best case scenario would be to wait a year or two, until sales have all but stopped for the Japanese release, then license the rights and try to get a portion of the sales there; sure some Japanese fans would probably import/pirate it, but if it wasn’t selling any more copies anyway, that’s just a bit of extra money in their pocket. I do agree with the qualification test, though… just going by my first couple internet experiences alone, I’d shamefully admit that I believe there needs to be an age requirement at the very least.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I think that would be the most logical way to do things. Hopefully we’ll see some progress there, it kinda seems like the US hentai industry is in serious decline (actually, I guess anime and manga in general are as well) and I find that to be most saddening and very distressing.

      Man, I can remember back when I played my first and second MMOs (Ultima Online and Everquest) … I was a cocky-ass little punk. And I was out of high school by that time, I hate to imagine what I would’ve been like if I had gotten online when I was twelve or something. Actually, I can think of a lot of ways that my life would have developed differently had the internet been around when I was a little kid.

  22. Shashin says:

    Yeah, it is scary, but it doesn’t seem to be just in foreign countries but Japan as well (from what I’ve been reading.) Granted it’s a niche here, so if it declines much further it might die out entirely (people will still fansub stuff and such, but the industry may die); Japan should be able to support a bit of decline, but I wouldn’t doubt that they’re hurting too.

    I think my first encounter with the internet was when I was 6-7; I walked into our computer room, my dad was at the computer, and I walked up behind him, saw a money shot, and he quickly tried to cover up the dick with his hand while leaving this nice young lady’s face uncovered. Then he slowly tried to close the window, and it took 10 seconds to close one portion at a time… I think after that he told me Santa wasn’t real. I started using the internet when I was 9-10, and this is when i found the joys of message board posting, chat websites (*cringe*) and wonderful, wonderful hentai. I still remember the first site hentai site I memorized; it was a shrine that had all sorts of pictures for various video game/anime characters, and a really, really complicated URL that I memorized because I was too terrified to bookmark it… of course that didn’t really matter because at the time I never bothered clearing history/cookies.

    • Tier says:

      Haha, that is awesome XD And probably more than a bit traumatizing, especially at that age. I didn’t get online till I was maybe fourteen or fifteen; my dad signed up for Compuserve and I played around with it for a few months, but there wasn’t a ton of content there and it was pay-per-minute, so I never stayed online for very long. Then we got unlimited internet access (at a whopping 14.4 kbps) and I started browsing the web. I never did get much into boards or chatting or anything, though … I’m a pretty quiet person and usually avoid human interaction on the internet, which is yet another reason why I am very surprised that I’ve been running this blog for a year and a half now.

      Man, I remember sharing a computer with my siblings and dad, having to hide my porn (I buried it in the TEMP directory, which had a ton of other junk in it), having to clear the history and cache all the time. My dad never bothered so I knew which sites he liked. He also hid his porn on 3.5″ floppy disks. I am very, very glad that I don’t have to do that, but I still keep a porn directory in the TEMP directory, just out of tradition.

      • Shashin says:

        Nah, not at all; I was always interested in the opposite sex, as far back as I can remember (when most kids steal their dad’s Playboy at 12-13, I remember having a hidden stack at 7-8 >_>) The only traumatizing thing is walking in on your parents… you’re never quite right after that happens.

        I think we had AOL at one point; pretty sure that’s what was used when I was 6-9 (or however long we had internet then), then Net Zero for awhile, when all you need to do was have that annoying banner on your screen all the time. Finally moved up to DSL/Cable when Net Zero started charing $10 a month.

        I don’t really remember seeing porn on my dad’s computer other than that one instance. I was using it for about a year on and off in the way mentioned above, and then it became my computer shortly after that and I didn’t have to worry much anymore. As such, I don’t have a specific porn folder and it’s mostly in my download folder, with some in various other places such as the desktop.

        • Tier says:

          Haha, yeah, I think I was twelve when I first discovered porn. It was pretty much a pivotal point in my life.

          Yeah, my entire data drive has pretty much become one huge porn repository now. It’s scattered everywhere and I keep meaning to try to organize it, or at least try to get all my HCG packs and doujinshi in one location, but I never have time to do so.

          • Shashin says:

            I’ve actually been meaning to either clean out my hard drive, or buy a new one. I currently have a 500GB and am down to 30 or so. Most of it’s probably porn (AV, hentai, games, etc), but I also probably have 10 games installed that take up a good portion of space, and some entire anime series that I intend to watch eventually. TB drives are fairly cheap these days, so I’ll probably pick up one of those soonish.. might wait until Black Friday and see if I can’t get a 2TB for <$100.

  23. Shashin says:

    New Illust Guerrilla dakimakura up on their website. 😮
    Believe it’s a character from Angel Beats, but I’m not 100% certain of that. I like it, but it isn’t as graphic as other cases have been. Still, there hasn’t been a dakimakura that they’ve put out that I haven’t liked, and I do want to amass them all eventually. But it’s really a matter of do I want to preorder it now, in a time of really high expenses, or wait a few months and risk paying a high amount more or not getting it at all?

    • Tier says:

      ! I guess that’s, uhh, Tenshi? I’ve never seen Angel Beats so I am unfamiliar with it, but I’ve seen the art on Danbooru and such. If you want it, I’d go for it early … I think the page says they’re taking 200 orders? I’m probably interpreting that wrong.

      I see they’re doing a Seikon no Qwaser cushion that’s uhh, three feet by three feet? That is one big-ass cushion. It’d be cool if they did a dakimakura cover with Teresa but she seems to be the forgotten girl in the Seikon no Qwaser franchise, sadly.

      • Shashin says:

        I just know of the series, but I’ve never bothered to watch it. I like it, but I’m not absolutely in love with it; if I can get it at a reasonable price later on, that’s just fine with me. It might even work out favorably if our transfer rate ever stops sucking; if I pay 2000 yen more but can get more than 80 to the $1… 200 orders doesn’t seem that far off. Granted I don’t know how popular a circle they are inside Japan, but I don’t think they’re the biggest and I don’t know if dakimakura are as mainstream in Japan as I’d like to believe.

        I didn’t even see that, honestly. I saw the Angel Beats cover on a dakimakura website, and then checked out Illust Guerrilla to see the sample image, without scrolling down. Shame they don’t have a sample image up for it yet, but I might consider that depending on the positioning and the like. When I mentioned the blonde haired character was my favorite a couple weeks ago, I was referring to Kurae, though I do like Teresa as well. I hadn’t watched more than two episodes at the time, but I recently downloaded some of the DVDs and made my way up to 7-8, I think. After she was introduced, it just furthered my decision that Kurae is my favorite character from the series. Though actually, I don’t think that’s what I said originally, I think I said I had considered picking up her figure from the bargain bin, if it didn’t look so terrible.

        • Tier says:

          I’m guessing dakimakura covers are still pretty niche in Japan … I think there might be one convention for them (Dream Party, I think it’s called, and I’m not certain if it’s about dakimakura covers or just anime goods in general), but it seems to have only a miniscule fraction of the importance of something like Wonder Festival or especially Comiket.

          Yeah, in that case, I’d wait, too; there’s a certain class of stuff that are immediate impulse purchases for me (and recently, this has mostly been big-ass doll stuff) and there’s a lot of stuff that I’d like to get but am not too enamored of, and with space being limited for me, I’m finding myself being a little bit more picky than I might otherwise be.

          Ah yes, I think Katya is the fan-favorite character of the show. I’d probably like her better if she weren’t loli; I don’t mind necessarily mind loli but loli dominatrices aren’t entirely my thing. I’m very, very glad they didn’t make her a tsundere type, though (I think).

          • Shashin says:

            I still have dreams of one day going to Comiket… but I don’t think it would go all that well, especially if I went to the summer one. And I could just imagine how much I’d be sweating through Customs on my way back…

            Pretty much. If I see that one dakimakura I mentioned that fwisy is hawking, being sold by another seller, I’d probably pick it up without a second thought; or if I saw some dakimakura at a really good price (I guess that doesn’t count, because I’m sure most would impulse buy if they could get it at 50% off, or whatever.) And I really need to cut back on spending at the moment. So there’s probably only a few things I’d buy right now, while I’m trying to cut back on expenses. I’m actually in a pretty good position, I’d say; there is currently only one dakimakura I must have that I don’t already… at least that I’m aware of. Sure, there’s a ton I’d like, but none are popping out in my mind that I absolutely have to have. So I should be able to cut back on expenses rather easily… unless they suddenly start releasing a ton of figures/dakimakura for a character I really like.

            That’s exactly the type of loli I’d like, I’d say. Don’t have any special preference for the goth loli look, however, physically she’s got all the right characteristics; though I will say that blonde hair isn’t usually my thing. That and it’s an absolute joy to watch her switch between personalities.

  24. Shashin says:

    So there has been an interesting development with Hobby Search; I was fairly happy today when I received a Paypal request for payment, despite having numerous “Can’t be paid with Paypal” items in my order. I was hoping that it was just because they just had to say they can’t be purchased with Paypal, so Paypal isn’t breathing down their neck about selling adult items. I was just browsing their site now, and they had a post about credit cards being accessed through their system, and that they were suspending credit card payment indefinitely.

    They said that all cards stored before the 7th of July could have been accessed, and I do believe that’s around the time my credit card info was stolen; I haven’t used my credit card on Hobby Search since then, as that’s actually the site I suspected for whatever reason. However, it does bring about an interesting and possibly saddening situation.

    If they truly were trying to move towards selling more adult items on the foreign site, but won’t take credit card payments anymore, will they stop listing the few adult items they have been recently? Will be interesting to see; I hope it’s just over speculation on my part, and they continue to list more and more adult items, while saying that they can’t be purchased through Paypal…

    • Tier says:

      I’d love to go to Comiket someday too, though mostly for the experience rather than the shopping. It’s probably telling that when I asked a guy to get some books that were released at C78 in August, he just mail-ordered them from Toranoana and Doujin-dou. And yeah, one of the concerns I’d have with taking a trip to Tokyo is how I’d get my loot back; the last time I got on an airplane was in 2000, I think, and I have no idea how carefully they search your luggage since 9/11. I gotta think that it’d be pretty obvious if I were flying back with ten pounds of pornographic comic books checked into my suitcase. Then again, I see people coming back with tons of purchases bought on trips to Japan, so I guess it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out a plan to bring it all back.

      I wound up impulse-buying another big-ass doll today. It’s a good thing I don’t mind subsisting on cold cut sandwiches and hot dogs.

      That credit card payment moratorium is pretty annoying, and I kinda wonder if my credit card getting jacked back in July was caused by that. The stuff that the thief bought was pretty random though.

      I don’t think Amiami places the same restrictions on using Paypal for payment so if Hobby Search won’t sell me the stuff I want to buy, I guess I’ll have to buy it from Amiami. Hobby Search is my first choice when it comes to buying figures, but I have no problem with buying from Amiami.

      • Shashin says:

        Yeah, it would be an amazing experience. I don’t know how thoroughly they check luggage either; I’m sure they’re looking for drugs/weapons mostly, but if they did find a ton of hardcore porn, I’d imagine they wouldn’t mind stopping you. I guess one alternative would be to mail it all to yourself the day you’re set to leave, but that could get expensive fairly quickly. Then again, if you have an extra suit case due to all your spending, that could add up too.

        Ouch, impulses are fun when they happen, but not so much afterwards; least you’ll be able to eat.

        Both of our cards were compromised around the same time, and I’m generally pretty careful with giving out my card information. Sure, it’s possible that it was different entirely unrelated purchases that caused the theft, but I’d guess it was Hobby Search for the both of us. They bought a plasma TV on my card before my company cut them off.

        Amiami has it in their FAQ that it may not be possible to purchase some adult items, but yet at the same time they don’t list the hardcore items and only allow Paypal; I don’t see why they’d even list the items on the English site if they weren’t going to allow them to be purchased. So you’re probably right there. I do wish that one of them would start selling eroge/manga, though. Hobby Search is my preferred site, but Amiami is nice for DVDs, some adult items, and such.

        • Tier says:

          I ought to put a trip to Comiket on my list of things to do before I die (also on that list: I want to paint a garage kit, make a hentai game, and complete my doll porn post). I think I know a few people who’ve made the trip, so if I ever do go there, I guess I’ll have people I can ask. Curiously, a google search for “suitcase porn” seems to turn up almost nothing useful.

          I usually spend at least a day considering whether to buy something, but in this case, I thought that there was a reasonable chance that someone else would buy it out as I seldom see this item on YJA, so I thought about it for an hour before buying it. On the plus side, I do not think I’m getting any more big-ass dolls, unless I suddenly decide I want Yamato’s Sonico (and that could very well happen, though she seems to have far more appeal than the other vmf50 dolls, so I wouldn’t be surprised if her asking price is well beyond what I want to spend).

          I think you’re right; as I recall, the thief also tried buying some big-ticket items that my bank declined. Hobby Search said that the data breach originated from Korea, but I’m guessing that person was more interested in selling the card numbers than using the cards himself. I still wish I could use my card on Hobby Search’s site, though; it simplifies things and I get 1% cashback on it which halves the foreign transaction fee, and I think it’s a slightly cheaper in the end since Paypal seems to use a very unfavorable exchange rate.

          Yeah, they seem to stock most of the same stuff Hobby Search does, adult or no, so I guess I’ll get Eleanor Mercer and some of the other NSFW-type figures there. And yeah, I really, really wish there were an easier place to get h-manga; I was gonna try BeNippon, even though they have the same notice that they don’t allow Paypal to be used for adult items. I’m thinking I might try to buy one h-manga with SAL shipping and see what happens; if they balk, I’ll ask for my money back, and if they refuse that, I’m not out too much cash.

          • Shashin says:

            How long I mull over something depends entirely on the item; if it’s a YHJ auction with no buyout and days left to go, I may wait a bit. If it’s a dakimakura I’ve been searching YHJ for on a daily basis… I may buy it as soon as I enter my SMJ password… stupidly priced or not. I just think it really depends; I’d like to think things over, but there are times when you can’t or a need to have something overcomes you.

            Yeah, Capital One is pretty good about fraud. If I recall correctly, they spent $700 on a tv, and $20 on a Netflix subscription (that one really baffled me) before my card was frozen. They don’t have a foreign fee, so I would use my credit card for everything (I think Paypal’s rate is generally going rate -4, like SMJ.. but I think they’ve lessened up a bit with how terrible the dollar is now), but I swear that I’ve been double charged a few times with the way the Japanese system works. The charge won’t appear on my credit card but the balance will be there, I’ll pay it, and then they charge me the amount again when the charge becomes visible on the statement. That happened 2-3 times I’m fairly certain, so I’ve just sucked up the crappy rate and have done everything I could through Paypal.

            Only reason I use Hobby Search over Amiami is because their site isn’t god awful to navigate. It’s a pain in the ass to find anything on Amiami, especially since you never know how it’s going to be listed; one dakimakura I wanted was produced by Mai Waifu (in hiragana.) I just assumed it would be under My Wife in English, so I searched “wife”. Nope, but I did find it later by searching waifu. Anyhow, the ease of use, ability to cancel (since I preorder everything), and points usually make me us HS for everything but adult items that Amiami carries and they don’t. Though some figures are cheaper on Amiami, but recently that hasn’t really been the case.

            If HS decided to sell (or Toranoana decided to go international) h-manga, I’d be willing to pay a good 10-20% more than they charge Japanese customers. They’d make a tidy little profit, and I’d still get stuff cheaper than I could going through a proxy.

  25. Tier says:

    I probably should have set the maximum number of comments in a thread to 4, it gets really difficult to read past that many. Yeah, I’ve had that happen to me before; just today, actually, when I bought that big-ass doll. Though I’d already made a determination to get her. It’s funny how I can waffle for a really long time on stuff; I waffle on camera stuff all the time, even though I know how getting certain gear will improve my photographs (and these days, photography is probably my main hobby). I’ve been waffling on getting an airbrush and compressor for almost two years now. I’ve got like twenty items on Mandarake bookmarked that I want to get, and that I can easily afford, and yet for some reason, I haven’t bought them yet, even though I am really, really, really hoping that nobody else buys them first.

    I recently got a credit card through my local bank since my check card number had gotten jacked twice in barely three months. They have several varieties, and I decided to go for the Platinum Rewards card for the hell of it. I didn’t think I’d actually qualify, since I’ve never had a credit card before and I barely have any credit history, but they gave it to me anyway. I guess “platinum” doesn’t really mean much when it comes to charge cards. I probably should just roll with Paypal for Hobby Search; I use Paypal for almost all of the anime hobby stuff I buy these days, anyway, so it’s not like I’m not used to using it. (Actually, I do have one reason to prefer a credit card, and that’s because they can charge my card on their own rather than having to have me manually send payment. That way, I get the figure a day early, which means I can potentially pump out a review a day earlier. Back when I was scratching and scrabbling for traffic, it was very important for me to try to be the first out with an English-language review of a popular figure, but these days, I guess it’s not nearly as important to me as it used to be.)

    I hear that … and I’ve noticed Amiami’s site seems to go down a lot. I get a ton of proxy error messages when I try browsing their site. They do got a great bargain section, though, I think there’s one or two figures there that I’m kinda sorta interested in. That’s a hilarious name for a circle or company, by the way.

  26. Cantan says:

    “While putting this list together, I was surprised to find that there aren’t any Alter figures that I’m looking forward to”

    Probably not technically true… Buddy keeps be put further and further back, so if she is to finally arrive in the middle of September 2016 she would certainly constitute a figure to look forward to. Aren’t you also waiting for a Fate from them?

    But I have to say that I’m not really impressed with too many of Alter’s preorders on the sites at the moment. Nevertheless I finally received Selvaria today and the second thing I noticed is just how good the figure is; I don’t think the pre-release shots really did her justice. Add to that the fact she wields a 9″ lance, and she dominates my desk at the moment – very good dynamism in the stance (and hair). Just have to say that their forward catalogue is just looking mundane – I don’t doubt that the figures will be of very high quality, just don’t capture my imagination.

    (Incidentally the first thing I noticed about Selvaria was “this box is bloody massive!”. Seriously I thought Amiami were having me on when I saw the shipping fee but her packaging is taken to extremes – won’t be long ’til each figure requires an industrial scale shipping crate each at this rate)

    • Tier says:

      I’m looking forward to Buddy, but I put her on the Preorder Outlook VI list so she’s not included here. I really hope she doesn’t get kicked back another month. Nah, I haven’t ordered their upcoming Fate figure; either of them, surprisingly enough. The one with her jumping looks a bit off to me (the head seems overly large) and she’s not wearing a thong (even though she should be) and the plain clothes one is kinda boring (though I will change my mind in an instant if I find she’s wearing a thong under her skirt). I’m looking most forward to their Dizzy figure but that’s not available for order yet, so I’m gonna have to keep rubbing my hands in anticipation.

      Ah yes, I recall that a lot of people were looking forward to Selvaria. I haven’t played Valkyria Chronicles myself (though I own the game; I just don’t own a PS3) so I passed on her, but I’m kinda surprised she seems to not be getting a lot of love for someone a lot of people were looking forward to. Seems kinda like a lot of the other figure review blogs I read have been slowing down or stopping altogether. It’s good to hear that she turned out great; I guess that’s the norm for Alter, and I wish I could say the same for GSC or Max Factory still.

      Haha, yeah, I remember when I got Daiki Kougyou’s 1/4 scale Saber figure; she was packed with two other figures, and I was amazed I got the box through the door.

  27. Kozure Oukami says:

    I pre-ordered Chie from one of my favorite figure stores, Hobbyfan. She’s reasonably priced and you don’t have to go through a proxy. I highly recommend them.

    • Tier says:

      I usually go through a proxy just to get the figure faster (I’m an impatient moron), but I went through Toyslogic to get MegaHouse’s Yagyu Jubei figure. I really, really hope they come through for me, since I’m liking that figure more and more now.

      • Kozure Oukami says:

        I get ya. I’ve used Tokyo Hunter to get a few of the alarmingly increasing number of exclusive figures. I’m putting my fingers in my ears and poking my eyes out to avoid the temptation of Yagyu Jubei. I’ve got the two Alter versions, so I’m telling myself I’m spoiled by their quality and don’t need the Megahouse version. I already gave in to temptation by Kaori Saeki based upon Pre-Order Outlook VII and have her coming from AmiAmi.

        I’ve sworn off Toyslogic. I got no consideration from them when their orders from the manufacturer were short. I’ve ordered 75 figures (yeah, I know, 75!) from them and I usually pre-ordered figures the first day they were posted yet many of my pre-orders were canceled due to short supply. Since I’ve switched all my pre-orders to AmiAmi, I’ve yet to have a pre-order canceled to short supply.

        • Shashin says:

          My one experience with Toyslogic was a fairly terrible one. They had an apparently in stock Collet, and it still took them around 2 months to get it to me; the forums were filled with similar such complaints, most regarding preorders that were long overdue, but some regarding apparently in stock items as well.

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, I’ve found Tokyo Hunter to be very reliable, and I figure that the value of that compensates for his relatively high prices. I mean, besides him disappearing for almost all of October and ignoring my inquiry about Chie, anyway. I’m kinda thinking maybe I shoulda gone through his service to preorder Jubei too, because between what you and Shashin say and also what I’ve heard elsewhere, I’m starting to lose confidence in Toyslogic. I’ve heard similar stories with other US retailers, which I guess isn’t too surprising, and it’s also why I preorder everything from either Hobby Search or Amiami now.

          Ha, that is the first time I’ve heard of anyone preorder something based on what I’ve preordered XD I’ve got high hopes for her and her anatomical accuracy.

  28. Cantan says:

    Not normally a fan of Super Sonico… but then I saw these:
    Hmm, suddenly I might be convinced

    • Tier says:

      Those fishnets are killer. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot but that painted sample is really impressive. I think my appraisal of that has gone from, “Oh, Orchid Seed’s doing a Soniko figure” to “Dayum, Orchid Seed’s doing a Soniko figure.”

  29. Shashin says:

    My September Hobby Search order came today, and I’m fairly happy. Granted I really felt the terrible exchange rate (47000 yen = 600.)

    I must admit that I don’t even take figures out of the box anymore these days, unless it’s a really erotic/cast off. I didn’t even remove the protective tissue covering the box on the two I got today; I’ll get to it, but I’m officially out of space: my closet is full, two corners of my room have boxes up to the roof; if I get anymore, I won’t have clear walkways. One was Sasami, so I already know what to expect, and the other was Selvaria from Valkyria Chronicles. I’m really looking forward to her, and her box is huge even though she’s only 1/7 scale.

    In the order, I also got my 3 World Love Organization tapestries, and the pillow cover. Haven’t opened the cover, because I don’t expect much of it… basically would use it as a tapestry without the plastic tubing included. Believe it or not, the tapestry with the two girls does not clearly show nipples. There’s some areola on the underside, and the nipples are standing proud, but the bikini covers them. It’s also more of a horizontal rectangle versus vertical; still, it’s pretty cool and the lack of visible nipples may make me display it. Both chicks are definitely hot, and I’m not against some teasing. Other two tapestries have definite nipples, though it was kind of obvious by the stars they had censoring them; the lack of bust on the green haired girl did not disappoint.

    Then I got a ton of magazines.
    Dengeki G Festival Comic came with an Angel Beats dakimakura; yet to flip through the book
    Dengeki G Festival came with an oranged haired girl dakimakura (don’t know the character); yet to flip through the book
    Dengeki Moeoh came with two bikini clad mini posters, and featured some of Tony’s artwork in nice glossy pages (no absolute nudity, as far as I could tell from flipping through.)
    Megami came with a ton of posters from various anime series going on right now and some really popular ones (like K-On! and the like); haven’t really checked any of them out yet

    And for the second order running, Red Ichigo took the cake for best magazine for the money. Two sided poster; one side had two hot chicks in bikinis, no nudity but there’s some nice shaping going on in the bikini bottom.. other side is a chick in a traditional school girl swimsuit, boobs out, getting fondled by another chick from behind. Don’t know what series either set of characters are from, but it’s definitely a worthy bonus for a $10 magazine. There’s also another CD, which I’d imagine is just more manga chapters voiced out. The actual book is a goldmine of ecchi. Only series I recognize is AkiSora, in which there’s a couple sex scenes. The best chapter I saw though was borderline hentai, I swear. Bunch of tentacles milking breasts and such, and there was also a chick with a tail, ass up… but the way it was drawn it looked like someone was sticking her tail in her ass with a bunch of fluids every where… really hard to describe; I’ll see if I can take a picture of it later.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I’ve got one unopened figure here myself (Klan Klang); I don’t know where I’m gonna put her. I think I’ll try to tidy up some over the holiday weekend, maybe take down some of the figures I don’t care as much for and put them back in their boxes to clear some space for the new stuff I’ve got coming in.

      It’s good to hear you like your tapestries; I was kinda thinking of getting one or two from Hobby Search though it looks like they’ve sold out. Oh well. I don’t actually have any free wall space, anyway.

      Man, that last magazine sounds awesome. You should definitely take some pictures of that, that sounds like great stuff. I remember reading they were gonna cut back on the erotic stuff but it sounds like it hasn’t quite happened.

  30. Shashin says:

    I’m just waiting on a move; more space, more crap to store stuff. Thinking that if I get a walk in closet (have a sliding one now), I may just convert it into a figure/ero shrine and get a cabinet for clothes. Would work out fairly well if the closet were big enough and had some shelving. Not to mention it would be out of the way so I could have people in my room with little fear of them seeing something they really don’t want to see.

    Yeah, they’re really nice; I actually like the horizontal design of the one. I think that some of them are on waiting lists, so it might not hurt to add yourself. I’ve done that with several HS products, and have received an email at some point. Granted it can take some time; one of the items I was notified about I had purchased on YHJ a month or two earlier. On the hobby goods note, there’s a new batch of eropads by CranCrownBlack coming out. Sadly, neither Hobby Search (hadn’t expected it) or AmiAmi is listing them on their English sites. Real shame since AmiAmi sold the previous two. Interestingly enough, when you search the maker on AmiAmi’s English site, the two pads come up; the blonde chick’s product page is still available (albeit sold out), but the tentacle pad brings up an error saying that this item isn’t available on the English page. Still, I’d recommend checking them out; of the 5 new pads, there’s one tentacle pad, one heavy bondage pad, and the other three have a fair amount of fun stuff going on too. Despite 3 dakimakura covers coming in December, I think I’m going to put an order up on SMJ for 3/5 of the pads, and maybe order some ero manga from HS while I’m at it.

    Hmm, would be a real shame if they cut it out; I’ve decided that I’ll order it every issue. Post is about a year old, so maybe they either have cut back on ero a bit (some of those shots are pretty extreme – I like the panty contraption in the one), or it was just a temporary thing and they’re back to the good stuff. I imagine if they did cut back, they’d lose a good number of sales, because it’s easily the best reason to purchase the magazine. Even Dengeki only usually has implied sex with some bared boobies.

    Took a couple of shots with my camera phone, so you’ll have to excuse the poor quality:

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I think I’ll go ahead and add it; I’m also keeping an eye on the Amiami listing, they list it as backordered rather than sold out.

      Thanks for the heads-up on the mousepads; dang, they’ve got one of the girl from Touka Chiru – Shoujo Kenshi no Houfuku wa Doukoku ni Michite (the girl with the torn bike shorts with the little egg vibrator). I might have to get that just on principle. I wonder what the chances are of them doing a Majutai mousepad in the future? The other mousepads look great, too; I especially like the tentacle one (it looks kinda like she’s having a good time) and the one from, uhh, Kangoku Gakuen, I guess; I’m not familiar with that title but I’m a big supporter of cute girls in black leather bondage.

      Yeah, I’m guessing it’s just one of those things where they say they’re gonna do something and they just quietly forget about all of it a little later on. I remember there was a huge furor on the internet about some sort of government crackdown on permissible eroge content not too long back, and nothing seems to have come of it.

      Thanks for the pics, that manga looks awesome … and uhh, man, this is an all-ages anthology? Why can’t we get stuff that cool over here?

      • Shashin says:

        I’ll admit to not knowing a single one of the characters, but I plan on getting the tentacle, egg vibrator, and flowered kimono/dress. Don’t really care for the facial expressions on the other two; actually think it’s the eyebrows, though the eager chick scares me a bit for some reason. That’s the plan anyway; I submitted an order on SMJ, and it was rejected. Reason given was because the URLs didn’t work or something, so I double checked them and every one worked. Basically said to double check and try again. Was going to hold out on submitting another order until I got a response back on the forums, but HS is having a bargain sale, and there is an R18 tapestry that I must have.

        Yeah, probably. I’m perfectly happy with the current result, however, and hope it continues on.

        It’s a really thick book, too; Japanese magazines are awesome. It’s a bigger page size than the manga we’re used to in America (slightly smaller than A4, I’d say), and there’s something like 630 pages. There are a fair bit of ads, but even with a heavy estimate, it would be a good 550ish pages of ecchi goodness. All for $10 + $20 EMS shipping (if I didn’t have anything else in my order… I’d still probably go EMS >_>)

        I’d love to get stuff like this over here, but I’ve accepted that it probably won’t ever happen, so I’ll just continue ordering it up on Hobby Search.

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, the smiling one looks a bit off. I definitely like the three that you mentioned the best. Hmm, that is a strange response from SMJ; I suppose you can probably send your order in via e-mail, being a repeat customer and all. I’ve gotten billed for a bunch of figures recently (got billed for Ikaros, no-ass Asuka, and BRS all this week, and being the brilliant genius that I am, I had them set to all ship separately by EMS) and I’m seriously thinking about buying more camera stuff (a week or so after I said I hadn’t planned on doing so <.<) so I'm gonna hope that these pop up on Amiami or someplace, since I'd like to avoid the proxy expense. Man, that sounds great. The equivalent in American comic books would probably cost around seventy or eighty bucks ... granted, it'd be in color, but it wouldn't be pornographic and it wouldn't come out at regular intervals. Speaking of manga, Comiket is coming up soon so I think I need to check up on my favorite circles' websites to put together a buy list. And on a related note, I'm wondering where the Nanoha and BRS dakimakura covers I ordered are; White Canvas listed them as shipping last month.

  31. Shashin says:

    Haven’t heard back from them on the second order yet; I guess part of me is hoping that it’s not accepted, just like the first order, because I’ve already spent so much this month. I guess we’re in the same situation; absolutely terrible at controlling our spending urges. 😛 Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll be popping up on Amiami, since they’re already available on the Japanese site and they removed the more graphic of the first two. I forgot to mention previously that I had added some ero manga into my order, one of which had a loli cover, so I removed that in hopes that was part of the reason the order got denied.

    Expenses this month are already pretty hefty: my backordered AmiAmi DVD (bluray, actually), I just did some clearance shopping with them as they had a ton of figures I was on the fence about (mainly Beat’s Mizuho), KOS-MOS, and hopefully Tomoe will finally drop this month so I don’t have a $300 purchase looming over my head indefinitely.

    Yeah, the pornographic aspect is the best part of it. And some pages are in color, but it’s usually not of the good stuff; maybe the first few pages of the cover manga, and a color page for every different manga. Ugh, don’t remind me about Comiket. I know there’s going to be a ton of dakimakura covers releasing in the coming weeks, and I just can’t keep up with the expense anymore… despite my interest in them increasing. Evening Call actually has a really nice Panty & Stocking one that they just released the preview image for. Where did you order them from? I could see your problem if it was from the main site, and they have shipped already, but I’d imagine that some other stores may get things a bit later.

  32. Shashin says:

    Eh, order was denied again, so I’m not going to bother. Guess I’ll try snatching the pads up on YHJ or something. Was hoping HLJ would have them up, but they don’t appear to. Oh well, I really wanted the tentacle pad, and the others were nice, but if I can’t get it working, I can’t get it working. Had the same special order response from SMJ, though; they couldn’t open the URLs. Really don’t know why they’re having a problem with it, but I guess it can’t be helped.

    • Tier says:

      Bizarre; maybe some other retailer might carry them? I recall Getchu had them up on their website, and I see them on Hobby Stock. You might also flip an e-mail to J-List; I recall that they take special orders for manga, and they certainly have no problem selling adult items.

      Yeah, I have absolutely no self-control on certain things, which is weird because I’ve been wanting things like an airbrush set and a Playstation 3 for over a year but I haven’t bought them yet. I have absolutely no problem dropping a hundred bucks on another camera flash though (admittedly, this is because I’ve got one busted flash that I have to send back to Hong Kong for replacement and another one that is intermittently malfunctioning). I guess I’m still waiting on Buddy and Saeki this month, and maybe Xecty, though I’m expecting her to get kicked back.

      I ordered the pillowcases from White Canvas through M-World. I’ve never ordered from White Canvas before, but I’ve heard they’re reputable, and I’m pretty sure M-World isn’t trying to screw me since I’ve been using his service for a year and a half and he responded promptly when I asked him about my order last week. I dunno, I guess maybe it just got delayed or something; I’ve seen the Nanoha one up on YJA already so I think that’s out, but I’m not sure whether the BRS one has been released or not. Evening Call has an inquiry form on their website, so maybe I’ll just ask them … heck, the worst thing they could do is ignore me.

      • Shashin says:

        I try not to shop at J-List out of principle for anything but local eroge. There’s no reason they should charge a ridiculous amount more than other Japanese retailers, and still charge for shipping from Japan. Granted with the yen rate it’s not as bad as it once was, but it’s still fairly ridiculous to pay $20 for a manga that retailed at 900 yen, then pay for EMS on top of that. And manga really isn’t the best example; I’ve seen figures listed for $250ish that retail for 15000ish yen. I might try another retailer, but my expenses for the next two months are way too high. And I also went on a really strange kick for no apparent reason… Blurays… I’m not even against downloading the uncensored versions when they hit, and yet I preordered 2 BDs a piece for multiple series. I really don’t know why I do things anymore (promise of boobies, but still for the price, I’d rather download >_>.) I at least had a for the Asobi Ni Iku Yo BD I bought, but I doubt the extras on others will be as promising. At least I know the High School of the Dead BD will include the bath episode, but I don’t really know how much service to expect from To Love Ru and Samurai Girls. I guess it’s just my desire to collect something or another. >_> And I’m really hoping that the BDs will work on the PS3; I know DVDs wouldn’t, but I’m fairly certain the US/Japan share the same region coding for BDs.

        Only thing I have preordered on Hobby Search for the month are Tomoe and more magazines. So that will at least soften the blow for KOS-MOS, bargain bin items, and a BD or two. Then I canceled most of December too; was really looking forward to both the diskvision figure and the red headed succubus. Only have a Mio figure and GSC’s Senjougahara… both of which I may cancel depending on how much more I can’t control myself or if Tomoe gets pushed back yet again. I guess the plus side to uncontrolled spending is that I have 8500 points set to offset the cost of Tomoe; and with the yen rate the way it is, now is probably the best time to use them (but also the worst time to be buying 21000 yen figures.)

        Maybe you just missed his shipment date… though he does seem to email when he receives the order, so I don’t know. Pretty much, and speaking of Evening Call, they’ve just released sample shots for quite a few more dakimakura covers. None really speak out to me, though I do like them all; I think the only one I’d buy is the Panty Stocking cover, though.

        My desire to put in another special order with SMJ was also quashed a bit receiving a couple months worth of products yesterday (you think it would be the opposite, but I guess I’ve just been made content with the items.) Finally got my Tony C78 kit. The cloth thing included is fairly cool; it’s pretty large, double sided, and the girls are hot as always. Some other things like a shopping bag, telephone card, and of course the doujinshi. Sadly, it’s the only Tony doujinshi that has ever disappointed me, mostly because it doesn’t follow the traditional style of a some color pages with a story for the rest. There are some color pages, but of nothing too hardcore, and the rest is a collection of images from his Comiket work over the years. That would be fairly cool, as there were some images I hadn’t seen, and some of his best work is in there, but it’s not in color, nor do most of the works take up a full page. Since I own the doujinshi that quite a few of the images stem from, it’s a tad disappointing.

        Then the rest of the goodies were dakimakura covers, of course. It’s actually somewhat shocking and a little funny… with the covers I received, it would be arguable that I’m a lolicon.

        3 covers from あんこ工房:
        Cardcaptor Sakura (obvious)
        Strike Witches (once again >_>)
        and some pink haired girl with small boobs; no idea what series she’s from

        1 Illust Guerrilla cover (they just uploaded a color shot for a new cover):
        Momiji – definitely on the loli side, though I purchased her mainly for completeness (still far away), and I won the auction at about 9000.

        And 1 紫 源亭:
        Hatsune Miku

        I’m fairly pleased with them all, though the Miku one was a bit disappointing. I was unable to find a sample shot, and purchased it entirely because of her reddened face and the promise of wet shimapan. Neither disappointed; I still love her expression. But one side was a fully clothed front shot, while the other was her with a great expression, exposed boobs, and fully on, albeit wet, panties. I don’t deny that I was hoping this would be one side, while the other side was even more explicit or a backside shot, but oh well… that’s why it’s always best to find a sample image if you can. It’s also SK, but that’s fine for display purposes.

        The Strike witches cover is SK as well, but quite nice. I guess I have a thing for shimapan, because that’s the entire reason I purchased it; the auction shot was of a pigtailed, tanned, brunette, licking a wet pair. Was too much to resist, so I picked it up without even finding a sample shot to see if they were her panties.

        The Sakura one is great. Any cover that has two girls on one side (much less both) is bound to be pleasing. And graphic… very graphic, not twin levels of graphic, but not far off. One side has a bit of toe penetration.

        Even though the Miku cover was a bit disappointing (just because I expected so much), my least favorite of the batch is probably Momiji. Don’t know why I don’t really like it, and it’s high quality as always, but I guess the character just isn’t my type.

        The pink haired girl is one of my favorites; fairly explicit, quite detailed, and she has small boobies. My love for small boobies, explicitness, and unnatural hair color all adds up to something special.

  33. Shashin says:

    Somehow wrapped up my rant on J-List before mentioning the good. Recently they’ve uploaded a few dakimakura covers from circles I know ( I even own a few of them… the Miku and Nerv Trinity.) I’m curious as to how they reduced the price so much (~$70), considering some of them are still available on Japanese sites for the usually 10000-15000. I doubt they’d ever deal in fakes, but at the same time I can’t help but be a bit weary. Still, if it raises awareness/love for dakimakura covers in the foreign market, I can’t help but be for it… even if I pay $40-80 more per cover, but I suppose that’s the price of getting it early.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, J-List’s prices flat-out suck. They do have some things that aren’t easy to get elsewhere though; I’d look at them for adult goods that I’d have to go through a proxy for otherwise. Particularly stuff like h-manga, since the last time I went through SMJ for that, the additional fees were unbelievable. And now that you mention that they’ve stocked some new dakimakura covers, I’m kinda interested now. The Eva girl one looks pretty nice, I wonder if it’s worth a buy.

      Hehe, yeah, I’ve gotten into some weird hobbies too. I’m starting to collect camera flashes now, for example. I don’t believe that the Blu-ray format includes region locking so I think you’re good to go in that respect. Getting R2 DVDs and BDs seems to be a favorite hobby on the AnimeOnDVD forum, though I’m quite happy to wait for the localized versions since I don’t actually watch a ton of anime (I might have one of the lowest anime viewing time to anime merchandise expenditure ratios on the planet). And I still need to get a PS3 someday just so I can watch Blu-rays and play that copy of Valkyria Chronicles I’ve had shrink-wrapped for half a year … now that I remember that, I bought that with Mass Effect 2, and that game’s also still in its shrinkwrap. In fact, I don’t know where it is in my room; I don’t recall seeing it in months.

      Nah, I e-mailed him and he said he hadn’t gotten them yet. He did follow up with an e-mail saying he had gotten another customer’s order from White Canvas, so I’m guessing and hoping that the problem is with the retailer. Maybe I shoulda put in the order at Doujindou instead; they were pretty prompt at shipping my doujinshi out to my buyer in Japan. I wonder if White Canvas has an option to combine orders or something; I know the Nanoha pillowcase is out for sure, since it was in stock at Toranoana this morning (though it’s sold out now), and I was thinking that they’d ship them separately. I guess I can’t complain if that’s what they’re doing, since I don’t think I want to pay separate EMS bills for one pillowcase per parcel.

      That sounds like quite the haul. And that’s pretty unfortunate about the Tony stuff. I’m not sure if he saves his best stuff for Winter Comiket or not, but I recall that the one dakimakura cover I’ve got of the Clannad girls was a winter product, so hopefully he’ll have a new pillowcase up. Heck, hopefully he’ll update his website, it looks like he hasn’t posted anything since August.

      I’m glad that you got those pillowcases through customs XD I always hear a ton of horror stories about the customs agencies and postal services in other countries, so I’m thinking we have it pretty good in the US. Speaking of Anko Koubou, it looks like there’s a pillowcase of Saber in her blue dress on Mandarake; I don’t remember if you were wanting that or not but I seem to recall that you got the red version. Man, those pillowcases sound great. I need some new dakimakura covers; I’m thinking about putting in an order for that one by Nakaba Reimei (I think I’ve linked it her before) but I’m kinda waiting to see what happens with the two I’ve already ordered. Maybe I’ll put in my order with the guy who bought my C78 doujinshi for me, he was a good dude to deal with.

  34. Shashin says:

    That’s true. My D-Stage order had quite a few doujinshi, with 4-5 dakimakura covers, and was over $1000 after all fees. Some of the covers were in the 15000 range, though. It’s been okay buying a few from YHJ from time to time; have had some invoices that were $12-20, which isn’t too bad when you consider that most probably retail for 800-1200 yen. That’s just doujinshi, though – thicker manga would have expensive shipping and such added to it. Though it would be interesting to see the two costs compared; since J-list sells them for about $20 a piece, then shipping. I’d imagine if you’re just picking one or two up from YHJ (so there’s no special order fee), that might be the way to go if it’s under a certain amount. Batch shipping could make up some difference, and if you were able to order a couple from the same seller. But paying shipping straight from Japan (if it’s over a certain weight.. like I’ve had to do a couple of times >_>) would definitely put the ball in J-List’s favor unless you got it for 500-700 yen on YHJ. I own the Eva girl one (assuming you’re talking about the one with the three girls), and it’s really quite nice; fairly detailed nether regions too. I’d definitely recommend it at that price, but I’m still personally a bit wary. The cover is still available on D-Stage for 14000 yen, so I’m not sure why the manufacturer would agree to sell for such a low price comparably. Guess maybe the promise of the foreigners (most of which are unlikely to pay 14000 yen) is too tempting to pass up; though it would bring up an interesting question if J-List would ship the product inside Japan.

    I actually got the first BD today (all the others are preorders), and I’m very happy with the extra. Somehow managed to screw up the linking to the article on it, but it’s basically a large plastic sheet with the three characters nude. Definitely worth the cost since I seem to blanket (heh) dakimakura, sheets (even plastic), and the like into the general collectible category I prefer; granted dakimakura covers are my favorite. One of the two episodes has a delicious amount of fan service, so it’s not a complete waste. Still, unless there’s someway I can hack subs onto the disks while viewing them on my PS3, I doubt this or any of the other BDs I ordered will see much use. Definitely a strange impulse buy… My PS3 is the only system I’ve booted up in the last couple months. Mostly to watch DVDs/stream Netflix/tv, but I’ve played the occasional game; I’m about halfway through Valkyria Chronicles and I’d definitely recommend it.

    Yeah, I remember him being prompt the one time I used him for the two Tony covers. It’s possible that they combine orders; I’m sure quite a few places do it, and if you pay up front and they have enough warehouse space, I doubt it would be a problem for them to hold it off, unless you requested otherwise. Though, the EveningCall cover is definitely out; I just picked it up on YHJ about an hour ago. >_>

    I’m very happy with it. And that would be great for my collection if Tony had another cover coming out; though I’ve never been fond of the material he uses for his covers. Shame he hasn’t updated his website; hopefully it means that he’s saving up something big for Winter Comiket…

    Heh, it sounds terrible, but that’s one plus about proxy services. Don’t know how much protection it would offer, and I hope we never find out, but it would be interesting to see how the law would play out. Yeah, I doubt if they check more than 1/1000 packages here, but it’s still a shame that we even have to worry about such a thing. Yeah, I do have the red one. I’d imagine the blue is the same otherwise, so I’d only ever pick it up to have a backup so I could put one of them on my pillow. It is a decent price, all thing considered, though. Mandarake actually has quite a few dakimakura in stock that I want to pick up, but I try not to visit them often because I know I’ll spend a lot of money if I see all the stuff I want… Generally it happens when I’m browsing the daily additions to the site; some of that stuff goes in fast, so I don’t even think about it as I check the site at 8am (12am in Japan, would be 7am now, I guess) and add stuff to my cart. They’re all definitely quality covers, and I’m very pleased, even if I sounded a bit disappointed explaining them; guess I’m becoming a small bit of a dakimakura snob these days. I’ll gladly take some pictures of them and some others I’ve acquired recently when I get a chance, if you’d like. I support you buying more dakimakura covers; you mentioned Doujindou earlier, and they have one of the nicest selections I’ve seen. There’s a lot I want to buy all over the place, and it’s been very hard to control my spending on the matter. I actually just found a new circle tonight that has some very pleasing covers:
    I’d pick up all of them given the money and opportunity. The green haired roboelf (from PSP2) is on Mandarake for 10000 yen; been there for awhile, so I hope it doesn’t sell anytime soon. An Angel Beats one is on YHJ, and the pinkish haired chick is in the adult section. Then there’s a couple on the various doujin good sites. I’m actually fairly proud of myself that I haven’t snapped the 3 available ones up yet; I figured the BRS cover was enough for tonight, but there’s always tomorrow. >_>

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I remember you picked it up and I thought it looked pretty awesome. I guess I’ll keep an eye on J-List and see whether more pillowcases show up, since I’m not sure where they’re getting the ones they have.

      I guess I’ll flip him another e-mail in a week or so if I haven’t heard from him by then. It’s not a huge deal since he won’t ship them till the end of the month anyway, but I’d like to know where they are or if there are any issues with my order. Now that I think about it, White Canvas offers international shipping on non-adult products, so maybe they’d answer if I sent them an e-mail. I wonder if Evening Call didn’t get the pillowcases to White Canvas or something.

      Yeah, I would definitely be interesting in seeing your stuff. And that circle has some really nice stuff, too. I remember seeing their Sora Kasugano pillowcase and I like it a lot, but I don’t particularly like the character now that her anime is airing. I’ve got the feeling that I really should not watch the Black Rock Shooter OVA because I’m thinking I’ll wind up disliking the franchise completely, but on the other hand, it gives me something to talk about when I write up GSC’s next figure.

  35. Shashin says:

    Yeah, exactly. It would be one thing if they were all from the same circle; I could see them working out a deal with a circle or two to sell cases at a reduced price, but it looks like there are several different circles with a case or two up there. I hope that they continue to add more, but I’m just a little wary.

    Yeah, I know how you feel; being left in the dark is never fun. Never bothered emailing SMJ about my D-Stage order, as I knew some items were set to ship several months later, but I didn’t know if they were getting it in pieces and holding part of the order for months until the rest came in, or if they got it all in one big shipment. I guess that’s possible, but you would think that with the amount of cases they had that they would have this down to a science by now.. but stuff does happen, and maybe smaller sites get stuff later than the major ones.

    I’ll try to take some shots within the next few days. Believe it or not, though I really like the art and the rest of her physical appearance, I think her boobs are a bit too small for me. I would still buy the case in the future, if given the chance. I do really want the Azusa cover though; I don’t particularly like the character, but I just love the facial expression, and the unique side view. It’s up on YHJ, but I’m not bidding 25000 yen at the moment…. if I get desperate enough and have some money to burn in a few months, but not right now. Hmm, appears to be a trade off either way then. On the plus side, maybe if you find that you dislike the series you’ll stop buying so much BRS merchandise.

    • Shashin says:

      You’ll have to excuse my laziness, but laying out dakimakura covers on a futon with a wrinkled sheet, when I don’t have clear walkways is a bit of pain. >_>

      So I just took pictures of the plastic sheeting (which was much smaller than I thought it was), and the 3 あんこ工房 covers since they happened to be on top in the box. I’m thinking I’ll just buy some clothespins or something and figure a way to hang them up without damaging them; figure it would be easier to take shots that way. So I’ll try to take some more shots within the next few days.

  36. Tier says:

    Yeah, I’m kinda curious about where they’re getting those pillowcases too. I really would like to believe they’re real and my gut tells me that there’s a better chance that they are real than not, since there are a ton of other bootleg goods like CDs and DVDs that they could have readily sold if they wanted to sell illegitimate goods.

    Still dunno where my two dakimakura covers are, but at least I heard back from Yokatta about my third big-ass doll. Hopefully she ships soon, assuming Yokatta isn’t affected by this Japan Post weirdness I’ve been hearing about.

    Man, those pillowcases and the Asobi no Ikuyo sheet look great. I really like that Francesca one and the one with the pink-haired girl, and the anal footsie is really cool too. Yeah, I had a ton of problems figuring out how to take pictures of pillowcases; I wound up stacking up my big pieces of foamboard that I use as photo backdrops and clipping the dakimakura covers to them to get them flat.

    • Shashin says:

      Yeah, as you said, it would make more sense for them to sell legitimate goods, but it’s still really strange.

      that’s good at least, though I did just read up on the Japan Post weirdness myself. Hopefully it wouldn’t cause any problems for any types of packages from places we would get them.

      I like them all a lot, though I am a bit disappointed I didn’t opt for tricot with the Francesca one, but I’m still glad that I picked it up. The anal footsie was definitely the highlight of that cover, though the circle seems to do a mix of fairly tame and extremely erotic covers; all the erotic ones have been pleasing. That’s not a bad idea. I’d imagine putting them on a pillow would also be a decent method, but that’s quite a bit of work if you’re taking shots of more than one cover at a time.

      • Tier says:

        Yay, I heard from M-World and he has my stuff. Unfortunately, the very same day he got them this whole Japan Post thing happened. He’s gotten caught by it so now he has to apply for a business contract, and I guess I won’t be getting my stuff until sometime early next year. I swear to God that Jesus just doesn’t want me to get my porno pillowcases. On the plus side, it does not seem to have affected Amiami, Hobby Search, Yokatta, SMJ, or Tokyohunter.

  37. Shashin says:

    Wow, talk about the worst timing possible. I guess he could try sending it in two packages, but the weight limit of 16 ounces (that’s seriously low, especially if it included packaging :/) is ridiculous; dakimakura covers are light, but they’d still probably reach about a pound. That really sucks though. I know it doesn’t affect the majority of trade, because people with business account can bypass it, but it prevents the smaller operations from doing business, such as M-World. I imagine that while most of his customers will be understanding, a few will think it’s his fault. All the more reason I believe in His Noodly Appendage; there’s no way he would keep me from my silky porn.

    Even though I’m stressing out as I watch my expenses pile, I keep adding stuff to my preorder list. Though she’s my favorite character from the limited exposure I have to the series (looking at hentai of the characters, pretty much >_>), Ryoufu is my favorite Ikki Tousen character and I don’t yet have a figure of her (that I recall anyway.) So I preordered the one set to drop in February, because I figured it’s about time I get one, and who can resist a cast-offable maid? I really do like the facial expression and pose. The other small kick I’ve been on is some video games. Started with Yakuza 4 since it was in the bargain bin at AmiAmi (probably cheaper than I’d be able to buy it here), won’t have any of the shit cut from the American version. Of course it won’t have subtitles, but that’s not the biggest issue; the game should still be fun even if I don’t understand what’s going on… if anything, the zaniness of some of the scenes might be even better. Then I’ve preordered Criminal Girls, just because it seems…interesting. As well as Catherine, because I’m a big fan of the Persona/Atlus games, and by the way it’s looking, I’m seriously doubting an intact English release any time soon, if ever. I’m also thinking about Arcana Hearts 3 because who doesn’t like a good fighter every now and then?

    I have to say, the thing that depressed me most about the last generation (and some of this generation) of gaming was the lack of easy imports. Sure, you could import the games easily enough if you were willing to spend the money, but most of the consoles required a mod chip or tinkering of some sort, and I wasn’t willing to void my warranty. I miss being able to boot up Japanese Dreamcast games (possibly with the help of a boot disk) to my heart’s content. I loved my PS2, and apparently it wasn’t that hard to mod, but there were so many Japanese games coming out for the system that I wanted to play… I even thought about buying a Japanese PS2, but the cost wasn’t worth it. So I’m very happy, that as far as I’m aware, PSP/PS3 games lack region protection. I guess I’ll find out firsthand soon enough.

    • Tier says:

      My favorite doujinshi buyer is also getting jacked by this. That really sucks since winter Comiket is coming up pretty soon and there was stuff I wanted to get, and I really don’t want to go through SMJ for Toranoana stuff. Hopefully this stuff blows over and they restore normal shipping service soon.

      Ah, you got that one? I wasn’t too thrilled by it, but admittedly I’m not too thrilled by any Griffon figures these days. I’ve got three of their Ikkitousen figures and I really wouldn’t mind selling them all if I could, but I don’t think I’d get much money for any of them. There’s a few other figures I’d like to hock, like Alter’s Mio and GSC’s BRS figures. Maybe later after their re-releases.

      I wound up buying a new camera flash recently, mostly on impulse. It’s a used model that dates back to the Clinton Administration, and for the price I paid, I could’ve gotten two brand-new units of the cheap Hong Kong flash I use now. I might start collecting cheap flashes … that seems kinda like a weird hobby, but I dunno, I like collecting things. Even though I don’t have a huge need for another flash, I’m looking forward to it anyway.

      Criminal Girls definitely looks weird but pretty funny. And I’ve got hopes that Catherine will make it over here reasonably intact, since Atlus is a smaller developer and publisher. I’m looking forward to Super Dimensional Game Neptune … I guess I may have to finally get a PS3 for that. And sometimes I think about getting a Japanese 360, just to get some of the weirdo games for it, like Dream Club and The iDOLM@STER (I get a kick out of typing it that way). Region locking really sucks. If you have some free time, go look up Metal Wolf Chaos on Youtube; it’s the most patriotic American game ever made and Americans never got to play it since the full game never made it over here. The scene with Air Force One taking off is one of the most indisputably awesome things I’ve ever seen in a video game.

  38. Shashin says:

    That sucks. Honestly, I’d be really pissed if this is from pressure within the USA; I could understand Japan Post doing thing because they worry they can’t serve their customers well due to delays or something, but if it was someone from the US government that suggested they do so, I’d be fuming. Granted it’s not really the biggest thing in the grand scheme of things, but the last 10 years have easily been some of the worst in American history when it comes to liberty.

    Now that you mention, it I think I have 3-4 Griffon figures. I’m certain I have the Kanu maid outfit figure, but I’ve never opened it. I may also have another Kanu figure, with her on all fours… but quite a few of figure makers like that pose for her, so I couldn’t say certainly. I may also have the Queen’s Blade Allean, but if I do, I haven’t opened it. I know for certain I have the Kenshin figure from them. I remember being moderately impressed, yet disappointed at the same time; though I don’t remember what disappointed me exactly. I just remember that it was really weird, but kind of cool, that she had a separate body part for the cast off section. If I remember correctly, instead of flimsy clothes that resulted in a terrible body/terrible clothes, she had an entirely different torso. You still had to remove the head and maybe some other parts, but it amused me greatly. Still, I don’t remember being entirely impressed with their other figures; I recently canceled the Escalayer figure. I just like Ryofu, saw the figure up for preorder, and decided why now. It’s about time I get a figure of her. Did watching the OVA/anime for BRS make you decide you wanted to sell the figures? I have the Alter Mio preordered, but I’m still on the fence about her. I really like the figure, but I need to be cutting back on purchases, and if Tomoe gets pushed back yet again, there’s no way I can afford it.

    Ouch, that tough. I can understand the hobby, though. Look at me and my collection of dakimakura. No way in hell I could use them all, even if completely covering an area displaying them (which I’d never do) all around a room, I’d still probably only use a portion of them depending on the size of the room. Then there’s the recent purchases of blurays. I’ve never even watched To-Love-Ru, yet I’ve already pre-ordered the first two disks, and will probably do more, depending on future screen caps… I have few qualms about downloading the disks for free, but I’ve chosen to purchase them. >_>

    Yeah, though unfortunately it will probably only be ecchi, no matter how erotic it is. Still, the girls are fairly cute, it does indeed look weird/funny, and I love me some RPGs, so I’ll probably enjoy it either way. It would be great if Catherine made it over uncut; I’m really looking forward to it. Doubt the sex/nudity will be all that hardcore (since Japanese consoles seem to be fairly tame, oddly enough), so it’s possible that it may make it over depending on how strong it is; it wouldn’t surprise me if they had to cut it, though. Then some of the monster design is overtly sexual in a creepy way… we’ve had Silent Hill and the like, but who knows how the ESRB works sometimes.

    I’ve put some thought into it myself, though I’m very happy that the PS3 is region free. 360 seems to be the otaku system of choice for a large selection of games, though. They don’t really have much else of anything over there… but they always seem to get the best weirdo titles. I was actually just recently thinking about picking one up, because I really want Gal Gun.

    Yeah, I’ve heard about the game, and it is truly amazing in almost every fashion. There’s been a ton of other games I’ve wanted to play over the years, but as I mentioned, I was never willing to crack my system open/buy a dedicated Japanese unit. I have imported some games from time to time. I actually bought Love Plus + a few months back just to see what all the rage was about, but my DS battery is toasted and I’ve been too lazy to order one online. I’ll probably just get rid of it (it’s a Mario Kart fat DS) and pick up and DSiXL if the price drops with the 3DS. My favorite import game either has to be Ikaruga (it’s one of my favorite games period, but I discount it since it has seen American shores) or Segagaga. Had absolutely no idea what was going on, but as a Sega fanboy I had a sense of pride playing it… and it also was weird as fuck.

    • Tier says:

      My understanding is that this is caused by the US, though I’ve seen absolutely no evidence to confirm that and you know how quickly rumors get repeated on the internet. Yeah, it’s pretty distressing how that’s changed since 9/11. Granted, I work for a defense contractor so my employment and prosperity are very closely tied to the military industrial complex and DHS, but I really don’t think that all these security measures are worthwhile; moving towards a police state in the name of defending liberty seems like a very peculiar contradiction to me.

      Yeah, I can understand getting the figure because of Ryofu; for some reason nobody’s done a really good Ryofu, despite her being one of the early fan favorites (at least, I think people liked her). I try not to hold too many preconceived notions about figure manufacturers – I’ve seen a ton of people bash Yamato because Danny Choo once criticized one of their figures, but I like Yamato – but I haven’t seen a lot of stuff from Griffon that impresses me. Still, if they made an Irma figure, I’d get it without thinking.

      Nah, I still haven’t watched the BRS anime, though I need to, since I’ve got that new figure coming in the mail very soon and I probably should mention it in my writeup. It’s mostly because this new figure is stylistically identical to the older figure (other than the goof with the star on her jacket) and I don’t like having two figures of the same character that look so similar. Unless I really like the character, anyway.

      Yeah, I only have like six or seven dakimakura covers but I still like collecting them. I just like collecting things … I had my TMNT action figure and stuffed animal collection as a kid, then I collected basketball and football cards, and then I collected video games. Now I collect figures. The funny thing is, collecting camera flashes would be a much cheaper hobby than collecting figures, though I don’t intend to sacrifice the latter. There’s also a practical aspect to it; one of my cheap Hong Kong flashes broke on me and I still have to send it back for replacement, so I’m down a unit now. I don’t necessarily need another but there were a few times recently where I wanted one more light.

      I think there’s a chance it might make it over intact; I’ve read somewhere that US games tend to feature more explicit content than Japanese games. Gal Gun looks hilarious, though I read somewhere that Microsoft was trying to get them to tone down the pantyshots or something. I probably misread the article. I’d like to play Dream Club, though I have the feeling that my goal of getting the girls liquored up so that they fall over when they try to dance isn’t actually possible in the game.

      Yeah, Ikaruga was one of my favorite import games as well, though sorta by default, as it’s one of the few games I’ve imported recently that I’m able to play (and I really suck at it; I can barely beat the second stage without needing to continue). I also bought Mushihime-sama Futari for the 360 and Psyvariar 2 and Shin Megami Tensei Nine on the old Xbox, but I’m not able to play those latter two games because of the region locking. I’m thinking maybe I should find a cheap used Xbox and try to mod it so that I can play those games.

  39. Shashin says:

    It really is unfortunate. Not much more I can say past that; hope people such as yourself manage to keep your jobs and such, but I don’t care for the direction this country is moving in. I’d move to Canada or something eventually, but they have an outright ban on loli, so I may want to avoid that.

    I’ve seen a few figures of hers that I liked over the years; not necessarily anything quality, but a few that I’ve liked…then there have been some absolutely horrendous ones that I wouldn’t want in my collection if they gave her to me. While we’re on the subject of crappy figures for a series, a new Qwaser figure of Katja is up for preorder today. I still want a good figure of her, but I don’t think this will be the one. I like the pose and facial expression (though I think I would prefer something more in line with her other personality) well enough, but the quality of the figure doesn’t look that great otherwise in the production shots. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy browsing Danny Choo every now and then, but it seems that people really are incapable of forming their own opinions on things these days. I probably have a few Yamato figures, though none absolutely stand out in my mind right now. I did just buy their Ignis figure from the AmiAmi bargain bin; haven’t opened it up, but it looked pretty good through the plastic window. And though entirely unrelated, Buddy released today and I’m still a bit sad that I canceled her.

    Ah, that’s understandable. I have the cannon/sword version from GSC; backed out of the animation version a few weeks back. I like them all, but I needed to cut back on spending and canceling that figure was easier than getting rid of the original or keeping both. I do really like the cannon version; I’d probably keep it myself even if I didn’t like to have similar figures (I don’t know how many figures I have of Kanu that are in a relatively similar pose.)

    Yeah, my thing when I was young were cars (and video games, of course.) Had a ton of matchbox and some other bigger models. Then trading cards; baseball, football, Pokemon, then Yugioh for a bit (more of a business venture there… I bought packs cheap and sold off rares.) Dakimakura covers aren’t practical, but they make me happy, so I can’t complain. I guess instead of serving a purpose by lighting up my pictures, they give me a silky smooth thing to cuddle and scare off any potential intruders… or something.

    Yeah, but nudity just doesn’t appear to be something US audiences do well, at least in terms of rating. The hot coffee mod was a massive scandal, though I think we’ve progressed a bit since then. God of War and the like do have nudity and implied sex, but it’s never on screen. Though Japan can be pretty backwards too; I read somewhere that the Playboy covers in Mafia II were censored despite being really tame by today’s standards. It actually scares me a bit for Catherine’s Japanese release. As much as it would suck to never have an English version of the game because of really racy content, I’d much rather they push the limits in Japan with nudity and such than have a toned down game here or there. We’ll see, though. Nah, I think I read something similar… after it was in development for months with an okay from Microsoft, apparently. Hopefully nothing comes of it, as it would be a shame if light hearted tentacle and pantsu fun are toned down from a game that doesn’t have much else. You’re probably right there, but it would be amazing if any game did add such a feature… it would be hours of entertainment just to see what new and unique ways you could make a girl’s career crash and burn.

    True enough. I’ve only imported a handful of games myself, some of which were fairly story based. Ikaruga wins almost by default as I could actually navigate what was going on without any trouble and get the intended joy out of the game. Though I do love shooters. I’m terrible at the game myself; I’ve made it to stage 5 once, but have, shamefully, never beat the game. I think that would be a cool project. I’ve always wanted to mod something myself, but have never had the balls to do so. Should be easy enough to find a cheap Xbox somewhere, and if you screw it up, no big deal. I might give it a try myself eventually.

    • Tier says:

      Err, hrmm, yeah, that Katja figure doesn’t look that great. Looks sorta like a porcelain doll or something, which really isn’t what I think of when I think of Katja. I dunno what to think of the Kasumi figure that I see is up for preorder. I don’t think I like it right now but I have the feeling I could change my mind. And dang, Buddy’s out, I guess I need an idea for photographing her. What to do, what to do, hmm.

      Yeah, that’s why I collect stuff as well; I just enjoy collecting things, particularly if it’s something a bit offbeat, like dakimakura covers. I can’t say I know too many people who collect pillowcases; I know a lot of people who are curious about them, and I know a few people who’ve gotten the cheap one-sided ones that sometimes come with magazines, but I don’t know too many people who get the full-blown porno ones.

      Yeah, nudity will probably bring an M rating down with the quickness. Hopefully it makes it through unscathed, though; Atlus seems to be pretty good about trying to maintain faithfulness to the Japanese version. Though they did mildly censor Luminous Arc 2’s box cover, heh.

      Drunken dancing would be epic, and I’m sure there would be many Dream Club videos uploaded to Youtube if you could do that. I’m thinking there’s a market opportunity there for someone willing to add such a feature to their game.

      Yeah, I’m thinking it’s sounding more interesting. I modded my Sega Saturn (though I screwed up on my first attempt and damaged the console, so I had to get another one. Fortunately this was well after they had been discontinued) and I had to replace the DVD drive in my original Xbox, so I figure I should be reasonably comfortable with this project. Well, that and I studied electrical engineering in college so you’d think I ought to be handy with electronics, but in reality I am completely clueless with them.

  40. Shashin says:

    She is cute there, but it’s just not the type of figure I want of her; that and the details are terrible. Her dress looks incredibly fake, and the necklace she has looks like it’s soldered into her skin, or something. I have mixed thoughts about the Kasumi figure, myself. I think the pose is good, and her body is pleasing… but there’s just something implacable weirdness on her face. I like the ribbon in her mouth, but the face just doesn’t suit her, or something.

    Very true. I can safely feel some sort of nerd superiority in my dakimakura collection is truly something awe inspiring, and I can talk to others curious about them in great detail… Actually, don’t really care about the first one, but it actually is fairly fun to talk to people who have an interest in dakimakura covers, whether they have a couple like you or are still on the fence about getting one. For the latter, it feels good to spread the joy of dakimakura to others. I have a feeling I’m sounding a bit too creepy in my love for dakimakura right now. >_>

    Yeah, I really hope so too, even though I”m buying a Japanese copy. Atlus is easily my favorite publisher these days; I love the Megami Tensei series, and they tend to localize a lot of other gems that are developed by other companies. Truly heroes in this day in age when we see nothing but football, sandbox, and shooter games locally (don’t get me wrong, I love all of those games, but none have been innovative for years.)

    You should forward the idea to someone in their company… or to an eroge maker. Drunken dancing would be a marvelous thing, but just imagine if a company created a parody game on the genre with the drunken dancing… and what goes on after the show. Now that I would buy both a copy instantly, and whatever platform it was on.

    It is really fascinating, and you often see complex mods that other people do. I wouldn’t want to do anything too extravagant, but if I could play import games without needing a Japanese system, I’d be very happy. The only experience I have myself is changing/adding parts to my PC. But a PS2/Xbox would be cheap enough these days that it wouldn’t be the greatest loss if things went sour.

    • Tier says:

      Oh this is just great, apparently Yokatta is getting screwed by the postal embargo too. Apparently they didn’t find out until today. Wonderful. I guess this is Jesus’s way of telling me that he just doesn’t want me to get my stuff. What did I do? I must’ve done something really bad in a previous life. I asked them to check whether Fedex shipping is a possibility and looking at the calculator on their website, it appears that they might charge somewhere around 8000 to 12000 yen or more. I’m stupid enough that I might actually pay that because I just want my damn doll already. If I am dumb enough to do that I really, really hope that Yokatta doesn’t take their own sweet time getting the package shipped because the only reason I’d pay out the ass for this is because I want my stuff faster.

      Someone on Tsuki-board compared Kasumi to Megamind and now that I can’t unsee that image, I’m thinking I don’t really want her too much right now. If someone wants to make a Katja figure that looks like this, I don’t think I’d have any objections.

      • Cantan says:

        Yeah, it’s a real shame about that postal embargo and stuff… actually no it’s not; I’m not a Yankie Doodle! So… what shall I order today ’cause I’m not affected by it… let me see…

        Mind you could be painful for the rest of us too before long. The Germans have got their knickers in a twist over another package as well recently. Here’s hoping people don’t overreact.

        • Tier says:

          Bah. This is perhaps the first time I have ever envied the postal services of other nations. I always hear horror stories about how customs inspectors go all Nazi with packages and how people have to pay huge fees for imported parcels and stuff, but now I guess it’s the US’s turn to show its suck.

          • Cantan says:

            Yep – no denying that about our customs & postage system – haven’t managed to get a single figure (marked as) costing over about $60 through without paying tax yet. They are way too vigilant. Currently have 3 figures enroute – only blessing is that I managed to combine 2 of the orders so that I only have to pay 1 lot of handling charges (just an extra kick in the teeth). Couldn’t say no to U-Art’s Ryofu in the end – will be very disappointed if she turns out to be crap.

            Was very undecided about Buddy but finally paid for her. Am trying to put an embargo on buying anymore for a while – certainly until the new year. Only figure that could possibly sway me would be Daiki’s recent Normal face Kanu. Very cute in my opinion but all sold out for the time being (yeah – I know they are releasing an LE one later but I’m trying to resist)

          • Tier says:

            Ouch. It sounds like getting things in the mail can be a rough proposition worldwide. Though sometimes I have to marvel how an item can go from halfway across the world to my door in just three days.

            I got Buddy today, and I think she looks great. I just need to figure out how to photograph her in a way that befits her.

  41. Shashin says:

    Bleh, that really sucks. Shame there’s not really much you can do, except for wait out the (indefinite) ban, go with a slow/uninsured (think EMS is the only insured shipping option :/), or pay the extra for Fedex. All of those options fucking suck, and I’d imagine if you knew you were going to run into these problems, you would have either gone through a different vendor or held off entirely; being forced into the extra charges if you want your stuff is not cool at all. Don’t know if it’s a possibility, but you may want to try emailing SMJ or another deputy service that hasn’t run into this problem. Try explaining your situation and see if they’d be willing to ship it for you, for a fee smaller than the Fedex option (if it’s even an option.) No guarantee they’ll help or that they’ll charge a reasonable fee, but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

    Heh, I see the resemblance now. That head is just all types of fucked; I don’t even know how it’s possible. It’s weird because it does have some attractive qualities and the body looks great, but the shape/expression just look creepy. I may pick it up in the bargain bin, if it ever reaches a cheap enough price, but I’ll stay away from it otherwise. I would happily buy a figure in that pose, on the condition that it wasn’t terrible like all the other Qwaser figures that have come out thus far.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, while I’m guessing surface shipping might be faster than waiting a month or two for them to get a shipping contract, I don’t think I feel too comfortable sending a $500 doll uninsured. That’s not a bad idea, I might do that. I’m waiting to hear back from Yokatta about the Fedex charge; I heard from M-World, it sounds pretty much like Fedex, UPS, or DHL is absolutely a no-go there.

      I agree with that; I’m kinda hoping they go back and revise her head, since her breasts look pretty good. Well, sorta; I took a look at the sample pics on Moeyo and her breasts are sorta melting into each other, like Tamaki’s hands used to do. It’s a shame, there ought to be more decent figures of Kasumi out there but so many of them miss the mark.

      I’m still hopeful that someone does some decent Seikon no Qwaser figures, but it comes to mind that Taki Corp helped produce the show, and I have this suspicion that that means we will never, ever see good figures of any of those characters.

      • Shashin says:

        That sucks, but the entire situation is far from ideal, I guess. Hopefully SMJ will be able to help you out, as it looks like it’s about your only option if you want to get things even reasonably fast and safely.

        That’s a shame about the breasts; they looked quite nice at first glance. I wish there were more figures of Ayane, as well. There have been a couple decent ones, but the majority I don’t really care for. The one in the AmiAmi bargain bin doesn’t look bad, but it isn’t showing as much skin as I’d like. E2046 had a 1/4 scale Ayane… wasn’t bad, but I don’t really like the “realistic” Ninja Gaiden style face they gave her.

        That’s unfortunate. Maybe they’ll get lucky and actually produce a decent one something, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

        So there’s something interesting to note in the J-List dakimakura thing going on. They have a few covers taken from Dakemakura, all of which are still able to be ordered from them, as far as I understand it.

        They correctly listed two as 150×50, but a Touhou one is only available in 160×50 on the Dakemakura website, as far as I can tell, yet they listed it as 150×50. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very possible that it’s a mistake, but I’m already very wary of them selling covers that are still commercially available at quite a lower price.

        • Tier says:

          I got a price quote of like 12000 yen to ship the doll by Fedex, which I guess is too pricey for me to even contemplate. Oh well. That’s the way life goes, I suppose.

          Yeah, I’d really like a decent-looking figure of Ayane; the recent one isn’t really one of my favorites, the DOAX one was kinda bad looking, and the Volks one is okay except her neck looks way too long and yeah, I like her DOA anime-style face better. I’d also like one of Lisa; maybe with the game moving on to Nintendo’s new handhold we’ll see some more figures of the DOA girls.

          Hmm, well, that’s peculiar. Maybe I’ll e-mail them and ask them what’s up. It just seems peculiar, though maybe they’re getting a break of pricing or something; dakimakura covers can’t be that expensive at all to manufacture.

          • Shashin says:

            Ouch, that sucks. What do you think you’ll do? Wait it out and just hope that things blow over soon?

            We can only hope, I guess. I agree that all the recent figures were more than a little weak. My favorite of them would probably be the Kotobukiya figure, though.

            Yeah, it’s likely just a typo, and they probably have found some way to get them cheaper than the going price. Still, with the odd collection of circles, I’d guess that they’re getting them from a 3rd party source, and not necessarily directly from the circles. I thought about sending an email to Dakemakura to bring it to their attention/ask if they’re selling to J-List. You’re right though, they probably are fairly cheap to manufacture.

          • Tier says:

            Yeah, I’ll probably wait it out … I’ve got this feeling that if I took any proactive action like paying out the ass for Fedex or going through SMJ that the ban would get lifted the next day and I’d feel like an idiot. I mean, this thing can’t last forever, can it? At least, I like to think that it won’t, but I guess who knows.

  42. Shashin says:

    Hopefully things will blow over soon, then. Certainly a shitty situation no matter how you look at it.

    Hmm, the store is closed today, but the Hobby Search English site redirects to the Japanese page. That’s interesting. Probably be fixed by the time the store opens up again Monday, but I’ve never had it happen to me before with Hobby Search. I have had some issues reverting back to the English site when i wanted to check something on the Japanese AmiAmi page, but never with Hobby Search.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, it’s kinda peculiar. I do recall that this happened about a month or so ago with Hobby Search, and it comes to mind that there was a note on the 17th saying that the Japanese site would be down for maintenance for some time. I’m assuming that they’re doing server maintenance on the English site today, though who knows; maybe they’re tired of all the overseas gaijin complaining about their Black Rock Shooter figures that they are going to cash out of the international business entirely.

  43. Shashin says:

    Their English site was down at the same time, so I just assumed they had taken care of everything then. I’m sure it is a pain in the ass dealing with all us foreigners, though. With as many preorders as I’ve canceled, I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted to pull out of the English side of things; I mean, it can’t make that much of their business. Though who knows exactly how much they sell to foreigners in comparison. I’m chalking it up as a glitch that will probably be fixed by Monday; I doubt they’d just pull out of the market without a notice at least.

  44. Shashin says:

    It’s interesting to note that J-List has removed all the dakimakura covers they had listed. Guess we’ll see if they re-list them in a few days. I’m curious as to why they removed them; I’d hate to be right that they were acquired through illegitimate means. But I’ll wait and see if they re-list, issue a statement, or just quietly don’t list any more dakimakura covers.

    • Tier says:

      Hmm, curiouser and curiouser. Maybe they were fake after all, then. I suppose it would’ve been way too much to hope for that a source of authentic, cheap dakimakura covers would suddenly appear on an English-language, internationally-shipping website.

      • Shashin says:

        Yeah, now I want to know the circumstances behind it: did they know the covers were fake when they listed them? Did they think they just got a good deal? And so on. That’s why I really hope they’d issue a statement. If they just thought they got a good deal, that would be fine. But if they’re trying to sweep it under the rug because they knowingly listed some knockoffs then removed them as soon as someone complained, I’d have a problem with that. Of course, I doubt they’ll issue a statement because all of five people probably saw the covers listed, but I’m still really curious as to what the deal was. Either way, I am a bit disappointed in J-List: Either for willingly selling fake goods or being tricked into it. Of course there’s a small chance they did, but it’s not looking that way.

        Yeah, since they ship to Japan (being in Japan and all) I was wary of the whole thing from the start. I actually would have been more comfortable if they said that the covers were for foreign customers only, as quite a few of them were still selling from their circles/distributors for a good deal more than J-List was selling them for. Still, it’s a shame that we won’t have an authentic source of goods.

        • Shashin says:

          Googled the issue and found this topic:

          Glad they removed the covers once they were informed, but it’s still disappointing that they didn’t do their research first.

          • Tier says:

            Hmm, interesting. Good on them for pulling them, and I guess that shows how hard it can be to find authentic stuff, but I wonder why they didn’t ask more questions; I’ve never seen a doujin dakimakura cover go for less than 10k in the usual retail channels, and I’m seeing a disturbing trend of some of them going for 13 or 14k now. That’s definitely not too pleasing given the exchange rate.

          • Shashin says:

            Yeah, it’s good that they pulled them, but I’m with you on asking more questions. Seeing as they actually have an office based in Japan, and make a living by bringing Japanese culture to foreigners, you’d think they’d be a little more well versed in the actual workings of the said culture. I guess dakimakura covers are even a bit too extreme for them. Still, it’s disappointing that foreigners have to point out the problem to people running this business.

            It’s a very disturbing trend indeed, especially if you’re unable to acquire the cover you want during its initial run. Having to turn to YHJ because they’re sold out everywhere else, and paying 15000-40000 yen for a pillow case is a very painful affair… even if given a favorable exchange rate.

  45. Tier says:

    I wound up preordering that one dakimakura cover from Nakaba ReiMei. It cost a lot relative to other pillowcases that are retail-available but I want some new dakimakura covers already.

  46. Shashin says:

    So you did end up going with that one. I think it’s a nice cover, expensive or not. New dakimakura covers are always good. 😀

  47. Cantan says:

    Ok this seems strange. New preorder today:

    First up looks nothing like Revy, second up 1/4 at less than 10k yen. Ok I will almost certainly pass on it ’cause I don’t like the look of it… but seriously, seems very cheap considering.

    Also, anyone ever had any good experiences with Amie-grand? See they’ve annouced a new Kakouen figure that looks alright, but from what I’ve seen (pictures only) Amie-grand figures always look very bland an unnspired.

    (Also I’m shocked that you’re willing to pay so much for Dakimakuras. Can’t you wait 6 months and get the cheap chinese knockoffs for a 6th of the price instead? Still there are some very nice ones there.)

    • Tier says:

      Hmm, yeah, that’s pretty cheap for 1/4 scale. Her face kinda reminds me of a Keumaya face. Or the smile does, anyway. I remember A-Label did a KOF Vanessa figure that I kinda liked and was thinking of getting, but ultimately passed on.

      I have not a clue how good Amie-grand is, unfortunately. I like how their Kakouen figure looks, except the hair looks really undetailed, and I’d expect the technical quality level to be pretty low, as you say.

      I like to buy authentic stuff when I can. I’d really rather not get a bootleg pillowcase when the real thing is available, even if it costs way more any sane person would pay for a pillowcase, regardless of how awesome it looks.

      • Shashin says:

        Yeah, I’m not too fond of the figure myself. Especially the way her face looks when she has the cigarette in her mouth.. looks really crappy to me.

        As for dakimakura covers, I’m partially with Tier. I do like to get legit products if I can, but I’m not entirely against getting knock offs. I’ve definitely purchased a few $2 burned games during the time when burned games would play without any problems on a console. Dakimakura covers are a bit different, though. You can get some high quality knock offs, but there’s also a lot more to worry about.

        If you’re only getting them for display purposes, print quality is obviously the most important. You’ll probably have mixed results with this, depending on the bootlegger. I’d say the only real plus of knockoffs, other than price, is that it’s really easy to find a ton that have artwork that hasn’t been made into dakimakura covers. But obviously the printing quality will depend on the source image, I guess.

        If you ever plan to toss it on a pillow, it’s a bit more complicated. I still don’t really know what the difference in material is, but I only like the 2 way tricot/roika variations. SK and the others are not nearly as comfortable, and they can also get some pretty nasty crease marks.

        Then of course there’s wanting to support the circles so that they make more dakimakura. Don’t really care about this one as much if I’m buying a ridiculously marked up cover from YHJ, but if I’m buying it directly/through a store, then I know that they’ll tally up the sale.

        • Cantan says:

          I appreciate the supporting the circles bit, but there’s supporting it and then there’s paying $160 plus postage and taxes! Seriously, I can appreciate paying a fair premium but that seems massively excessive.

          Get the impression that the knockoffs are generally pretty high quality, particularly those on ebay – ebay merchants get very upset about anything less than a positive review, quite amusing really and a pretty powerful motivator!

          Still each to their own. I have a couple of knockoff figures (Keumaya mainly) and they seem alright but I much prefer the original figures I have got. I just feel the discrepancy in quality is likely much lower in respect to the dakimakura.

          • Tier says:

            Yeah, I’m not gonna use my bully pulpit here to preach ethics or anything. For one, I find it to be a boring subject and my own sense of ethics are so malleable that I’m not comfortable talking about them, anyway. I do have a number of bootleg figures (as E2046’s non-original stuff are bootlegs) but when I can, I like to get the real thing. It’s an odd personal inclination of mine.

          • Cantan says:

            Just to bring this matter to a close. I did find the one you just ordered for $40 on a chinese site – would almost be an interesting exercise to see how the two compared but I have to say that I’m not that interested. Not really a design I go for.

          • Shashin says:

            You’re probably right. I just don’t really mind paying it for whatever reason. I suppose I would purchase a cover if I could get it for $30 versus $160, but the majority of the covers I want are $80-100 for the knock off, so I figure the extra bit of money is worth the assurance that it will be of quality. If I ever do end up buying a knock off on ebay, and am happy with it, I may purchase more from that seller versus buying them legitimate. But something tells me I’ll still buy the majority of them directly from the seller if I could.

  48. Cantan says:

    Tier, did you ever get the Volks Kaguya Nanbu listed above? Am vaguely interested in her and Neige Hausen but haven’t seen any reviews yet (haven’t looked too closely though). Was wondering what your first impressions were like.


    • Tier says:

      I have not, though I’ve ordered it. For some reason I thought it was a February release but I’ve been seeing sample photos of her on Moeyo and Akibahobby recently. Looking through Volks’s page, I think they’ve said that she was sold at Comiket 79, which should have just started, but I have no clue when I’m getting mine since I’m not sure where Tokyohunter is getting his stock from. Volks’s website is a real mess, by the way.

      • Cantan says:

        Oh ok. There are a few on Ebay at the moment for about $165 so thought they’d been out for a while – didn’t realise they were such recent releases

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