It’s been a while since the last one so it’s a good time for me to collect my thoughts on some figures that I’ve either already ordered or am thinking of ordering. 2011 is looking like an excellent year for figures, and there are a few in this post that have already shot to the top of my wishlist. The pictures here are from Hobby Search, as always my favorite place to buy figures from. I don’t have any advertising on this site and I probably never will, but if I did, I’d roll with Hobby Search. Speaking of Hobby Search, they did send me my Black Rock Shooter stickers – for free, even including EMS shipping – but I haven’t gotten around to slapping one on her butt yet; when I do, I’ll get pictures up here right away.
Kyou Fujibayashi from Clannad
It’s kinda weird how a character can get multiple figures in a short period of time. Alter announced their test suit Asuka just a few days after Kotobukiya announced their’s; a whole slew of Tamaki Kousakas have debuted in the last few weeks; and now there are not one but two Kyou Fujibayashis dropping in the span of just a few months. I’ve got Kotobukiya’s version on preorder – though I’m sorta thinking I ought to cancel it and wait for her to get discounted – and I’m contemplating ordering Kaitendoh’s. I’m leaning against it though, since I’m not too familiar with Clannad and it looks a bit rough. She looks kinda like she has bed hair and this sleepy look on her face, which admittedly can be sexy under certain circumstances. The main reason I’m even considering her is I like her gym uniform; it’s one of the main reason I bought Wave’s figure a while back. I don’t see too many figures in gym bloomers for some reason, even though they’re pretty common in anime and manga.
Dark Magician from Yu-Gi-Oh
I’m a little too old to have heard of Yu-Gi-Oh and too young to have any kids who’d have played it, and if I did I’d incessantly mock them for playing something that looks so silly to me. And then I’d probably introduce them to Sengoku Rance and tell them to clear Agireda or no allowance for them. Still, I got to admit that the dark magician is really cute, though maybe a bit too pastel-looking for my taste. She’s crouched in a rather suggestive pose for a character from a children’s game, which just adds to her appeal, but I’m thinking she might be a better buy coming from the bargain bin.
I’ve got a few vmf50 dolls already and I hadn’t planned on picking up Sonico, and as it turned out it wouldn’t have mattered because she sold out within something like an hour. I guess Yamato saw all the money they were leaving on the table so they did a second round of preorders and having had a month to reconsider, I plunked down the skrills for her. I’m a moron like that. I’m not really sure how I want to dress her; a bondage harness doesn’t really seem fitting for her though then again, maybe that makes it even more appropriate. I’m willing to take ideas for her.
Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion
Here is yet another Rei figure, and I’m not certain if I’m going to get this one. Her hair looks a bit off to me; it’s spread out very wide, looking sort of like a lion’s mane, which I’m not sure I like. I can’t deny that I love her plugsuit and the way she fills it out, though. One curious thing about all the Rei figures that get churned out is that few of them have her standing up while wearing her plugsuit; Alter’s got one where she’s sitting down and another where she’s curled up on the floor, Kotobukiya’s got this one and the 1/6 scale one where she’s sorta leaning forward with her rump all thrust out and yet another one where she’s lying down, snuggled up against Asuka. But other than a 1/10 scale figure from Wave, I can’t think of any figures that have her standing up.
Dizzy from Guilty Gear XX Accent Core
Back when I wrote my review of Kotobukiya’s Dizzy, I expressed some disappointment that Necro and Undine weren’t modeled, and I ended it by saying, “Do I think that Alter or Max Factory would’ve done a better job? You bet.” And now here we are and Alter backs up my assertion with this breathtaking figure. Dizzy is one of my favorite characters in all of anime and video games so she was an automatic preorder. Trivia note: in the Xbox 360 game Guilty Gear Overture, there is strong (but circumstantial) evidence that Dizzy is married to Ky Kiske and is the mother of Sin, which would make her the first married character in my collection and the second mother (and the first biological mother).
Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
I don’t think I’m going to buy this figure – at least not initially – but I do kinda like it. And I really don’t have enough Fate Testarossa figures in my collection, so I’m giving this one a bit of thought. Once again, the manufacturer plays coy with the backside coverage provided by her suit, and I’m thinking they aren’t including her canonical thong bottom, which would be a huge shame. What’s also a shame is that they didn’t roll with BUBBA’s sculpt, which does properly include her thong. I had hoped that Yamato might collaborate more with him since he is supremely talented and they did an excellent job with his Velvet figure, but it hasn’t happened thus far.
Sora Kasugano from Yosuga no Sora
I really like MegaHouse’s Sora – it’s a contender for one of my five favorite figures of this year – and I like Sora’s character design in general. However, I instantly disliked her after watching about thirty seconds of the first episode of her anime. There are too many damn tsundere types in anime. Fortunately, like most tsundere types, I guess she does become more likeable, and I gotta admit, there’s something very appealing about a cute young girl who fellates her brother with a smile. So I’ll call her personality a wash and that leaves just this figure, which I dunno about. For one thing, her face looks pretty weird; just stare at it for five or ten seconds. Most anime figures aren’t exactly realistic or lifelike or anything, but Sora looks more like a mannequin than almost any other figure I’ve seen. And for another thing, those seams around her shoulders are kinda ugly. I definitely wouldn’t be buying her for her to keep her clothes on, so that’s a big negative. On the plus side, she’s 1/4 scale – God’s scale – and that sort of size has a quality all of its own. So I dunno. Maybe this is another bargain bin pickup. Did y’all see that GSC’s BRS Animation Version was 2000 yen on Amiami earlier today, and is right around 3,000 yen on Amazon JP? Crazy, I tell you.
I was surprised to see Super Sonico get a lot of love from the figure-collecting community, since she’s the mascot character of an eroge company, she’s got pretty big tits (yeah, there’s actually people who don’t like that. No, I don’t understand it either), and she’s not wearing much more than some skimpy black fetishwear. But then again, Dizzy’s also dressed up in strappy leather and a collar and she’s gotten a ton of love too. Could this be the beginning of a surge of love for cute anime girls in bondage gear? … Yeah, that’d be too much to hope for. I haven’t preordered Super Sonico yet but I’m thinking I probably will. My only reservation is that her legs look a bit stubby for her body. But well … I look at her and that annoying-ass voice in the back of my head keeps wondering what the hell is wrong with me. So she’ll probably be getting preordered, stumpy legs and all.
Yuri from Angel Beats
I kinda like this figure, particularly the way she’s got her gat in a two-handed grip. It looks like she’s ready to bring it up to bear on a target, which is pretty cool; I’ve got a lot of figures of girls with guns but most of them look like they’re posing with their strap rather than getting ready to actually start blasting. One thing I’m not so positive about is that her thighs look like they’ve got an extra joint where her socks end. I’m not so sure I like a girl with triple-jointed legs. There’s also the fact that I don’t know a thing about Angel Beats, other than it seems to have gotten a mixed reception. On the other hand, I’m thinking that if I don’t know much about a character, I ought to not sweat it.
Dark Sakura from Fate/stay night
It seems like we’ve seen this figure over and over in convention reports, and finally Gift is releasing it to the masses. And now that they are, I’m not so sure if I’m going to get it. I love her basic character design but her face doesn’t really scream “Buy me!” I love corrupted girls, though, and those tattoos or veins or uhh, worm parasites or whatever on her skin are dead sexy. If anyone who’s played Fate/stay night can tell me whether Dark Sakura ever brutalizes or kills Emiya Shirou, please do so, because if she does, she becomes an instant preorder.
I wonder where their Saber Lily is? I kinda dig it; she’s got a slightly more mature face and the details on her armor are exquisite.
Goto Matabei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls
Another Alter and Hobby Japan exclusive, which is a shame. And yet there wasn’t any question that I wasn’t going to buy this figure. I’ve only watched a couple episodes of Samurai Girls but I can’t say I really like it much thus far. Matabei is pretty funny though. And she’s got great fashion sense; is there anything more awesome than a cute girl wearing a fundoshi? I’ve already paid for this figure through Tokyo Hunter and I’m very much looking forward to it.
Maxima Enfield from Shining Hearts
I love Tony Taka’s art, but I gotta admit, it all starts looking the same after a while. I was struck by his design of Maxima, though; the splayed-out ends of her dress, her black and white color scheme, and her small smile, slight tilt of her head, and sideways glance all give her a lot of appeal. This is a great looking figure and I’m looking forward to it as well. Also, Maxima is a really cool name; I remember hearing that Maximus was a popular name for baby boys a few years back (I’m guessing it was the dads who won out in the naming debates for most of those kids), but the feminine equivalent hasn’t gotten much love, other than from Nissan, I guess. And also, I ran across this funny Photoshopped image of her undergarments over on the futaba.anacel.com Figure/GK board; even though she won’t be wearing this design in her figure form, I’m kinda hoping it’s castoff-able anyway.
Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night
Here’s another convention queen that’s finally making its way into the homes of collectors. She’s long been one of the most anticipated figures in the hobby, but all that excitement came crashing down in one big exclamation of WTF when Good Smile Company showed off their initial painted sample. Fortunately, that collective gasp from Japan and around the world was heard and after some fixing up, she now looks like a divine, defiant sex goddess, an equal mix of glamour and badass. Now, how about a Rider figure?
Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2
And this preorder list wouldn’t be complete without a Tamaki. There are so many of them now; how does a girl as old and used up as her become the It-Girl of 2011 before it’s even started? Regardless, I’m seriously contemplating preordering this figure. I wasn’t going to at first; she was wearing this maid costume and I don’t have much of a thing for maids (unlike, say, nuns. Especially warrior nuns). Then I saw her sample pics over at Moeyo and I was like “Daaayum.” That backside is bangin’ … man, that’s one of the nicer butts I’ve see on a figure in a while. On the other hand … well, it’s another Tamaki, I already own two, I’ve got two on order, do I really need another? On the other other hand … does it really make a difference whether I own a bunch of figures of one specific character? I mean, the four that I own and have ordered don’t make this one any less attractive.
Let me end this by engaging in a story about my fantasy football team that I doubt many people are going to care about, but this is my site and I get to write what I want to here. I’ve been in a fantasy league for about ten years now, and this year my team was in fifth place in the last week of the regular season, with the top four teams advancing to the playoffs. If I won my final game, I’d get into the playoffs by virtue of winning a tiebreaker with one of the teams that was ahead of me, and as my opponent for that last week had a fairly weak team, I was reasonably confident that I would win. And then a strange series of events began: first, a huge snowstorm slammed into the midwestern United States. Among the damage caused by this storm was the collapse of the Metrodome roof – who the heck thinks it’s a good idea to build a multi-million dollar stadium with an inflatable roof? – forcing the postponement of the Vikings game from that afternoon to Monday night. Then that Sunday evening, I watched with great dismay as my opponent – who had DeSean Jackson on his team – racked up a ton of points, eventually getting ahead of my team by one touchdown. I still felt confident though – I had Adrian Peterson on my team, one of the two best running backs in the NFL, and as not one but two of his quarterbacks had gotten themselves injured, I’d figured he’d get a lot of carries and I would win. But he wound up doing nothing and I lost my game. Then I reflected that Peterson’s nickname is “All Day” – but he came up short for me during a night game, and he was only playing a night game because the weather gods decided to collapse an NFL stadium, and that just happened to occur on the one week that my team was fighting for its playoff life. It’s like some towering cosmic power decided to bring together this confluence of unlikely events and peculiar coincidences just to piss on me from a great height.
Why do I bring this up now? It’s because right around the same time, I was watching the fourth Queen’s Blade OVA, which reveals that Menace funds her queendom by selling figures of Queen’s Blade fighters. At the end of the show, we get to see some of her wares on display.
Here we can see MegaHouse’s Nowa figure, and we can see Echidna, one of the oldest Queen’s Blade figures, if I remember correctly. But who’s that on the left? Hey, it’s Irma. Why is that so weird? Because that figure doesn’t exist. There is no scale-size figure of Irma. MegaHouse hasn’t made one. Griffon hasn’t made one. Hobby Japan hasn’t made one. None of them have showed any inclination to make one. Irma’s been left bare-assed out in the cold all this time. And then in this OVA, they decide to include her in this end shot. It’s like Hobby Japan was saying, “Hey, let’s flip off Tier and the dozen other Irma fans on the planet by putting in this picture, it’ll drive them nuts.” I swear to jeebus that some divine power has it in for me … I obviously haven’t made the right sacrifices to any of the right gods.