It’s been a couple of months since the last one so I think it’s a good time to take a look at some of the figures I’m thinking about preordering. Time is flying right by, it looks like a lot of figure makers have shown off their products through much of the first half of this year. Me, I’m still struggling with remembering to write 2011 instead of 2010.
Here’s an unusual figure from Yamato. Part of their Fantasy Figure Gallery line, it differs from the others in this series in that Felicia is apparently a modern-era spy rather than a blade-wielding woman in a chainmail bikini. Also, while the other figures are based off illustrations by well-known Western artists like Boris Vallejo and Luis Royo, Felicia is designed by Shungo Yazawa. Anyway, this is a bit of an odd-looking figure, with Felicia’s long body and doll-like face. And the rooted hair, which is definitely unusual. I’ve preordered it for obvious reasons and I’m looking forward to it.
Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
This list would not be complete without a Fate Testarossa figure, though this isn’t really a figure. Rather, it’s a doll by Azone; they’ve done a bunch of Fate dolls, including a large-size 50-centimeter one that I briefly considered buying, mainly because I thought it’d be funny to take off her clothes and put her in a bondage harness. I don’t have a good reason for considering this one, either; I’m mostly interested in her so I can pair her up with my Barack Obama doll to form a dynamic doll duo. I’m not sure if that reason is compelling enough, particularly since I’m not too enamored with Fate’s face here. We’ll see. I’m leaning against picking this one up but that’ll also depend on whether Good Smile Company’s actsta figures are large enough to run with the president.
Akira Midorikawa from Maid Bride
Based on an illustration by Kizuki Aruchu of well-known doujinshi and h-manga circle Udon-ya, I’m not too certain how good this figure is going to be. For one, it comes from Q-six, who do not have an impressive track record, and second I’m not sure the pose and overall look are all that appealing as a figure. In particular the panties look pretty bad, though they’re removable. On the other hand her backside is a bit saggy. The worst part of it is the 15k yen price, which is astounding. Yeah, it’s polystone, but I don’t see a big difference in quality between polystone and PVC, I only see a big difference in price. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be passing on this one but I’m still thinking about it.
Haruka Morishima from Amagami
I’m not too familiar with Amagami though I watched part of the first episode which was enough to like Haruka and her odd mannerisms. So I’m happy that she’s gotten a figure and even happier that she’s bent right over and giving you a solid view right up her ass. The product description says something about kissing the back of her knees or something but me, all I’m seeing is her ass. A lot of swimsuit figures – like Max Factory’s Shining Wind series – aren’t all that memorable … and yes, I do realize how desensitized you have to be to think that a cute girl in a swimsuit is boring, but nonetheless, Haruka puts a cool spin on a tired trope by inviting you to look at … to touch … well, to do something with her ass. I’ve got her preordered and I’m looking forward to having her ass on my shelf.
Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2
Speaking of unmemorable swimsuit figures … okay, this one doesn’t look that bad. And it’s 1/4 scale – God’s scale – which I’ll admit is one of the big reasons I’m even looking at it. If it were 1/8 scale I’d ignore it but any halfway-decent figure that’s done in 1/4 scale will get a chance from me. Looking at it, I like everything from the neck down; great body, sexy hips, and more than a hint of naughtiness. The problem is her face, which doesn’t look right to me. Now I don’t want to say that Tamaki looks like she ran a hundred-yard dash in a ninety-yard gym but her face is looking kinda flattened out. And of course, the simple fact that this is yet another Tamaki figure counts against her. With April looking like an expensive month (though I’m sure all these April releases are going to be delayed) I’m thinking I’m gonna pass on this one and hope she winds up in the discount pile.
Charlotte Yeager from Strike Witches
I haven’t gotten any of Alter’s Strike Witches figures which is a bit strange since I like cute girls, cute girls in panties, mecha musume, and I’m a World War II history buff. The big problem is that I really don’t like anime girls with animal ears and tails. Hate it, in fact. Dunno why but I do. On the other hand, I wouldn’t call that a strong conviction of mine – heck, I’m not a religious person in real life, why would I get religious about an anime trope? – so I’m thinking about picking up Charlotte. She looks pretty good, she’s got a cool gun, and being American I naturally cheer for Americans. Liberians. Whatever. Yeah, I’m thinking the Liberian girl might be a worthwhile pickup. Will she change my world? Probably not, I still wish she didn’t have the animal parts.
Cryska Barchenowa from Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
Here’s a bit of a surprise; I remember seeing her prototype in an issue of Hobby Japan but I didn’t know that it was going to be a PVC figure, let alone one from Alphamax. As a big fan of the Muv-Luv character designs, I’m really happy that she’s getting a figure, though I would’ve preferred one with her in her bodysuit, as Muv-Luv has the coolest bodysuit design in all of anime-style art. Despite knowing almost nothing about Total Eclipse, Cryska shows up in a lot of stuff I buy. That’s also kinda odd since as far as I can tell, the main characters of Total Eclipse are Japanese-American Yuuya Bridges and Japanese girl Yui Takamura, so it’s a bit odd to see this busty communist get a figure before them. Cryska’s looking pretty good so I’ve got her preordered.
Nymph from Sora no Otoshimono
This was the first figure of Nymph to be shown off in painted form. However, it looks like Nymph is going to be a popular girl in 2011 as Kotobukiya has also shown off their rendition and Grands will be following up their Ikaros with a Nymph figure that seems to be derived from an Atelier Sai model kit. I preordered this figure pretty quickly since I like the pose; what I just wrote about Haruka Morishima pretty much applies here. I’m less sure about the quality of this figure; actually, I’m expecting it to be pretty bad. I also wasn’t certain about her face since the promo shots kept her turned away from the camera, but Moeyo’s picture seems to show that it’s okay. It’s kinda blank and doesn’t have the cuter expression the artwork features but oh well, her ass still looks nice.
Houmei from Shining Wind
I’ve got this impression that Alter isn’t releasing as much stuff as they used to. I dunno if it’s just me or if their male figures are taking away from their female figures or something but this post covers about four months and only two Alter figures are going to show up in it. Anyway, Houmei looks pretty good and I’m probably going to preorder it. Man she’s expensive though. I can justify shelling out five-figure yen prices on a 1/8 scale figure like Dizzy since I’m a big Dizzy fan but I’m much more ambivalent about the Shining series of games for reasons I’ve written about elsewhere on this site. Still, it’s an Alter figure so I know it’s going to be pretty good. I wish she didn’t have that little hat, though, I don’t like it all that much. Trivia note: this is only the
first second figure that Alter’s done that is based on a Tony Taka design.
Kaguya from Shining Wind
Man, it’s another Shining Wind figure. How many manufacturers have done figures of Shining characters? Max Factory and Kotobukiya of course, Wave, President Japan, and Orchid Seed have done some, and Yamato and Alter have their own versions upcoming. It must be really easy to license these figures. I guess it’s pretty easy to tell why Sega put in something called a MOE system into the gameplay of Shining Hearts. Anyway, Kaguya looks nice. Probably nice enough for me to preorder. I’m not digging her color scheme nearly as much as Maxima Enfield’s, though. Maxima’s got a very contrasty, eye-catching color scheme; by comparison, with her red, white, and blue clothes, pastel hair ribbons, and ankle bangles Kaguya looks kinda like a 1960s-era Vietnam War protester. Oh well. She’s cheap and still looks good.
Saber Lily from Fate/unlimited codes
Now here’s a figure I’m conflicted on. GSC has done the definitive Saber Lily but Gift’s version is sufficiently different enough to warrant a look. Her armor looks spectacular and I like her face a lot – it’s different, more mature, but still looks good. On the other hand, the pose isn’t all that interesting and I’ve just got this feeling that she fits the profile of a figure that is headed towards the bargain bin: popular character, lesser manufacturer, kinda unexciting overall appearance. But on the other hand, she has a lot of qualities that might make her sell out – she looks good, she’s a super popular character, and I don’t know if a smaller maker like Gift will do a large production run, especially since they seem to be affiliated with GSC, whom I’m sure do not want anybody impinging on their ability to chuck out nendoroids. What I’m really hoping for is for Volks to make a polystone version of Saber Lily which has much the same pose as Gift’s but is in a colossal 1/4 scale, making it far more appealing to me. And expensive. Them’s the breaks in this hobby.
Tsuneko from Maid Bride
I saw the garage kit version of this figure at one of last year’s Wonder Festivals, I think, and I thought that it’d be a good candidate for Daiki Kougyou to pick up. And to my pleasure they’ve done so. That’s two figures from Maid Bride and Orchid Seed will be doing another figure based on Kizuki Aruchu’s art, so it’s a good year for Udon-ya. To be frank, I’m not too thrilled with Tsuneko’s face here, and I’m not really sure you can see Kizuki’s style much but damn, that ass! You think I can turn that down? There’s no way I’m passing on that.
Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2
And … another Tamaki, this time from Daiki Kougyou. And yeah, she’s in a swimsuit. So not the most original figure, but it’s pretty cool how she’s washing off her tit. Though that’s gotta be cold. She seems to have a slightly different look than a lot of Tamakis, with a more compact body and sort of a vacant expression. I’m pretty sure I’m going to preorder this one. I’m really hoping that Daiki looks back at Diskvision and picks up their Elsa and Angelica figures, though. And I guess there’s no chance of them picking up Cobra Kai’s Fate T. Harlaown. It’s a good thing I picked up that prebuilt figure when I did.
On a side note, damn are the promo photos ugly. I mean, it’s bad enough that the pale blue background washes out the figure but look at all that JPEG artifacting in the photos. What is this, 1998?
Nana from Nana to Kaoru
Native’s last two figure announcements have been all kinds of WTF, being that they look much more like Kotobukiya figures than Native figures, but it’s good to see them getting back to the grown-up stuff. Nana doesn’t look castoff-able unlike most of their figures but her clothing is definitely more on the sexual side. In particular, there aren’t enough good-looking figures in bondagewear out there – more shame, that – so I’m happy to see her decked out in red or black strappy leather. I’m going to order this figure but the difficult thing is figuring out how I’m going to do that because it seems like the Tokyo Hunter guy has gone missing again. I hope he’s not dead or something because I’ve got Junko Hattori and Gotou Matabei ordered through him.