Since I have a self-mandated quota of six posts per month to reach, it’s time to look at some of the stuff due for release later this year (that also means that there will be a pillowcase review tomorrow). Although we haven’t even gotten past January, manufacturers are already unveiling their summer release schedules. It seems like a bit of a slow year thus far, but with Wonder Festival just a couple of weeks away, we’ll certainly be seeing a lot more good stuff. For now, let’s take a look at a few figures that are already available to order.
Ikaros from Sora no Otoshimono
For a series that got two seasons of television shows and a movie, Sora no Otoshimono doesn’t really have a bunch of figures. I guess it could be worse; some shows, such as Kampfer, haven’t gotten any figures at all. Most of the ones that it has gotten have come from less-heralded makers, and this figure of Ikaros is no exception. Although I don’t hold Griffon Enterprises in high regard, I do like the way this one looks. I might get it, though I kinda would’ve preferred it had they gone with this version of the source illustration instead (that image is actually used on the inside cover of the Heaven’s Lost Property Blu-ray set).
Cryska Barchenowa from Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse
Kotobukiya is making another figure of Cryska. This time, she’s in her piloting suit. Like all of her other figures, she’s not standing up. I’m not sure why sculptors of Total Eclipse figures are so averse to letting the characters stand up. At any rate, I’m glad that she’s wearing her uniform, as sculptors also seem to prefer to pose the characters in their underwear or in swimsuits, which is nice, but loses the distinctiveness of Muv-Luv’s styling. All of Kotobukiya’s Total Eclipse figures have been great, and as I’m looking forward to their upcoming Yui Takamura figure, I’ll also be getting Cryska to sit next to her.
Elin from TERA
I played the TERA beta for about 45 minutes, which was long enough to decide that I wouldn’t buy the retail version. The main reason I was interested in it was because I liked the player models, particularly the Castanic females. I was less of a fan of the Elin, who are sort of short and squatty. They also got censored in the North American release, as I understand it. However, this figure looks pretty nice; the character doesn’t look quite as young as she appears in the game, nor does she seem to be as stunted in stature. On the negative side, I’m not too enamored by the animal ears, I don’t really care for the symbol-shaped eyes, and it’s a really expensive figure. I’ll have to think about this one. I do think that I like its positives a good deal more than I dislike its negatives, though.
Inori Yuzuriha from Guilty Crown
I was a bit surprised to see that Azone planned to roll out a large-sized Inori Yuzuriha doll; Guilty Crown is a very well-known and highly-hyped anime, and I figured that Volks would do a Dollfie Dream doll of her first. Maybe they still will. However, this Inori doll appeals to me since it uses Obitsu’s 50-centimeter tall body, which is the same basic body frame as all my Yamato vmf50 dolls. She also looks quite pretty, though I’m sure a lot of people will beef about the painted eyes. That doesn’t bother me; what does bother me is that she’s wearing a nondescript black dress rather than her sexy combat/stripper uniform, which is one of my favorite aspects of her character design. However, though I’d much prefer that outfit, I do have a lot of doll clothes that she can wear, so it’s not too big a deal to me. The other problem – potential problem, anyway – is that I have Azone’s 50-centimeter Saber doll and while she looks great in most respects, her wig is terrible. Hopefully Inori’s wig will look like it does in the promo photos. If it does, this’ll be a great doll, and both I and the tentacle stand will look forward to getting her.
Yuu Kawamura from se.Kirara
Yu will be the fourth se.Kirara figure. As I own or have preordered the first three, it would be logical to pick this one up, but I’m still deciding if I will. She’s pretty cute but if I got her, it would be more for the sake of completionism than because I really like the figure. I’ll put this in the maybe column and think about it some more.
Celia from Walkure Romanze
This one’s a tough decision for me. I really like everything here except for the size of her head; her head looks way too small to me, particular as an anime-type character, where heads are typically much larger than they are in real life. It’s the same reason I haven’t been too interested in some of Orchid Seed’s Chichinoe figures, which otherwise look fantastic. I don’t mind that Celia has sort of chunky proportions, I just wish her head was bigger. (Side note: Celia was sculpted by the same guy who sculpted gangsta lean Saber, but you probably wouldn’t be able to tell that, just looking at both figures; Toshirou is noted for often sculpting prominent lips and heavy-lidded, almost sleepy-looking eyes, but you don’t really see that on Celia. Another side note: if I remember right, Walkure Romanze is from the same company and artist who did Princess Lover!, which was adapted into a fan-servicey anime that also hasn’t gotten many figures of note.)
Elf from Lineage II
Yet another nameless female battler from a Korean MMO, the elf is a really great-looking figure from Max Factory. Lineage II has gotten a few figures over the years, including another elf figure from Orchid Seed and Good Smile Company’s well-regarded dark elf figure (really from the first Lineage game, I think, as the Lineage II dark elves have blue skin), which is gratifying as it has some really appealing character designs. Like TERA, I tried out L2 for a little while and didn’t find it to my liking, but I definitely liked the character models, particularly the female dark elves. As I’ve gotten a couple of L2 figures already, I’ll be getting this one as well.
Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
When I wrote up the review for Gift’s 1/4 scale Nanoha figure, I mentioned something about how it is a shame that she did not display any cameltoe. I was joking then, but perhaps my request was heard because Fate definitely does so, so much so that Good Smile Company’s blogger made a funny comment about that picture perhaps being too naughty to post. With a feature like that, how can I pass this figure up? I have a special place in my heart for Fate figures, and I’m definitely looking forward to this one.
Golden Darkness from To Love-Ru
To Love-Ru is one of those fanservice shows that I’ve heard a lot about and seen a ton of fanart of its characters, but I’ve never actually seen it. I have the feeling I’d like it on some shallow level but I’m already backed up on a lot of shows that I want to watch. Golden Darkness was the character that most appealed to me, since I like her blonde hair and red eyes and I am told she is sort of a quiet, enigmatic type of character. Lately though, I’ve seen some good doujinshi of Mikan and that might be swaying my opinion towards her instead. This figure doesn’t really look completely faithful to Yami’s anime and manga appearance, but I think that’s okay. Rather, she looks like she conforms to the Alphamax “house style,” so to speak, as she has a similar-looking face to a number of Alphamax’s other swimsuit figures. The main attraction here, though, seems to be the way she’s tugging her swimsuit bottom. It’s kind of a cheap way to get attention, in a sense, but it’s hard to deny that it’s a very effective tactic. Effective enough, anyway, that I’m pretty sure I’ll order her.