Over a year after Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere (or Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, if you prefer the more-grammatically-correct American title) concluded its two-season run, figures have been slow to trickle out. The few that are available have come from a variety of manufacturers; Wave has released a few figures in its Beach Queens series, as well as an anomalous figure of lead girl Horizon Ariadust, which we looked at a while back. Alter, as is their wont, is going with a minor character in an action pose. (I previously expressed some trepidation regarding the figure’s price tag and size but lately I’ve been thinking she’d look pretty cool battling my Yamato 1/48-scale VF-1 Valkyries, and that could also make for some pretty cool photo ops.) Volks’s figures show a lot of promise but nothing yet substantive. Kotobukiya has a few in the pipeline, including an action-oriented one of Tomo Asama, who is who we’re looking at here. This figure, by Max Factory, is decidedly not action-oriented; instead, it is pretty obvious what attributes they wished to emphasize.
Tomo is one of the main characters of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, though that’s mostly meaningless given the expansive size of the cast. She is, like most of the characters, a student in Class 3-Plum at the Musashi Ariadust Academy, and she’s also a Shinto shrine maiden at her family’s shrine. She’s a kind-hearted, friendly girl, but she’s also an expert archer who is sometimes nicknamed the “Sniper Maiden.” Despite being a pious shrine maiden, she has no problem fantasizing about Toori Aoi groping other people’s breasts – though maybe that’s just because she knows Toori better than most.
Tomo has a few things that distinguish her. One obvious thing is her artificial left eye, which even has its own name (“Konoha”) and seems to provide magnification and rangefinding abilities, among other functions. Another is her distinctive pink-and-white bodysuit, which she wears during combat and occasionally during other times. She is also accompanied by a flying familiar named Hanami, who can grant blessings. Lastly, she carries a bow named Ume-Tsubaki, which can fire a variety of ordnance, from typical arrows to anti-battleship torpedoes.
I like almost all of the characters from the Horizon series, but I think I’d say that Tomo is my favorite. She has an appealing personality, being friendly yet also a bit flighty. I also like that she actively engages in combat; many of the show’s principal characters do not. And obviously, I think she has a pleasing appearance. The product description for this figure assertively states “she has one of the most appealing bodies of anyone in her class”; this is a matter of opinion, of course, but I would agree with the assessment.
This figure is, as mentioned, by Max Factory. It’s nominally listed as being 1/7 scale, but this is a very conservative value; she’s closer in size to many 1/6 scale figures. She comes with a very large pink base, which she doesn’t need to stay upright, and a ton of accessories, which we’ll look at individually in a bit.
The female characters of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere all have attractive bodies, and it’s apparent that Max Factory wanted to emphasize that aspect of Tomo’s design. Tomo is known for having a particularly large bust size – second only to Kimi Aoi, perhaps – and in this respect, Max Factory has gone for broke; Tomo’s rack is absolutely enormous. Indeed, her breasts are far larger than they appeared in the anime, and their size and shape aren’t going to be considered attractive by everybody. Personally, I would’ve preferred if they had exercised restraint and toned them down some; from a few angles, they aren’t too bad, but from other viewpoints, they look like enormous, overinflated balloons, or swollen pustules moments away from bursting.
Max Factory didn’t stop there, though; they also enhanced the size and shape of her buttocks. The tightness of her bodysuit – which is ludicrously unrealistic in the way it is molded to her body, even for anime – only makes this more apparent, as does her pose; she’s crouching down, chest and ass thrust out, back arched in an almost wince-inducing curve. Tomo is presented here in a very erotic manner, and that may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the taste and preferences of the viewer. Me, this isn’t the pose I would have picked, but I do admit that I like this more sexualized take on Tomo, particularly because she’s such a sweet, upbeat girl in the show.
I’m more equivocal on her face. Her face doesn’t look bad – she’s too pretty for her face to look bad – but she’s obviously reacting to something and unless you display her with Toori, there’s no context for her evident discomfiture. That said, all that is required to mitigate that concern is an overstimulated imagination, and her distress does open up some photographic opportunities that a neutral expression would not provide. It’s all about how you see it and what you can do with it.
She comes with a number of accessories, and of course, nothing precludes her owner from making one’s own props. Let’s look at what comes in the box.
First, she comes with some wings that attach to a small socket in her back. Unfortunately, they don’t fit very securely at all and are prone to falling out even if you just pick her up. They do seem to be reasonably durable, at least, which is a good thing since they’ve fallen to the floor a number of times already.
For those who don’t like the mecha girl style as much, there’s a simple plug that can be used instead.
Tomo comes with two pairs of hands, one meant to cradle her bow and the other meant to hold down Toori. The bow seems to fit loosely in her hands, and I mean really loosely; I was not able to keep it steady in her hands. That probably means I was doing something wrong. Note that the bow doesn’t come with a bowstring.
She also comes with this rolled-up version of Toori Aoi, or at least something that resembles a chibi form of Toori. I’m not sure why he’s rolled up like this or why Tomo is straddling him or whether this really is him and not a peculiar inflatable doll or something. He does provide a reason for Tomo to look so uncomfortable, as if someone walked in on them while she was doing something naughty, but the size disparity between the two makes it difficult to believe that this is really him.
Tomo’s bodysuit is very attractive, particularly in the way that it encases her body. It also has a neat thong back, which I like, and some futuristic embellishments, including something that looks a bit like a belt that goes over her waist. Unlike the black-and-white school uniforms that most of the show’s characters wear, Tomo’s shrine maiden suit leaves her arms and shoulders bare, which looks quite nice (though I recall that in the anime, her left arm is covered in some sort of armor plating when she fights in this outfit; that is obviously not included here). Her outfit has a nice glossy finish, giving it the look of latex or vinyl, which will certainly appeal to spandex fetishists.
One of the neatest things about the Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere world is the way futuristic styling is fused with traditional sensibilities. For example, Tomo wears something like a cybernetic version of the traditional tabi shoes on her feet.
The paint job is quite nice, though my figure has a black speck on Tomo’s ass that irritates me far more than it probably should. I like the way Tomo’s hair has a satin-like finish; I don’t think I’ve ever seen this type of paint used for a figure’s hair before. While Tomo’s design isn’t enormously complicated, unlike some other mecha girls, there are a some nice, subtle touches, such as the torii symbol on her back.
I like this figure quite a bit, even though I concede it’s not entirely the perfect Tomo figure that I’ve been waiting for. It’s a very specific take on Tomo, one that places heavy – perhaps excessive – emphasis on tits and ass. It is unabashedly crass and I don’t doubt many people will skip this figure because of that. However, while I think her breasts should’ve been a bit smaller – I thought the same thing regarding Max Factory’s old Tamaki Kousaka figure – it doesn’t bother me too much. Being that Tomo is my favorite character in the show, I’m alright with her being presented in a sexy fashion, and given how strangely rare figures of the show’s characters are, I’m just happy she got a full-sized figure at all. For those who don’t prefer Tomo with a giant ass and enormous breasts, perhaps Kotobukiya’s upcoming version will have more appeal.