It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and there have been a bunch of figures that have gone up for order in the interim. We’ve got some video game characters, a necromancer, a lot of redheads, a big-ass doll, and even a figure from Alter here; let’s take a look at them.
Rias Gremory from High School DxD
I like High School DxD, apart from the first arc of the new season, which stretched way too long. The attractive and likeable female characters are obviously a big factor in that opinion, as they usually are with this sort of show (or light novel, manga, and so forth). However, while several manufacturers have released figures of the show’s characters, none of them have been all that impressive – though I suppose one should be happy that it has gotten any at all, given that similar shows like Kampfer have been completely left out. This figure of lead girl Rias looks pretty nice, though, particularly as it’s modeled after the best and most well-known part of the show. That’s not to say it’s perfect; the nervous facial expression seems a bit odd being that she’s normally a very confident and composed girl, and the hips look a little awkward. Then again, she’s probably swivelling her hips, which would explain the latter, and as for her evident anxiety, maybe she’s dancing for her brother or something, being that he seems to discomfit her. At any rate, I’m looking forward to this figure.
Cyril Brooklyn from Pieces 2
Arcadia follows up their release of Iris (when they were still called Yamato) with Cyril, another character from Masamune Shirow’s illustrated collection Pieces 2. I own Iris, though I haven’t yet photographed her, and I’ve ordered Cyril as well. While I wouldn’t describe myself as a big Shirow fan – the original Ghost in the Shell movie didn’t make a strong impression on me (though admittedly, I was a moronic teenager at the time and maybe I’d better appreciate it now that I’m much older) – I do quite like his art. Curiously, Shirow has taken to drawing a lot of porn as of late; Cyril also stars in a couple of books titled W Tails Cat, which appears to show her being molested in various ways. She also appears in a 3D animated adaptation of those books, where she engages in intercourse with a futuristic storm trooper. Strange that one of the most famous creators in anime would switch from philosophical cyberpunk to hentai.
Eucliwood Hellscythe from Is This a Zombie?
I’m not too familiar with the show that Eucliwood comes from, but from what I do know, Eucliwood is a very silent, slightly-built necromancer. You wouldn’t be able to guess any of that by looking at this figure, which has her standing in a sexy pose while flashing a winning smile. Perhaps one could attribute Eucliwood’s odd appearance as being a figment of the protagonist’s imagination, but regardless of how one spins it, I think she looks really cute. A year or so ago, I really did not like bunny ears, but I’ve since acquired a few FREEing figures and I suppose I’d now say that I’m ambivalent towards them. Being that I like the way Eucliwood looks, and that I don’t hold her unusual appearance against her, I went ahead and ordered this one.
Kamael from Lineage II
Being that I own several figures depicting Lineage II characters, I ordered Max Factory’s figure of this Kamael girl. It’s not hard to guess why.
Ringo Hanamaru from Ane to Boin
Occasionally, you see some odd trends in anime culture. I remember back when The Matrix Reloaded released, a couple of other properties (the Playstation 2 RPG Xenosaga and the anime series Saiyuki) received editions that were also titled “Reloaded,” mere weeks after the movie hit theatres. A few years back, figure makers couldn’t get enough of Ignis and Iroha. More recently, there has been an odd spate of female characters named Charles. Now, it seems like girls sitting on the can is the hot new thing and I’m not quite sure why. Nonetheless, Kaitendoh and Native have shown off figures of girls holding court from atop the throne, as have Daiki Kougyou, whose product we are looking at here. I don’t really have a thing for girls sitting on toilets, but I do like this figure, enough that I ordered it, though I have to admit to having some second thoughts now. It is, at least, fairly comical, particularly in how small the toilet is.
Yagyu Jubei from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride
At first, I didn’t really like the first season of Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, but I gave it another try and found that it wasn’t nearly as bad I had first thought. In fact, I would say that I liked it, up until the last few episodes when it crashed tremendously. Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride, though, didn’t really make much of an impression on me either way; I don’t hate it but having watched about half of it, I really don’t feel compelled to continue. I found the maid cafe thing to be really silly, the lack of any kind of conflict made it fairly boring, and I often wished for Sen and Yukimura to get their asses beaten by someone. Jubei was pretty cute, at least, which is why I’m considering ordering this doll. It is, of course, not cheap, and as I don’t really care for the maid outfit, I’d have to find something else for her to wear, which could be a problem being that I’d be most inclined to dress her in a bondage harness and thus I would need a new chestpiece for her, as Azone’s dolls do not feature nipples. It’s a problem. Still, cuteness may yet win out, as I have a little more confidence in Azone now that I have their Inori Yuzuriha doll and she looks pretty cool (I also have their Saber doll and she is not nearly as good).
Signum from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s
It’s been a really weak year for Alter, particularly compared to Good Smile Company and Max Factory. The paucity of their product releases is troubling, and hopefully they’ll get out of whatever funk they’re in. At any rate, it’s nice to see Signum, who looks like a page from the past, back when Alter regularly released lots of high-quality figures from the Nanoha series. She looks great, and while I’m less familiar with A’s than the original series or StrikerS, from what I know of Signum, I think that I would like her character, being that I like stoic fighter girls and I am also sympathetic towards anime girls who suffer massive internal injuries. But man, that price tag … I thought Kazuno was a bit pricey but Signum ups the ante by retailing for over 50% more. Some part of me thinks that Signum is inevitably headed for the bargain bin, the way that Phantom Minds Fate and Vivio were, but that’s a part of me that I often ignore so I think I’m just going to preorder her and find some other figures to drop from my prospective buy list.
Velvet from Shining Ark
Alphamax is doing a great job rolling out figures based on Tony Taka’s artwork. Velvet looks fantastic and I’ve ordered her and I’m sure a lot of people will be ordering her. It does kill me a bit to see that she comes from “Shining Ark,” being that Shining the Holy Ark was one of my favorite Saturn games and I hate that the Shining series is being prostituted to this moe fad, but I suppose Sega will go with what brings in the cash, and given how poorly they’ve supported their other franchises, perhaps one should just be happy that the Shining series still exists. (Being that Sega recently acquired Atlus, I wonder what the reaction would be if Tony replaced Shigenori Soejima as the Persona artist?)
Kasumi Yashiro from Muv-Luv Alternative
Kotobukiya has made a number of nice figures from the Muv-Luv series. Kasumi does look nice, though she’s an oddity in a couple of ways. First, she’s 1/6 scale, whereas Meiya, Sumika, and the Total Eclipse characters are all 1/7 scale (though admittedly, Christmas Cryska is quite a bit smaller than the other figures). Second, she’s wearing a peculiar bunnysuit rather than her military uniform. I do like the outfit, particularly the chestband and the boots. I wish she were standing up, though; if she were standing, I think that I’d have certainly ordered this figure. As it is, it’s very much a maybe, and Signum’s price tag might push Kasumi off of my list.
Jun Kazama from Tekken Tag Tournament 2
While I enjoy playing fighting games, I readily admit that I am terrible at almost all of them. This is particularly true of Tekken, which I’ve never really gotten the hang of, even though the first Tekken Tag Tournament was one of the games that drove me to buy a PS2. Jun was the character that I liked to use the most (mostly because it was pretty easy to button-mash with her) so I’m happy to see her get a figure. I’m particularly happy that she looks pretty nice, wearing an abbreviated form of her Tekken Tag 2 outfit. The Bishoujo figures are reasonably cheap in the US and are often available off of Amazon with free shipping, so I think I will order Jun.
Sumika Kagami from Muv-Luv Alternative
Sumika is the third Muv-Luv Alternative character than Kotobukiya has made available for order. Unlike her anagrammatic counterpart, Sumika is wearing her piloting suit, which looks very attractive, and she’s 1/7 scale. Being that I already have a lot of Muv-Luv figures, I’m pretty sure that I’ll order Sumika, too.
Iris from Seikai no Lorelei
This is another figure I’ve ordered that doesn’t need much explanation as to why I like it.
Lisara Restall from Dakara Boku ha, H ga Dekinai
Dakara Boku ha, H ga Dekinai (translated as “So I Can’t Play H” but sometimes also called “So I Can’t Have Sex With Her,” or, my favorite, “So I Can’t Fuck Her!”) is one of those fanservice-y high school romance shows that I tried to get into but lost interest in about halfway through its run. Even the character designs weren’t too interesting to me, which is bizarre since I later found out that the light novel’s illustrator is Yoshiaki Katsurai. He is perhaps better known for his work with the doujin circle Basutei Shower, where he’s done some really nice (and fairly hardcore) bondage and rape doujinshi (though sometimes NTR aspects show up in his work and I could do without those … I’m still not quite sure why NTR is so popular in ero-anime culture). The lead girl, whom we are looking at here, was pretty cute, but I didn’t care for the tsundere side of her personality, and I can’t really remember anything about the other characters. The show could have really used a better hook, like protagonist-genderswapping or soma-sucking or something. At any rate, Lisara looks attractive here in her oversized dress shirt, and the shirt looks like it might be removable, which would be a plus. I like both the pose and that she has a slender, somewhat more realistically-proportioned body than what you often see in anime. I’m thinking about ordering this one but I’ll first wait and see what else is coming out in February. (Man, it’s only September and figure collectors already have to budget half a year out.)