A couple months back, I mentioned how the improving JPY/USD exchange rate was making figures more affordable, at least to American customers. However, figure companies seem intent on spoiling that happy situation by affixing insane prices to their products. I remember when gangsta lean Saber caused a stir due to her 26,000 yen price tag (she also sparked some controversy due to her idiosyncratic sculpt, but we’ll talk more about that in the future), but at least she partially justified her cost by being 1/4 scale. Now, it’s not a rare thing for 1/7 scale and even 1/8 scale figures to come in at around 15,000 yen, which is, well, insane. Nonetheless, that is the reality we are faced with, so instead of complaining, we’ll take a look at some figures I’m thinking about ordering.
Kuroyukihime from Accel World
Leading off is a figure from a company we don’t talk much about here. I hate to term Griffon a “bad” figure manufacturer; that’s an overly general and pointlessly simplified description. I own a number of figures from companies like Yamato, FREEing, and Kotobukiya, all companies that have been called “bad” (and other similarly caustic comments) by figure collectors at one time or another. That said, I haven’t bought a Griffon figure in nearly five years, partly because they haven’t made many figures of characters that I am interested in, partly because they haven’t made many figures that I like, but mainly because I did buy a number of their figures back when I started collecting and none of them are very impressive. However, this figure of Kuroyukihime does catch my eye. I couldn’t care less about this particular character or the show that she comes from, but there are several things that I like about her; in particular, I like her pose, which nicely highlights her body, and I like her nonplussed expression. I’ll call this one a maybe.
Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2 Dungeon Travellers
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a figure from To Heart 2 Dungeon Travellers; I remember quite a few came out a few years ago, and it even got an OVA, though I don’t remember if it ever got a second episode or not. Kotobukiya made a figure of samurai Tamaki a while back, and it was nice, though a bit small. This figure, however, is an impressive 1/6 scale, which is very nice. It’s sculpted by Ken Yokota, who is probably best known amongst figure collectors for sculpting Rin Tohsaka some time back. Since then he’s done a number of figures for Kaitendoh, which is a little odd – with that Rin figure in his portfolio, it feels a bit like LeBron James stepping down to D-League – though he also sculpted Good Smile Company’s upcoming figure of Asuna from that light novel anime. It’s been a while since I’ve bought a Tamaki figure, and I think I’m going to order this one, though two things give me pause: the first is the high price, and the second is Orca Toys’s own figure of samurai Tamaki, which features much the same pose. If theirs is good, perhaps I should just get both.
Cerberus from Rage of Bahamut
Even considering my dislike of animal ears on anime girls, the combination of shiny thighighs, winning smile, and panties is too much to resist. The puppy dog puppets are a little silly, I suppose, but Cerberus is supposed to have multiple heads, so I guess it makes sense. (If Max Factory ever makes a figure of Dizzy, Sora Kake Girl’s Itsuki, or Beat Blade Haruka’s Subaru, I might start calling them my favorite figure company rather than Alter.)
Purple Heart from Hyper Dimensonal Game Neptune
The funny thing is, I own all three of the Neptune games on the PlayStation 3 but I’ve never played them, mainly because I didn’t buy a PS3 until Black Friday last November, and the console box is still sitting in my living room, unopened. I also own the earlier figure of Purple Heart made by … uhh, Ques Q, I think? Or maybe it was Q-six? It’s in my closet somewhere and I don’t think I’ve looked at it in over a year (not entirely unusual for me; I’ve had that motorbike Saber figure sitting in my closet for almost two years now, along with that one Love Is War Miku Hatsune figure, which has never been removed from its box, either). I like the character designs from the Neptune games a lot, though, and they’re really the only reason I have any interest in the title. (An aside: I occasionally check Siliconera for news on Japanese video games and it’s amusing how whenever some game company releases illustrations of game characters, vast numbers of commenters immediately start screaming for English-language localization without even considering whether the game itself is going to be any good. It’s an odd reversal from not very long ago; it used to be that JRPG fans dismissed graphics as being secondary to gameplay, but now, illustration is what many JRPG players care most about, it seems.) This figure looks very nice, and I’m tempted to get it, but the price is exorbitant and I’m not sure I feel comfortable putting out that kind of money given that I have no familiarity at all with the manufacturer. But then, Alter’s Exelica figure was priced similarly and even has quite a similar pose to Purple Heart, so perhaps the price might be easier to handle with that thought in mind.
Another aside: Green Heart really needs more love than she gets.
Sena Kashiwazaki from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
I bought Alphamax’s swimsuit Sena figure a while back, thinking that it met all of my criteria for a Sena figure. And so it did; Alphamax’s Sena looks sexy, she has a lovely smile, her swimsuit is agreeably brief, and the figure is quite large, being 1/7 scale. But then Gift showed off this figure, which satisfies all those requirements and then presents them in a colossal 1/4 scale package. And though she ain’t cheap, her price is relatively reasonable for a 1/4 scale figure. Ordering this figure is an easy call.
Last Order from To Aru Majutsu no Index
I don’t know much at all about Railgun or the Index series, having only watched the first episode of the former and none at all of the latter (one of the few things I do know about it is that Misaki Shokuhou’s surname has a certain peculiar translation in Chinese). Certainly I didn’t know that the show had half-naked lolis, or at least, that’s what I’m led to believe by this figure. Being neither a fan of Railgun nor an ardent loli partisan, this figure shouldn’t pique my interest but it does, if only due to its sheer wrongness. I’ll be thinking some more about it but I’ll probably be keeping this in the category of “maybe, but likely not.”
Nanal Grahambury from Canopri Comic
Masamune Shirow is a titan in anime culture, though he seems to have become less relevant over the last decade or so, and I suppose that’s not too surprising since it seems like he’s drawn nothing but hentai since then. That’s where this figure comes from; it appears to be based off an illustration in Canopri Comic, in which Nanal is surrounded by burly, eager men in purple underwear. It’s a great-looking figure, one that I’m quite looking forward to.
Nozomi Watase from Genmukan
The next Tony Taka figure from Alphamax is Nozomi Watase. She’s billed as being from “T2 Art Girls,” which is the series name Tony is using for his raunchier work, but she’s originally from a hentai OVA and eroge called Genmukan. This isn’t the first figure of Nozomi; one of Native’s earliest figures was one of her (actually two; they produced one figure of her wearing black and another in red). I very much like Alphamax’s Tony figures, though I have to admit, Nozomi’s face looks a helluva lot like Maya’s. I’m not sure if that’s more a statement on Tony’s style or the sculptor’s.
Medaka Kurokami from Medaka Box
FREEing’s next bunny girl is Medaka and unlike many of their previous figures, she’s showing some energy rather than standing straight up. Hopefully she’s well-balanced on that base, as she looks a bit front-heavy. The pose looks somewhat awkward, but then again, it lets us see her face, breasts, and buttocks all at once, so that’s something. Given my fondness for FREEing’s bunnysuit stuff, it seems natural to get this figure as well.
Mikan Yuuki from To Love-Ru
The sole entry in this list from Alter is of Mikan, the dependable little sister of To Love-Ru. It’s a lovely figure, and I think I’m going to get it, but I do wish she were standing up instead of lying down, as it’s a lot harder for me to display a figure that’s lying down. It’s also harder to photograph such a figure, but I suppose I can just consider that a challenge rather than an obstacle.