As we’ve noted before, there aren’t that many figures of characters from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, and those that do exist are mostly from relatively minor manufacturers. Fortunately, a couple of exceptions have been recently released: Alter’s Kazuno and Tomo Asama by Kotobukiya. This happiness is tempered by the realization that those two figures may be amongst the last figures from the series to be released (Wave has a Beach Queens Kimi Aoi scheduled to drop next month, and Volks is supposedly doing figures of Kimi and Kazuno, but who knows whether those will ever materialize). A sad state of affairs, that, and it appears that figure companies are moving on to the next big thing, such as Kantai Collection, which somehow feels a bit like it’s worn out its welcome before even having arrived. The only consolation is that if Tomo is the last Horizon figure to be made by a major figure company, she is at least a very fine one indeed.
This is the third figure of Tomo Asama, following a Beach Queens figure and a Max Factory figure, which we looked at last year. We also talked about Tomo’s backstory and personality in that post, so I’ll skip the usual character bio and go straight to the figure. This figure is manufactured by Kotobukiya in 1/8 scale and stands about 20.5 centimeters tall from base to the top of her head; however, her bow makes this figure substantially greater in overall height.
The first thing one notices when receiving this figure is the size of the box. The box is enormous; it’s easily the largest 1/8 scale figure box I’ve ever seen. Part of the rationale for its size is that Tomo’s bow doesn’t separate into parts, which would seem to be a logical way to reduce the volume of the packaging. However, another other reason why the box is so big is that the figure comes with a B2 size poster (about 19.7 by 27.8 inches) reproducing the box artwork. That’s a nice addition that I didn’t actually know about until I unpacked the figure, and its inclusion suggests that Kotobukiya really wanted to give this figure a premium feel. Unfortunately, the premium treatment necessitates a premium price; this figure was really expensive (though perhaps not the most expensive 1/8 scale figure I’ve ever seen). However, being that it seems to be in stock at the major Japanese retail stores at the time of this writing, I’m going to guess that she’ll be getting a sizeable price drop at some point.
The next thing that one might observe is that this figure comes with a ton of little parts. Once upon a time I liked figures that came with a multitude of display options but now, the sight of all those fiddly bits causes my heart to sink. Happily, Tomo is very easy to put together. The instruction sheet, though not written in English, is helpful, and her parts generally fit well.
Max Factory’s earlier figure featured a peculiar facial look, one that seemed to express some mix of terror, anguish, and surprise. Her pose was equally unusual, kneeling with her ass prominently thrust out, which I suppose was the crux of the figure’s entire concept. In contrast, Kotobukiya’s figure goes for a much less ambiguous presentation, in which she’s readying to loose some sort of torpedo (additional parts are provided to display her as if she’d just launched her ordnance). If I remember correctly, the design of this figure comes from one of the final episodes of the first season of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, in which she shoots down an aerial battleship. It’s obvious that this figure effects a much more palpable sense of unity of purpose and design than the Max Factory product.
As she aims her weapon, Tomo’s face shows focused intent and stern determination. She looks very appealing and her evident resolution conveys a strong sense of competence. Her mismatched traffic light eyes will also attract attention, particularly from people who might not be familiar with the character.
Tomo is labeled the “Sniper Maiden” but she is apparently not content with flinging mere arrows. Incidentally, “zudon” is apparently Japanese onomatopoeia for a bang or an explosion, so “Zudon Miko” might mean something like Boom Miko. That seems like a nickname that Tomo wouldn’t like at all.
Perhaps even more impressive is her bust. Tomo’s pose isn’t entirely practical; she’s leaning back quite a bit, which arches her body, pushes her head back, and makes it so that from many of the most typical viewing angles, her rack is going to be the first thing that is noticed about her. Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere isn’t tremendously heavy on the innuendo-laced fanservice that pervades so many contemporary anime series but it does take considerable pride in exhibiting the female figure – in a fairly casual, non-objectifying way – and Tomo is one of the best examples of the practice. Her breasts are a little strangely shaped, though, being nearly spherical in form. I would’ve preferred a more realistic appearance but given the sort of stylistic excesses that the show revels in, I don’t mind this look. It does seem like her breasts might impede the flight path of her torpedo, though.
Tomo’s outfit consists of a high-cut thong leotard worn over pink tights. It’s a very attractive outfit, one that is unique to Tomo, as most of the other characters wear a black-and-white variation of this uniform. Accenting this ensemble are a variety of mechanical bits, including robotic-looking tabi, hip protectors, and gauntlets. Mechanical wings sprout from her back, emphasizing her futuristic look. Collectively, these mechanical parts compose her Siege Mode, which sounds like something out of StarCraft (and the result – that she can launch very powerful high explosive projectiles at the cost of being rooted in place – is evocative of that game as well).
While it’s unlikely that it will be visible in normal viewing, Tomo’s ass is superb, being quite large and round in shape. Certainly it’s bigger than one typically sees in a female anime character design.
Similarly, Tomo’s thighs are thicker than one might expect. Altogether, her body build gives her an athletic look that is perfectly displayed by her impossibly tight outfit.
Tomo comes with a few additional accessories. First, she comes with an extra bowstring and right hand so that she can be displayed as if she had just shot her bow.
She also comes with this little flying familiar named Hanami, who mediates contract negotiations between Tomo and her shrine. I don’t think she’s supposed to dangle from the pylon like she’s shown here. Speaking of that pylon, it fits into a slot in the base, so if one didn’t want to display Tomo with Hanami, that empty socket is still going to be visible.
Tomo certainly wasn’t cheap, but disregarding the price, this is a great figure. Tomo looks powerful and sexy all at once, and her pose is particularly dramatic. Her physique is particularly appealing, and her outfit shows off all her curves to good effect. Kotobukiya went for a level of ambition that they seldom strive towards, and it’s apparent that they put a lot of love into Tomo. It’s paid off; I hope that they continue making Horizon figures but if they don’t, at least they’ve gone out with a bang with the Boom Miko.
Congratulations! You shot down my most prominent complain regarding this figures, in the shots I’ve seen before her face appeared to be lacking in terms of details, this impression seems to be wrong, but also your play of light and shadow accentuates the face a bit which gives her appeal quite a boost. The close up shots are so well done.
The pose is cool in your pictures, but I fear that she really needs a good display place to unfold her full appeal. Anyway the bow holding arm looks extremely powerful, I love the bow and the way is holding it. Seems to be indeed a lovely figure when taking a closer look at her.
Too bad that the Horizon anime lost most of its marketing appeal or never had enough of it,
I would have liked more figures of this show, not only from Tomo in her cherry suit and the silent Cyborg. Online Game characters seem to be the hit in the figure market at the moment Cinderella Girls and Kancolle get a nearly sick number of figures compared to anime based figures. Im playing Kancolle wth pleasure and I hope some of the less popular destroyer class characters will someday be turned into figures, like Mutsuki,Hibiki, Hatsuharu
or Shigure Kai 2 ^_^
yeah her face looks great. Haven’t seen any pictures of this figure in the angle like the first and last close up shots in this post before, so it was kind of hard to tell how her face was. Now I think she looks even better than the Maxfactory one in terms of facial expression.
The Max Factory one was a little weird; I’m still not sure what she’s supposed to be expressing. I guess maybe having Toori there might give her look a little more context, but then, it still doesn’t quite seem to fit. It does give the imagination a lot of material to work with, though.
She turned out better than I had hoped; I was expecting a good figure, as Kotobukiya has done a nice job with a number of recent figures, but she at least comes kinda close to justifying her price. Okay, maybe she’s not quite good enough to do that, but nothing would be.
Yeah, I think she needs a good spot for proper display; she probably needs to be placed a little lower, since her arched back pushes her head away. If she’s placed on a higher shelf (like I’ve done, temporarily), her head gets eclipsed by her boobs.
Now that you mention it, it does seem like browser games are really popular sources for figures now (I think Rage of Bahamut is a browser game too? I’m not positive about that but I think it is). I suppose that having attractive character designs is a reliable way to get people to play your game. (I say that I’m tired of Kantai Collection, but I have to admit I do like a lot of the designs [though I generally like the fan art a lot more than the official artwork], and if they ever introduced US Navy analogues, I suppose I’d be more interested.)
Nice pictures! They really manage to bring out the best in this figure. Koto delivered good work with this one in general, in both colouring and the overall body shape. Her pose looks pretty kickass too and I like her facial expression. Can’t say I’m too fond of the base though, it doesn’t look too exciting.
Sadly, I doubt I’ll ever get this one. While this was the Tomo figure that originally caught my eye far more than MF’s version, I caved in and bought the latter instead of this one anyway. Price and space had everything to do with that. Because even on a discount, this figure is freaking expensive and quite a bit above my usual budget. Hell, I don’t even wanna know what the shipping costs for her monster box were. Not to mention that I’m starting to run out of space and I don’t have a good place to display her. So I went for the MF version, because I wanted a Tomo figure and that one was cheap (3k yen or something). Oh well.
Kind of sad that this’ll be it for Horizon figures too, certainly would’ve liked a non-exclusive Horizon. I suppose they still got more than most shows, but the figure variety certainly is lacking in a lot of ways. And Kancolle is starting wear out its welcome for me too, especially when half the companies seem wrapped up in dumping figure after figure of that franchise on the market. Though I suppose it saves me money, if nothing else.
I was planning on photographing this figure on a Japanese-style background, since I thought a rigidly traditional Japanese motif would make for an interesting contrast with Tomo’s stylized design. Then I noticed the base was a big gray oval and I decided that idea wouldn’t work.
Hah, if you think that shipping expenses for this figure would be exorbitant … imagine this figure, Max Factory’s Sheryl Nome and Kamael, and samurai Tamaki all shipping together. In the same box. Via EMS. (I expect this figure to get a price drop, though; both MF’s Tomo and Kotobukiya’s Futayo Honda got discounts, and I think they may even still be in stock at the usual retailers.)
Yeah, I’d really like a better Horizon than what we’ve gotten; it’s weird since she has such an attractive design and she’s the lead character of the series. Her design (and most of the other characters) are right up Alter’s alley. Oh well.
Most of the Kantai Collection figures haven’t interested me, either. I think the only one I am thinking of ordering is Kongo, and that’s only if she gets a price drop, since she is ridiculously expensive but has none of Tomo’s epic qualities.
I’m jumping the bandwagon in liking her stomach, backside and thighs. I also like her feet and that the base reflects her being rooted to the spot, as you mentioned. However I agree with Dvalinn that the base is otherwise very boring.
It is strange, but these plugsuits appear to have peculiar effects on the ladies’ busts. Koto’s Muv-Luv plugsuit figures all suffer from the same glued-on-too-big-sperical-boobies syndrome 🙁
Additionally, I wouldn’t label myself a gun nut. But I know a thing or two about weapons. I accept that the arrow looks like a mummy torpedo with all that bandages wrapped around it, as it is probably a design element of the show. But it looks somewhat warped. Is this part of the weapon design or is it just due to cheap plastic?
Moreover, even if the show doesn’t pay any attention to or chooses to blandly ignore the laws of physics, I doubt that a bow would be of any use if the string is longer than the bow. You didn’t include an overall picture with the relaxed bow, but when I’m looking at picture 29, the bow should be much more “bowed”. With the string fully pulled out, the bow should look more like a half-circle. As it is, I can’t help imagining her to release her grip on the arrow, followed by it feebly dropping to the ground.
Oh well, I’m probably being overly realistic. But I just can’t help noticing things like this. I’d better just enjoy the figure for what it is. It does have nice features after all, also the paint job looks pretty crisp.
The spherical boobs seem to be a common aspect in the character designs of both series; it is a little odd to see (particularly on a character like Inia Sestina).
Hmm, the torpedo does not look warped to me, though it certainly is not made of very durable plastic (but I think it will survive a typical display environment). The show definitely ignores physics, however; I replayed the scene from which this figure is based off of and her bow does not bend there, either. Even if it did I do not think Kotobukiya would have replicated the effect in this figure, and I’m glad that they didn’t since that would be an astonishing breakage risk. I’m quite willing to overlook realism to safeguard against the bow accidentally snapping and sending parts all over the place.
Tomo looks quite nice and I appreciate the ambition behind the design, but Iâ€™ve thus far been unable to get over how wildly space-inefficient the bow makes the whole figure. Gauging from photos and official item dimensions, Tomoâ€™s bow roughly doubles the height of the figure. Alterâ€™s Kazuno has a similar problem, but she could at least be displayed without the giant blades and the result wouldnâ€™t look completely silly. Itâ€™s hard to imagine Tomo looking anything but odd without the bow.
I hate to see practical matters get in the way of collecting, though. I applied similar logic to pass on Alterâ€™s Sonic Form Fate for her substantial size some years back and I rather regret it now. 🙁
I’ll be disappointed if we don’t see many more Horizon figures after this. Nobody has delivered a figure featuring Nate in her battle regalia and that’s something I would very much like to see.
The space requirement demanded by the bow is even worse than you might expect, because it comes completely assembled and as far as I know, cannot be broken down, aside from the bowstring. I think the only way that Tomo could be displayed without her bow is if one deliberately wrecked the figure.
Yeah, it’s annoying as hell when practicality impedes collecting. I’m not sure if I’m going to get FREEing’s Laura Bodewig figure just because I have no space for it right now. (Though perhaps I could just buy it, stick it in storage and wait till I move to a larger place.)
I would love to see a figure of Nate; I mean, aside from the Beach Queens one. A nicer figure of Masazumi and Horizon would be good too, and I still wonder if we’ll ever see that Kimi Aoi figure that Volks has been teasing (though I don’t expect it to be spectacular regardless). It’s discouraging that a series with so many attractive and distinctive character designs has gotten so little attention from figure makers.
This is a huge figure even for 1/8 scale. It must be a big challenge for Kotobukiya trying to make this figure with all the devices full expanded, but it turned out great. I guess part of the reason Maxfactory chose a sitting pose is to avoid making it so large. I don’t quite like that huge arrow (or maybe I should call it a missile) because I think that exaggerated proportion breaks the beauty of traditional archery, though I know some fans must really want that in this figure. So the replacement parts with the arrow already released look more natural to me.
Yeah, the torpedo tends to draw attention to itself, particularly being placed right over her bust, which also is an attention magnet. The Horizon series is all about excess, though, so I guess it makes sense. Still, it’s a little odd how this figure is so dynamic and, well, excessive, while Kotobukiya’s earlier Futayo Honda is so staid in comparison. It’s also a little weird how Kotobukiya outdid Max Factory in terms of ambition, but it is nice to see since we could use more figure companies with a penchant for hugely elaborate figures (particularly since Alter seems to not be doing a whole lot of them these days).
I’ve wanted Tomo since I first saw her but it was pretty clear that her box would be big. Normally Kotobukiya is very good about keeping box sizes very reasonable but, no doubt for reasons of “shelf presence”, they opted for a full-size display box. I’m sure this makes a figure look great at a physical store but I’d be curious how many Japanese collectors even buy from stores these days.
Of my top 3 box size offenders of all time, only the cold-cast Kanu warranted a larger box since the general way to back such delicate but heavy items seems to favor large compartmentalized styrofoam. The other two were Fate Testarossa figures from Alter, probably the worst offender of all regarding oversized boxes (to the point that I refer to the high shipping incurred by their figures as the “Alter tax”). Upon opening them it’s usually pretty clear that, with some creative packing, many figures could fit in a box between half or, particularly in these cases, a sixth or more the size.
Maybe I’m unaware of how big the Japanese market is compared to the rest of the world but I’ve seen the latter market grow substantially in the last several years so I can’t help but think that foreign collectors make up a consequential slice of their revenue. After seeing hordes of figures in huge boxes lie fallow until they get massively discounted to the point that it cancels out shipping costs, I can’t help but wonder if certain Japanese figure manufacturers either don’t realize or don’t care whether a choice so simple as packaging can have such a significant impact on foreign sales.
Ah well, I really like this figure and I *will* have her once I can tame her shipping costs a little. Her domestic release date it coming up soon so maybe that’ll be the trick.
Yesterday, she was listed as sold out on Amiami, but as I write this, she’s back up on Amiami for 12660 Yen.
Well, she got a small discount, at least. Personally, I’m kinda expecting to see her at 8000 yen at some point.
I really should try and track Tomo down. I have Futayo and she was pretty impressive. Need to finish my review of her for tomopop.
Then again, she doesn’t hold a candle to my most recent acquisition, but then very little does, at least in recent memory
Futayo does look pretty nice. It’s a little odd how she has a fairly static pose despite being a fighter girl; it would’ve been nice if they sculpted her in a more energetic stance, since she’d look better paired with Tomo.
The pose kinda suits her since she looks pretty tense. Then there,s the extra parts which aren’t shown in any promo shots which are head scratching but kinda awesome!
I’ll have to take her out of her box one of these days. Being that I have her, Mitsuru, Asuka, and a couple of the Yamato 2199 girls still waiting to be photographed, maybe I should do a tight bodysuit-themed month or something.
The figure is really impressive and your shots have made it better as well. I haven’t watched the anime yet, but the designs are really impressive. And it seems that kotobukiya’s stepping up their game lately. It won’t be surprised if they can surpass the other figure manufacturers in a matter of time.
It would be pretty cool if they can. It’ll be interesting to see who makes the better Saber Extra, since GSC’s Fate figures are some of their best work and I don’t remember Kotobukiya making many (if any) Fate figures before.