Preorder Outlook XLIII

Welcome to the >10,000 yen edition of the preorder outlook, in which almost every figure here sports a five-digit price tag, even though none of them are particularly large or overly elaborate. Indeed, quite a few of these would’ve cost perhaps 7,500 yen a few years ago – but then, the USD-JPY exchange rate was far worse, so I suppose it works out to about the same cost. It doesn’t quite feel that way, though. Regardless, if I’m disinclined to pay those prices, there’s nothing to do but to quit the hobby, and since I’m not about to do that, let’s take a look at some of the figures that have caught my eye in the last month.

September 2015

Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell
Despite being amongst the most famous of anime series, there have not been many figures made of the characters from Ghost in the Shell. This figure is thus a welcome sight, even though it comes from a company I’ve never heard of. A quick glance at their portfolio shows that they’ve made figures of male characters and of Calne Ca, the bizarre and horrific Miku Hatsune-derived cyborg, and so it’s hard for me to gauge whether this figure is going to be good. The promo photos look nice, although the design has its quirks, amongst them a very long body build and big poofy hair, the sort of hairstyle that was fashionable in anime back in the 80s and 90s. I’m probably going to buy this figure, and it’ll be something like traveling in a full circle for me – Yamato/Toycom’s old Motoko figures were amongst the first anime figures I ever bought. Oddly – and somewhat depressingly – this figure is also the only one on this list that is listed at under 10,000 yen, which I suppose is a dubiously positive endorsement.

October 2015

Golden Darkness from To Love-Ru Darkness
Announced just in time for the anime debut of To Love Ru Darkness’s second season, this figure presumably represents Konjiki no Yami’s perverted/homicidal/slutty side. It’s a good-looking figure for sure, though the high price tag and small size of the figure give pause. I think I may buy it, as I missed out on the Good Smile Company figure from a while back, and this one has a much better costume, though I don’t really care for the horns.

Sena Kashiwazaki from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
Most of the things that apply to Yami are also relevant to this figure. It looks good – Sena wearing a sarashi and thong is a winning combination – but it’s ridiculously expensive for a 1/8 scale figure. Particularly disconcerting is the figure’s listed height of 26 centimeters, which must include the hammer, and if it does, this figure would only be about 18 centimeters tall. That’s a tough sell. The outfit really is neat and so I can’t completely dismiss this figure but it’s difficult to justify paying that much money unless the figure is larger than I expect it to be.

November 2015

Saber Extra from Fate/Extra
Some time back, I bought a Saber figure from E2046. It depicted her in a little dress, carrying a parasol, flashing lithe and long legs. I liked the figure a lot but I thought it was a strange take on a popular character and I never intended to review it, particularly since much of Saber’s popularity stems from her dignified comportment and presentation. Since then, she’s been seen riding a motorbike in a decidedly non-ladylike business suit, wearing booty shorts, or squeezed into a bondage bodysuit (and for the insipid, tiresome preachers of the Fate/stay night mythology, yes, I am aware that those last two characters are not the Arthurian Saber). And now we’ve got this figure, which has a few similarities with that E2046 figure. I think I’m going to get this one, as I have a fondness for buying wacky-looking Sabers, and now I think I’ll review the other one as well. In fact, I have this idea to do Wacky Saber Week, as I never did review bondage bride Saber, motorbike Saber, or gangsta lean Saber.

December 2015

Dark Elf from Bikini Warriors
I was excited when I heard about Bikini Warriors, as I have a thing for bikini armor in role-playing games and the character designs looked uniformly excellent. I was particularly elated to hear that figures and an anime series would comprise a core part of the project. Then I heard that the anime’s episodes are five minutes long and that the figures would be sold through MegaHouse’s online store which, of course, does not receive orders from foreigners. Sigh. The figure looks spectacular and so I think it will be worth the effort of tracking down anyway, but I need to find myself a new ordering service as the ones I’ve relied upon before – Tokyo Hunter and Yokatta – are not around anymore, apparently.

January 2016

Charles D’Artagnan from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls
I’ve lost almost all my enthusiasm for this figure after waiting for such a long time, but now that it’s available for order, it seems desultory to write about it. It’s a good-looking figure, though I think I would have liked it more a couple of years ago, and seeing as how it’s yet another Hobby Japan exclusive, I think I’m inclined to pass on Charles.

March 2016

Hestia from Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
Hestia seems a likely candidate for the next It-Girl of figure collecting, thanks to her typically sunny appearance, large breasts, and that peculiar ribbon. She might also be a good character – I wouldn’t know, as I haven’t seen the anime, and even though I’m curious as to what it’s about, its light novel origins and the absurdity of its title put a damper on my interest whenever I think about watching it. Hestia does look good, though, and I think I like this figure of her better than Kotobukiya’s – I prefer the upright pose seen here and I definitely favor its 1/6 scale size. Unfortunately this is yet another Hobby Japan exclusive and I’ll have to find some place that is taking orders for it.

Momohime from Muramasa: The Demon Blade
And same deal here – Hobby Japan exclusive, going to cost more money, but it’s a naked version of Momohime, whose earlier figure was so popular and well-received. Can’t really say no to that.

April 2016

Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night
I think much of Type-moon’s success is owed to the respect that they accord to their characters and to the worlds that they inhabit. There’s a sense of significance to their stories that transcends the sexualized titillation peddled by so many other titles and franchises in anime culture. Their characters are treated with rarefied dignity and their plotlines manifest a consequential gravity – which sometimes veers into banal pretentiousness. Nonetheless, their treatment of their properties is both distinctive and admirable.

And then you see something like this and you gotta wonder. Perhaps they knew that Good Smile Company’s Rin set a high bar and they weren’t inclined to attempt to best it – or perhaps they knew that this sort of look, with Rin’s awkward and vulnerable expression combined with a skin-tight crop top, black panties, and thigh-high fuck-me boots would occupy a space that no other Fate/stay night figure does. And while I appreciate the decorum showed to the Fate/stay night characters, even when being productized, I certainly prefer this sort of marketing instead. If nothing else, it reinforces the fact that, for all the plaudits bestowed to Fate/stay night and its literary qualities (vastly overstated, in my opinion), it is, from its heritage, a porno game. This is all to say that I think Rin looks great and I’m certainly going to order her. She’s not available at the usual retail websites but for those in the United States (and perhaps elsewhere), she can be ordered from the retailers listed on the Aniplex website.

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25 Responses to Preorder Outlook XLIII

  1. wieselhead says:

    Yes, the prices these days actually prevent impulse purchases, I’ve become rather careful with preorders. Even though that is no completely negative trend for me. Still throwing my money at figures I really, really find appealing is easy ;D

    What I like about Ghost in the Shell are the cute spider robots XD
    In the last series I also liked the mayor Kusanagi, still I really dislike the world there.

    This Sena is so cute, not 100% but after all the wait, I’m happy to see her painted.
    She should look quite pretty, even at the small end of the 1/8 scale.

    Saber looks a little alien like, but I approve of her outfit and umbrella, she should look great on a shelf.

    This Bikini Warrior character isn’t really my first choice, but it’s nicely portrayed as figure.
    I’ve heard that there are two version, one with and without castoff parts, don’t buy the wrong one XD.

    Sorry to hear that you are inclined to pass on Charles now, but it really took too long and the franchise go a little uninteresting. Man not a single slutty Gisen figure, what a waste 🙁

    Hestia is cool, but stay away from the anime, a much lesser Sword Art Online.clone.
    They should make her castoffable, with only a blue thong left..

    There was quite some hate for cosplay Rin, I didn’t really follow the arguments against it.
    She isn’t the Rin of my dream, but it’s creative and rather cute, whats so bad about it?
    Too ecchi? GSC also had lots of fanservice on their Rin figure.

    • il-Palazzo says:

      “…whats so bad about it?
      Too ecchi? GSC also had lots of fanservice on their Rin figure.”

      Personally I thinks they try to show too much skin, it ends up not looking like Archer enough. Her moe cutesey pose and face also does not help.

      Compare it to Ilya or Kuro as Archer. That’s still fanservicey, yet still look very much Archer-badass.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I think what actually has reined in my purchases is a lack of space and a lack of fondness for many of the characters that are getting figures these days. The price tags aren’t a huge deterrent but I would really like to get the benefit of the improved exchange rate if I can.

      The Tachikoma are definitely pretty funny; I was sorta surprised at how playful they were in Stand Alone Complex. I never did watch that anime past the first few episodes and now I wonder where I put my DVDs.

      The Amiami product description says she’s about 18 centimeters tall, which I think kills my interest. Alter’s old Buddy figure is about 20 centimeters tall and she’s relatively short; a figure that’s nearly a full inch shorter would be very small, way too small for that kind of price.

      Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls/Bride had the potential to be a lot better. It is too bad. And yeah, it’s a little surprising Gisen hasn’t gotten more love; a figure of her wearing a dress shirt and a big sexy smile would be pretty neat.

      Haha, yeah; I dunno, whenever I hear that an anime is adapted from a light novel, I just assume that it’s going to be bad. I also assume that any anime which places its characters in a video game world is going to be trash. Hestia is pretty cute, though; I agree that it’d be really nice if you could take her dress off.

      I glanced over the Rin page over on MFC while trying to figure out where to order her. It doesn’t surprise me one bit but the general tenor of the debate vastly amuses me (even though the specific arguments bore me to death). I guess they don’t like seeing her sexed up like that or something, but I would think that anyone who watches anime ought to be used to this sort of thing already.

  2. il-Palazzo says:

    I don’t know… Sena blacksmith doesn’t really click with me. I think that’s a really ugly way to wrap her boobs.

    Dark Elf Bikini ends up looking really nice despite the hilarious boob-tussles. I guess the anime is create solely to sale figures after all.

    I actually read Danmachi novel and like Hestia a lot, but once you see pass the meme-tastic blue ribbons then her white dress is sorta bland. I don’t think the hype train can go so far with Hestia figures.

    Surprisingly, the one I like the most in this batch is Momohime. Normally I would prefer my nude figures to be more explicit but I really love how her hair decs make her look colorful despite being otherwise naked.

    Side note: shouldn’t it be January/March/April of 2016?

    • Tier says:

      I really like Sena’s sarashi; the budget sarashi look is great. It is too bad the figure is going to be so small since I have no other issue with the figure.

      Yeah, the Bikini Warriors thing is a pretty blatant ploy to sell stuff. I guess the Seven Deadly Sins thing was too … I vaguely remember it was supposed to get an anime or something, but that never happened and there was some other anime by the same name that had nothing to do with it. I wonder what ever happened with their anime plans.

      It’s gonna be interesting to see how many figures Hestia gets. She got a ton of artwork in a very short period of time and I wonder how much lasting power she has (I wonder the same thing about Kantai Collection, whether they’ll have the longevity of, say, the Evangelion girls or Miku Hatsune).

      Oops, you’re right; I’m obviously not prepared to be thinking about 2016. It’s a little amazing how there are already solicitations for next year’s figures when we’re barely halfway through 2015. And I also just realized I forgot to list Rie Kawai or the Guilty Gear Xrd girl that FREEing put up; I guess I’ll make a note to include them in next month’s post.

  3. Lord Frivolous says:

    I ordered the Bikini Warrior Dark Elf figure through a proxy service called Treasure-Japan. It is a small venture located in Fukuoka which I’ve found out to be reliable.

    • Tier says:

      Ah, thanks for the heads up; I will look them up. I’m kinda looking for a new proxy service for these sorts of things since Yokatta is kaput and SMJ often tends to be more expensive than I expect.

      • EnigmaMerc says:

        Just wondering if you could provide some advice. I have previously ordered from Yokatta some 7 Deadly Sins figures but I have been unable to get in touch with them, so what should I do in such a situation?

        • Tier says:

          Honestly? I’d try to get your money back if you’ve already sent it. They were getting kinda flaky before they did their “warehouse move” and I’m now assuming that they’ve exited the business entirely.

          • EnigmaMerc says:

            I have tried to get my money back via PayPal but to no avail. I think it’s pretty much a lost cause. That’s quite a fair bit of money gone into those too, seeing as I’m not earning USD. Anyway, thanks for your kind advice.

  4. BostonBrandon says:

    Quite a few figures that I would be interested in myself here, though I think the shining gem may be Dark Elf of Bikini Warriors. Who I have to say looks amazing but I really think she would look so much better with an alternative paint option. We’ll all have to hold our breath and see if such an option may become available.
    Though Hestia is right there along side her and with a series title like that; well, I am definitely going to have to watch the anime.

    • Tier says:

      All the Bikini Warriors characters look great to me, so it’s pretty irritating that it appears they aren’t going to be easy to acquire. Hestia looks good too, and I think that is about the extent of my interest in the series she comes from.

  5. Aya says:

    for over 10k yen … , they are very pricey these days 🙁
    the good thing is, now they seems to make faster step on making new figures basen on the current trend and announce the pre-order quite fast, so not much waiting for a long time for a certain character being made.. (but still an exception for alter LOL)

    • Tier says:

      That is true; there are a few companies that seem to have a lead time of only a few months, which is nice. Though on the other hand, I have so many figures in the review queue (I think it’s over fifty …) that delays don’t really bother me as much as they used to.

  6. Steve Chen says:

    @ Tier

    Drak Eld special ed will be at the MegaTres Shop. Regular version at amiami. At least that’s how I understand from monpochi at moeyo.

    • Steve Chen says:

      Should be Dark Elf.Sorry.

    • Tier says:

      I think that version doesn’t have removable clothing, though; I guess it’s not a huge deal but I’d rather have the more feature-complete figure, so to speak. It’s an annoying situation all around.

      • Lord Frivolous says:

        The DX version comes with the print of original art work by Oda Non.

      • Steve Chen says:

        Breast swapping is the gimmick this time. At least according to mon pochi of Moeyo.

        Oda Non.grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr yummy! That guy can sure draw sexy and naughty.

        • Tier says:

          That’s probably even better than removable clothes. And he definitely can, him and Homare; I wonder if Homare’s artwork will ever get some figure adaptations? Then again, I guess he does a lot of doujin stuff of copyrighted characters.

  7. BostonBrandon says:

    I was able to see 5 of your potential preorders at the AnimeExpo this year and I have to say that Hestia poked the best in my opinion. Also, she really is quite large.

    • Tier says:

      That’s good to hear; sometimes some of those Japan-exclusive figures can be infuriatingly inconsistent with regards to size.

  8. BostonBrandon says:

    looked

  9. Devastator001 says:

    You COuld try this place they Hobby Japan Stuff got several from them and also has paypal.

    http://www.greattoysonline.com – they got the Rin, Momohime, Dark Elf and Hestia up on offer although dunno how they compare vs a proxy service

    • Tier says:

      Ah, thanks for the recommendation; I was thinking I’d go with Nippon Yasan but people kinda say both good and bad things about them, so I dunno. It’s very unfortunate for me that Tokyo Hunter is out of the business since they were always very reliable.

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