Category Archives: Figure Review

Nymph from Sora no Otoshimono (Swimsuit Version)

Nymph swimsuit figure by Plum

In anime, certain physical attributes are frequently associated with particular character archetypes. Female American characters are often blonde, blue-eyed and buxom; quiet or smart characters often wear eyeglasses (or in Rei Ayanami’s case, have an attachment to spectacles). Another common juxtaposition involves the loli tsundere personality type. Being a loli implies certain physical qualities, of course: it necessitates short stature and an undeveloped chest, for a certainty, but many such characters also wear twintails, to the point that if I see any loli-looking character with twintails, I usually assume that she is a tsundere type. (Though I would have been better served had I made that presumption while watching Date-A-Live’s first episode, whose cheerful, frisky little sister character swiftly turned into a repugnant, poisonous little bitch.)

Sora no Otoshimono’s Nymph checks all those marks, but this particular figure breaks from orthodoxy in an unusual manner: loli characters are generally not known for the magnitude of their backsides but this figure gives Nymph a sizeable ass. It’s an unusual decision, one that doesn’t really respect the usual forms, but regardless, it looks great.
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Kuroko Shirai from A Certain Scientific Railgun (Bunny Version)

Kuroko Shirai figure by FREEing

Last time, we looked at some monstrously large breasts; today, we’ll flip it one hundred and eighty degrees and look at a far more modest rack. However, while the previous character exemplified purity, grace, and tact, Kuroko Shirai embodies … well, none of those things.
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Tomo Asama from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere

Tomo Asama figure by Max Factory

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.
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Yui Takamura from Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse (Eishi Strengthening Equipment Version)

Yui Takamura figure by Kotobukiya

There have been a number of figures of the characters from Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse. To date, most of them have put them in swimsuits or their underwear. Not that that’s a bad thing (would you trust a heterosexual man who said he didn’t like panties?), but given the appeal and distinctiveness of Muv-Luv’s pilot suits, it’s a shame that figure makers haven’t chosen to adapt the most iconic look of the Total Eclipse characters. That is, until now; Kotobukiya has finally made a figure of lead girl Yui Takamura in her pilot suit, and that’s who we are looking at here.
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Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2 (Bunny Version) (NSFW)

Tamaki Kousaka Figure Review

Another day, another Tamaki figure. Given how much I whine about there being too many Miku Hatsune figures, it’s fair to wonder why I don’t make the same complaint about Tamaki. There are a couple of reasons; the most obvious one is that Tamaki is very often sexualized (even by Leaf) while Miku is not. The other reason is that while Miku has a (more or less) accepted look (embodied in her original Good Smile Company figure), nobody really seems to care much about Tamaki’s official design, and that leads to wide variation amongst her figures. Such is the case with this figure, and as a special bonus, it comes from a (sort of) brand-new figure maker, which gives us something new to talk about.
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Miku Hatsune from Vocaloid (Racing 2011 Version)

Miku Hatsune Racing 2011 figure by Good Smile Company

Another day, another Vocaloid figure. The Vocaloid phenomenon offers a little something for everyone. To amateur musicmakers, it is an empowering tool, giving them the ability to add vocals to their instrumental tracks. For artists, it is a source of inspiration for their illustrations. For companies, it’s a reliably fat cash cow – slap a Vocaloid image on a product or insert one of the characters into a video game and watch the units fly off the shelves. A few companies have taken this commercial exploitation to another level; Sega, for example, loves throwing her into games that she has no business being in. And Good Smile Company too, who have made so many products featuring her likeness that she might as well be their mascot. At least in the case of their auto racing team, it seems that this is literally true, as this figure represents.
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Yagyu Gisen from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

Yagyu Gisen figure by Alter

Many, many companies make figures of the characters from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, but nobody does it better than Alter. It has been a while since we’ve gotten a new figure of a core character, though; in fact, it’s been over a year since they released Naoe Kanetsugu. Charles d’Artagnan is still MIA, with not even a hint of a prototype sculpt, but presumably she’ll be along at some point in the future. In the meantime, today we will take a look at Gisen, the erotic seductress whose fiery passion and icy resolve conceal a variety of secrets.
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Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2 (Black Underwear Version)

Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2 Figure Review

Given the prevalence of Tamaki Kousaka figures in the market, it’s a little surprising that we haven’t looked at a Tamaki figure here in 364 days. It seems like you can’t go a month without seeing a new Tamaki figure go up for preorder. As much as some may decry the proliferation of Tamaki figures – and I can’t say that they don’t have a point – there does seem to be a market for them, so let’s look at this one.
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Horizon Ariadust from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Wave Version)

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere was one of my favorite shows from the fall 2011 anime season. It features a compelling setting, a likeable cast, a delightfully dense plot, and some of the nicest character designs in all of anime. Those designs, plus the sheer volume of characters in the show, would suggest that the series would be one that would get a lot of figures.

So one would think, anyway; however, it’s now been about a year and a half since the show debuted and only a handful of figures from the series have made their way to retail. Even more perplexing is that all of those figures come from Wave. Unsurprisingly, the great majority of those figures belong to their 1/10 scale Beach Queens line, but they did make one anomalous figure of Horizon Ariadust, which is what we’ll be looking at here.
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Fate T. Harlaown from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS (Bunny Version)

Fate T. Harlaown Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha StrikerS Figure Review

The latest bunny figure from FREEing is Fate T. Harlaown, Nanoha’s adversary-turned-best-buddy. It was a little weird seeing Nanoha in the skimpy bunny costume, since her sex appeal isn’t typically played up, at least when it comes to figures. However, Fate looks right in her bunnysuit, which is actually not much less modest than what she normally wears to a fight. They look great together, though, and while Fate and Nanoha are meant to be a matched pair (or threesome, if you count Hayate), Fate offers a number of contrasts to her partner that make this figure even more appealing.
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