I own a lot of perverted figures and I’ve staked out a niche in the figure reviewing community as someone who likes perverted figures, but this figure might be the most perverted one I own. I wasn’t sure if I was depraved enough to buy this figure, and judging by the dearth of reviews, I suppose not too many other people were, either. With time running out in Amiami’s half-price shipping promotion, I finally caved in and tossed her in the shopping basket. Of course, Amiami extended the discount for an entire month the next day. That’s the way life goes, I guess.
Having become intrigued by Keumaya’s figure lineup, I put in a bid for Violet on Yahoo! Japan Auctions only to lose out in the last hour. Undaunted, I run a search on eBay and Violet shows up the next day. After a very brief moment of hesitation, I punch in a bid value and put the mouse cursor over â€œPlace Bidâ€ and then …
COMMON SENSE: Hey man.
ME: Oh for the love of basketball, not you again. Don’t you got anything better to do?
CS: This is my job man, I’m here to stop you from doing stupid things. And I had this feeling that … wait, what’s that up on the monitor?
ME: This? This is Zanjibaru.
CS: No, not your porn game. Wait, that’s eBay! You’re buying another perverted girly figure again, aren’t you?!
ME: … Mebbe.
The Ikki Tousen franchise is a licensing juggernaut, and with five Kanu Unchous in my collection, I am scarcely immune to its wiles. However, while the manga fields a bewilderingly large cast, for years my only non-Kanu figure was Griffon’s awful Ryofu Housen figure from way back. Now, with Daiki Kougyou’s Ryomou Shimei in my collection, that count increases to two.
Curiously, figure manufacturers donâ€™t often look to fighting games. Iâ€™m not sure why; fighting games are rife with awesome and awesome-looking characters. Okay, Iroha briefly achieved it-girl status and Mai Shiranui, Cammy, and Mina Majikina get figures every now and then, but thereâ€™s nothing from Tekken, nothing from The Last Blade, nothing from Virtua Fighter. Even the Dead or Alive, Soul Calibur, and The King of Fighters series – which feature some of the most iconic fighters in video games – are barely represented in the figure hobby. There are no scale figures of Helena or Lisa, Sophitia or Seung Mina, Kula Diamond or Mars People.
Above all of those, Iâ€™ve wanted a figure of Dizzy. Sheâ€™s my favorite character in all of fighting games, but apart from Max Factory-produced figures of a Shunya Yamashita-inspired I-No and the transvestite Bridget, there seemed to be no inclination on the part of figure manufacturers to look at Guilty Gear X. But fortune works in strange ways, and thanks to the popularity of the Queenâ€™s Blade series, there is now a figure of Dizzy, the Guilty Gear X character who was adapted into a Queenâ€™s Gate book, which is itself an adaptation of the Queenâ€™s Blade series, which is itself an adaptation of Scottsdale, Arizona-based (of all places) Flying Buffaloâ€™s Lost Worlds game books. Strange ways indeed.
While Western popular culture features a number of parallels to its Japanese counterpart, one aspect that does not have a corresponding analogue is doujin, the vast conglomeration of self-published comics, video games, music, and more. Doujin is such an integral part of both the culture and industry that such works can command influence and popularity far beyond their humble origins; for example, the Touhou Project started as a series of 2D shooting games but has since grown into a powerful franchise complete with its own fan-made doujin works, and its significance as a cultural phenomenon is probably greater than its importance as a video game.
When one thinks of doujin, one often thinks of comic books, and probably pornographic ones at that. Certainly fan-made comics are a huge part of this mass of culture worship – the attendance figures of Comiket are proof enough of that. However, doujin encompasses all forms of media, including figures. There are numerous fan-made figures, usually sold in very limited quantities as resin model kits. Preassembled figures, however, are quite rare; while it is not technically complicated to create a comic book or a music video, manufacturing a complete, painted figure seems to be beyond the means and ambitions of many creators.
However, there is one doujin circle that is known primarily for their PVC figures. Keumaya has been making their own figures since 2006 and selling them at conventions and on Toranoana. Theyâ€™ve carved out a comfortable niche as an independent figure creator, which is quite impressive even without taking into account the quality of their products.
Cuteness isn’t something that I usually account for when I’m deciding which figures to buy. I much prefer sexy to cute, and many of the tropes associated with young, loli-type cuteness in anime – short stature, pigtails, an undeveloped rack – don’t really do much for me. Nonetheless, when MegaHouse announced that they were putting out a figure of Sora, I was captivated by the publicity shots, and I decided right away to put in a preorder.
We are here today to take a look at a cultural icon, one of the most famous things in its field. Indeed, it is so ubiquitous that some might say that it is overused and overexposed. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and take a look at the Fender Jazz Bass.
The battle bikini is one of the most stereotypical tropes in fantasy art but if you ask me, it doesn’t get nearly as much appreciation these days as it should. For example, when Sega resurrected the Golden Axe franchise, they did the right thing in selecting Tyris Flare as the heroine but then they revealed an appallingly lowbrow taste by giving her pants. To be fair, her famous battle bikini is unlockable, and since the game seems to have been quite awful I doubt anybody else cares, but the mere option of pants still demonstrates the disrespect this timeless battle uniform receives. Also, when Wrath of the Lich King was released, Blizzard inexplicably made all of the armor sets as puritanical as could be, despite having gone entirely the other way when they designed The Burning Crusade. Now, one could argue that a battle bikini might provide inadequate protection in a frozen wasteland, but I have my doubts that a heavy suit of full plate is any more practical for trudging about in the arctic. Furthermore, if realism were really the name of the game, all of the characters would be wearing fur coats and mukluks, as even a full-body cast iron tuxedo ainâ€™t going to protect nobody when a hundred foot-long dragon decides to step on you.
Fortunately, the beauty, utility, and elegance of this piece of equipment is still apparent and to that end, we have here an homage to the battle bikini in the form of Wind Goddess Rafale. I don’t see anything here that validates her divinity, but I will take the manufacturer’s claim for what it is worth.
After playing through Sengoku Rance, I decided that I wanted more figures of characters from the game. I wound up getting Kenshin and Isoroku Yamamoto, and if Shikibu had a figure, I’d get that too. Sadly, she does not, and sadly, many other worthy characters from the game haven’t been so honored. Kotobukiya or Orchid Seed or someone should retool to make a figure of each female Sengoku Rance character; the world would be a better place for it.
Back when I talked about Seena, I mentioned that the promo photos are sometimes misleading, that sometimes the actual figure looks better than what you expect.
The flip side of that, of course, is that sometimes the figure looks as bad as you expect. Or worse.