Category Archives: Figure Review

Spider Girl from Naked Star (NSFW)


First Class Spider Girl from Naked Star Review

Think of all the weird things that one instantly associates with Japanese culture. Wacky television game shows. Green tea-flavored Coke. Tentacle rape. What culture on this planet could spawn these things but the one that made eating raw fish not just mainstream but fashionable?

So when I saw this figure, it didn’t even faze me. If you’re at all familiar with Japanese pop culture, you take this sort of strangeness as a matter of course. Actually, the first thing I thought was that this figure looked really cute. Really shy. Like she’s hiding a secret. I guess that’s one way to put it.

Incidentally, if anybody reading this is looking for May Parker, this is not the Spider Girl that you’re looking for.
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Yomi Isayama from Ga-rei Zero


MegaHouse Yomi Isayama from Ga-rei Zero Review

While Ga-rei Zero’s storyline follows Kagura’s maturation, Yomi is the most important character in the show. She is the only character to appear in each of the anime’s episodes and she is the epicenter or instigator of every major event that occurs. While Kagura is a simplistic, one-dimensional character who exists in the anime mainly because she exists in the manga, Yomi is far more complicated and nuanced. She is a dedicated hunter of evil spirits, a confident and expert warrior, a mentor, sister, and surrogate mother to Kagura, the heir to her family’s legacy and leadership, a ruthless psychopath, a sadistic murderer, a physical and emotional cripple, and a teenaged girl searching for her life’s path. Kagura’s loss of innocence is a core component of the plot, but by the series’ end Yomi has tallied the longest butcher’s bill, and has lost so much more than her friend.
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Kagura Tsuchimiya from Ga-rei Zero


MegaHouse Kagura Tsuchimiya from Ga-rei Zero Review

I’m a bit surprised that Ga-rei Zero hasn’t received more love than it has. It’s got sassy sword-swinging schoolgirls in short skirts, strong lesbian undertones, solid animation, gore in plenty and an impressive body count to accompany the violence. It’s exactly what I’m looking for in an anime series.

Actually, I guess maybe it isn’t that surprising that Ga-rei Zero hasn’t received more love than it has.
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Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Bunny Music Version)


Daiki Kougyou Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Review

When I look at Alter’s lineup, there aren’t any figures that I’d consider bad. Oh sure, they’ve got quite a few figures that I don’t particularly care for, but they are supreme with respect to quality, and you can see it in every figure they make. On the flip side, consider Taki Corporation; they don’t have a single figure that I like and their works are distinguished only by their misshapenness. Then take a maker like Kotobukiya; they’ve been around forever and they put out pretty good figures. I can’t think of any that stand out, though; there are a number of Alter figures that I knew I was going to buy as soon as I saw them, but I can’t think of any Kotobukiya figures that I can make the same claim for.

Daiki Kougyou, however, is a different sort. While Alter is consistently superb and Kotobukiya is always solid and Taki is reliably bad, Daiki Kougyou’s figures are all over the place. They’ve crafted masterpieces like the miko version of Kanu Unchou, which can easily go toe to toe with anything Alter’s ever chucked out. And then you have figures like this, where you scratch your head and wonder what they were thinking. Further, while Alter, Taki, and Kotobukiya all tend to adhere closely to the original character designs, Daiki Kougyou often eschews convention and offers its own spin on existing characters. For example, many of their figures are sculpted by Toshirou, whose style has its own inimitable idiosyncrasies, and they have an upcoming figure of Ikkitousen’s Ryomou Shimei as re-imagined by Shunya Yamashita, who of course has an easily-identifiable and distinctive flair. They’ve also made a figure of Sei which is unusual in that they didn’t bother giving her a left arm, and her face looks a little bit like Dr. Julian Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

So when I look at this figure of Haruhi, it’s a bit surprising to me that it comes from Daiki Kougyou. It looks more akin to something that Max Factory or Good Smile Company would make, since it’s a very faithful representation of the character. It’s also an amazing figure, and while I think miko Kanu is the best figure that Daiki Kougyou’s ever made, Haruhi is right up there as well.
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Kanu Uncho from Ikki Tousen (Project Dynamite #001 Extra Color Version) (NSFW)


Yamato Kanu Unchou from Ikkitousen Review

Here is yet another manifestation of Kanu Unchou, the preeminent poster girl of the Ikkitousen franchise. Some people – probably a lot of people, actually – would say that Kanu is ridiculously overrepresented and that the plastic used to manufacture Kanu figures could be better used elsewhere. Like on that Black Rock Shooter girl, for instance. I wouldn’t be among them, myself; I like Kanu, I’ve liked Kanu since she first appeared in Battle Vixens. I initially thought Hakufu and Kaku Bunwa were going to be the series’ main characters, so I’m quite happy that Kanu has received the love that she has. While there are about a billion figures of her out there, this version of Kan-san is a little bit different than the rest.
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Yoko Ritona from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Bounty Hunter Version)


Alter Yoko Ritona from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Review

My long national nightmare is over! I had preordered Yoko back in spring from a retailer that listed June as her release date. June came and went, as did July and the rest of summer and half of autumn. Finally I said the hell with this and ordered her from OtakuFuel. That reminds me, I probably ought to cancel my original preorder.
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Kotonoha Katsura from School Days


Kotobukiya Kotonoha Katsura from School Days Review

As everybody knows Amiami is now accepting orders from international customers. I order most of my stuff from Hobby Search and HLJ, and seeing as how Amiami’s prices are quite a bit lower than either of those two stores, I was curious as to how good they are. I planned to order MegaHouse’s Aldra since she was on sale, but seeing as how they had one Kotonoha figure left, I tossed her in the shopping cart as well.
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Yagyu Jubei from Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls


Alter Yagyu Jubei from Hyakka Ryoran Review

Fashionably late, as virtually all Alter releases are, Yagyu Jubei is the latest release from what is perhaps the premier manufacturer of scale figures. She comes from the property Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls, and I’m not entirely certain what that’s supposed to be; the website lists a few upcoming books, but I’m guessing it’s mainly a franchise built to peddle character goods. The original character designs appear to be done by NiΘ, who has also done character designs for Nitro+ H-games like Demonbane and Zoku: Satsuriku no Jango, both of which have also gotten the figure treatment from Alter.
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Uesugi Kenshin from Sengoku Rance (Volks A-Brand Version) (NSFW)


Volks A-Brand Uesugi Kenshin from Sengoku Rance Review

Let’s talk a little bit about lust. If you collect anything, chances are that there is a holy grail item, something that you greatly desire but is nearly impossible to acquire. Maybe it’s an out-of-print edition of a book, or a rare and valuable trading card of some favorite athlete, or a pretty, limited-run postage stamp. These treasures add a definite zest to collecting, igniting passions, squelching common sense, and obliterating the checking accounts of collectors fortunate enough to add these things to their troves.

For me, Volks’s 1/4 scale Uesugi Kenshin statue is the prize that I’ve had my eyes on for years. I never expected to own her; for one, Volks’s wares are notoriously difficult to purchase outside of Japan, and for another, Kenshin was sold only as a resin kit. There was no way I could afford the model, and I do not have the requisite equipment or skill to assemble and paint it anyway. My only hope would be to buy a prepainted recast – and E2046 hasn’t stocked this item in a long time – or for a prepainted, preassembled kit to magically present itself. The late, sorely-missed Heisei Democracy mentions that such an item was in fact sold at the winter Wonder Festival in February 2008 – for an astronomical price.

So time passed, and I didn’t think much about this Kenshin figure, since there was little point pining away for something unobtainable, until one day, on a whim, I spent some time browsing through Yahoo Japan’s listings. And I saw this figure. There were a lot of reasons to hesitate – the price was insane, I would have to go through a middleman which means an even more insane price in addition to requiring a considerable amount of faith in someone a hemisphere away, and the possibility of losing the auction, which presents its own unique set of problems. But hesitation never really entered my mind; after all, this figure is it. This is number one, my prize, and who would deny that magic had occurred? All it would take to acquire this figure would be to meet the price. But Gott im Himmel, what a price.
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Lancer from Red Stone


Orchid Seed Lancer from Red Stone Figure Review

MMORPGs seem to be quite popular in Asia. This is particularly true in Korea, from whence a dizzying array of titles have spawned. Some – such as Lineage, Aion, and RF Online – have been published on this side of the ocean. Others – principally free-to-play games – haven’t received a formal release in the United States. Red Stone falls in the latter category, and I hadn’t ever heard of the game before I saw pictures of this figure. While I have minimal experience playing Korean MMOs, I do like their character designs, which are almost always awesome. The lancer girl passed the eyeball test with little difficulty, and now here she is.
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