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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Dakimakura Review – Pretty Girl Knight from the Art of Nakajou (NSFW)

%3 Figure Review

I have to admit that one of my favorite themes in pop culture is the scantily-clad female fighter. It’s not as common a motif as it used to be, I think, which is sort of unfortunate, but it can still be found in anime properties like Queen’s Blade or video games like Code of Princess, which I sadly doubt I’ll ever get to play, given my general bias against handheld systems (though I do actually own a PSP, purchased mainly to play Persona 3 Portable, but I’ve since lost the UMD somewhere). It’s never been a frequent theme in dakimakura cover artwork, though, so when I saw this pillowcase, my interest was piqued straight away.
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Doll Review – vmf50 Shiho

vmf50 Shiho by Yamato

Yamato’s vmf50 lineup hasn’t always had a clear identity. Its closest analogues – Azone’s original and Hybrid Active Figure series and Volks’s Dollfie Dream line – have, in contrast, clearly-defined target markets. The Dollfie Dream and HAF dolls are generally modeled after characters from anime culture, whereas Azone’s original dolls are simply happy-looking female characters, with the occasional scowling Goth-loli character thrown in on occasion. The vmf50 series is, however, much like Yamato’s larger product line: all over the place. At first, it seemed like they were interested in appealing to anime fans, and their early dolls, such as Risa and Yumi, featured anime-like styling. Then they made a doll of Nitroplus mascot Super Sonico, which was quite unexpected, at least by me. Subsequently, they switched over to using artificial eyes in their newer dolls and introduced a host of body types, principally distinguished by bust and leg size. After observing their product line for the last several years, I think one can simply say that Yamato wanted to make really sexy dolls, with costumes and characteristics that frequently strayed into ero classification. This doll, named Shiho, is one of the more overt examples, as can obviously be seen.
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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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Preorder Outlook XXV

It’s the end of the month and that means it is time to look at some figures that I am thinking about ordering. This past month’s Wonder Festival saw many great figures make their public debuts, and though not many of them have shown up at retail websites yet, there’s still a lot of nice stuff that is now available for preorder. Let’s take a look at a few of those figures.
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Year Four Retrospective

Tentacle Armada is four years old today. That’s 232 figure and doll reviews, 38 dakimakura cover reviews, and one tentacle stand review. I’m pretty amazed that this site is still around, and that I’ve managed to stick to a fairly consistent posting pattern (six posts per month for the last twelve months). As I provide every 23rd of February, here is the usual anniversary wrapup post where I write about my thoughts regarding the past year and what my plans are going forward.
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Dakimakura Review – Inori Yuzuriha from Guilty Crown (Evening Call Version) (NSFW)

Inori Yuzuriha Dakimakura Review

Guilty Crown is often compared to shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Code Geass, but regardless of their parallels in plot structure, characterization, and themes, it seems clear that it is not their equal when it comes to merchandising power. Evangelion’s popularity needs no commentary, and Code Geass just got this pretty awesome dakimakura cover from Movic, but while Guilty Crown came in riding a wave of hype and anticipation, it now seems to be the show that everyone wants to forget. I had thought that Good Smile Company or someone would show a few Guilty Crown figures at the recent Wonder Festival, but I don’t recall seeing any – not even Figmas (quite surprising, being that the bar to get a Figma is set pretty low). On the plus side, Azone’s big-ass Inori doll is looking pretty. Also on the plus side, lead girl Inori Yuzuriha and some of her castmates were popular subjects for dakimakura cover artists, as we see 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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Shizuru Nakatsu from Rewrite (NSFW)

Shizuru Nakatsu from Rewrite Figure Review

There are scads and oodles of swimsuit figures out there, so let’s take a look at Shizuru Natsuru, one of the heroines from Key’s well-regarded visual novel Rewrite. Rewrite is notable for being an all-ages game, unlike many of their earlier visual novels. However, that isn’t stopping figure maker BEAT from interposing their own bit of raunchiness on Shizuru, as one can easily see.
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