Dakimakura Review – Fate T. Harlaown from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS (NSFW)

Fate T. Harlaown Dakimakura Review

I’ve been looking for a good dakimakura cover of Fate Testarossa for a while now, and it’s been surprisingly difficult to find one despite the popularity of the Nanoha franchise’s number two lady. For one, many of her pillowcases depict her in her younger form, and while I don’t dislike her original appearance, I prefer her as an adult. Also, being that I’m fond of the character, I was going to be more discriminating than I might have been if I were unfamiliar with Fate.

One of my favorite dakimakura covers is Vivio, and I knew the artist had done one of Fate earlier. I had skipped it then, but being that I liked his work with the Vivio pillowcase, I decided that passing on it had been a mistake. When I heard that this Fate pillowcase showed up on Mandarake, I went ahead and picked it up. While I like the illustrations better than I did at first, this dakimakura cover came with an unexpected and quite unwelcome surprise.
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Dakimakura Review – Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night (NSFW)

Rin Tohsaka Dakimakura Review

It’s time for dakimakura cover show and tell, and today’s pillowcase features a character that needs no introduction at all.
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ER Nurse Miyuu from the Daydream Collection (NSFW)

Nurse Miyuu from the Daydream Collection Figure Review

Like school swimwear, bunnysuits, and catgirls, nurses are a well-loved staple of anime art and anime character design. Not by me, though – school swimwear, bunnysuits, catgirls, and nurse uniforms don’t do a whole lot for me by themselves, not like, say, bodysuits or sportswear or revealing body armor. However, I ordered Miyuu less for her clothing and more for how she looks sans clothing. How does she look and how detailed is she?
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Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2 (Gift Swimsuit Version)

Tamaki Kousaka Figure Review

If you’re a figure collector and a fan of Tamaki Kousaka, you are probably a happy person. Characters come and go with respect to their popularity amongst figure makers – Iroha was a favorite character for some time, as was Ignis, and the Ikkitousen and Sengoku Rance girls had their heyday … but Tamaki – her popularity is as high as it’s ever been, at least among figure manufacturers. This particular figure puts her in a swimsuit, which isn’t particularly noteworthy. What is special about this figure is its size – she’s got many, many figures, but few of them offer a solid fifteen inches of Tamaki.
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Preorder Outlook XVII

The pace of figure releases was rather languid at the start of this year, but now that we’re past Wonder Festival the preorder announcements have been popping up with the quickness. There’s lots of new faces from recent series and a lot of old staples, like Miku, Saber, Sonico, and Fate. No Tamaki Kousaka, curiously – though I’ll be photographing another Tamaki figure soon. As if the world really needs another Tamaki figure review; regardless, it’s coming later this week. But for now, let’s look at some stuff that I’m thinking about buying.
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Naoe Kanetsugu from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

Naoe Kanetsugu from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

Alter is one of the most well-respected figure makers in the hobby, and they have a diverse product portfolio that encompasses a huge variety of properties. There are a few franchises that they seem to particularly prize – in particular, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Strike Witches, and Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls. One could make a good argument that Samurai Girls doesn’t deserve figures of this quality but although the show is quite terrible, the character designs are, at least, fairly pleasing to the eye. They’ve trickled out over the last few years, and though Alter seems committed to making figures of all of the show’s characters, they’ve shown little of the alacrity that they evince with chucking out Strike Witches figures, who seem to get a new one every few months. Nonetheless, the newest one is Naoe Kanetsugu, an evidently happy young girl who carries a very big stick.
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Alice from Queen’s Gate (Designer’s Color Version) (NSFW)

Queen's Gate Alice Figure Review

If I remember right, Alice was one of the first Queen’s Gate characters, if not the very first. While the characters of the Queen’s Gate series are, for the most part, licensed from existing properties, I think Alice was an original design contributed by Nitroplus artist Niθ. However, even though she’s a relative unknown in a lineup stocked with famous characters from fighting games and anime, Alice is no less loved by figure makers – she’s represented in the hobby by no fewer than six figures. Her first figure – reviewed at HappySoda and foo-bar-baz – sported light green hair; a second version had white hair and the third version – which is this figure – has black hair. Alice also got three versions of her as a rather buxom grown-up character; as I understand it, that’s one of her combat moves. Or somesuch. Although it’s a bit out of character for me, I like this loli-style figure better. Let’s take a look at it.
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Year Three Retrospective

This site is three years old today. Running this site has felt a bit like real life: the first year was like college, where I did a lot of dumb things and generally didn’t know what I was doing. The second year was like transitioning from school to work, where I was happy to be making money, particularly happy to be spending money, and discovered new interests, met new people, and started trying to make sense of where I was going. The third year was a bit like a job; this site is just what I do now, and I do it without really thinking a lot about it. That’s not a negative thing, mind you – this site is far more fun to run than my day job. But though it’s fun, maintaining this site is a routine to me – a comfortable routine, to be sure, but it’s not as surprising or novel as it was during the first or second years.

I don’t talk a lot about me on this site – at least, I don’t think I do, although I suppose I wouldn’t know if I do – but today I indulge myself, and I’ll write a bit about what it’s like to operate Tentacle Armada.
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Shot Breakdown – Lacia

Lacia shot breakdown

I originally wanted to shoot Lacia in front of a printed sky backdrop, as I did with Charlotte Yeager some time back. Unfortunately, it looked terrible and after giving up on that idea, I did what I usually do when that happens, which is to panic and get depressed. When an idea of mine fails, I fall back on what works, backdrops that I’ve previously used that I know how to light and how they will look. For futuristic, sci-fi figures, I like to use this backdrop, which comprises an abstract, geometric design – not particularly eye-catching but I think it does a good job complementing those sorts of figures.
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Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2 (White Swimsuit Illustration Version) (NSFW)

Daiki Kougyou Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2 Figure Review

Tamaki Kousaka is an exceptionally popular character amongst figure makers and, along with Vocaloid mascot Miku Hatsune and Nitro+ mascot Super Sonico, has had an extraordinary presence in terms of hobby merchandise this past year. However, while Tamaki seemed poised to claim an equal share of the spotlight with the other two characters, one has to feel that her star has dimmed a bit in comparison. Tamaki is a well-developed character with an established personality and background, whereas Sonico is still relatively unknown and Miku is, of course, anything people want her to be. The result is that although Miku and Sonico have received a variety of figures, none of them look unusual or inappropriate – for example, Sonico looks equally comfortable in a nurse’s uniform as she does wearing a bondage collar while rocking out with an electric guitar. Tamaki, in contrast, tends to get stuffed into a school uniform or a swimsuit and one would be forgiven for expressing weariness at seeing yet another figure of Tamaki in the bikini. With this figure, though, Daiki has gone for the hat trick with no fewer than three versions of Tamaki – and I suppose one would say they failed since all of them hit the bargain bin fairly quickly. Not that I saw that coming since if I did, I could’ve saved myself a lot of money. Oh well. Let’s take a look at it anyway.
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