The Ideas That Didn’t Work

When I started doing figure photographs, I stuck with plain-colored backgrounds: first a hideous blue curtain and then a lot of black and white. I got pretty bored of doing that so now I try to do weird stuff. However, being that I’m not a very experienced photographer, a lot of my ideas don’t turn out very well. Some of them are salvageable with some modifications or liberal Photoshopping, some of them require some re-thinking before becoming viable, and some of them are just so bad that I look back at them and wonder what in the world I was thinking in the first place. They say that there’s no teacher like failure, so this post is a tribute to the value of education.
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Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion (Creator’s Labo Version)

Yamato Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion Figure Review

For years it’s seemed like Rei Ayanami was the it-girl of the Evangelion franchise, particularly when it comes to figures, and Asuka has been a bit overshadowed in comparison. Alter never bothered following up their movie Rei figure with an Asuka, and Mari has gotten a lot of love in recent times. Yamato also did not look like they were going to follow up their own Creator’s Labo Rei figure, leading E2046 to roll out their own version as part of their ORI line. However, there’s been something of a resurgence in Asuka’s popularity – at least in figure form – as Kotobukiya and Alter announced versions of her in her test suit and Yamato finally decided to give their grown-up Rei a counterpart. It’s a good time to be an Asuka fan, though this Asuka is a bit different than the usual redheaded fireball we are accustomed to.
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Buddy from Voices from Har Megiddo

Alter Buddy from Voices from Har Megiddo Figure Review

‘Tis the season to be thankful and hopeful here in the United States, and I’ve had a lot to be thankful for in my life. Some of the things that I’m thankful for are my figures and dolls – which are the entire reason this website exists, my camera equipment that gives this site its content, gaffer’s tape – an absolutely vital aid to my photo shoots, hip hop, tentacle porn, Wikipedia, and Fate Testarossa’s thong – sadly ignored these days. The things I’m hopeful for are that Irma and Subaru get figures, that Good Smile Company doesn’t screw up Rin and Saber Alter next year, that the Lakers’s team plane explodes in mid-flight, and that this ridiculous postal embargo blows over. I was also very hopeful that Alter’s Buddy figure would turn out well, as she was one of the figures I was looking most forward to. Now that she’s here, I have another thing to be thankful for.
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WTF Shopping Mall Japan?

So I get an invoice from Shopping Mall Japan and I see that it’s for a promotional pamphlet for a video game that I purchased for 400 yen off of Yahoo Japan Auctions. Then I see the total is $84.35. For a 400 yen item. SMJ uses a conservative exchange rate of 79 yen to a dollar, so 400 yen equals $5.06, and the other fees add up to about $14. And yet I’m getting charged $84.35. What the hell?

(Edit: Never mind, the total listed on my user page displays the correct total. I’m still waiting for an explanation from SMJ as to why the two values are so disparate [or why they are different at all]. I think I’m going to be checking my invoice totals by hand from now on rather than automatically going to Paypal to pay my bills.)

(October 2012 edit: People occasionally find this post while googling for “Shopping Mall Japan.” In fairness, aside from this issue [which was quickly rectified], I haven’t had any problems with SMJ and I’d recommend them if you are looking for a reliable proxy service. They may also have since implemented an automated billing system that might prevent this sort of human error from occurring.)

Posted in Random Thoughts | 9 Comments

Black Rock Shooter (Animation Version)

Good Smile Company Black Rock Shooter Figure Review

Some things are just completely review-proof and there’s no real reason to spend any time critiquing them. Harry Potter books and Transformers films fall into this category, and of course, so do any of Good Smile Company’s Black Rock Shooter figures. GSC is gonna make them, people are gonna buy them, and you know what you’re going to get, so we may as well spend our time talking about other things. So let’s begin: have you noticed that not many figure review sites are updating anymore? Or have you noticed that there are a helluva lot of figure news websites these days? I’ll often look at the link feed on Tsuki-board and see the same promo pictures over and over as a half dozen or more sites post the same news. Over and over. Weird. Oh, and have you noticed that Hobby Search only has their Japanese site up? Maybe they’re planning on shutting down international sales! Wait, it’s back up? Never mind then, let’s talk about this figure instead.
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Ikaros from Sora no Otoshimono

Grands Ikaros from Sora no Otoshimono Figure Review

I don’t watch a ton of anime, so it’s rare that I get a character from a series that I’m familiar with. I preordered Ikaros before watching Sora no Otoshimono, but I’m going through the first season now and I like it a lot. It’s a fun, unpretentious show that knows what it’s trying to do and does it well. One of its goals is to establish a cast of sexy female characters that can be exploited commercially, and Ikaros here is a big part of that plan.
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Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2

Max Factory Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2 Figure Review

Here are a few certainties in life: music that people half your age like will always suck, politicians will always lie, the Washington Redskins will always make terrible personnel decisions, and figure manufacturers from Alter to Yamato will always turn to the Ikkitousen and To Heart franchises for inspiration. In particular, Kanu Unchou and Tamaki Kousaka are consistent winners, and with a barrage of Tamakis scheduled to drop in the near future, now seems like a good time to look at the Tamaki that Max Factory released in May of this year.
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More vmf50 Stuff (NSFW)

Yamato vmf50 Miu and Risa

I mainly collect figures, and I don’t intend to switch over to collecting dolls or Figmas or whatever, but I gotta admit that those two things have a big huge advantage over the PVC stuff. Namely, you can pose them in pornographic positions. It’s hard as hell to do that with scale figures (though I’ve tried) and it’s one of the big reasons I buy dolls. I’ve got vmf50 Risa (who I renamed Simone) but well, doll pornography works best with two or more dolls; I guess doll masturbation is okay too but I keep an eye on my keyword stats and I don’t think anyone’s ever gotten to this site by searching for that. So with that in mind, I decided to get another vmf50 doll, and some other stuff.
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Posted in Dolls | Tagged , , , , , | 31 Comments

Kurisu Makise from Steins;Gate

Kotobukiya Kurisu Makise from Steins;Gate Figure Review

And back to figures. Feels like a while since I’ve reviewed a figure. Remind me not to do an eroge review with that level of detail again. It felt good to take pictures again after taking a break. It’s kinda like when you have a good-ass porno that you really like and you watch the hell out of it, and after a while it becomes much less exciting and you can’t use it anymore, but then you stop watching it and later on, you view it again and it’s as good as you remember. Hmm, what were we talking about again? Oh yes, a figure, we have a figure here. Let’s take a look at it.
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Eroge Review – Zanjibaru 斬死刃留 (NSFW)

Zanjibaru Cover by Akito Tamiya

Anime culture has spread across the globe, with anime, manga, and merchandise available from Moscow to Melbourne. However, one aspect of anime culture that hasn’t had much success in the export market is eroge. There’s various reasons for that, mostly due to legal concerns and the fact that few companies care to expend resources localizing a product into English when it probably isn’t going to sell well. However, many of my favorite character designs come from h-games and I’m certainly a fan of anime pornography so I’ve been interested in trying out eroge for a while. I’ve played a few that were localized by JAST USA, but I wanted to play something a bit more hardcore. I found out about Zanjibaru while reading Mou Yamete!, and as it features cute fighter girls, demons, tentacles, and maggot birthing, I figured I’d give it a shot.
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