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Colidis from the Art of Citemer Liu

Colidis from the Art of Citemer Liu

The year 2024 has not given me an auspicious start, as I managed to come down with my first case of COVID a few weeks ago. Happily, the symptoms weren’t too serious aside from a crushing sense of fatigue and intermittent but persistent coughing spasms, both of which I still experience to some degree. But the more germane aspect of 2024 is that it is the Year of the Dragon, and as such the first review of the year is of a dragon girl. This particular girl is named Colidis and comes from an illustration drawn by the Chinese artist Citemer Liu, who is perhaps best known for his Overwatch, League of Legends, and Genshin Impact fan art. Colidis, however, is an original design of his and she apparently has two sisters, or compatriots at least, and I believe they’ll both be getting figures at some point. I’m looking forward to them since Colidis is a really spectacular and distinctive figure.
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Honolulu from Azur Lane (Light Armed Version)

Honolulu from Azur Lane

So after a protracted delay, we’ll take a look at another figure from Azur Lane. Today’s figure is USS Honolulu, the sister – both in terms of ship class and in-game portrayal – of USS St. Louis. Honolulu is, unfortunately, one of the less powerful shipgirls in Azur Lane, being of blue rarity, or the second-most common type of unit. However, in spite of her gameplay irrelevance, she’s one of the more popular characters in terms of artwork – and figures, with at least three existing. This one depicts her in her standard outfit, which is my favorite look for her.
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Baltimore from Azur Lane (Light Armed Version)

Baltimore from Azur Lane

Eighty-one years ago on this date, USS Baltimore was launched from her building yard in Massachusetts, and thus it’s an appopriate day to take a look at this figure of Baltimore from Azur Lane. Since her introduction she’s become one of the more popular Eagle Union characters, with five additional skins beyond her base design and at least four more figures in the pipeline. She’s one of my favorite characters, certainly amongst my top five – St. Louis, Enterprise, New Jersey, and Reno being the others, though the newly-introduced USS Kearsarge might make an argument to displace someone. That someone won’t be Baltimore, though; I’ve loved this character since she came out, and I’m ecstatic she’s getting so many figures.
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St. Louis from Azur Lane (Light Armed Version)

St. Louis from Azur Lane

Azur Lane has grown from relatively modest beginnings as a thematic competitor to Kantai Collection to a multimedia powerhouse in its own right. Its array of conspicuously – and shamelessly – sexy characters no doubt plays an outsized role in its success and apparently, no character’s fan art has a higher proportion of lewds than USS St. Louis. Few Azur Lane characters also have as many skins as St. Louis, and it appears that most of them are going to be receiving figures in the future. However, being that this is the first figure of St. Louis, it’s only apropos that it features her in her default outfit.
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Lucia from Punishing: Gray Raven (Crimson Abyss Version)

Lucia from Punishing: Gray Raven

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of years playing gacha games, and the plethora of Azur Lane, Fate/Grand Order, and Arknights figures I’ve purchased is testament to this enthusiasm. Today we’ll look at a figure from Punishing: Gray Raven – a popular game to be sure, but perhaps somewhat less known compared to some of the biggest names in the genre. Nonetheless, it has a lot going for it, including attractive character designs, a fast-paced combat system, and a pumping soundtrack. I haven’t played it that much myself since I play most gacha games on a tablet and the form factor doesn’t work as well for games like this, but it just received a PC client so I’m thinking I should give it another look.
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Miyamoto Musashi from Fate/Grand Order (Alter Berserker Version)

Miyamoto Musashi figure

Alright, time to get back on track with figure reviews. Today we’ll take a look at Miyamoto Musashi, Type Moon’s genderbent interpretation of the famous Japanese swordsman and philosopher. This particular version presents her as a Berserker, and evidently depicts her Stage 2 appearance. Doubtless this means something to Fate Grand Order players but being that I’m not inclined to ever touch the game, I’m content to stay willfully ignorant as to the context of these descriptors.
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Mona from Genshin Impact (Astral Reflection Version)

Mona from Genshin Impact

Happy New Year to everyone. We recently – relative to my pace of updates, anyway – looked at Raiden Mei from Honkai Impact 3rd, and we will on this first day of 2023 take a look at a character from the game that elevated Mihoyo to international renown. That game is, of course, Genshin Impact, and this character is the perpetually-penniless astrologist and water mage Mona Megistus. My impression is that she was one of the most popular of the game’s early group of heroes and she’s still very much a fan favorite, but other characters like Raiden Shogun, Ganyu, and Hu Tao may have since eclipsed her in popularity. Nonetheless, she’s one of the first Genshin Impact characters to get a figure, and I don’t think that anyone can make an argument opposing that choice.
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The Literary Type from the Art of Akemi Mikoto (NSFW)

The Literary Type figure

It’s been 457 days since the last time I reviewed a hentai figure. That changes now, starting with this figure of a girl called, strangely enough, The Literary Type.
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Luna from Epic Seven

Luna from Epic Seven

I’ve mentioned several times that Epic Seven is now my primary game. I’ve also said that one of the reasons I enjoy gacha games are the attractive character designs generally intrinsic to the genre, and that I am looking to collect more figures of gacha game heroes. Strangely, while there’s no lack of figures from games like Azur Lane, Girls’ Frontline, and Granblue Fantasy, there are virtually no figures of Epic Seven characters: this figure is the only one. It’s a strange state of affairs, and one that I hope is amended in the future, as I think it has excellent character designs, though in my opinion none are better than the dragon knight Luna.
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Mordred from Fate/Apocrypha (Saber of Red Version)

Mordred from Fate/Apocrypha

I’ve written a lot about my newfound fondness for mobile games – specifically, gacha games. Besides Epic Seven, which is my main game, I’m enjoying Counter Side, though I know little about its game mechanics – a rather liberating circumstance, in actuality – and I gave Genshin Impact a try, though I’m not sure it’s the game for me. I still play Azur Lane every now and then, and there’s a few newer games – like Girl Cafe Gun and Nier: Reincarnation – and a few older games – like Arknights and Langrisser – that I’m curious about. However, there’s one gacha game that I have zero interest in playing and that’s Fate/Grand Order. From what I can tell, it’s not a newbie-friendly game. Nor is it a particularly modern game, and I’ve heard its gameplay systems are not one of its strengths (that said, I did enjoy the old PSP RPG Fate/Extra, a game whose combat was basically a randomized rock-paper-scissors system). On top of that, its summoning system lacks a pity mechanic, and I’ve heard of unfortunate players who’ve sunk over a thousand dollars chasing a particular character and came away with nothing. It’s difficult not to think that those funds would be better spent elsewhere – on Fate figures, doujinshi, and dakimakura covers, for example.

While I have no emotional connection to the Fate franchise aside from a residual curiosity as to whether I might actually like some of its series (this has not yet been the case with the anime adaptations that I’ve watched), I do very much like the character designs. That brings us to this figure; this is Mordred, the son of King Arthur, or Artoria or Altria as she is known in the Fate universe. I’m not entirely familiar with how gender works in the franchise – I assume it has something to do with servants not being human – but that’s not what we’re here for, anyway.
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