Tag Archives: ninja

Mai Shiranui from The King of Fighters XIV (Amakuni Version)

Mai Shiranui from The King of Fighters

Mai Shiranui has been a favorite muse for figure manufacturers for well over a decade now, and for good reason; she is one of the earliest female fighting game heroines and stars in one of the most long-running game franchises, with The King of Fighters celebrating its fourteenth core game release in 2016. Her exuberant personality and agreeable appearance are also obvious explanations for her enduring popularity. Curiously, she’s scheduled to get at least three – and perhaps four – figure releases this year; quite a respectable quantity for any character. One is a large 1/4 scale figure from Chinese maker Infinity Studio; it’s of rather unconventional design being that she appears far more realistic than the anime-style designs that have represented her since her Fatal Fury days. Another is an exorbitantly-priced 1/6 scale figure from Gantaku, which looks to be very much in the same style as Alphamax’s polystone figures, before they switched gears and become a purveyor of high-quality pornographic PVC figures. The third – which hasn’t been shown off yet – is one that will supposedly be done by Kinetiquettes based off of an illustration drawn by Stanley Lau. But of the ones that have been sculpted, this one – by Amakuni – is in my view the best of the group.
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Kasumi from Dead or Alive 5

Kasumi from Dead or Alive 5

We’ve noted before that fighting games don’t seem to get a ton of figures, at least relative to the number of popular and well-known characters that would seem to make for attractive figures. Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo series has ameliorated this dearth to some extent, though I admit I kinda have a hard time taking that product line seriously. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see some of the girls from Street Fighter and Tekken getting some love from a figure company.

One series that hasn’t gotten much love in terms of merchandising – at least until very recently – is Dead or Alive. It’s an unexpected situation since Dead or Alive’s main appeal stems from its female cast. Street Fighter, Tekken, Soul Calibur, and other fighting games are known for the sophistication and responsiveness of their combat systems, and one can find many videos of tournament matches attesting to their gameplay depth; meanwhile, it is equally facile to find videos of the Dead or Alive girls in their defeated poses, the camera lingering on their succuluent, sweat-streaked bodies. As crude as that may seem, that type of content ought to be old hat for anyone who watches contemporary anime and particularly for anyone who collects anime figures, and it seems like the Dead or Alive series should have more figures than it does. Well, now we have one more, of lead girl Kasumi. Unfortunately, its manufacturer has a reputation that is charitably described as mixed. Seeing the Griffon logo on the box doesn’t engender confidence but it’s not like there’s a surfeit of Kasumi figures to choose from.
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Psylocke from the Uncanny X-Force (Fine Art Version)

Psylocke from the Uncanny X-Force

As I’ve remarked before, even though Japanese anime culture has a number of parallels with Western pop culture, they don’t seem to intersect that often. This is particularly and peculiarly evident in manga and comics; despite their similarities (and the influence of American comics on the development of manga), I don’t know too many anime fans who read Western comics, and I’m certain that there are many comic book readers (particularly older ones) who don’t care that much for anime.

Despite this separation, fans on both sides frequently share a passion for collecting things, particularly figures. Figures of characters from Western properties often have some differences compared to anime figures; they are often sculpted in polystone, they are typically on the larger side, and they often come from specialist manufacturers unknown to collectors of anime figures. However, that is not the case with this particular figure; this figure of Psylocke comes from Kotobukiya, a company that every anime figure collector knows. Strangely, this figure is not the first, nor the second, nor even the third, but is the fourth figure of Psylocke that Kotobukiya has released in the last four years. Kotobukiya has made some attempts at integrating the two audiences, particularly with their Bishoujo series, which combines Western comic book and science fiction characters with anime-style design sensibilities, but they also make a number of statues targeted squarely at Western comic book collectors. We don’t often look at such figures here but as Psylocke is my favorite character in all of comic books, for her we will make an exception.
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Kitana from Mortal Kombat (Pop Culture Shock Version)

Kitana from Mortal Kombat

As an even cursory inspection will make obvious, this site focuses mostly on figures from Japanese anime culture, and so we don’t spend too much time looking at figures made for white people. Every now and then, though, we’ll make an exception. Today is such a day; here we’ll take a look at Kitana, the ten thousand-year old princess of Edenia and leading lady of the Mortal Kombat series.
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Mai Shiranui from The King of Fighters XIII (Black Version)

Mai Shiranui from King of Fighters XIII

When it comes to fighting game girls, Mai Shiranui is amongst the genre’s best-loved characters. And why not? Her history is impressive and her visual appeal is obvious. She’s a favorite of fighting game fans and cosplayers alike. And of course, she’s quite popular with figure makers as well, being that we have another figure of SNK’s bouncy ninja here for our consideration.
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Dakimakura Review – Yukikaze Mizuki from Taimanin Yukikaze (NSFW)

Yukikaze Mizuki from Taimanin Yukikaze dakimakura

Happy Black Friday to everyone. Being the day after Thanksgiving, the intention for today was to do a figure review of a character from an absolute turkey of a show (free drumstick to anyone who can guess which one I’m talking about), but that plan has been pushed aside by the usual holiday business. We’ll look at her in a few days but in the meantime, here’s some pictures of Lilith’s dakimakura cover of Yukikaze Mizuki, one of the newest characters in the long-running Taimanin series. We’ll also talk a bit about some other hentai stuff coming out soon.
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Psylocke from the Uncanny X-Men (Sideshow Premium Format Version)

Psylocke Premium Format Figure Review

A couple of years back, I was thrilled when Kotobukiya made a figure of Psylocke. Psylocke is my favorite character in all of comics and I was happy to get any figure of her. Over time, my enthusiasm for that figure – and indeed, Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo line – has mellowed to a certain degree. Not that I dislike them, but it’s clear that the Bishoujo figures are meant to be fairly inexpensive products aimed at a mass-market audience. However, this statue is an entirely different proposition, with supposedly only 750 limited edition units manufactured and a price tag that would deter most collectors. How disappointing then, that once again my enthusiasm is tempered – indeed, extinguished; this time, because of a most peculiar and most irresponsible mistake made by the manufacturer.
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Junko Hattori from Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou (Queen’s Gate Version)

Junko Hattori figure

One of the nice things about Hobby Japan’s Queen’s Gate series is that it gives a spotlight to a few characters who wouldn’t otherwise get a lot of love from figure makers. Dizzy was one, at least until Alter made their figure, and I’ve also ordered Ivy Valentine’s figure, since she’s only gotten a few thus far. I gave some thought to trying to get the Queen’s Gate figure of Katja from Seikon no Qwaser, but while I like the character, I would’ve liked the figure more if she were in her dominatrix outfit. Curiously, Lily from Namco’s Tekken series stands out as the sole Queen’s Gate character not to get a figure thus far. That’s a shame; I wouldn’t mind seeing a figure of her, especially in her 3P costume. Oh well. Junko Hattori is another character that would seem an unlikely candidate for a conventional, mass-market figure; she’s not generally regarded as one of the best characters from her show, and her show is primarily known for its absurd level of incoherence. At any rate, I do like both the character and the way that she looks, so even though having to go through a proxy service is a bit of a hassle, I ordered her right away and here she is now.
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Kiriko Hattori from Enka Oudou Dai Shogun

Yamato Kiriko Hattori from Dai Shogun Figure Review

Here is a riddle: gather together a major figure manufacturer, a world-famous anime artist, and a graphics studio whose portfolio includes contributions to Metal Gear Solid 4, Tales of Vesperia, and Valkyria Chronicles, and what do you get? The answer is absolutely nothing other than a pair of boobie mousepads and a figure. Enka Oudou Dai Shogun was touted as a multimedia event, but I haven’t seen any of its media apart from a couple of illustrations in Shunya Yamashita’s One Voice artbook. It looks like nothing more will come of it and presumably it will thus be consigned to the dustbin of memory, just like Shuraki. Anyone remember Shuraki? There were some good figures from that series. Fortunately, Kiriko is a fine figure as well.
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Mai Shiranui from The King of Fighters XIII (Hipline Version)

Alphamax Mai Shiranui from KOF Figure Review

Back in my review of Kotobukiya’s Dizzy, I lamented that fighting games aren’t a more popular source for figure makers. That hasn’t changed at all in the year since I received that figure. In fact, I can think of only a few figures of fighting game characters that have been released since then – A-Label’s Vanessa, and I suppose the Noel Vermillion nendoroid, if you count that as a figure. 2011 isn’t looking any more promising, with the major ones being another Dizzy, a peculiarly pachycephalic Kasumi, and this figure right here. With a bunch of fighting games – Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the two Tekken and Street Fighter crossovers, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and the 3DS version of Dead Alive – scheduled for release, and with Super Street Fighter IV and BlazBlue still going strong, hopefully the situation will change and the girls of these games will grace us with more figures.
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