Tag Archives: Review

Duke of York from Azur Lane

Duke of York from Azur Lane

I’ve been wasting a lot of time playing gacha games and watching gacha game streamers, and being that Azur Lane was the first gacha game I played, a review of an Azur Lane shipgirl is long overdue. There’s a long-anticipated Royal Navy event going on now and thus it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at Duke of York, the personification of the King George V-class battleship that served in the real Royal Navy during World War II. This particular figure is by Mimeyoi, and it’s the first figure from them that I’ve ever owned, which is another good reason to have a look at her.
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Mimi Usada from the Art of Saitom (NSFW)

Mimi Usada from the Art of Saitom

Saitom’s profile has skyrocketed in recent times, thanks in large part due to his design work for the Xenoblade Chronicles games, but he’s been a prolific artist for quite some time. Aside from his more mainstream work, he’s produced a fair amount of lewd art, and one such image serves as the inspiration for this figure.
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Reika Shimohira from Gantz: O (Prime 1 Studio White Version)

Reika Shimohira from Gantz: O

First, a couple of administrative notes: this site recently went through a database upgrade and I’ve noticed a couple of odd things. One is that the sidebar mysteriously disappeared until I tweaked the site layout, and another is that special characters appear to be corrupted. I don’t use non-English characters that often but this might have rendered some commenter usernames unreadable. If anyone notices anything that looks awry, please let me know. Second administrative note: I’ve historically done a Five Favorite Figures post but I haven’t yet photographed most of them, and I’m not entirely sure when I’m going to get to them, as I’ve got some other figures that I’d like to shoot first. Therefore, I’m just going to list them here: 5) Ch’en 4) Prince of Wales 3) Kelly 2) Rika Shiramine 1) The Literary Type. My favorite figure that I received in 2021 is Luna.

With that aside, let’s take a look at Reika Shimohira. We’ve looked at a couple of Reika’s figures before – this one from FREEing, which is derived from her manga appearance and this one from Union Creative, which takes rather more liberties with her design. This statue, however, is a relatively faithful representation of her look from the Gantz:O feature film, aside from the stylistic changes made to her clothing. It’s also considerably larger than the other two, even though it’s nominally of the same scale size as the FREEing figure.
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M ~Histoire d’M~ from the Art of Ama Mitsuki (NSFW)

M figure

Happy Christmas all; I hope you’re having a good, happy, and healthy holiday season. First, a personal update: it’s been a busy past couple of months for me, though in a good way. I took a trip to Vegas a few weeks back which was a great deal of fun, I’ve gotten my booster shot, I’ve got several figures photographed and awaiting reviews, and I’ve played a bunch of gacha games, which is not a particularly healthy habit but I’m enjoying them nonetheless. I’m planning on doing a five favorite figures of 2021 post, and that should be going up shortly after New Year’s Day. I’ve got a bunch of figures from gacha games (my newest favorite genre of figures) to review as well as a bunch of hentai figures; I’ve been meaning to photograph the two BINDing Kuroinu figures, among others, though their aftermarket prices have me thinking maybe I’d be better served keeping them boxed up. But we’ll take a look at a different hentai figure today, which was released back in April of this year, if memory serves.
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Dame Valerie from the Art of Shinsuke Inui (NSFW)

Dame Valerie figure

We took a look at The Literary Type a couple of weeks back, but that wasn’t the only figure that Native released last month; they also shipped this figure, on the same day no less. This character is named Dame Valerie and is based on artwork done by Shinsuke Inue; it depicts a young female knight caught in a rather compromising position.
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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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Charlize from Lineage II: Revolution

Charlize from Lineage II: Revolution

As Hemingway wrote, my descent toward becoming a degenerate mobile gamer occurred in two ways: gradually and then suddenly. For much of the last thirteen years, I’ve spent most of my gaming time playing World of Warcraft, to the complete detriment of other games as well as the updating of this site. However, I’ve since acquired a distaste for both the game and its creators, fueled partially because of the deteriorating quality of the game and also by the recent revelations regarding the conduct of Blizzard’s employees. It’s difficult to remain sanguine about a pack of men whose behavioral maturation process can be traced in a direct line from the crib to the frat house.

I began playing Azur Lane during its global launch in August 2018 as sort of a respite from my grievances with Warcraft’s gameplay systems, and I started playing Epic Seven a year later for much the same reason. Both games gradually eroded my enthusiasm for playing Warcraft and consumed more of my gaming time over the successive years. When Shadowlands launched late last year, I felt that it was time to throw in the towel; it’s now been ten months since I played World of Warcraft and I feel much the better for it. Epic Seven is my primary game now, and those who are familiar with it know that it carries with it its own rage-inducing idiosyncrasies, but as yet I find myself unable to muster the same level of negativity towards it, even during its worst moments, as I felt for much of the last few years I spent playing Warcraft.

This discursive diatribe actually has some bearing on the content of this site. Some of my favorite figures are ones from relatively obscure visual novels and eroge. That’s due primarily due to the distinctive and attractive visual designs of their characters, and I think many mobile games – particularly gacha games – appeal to the same sensibility. Certainly it’s a major reason why I play both Azur Lane and Epic Seven, and it’s why I’m curious about similar games such as Arknights and Counter Side.
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KOS-MOS from Xenoblade Chronicles 2

KOS-MOS from Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Some time back, Good Smile Company released figures of Pyra and Mythra from Monolith Soft’s popular role-playing game Xenoblade Chronicles 2; they sold out quickly and subsequently commanded impressive markups in the secondary market. Happily for collectors, they’ve since been re-released and were stocked by a number of retailers in both Japan and the United States. However, in contrast to that level of demand, this figure of KOS-MOS has, as far as I know, been in stock at Amiami since it first shipped last year. That’s a little surprising for an impressive figure of a telegenic character from a fan-favorite video game, but I suppose it’s also provides a long-lasting opportunity for anybody on the fence – or who wasn’t aware of this figure at all – to consider picking her up.
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Scathach from Fate/Grand Order (First Ascension Version)

Scathach from Fate/Grand Order

Continuing our look at non-pornographic figures (those reviews are coming … eventually. I did get a bunch of Native figures recently, so I have no shortage of lewd figures to cover), we’ll take a look at a figure that isn’t particularly new but that I received only relatively recently. This character is, of course, Scathach from the phone game Fate/Grand Order, and we’ve reviewed a couple of her figures here already so I think we can dispense with the usual biographical discussion. I would mention that, having weaned myself off of World of Warcraft thanks to its present state of putrescent decrepitude, I’m now a degenerate and inveterate gacha game player – but not once have I thought about playing FGO. I do still like the character designs, and I’ll admit that’s the only way that I want to enjoy the Fate franchise, but I’ve heard enough things about the game’s poor gacha rates to know better than to give it a shake.
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YoRHa No.2 Type B from Nier: Automata (Moonlight Studio Version)

2B from Nier: Automata

So this statue and this post both require a bit of explanation. I hadn’t intended to review it but it looks pretty good, even if it does take certain liberties with 2B’s design, and I thought it might make for an interesting review. The principal thing here is that this statue is in no way an officially licensed product and I’m generally a little reluctant to review such things unless they are doujin products whose production is largely motivated by a desire to display artistic creativity and to express an affinity for the originating material, and being that this statue is the product of some enterprising individuals in China, I’m inclined to think that its existence owes more to its potential commercial viability rather than aesthetic concerns. But like I said, it looks pretty good and hey, its producers may very well have an appreciation for both the character and for the female form, as we’ll see. Also, there actually is a licensed 1/4 scale statue of the Nier: Automata characters, produced by Prime 1 Studio. However, they’ve made the somewhat shady move of requiring consumers to buy the very expensive full set of all three characters if one wishes to display 2B without her skirt; the standalone statue doesn’t have that feature (though I imagine a brave collector could remedy that with some hand tools). Given that situation, and combined with my lingering resentment towards Square – undiminished even after a quarter of a century – for helping Sony destroy Sega in the game console business, my qualms regarding the unlicensed nature of this statue are largely mitigated.

So I’m going to put up some pictures of this statue – this is going to be a brief review, without as many pictures as usual and a great deal more explanatory text, since some people might be curious about this statue and others like it. This statue comes with a ton of optional parts, including her sword, another head, and different arms. The configuration I have her in here is the way I wanted to display her, so the other parts are back in the box.
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