Welcome to another edition of What We Got and What We Thought. This month Alter and Kotobukiya show off for Zigg and myself, Jel continues to catch all his toohoos, and Iro picked himself up a few things at AX while running errands for Gee.
Alter’s 1/8 Princess of the Crystal
Not since Ultimate Madoka have we seen such flagrant abuse of PVC to bulk out a figure. God job it’s pretty awesome then isn’t it? In keeping with Alter’s grand tradition of not being able to figure out scale, POTC is pretty tiny and probably closer to 1/9 then 1/8, but the absolute perfection of every other part of her makes this pale into insignificance. Not a line out of place, not a bit of her that isn’t stunning. The paintjob on the penguins probably took more time than some entire figures. When Alter try hard they’re good, but when they try this hard nobody on the planet can touch hem.
Kotobukiya’s 1/6 Asuka Langley Shikinami
I sort of felt like I could never really call myself a collector until I had at least one Asuka, and fortunately Kotobukiya’s gorgeous version ticked all the boxes. I think the most important aspect for me is the expression – figures of Asuka where she’s smiling are bullshit, and this cold sneer is much more what I want from the character. I’d normally want a TV show version too but the only real difference here is the badass eyepatch, so that’s cool. The pose is interesting and much better than some of the more…risque versions that seem to be the flavour of the week. Add to that the generous 1/6 scale and it’s a winner. Fit and finish is not quite up there with the best of the best, but it’s still a very pretty, very striking bit of work.
Bandai’s D-ARTS Blastoise
Like all right thinking human beings I recognise Blastoise as easily the best of the original three, which is why I bought this figure. It’s weird, but I’m both satisfied and disapppointed with it. I’m satisfied because it is without a doubt an exemplary recreation of Blastoise, perfect in colour, dimensions and style. I’m disappointed because…well, that’s all it is really. Poseability is so limited it’s non-existant, accessories are minimal and Bandai still haven’t managed to make D-ARTS out of non-cheap feeling plastic. I don’t regret picking him up, be be aware of you are and aren’t getting.
Good Smile Company’s Mokou Fujiwara Nendoroid.
I didn’t even really want Mokou but I seem to have “Gotta Catch ’em All Syndrome” with the Touhou nendoroids, a dangerous affliction for sure. She’s got some really cool accessories like the palm fireball and arm fire thing, plus an alternate torso for putting her hands in her pockets. That’s all well and good but I am really disappointed with her giant phoenix thing that’s supposed to attach to her stand. I had so much trouble keeping it on long enough to take a picture that I decided to cut it. I would have toughed it out, but I honestly didn’t even think it looked that cool with it on. Overall though, I think Mokou came out pretty great and will look good with rest of my Touhou nendos.
Good Smile Company’s Hatsune Miku 2.0 Nendoroid.
Ok, I admit it, I really only bought her for all the great accessories she came with. I must say though that GSC actually did a pretty good job updating her though, with some very cute expressions, double leeks, an extra sitting piece, and lots of little bits to tie them all together. And that is before we talk about the guitar, speakers, and keyboard. I don’t regret picking her up at all. Its also worth noting that Miku and Miho below are my first experience with the new faceplate and hair attachment system, and I must say I really like the changes. Broken neck joints should be much less of a worry now and they even throw an extra one in the packaging. How thoughtful!
Good Smile Company’s Miho Nishizumi Nendoroid.
Miho is pretty cool as well, but coming off of the high that is Miku she feels like she is lacking a little. The binoculars and extra hairpiece with the earphones are both great and tank turret is nice, although she feels a little inadequate without an entire tank under her, which naturally GSC points out on the back of the box. I do wish she had her tank uniform as well but with the figmas wearing that I guess I can’t complain too much. She also comes with only two face plates, another instance where she feels a little lacking. Overall she is alright. Maybe not my favoritest nendo ever but still a good one, especially if you liked the show. That GSC Shop exclusive extra base isn’t as exciting as I hoped it would be though.
Alter’s 1/8th Mistral Nereis.
Wow. There are a lot of reasons Alter is my favorite company and Misty here has reaffirmed all of them. She is beautiful. A bit bigger then I was expecting though so it will be interesting to try to fit her in a Tony Taka display I am planning. A few issues are that she feels a little front heavy and that leg scares the crap out of me. It feels a little wobble even though I am sure I have her foot slotted in there all the way. I ended up propping the other one on some of her water effects and it does a good job of stabilizing her without putting too much pressure on the material she is resting on. Also worth noting is that umbrella is quite the assembly job coming in 5 different parts that need to be assembled a certain way while attaching it to her hand. After you are done the effort is worth it though as it looks fantastic. A great thing about her though is that the head and twin tales are rotatable, so there is a bit of customability there. Although if you have her looking the direction she is running she looks like she is tripping all over herself. Overall she cost a small fortune to buy and ship but I absolutely don’t regret it one bit.
Kotobukiya’s 1/8th Asuna.
Double Wow. Kotobukiya has really been improving lately and Asuna shows it. She is gorgeous. I just really bloody hope that leg holds up as it seems to be the main stress point when she is moved or bumped. Overall she was pretty easy to assemble but those rings don’t look to be the most solid things so care needs to be taken around her. She seems to have a lot of risk and I really hope Koto knows what they are doing as the effect is fantastic. I especially love the small red lines and crosses all over her as well as her face and the hair that frames it. It’s nailing those small details that really make her pop out. Unfortunately not all is perfect with my Asuna as a defect in the shiny paint on her breastplate is a bit of a downer on an otherwise great figure.
Muramasa Rebirth: Blessing of Amitabha Edition by Vanillaware and Aksys Games
To be honest, the BLESSING OF AMITABHA EDITION is pretty lame. The case for the Vita is made of cheap plastic (and it’s glossy so the slightest touch leaves an ugly fingerprint). The fancy bit of artwork comes in a black envelope for… some reason, and apparently the soundtrack also came with the plain vanilla release of the game. The velvet pouch is bigger than I thought it would be, but it’s still somewhat underwhelming. At the very least, the game itself is mostly solid. Check out my review of Muramasa Rebirth here!
Type-Moon Nendoroid Petits by Good Smile Company
I picked these up at Anime Expo 2013, after standing in line for entirely too long at the GSC booth to buy Gee his stupid Little Witch Academia wall scroll. Actually, I only bought two, and since they’re random blind boxes I ended up with Phantasmoon and Rin. I rightfully thought of this as total bullshit, so I stood in line again (this time because my friends wanted to check out the booth) and bought two more, nabbing Saber on a motorcycle and Shiki Ryougi. Score! Putting them together was a pain, though. If a speck of dust drifts near these things, they pretty much explode into pieces.
Trigger’s Little Witch Academia wall scroll, signed by Megumi Han
Props to the excellent Irothtin for going through what frankly sounds like quite the ordeal to get this for me. As resident animator and LWA fanatic, it killed me to be unable to go to Anime Expo, but Iro, in all his magnificent glory, braved hours-long lines to get me this scroll, even getting it signed by Akko’s VA herself. It looks wonderful, though that’s really all I can say. I can’t really go into as much detail about its finer qualities, what with it being a scroll and not a figure, so you’ll all have to take my word for it.
Atlus’s Shin Megami Tensei IV Limited Edition
Basically everyone on the GLORIO crew is a Persona fan in some capacity or another, but those of us who have played the actual Shin Megami Tensei games themselves is a far smaller number. For me, this was my first true experience with the original numbered series, and while I plan to do a more in-depth review sometime down the line, I can say this much: SMTIV is one of the finest RPG experiences I’ve played this year and while it’s a far different beast from Persona, if you love a good challenge and found Persona’s world to not be bleak and dark enough, you need to check out SMTIV. As for the Limited Edition itself, considering it cost the same as the normal edition, it’s basically a pre-order bonus pack, and it’s enough goodies to satisfy me. The OST is a limited selection and the artbook/strategy guide sadly doesn’t go as in-depth as I’d like, but considering it didn’t cost me a penny, I’m gonna chalk it up as yet another example of Atlus being a great publisher that really cares for its fans.
NECA’s Pacific Rim – Crimson Typhoon Delux Action Figure
Okay, so this isn’t strictly anime, but Pacific Rim is about as close to anime as any western Hollywood blockbuster is ever gonna get. If you love mecha in any capacity, you owe it to yourself to check out Guillermo del Toro’s masterpiece of monster and mecha mayhem. Alas, Western action figures continue to the fine and storied tradition of being vastly inferior to Japanese products, but seeing as there’s no such thing as a D-Arts or Revoltech Pacific Rim line (yet), these NECA figures will have to do. Crimson Typhoon, being my favorite of the film’s eponymous Jaegers, looks surprisingly nice. The weathered paint job helps give it a sense of being a true part of its universe, while the little details like the Chinese text and painted kill-count are a sweet bonus. Alas, the articulation is sadly lacking, so I can’t even put it into any of the wildly cool poses it struck in the movie. Still, not bad for $20.