Hello, and welcome to All Your Monies, where The Glorio Blog’s resident toy and figure collecting crew (and Aquagaze) will run down the last week’s new pre-orders, turning a loving or scathing eye over what’s been put out for you to spend your hard earned cash on. This week there’s shirtless boys, scale sex toys and robot psycho killers. So business as usual really.
Nendoroid Tomoko Kuroki (WataMote)
Good Smile Company, February 2014, ¥3110
Zigg: I love it when GSC go the extra mile to truly make a Nendoroid stand out, and they’ve certainly managed it with Tomoko here. Everything about this screams care and love for the show, from the knock-kneed standard legs through to the bizarrely amazing collection of accessories. If nothing else, this deserves recognition as the first ever Nendoroid to come bundled with a scale sex toy which is…well, it’s a thing alright.
Aqua: Say what you will about WataMote, its bravery in consistently refusing to make its heroine anything approaching “cute”, even in nendoroid form, should be applauded. Tomoko comes with three highly disturbing facial expressions and a lot of accessories based on scenes from the show, yet like a lot of the show’s promo material, I fail to see the appeal. Doesn’t releasing a figure of Tomoko go against everything the show stands for? Certainly, it works as some sort of anti-moe statement, but the fact remains that this thing is not exactly nice to look at. If anything, it freaks me out, and having a figure of a girl pervertedly lusting over a CD with hot guys talking dirty to her on it on my shelf does not exactly sound like something I want to be known for. Besides, are those Beats by Dr. Dre? No real nerd would ever wear these.
Marik Ishtar (Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters)
Kotobukiya, March 2014, ¥6870
Zigg: Anybody who reads this column regularly will know how rare it is for nice looking male figures to crop up, so it’s always a pleasure when another of Kotobukiya’s Yu-Gi-Oh! line comes waltzing along. Marik here might be one of the rarest fish in the figure universe – he is 1) a male figure 2) a male cast-off figure (his top can be removed 3) who I really quite like. Granted, he’s by far the least dramatic, and probably the least essential of the range thus far, especially compared to his truly insane dark version, but it’s a great figure for the fans and a cool curio for everyone else.
Aqua: Kotobukiya’s Yu-Gi-Oh! line has been a remarkably great effort, and in terms of sheer quality, their Marik is no different. Nevertheless, I find this one to be a bit underwhelming, mostly due to its rather tame pose. It is a bit strange to see this hammy villain neither ready for action nor gloating. For a series infamous for being ridiculously over-the-top, this figure feels a bit like the sole security guard on a brony convention.
Taiga Aisaka The Last Episode ver. (ToraDora!)
Kotobukiya, January 2014, ¥5840 (re-release)
Zigg:I’ve never quite understood the solid reputation this figure has garnered in the years since its original release. Yes, it’s superficially nice but the pose is boring, the outfit is dull and the body shape seems very off – her head is huge and her limbs spindly. The ‘Last Episode’ hook makes for quite a unique design, but it’s not a figure I’d buy.
Aqua: As usual, Taiga’s hair is beautifully given shape, but the pose is awkward — and not in the way it is intended to be, the body proportions seem off and her face looks like that of a sex doll. Nice try, but no thank you.
Nendoroid Shimikaze (Kantai Collection)
Good Smile Company, April 2014, ¥3690
Zigg: Sexy Nendoroids are a weird idea in general. I like the bright nautical design and clearly like Tomoko a lot of attention has been paid to reproducing the individual quirks of the character. but the whole ripped-clothing gimmick is crass and the fact that this sold out like crazy is sort of depressing.
Aqua: I’ve seen this character all over Pixiv lately, and always wondered where she’s from. Well, there you have it, she’s from Kantai Collection, the latest obscenely popular entry in Japan’s bizarre (and mildly offensive) obsession with sexualizing military equipment from World War II. After aircraft in Strike Witches, it’s boats now, and while I like the tons of silly, cutesy cannons and other gear Shimikaze packs, the whole thing just seems awfully generic. Not a very big fan of the ridiculous “battle damaged” form either. I don’t think this is the last of Kantai Collection we’ll be seeing in this feature, though.
Zigg:I love FFX but given the perpetual reputation of Play Arts Kai figures to come out looking way, way crappier than the prototypes, I’d avoid these by a long distance, especially given they don’t actually look amazing to begin with. Dor this sort of money Square need to invest in someone who can actually sculpt faces.
Aqua: Sweet designs, half-assed quality, you know the drill by now. Yuna’s armpit joints are especially glaring, though. Also, I don’t remember Tidus being this ripped, holy crap.
Calne Ca (Vocaloid)
Union Creative, January 2014, ¥10,220
Zigg: I’m always a huge fan of anything that takes us outside our usual bishoujo comfort zone, and this thing is fantastically creepy, leveraging the Miku look to make the robot serial killer parts even more disturbing. Not something I’d ever put on my own shelf, but something I’m very glad people are putting out there.
Aqua: Just to show you how insane the Vocaloid extended universe — I had to wash my hands five times after typing that– can possibly get, have a look at this… thing. It’s terrifying, for both your sanity and your wallet, it makes no sense whatsoever, but I also find it pleasantly… intriguing, to say the least. Whose twisted mind did this spawn from? What were they thinking when they made it? Is it a commentary on the disturbing nature of robot idols catering to our every need? Is it a personification of the uncanny valley Miku so comfortably inhabits? Or is it a cash grab meant to cater to people who love creepy stuff? Nah.