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 we have a bunch of hideous girls and an adorable monster dedicated to the destruction of humanity. Or wait, is it the other way round?
Shinobu Oshino (Nisemonogatari)
Kotobukiya, April 2014, ¥6890
Zigg: Simply delightful. I’m really glad that Kotobukiya resisted the temptation to go for a sexy or agressive Shinobu and instead opted for the bright, sunny version we see here. The limited colour palette works brilliantly, the white, yellow and brown giving a very clean overall look with the little flashes of pink ofseeting very well. The pose is charming, the alternate face is great and overall we’ve got a real winner. Koto keep moving on up.
Aqua: Credit where it is due, this is a lovely figure. Kotobukiya have been out for Alter’s crown for a while now, and this Nisemonogatari line seems to be one of the aces up their slaves. The somewhat wacky footwork aside — what is it with anime characters and their supernatural sense of balance? — Shinobu looks pretty for a figure priced under the six thousand yen. Given the source material, it does not look very skeevy at all, and if you find this face to be a bit too dopey, there is always an alternative. Good stuff!
Lifesong: Shinobu is looking pretty cute in her sunhat, sundress combo. I especially like the shading work on both the doughnut box and her legs. Her happy face looks great, but I really love the second face she comes with. Her sly teasing personality really comes out well in her alternative expression. This figure is definitely worth the price if you are looking for a figure that captures Shinobu’s personality.
Nendoroid Suruga Kanbaru (Bakemonogatari)
Good Smile Company, April 2014, ¥3110
Zigg: I think the fairest way to describe this would be ‘workmanlike’. That is to say, it looks lovely, and the Nendoroid team’s chibification process is adorable as usual. There’s just not an awful lot that stands out here. As Aqua notes below, with Kanbaru swapping styles and looks like crazy, there was a lot of potential here. Instead, we get an excellent representation of the character, but it’s hard not to feel a little underwhelmed.
Aqua: Even more Bakemonogatari, as everyone’s favourite sexual deviant joins GSC’s line of nendoroids. Nevertheless, Kanbaru’s super-deformed incarnation is a bit of a disappointment. Everything, from the faces to the accessories, seems to be only second thought, while there are so many great accessories you could equip her with. Kanbaru changed outfits and haircuts in every season, why not include those? And even then, why pick the boringest possible version of her?
Lifesong: Another day another Monogatari nendroid. She comes with the vital accessories. Cool if you are collecting the set or love the character.
Figuarts ZERO Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon)
Bandai, March 2014, ¥7180
Zigg: Decent figure, cool pose, but hilariously comical price. While Figuarts ZERO are great bits of kit, they’re not the size or quality of full size figures and should not be priced accordingly. Additionally, I prefer my Usagi smiley rather than shouty, so this doesn’t totally do it for me. Waste of a solid figure.
Aqua: Whoa, have you been working out, Usagi? Seriously, it looks like she’s got some hefty abs under that uniform. For a static, this version of Sailor Moon just looks too glossy, plastic-y and cheap. I never got the impression Sailor Moon’s outfit was made out of lycra. Her hair has seen better days too. Pity.
Lifesong: This cost way too much for what it is. There lack of shading makes her look like a cheap prize figure and her detailed abs look silly in comparison to the rest of the figure. The glossy paint kind of works for her boots, but the skirt just looks silly and sticky. This would be great for a prize figure, but cost entirely too much as it is.
Sorceress (Dragon’s Nest)
Good Smile Company, May 2014, ¥7420
Zigg: I like this a lot. Swooshy clothing has always been one of my weaknesses on figures, and the Sorceress here has it down to a fine art, those big sleeves and giant…hip….things giving the outfit a flashy, dynamic look. It’s jsut on the right side of sexy without showing too much (though those boobs look a bit out of place on her matchstick body) and the red, black and brown colour scheme is an interesting look that works way better than you’d think. Add GSC quality and you’ve got a winner.
Aqua: It’s the traditional “I kind of like this but I have no idea where this is from” figure, so that makes it very likely Dragon’s Nest is some kind of free-to-play MMO or something. Anyways, stripperific exposure and atrocious boobs-and-butt pose aside, this sorceress at least looks better than the one from Dragon’s Crown. I like the colour palette, and how she and her dragon are wearing matching hats. Still, what is the point of covering up everything but your shoulders and thighs?
Lifesong: I have no idea who this lovely lady is, but I think I might need to change that! She has the sexy fantasy look down to an almost incredible degree. She is worth the price for those thigh high boots on their own, but I also love the attention to detail on the rest of her outfit and staff. The shading work here is fantastic and the little dancing zombie bat pig thing adds a nice touch of personality to the overall figure. She has an enchanting expression which is pulled off fairly well, her pretty pink hair makes it work for me.
Zigg: Wave continue to impress with the variety of spins they can come up with on the basic concept of swimsuit figure and these are all good lookers, with a nice contrast between the three. Maki seems confident and outgoing, Hanayo barely looks like she’s got a swimsuit at all and Rin rocks the sporty bikini look. I like Rin the most because I like the weird yellow/blue/black/white colour scheme, but these are all solidly above average.
Aqua: I don’t give a crap about Beach Queens and even less about idol anime conceived as cynical attempts to cash in the iDOLM@STER success — ooh, shots fired! — but I have to say, I love the look of Hanayo’s swimsuit. Probably because it doesn’t really look like a swimsuit at all, more like a one piece. Now if only she could stop looking like she needs to pee.
Lifesong: More cute girls at the beach, not much else to see or say. The have a decent amount of personality, though I’ve no idea if it’s true to the characters or not.
Zeruel (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
CCP, July 2014, ¥13,500
Zigg: Looks pretty amazing, but that’s quite a lot of coin to drop. There’s a slightly cheaper version without the lightup gimmick, but if you’re going to splash out on a world destroying enemy of humanity, you might as well go the whole hog right?
Lifesong: Sometimes Aqua… I am just left speechless by the connections you make. This is one of those times.