Hello, and welcome to All Your Monies, where The Glorio Blog’s resident toy and figure collecting crew (and Aqua) 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, it’s time for the pretty ladies to take over again.
Bishoujo Sakura (Street Fighter)
Kotobukiya, August, ¥6,480
Zigg: Sakura was my first Street Fighter character and still amongst my favourites so I was deathly afraid of what the Bishoujo line might subject her to. Happily, the answer is ‘not much’. The design scarifices a touch of her tomboy look for a more traditionally feminine pose, but otherwise it’s a great sculpt and a great pose, full of action and flattering little details. Will buy.
Jel: As my second best Street Fighter IV character and one of my favorite “plain school girl” designs of all time, Sakura holds a special place in my heart. The face is always my biggest concern with the Bishoujo line and fortunately they did a decent job here. She’s also not in any kind of over sexual pinup pose, which is the other common concern with adapting Shunya Yamashita’s art, so bonus there as well. This might be the first figure in the line that I would want on my shelf.
Aqua: I’ll admit: I quite like Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo line, even if it confirms pretty much every bad stereotype about cheesecake art in superhero comics. There’s just something endearing about getting to see all your favourite superheroines in an unabashedly colourful anime art style. Recently, the line has been dabbling in video game characters, as you can see, and Sakura nicely averts the usual Escher body-bending commonly associated with the line in favour of a hot-blooded, energetic pose befitting of the character. Something seems a bit off about her eyes, though: Those bags (or oddly bulging eyelids, you decide) don’t make Sakura look all that healthy. On the other hand, her boxing gloves look like proper leather, and Kotobukiya did a great job painting this cool gal. A definite winner.
Hatsune Miku V3 (Vocaloid)
FREEing, September, ¥23,166
Zigg: This thing is utterly huge and consequently, insanely expensive. I’d say more but my girlfriend has ordered this and therefore I will probably get shouted at if I slag it off.
Jel: That is a lot of Miku. In case you didn’t pick up on the reference CD, this is 1/4 scale and therefore massive. The overall figure is pretty much standard Miku but I’m really impressed with the level of detail for such a large figure. The hair in particular looks fantastic, that flowing spiral effect would look great on a figure of any size. I guess this is just one step closer to making her life size and real…
Aqua: Is there still demand for vanilla Miku figurines in the year 2015? Well, if they’re bigger than most pets, maybe. The beautifully shaded, lusciously flowing hair is a sight to behold, but this pose is just too bland to justify a purchase even if you are the biggest Miku fan in the universe. Any figure this big and this expensive has to be both impeccably crafted and unique, and this Miku is neither.
Yukari Akiyama (Girls und Panzer)
Kotobukiya, July, ¥7,020
Zigg: This is a masterclass in making a boring design into an interesting figure. With a combination of a cute pose, interesting acessories, a great base and solid all around detailing. The net result is that I really rather like this figure, and it’s reasonably priced too as a bonus. Good stuff.
Jel: Obviously this is all about that tank shell and base as all the GaruPan designs are super boring. To be fair, the saluting, seated pose is pretty cool too as are her boots and gloves. OK fine, they won me over, this is a pretty cool figure.
Aqua: With a cute, original pose, a funky pair of boots and a base that’s more than just an afterthought, Yukari is a great buy for Girls und Panzer‘s dedicated fanbase. She’s a perfect example of how to breathe some life into a rather generic-looking schoolgirl: If her outfit cannot convey her personality, make sure the pose and accessories do!
Shigure Kai Ni (Kantai Collection)
Good Smile Company, September, ¥12,333
Zigg: The darker colour scheme and relative abundance of clothes makes this marginally more interesting than a lot of the KanColle stuff we’ve seen, as does the cool, action-y pose. But at the end of the day it’s just another KanColle figure in a market already saturated with them.
Jel: I’m trying to figure out why I like this a little more than all the other “girl with a metal backpack” KanColle designs. If I had to pick one thing it would be her dark colored uniform, which is a little more elaborate than some of the others I’ve seen. She’s striking a pretty cool action pose as well. I still think it’s dumb she’s holding half a battleship in each hand, but as KanColle figures go this is one of the better ones.
Aqua: From one awkward trivialization of warfare to another, Shigure does look a bit cooler than most KanColle characters for a plethora of reasons: her colour palette is more uniform, her weapons look cooler and better integrated and her outfit doesn’t look like it came straight out of some bizarre porn parody of Das Boot. Good Smile put some effort into a pose highlighting her combat prowess rather than her subservience or victimhood, which further sets this figure apart from most of the many other KanColle figures we’ve been forced to tell apart over these last few months. It’s not bad, but I’m afraid nothing hailing from this utterly baffling franchise can ever be good.
Angela Balzac (Expelled From Paradise)
Alphamax, August, ¥11.520
Jel: This poor girl must have some serious back problems. That bodysuit doesn’t seem very supportive. I like the translucent green bits though.
Aqua: More like Angela Boobsack, am I right?
Kaori Miyazono (Your Lie in April)
Aniplex, October, ¥11,350 (Exclusive)
Zigg: The art style of the show translates really well to this figure and there’s a bunch of lovely detail too – the flipped out coat, the scruffy tie – that really bring it to life. The colour palette is perhaps a little flat, though the violin case does a lot to fix that and also gives us a nicely unorthodox pose. No idea why this is an Aniplex exclusive but otherwise a very lovely figure.
Jel: Kaori has a really pretty design and the pink tie and violin case really make her otherwise plain uniform pop. If I had anything negative to say I think the hair looks a little clumpy and her eyes a little flat, but that’s really grasping for straws. The only other thing is the fact that it’s pricey and exclusive so once again, THANKS ANIPLEX.
Aqua: I like Your Lie In April‘s art style a lot, and the standard school uniform is given a lot of shine thanks to Kaori wearing it so beautifully sloppily. The pose, with the violin case slung over her shoulder is excellent, and even Kaori’s distinct messy hair makes the transition into three dimensions fairly well. It’s kind of a bummer, then, that this figure is an exclusive. And that Kaori is kind of a terrible person. And that Your Lie in April sucks.