Otagamers http://miettechan.com Miettechan and ExileHero's blog. Anime figure photos and reviews! Touhou and Video games too! Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:11:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://miettechan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Favicon1-551871c4v1_site_icon-32x32.png Otagamers http://miettechan.com 32 32 24993168 Yazawa Nico – Birthday Figure Project http://miettechan.com/2017/07/22/yazawa-nico-birthday-figure-project/ http://miettechan.com/2017/07/22/yazawa-nico-birthday-figure-project/#comments Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:08:11 +0000 http://miettechan.com/?p=5322 Nico

Nico Nico Ni~ is everyone enjoying the specialest of most special days that is Nico’s birthday?

Happy bday, here is to another year and many more of Nico Nico Ni!

Nico

Can you believe it has been over a year since μ’s Final Live? It feels just like yesterday when I was enjoying their antics and looking forward to Aqours. It is a quite a shame then that I didn’t get to enjoy μ’s until near it’s tail end.

Nico

Typically I find there is a disconnect between the time when a new show airs and when figures are actually released. A lot of the time this might end up being years after the fact. I suppose figure manufacturers prefer to play it safe and wait until after a given show has proven its popularity. Typically this is an annoyance as I’m the most excited about a show when I first experience it.

Nico

As such while riding the hype train, I just wanna buy figures of my favorite characters right away but alas I have to play the waiting game. Luckily for me me jumping late on the Love Live hype train allowed for my wait to be a lot shorter than it otherwise would have been. Rather than waiting for years my wait was reduced to a few months, a great side effect!

Nico

Not too long after I was fully invested I ordered Good Smile Company’s Picnic Girl Nico, a great figure of Nico in casual clothes , Alter did their version along with the other girls, Freeing gave us Nico in her school uniform and Stronger released one in a rather apt frilly idol outfit. A good time to be if you are a Nico fan, a good time to be if you are a Love Live fan.

Nico

I am a Nico fan, she is in fact “my best girl” from μ’s and part of my favorite subunit BiBi. Why Nico you ask yourself? Other girls like Kotori or Hanayo for example might go for a more idealistic, cute depiction but Nico was always a bit more grounded to me.

Nico

Yes, she tried to act cute and innocent but everyone could tell she was faking it. She would throw airs of grandeur she when in reality her life is a lot more humble. She would try to pass herself as being a natural born talent when in truth it was a result of hard work like everyone else. Quite simply to me, Nico feels a lot more real. I can easily imagine meeting someone like Nico, someone who could do the same things as her but can’t say the same for the other girls.

Nico

Plus, she is very amusing to watch even if she is a bit gross sometimes as Maki was ever apt to point out.

Nico

This was my first figure from Stronger so I was a bit apprehensive before I received Nico, specially given the high price since this was part of an exclusive set but it was all for naught as they have done a good job overall.

Nico

Nico is wearing the outfit shown on the second season of the anime during the climactic final of the Love Live contest were μ’s performed KiRa-KiRa Sensation! that would lead them to take home the winning title.

Nico

Nico’s outfit is nicely recreated from the PV, all the ribbon accents look good, their movement against Nico’s body along with her twintails add to that wonderful sense of liveliness.

Nico

The different layers of her skirt are done well, from the bottom underskirt to the neat translucent skirt. With Nico’s pose leaning forward it also offers a nice view of her nice round bottom. Since Nico is a nice innocent and pure idol she wears white of course.

Nico

Nico’s thigh highs show off her nice, slim thighs showing just the smallest hint of plumpness.

Nico

The base comes in the form of a pink exclamation mark, with Nico’s name printed on the side. If you get the full set of all nine girls their bases spell “Love Live!” a nice tough for those completionists that wish to display them together.

Nico

I am only a bit disappointed given the exclusive nature of this figure by a couple of things.

Nico

If you look closely some of the paint application is a bit rough in some of the sports such as the buttons on her outfit or the black lines along the hem of the skirt and top.

Nico

Nico’s hair while sculpted nicely with her trademarked twintails seemingly lacks any sort of shading to my eyes.

Nico

Taking a look at the whole package this is essentially nitpicking, fairly inconsequential to my enjoyment of this figure.

Nico

I’m quite happy though, this ticks off the checkbox for an idol outfit Nico. Although I wouldn’t mind one of my favorite Nico UR card, she is after all a little devil at heart. Let’s not forget either, Nico is the number one idol in the universe and she should get dozens of figures!

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Kotobukiya – Takagaki Kaede http://miettechan.com/2017/01/14/kotobukiya-takagaki-kaede/ http://miettechan.com/2017/01/14/kotobukiya-takagaki-kaede/#comments Sat, 14 Jan 2017 06:21:41 +0000 http://miettechan.com/?p=5332 Kaede

Howdy folks! Is the new year treating you well so far? The first few days have been fairly uneventful for me. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for a nice calm year!

I suppose starting the year with a nice mellow idol is a perfect match for these easy going days. I just so happen to have the perfect idol for such an occasion! Hailing from the ever so popular iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls comes the charming Takagaki Kaede – Hajimari no Basho version from the good folks at Kotobukiya.

Kaede

Have you ever seen a person from afar and immediately start making all these over the top assumptions about them? Oh look at her, with that style and those looks she probably is high class young woman. Have you heard her voice? Such a sweet and refined sound, could only come from a demure lady right?

That was actually my first impression of Kaede when I first saw her only to discover that while yes she is a fairly classy lady she is quite an odd fish.

Kaede

At the time I really didn’t know all that much about any of the Cinderella Girls. At best at that point time of time I might have read the first few chapters of the New Generations manga. I don’t recall if she was introduced or not since for whatever reason the author of that manga decided to bombard the reader with dozens of characters introductions from the get go.

Kaede

It wouldn’t really be until later that I would I see a colored illustration and notice Kaede’s heterochromia and her beauty mark. I later learned that she was voiced by delightful Hayami Saori as well. These all combine to give me that image of an elegant, graceful lady, something along the lines of Takane from the 765 Pro girls.

As I began to consume more of the supplementary material and fan works I began to quickly learn that while I was correct that she was an nice, elegant lady, much like Takane, she has quite a bit of quirks.

Kaede

What are some of those quirks you ask?

For starters there is her love of puns that just makes you wanna facepalm sometimes. A pun here and there is fun but sometimes I feel Kaede just goes a little too far. :D Then there is her apparent love of drinking, whatever recreational activities I had in mind for her going down to a pub for a drink was definitely not one of them.

Kaede

Was I disappointed that Kaede didn’t quite match my initial impression of her? Quite on the contrary in fact, this just made me genuinely like her.

Who doesn’t like a companion with a good sense of humor? Who doesn’t like a girl who can go out a have a a bit of fun at a pub or bar?

Kaede

The more I read, the more I illustrations I saw, the more I liked her. I was quite very much looking forward to her appearance in the anime. I was quite glad she actually showed up quite early! Then I was quickly disappointed when I learned that she was instead a supporting character rather than part of the main Cinderella Project crew.

Kaede

Luckily for me she had her day in the limelight during the second half of the show. That episode showcased her wonderful personality, her love of puns and her love for a good drink. Much like myself at first the girls had a bit of shock to learn her personality clashed a bit with her image!

Kaede

That episode also showed a sublime rendition of Kaede’s wonderful image song Koi Kaze, listening to that song just gave me chills. Not only is Kaede a beautiful young woman, has a great sense of humor, and fun to hang out with, she is also a talented songstress! God, I wanna marry her!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/miette-chan/32257071896/

Which leads us to this figure, for a long a while I wanted a nice scaled figure of Kaede but I had little luck aside from garage kits. Luckily for everyone that is a fan of anything Cinderella Girls the show brought some much needed exposure and even more popularity and thus merchandise followed.

Kaede

This is where Kotobukiya comes in with this gorgeous looking Takagaki Kaede – Hajimari no Basho scaled figure! When it came to Kaede I essentially wanted one of two figures, one where it showed her as the quirky girl she is and one that shows her as the graceful songstress that lives up to the Cinderella monicker.

Kaede

Koto has opted for the latter and showcases her as she appeared during her performance in the second half of the show. They have done a stellar job in that front. Her dress looks spot on and contains many small details that are pleasing to the eye.

Kaede

The folds of her skirt, the creases in her dress and the fluttering ribbons all come together to show a perfect sense of motion. I can easily picture in my mind as if she had just turned towards the camera as the photo was taken.

Kaede

Kaede’s stage outfit contains plenty of delicate details such as the lace in her gloves, her choker containing a small pendant or the translucent skirt. Upon a bit of closer inspection the details might seem a bit rough but this only when looking through the macro lens. When looked upon with the naked eye everything looks quite nice.

Kaede

Her beautiful fluffy hair is adorned with a pretty headdress consisting of a flower, headdress and feathers. The gradient colors and the translucent feathers are my favorite part.

Kaede

Kaede’s sumptuous legs are adorned with thigh high sporting similar design as her gloves and a pretty pair of green high heels.

Kaede

The base of the figure is of a simple circular design, adorned with her namesake maple leaf, Kaede’s name and glittery specs.

Kaede

If you turn around you can see her luscious back, you can see some well defined shoulder blades giving that sense of authenticity to her body figure. You can also see the ribbon that adorns the back of her dress with a rose ornament.

Kaede

If you glance upon Kaede’s dazzling face you can gaze into her eyes and notice the aforementioned green and blue colored almond shaped eyes. In addition to that her beauty mark lives up to its name and is easily visible and alluring. I love her calm and regal expression, fitting that part of her image quite well.

Kaede

Since having shop exclusive bonuses is all the rage nowadays for figures Koto didn’t want to miss on the action. If you ordered Kaede from the Japanese Kotobukiya shop a second, alternate expression was included.

I just love Kaede’s playful winking, I can just imagine her having just cracked a pun at the audience in good jest. Worth every extra penny and the trouble of having to go through a proxy to get it!

Kaede

Overall I’m very satisfied with Kotobukiya’s work, I feel they have done a great job showcasing Kaede’s majestic form. In addition to Wave’s casual clothes version I’m quite satisfied with in terms of Kaede figures. I don’t feel the need to buy more.

Kaede

Ah hold on, there is that other figure from Wave. Once I buy that one I will be totally satisfied with Kaede figures… probably!

Kaede

Until next peeps, see ya at the pub!

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Otagamers #2 http://miettechan.com/2016/11/06/otagamers-2/ http://miettechan.com/2016/11/06/otagamers-2/#comments Sun, 06 Nov 2016 05:52:28 +0000 http://miettechan.com/?p=5308 7koma

Nico is great, she is my favorite! A shame Max Factory had to save the bestest for last making the wait so lengthy though. That said, Nico is so worth it, most awesome Love Live figma ever!

If you are wondering about why this is #2 or which cosplay photo.

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Good Smile Company – Akemi Homura http://miettechan.com/2016/10/19/good-smile-company-akemi-homura/ http://miettechan.com/2016/10/19/good-smile-company-akemi-homura/#comments Wed, 19 Oct 2016 05:31:24 +0000 http://miettechan.com/?p=5286 Homura

Hey peeps, how have you been?

Did everyone have a lovely summer? I sure did running around traveling here and there both for a nice long vacation and sadly business trips. Even after returning I ended being busy most weekends leaving almost no time to take photos.

Luckily for me things seem to have mellowed up now that we have entered autumn and got a chance to sit down for nice quality time with my camera and the very spiffy looking Akemi Homura from Good Smile Company.

Homura

Does everyone still remember Puella Magi Madoka Magica? Can’t you believe it has already been half a decade since it first aired? Thinking about it seems a bit crazy for me, since this is a show that I would consider recent. I’m slowly realizing that a lot of “recent” shows I have watched are not recent at all anymore.

Homura

During those five years it seems Shaft among others seem to have hit it big with the franchise. There is so many different spin off materials that one can go check out now. There is all other those different manga like Oriko and Kazumi and some rather interesting what if stories like Homura’s Revenge. Although with Homura’s time traveling everything can become part of the canon I suppose.

There is even a plethora of games both official and fan made, my favorite is the doujin game Grief Syndrome.

Homura

Of course once can not forget the movie compilations that added a bit of extra bits here and there which is a nice way to revisit the show and its characters.

Then there is the sequel movie, Rebellion. Yes that movie…

Homura

On one hand that movie did somethings that I have been craving the whole time I watched the show. Among the those the one I thing I wanted to see the most was probably having all the girls work together as team.

The movie not only introduced us to a nice opening battle with all the girls present it even gave us a very cool and over the top transformation sequence for the whole quintet. It even gave us a true united front with the final battle to save Homura and escape the labyrinth.

Homura

That itch was definitely scratched for me. I was just happy to be able to revisit this world and it’s characters. After all, the bittersweet ending of the show did end things open ended enough for a sequel some day.

Homura

Alas, then the last act of the movie occurred and suddenly all those good feelings I had were thrown out the window. I had suspected all the trauma Homura had gone through probably caused some severe issues with her mental and emotional health but I was not even close to how much. Thus when she abruptly took matters into her own hands and saw the resulting events I could just stare dumbfounded at the screen in disbelief.

Homura

In retrospect I should have known better, after all it still Urobuchi writing, can’t have those good endings!

Homura

I was one of the many that had become smitten with Homura when the original show aired. I always liked her attitude, who doesn’t like an aloof, cool beauty after all?

What attracted me to her was her determination to try to change the horrible events that could occur. If nothing else I can say Homura tried, sadly for her it seems everything was stacked against her. It seems that everything that could go wrong for her did, despite her impressive showing.

Homura

I always felt that such horrible sacrifices made the ending that much more rewarding. After all, Madoka was able to save every magical girl from their tragic fate thanks to Homura’s efforts. While she might be separated from Madoka she would join her eventually when her time was up.

Homura

I found Homura’s development interesting, comparing just Moemura to Homura in the show proper and later in the movie it’s easy to tell how her character evolves. What bothered me is how the movie handled her character growth, want to take Homura down the path of a villain? That’s fair game, but to just abruptly do so by twisting her character and simply throwing away the well crafted conclusion of the show is not.

Homura

This is where my mixed feelings come in, I like Homura. While I might not like seeing her make the journey from hero to villain, I like the bigger focus given to her in the movie. She is the true protagonist, name of the franchise aside, after all. I don’t like that in doing so Shaft and Urobuchi decided to leave things halfway done.

Homura

Will she remain the Devil to Madoka’s Goddess? Will the girls accept her new world or will they rebel against the world as Homura did? Will Homura and Madoka every be together happily? Who knows.

I suppose this is just a result of the stakeholders of the franchise wanting to push something out rather than wait for a proper sequel.

Homura

This is what really bothers me, it feels like this is just the beginning of a new story rather than a conclusion. Judging from how things are going, it might be a story we never get to see.

It seems like the only new things we get is merchandise and at least on that side things are going really well. Just look at all those really nice looking Madogatari cross overs.

Homura

Years ago I bought Gift’s rendition of Homura sculpted by the someone divisive Toda Satoshi. I like it, I like it quite a bit. I think it is a very well made and stylish version of Homura.

However, as several people pointed out to me, this style is different from the original character designs. True enough I do agree that Gift’s version is Homura as seen through Toda Satoshi rather than “normal” Homura.

Homura

Sadly for me the other options available where a bit disappointing, GSC’s original was just painfully “meh”. There is just something that looks off about the Aniplex versions that I could never shake off. The others were garage kits that are simply outside my means.

All I wanted was a figure of Homura reflecting Ume Aoki‘s original designs. Now half a decade after the show ended and a couple after the last movie I finally got what I wanted courtesy of Good Smile Company.

Homura

This rendition of Homura is essentially a perfect adaptation of the illustration and Ume Aoki’s style. One has to look no further than Homura’s lovely face, from the slight blush to the detailed crosshatched shading in her eyes this is definitely her style.

Homura

While a fairly simple figure GSC didn’t really skimp out on the details such as Homura’s soul gem, mostly hidden by her sleeve or the delicate pink nails on her slim fingers.

Homura

Homura continues to practice proper gun safety as before, this time not only does not have her finger on the trigger her gun is also pointing away from others as per the illustration. Good job Homura! Of course the actual handgun itself looks quite nice with all the nice details sculpted to precision.

Homura

For the base GSC really couldn’t go any simpler, a translucent circular base in purple. On the upside the actual peg is a metal piece rather than the typical PVC, this greatly serves to ease my mind when I think of a single peg supporting the figure.

Homura

Homura’s hair looks great over all, the individual strands great adding to sense of motion along with her clothes. The only problem is the rather noticeable seam line along the top of her head, fairly easy to see at a glance.

Homura

While Homura might be a bit obscured in the original illustration GSC managed to translate it into a figure quite well.

I feel the poses of the girls in the illustration are a bit awkward if you really think about it but they do look really nice from certain angles. Some of which I would not have really considered if I couldn’t simply take the figure and look at her from various directions.

Homura

My biggest complain about this figure has to be her size. Yes, I know Homura is not a tall girl but for a 1/8th scale this figure is super tiny. Perhaps it is a result of her pose with a low profile giving the illusion of such. I don’t own the Madoka from the same set so I can’t really compare how it measures up.

Homura

I’m quite satisfied with this figure, GSC did an excellent job and I now have almost exactly what I wanted from a Homura figure. If there is anything left it might be a bit more fire power. May be a nice Devil Homura to match their Goddess Madoka?

I suppose I should just sit and wait warmly, after all it did take half a decade to get this figure.

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Alter – Yuuki Yuuna http://miettechan.com/2016/07/10/alter-yuuki-yuuna/ http://miettechan.com/2016/07/10/alter-yuuki-yuuna/#comments Sun, 10 Jul 2016 07:57:21 +0000 http://miettechan.com/?p=5248 Yuuna

In my figure collecting years I have essentially have one golden rule when it comes to the figures I buy, I must have watched or played the source material where applicable. I do this as a way to limit what I buy, to make the tough choices on what figures to buy a bit easier. Occasionally I bend this rule somewhat though and I order a figure and while I wait for its release I watch or play the source material.

Yuuki Yuuna by Alter from Yuki Yuna is a Hero was one such occasion.

Yuuna

In retrospect I feel that whenever I do so I’m taking a big gamble. Usually when I buy figures, I do so since I like the character, there is just something about them that I enjoy enough to drop a few hundred dollars buying figures in their images.

The figures that I tend to like the most are those that capture that “something”. Whether that is an aspect of their personality, a cool signature pose, a unique outfit from their show or game or imagery that harkens to their character during a big impactful moment.

Yuuna

When I buy blind so to speak I’m essential forgoing any of those reasons or others that are usually behind my purchasing decisions. I’m running the risk of not knowing whether I will like the character or not. After all, no matter how good a figure, no matter how perfect it might be to the character’s likeness if I don’t like the character my enjoyment of the figure will fall through the floor.

Yuuna

Luckily enough for me not only did I enjoy Yuki Yuna is a Hero as a whole but ended up really liking Yuuna herself. She is the type of protagonist that I like, the type of protagonist that I want to see more often.

Yuuna

Yuuna lives up to her show’s namesake, she is a courageous hero that helps others. Not only did she fight against the monstrous antagonists but also against her allies when they wavered when faced with the horrible truth of their world. An act that takes more courage than facing any enemy. When her convictions faltered she might have hesitated but she was able to reaffirm them through a little bit of soul searching and the help of her friends.

Rather than sit down and cry Yuuna took action whether good or bad in line with her beliefs.

Yuuna

My biggest pet peeve when it comes to protagonists are the ones that don’t do anything. The ones the spend the whole show whining about how it’s not right to do this and that, not taking any action at all.

All these shows have a conflict one way or another, otherwise there wouldn’t be a show but by god if you are a protagonist do something about it. Boy did Yuuna do something about it right from the first episode up until the last.

Yuuna

That said, Yuki Yuna is a Hero was not a perfect show for me. I feel that some of the world building that was left for supplementary material would have better served its purpose in the show. Alas, that’s a complaint I will always voice when said supplementary material contains things such as dramma CDs or light novels that are typically never translated.

Yuuna

The ending did left a tiny bit bitter taste in my mouth, making me think why did Yuuna and her friends go through all of this again? Perhaps if there was an epilogue that showed what the actions of Yunna and the other girls had upon their world and its ongoing conflict I would feel more satisfied.

Yuuna

Something as with the Madoka TV show would have been nice. We didn’t just have to take someone’s word for it, Shaft clearly showed what Madoka’s sacrifice effect had.

I think there should totally be a second season of Yuki Yuna is a Hero or at least an OVA showing that. I have no idea how popular this show was in Japan but I would hope that it sold enough that a second season wouldn’t seem too unreasonable.

Yuuna

Still, I’m quite happy with the show, I liked the journey quite a bit. Interesting imagery, characters, music and battles.

Of those the visual design and imagery caught my attention the most, after all that’s why I bought this figure and became interested in the show and Yunna in the first place.

Yuuna

Alter’s rendition depicts Yuuna in the pose she takes after her transformation. This was the first thing that attracted me, this pose carries such a strong presence to me. The majority of figures I end up buying tend to go for “cute” poses more than anything else.

Yuuna though? She look like she is ready to pick up a fight.

Yuuna

Yuuna’s expression carries a sense of determination more than anything else in my opinion. Determination to go out and do heroic things like “Hero Punching” monsters in the face!

A nice change of pace from the typical smile that figures I buy typically get.

Yuuna

Yuuna

One of the reasons I think this figure has such a strong presence is how well Alter captured all this energy in Yuuna’s pose. I can feel Yuuna’s hair flowing through the air just looking at it.

Yuuna

This feeling transfers as well to the ribbon on Yuuna’s chest plate over her modest bosom. I can feel that rippling motion when I look at it. The ribbon is also a perfect example of the detail Alter included in this figure.

Yuuna

This is best seen in Yuuna’s Mankai gauge on her right first, the cherry blossom flower is intricately painted on the back of her hand. Might not be apparent on this photo how tiny details like this are.

Yuuna

While I have no idea what Yuuna’s gauntless are actually made off Alter was able to give them a nice tough look to them. They look sturdy enough to go about hero punching things.

Yuuna

All girls are cuter with hair decorations thus I’m glad Alter did a nice job with Yuuna’s hair clip. The shape is well defined and the cross shaped markings on it are clearly visible.

Yuuna

Yuuna comes with a simple long oval base to fit her fairly horizontal pose. The base follows Yuuna’s imagery with cherry blossoms presented in a good looking layered design with flowers and petals of different colors and sizes.

Yuuna Yuuna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alter went pretty light on terms of accessories for Yuuna. Two versions of her faerie Gyuki are included.

These pretty much depict Gyuki perfectly. One shows it’s usually carefree attitude and the other it’s big eater behaviour. Gyuki would gobble up anything snacks on sight including even beef jerky.  A somewhat disturbing thought for a cow familiar not lost on the other characters or me.

Yuuna

A bit disappointing I suppose but given Yuuna’s melee combat oriented fighting style Alter was limited in the amount of accessories they could include. If it was up to me I would have like in addition to Gyuki the inclusion of Yuuna’s second faerie familiar Kasha.

Yuuna

Overall a really nice rendition of Yuuna, in fact I will go and say this is THE rendition of Yuuna to get. While FREEing’s version is not bad and the nendo is cute enough this is the more impressive sculpt by far if you ask me.

Yuuna

Although as Alter’s version shows a cool looing Yuuna and FREEing’s version depicts a cute looking Yuuna I think both figures would complement each other nicely. I regret a bit not picking up the FREEing version when it was on sale not too long ago and doing just that.

Yuuna

All around I find Alter’s version a great pickup for fans of the show or Yuuna. I’m glad that this figure caught my attention and got me to watch the show which I would have otherwise skipped on.

Until next time, I will leave you with my favorite of the Hero Club’s five tenets: Sleep well, eat well!

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