All Media Hobby Ero (18+) Site

Bishoujo Game News: Ar Tonelico II official site open (with music!)

Scooped here earlier this week, the official Ar Tonelico II site is grand open today! It currently contains information on the three main characters, the game world, and various elements of gameplay in addition to a “special contents” section that boasts a downloadable wallpaper. When I visited the site earlier today I was dismayed to hear that I could hear nothing – unlike the website of the game’s predecessor (and the AT2 teaser site up a few days ago), the otherwise fully Flashed site was silent. I was quite pleased upon checking the site again tonight to hear that a wonderful BGM track was put up in my absence, however, and it’s on loop as I type this – the same track that was in the teaser, I believe, but still a great listen. I’d recommend visiting the site for that alone, if not for the stunning visuals and scads of attractive moon language scrawlings. (no more)

[ERO] Figure News: Orchid Seed presents Miraroma’s Seihouin Erika in PVC, set for September release

Orchid Seed began taking preorders on their official site today for an ero-ero PVC kit based on one of the heroines of Marmalade’s Miraroma eroge, Seihouin Erika. The sculpt only bears a passing resemblance to her original design, but it’s hard to mind too much given her statistics: 1/7 scale, 21 centimeters tall, fully removable apron… :3 A cursory search for information on the sculptor Ranmaru (蘭丸) came up empty-handed, but I’ll give it another shot as further details come to light. (pictures below)

Spring 2007 Anime Roundup: Episode II

We return tonight with the second part (first part here) of our increasingly obsolete feature on the new shows of spring 2007, bringing you the HD take on Darker Than Black, Seirei no Moribito, El Cazador de la Bruja, Kaibutsu Oujo, Nanoha StrikerS, Seto no Hanayome, and Sisters of Wellber. If you haven’t already passed judgment on them yourself (or even if you have), stop by and have a look!

Protoculture News: Fate / stay night [Realta Nua] on sale today

The release of a new Fate title is of such monumentally colossal importance to the otaku universe that it could not possibly be described as anything other than a Protoculture (sales) Event. That said, in this writer’s humble opinion Type Moon should move on. They’ve only produced a single game (and a fan disc) as a professional unit, and as much as we all know and love the elaborate cosmology they’ve created it seems to me that they’ve been resting on their laurels for a bit too long. I guess I could see the Fateverse becoming something like a D&D campaign setting for visual novels, which would be fine, but where would TSR be now if they had stuck with Greyhawk alone? Probably owned by Hasbro or something… Anyway, Realta Nua is now on sale and as I type Fateheads everywhere are deliriously inhaling the bajillions of lines of spoken dialogue from Ayako and Kana-chan, and I’m sitting here without a PS2. *weeps softly* (no more)

Figure News: New Line Revy cold cast from Black Lagoon up for preorder

Hobby Stock has just listed a new Revy figure as available for preorder, a cold cast produced by New Line and due out in late July. The sculptor goes by the handle “Goemon” (五右衛門), quite difficult to search for due to both its historical, restaurantial, and Lupinial associations; the best I could dig up was that he’s done other work for New Line in the past and been featured in Replicant a few times. Not the most stellar resume, but the kit looks nice enough; pity it isn’t PVC. (no more)

[ERO] Figure Review: Solid Theater’s Kaze no Ushiro wo Ayumu Mono PVC from Jingai Makyou

At long last the other heroine of Nitro+’s 2005 smash hit eroge Jingai Makyou makes her figure debut! Those left cold by Ignis may well thrill to the delicate features and small frame of Kaze no Ushiro wo Ayumu Mono (yes, that’s her name), but does Solid Theater’s rendition do her justice? This kit has gone a long way toward making me a Kaze fan, but you be the judge…

Figure News: Alter Shinku PVC from Rozen Maiden due out in August

Goodsmile has updated its release lineup today to include this non-scale (19 cm) Shinku PVC figure from Alter, due out in August. Rozen Maiden fans should be very happy right now, as sculptor Nekomaru seems to have done justice to everyone’s favorite suitcase-dwelling creepy animate doll. (no more)

[ERO] Game Review: Gyakushuu Ni

Ever since Anim announced this miko-themed tentaclefest I’ve had my eye on it, especially after the news broke that some of my favorite artists would be contributing guest artwork to a book of illustrations included with the limited edition. With ample visual confirmation of quality leading up to the game’s release, the biggest question was how the CG would be strung together: just another rehash of Legend of the Overfiend, or something meatier in the plot department? HD dishes the dirt in our first eroge review in a looooong time…

Site News: Life in HD

Those versed in the moon language will know that there are two kanji for the word moe: 萌 (sprouting, budding, this) and 燃 (burning, blazing, this). For the past few weeks HD has been doing both at the same time, resulting in a) a dish of charred bean sprouts that nobody wants to eat and b) a bunch of site updates and improvements, largely thanks to jetfuel (all praise his elite hacking skills!). It is the latter the following post purports to expound upon:

[ERO] Figure News: Griffon’s Queen’s Blade Menace and Airi cold casts up for preorder

Long known to be in the making thanks to Griffon‘s earlier convention announcements and their listing on the official Queen’s Blade goods page, it’s now official: Menace and Airi are both available for preorder, with release set for July. While I like the look of both kits enough to order them if they were PVCs from Megahouse, my one experience with a Griffon cold cast to date did not bring satisfaction commensurate to the price. Bring it down by about two thirds and you’ve got a value proposition I can agree with… (pictures below)

Weekend Hobby Roundup: April 13th-15th

The latest news from the hobby world, including updates on Konami’s Busou Shinki Battle Rondo and Mechamusume figures, the scoop on the newest figures in Max Factory’s lineup (Kanon’s Ayu and Makoto), an O-ji / Toy’s Planning collection update, Kaiyodo’s release schedule through May, Dragon Age Pure volume 4 and its accompanying Goodsmile / Itou Noiji figure, Queen’s Blade cushion covers, and more.

Weekend Ero Roundup: April 13th-15th

Odds and ends from the eroverse this weekend, including a roundup of game and manga releases, recent site updates, and a new anime announcement from Vanilla that should provoke a good bit of quality discussion. And I thought Tama-nee was big…

Under Election #000: Demo-tan?

In the nigh-endless quest to make all of the links on the HD front page point to something, I’m proud rather ashamed to present the first rushed, sloppy entry in Under Election: the saga of a website, a man, his search for the ineffable moe, a mascot, and her quest for world domination. Maybe if I keep up this level of craptasticness someone will come along and volunteer for art duty…

Anime News: Aika R-16 second promo video online

And unlike the first, this one delivers. While I still don’t care for the character designs, we finally get a glimpse of what will make or break this new Aika incarnation: the panchira. I’m pleased to report that it’s every bit as hilariously blatant as the first installment was ten years ago (was it that long?), and if nothing else should provide great fodder for a drinking game. I’m looking forward to the OVA’s April 25th release with guilty (or not so guilty…) pleasure. (no more)

PS2 Bishoujo Game News: Ar Tonelico sequel announced, teaser site online

News in from Moon Phase today that a sequel is in the works for one of the premiere RPG titles of 2006, celebrated for its phenomenal soundtrack and innovative gameplay, Ar Tonelico. Dubbed Ar Tonelico 2: Sekai wo Hibiku Shoujotachi no Metafalica (“the girls’ creation song that resounds through the world”), it will feature the return of the creative team of Gust and Banpresto with the same band of accomplished musicians and artists to bring another tale from the same vivid universe as the original, and is slated for release later this year. The teaser site is up here; I strongly recommend you drop everything at hand and head over for a watch (and listen – the track accompanying the flash animation is sublime). We’ll be following this eagerly on HD just as we did its predecessor. Edit: those looking for a bit meatier scoop can head over to Famitsu, where they have a respectable number of screenshots up and introduce a few of the new gameplay features. (no more)

Pure Love Renaissance : How To Con In Japan – Part 1

Shipon delves into the logistics of conning in Japan in this informative series of… things. First up – Lodgings. Where can you stay in Tokyo when conning, that won’t con you out of your precious doujin/figure cash?

[ERO] Figure Review: Movic’s Musubi PVC, from Sekirei

When a trio of Sekirei figures were announced at Wonder Festival Summer 2006, despite the good-looking prototypes available at the event I wasn’t particularly interested. That all changed when I picked up the manga that was their source, and realized that Gokurakuin Sakurako‘s delightful little bundle of fanservice and moe was more than I had given it credit for. Does Movic’s PVC rendition of Musubi do her manga counterpart justice? I’d answer that with a resounding YES, but don’t take my word for it – read on!

Anime News: official Zero no Tsukaima site updated with season two images, info

This just in, courtesy of Moon Phase: while announced a few months ago and confirmed at last month’s Tokyo International Anime Fair, the official Zero no Tsukaima anime site has been updated today with further information and visuals from the show’s second season, scheduled to air this summer. Everyone’s favorite Kugimiya Rie-voiced tsundere character Louise returns with two older sisters in tow, one who seems deredere nee-san to the max and the other some sort of uber meta extreme ultra god-tsundere. I wonder if she obliterates civilizations only to resurrect them and coddle them angrily to her voluptuous bosom… (stolen site image below)

Figure News: Yakitate Japan’s Tsukino (bikini version) PVC coming from Aniplex, Alter in late August

While I can’t quite tell whether she’s sneering or just baring her teeth in a becoming way, this bikini-clad Tsukino PVC from Yakitate Japan, Alter / Aniplex, and sculptor Saitou Fumiki (large gallery of the original kit here) seems to be just what the doctor ordered for the hot summer months ahead, especially if she’s on time for her scheduled August release. Not being much of a Tsukino fan I’ll be giving this one a miss, but it doesn’t seem like too hard a sell – especially with the track record of the recently released Tsukino (Pantasia ver.) PVC from the same production team. That one sold out with such speed that I regret not picking one up to see what all the fuss was about when I had the chance… I’d recommend hopping on the preorder for this if you’re interested, lest she slip through your fingers. (no more)

Figure News: Atelier-Sai’s KOS-MOS (Xenosaga Episode III version) PVC up for preorder

Fans of androids and underboobs rejoice today with the announcement of a new PVC incarnation of KOS-MOS, produced by a joint venture between Atelier-Sai and Happinet dubbed Chord-G7. While the pose is hardly dynamic the balance and color composition of the kit strike me as quite pleasing… did I mention underboob? I’m not sure if there’s a more clinical term for that. No sculptor information is given beyond the generic Atelier-Sai credit so there’s little precedent to go on in terms of judging final production quality, but she looks to be a must-have item for devotees of the Xenosaga franchise when she debuts in late July. Underboob! (pictures below)

Figure News: Slightly Scary Tama-nee PVC up for preorder from Daiki Kougyou

In June of this year a giant will walk among us in the form of this 37 centimeter-tall Kousaka Tamaki PVC kit from To Heart 2 and maker Daiki Kougyou. I have to say this isn’t the best effort I’ve seen from Toushirou of modeler’s circle Cobra-Kai, who also sculpted Daiki Kougyou’s Sengoku Blade Koyori (other recent kits in the gallery here); what I’d really like to see would be a PVC release of his recently completed Shiranui Mai (the best things come in threes, after all). Despite the somewhat terrifying aspects of the Tama-nee kit in question I went ahead and placed a preorder anyway; I, for one, welcome our gargantuan, oddly-proportioned, naughtily-costumed overlordsladies. (picture below)

Creator Spotlight: Happoubi Jin

It takes time and effort to contact creators, correspond with them and eventually pin them down for an interview, which is why this column has languished in the sorry state it’s in. I’ve decided therefore to ditch the high production value in favor of making this an “appreciation” corner of sorts, where I gush about arbitrarily chosen artists and hope they don’t find out and get mad at me. The first target for this dubious affection is Happobi Jin, an illustrator and character designer perhaps best known for his recent series of Boin games from Crossnet Pie. What else has he done, and why should you care? I can’t answer the second question, but for the first, read on:

Eroge News: Muv Luv Alternative fan disc coming “this summer”

Following in the wake of one of the most delayed eroge titles in history I hesitate to give any credence to “this summer” as a release date, but there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth: Muv Luv Altered Fable is the name, and fan discing is the game. Despite the undeniable hotness of Mitsurugi Meiya, Kouzuki Yuuko, Tsukuyomi Mana and the Muv Luv semi-transparent plug suit design, I can’t work up much interest in a title reportedly overburdened by drama and the “everybody dies” syndrome. Perhaps the fan disc will remedy these flaws. (no more)

Figure News: Goodsmile updates Shuraki site, a second round of Max’s Mai, and April release dates

Goodsmile’s recently launched Shuraki multimedia figure project is a collaboration with Red Entertainment to produce a line of original “character units” (my arbitrary description), each containing a figure, a 24-page booklet filled with design art, and a drama CD. The official site was updated yesterday with art for each of the five characters in the production lineup thus far, along with news that photographs of the figure for the first character Mishiro Akatsuki will be uploaded on April 19th (pictures of the unpainted cast kit available here), and that she’s scheduled to go on sale in August. In the near future we’ll be bringing you a more detailed look at what seems to be an instant Queen’s Blade phenomenon in the making.

In other news from the overlords at Goodsmile, Max Factory’s Shiranui Mai PVC is scheduled to see a second batch out in November following its initial August release. Very good news indeed for those who couldn’t sneak in a preorder last week. Also, the release lineup for figures coming out under the Goodsmile umbra in the month of April has been updated with precise dates spanning the next few weeks. Only two items made my preorder list from them this month, though several others are still very tempting… (no more)

Figure News: Aizu Project Shiranui Mai cold cast up for preorder

Aizu Project represents today with preorders open at Amiami and Hobby Stock for their Shiranui Mai cold cast, first unveiled on February 25th at Wonder Festival 2007 Winter (Moeyo was there, and comes through with a few decent shots of the kit at the bottom of this post). Sculpted by Aizu veteran Shiragami Takayuki, does the exuberantly dynamic pose of this kit have what it takes to face off against the coyness, soft curves, and better paint job of Max Factory’s recent offering? Aizu’s entry debuts in July, so the sages will have a month to ponder the outcome of this most glorious battle. Who knew figure watching could be a spectator sport? (pictures below)

Ero Odds and Ends, Hanami Edition

A roundup of various ero items that have crossed the newsdesk recently, including the unexpected reincarnation of Comic Revolution, a Linda hug pillow, more Djibril anime, site updates of several of the games we’re tracking, a major maker’s first move into the doujin download price bracket, speculation on Hadashi Shoujo’s upcoming title, and a plush Haniwa from Sengoku Rance. Haniiiiiiii!

Anime News: promotional video up at the official Doujin Work site

Despite my avowed ambivalence toward 4-panel manga and their anime adaptations hope springs eternal: a new promotional video is online at the Doujin Work official site today that while not exactly encouraging is so abstract that it can’t really be called discouraging, either. I finally managed to track down the elusive manga the show will be based on, so hopefully the next time it crops up here I’ll have a more informed view of what the all of those kaleidoscoping characters are doing in that there video clip… all I know at this point is that it’ll be about working with doujin, which is a genre I fully stand behind. (no more)

Tuesday Night Figure Roundup

Hobby Stock and Amiami both got busy in the last few hours of the workday today, posting preorders for Aoshima’s [ERO] Funny Knights Masterpiece of Yamashita Shunya Rudy PVC (Hobby Stock | Amiami | limited edition color) due out in July, Toranoana’s guitar wielding bunny girl Haruhi PVC (Hobby Stock) also due out in July, Solid Theater’s [ERO] Onna no Ko #2 Kimono Girl Isuzu Tsumugi (Hobby Stock | Hobby Stock limited edition | Amiami) due out in August, and a couple of crappy Yujin figures. It looks like Bome’s Misty May (from Otaku no Video, for the uneducated) went on sale today as well. (no more)

Protoculture News: Goodsmile tours Nitro+, scoops Satsuriku no Jango

Yesterday’s (April 9th) edition of Goodsmile’s Wonderful Hobby News Watch featured the first in what they’re billing as a series of features in which field reporters from the ace Hobby News investigative team venture forth into the black heart of otakudom that is the eroge production studio. This installment brings us to the domain of Nitro+, where a few dozen staff work in a surprisingly well-lit office on 2D painting, 3D animation and afro-clad hand puppet research. I have a feeling this environment is more the exception than the rule when it comes to eroge makers (Nitro+ is the only one I know of that has a drag queen (?) in charge of publicity), but it’s a fascinating look at what goes on in the offices of an upper echelon brand. As an added bonus, viewers are treated to shots of Satsuriku no Jango in production and a special movie that was only available for a limited time on Nitro+’s official site prior to April 1st. A must view for those curious about the ins and outs of the eroge lifestyle. (no more)

[ERO] Figure News: Solid Theater’s Isuzu Tsumugi up for preorder later today

Based on a Comic Megastore pinup illustration by Miyasu Risa (Erogamescape page), the second in Solid Theater’s “Onna no Ko” series was unveiled at Comic Market 70 last summer. As of today it’s been given a release window (August of this year), and will be available for preorder in a special limited edition from the Solid Theater official site as of 5:00 PM this evening. The Solid Theater edition (and possibly other editions) will come with a short eromanga by Miyasu Risa, with samples available here. A Hobby Stock limited edition of the figure is also planned. This is definitely one for the collection, but without more specifics on the various editions it’s hard to know which to go for… (picture below)