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Figure News: December release delays

If you’re like me and have an unseemly lot of figures preordered this month (or perhaps just one or two), the knowledge that quite a few of them will actually not be shipping until later could prove to be quite handy. What follows is a rundown of what we currently know about the release status of many of the December ’07 figures that have become hot topics over the past several months:

Anime News: Haruhi sequel confirmed, Higurashi gets a third season

From the “(beaten like a) red-headed stepchild” bureau of news so old it’s petrified, word is in at the official Haruhi site as of 4:00 AM this morning that a “Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu new animefication” is planned for next year. Moon Phase speculates that the copyright listing of “2007, 2008, 2009” might imply that the series will start in the fall of ’08 and run for two seasons into the spring of ’09; we’ll be keeping a corner of an eye on this as more information comes to light. In other anime news, Moon Phase reports today that Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is getting a third season. No details have been released yet, but are expected to appear shortly at the show’s official site. (no more)

Figure News: Shuraki vol. 5 Rize preorder “unsealed” tonight

The fifth and final volume of the Shuraki multimedia figure series goes up for preorder tonight (December 17th) at midnight! Rizefis Rutetiiva Mente (aka. Rize) was designed by Yano Takumi, voiced by Shintani Ryouko, and sculpted by Kaiya Hajime of circle Acetone. Like vols. 2-4 she will be priced at 6,800 yen retail, with release scheduled for April of next year; with reissues already announced for the first two volumes it’s expected that the rabid preorder frenzy that has plagued her predecessors will abate somewhat for Rize, but the next 24 hours will tell for sure… (no more)

Figure News: Toranoana’s Witchblade transformed Masane, Shiori up for preorder

Amiami snuck a late update in tonight, presenting at long last a pair of Witchblade PVCs from Toranoana that we’ve had our eye on here since August: Masane and Shiori. Both are due out in early February at 1/10 scale and 5,040 yen each; sculpt is from Koyama Kou, who seems to have done some work for Namco in the past and had a kit featured at Wonder Festival but is otherwise under the radar. Based on the sample images I’m a bit skeptical of the quality on these, but the price is certainly reasonable; along with Orchid Seed’s Shiori these may be the last Witchblade kits we ever see, so here’s hoping Tora can do them justice. (no more)

The Road to Comiket

If you’ve seen the fictional portrayals of the event in Comic Party and Genshiken you have some idea of the process that leads up to circle participation at Comic Market – but that’s only part of the story. Girls flying behind runaway carts of books and room for an entire club to stand behind a Comiket table are pleasant fictions of a process that, while challenging, is certainly as rewarding as its dramatic depictions suggest. Read on for a detailed look at the process that leads to selling doujinshi at the world’s largest and most venerated amateur comics convention.

Figure News: Tecmo’s Yamashita Shunya-designed Dead or Alive Kasumi prize figure gallery online

A puzzle presents itself today in the form of this pair of Yamashita Shunya designed DOA Kasumi prize figures with a gallery newly up at Tecmo’s online shop. I’d swear up and down that they’re the same figures we first scooped back in May, and I have the original design illustrations to prove it; however those are listed as coming out this month at 2,520 yen for the pair, while the new ones up at Tecmo are listed at 6,090 yen for the pair and due out in February. Not only that, the ones from May are listed at 18 cm tall, while these new ones are 20 cm. I find it hard to believe that they could be different items with the exact same design, but stranger things have happened… we’ll be keeping an eye out for more information as it comes to light. Either way, if you can find the set for the original 2,520 yen at this point it seems like a steal. Gallery reproduced below:

Figure News: Max Factory presents Baek Changpo from Senko no Ronde

The official Goodsmile page updated this morning with the announcement of a Baek Changpo PVC coming from Max Factory. She’s a character from arcade game Senko no Ronde (旋光の輪舞), first announced back at Wonder Festival this past summer but having seen nary a sample shot of her since then she dropped off the radar for awhile… She’s coming to us at in April of ’08 at 5,800 yen, 1/8 scale (14 cm tall) and with what’s being dubbed the “Choi Polo System”, which apparently in this case refers to the castoff ability of her transparent one-piece dress but nothing beyond that. With her up at Goodsmile preorders should be opening soon! (no more)

[ERO] Figure News: Pleasant Angels’ “Ore no Yome” series vol. 1 ‘Chouun’ prototype unveiled

A month or so ago goods maker Pleasant Angels announced new figure brand “Lip Mates”, whose signature lineup is called “Ore no Yome” (literally “My Wife”). The maiden release from this new brand is a PVC incarnation of Chouun, one of the many heroines of BaseSon’s January ’07 released eroge Koihime Musou. I passed over this news when it was initially available due to lack of images of the figure, but today her page was updated with shots of an unpainted preproduction prototype – enough fuel for speculation for my fevered brain, so I figured it was worth passing on. There’s no word yet on a release window or any product specifications, though she is listed as “18+ only” so castoffability can be confidently assumed. We’ll be keeping an eye on this project as further information comes to light. (no more)

Event News: World Hobby Festival Ariake 17 circle list online

Word came in from the World Hobby Festival website over the weekend that the circle list is now online for the upcoming WHF Ariake 17 (list by space, list by kana, hall map). For those unfamiliar with WHF it’s essentially a miniature version of Wonder Festival: an event where garage kit dealers gather to hawk their wares and PVC makers display some of their hot upcoming items. WHF Ariake 17 will take place on Sunday, December 23rd, from 11:00 – 17:30 in East Hall #1 of the Tokyo Big Sight. Despite being just a week before Comiket (argh) I’m going to try to make it down for the day and whip up some sort of event report; if you missed the last one you can check out our look at WHF Ariake 16. More geekdom below:

Goods News: Donne Anonime (Namae no Nai Onna) dakimakura coming from Nijigen Cospa (updated)

Props to savage for alerting me to this in comments to the recent Mainichi post: according to this Akiba Blog post from last Saturday, eroge maker Nitro+ is collaborating with goods maker Nijigen Cospa to produce a hug pillow featuring Donne Anonime (“Namae no Nai Onna”) from the July-released Zoku: Satsuriku no Jango. Illustrator Niθ is on design duty, and the pillow clocks in with specs similar to other recent Cospa releases: double-sided, 150 x 50 cm, and (presumably) 9,450 yen retail. Release is scheduled for Comiket 73 at the end of December, and while there’s no word regarding a general release I presume one will be forthcoming; we’ll keep an eye out for further news. Update: she’s now up for preorder at Cospa’s official online shop, with a release date set for early March of next year. Updated pictures below:

[ERO] Figure Gallery: Megahouse’s Excellent Model CORE TSUKASA BULLET 02 Guernsey Hanako-san PVC

As promised in our review of the Tsukasa Jun-designed Megahouse Excellent Model CORE Holstein Hanako-san, what follows is a photo gallery of her limited edition alternate color counterpart, Guernsey. I was unable to find any shops that would ship her internationally and it seems she’s gone from the primary market in Japan as well (though still available on Yahoo auctions via proxy for those willing to pay a premium); for the rest of us, this is all I can offer:

Snow Sakura (18+)

Goods News: School Days’ Kotonoha and Sekai, Prism Ark’s Sister Hell dakimakura coming from Machi Chara

Character goods maker Machi Chara updated their official site last night with the news of three new hug pillows coming in their production lineup: first are the ever-popular Sekai and Kotonoha-sama from School Days, both of whom will go on sale January 31st with double-sided original illustrations, 150 x 50 cm and a retail price of 10,500 yen (pillowcase only). Prism Ark‘s Sister Hell dakimakura has similar specifications, with release scheduled for February 29th (oh hay, next year is a leap year isn’t it). Like all other Machi Chara pillows these three should be available for preorder internationally at Hobby Search, and I’m guessing J-List may stock them as well. Pillow images below:

Figure News: Kaiyodo’s Revoltech Fraeulein Pocco (Yamashita Shunya Sweet Dreams cover girl) up for preorder

Yamashita Shunya‘s Kaiyodo Revoltech Fraeulein Sweet Dreams cover girl Pocco action figure is now up for preorder at Play Asia! Japanese sites haven’t officially picked her up yet, but it seems Play Asia is hedging their bets that Kaiyodo will be able to stick to their production schedule of one Fraeulein per month starting on January first with Evangelion’s Rei. February and March will see Fate’s Tousaka Rin and Eva’s Asuka respectively, with Pocca coming in April; Rei retails at an introductory price of 2,000 yen with the other three clocking in at 2,300 each. We first found out about Pocca back at the Revoltech Expo on November 30th, and expect the Fraeulein lineup to continue with a couple of the Idolm@ster girls in spots five and six. See below for further details:

[ERO] Figure Review: Orchid Seed’s Seihouin Erika from Miraroma

Another in the parade of Orchid Seed’s delayed releases finally made her way to open air this week. When we first reported on Seihouin Erika she was due for release in September, and looked quite attractive in her prototype incarnation; eight months later it seems she may not have been worth the wait, alas. Just how does she live up to the aspirations of naked apron aficionados everywhere? Read on for the inconvenient truth:

[ERO] Game News: G-Collections’ Snow Sakura now shipping!

Word is in from English eroge localization brand G-Collections that their latest title, Snow Sakura, is in stock and shipping now! This is the English text, uncensored version of D.O.‘s 2003-released Yukizakura (Erogamescape), and having recently nursed it through development I can personally vouch for its entertainment value, and recommend it highly. If you would like to support HD you can purchase the game at J-List, though it’s available elsewhere as well – the bottom line is that you should get this game, regardless of source. Read on for why:

[ERO] Figure News: Orchid Seed’s Sherrice from Ma ga Ochiru Yoru up for preorder (updated)

We first reported on this figure back in November when it was announced at Hobby Complex 02 that she would be PVCified, and now it’s official: Orchid Seed’s site was updated last night with a page for their Sherrice kit from Ma ga Ochiru Yoru (the eroge and eroanime). According to newly available information she’s scheduled for release in April of next year at 1/8 scale (20 cm tall) and 7,800 yen retail, with several exchangeable arm configurations. Castoffability is assumed based on the original resin kit (see below for pictures) though we don’t have official confirmation yet; we’ll be keeping a close eye on her as more information becomes available. As of this morning she’s only up for preorder on Orchid’s official site, though other shops are expected to list her shortly. Image gallery below:

[ERO] Figure News: Toy’sworks’ SRW Kusuha Mizuha (onsen ver.) official page online

Toy’sworks’ Super Robot Wars Original Generation Kusuha Mizuha onsen figure we reported on recently now has an official page online! The page confirms details already known (she’s scheduled for release in April of next year at 5,800 yen and 1/8 scale, 12 cm tall) and notes that the sculpt is from zenko of circle Iousen. There are shots of the kit from several angles, but still nothing to definitively confirm a castoff… zenko is an old hand at castoff figures however, which leads one to some cautious hope. We’ll be keeping an eye on this lineup from Toy’sworks as further news emerges. (no more)

Figure News: official site online for Goodsmile’s Kuonji Shinra PVC from Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de

Vying for the most tongue-twisting eroge title of 2007, Minato Soft’s Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de officially enters the PVC realm today with the incarnation of its heroine Kuonji Shinra coming from Goodsmile. She’s scheduled for release in April of ’08 at 1/8 scale (21.5 cm tall) and 6,500 yen retail; sculpt is from the recently prolific Otsuyama Houjun with production cooperation from Alter. I can’t say I’m too excited about this one and I doubt I’m alone; despite the fact that Kimiaru is headed for TV anime land next year it’s hard to work up much enthusiasm for what looks to be a butler-themed Tsuyokiss knockoff. Probably won’t be following her too closely. Update: she’s now up for preorder at Amiami. (no more)

Figure Review: Alter’s Donne Anonime (Namae no Nai Onna) from Zoku: Satsuriku no Jango

We’ve been following the development of Nitro+’s Zoku: Satsuriku no Jango from its bizarre English language announcement back in March, through its official site opening, its July release, the announcement of Alter’s Donne Anonime in June and subsequent announcement of Kuro no Franco, and now Donne Anonime’s release. What does the first figure incarnation from the latest Nitro+ tour de force have to offer? Read on for the nitty gritty spit-in-your-eye sci fi spaghetti Western straight shootin’ truth!

Figure News: Movic’s Ayanami Rei, Shueisha’s Akashiya Moka preorders open, Piccolo launches painted resin line

Some noteworthy bits of figure news in this evening, starting with word from Amiami that Movic’s Ayanami Rei PVC (the standard plug suit version we scooped back at the Miyazawa Model Exhibition) is now up for preorder, with release expected in February at 5,250 yen, 1/8 scale, and a sculpt from Hiroshi of Sakurazensen. Moving on: previous looks at Shueisha’s Akashiya Moka PVC from Rosario to Vampire weren’t that inspiring, but now that’s she’s up for preorder she’s looking much nicer. She’s coming to us from the new “Shueisha Solid Selection” brand in late May, at 1/8 scale and 5,000 yen retail. Finally, character goods maker Piccolo made news today with the unveiling of Kaze no Stigma‘s Kannagi Ayano and Samurai 7‘s Kirara in a new line of figures they’re calling “Reijin CAST”. They’re prepainted resins (the name is a pun as reijin 麗人 means “beautiful woman”), and both retail in March at 1/8 scale (8,925 yen for Kirara and 9,975 yen for Ayano). (no more)

Mainichi Junk: C73 roundup, anime news, etc.

It’s a general roundup of news from the past few days in another installment of the increasingly inaccurately named Mainichi Junk! We’ve got stuff from all corners of the otakuverse today, starting with a heaping helping of Comic Market 73 (the latest on Momoi’s AX DVD, Keumaya’s new doujin figure project, and hug pillows galore), new moves on the anime scene (trailers for Mnemosyne, Code Geass season 2, and Kite Liberator), eroanime news (featuring a new Pixy title in the “valkyrie vs. orc” genre), a few bits of figure gossip (Orchid’s Erika shipping for reals, Donne Anonime too, and Shuraki mangafication) and a new MOSAIC.WAV eroge movie that is certainly worth your viewing time.

Figure News: Shuraki vol. 5 Rize preorder date set, Meifeng second round preorders begin

A couple bits of Shuraki news today: first is the word that Shuraki vol. 5 Rize is scheduled to be “unsealed” on December 18th, according to the Shuraki official site. She marks the end of the first set of five multimedia figure installments, and though explosive sales are expected as usual, fan and retailer fatigue along with the expectation of an eventual reissue mean that the rush to buy will probably be less pronounced than for past offerings. We’ll be keeping an eye on the launch when it comes around next week. In other news, today Goodsmile officially acknowledged what we’ve known since last month: Shuraki vol. 2 Meifeng is being reissued next April. In response to this several online stores have been dumping remaining stock of the kit that they’d normally let trickle out (notably Amazon and Amiami), a sign that preorders are just around the corner; Moe Soul takes the lead with preorders officially beginning at six o’clock this evening. (no more)

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figure release schedule updated!

Site News: down to the wire (updated)

I spent the weekend working on a book for Comiket, and while there’s a light at the end of the tunnel it’s still a long way off. I have roughly another 24 hours before the final deadline and it’s a race to the finish at this point, one that will like not involve much sleep… regular updates will resume on Tuesday evening or (more likely) Wednesday morning. I never knew 20 pages of manga could be so long… I just hope the time investment will be worth it in the end. (no more)

[ERO] Figure News: To Heart 2 XRATED Kousaka Tamaki (private ver.) coming in PVC from New Line

A surprise bit of sexy figure news this evening from maker New Line, as Getchu just put a listing up for an incredibly erotic PVC rendition of To Heart 2‘s Kousaka Tamaki. She’s available in both a regular grey stocking version and an Irisawa limited fishnet version, both scheduled for release on April 30th of next year at 26 cm tall (1/6 scale?) and 8,190 yen retail. The sculpt is from New Line regular Goemon, and unless I’m much mistaken this is the first general release PVC from a maker formerly known only for their cold casts; we’ll be watching development with considerable interest as this is the first Tama-nee that has caught my attention since Daiki’s offering earlier this year. Pictures below:

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updates will be light this weekend as I’m working to finish a doujin in time to get it printed for Comiket.

Figure News: Kotobukiya’s April ’08 lineup unveiled, includes Sengoku Rance, Clannad, To Heart 2, DOAX2, Shining Wind (updated)

Kotobukiya updated their official site this afternoon with four five new PVC figures scheduled for release in April of next year! First up is Uesugi Kenshin, one of the main heroines of Alice Soft’s 2006 eroge epic Sengoku Rance (figure originally covered here). She’s due out at 1/8 scale and 7,140 yen retail. Next up is the newest installment in the Venus on the Beach series from DOAX2, Tina. She’s due out at 1/6 scale and 9,240 yen, and like her predecessors sports two different clothing configurations. A limited edition color version is coming from Tecmo. Finally we have a maid version Komaki Manaka from To Heart 2 Another Days and Ichinose Kotomi from Clannad, both due out at 1/8 scale (Manaka at 6,090 yen and Kotomi at 5,040 yen). I’m tempted by the Kenshin, but that face sculpt doesn’t really do her justice… if only Volks would put out some of their stuff in PVC. ;__; Update: Kotobukiya’s April schedule also includes their version of Shining Wind‘s Kureha, now up for preorder at Amiami along with their other April offerings. She’s due out at 1/8 scale and 6,090 yen retail. (no more)

Figure News: Orchid’s Nao, CM’s’ Potemayo, Petit Nendoroid Lucky Star up for preorder

Amiami’s noon update brought news of a few new preorders of items we’ve discussed recently here: first up is Orchid Seed’s Mabinogi Nao kit that we first noted was in production earlier today; the Miyazawa version is also available, and if Amiami has her I’m guessing Hobby Search will too. Next is the CM’s soft vinyl Potemayo that we scooped last month; it’s retailing at 1/1 scale (25 cm tall) and 8,925 yen, with release scheduled for February. Finally a reminder from yesterday to mention that Goodsmile’s Nendoroid Petit Lucky Star trading figures are now up for preorder as well, with a box of 12 (5 x 2 standard variations + 1 secret + 1 double, presumably) retailing at 6,000 yen and set for February release. I wish they sold the two Akiras separately… (no more)

Figure News: Mabinogi Nao up at Orchid Seed, Kojika Play Stationery Mimi and Kuro prototypes unveiled

Orchid Seed’s Nao PVC figure from Mabinogi was first brought to our attention at the Miyazawa Model Exhibition last month, and last night she found her way into an official listing on the maker’s site along with a companion Miyazawa limited color version. The unlimited version clocks in at 1/7 scale (26 cm tall with staff) and 7,400 yen retail, with release scheduled for April. According to the product description she comes with a full change of clothes (presumably the white version pictured), though it’s unclear precisely how the castoff mechanism works. Sculpt is from rookie creator Ribun, thus far only credited on Orchid’s Seinarukana Satsuki. It is currently unknown how the Miyazawa color version will be released. News continues below: