Easter Egg Sale – 20% off all items in stock at Play-Asia!
News of the Day
Ero news continues below:
After several release delays, Orchid Seed’s Mogudan-inspired Comic Unreal cover girl Onna Kenshi Feane is finally here! Unlike most kits this is one that proved to be in almost every respect better than the production shots available in the past – if Orchid delays mean more figures of this quality, I’m all for them. Read on for a detailed look at the first figure that can truly lay claim to embody the spirit – and the monumental bosoms – of Mogudan’s art.
The May 2008 issue of Megami Magazine was released today, and we’ve got a thorough review of it here! The sticker price was bumped up from the standard 780 yen to 840 yen for this issue, but it comes with a couple of great extras that more than make up for the slight price increase – a double sided pencil board brings us a look at Saber of Fate/stay night as drawn by Nanoha creator Tsuzuki Masaki, with the reverse side an illustration of Fate Testarossa by Takeuchi Takashi. Other extras include large Clannad and Shana posters and an alternate cover for Nanoha StrikerS manga vol. 2, as well as the continuation of Ditama Bow‘s Yotsunoha manga. Oh, and there are lots of great posters, too. :3
An overview of 27 new eroge titles on sale this weekend (unedited reissues, “regular editions”, and value packs omitted), touching on all the major titles including the Kiminozo rerelease, new games from the Baldr and Sweet Knights teams, the latest from Black Cyc, Clockup, Studio E.go, Elf, Anim, Lilith, and a whole lot more. This post introduces a new format similar to the one I’ve been using to describe new figures, which will hopefully present the information in an easily accessible form; any comments on the post layout would be appreciated.
News of the Day
Orchid Seed’s Feane Finally Ships!
First scooped in July of last year, we’ve been following the production of Orchid Seed’s Mogudan-inspired Onna Kenshi Feane PVC for what feels like eight months now – oh wait, it has been. Originally listed for release in December, three months late has become about par for the course when it comes to Orchid delays. I wouldn’t believe she was actually shipping if I didn’t have the email from Amiami to prove it… as of posting she’s still available at Play-Asia for those inspired to place a last minute preorder. In less inspirational Orchid news, we have a new batch of delays to report:
Delayed to April:
Delayed to May:
Ero news continues below:
Via Moon Phase Diary: Today an animated version of the story of Megumi Yokota was released for free download by the Japanese Government Abduction Issue Countermeasure Headquarters (政府拉致問題対策本部), an agency that works to resolve the issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens (an official explanation can be found here). It’s a 25 minute short “documentary anime” that covers Megumi’s life from birth through abduction and the subsequent unresolved quest to determine her fate, and seems to have received some budget as the film was simultaneously released dubbed in four languages (Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean). I downloaded the English version first expecting subtitles, and was greeted by a truly awful dub – I shut it down as soon as Megumi’s mom went into labor and decided to watch the Japanese version instead.
This is a fascinating piece from several angles, both as a look at the rare intersection of documentary and anime narrative forms, and in light of its overtly political / propagandistic nature. It’s something I’m sure a visual anthropologist would have a field day dissecting – Moeyo’s initial response is “for this topic, is it really alright to give Megumi such a moe design?” An interesting question, in light of the film’s purpose. (no more)
Kaiyodo’s Fraeulein Revoltech lineup continues with the preorder availability today of Futami Mami (regular gothic princess ver.) and Futami Mami (Friend Shop limited snow strawberry ver.) action figures from The Idolmaster. Both versions are scheduled for release on June 1st at 2,300 yen each, 15 cm tall (non-scale), with 18 points of articulation and 10 “revolver joints” used. Parts included are a policewoman’s hat, a cowbell, cat paws, “demon feet”, six hand configurations, and a display base. The only difference between the two figures is the color scheme, and both seem to be widely available (the snow strawberry version doesn’t seem particularly limited). Like all of the figures in the Fraeulein lineup, sculpting work is from Enoki Tomohide (Pumpkin King/eyewater). Images of both figure versions below:
Figure maker Orchid Seed updated their official site today with an entry for their Nekomiya Nono (bathtime ver.) PVC from Hiquo-soft’s eroge Osananajimi to no Kurashikata (literally “how to live with your childhood friend”). The kit is 1/8 scale (11 cm tall) and retails at 6,800 yen in September, with a sculpt from Ranmaru. The kit comes with various bath goods sized to scale (shampoo, conditioner, toys, etc.), and the “foam” is removable; she is however wearing panties underneath. Uncensored images below:
Goodsmile updated its official site today with listings for a Benisu (Venice) PVC from Kimi ga Aruji de Ore ga Shitsuji de, as well as a Nendoroid Pastel Ink action figure from Moetan. Benisu is due out in July at 1/8 scale (22 cm tall) and 6,500 yen, with a sculpt from Otoyama Houjun (Snow Cat), while Pastel Ink is due out in August at 10 cm tall (non-scale), with a sculpt from Nendoron, and including three face options, two arm options, her “magical stick”, two leg options, and a chair. She is also compatible with the vignette stand that comes with the 1/8 scale Pastel Ink due for release from Goodsmile next month. Images of both Benisu and Nendoroid Pastel Ink below:
Figure maker Goodsmile’s official site was updated today with listings for two new Figma action figures from Max Factory: Takamachi Nanoha (Barrier Jacket ver.) from Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, and Kyon (school uniform ver.) from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. Nanoha comes with two faces, two bang configurations, various hand configurations, ball-joint twintails (!) and two Raising Heart settings: Accel mode and Buster mode. She retails in May at 2,800 yen and 13 cm tall (non-scale).
Kyon come with two faces, various hand configurations, “inner” (schoolwear) shoes in addition to the standard leather ones, as well as a “handy video camera”. He’s also due out in May, at 2,500 yen and 15 cm tall (non-scale). Both Nanoha and Kyon come with the standard Figma supporting arm bases. Images below:
News of the Day
Tokyo International Anime Fair Special Report
In figure news from TAF, both the Goodsmile official blog and Akiba Hobby have chimed in with additional reporting on the Figma, fixed-pose PVC, and Nendoroid Miku lineup. Akiba Hobby’s coverage is especially nice for the close-up shots of just about everything in Goodsmile’s booth, including their advertising posters with English translations.
Akiba Hobby also has a bunch of shots of new Shining-series PVCs and Sky Girls PVCs from Eye Scream, an alternate color version of Beagle’s “Mogudan” Kanu Unchou, and more – but perhaps the craziest piece of figure news is that Goodsmile is planning a Nendoroid Plus collaboration with Animate and FREEing to produce a series of 18 Haruhi character “charms” with cosplay themes from the various regions of Japan. At present it seems they may be limited to sale at Animate stores in the corresponding locations of the country, which could prove to be a major headache for collectors… We’ll bring further news on this and other details from the event over the next couple of days.
In anime news, Moon Phase Diary is going nuts with the scoops tonight. There’s way too much there to mention here, but highlights include:
Further TAF coverage can be found at:
Additional Thoughts on WHF Cancellation
A bit of investigation yesterday following the news that World Hobby Festival is ending revealed that S.E. Inc., the company that runs the event, is primarily in the business of analog art supplies. This is an industry that has been hard hit in the past several years as computer applications become increasingly compelling replacements for the traditional use of screen tones, coloring markers, light tables, and other tools of the trade. It seems possible that the industry’s waning fortunes combined with competition from the newly launched Hobby Complex events would be enough to tip the balance against WHF. Here’s hoping the hobby world grows enough to provide a robust base of support for a similar event to return in the future.
Sekirei vol. 6 Released
The sixth volume of the Sekirei manga was released on March 25th, and after reading it over the past two nights I’ve come away quite happy with the way things are progressing. The Wikipedia entry for Sekirei is here, but it’s full of unmarked, massive spoilers and I’d advise against reading it if you want to stay pure for the upcoming anime and hopefully an official English language manga release. My favorite panel from the volume can be found below the fold – not a spoiler, but a bit too nekkid for conspicuous display on the front page.
Today’s ero news continues below:
While not primarily a figure event, a few makers set up shop at this weekend’s Tokyo International Anime Fair, Goodsmile included. The biggest new item announced today at their booth was a Figma Hatsune Miku action figure, from Crypton’s Vocaloid2 virtual idol line; we don’t know anything beyond the photos yet, but from the looks of it we’ve got another crazy hot item on our hands. Moeyo! Akibajin blog has a look as well, which also includes a color shot of Goodsmile’s 1/8 Hatsune Miku PVC that we scooped back at Wonder Festival. We’ll be on the lookout for further details on both figures as well as other figure fallout from TAF. (no more)
Figure maker Alter updated its official page today with entries for Vita and Unison Vita PVC figures from Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. Both are due out in August at 1/7 scale (19 cm tall) and 7,140 yen with a sculpt from Tanaka Toushi, the difference between the two being the color scheme and the Graf Eisen hammer head configurations that come with each. The regular Vita comes with Hammerform, Raketenform, and Zerstörungform, while Unison Vita comes with Hammerform, Raketenform, and Gigantform (name source: Wikipedia). With official listings online preorders should follow shortly. Images below:
News of the Day
We first noted her production back in December, saw her again at Wonder Festival and now here she is: the counterpart to the earlier listed Toyonaka Haruru of ecchi swimming manga Mizuiro Splash, Nishiumeda Asamiya. Like Movic’s Haruru she comes with a removable cloth training jacket, as well as a towel and a pair of goggles; she’s due out in June at 1/7 scale (24 cm tall) and 6,090 yen retail, with a sculpt from Saitou Heel (blog). Pictures below:
Preorder listings went online today for newcomer figure brand First Class‘s second bishoujo PVC project, Shining Force EXA‘s Cyrille (regular ver.) and Cyrille (olive nekomimi ver.). Both versions are due out in June at 6,090 yen and 1/8 scale (26 cm tall, base included) with a sculpt from Mamecchi; the cat ears on the nekomimi version are removable, and the kits are otherwise identical beyond a slight difference in facial expression, so the production of an obviously more feature-poor standard edition is a bit of a puzzle. In other First Class news, a page is up on their official site for their Genjo Sanzo PVC from Saiyuki. He’s due out in May at 6,090 yen (non-scale, 200 cm tall) with a sculpt from BIRTH, comes with a LED base, and is available in advance preorder from Animate in white and denim versions (full preorder coming soon). Cyrille images below:
Word is in from the official World Hobby Festival site today via Dengeki Online that the event’s final iteration will occur on May 5th, 2008 with the holding of WHF Ariake 18 at the Tokyo Big Sight. This is bitter and unexpected news for hobby fans, as with its various events held through Japan multiple times each year WHF has for the past several years been an anchor of hobbyist activity between the Wonder Festivals in August and February, as well as for those unable to attend larger events in Tokyo and Osaka. The reason for WHF’s termination is not given, but my first instinct is to speculate that a combination of resources spread over many small events and the competition provided by the recently inaugurated Hobby Complex events has rendered their continuation financially unfeasible. The final three WHF events will be WHF Nagoya 8 on March 30th, WHF Kobe 28 on April 29th, and WHF Ariake 18 on May 5th. Circle applications for the latter two events are still being solicited, and they’re trying to take things out with a bang rather than a whimper; I know where I’ll be on May 5th, that’s for sure. I’ll post again should any further information on the reasons behind the event closure come to light.
Further information on WHF and reports on past events can be found here:
According to an update to Goodsmile’s official Nendoroid site today, preorders will commence on April 2nd for the Lucky Star Season 2 Petit Nendoroid trading figure set. As with the first set, the figures will be available in advance (mid-June) via the Circle K / Sankus convenience store chain, as well as via its online shop Tokimeki Mall, where a preorder page is already online. The figures measure 6.5 cm tall (non-scale) and are available at 500 yen each or in a box of 12 for 6,000 yen; regular retail sale is scheduled to begin in late June. The set is composed of 10 figures plus one secret; the ten include Kuroi Nanako (teacher and white shirt vers.), Kobayakawa Yutaka (winter uniform and cheerleader vers.), Izumi Konata (winter uniform and maid vers.), Iwasaki Minami (winter uniform and gym uniform vers.), and Tamura Hiyori (winter and summer uniform vers.). The silhouette of the secret hints strongly that it will be a petit version of the event-limited Konata Saber cosplay Nendoroid that was released at Wonder Festival. Images below:
Amiami and other online shops posted listings earlier today for a Shana (regular edition noire ver.) PVC from Shakugan no Shana II, and a Noumi Kudryavka PVC from Little Busters!, both from Cospa adjunct figure brand Resinya!. Shana is due out in July at 1/6 scale (28 cm tall) and comes with with stool, tray, and headphones; her sculpt is from Hiroshi of Sakurazensen and she retails at 7,800 yen. Kudryavka is likewise due out in July at 1/6 scale (22.5 cm tall) and 7,800 yen retail, with a sculpt from Onsen Tengoku (blog); her cape and hat are removable. Both figures are receiving shop-limited releases: an alternate Shana (alice blue ver.) is coming from Amiami, and a Kudryavka (wahoo pose ver.) is coming from GEE! Store. Update: There is a GEE! Store limited Shana (strawberry ver.) in production as well. Images below:
The official site of figure maker Goodsmile was updated today with a page for Max Factory’s Asahina Mikuru (culture festival ver.) PVC from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, and online shops put preorder listings up shortly thereafter. She’s due out in July at 1/8 scale (19 cm tall) at 5,800 yen retail, with a sculpt from Chieri. She comes with detachable cat ear and tail parts included along with a replacement hand and serving tray, and is sized to match Max Factory’s earlier released Tsuruya-san. Image gallery below:
As G.J? usually updates their game sites on Fridays, I was resigned to another week of bleak despair after yesterday passed without an update over at the Majodou official page. It seems they were just a bit behind schedule, though, and pulled through with an update today that consists of both a renewal of the page layout (with a great new splash image on the front page), five new Sample CG images, and the news that the game is officially scheduled for release on May 30th. Nine weeks to wait… doesn’t sound quite so long that way, actually. :3 We’ll be on the lookout for further updates on this Sano Toshihide-designed game over the coming weeks. (no more)
News of the Day
New Eroge On Sale Today
The May edition of Tech Gian came out today, and while I haven’t picked up my copy yet it doesn’t seem we’re in for too many big surprises – Littlewitch is coming out with two new titles, which will no doubt be a big deal in certain quarters despite signs pointing to serious spinoff syndrome; I’ll check the magazine tomorrow in case there’s anything buried within that’s worth digging out and bringing to light.
We finally get caught up with the last few weeks of figure coverage in tonight’s update, which includes a ton of odds and ends pulled from all around the bishoujo figure universe, many of them meant for mature audiences only. We take a closer look at Questioners’ Shiratori Amane, pass by Griffon’s Queen’s Blade Echidna, look at a new “soft parts” figure line from Gigapulse, note some To Heart 2 trading figures from Toys Planning, get a first glimpse of a Kotobukiya’s Nekomiya Nono along with their Bamboo Blade Tama-chan, take in Resinya’s Kudryavka and Shana, speculate as to the castoffability of Daiki’s Seyada Tara, get an uncensored look at the Comic LO trading figures we mentioned the other day, take a censored look beneath the skirts of Griffon’s china dress Ryomou and Kanu, take a closer look at Yamato’s 2008 lineup courtesy of Hobby Channel, and more. There’s something in this update for just about everyone, I dare say!
Scans from the pages of Hobby Japan were once again leaked to 2chan’s hobby board a few days before the magazine’s official release on the 25th. We’ve parsed the information here, providing a glimpse of things to come that includes a new Ramba Ral from Megahouse, a CAPCOMANIAX Melting Neuron Felicia, several Queen’s Blade updates, a Sengoku Rance Suzume from Kotobukiya (oh, the timing), Kyon and Nanoha Figmas, the first in Art Storm’s Yamashita Shunya line, and a whole lot more.
The collaboration of figure maker Volks with eroge soft house Alice Soft ended the first ever vote on a Rance character to be produced in PVC last night at midnight. As of yesterday afternoon “Nazo no Shoujo” from Sengoku Rance was up by the slimmest of margins over Masou Shizuka from Rance VI (11.4% to 11.3%); Noire from Sengoku Rance trailed in third place at around seven percent of the vote. The results are no longer available, having been replaced by a notice reading “results of the voting will be announced after a careful examination of the tallied votes to remove those cast via fraudulent means. Please wait awhile”, so who will emerge the victor is anyone’s guess at this point. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing any of the top three take the prize; my preferred choice Suzume was sadly ranked 10th and seems unlikely to emerge the victor with such strong contenders ahead of her. We’ll keep an eye out for the final results and any further information on the competition. (no more)
The official site for Hong Kong-based figure maker Hobby Figures went online today! Content is available in both Japanese and English, and while it doesn’t present much information that we hadn’t already seen it does have a nice product page up for their Mugen release, as well as information on their Queen’s Blade PVC lineup – apparently the first figure will be Echidna, not Risty as we reported on the 17th, and she’s due out in October of this year. We’ll keep an eye on the page for further updates in the coming weeks and months. Edit: some time in the past few hours the page was edited to say that Risty will in fact be the first figure released in their Queen’s Blade series. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but hopefully this will be the final word on the matter. Edit 2: I just received confirmation from a Hobby Figures staff member that their first Queen’s Blade figure will in fact be Risty (“Listy”) as originally reported, and not Echidna. Looks like the matter can officially be put to rest. (no more)