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Heisei Democracy has moved!

We’re back, and we’ve moved! Check us out a short hop away, back at our old stomping grounds of http://www.heiseidemocracy.net/ . The dot com site will remain as an archive, but dot net’s where it’s at – update your bookmarks accordingly, and see you soon!

HD Goes to AX, Shingo Still MIA

Breaking radio silence inform any and all that may be interested that at least one representative from HD will be present at this year’s AX. If there’s any interest in staging a mini-meetup, leave a comment and we can work something out.

Haruhi Season 2 – For Real – Confirmed – Proof – This Is Not A Drill

After countless false starts and years of crushed dreams, we now have confirmation that the second season of Haruhi is in fact quite real, and that a new, never before seen episode has aired tonight.

Will the new series live up to its predecessor? Will it be enough to make up for the interminable, soul-crushing years of desperate waiting?

At the risk of judging prematurely, and having not seen any portion of the episode myself, I feel comfortable answering with a definitive categorical “YES”.

Shame For Sale!!

In a shameless return to HD for the first time since my last post (a year and a hemisphere ago) I invite all to peruse my eBay listings, wherein I have put up a chunk of my precious doujinshi collection for sale.

Why?

My GF is not as understanding as Danny Choo’s wife is about Japanese nerd stuff, and unlike Kasukabe in Genshiken, she is not prepared to allow my otakudom to extend to dirty comic books and the like. Figures of girls – yes, computer games with girls – okay, doujin with naughty bits in them – not appropriate.

“Creators Cafe” Set to Open in Akihabara

For all the amateur and professional manga creators of the world who are being held back by poor working environments, the Akihabara Seisakujo is here to solve all your problems. Billing itself as a “Creators Cafe”, Seisakujo offers studio desks and various art equipment, including high-quality scanners and PCs equipped with Photoshop, for a modest hourly charge (starting at 500 yen).

New Vocaloid Character Information: Megurine Luka

The latest information regarding the third vocaloid character has been released today. The new character is named “Megurine Luka” (I am working very hard not to call her “Luka Migraine”) and features the voice of Asakawa Yuu, probably best known for her role as Sakaki in Azumanga Daioh. I can’t expect her to become anything resembling the cultural phenomenon that is Hatsune Miku, but I must confess, I absolutely love this design:

Kotobukiya Kannagi Series Vol. 3: Dog Girl Tsugumi

Hobby Channel has a preview up of the latest in Kotobukiya’s Kannagi series. Due out in April of 2009, this one is “Dog Girl” Tsugumi. There’s nothing wrong with the figure itself, although personally I am not the biggest Tsugumi fan, but it’s a bit irritating that Kotobukiya is bringing out these “theme” versions of […]

Oretachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai Countdown Begins

The official Navel site has started a countdown (or rather, a count-up) for the release of their new PC game, Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai ~Under the Innocent Sky

I haven’t heard much buzz about this, but I may just be out of the loop. It does look promising, but I’ve always been a sucker for a girl with feathers on her back. Does anyone have more information than I do?

Podcast Plug: Gainax Invasion

No news or wall-of-text column right now, just a quick plug for a podcast I appeared in, over on wildarmsheero’s inimitable Mistakes of Youth site.

GO HAVE A LISTEN

Topics discussed include, but are not limited to, the time that Antony and I assaulted Gainax headquarters twice in one day. I’ll give that story a proper writeup someday, but in the meantime, here is some oral history of otaku insanity for you.

Queen’s Gate Shiranui Mai combat artbook announced

The Queen’s Gate lineup was augmented yesterday with the announcement both on the series’ official site as well as online shop listings of the coming release of a Shiranui Mai combat artbook! The buxom heroine of the King of Fighters / Fatal Fury game series will be illustrated by Izumi Mahiru, doujin artist and eroge character designer of titles including Light’s R.U.R.U.R. The book will be in the standard Queen’s Blade format (64 pages, hardcover, full color) and is scheduled for release on October 31st. Cover image below:

Gift’s Saber, Saber Lion Nendoroid, Shunya’s Nasuka preorders open

A trio of Goodsmile-distributed figures from disparate makers were “unsealed” for preorder last night at midnight, and listings have since gone up at several shops around the internet. The first is the long-awaited Fate/stay night Saber from rookie Solid Theater splinter brand Gift. Sculpted with baroque intricacy by Toda Satoshi of Yume no Kagutsuchino Koukoku, the first lot release of the figure also comes with a limited edition exchangeable face part sculpted by Kuramoto Ikuma of Millimeter Modeling. The figure is scheduled for release in December at 1/8 scale (18 cm tall) and 7,800 yen retail.

The second newly available figure is this Saber Lion Nendoroid, from the Capcom PSP game Fate/tiger colosseum (sic). The sculpt is from Akemichi, and the figure is scheduled to retail in December at typical Nendoroid spec (10 cm tall, three exchangeable face parts and a variety of foods/weapons to feed the hungry Saber). Retail price is 3,000 yen.

Last but not least, preorders are now open for Lilics’ / Art Storm’s Yamashita Shunya Character Series Vol. 2, Nasuka. She’s also scheduled for December release, clocking in at 1/6 scale and 24 cm tall with a sculpt from PVC newcomer (?) Yamazaki Shigeru. Like Kanaru before her the series continues in a decidedly posterior-centric vein, and also like Kanaru she’s scheduled to retail at 7,800 yen.

Figure images below:

Gigapulse announces Figu@Mate lineup

Ero figure maker Gigapulse updated their official site last night with the news of two new figures (plus variations) currently in production, based on characters from Escu:de‘s 2006 eroge Figu@Mate. The first is the game’s main heroine Endoh Ifrina, who will be coming in five variations of two main sculpts, with release scheduled for December for each. Sculpting duty is from Hormone-Man and the figures are listed as 1/1 scale (consistent with the gimmick of the game’s pint-sized heroines), clocking in at around 12 cm tall. Retail price is 4,988 yen for all but the regular version of the second sculpt, which will retail at 3,780 yen.

The second character to be portrayed in Giga’s Figu@Mate lineup is Kanai Julialous, a 1/7 bust of whom is currently in planning with a sculpt also from Hormone-man. Further details on this release will be made available at the end of August. The currently available photos can be found below:

Daiki Kougyou does Kanu Unchou, Vol. 13-style

Daiki Kougyou updated their official site today with a listing for a new figure of Ikkitousen’s Kanu Unchou, based on the cover illustration of the manga’s 13th volume. The sculpt is from Hagii Shunji (Studio Saru Bunshitsu), and the figure is scheduled to retail in December at 1/6 scale (28 cm tall) and 16,591 yen. The kit is castoffable, coming with both a removable robe (carried in the hand) and skirt, as well as a replaceable un-bandaged chest part. Preorders were open at Daiki’s site but have since been temporarily retracted; international preorder listings are expected to appear shortly. Full gallery below:

Anime version Musubi preorder open

Figure maker Movic presented a preorder listing over the weekend for their latest incarnation of Musubi, heroine of manga and anime Sekirei. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to their first Musubi it took me a bit to determine conclusively that this wasn’t a reissue, but it’s definitely a new sculpt credited to Saitou Heel. She’s scheduled for release in October at 1/7 scale (height unspecified) and 6,300 yen retail, and if precedent holds she’s likely to be castoffable. Currently available images below:

Iinari! Aibure-shon gets the figure treatment

Figure distributor Milestone updated their site yesterday with the first official images online of a Shizukuishi figure from the all-ages public urination (omorashi) fetish manga Iinari! Aibure-shon. Beyond the images details on the figure are scant; we know that what’s depicted is a Milestone limited pink edition, and the regular version will have her in her standard dark blue costume. Information such as the maker, sculptor, price, and release date are still unknown, but based on the other Milestone-limited items available it seems likely to be the work of either First Class or Aoshima. The Milestone post indicates that further information will be made available next week, but for now the images are reproduced below:

Haruhi-chan, Churuya-san anime series announced

Moon Phase Diary updates with the news this evening that according to the October ’08 issue of Shounen Ace (on sale August 25th), two new short-episode anime series are being produced simultaneously for broadcast on the YouTube Kadokawa Channel: “Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuuutsu” (based on the Haruhi spinoff manga by the same name) and “Nyoro~n Churuya-san” (based on the popular doujin 4-panel comic by Eretto). The Moon Phase author speculates that these may be a stopgap measure to placate ravenous hordes of Haruhi fans hungry for solid news of a sequel to the original TV series, but I for one welcome our chibi webcast overlords. I hope they give them voices… We’ll keep an eye out for further news on this over the coming weeks. (no more)

Daiki Kougyou launches hug pillow line

The official site of (heretofore exclusively) figure maker Daiki Kougyou was updated today with a listing for an item that breaks new ground for the company: a Kanu Unchou dakimakura cover from Ikkitousen Great Guardians. The case is scheduled to retail in November at 10,500 yen (case only), is sized 160 x 50 cm and features two original illustrations from animator Miyazawa Tsutomu, printed on suede fabric. According to the listing the case is available exclusively via Daiki’s online shop, so international customers may have to use a proxy. Pillow images below:

Tech Arts omnibus teaser

The various Tech Arts eroge brands got together yesterday and posted an enormous (4721 x 6057 pixel) teaser image including in-progress content from several of their upcoming games. The image is chaotic and not very easy to parse, but from what can be gleaned it seems that there are at least four new games in development from the various brands: a new Mochizuki Nozomu-designed game from MBS Truth (or possibly an OLE spinoff), a new Gunner-L designed game (side-scrolling shooter included) from an OLE, a new Sano Toshihide-designed game from G.J?, and what appears to be a 3D remake of Ane to Boin from Tech Arts 3D. The teaser image is reproduced below:

Volks’ Masou Shizuka, Nanbu Kaguya prototypes unveiled

Those following the saga of the Alice Soft x Volks figure collaboration project over the past several months were rewarded late last night with the posting over at GA Graphic of the first official look at the prototype for the fan-selected #1 popular Rance series character, Masou Shizuka. Preorders for the PVC figure are expected to open on Monday, August 25th, exclusive to Volks’ online shop and brick and mortar locations, so a proxy buy will be necessary for international fans. Release is scheduled for “this winter”, and she retails at 7,140 yen and 1/6 scale (23 cm tall) with a sculpt from Kamio Rintarou (A-Brand).

Also new from Volks is word that the amply-chested Nanbu Kaguya, heroine of Mugen no Frontier: Super Robot Wars OG Saga, is to receive the figure treatment. She’s also scheduled for a winter release, at 7,875 yen and 1/7 scale (28 cm tall), with a sculpt from Chorosuke (A-Brand). Release is once again exclusive to Volks online and terrestrial shops, with preorders opening on August 25th. This combined with her abundant appearance at Comiket 74 mark a meteoric rise to popularity for a character who hit the market just last May, and we can expect to see more from her in the coming months.

Images ganked from GA Graphic below:

Fullmetal Alchemist second TV anime series announced

According to Moon Phase Diary, a second TV series of Fullmetal Alchemist will be announced on the dust jacket of the release of the 20th volume of the FMA manga tomorrow. According to information obtained by Moon Phase it is likely that the series will again be produced by Bones, with Irie Yasuhiro on directorial duty, and the story will continue as a faithful adaptation of events from the manga. The series is scheduled to last a year starting next April, and air at 5:00 PM Sundays on TBS/MBS stations in Japan. Those of us who are FMA fans can look for confirmation and further info to appear in the coming days! (no more)

Tsuruya-san Figma preorder open

Online shop Be-J updated last night with a listing for a Tsuruya-san Figma action figure from Max Factory and Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. She’s scheduled for release in October at 2,500 yen, and stands 15 cm tall (non-scale) with a sculpt produced by Masaki Apsy / Max Factory. The figure comes with the typical array of replaceable expansion parts, including two faces and several hands (Tsuruya’s signature “peace sign” pose included). With preorders unsealed at Be-J they should be appearing elsewhere online over the course of the day. Images below:

Minamoto Chizuru oppai mousepad unveiled

Hobby Stock reported last night that they’re producing an oppai mousepad (contoured bust mousepad) featuring Minamoto Chizuru, heroine of the ecchi romantic comedy anime Kanokon. It’s scheduled to retail in October at 3,675 yen and 22 x 25 cm in size, and is limited to release from Hobby Stock, Amazon.co.jp, and Toranoana. No international hobby shops are listed carrying it at present, so a proxy service may be necessary to buy. Mousepad image below:

Alter announces Odin Sphere’s Gwendolyn, Saber reissue

Figure maker Alter updated their official site today with listings for their December ’08 release schedule, including one brand new figure and a reissue of a popular earlier release. First up is a fantastic PVC sculpt of Gwendolyn from PS2 RPG Odin Sphere. She’s scheduled for release at 8,190 yen retail and 1/8 scale (35 cm tall, base included), with Fukumoto Tokuhou on sculpting duty. Next in their December lineup is a reissue of the popular Saber (maid version) PVC originally released last September (HD review). The reissue will retail for 8,190 yen, with the sculpt as before from Kuramoto Ikuma of Millimeter Modeling. With official listings up at Alter preorders should shortly follow. Images below:

Urushihara Satoshi’s “Comiket Girl” preorder open

Preorders began the other day for an original Urushihara Satoshi-designed PVC figure dubbed Comiket Girl. She’s scheduled for release in late October from character goods maker Exhaust, and clocks in at 20 cm tall (scale unspecified) with a sculpt from Tsuchida Kouzen and distribution by Movic. She’ll retail at 6,090 yen, and is confirmed to be castoffable (full extent unknown). The sole image currently available can be found below:

Taki’s Minamoto Chizuru preorder open

Preorders are now open for a new Minamoto Chizuru PVC figure from Kanokon and Taki Corporation. She’s scheduled for release in November at 1/8 scale (height unspecified) and 5,229 yen, with the sculptor currently uncredited. The figure has been confirmed as a full castoff, though uncensored images are not yet available; the sole image from the official listing can be found below:

Kotobukiya’s Shining Wind Ryuuna, other reissues

Preorders opened on Monday for Kotobukiya’s Ryuuna from Shining Wind. She’s scheduled for release in December at 6,090 yen retail and 1/8 scale (20 cm tall), with a sculpt credited to “MIC, Inc.”; the sculptor’s actual identity is unknown. In other Kotobukiya news, preorders opened yesterday for November reissues of their Kirijou Mitsuru figure from Persona 3 and their Louise figure from Zero no Tsukaima. Ryuuna images below:

Clayz’s Tama-nee, Sasara preorders open

A pair of figures from Clayz that we first saw announced at Hobby Channel several months ago finally hit the preorder circuit yesterday: their Kousaka Tamaki and Kusugawa Sasara (school uniform versions) from To Heart 2. Both are sculpted by Miyakawa Takeshi (T’s System) and both are scheduled to retail in October at 1/6 scale (height unspecified) and 6,090 yen. Neither figure is known to be castoffable. Images of both can be found below:

Catching Up: Dakimakura

The process of filling in the gaps from the past two months has to start somewhere, and there could be much worse places to start than the esoteric world of the hug pillow. In addition to standard retail releases this summer’s Comiket once again brought a bumper crop of doujin works to the field, so many that it would be impossible to cover them all here – so I’ll content myself with hitting a few of the more awesome highlights:

Goodsmile presents Unity Yuuno

The official site of figure maker Goodsmile was updated today with a product entry for Unity Yuuno, the heroine of Unisonshift’s June ’08 Unity Marriage eroge. She clocks in at 1/8 scale (19 cm tall) and 6,800 yen, with release scheduled for December. The sculpt is from Tokunaga Hironori, and the figure is confirmed as an upper castoff. Images reproduced from the official site are available below: