First Day in Japan – No Figures (Yet)

May 31, 2009

Just got back from a short day in Akihabara, and about to pass out due to jet lag. Will power through this, although this post might end with a jumble of letters if I fall asleep on my keyboard.

Took off from Philadelphia International Airport early in the morning, arrived at Detroit Int’l, and then boarded my Northwest Airlines flight to Tokyo – Narita Airport. Spent most of the flight playing Resistance: Retribution on my PSP, and then watching the new episodes of K-ON! and Eden of the East on my laptop, and then sat cursing the heavens as they both ran out of batteries while I was still three hours away from Tokyo.

I finally touched down, went through customs, and picked up my luggage. Then I went to purchase a train ticket to make my way into Akihabara, where my hotel was.

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Volks Holo and Other Updates

May 28, 2009

Volks is coming out with their own 1/6 scale Holo, from the manga and anime Spice and Wolf. I reviewed the 1/8 GSC Holo earlier, and I also own the Kotobukiya Holo as well. But this actually looks pretty good as well. I love the mischievous face she has in this figure. This Holo will go up for pre-order on June 25th on the Volks Web Site Store. I sure hope that HobbySearch will start taking pre-orders as well.

A few updates: I’ve been playing inFamous for the PlayStation 3 as of late, which is why I’ve been sort of neglecting this blog. The game is an excellent PS3 exclusive, and although not a graphical showcase for the console like Killzone 2 is or the massive franchise power of Metal Gear Solid 4, it is still a worthwhile play if you own a PS3 and enjoy games such as Grand Theft Auto 4. I would say that the game bears the most resemblance to Crackdown, which was a XB360 exclusive.

Also, I will be in Japan next week. It will be my first time in this nation. My first two days will be spent purely in Akihabara with a bunch of empty suitcases, and seeing how much of my wallet I can obliterate. The rest of the week will be spent sightseeing in other less-otaku locations, and visiting an onsen. Pray for my bank account! I will be posting plenty of pictures as well.

On a more serious note though, after the week in the land of the Rising Sun, I will be spending a month in the Middle Kingdom (China), but not for vacation, as I will be undergoing a highly experimental surgery there. I will update on this later. In the meantime, some more naughty and devilish Holo.

Sweet pea, apple of my eye…

Via Volks

Haruhi-sama’s Second Coming

May 21, 2009

A new episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya just aired and is titled “Sasa no Ha Rhapsody” (“Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody”), which is the title of a chapter in Volume 3 The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya of the light novels, which is SPOILERS: about Kyon traveling through time, meeting a younger Haruhi, and helping her draw the infamous symbols on the school grounds.

Feast your eyes on the new ED. The song didn’t immediately latch onto my brain like Hare Hare Yukai did, but I’m sure it will grow on me.

Younger, long-haired Haruhi figure please?

Excuse me while I go change my pants

via Anime News Network and 2chan

FREEing Zange-chan and Kagamin

May 19, 2009

These lovely ladies just went up for pre-order. Both figures are being produced by FREEing, who also made the Nagi-sama I reviewed earlier. Nagi-sama and Zange-chan here are from the manga/anime Kannagi, and while I complained in the FREEing Nagi-sama review that really no figure-maker has gotten Nagi’s face right, the Zange-chan here is pretty spot on.

Pretty spot-on here.

Kagami Hiiragi here is from the 4koma turned anime Lucky Star. The figure is made at a huge 1/4 scale, to go with Konata which should be arriving next month. Tsukasa has been announced but not listed for pre-orders yet, while Miyuki and any other potential Lucky Star girls (Yutaka, please?) have not been announced yet.

I am definitely getting my grubby mitts on Zange-chan to go with my Nagi, but the FREEing 1/4 Lucky Star girls are a hard sell for me purely due to their size. Its the reason why I didn’t get their 1/4 scale Haruhi bunny girls, because I just didn’t have room.

Images via HobbySearch
Tsukasa + Kagami preview photo via Asanon

Alpha-Omega 1/8 Villetta Nu Ministry of Swimming Café Ver.

May 15, 2009

Here is Alpha-Omega’s rendition of Villetta Nu from the anime Code Geass in her swimwear, from Episode 5 of R2, the second season. She was somehow roped in by Shirley to dress in swimwear for the Swim Club’s cafe at the school festival. Villetta is another addition to Alpha-Omega’s Code Geass harem, already including Kallen, Shirley, and C.C. She rounds out the MILF category here very well, as she does become pregnant with that lucky bastard Ougi’s child through the course of R2. Luckily for us though, this figure is of Villetta from before pregnancy, so we get to feast our eyes on her lovely physique.

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Jun Planning Files for Bankruptcy

May 13, 2009

Looks like figure-maker Jun Planning has called it quits after suspending Japanese operations and shutting down U.S. operations in an attempt to reorganize last month. Now they are filing for bankruptcy after accumulating a 3.2 billion yen debt. The company’s most recently released figures include femme fatale Revy from Black Lagoon.

As well as bust revolutionary elf Tiffania from Zero no Tsukaima.

As of right now, even their website is down. Although I don’t think I own a single Jun Planning figure, and it doesn’t seem like they are on the caliber of an Alter or GSC from their catalogue, it is not a good omen for the rest of the figure industry. The chief reason for their financial collapse was stated as slumping consumer spending, most likely due to the worsened global economic condition. Even hardcore otaku are finding it harder and harder to justify spending their money on plastic three dimensional renditions of their favorite anime characters.

I really hope Jun Planning is an exceptional case, and that other figure-makers don’t follow suit. I’d like to think that more major companies like Alter and Max Factory are keeping their finances in line in this recession, as I really doubt that the Japanese government will see fit to bail out to the figure industry if the situation ever arises for that, although we should never underestimate the power of the otaku.

Via Anime News Network.

GSC 1/8 Holo

May 11, 2009

Coinciding with the release of the Spice and Wolf OVA that is preceding the broadcasting of the second season, Good Smile Company has released their version of the Wise Wolf Holo in her human form (wearing clothes unfortunately, not in her birthday suit as so depicted in the OVA). Made in 1/8 scale, this version of Holo comes with plenty of options in regards to her attire and various accessories. The OVA itself is pretty funny also, and shows a very moe side of Holo acting very tsundere towards Lawrence. The tail wagging also gets me every time.

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