Dec 112015

Tokisaki Kurumi logoOk, enough technology and storage stuff already, time for more Anime nonsense! Soon I will seriously need to call myself a figure collector if this keeps going on. So here’s a new one, Miss Tokisaki Kurumi from the Harem Anime [Date A Live]. While I was growing increasingly bored with the formulaic nature of such shows (it’s always a flock of girls swarming around a male center character and falling for him in the end after all), they’re usually fun enough to watch now and then. The same is pretty much true for Date A Live – if it wasn’t for the psychotic, strong-willed Kurumi, which always follows her own agenda and never actually falls for our stereotypical male center character. Not even in the very end of the series.

I kind of liked that, because I never encountered such a character in such a type of Anime before – intelligent, highly manipulative, psychotic and insane, and definitely superior to the center character in almost every sense, be it willpower, intellect or raw force. Nice breeze of change. Also, when she shows up, the series changes from sugary sweetness to a literal bloody mess, which was quite intense! In essence – she makes the series.

Tokisaki Kurumi banner

[1] An interpretation of Kurumi – the clock dial in her eye shows her remaining life time. It can be rewound though – at the price of life force of those surrounding her, potentially all the way to their demise.

Besides all the slightly lewd subplots, the rest of the Anime is basically supernatural action with lots of nonsensical battles and destruction, where our male character – Itsuka Shidō – “disables” newly arrived “spirits” (=the girls) by sealing their highly dangerous and uncontrollable powers so that they can’t cause their accidental spatial anomalies anymore. Those could otherwise annihilate entire cities or even countries. He seals those powers via romancing/kissing them. Sometimes mid-battle. Yeah, it’s about as stupid as it sounds, at least until Kurumi hits the stage and blood starts spilling.

In any case, I’ve been thinking about getting the [AlphaMax] 1/7 scale figure of her for some time, but it’s expensive and I wasn’t quite sure whether I should get her. Did she impress me enough for that? But now, months after watching the show, I’ve still been eyeballing the figure, so yeah.

Recently, I saw something called the [clear dress] version on eBay, which is a 130pcs limited edition made for the [Wonder Festival 2015] only. Not knowing about its existence prior to that, I asked whether this was the “AlphaMax preorder limited” edition I had recently learned about. Well, it wasn’t, but to my great surprise the Japanese seller – a guy who specializes in rare items – looked for and managed to find one for me after my inquiry, here it is:

Tokisaki Kurumi box

Sculpted by MOON for AlphaMax – from the outside it looks just like the regular version – for a moment I thought I was duped… but nah, it’s the exclusive limited edition alright!

Now this limited version doesn’t feature the weird clear dress which creates that contrast between upper and lower part of her garments that I don’t like – also, it doesn’t have the golden guns as bonus parts. I don’t really like them that much either. Instead you get a different version of the clockwork base plate, which is rather iconic for Kurumi and really makes the whole figure much more flashy!

So, the normal base plate looks like this:

The normal clockwork base plate

[2] The regular version comes with this stand.

The clockwork can also be seen appearing in the series whenever Kurumi unleashes her time manipulation powers, so this is really fitting. However, the one I got with this 200-pieces limited edition – which was exclusively sold only by the manufacturer AlphaMax on their own webshop and only within Japan – is this one:

Tokisaki Kurumi golden/metallic base plate

The metallic/golden base plate of the AlphaMax preorder limited edition, I should’ve probably hidden the paper support better, but meh…

So as you can see, that’s quite the eye-catcher! It’s still made of cheap plastic, but the metallic finish makes it reflect light in really nice ways when illuminated. The next part are her guns, a vintage pistol and rifle:

Tokisaki Kurumis weapons

Those guns can shoot normal bullets just fine – but when infused with Kurumis supernatural powers they can do a lot more damage.

Ok, time for showing her off in her full glory, gothic lolita “battle dress” and all:

Her garments do look awesome alright. The whole dynamic feeling comes across really well in her pose, with the dress flowing around like that. And it’s hard to beat a red/orange+black gothic lolita dress in the first place. ;) Let’s get a bit closer, so you can see some of the details better:

Tokisaki Kurumi gothloli front

Her ribbon’s well done as well. The chains could’ve looked better with some more love to detail, but they’re still ok.

And the back:

Tokisaki Kurumis' back

The laces across her otherwise exposed back and the black apron flowing with her implied movement all look awesome. The sculpting is perfect here, just look at the shoulder blades!

And more gunnery:

And now to her face, which is important because of the clock dial eye:

One interesting part is the actual scale; that 1/7 Kurumi should be quite a bit larger than the [1/8 Ho-kago Tea Time figures] made by Alter. The dimensions are almost the same however, with Kurumis’ features being only insignificantly larger. Given that Wave/Dreamtechs 1/8 Elfen Lied scale figures are smaller than Ho-kago Tea Time, this may indicate that Alter is slightly oversizing their figures? Or is it just that nobody’s staying 100% true to the scale factor to begin with?!

Ah, in any case, time to move in:

Tokisaki Kurumi in her new home

She’s living here now. Just give her a wide berth if you’re feeling unlucky today. ;)

Besides the [supersized Kirino], which simply can’t be beaten in how she dominates the whole cabinet due to sheer size (and by being awesome), Kurumi is definitely the most flashy figure I own now. The gothloli dress and her very dynamic pose alone make sure of that, but the limited editions’ golden base plate really uplifts the whole figure to a different level. An eyecatcher and a beauty to look at!

I’d almost feel sad for the other girls from the show for not even considering them for a second, but sorry; you simply can’t even hold a candle to Kurumi! 8-)

Let’s hope I’ll stop buying more for some while. There are two more scales and at least one Nendoroid on my wishlist, but I’ll have to think about the space issues here. That cabinet may be full height, but it’s starting to get a bit crowded in there… ;) At least the Nendoroids don’t need to stand in the cabinet. The two I own for now – I haven’t posted them here yet, [Miyauchi Renge] from Non Non Biyori and [Nee-san] from Plastic Nee-san – are happily standing around elsewhere.

Ah well, we’ll see, we’ll see…

Tokisaki Kurumi's insane

Kurumi says bye bye to you!

[1] The original creator of this image is unknown to me. If you are the creator and wish to object to the publication of this image here, please post in the comment section!

[2] Original image is © 2014 橘公司・つなこ/KADOKAWA 富士見書房刊/「デート・ア・ライブⅡ」製作委員会, published by AlphaMax.

Oct 302015

Kirino Kousaka logoOk ok ok, what I actually wanted to do was to post something about technology again after last time, which was a bit massively out-of-context for this weblog, but truth is: I just don’t really have anything. :( And as my Anime craze is getting worse and worse (only by terms of money spent at least, or so I hope), let’s let this here post stand before you as a warning and as a testament to how things can go terribly, terribly wrong real fast! Once you enter the slippery slope you’re pretty much done for, if you’re not particularly strong-willed. And sane. And if you don’t stick to the [rules].

Ok, so there are a lot of series I really like, K-On! being one of them, which is why [I got the Alter figures] of the whole gang in the first place.

Another one that really burned itself into my mind was [Oreimo]. I originally started watching this because it had a theme that was new for me, as it was about a girl named Kirino Kousaka who happened to secretly be a closet Otaku, while instrumentalizing her brother to acquire partially barely legal Anime and visual novel material for her. Or giving her “life advice”. Basically, she’s living two lives in parallel: A normal, or rather high-class one even in public, and a very nerdy one in private. Plus, Oreimo promised to have a lot of typical slice-of-life humor any maybe some very mild harem notes thrown into the mix.

Or so.

Seriously, I did not KNOW when I started watching this. And that’s how I slipped into what’s actually a Siscon Anime for the first time, or to explain properly to those still pure of heart: Into an Anime about a romantic relationship between siblings. Now whether you like or hate that kind of “forbidden love” thing, Oreimo does it more through subliminal tension between the characters than wide-open. Unless the very end, which 99% of viewers disliked anyway (I shall not comment on this). There is also NO erotic content in this title whatsoever. No [Ecchi] or anything worse than that.

Still, I found the whole theme quite… shall we call it “fascinating”.

If only I would’ve never been shown that figure, it might have actually missed it and everything would still be fine! But nooo, It just had to happen, and when I saw it, I immediately knew I had to have it, no matter what. It was Kirino after all, and it was completely insane as well. Let’s give you a little teaser, and as always, click to enlarge:

Kirino Kousaka Teaser

That old öS 10.- coin is roughly 25.5mm or in other words barely over an inch wide… Getting an idea about the issue at hand already?

Ah yes, my apologies for the stamps by the way. I don’t usually stamp pictures I post here, because the license is clear anyway. But I forgot this time, and I’m too lazy to process the originals again, so sorry for that.

Ok, now let me explain something here quickly: You can be figure faggot. That’s weird, ok. People will probably look at you strangely, especially if you own a little bit too many of them. But you can still be a figfag within reason.

Within reason!

There are several types of figures. The classic and most common one is probably the 1/8 scale figure. Those stand around 15cm or 6″ tall in most cases, so they’re rather small and…  uhm, easy to hide I guess. :roll: Depending on quality and accessoires, they might set you back something in between 40-110€ when new. Then, far more rarely you’d find 1/7 scale figures. Those can stand 20-25cm or around 8″-10″ tall and are much more expensive, sums in between 150-200€ can be expected, sometimes more. Those are still relatively normal however.

Well, and then there is…  stuff. Things you just don’t buy. Ever. Because people will simply lose all respect they may have had for you if you do. Things like the 1/2.5 scale Kirino Kousaka. 1/2.5. Bah, let’s just get this over with, so much for guilty pleasures:

Uhm. Yeah. I guess that whoever might’ve still been reading this weblog will have ran away pretty much now. ;) When I first unpacked her, and (already shivering) stuck her onto that pretty nice wooden baseplate to see her stand on my table in all glory… I mean…  It’s… Seriously… Let’s just say, in that moment I truly grasped what it means to have just gone too far with all of this. Like really too far! I did burst into laughter though, after maybe a minute of disbelief, shock and silence. ;)

To say it in numbers: Kirino Kousaka stands about 66cm tall without and roughly 68cm with the baseplate, that’s about 26.8″. Also, the model weighs a hefty 6 kilograms, so you need to be careful when lifting her as a whole. Also, those 6 kilograms of PVC do dispense a lot of nasty smell/gas as well, not sure how healthy that can be. So please don’t lick her, she’s probably toxic, ok? :roll:

In any case, she was made by [Griffon Enterprises], which was one thing I was really worried about, because I had zero experience with the company, and they have a seriously bad reputation amongst fans for two main reasons; First, their quality fluctuates massively, depending on what sculptor/group of theirs is doing which figure. And on top of that they’re well known for showing off beautifully perfect prototypes only to deliver complete shit as an – overpriced, mind you – end product. Ah, and actually, there’s a third, because sometimes they also mess up the painting or scratch the figure somewhere after production, maybe during the packaging process.

Also, Griffon does out-of-canon figures (can you say it like that in English?), and this is one of them. I don’t usually like it when they take regular characters and put them into swimsuits for no good reason for instance. Here it’s diverting in a different way, as they’ve added a tail and cat ears. Now somehow I still totally love this Kirino of theirs to no end, I just can’t help it… But they could’ve made the ears and maybe the tail removable, that would’ve been nice. In any case, it was sculpted by some guys called “TEAM GENESIS”, and they’re supposed to be pretty much amongst the best Griffon has to offer, and it shows:

They did mess up the paint though, so it is not perfect! If you look at the string coming off, you can see it’s pretty much pink in color, and it runs very close alongside her left leg. While some parts like the tail were covered in individual protective plastic bags, the string was not. It seems the figure was packaged or handled in a rushed fashion, and some of that pink paint got onto her leg, giving her pink spots all over. She also has some slight blackish marks here and there on the legs.

Now if you get a figure with deficiencies like those, you can fix them by yourself in some cases, other than what most people seem to believe! As you can see, there are no marks left on those pictures above, right? All you need is a soft sponge and some water, then rub the affected areas very carefully. You really need to use a soft one, otherwise you will scratch the PVC, which has already been softened by plasticizers. And don’t overdo it, or the leg color itself might start coming off. Work slowly and carefully, and it’s gonna look perfect, just like you can see up there. The whole thing’s worth some minus points, but at least it’s fixable.

Ok, time for some action:

Kirino Kousaka and Ritsu Tainaka

Go Ritsu!!!1

I just had to snap that picture. ;) For an 1/8 model, Ritsu Tainaka is actually pretty large because of here extensive baseplate which needs to hold not only her, but also her signature drum kit. It’s probably one of the wider 1/8 sets out there. And still, she can almost play right in between Kirino’s lower legs. ;)

Now where do you put a figure this excessive? It’s not like you can fit one this large into any regular display case. Luckily, my cabinet can just barely hold her when removing one of the glass floors. I was a bit worried about that because the specifications talk about 70cm rather than 68cm, but in the end, she fits in quite well:

Kirino Kousaka in the cabinet

Her display spot

Oh and… ah yes… There is one more detail I’d really rather not talk about, but since it’s funny as well… There are actually two versions of this breathtakingly large figure of Kirino Kousaka. After about a year of delays with the official final release being tomorrow actually, the normal one (I mean, heh, “normal”, nothing’s normal here anymore!!) was supposed to come out first, and after that the… uhm… “Soft Bust” version. Yeah, it really means what it sounds like, sigh…

In any case, and let me make this perfectly clear here, I DID NOT order the Soft Bust version! :roll: Instead I ordered the normal one at [SolarisJapan], partly because I feared Griffon would mess something up terribly with that soft material. Also because it’d look really, really bad to do something like that! ;)

They failed to deliver the normal one though, as it seems the number of units was just too small and all were gone through preorders already. They were able to offer me the Soft Bust version for the same price as a replacement however, and even waived the higher delivery fees resulting from the manufacturer misdeclaring the units’ true weight (Good work deceiving people there, Griffon, haven’t heard that one before).

SolarisJapan is a nice shop by the way, they even have English and German speaking support staff, those guys really hired native speakers for that! So, after sleeping over it for one night I decided to accept their offer before I miss out on her entirely and have to buy for completely insane prices on the aftermarket. I mean, this figure costs around 350-400€ new without custom fees or shipping costs, and that ain’t cheap, but not expensive either, considering what you’re getting. The aftermarket is already asking 700-800€ for the regular one right now, profiting out of the low volume. Well, whatever.

I am still not exactly sure what the hell they did to the plastic, but it seems like they poured in a ton of plasticizer to make her boobs soft. What actually happened is that her entire upper torso and shoulders are a bit soft to the touch, much more so than the rest of the figure, which feels normal for PVC treated with plasticizer. Also, that part of the material attracts dust and dirt more easily, and cleaning it is not as straightforward, as compressed air doesn’t work there. You really have to wipe. :roll: I just hope it won’t change color or shape (yeah, shape ;) ) over time.

In any case, since I do now own the Soft Bust version after all, I guess there’s simply no way I can get around this, eh? So there you have it: ;)

Kirino Kousaka Soft Bust

Words can’t possibly express how wrong this is… But I’ll admit, I did giggle quite a lot. ;)

Talk about losing whatever rest was left of my self-control. As the man who tricked me into this whole thing said it after seeing the pictures (freely translated into English):

“Less well-educated people might presume here, that some things may have went a little bit out of control.”
A terrible Person, who hasn’t even posted his new figures on his own blog after luring me into this whole Anime hell, way to go MacFly!!1 :roll: