Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hail to the New Clesta Doujin, Same As the Old Clesta Doujin

Circle's Niigata Comic Market offering somehow familiar...

Previewed back in late October on his website, doujin artist Cle Masahiro has unleashed his latest Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere parody with last weekend's debut of CL-orz 25 at Gattaketto.  This makes three Horizon parodies in a row and six of the last seven published by the circle.  While Clesta has done multiple parodies of the same series previously, they have no previous history of such singular fixation. 


The book is up for sale now at Toranoana.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Horned Girl Causes Some Horned Figure Collectors

Daiki Kougyo's PANDRA figure candidate for chest of the year

About a month has passed since the release of The Horned Girl Yuniko, a 1/6 scale figure by Daiki Kougyo  of Yuniko Wingedhorse from ero-mangaka Erect Sawaru' s PANDRA White Desire / Black Hope.  I am both attracted to and repulsed by Sawaru's work; his artistic abilities cannot be denied, but his subject matter is relentlessly grotesque and degrading to his heroines and his male figures are maleficent in spirit and revolting in form.

That being said, Jesus Tapdancing Christ look at this figure:


I know exactly nothing about PANDRA or Miss Wingedhorse, and am not inclined to acquaint myself with her or the work she's featured in, but this figure takes me back to my early collecting days when I would acquire any figures I found enticing, regardless of the character, the artist, the personality, the design, or the original work.  The original artwork:

Thanks to sankakucomplex.com for the image.

I wholeheartedly endorse the switch to shimapan from the original, and very tight shimapan at that, and I am completely taken with the figure's treatment of Yuniko's oversized bust and splendid areolae.  Her adorable embarrassed facial expression and the gorgeous coloration thereon is simply superior.  I do wish the sculptor would have positioned the right arm a little differently to further express the heft of her breast and better explain the differing directions of her nipples, but that's making a molehill out of some rather outstanding mountains.  While I am usually of the DFC persuasion, I would easily include Yuniko's chest as a top-five figure chest of 2012.  Thanks to amiami.com for all of the figure images.













Maruarai Doubles Down on iM@S: Cinderella Girls' Jougasaki

Texture-loving old school holdouts Maruarai have gone back-to-back with iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls' Mika Jougasaki, as shown by their book released at last weekend's Niigata Comic Market doujinshi expo:


No word from the circle yet on what their C83 offering might be. 





Comic Market 83: Popochichi / ぽぽちち / Yahiro Pochi

In the weeks following Sunshine Creation 57, doujinshi circle Popochichi found themselves on Toranoana's Top Ten sales lists for multiple weeks with their Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai! parody book, Chūnibyō Demo H ga Shitai!, a pleasing if somewhat typical vanilla Yūta x Rikka first-timers' coupling:
Thanks to toranoana.jp for the image
As found on Toranoana's Comic Market 83 preview listings, it looks like circle artist Yahiro Pochi will be adding a dash of Shinka Nibutani will be added to the mix for the circle's Day Three book:   

Thanks again to toranoana.jp for the image
I rather enjoy the puni-puni quality that Pochi lends to his girls, and there's been considerable progress in the quality of the artwork after some troubles with inaccurate poses and perspectives in earlier books.  The doujin is available for pre-order now.

Update 12/28/12 10:06 a.m.:

In addition to the circle's ero book, lead artist Yahiro Pochi announced a collaboration with dakimakura maker Bungabunga to produce a special pillow cover for sale at Comiket 83, using a very adventurous and very trusting original character design, it seems:


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Comic Market 83: Shoujo Kishidan / 少女騎士団 / Oyari Ashito

King of the waifs sticking with favorite steeds in the 765 Production stable.

Erotic stick-figure artist extraordinaire Oyari Ashito has offered an ero-doujinshi featuring at least one of the comely lasses of THE iDOLM@STER at eight of the last ten Comic Markets, including three 30+ paged books exclusively featuring Yukiho Hagiwara and Iori Minase, followed by his In the Harem trifecta that allowed each of the 14 girls their own cosplay-bedecked vignette.  Ashito is nothing if not loyal, it seems, because it looks like his circle, Shoujo Kishidan, will eschew the bevy of other candidates that have come and gone in the cours since their last non-iDOL lead (August 2011's Luricomplex featuring OreImo's Kuroneko) and stick with Miss Hagiwara at center stage for her fourth feature book:


Who knows if this is the final concept for the new book's cover, but if it is, it's far and away the most explicit cover the circle has produced and certainly an attention-grabber. 

Lest there be any argument between his favorite leading ladies, however, Ashito also has posted new artwork of Iori Minase on his website:


Between my inability to read Japanese and the janky nature of Google Translations, I can't reliably determine if the image will be turned into a blanket or a towel or if it's just for fun, but at the least he knows to placate his divas with bold opportunities to bask in the spotlight.

Update 1:  5:20 p.m. 12/13/12

We've been given more product preview information from erotic stick figure artist Oyari Ashito for the upcoming Winter Comiket.  Shoujo Kishidan previously displayed their intentions to feature iDOLM@STER darling Yukiho Hagiwara in their latest book, and do...something or other with their other iM@S fave Iori Minase.  While the book cover is still under wraps, we now know that Ashito has decided to go the dakimakura route with Miss Minase:


The art looks lovely enough--not sure I've seen a more attractive set of knees in my day, that's for sure--but I have to say the pose on the right side is very nearly dreadful.  There is no earthly way that the upper half of Minase's torso could twist this way while maintaining a completely straight lower half--Ashito is usually much better than this with his proportions and anatomy.  Speaking of anatomy, Minase's vulva being completely on display from the rear view with the complete absence of buttocks seems like a further betrayal of human proportions.  Quite simply, I should not mistake a female character's labia majora for testicles.  Fortunately, the face on the right side is beyond fetching:



In addition to the book and dakimakura, the circle announced they'll be doing a new set of the clear files of the iM@S girls sold at Comic Market 82, redeploying images from the In The Harem doujinshi series from Comikets 81 and 82:
















 













Update 2: 9:56 a.m. 12/19/12

My favorite baseball player of my lifetime is Tim Wakefield, who enjoyed a 19-year MLB career as a knuckleball pitcher.  He was always ready to take his turn on the mound, could be called upon at any time to do his job from the rotation or the bullpen when needed, and while never truly dominant, was able to enjoy reasonable success with his fluttering specialty.  Part of the delight of watching Wakefield pitch, especially during his earlier years, was the rare occasion where he would Carbonite a batter in place by dropping to a 3/4-arm slot and throwing a laser-straight 74-mile-an-hour fastball for a strike, to mix things up when he felt the opposition was getting perhaps too comfortable with his usual fare.  He might only do so once or twice a game, or might not do so for a few starts at a time, and the pitch was telegraphed by the deviation from his usual pitching motion, but despite all of this it was an exceptionally rare occasion where the fastball didn't find the catcher's mitt (please note, this is all from my memory, baseball encyclopedists need not take the time of correcting me).

Chief Executive of Waif Development Oyari Ashito buckled the knees of his fanbase on his website earlier today by displaying a surprise second doujinshi to be debuted at Comic Market 83; in addition to finalized artwork of his previously announced Yukiho Hagiwara-focused Love Complex and an Iori Minase dakimakura, Ashito revealed we'll also be getting an Accel World parody doujinshi featuring...

















Yuniko Kozuki?  

Bravo to Ashito for not only dropping this surprise on us, but also for not taking the obvious Kuroyukihime route from Accel World, which would likely have been very similar to his previous non-iM@S books featuring OreImo's Kuroneko.

In addition to the two books, the dakimakura, and a redux of the clear file set of iM@S girls from C82, Ashito also will be offering a bookmark to be paired with each of his books, featuring his leading ladies:



Update 3: 10:02 am 12/20/12

Ashito's website shows a revised version of Sister*Sisters; same artwork, new background:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tony Taka is 120 Percent Man

Full-color A4 K-ON! meister circle takes on Shining Blade's Sakuya

She can bat me around any day.  Thanks to Toranoana for the image.

I have no idea how long it's been known for, or if it's been previously discussed elsewhere, but there is good news to be found on Toranoana for 綿120パーセント / Men 120 Percent and Shining series fans alike.  The ecchi doujinshi circle helmed by Menyoujan, who achieved notoriety for their previous works featuring the girls of K-ON!, will be releasing this doujinshi featuring Shining Blade's Sakuya.  Toranoana lists the issue date as 11/25, with sales starting on 12/10, and it looks like pre-orders are underway.  No word if the circle will be featuring the same book at Comic Market 83, as they continue to defy conventional wisdom by not having a proprietary web presence.  Contact your proxy buyer today!

Karory x Yuka Nakajima = win, thanks to Toranoana for the image.
Personally, I love to see ecchi doujinshi artists take on the works of other high-profile artists, especially when the original work being parodied is a non-ecchi one, such as Karory's take on the girls that Digital Lover artist Yuka Nakajima penned for the light novel and anime series Papa no Iu Koto wo Kikinasai! in the ecchi doujin Karorful Mix EX7.

 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Too Late to Tosh This One Out and Try Again?

As I'm certain I've mentioned before, I find that one of the most entertaining parts of being an English-only fan of Japanese anime culture figures and doujinshi is the discovery of new creations and creators beyond the ones I'm already familiar with.  After being introduced to Nise MIDI Doronokai's chart-dominating To Love-Ru parody YUMMY!! on Akiba Blog, I pursued as much of the circle's work I could find, and, after satisfying that itch, I naturally hoped to find artists with a similar style.

I was introduced to Tosh by Peter Payne's fantastic e-mail updates for J-List (essential reading for anyone looking to stay in touch with Japanese visual culture from a literate fan's perspective), when in his product updates, he featured Harem Time, by Tosh.  While I generally try to buy Japanese books using the code, "Buy the contents, not the cover," I knew that no matter what lay behind this particular one, I had to have this book.  The voluptuousness of the drawing, the saturated colors, the facial proportions, all were so evocative of Ishikei's characters that I knew I would not be dissatisfied.

Harem Time?  We're gonna need more cake...Image courtesy of doujinshi.mugimugi.com

Truly, the only disappointment in learning more about Tosh is that he is not particularly prolific--aside from some work with the apparently dormant doujinshi circle Hikakuteki Simple na Panty, which did a series of Seto no Hanayome parody doujins, it seems most of Tosh's work is contained in single chapters in Wani Magazine.  The only good news, really, was that Harem Time was Tosh's second compilation tankoubon, preceded one year prior by Menkui!

Menkui! cover girl Ichijo Manami has a drinking problem.  Image from doujinshi.mugimugi.com

To my excitement, at last year's Summer Wonder Festival, Orchid Seed displayed a maquette of the cover girl of Ichijo Manami, the cover girl of Menkui!, and had been trotting out the figure as a coming attraction in just about every model and figure convention held since.  Finally, at last weekend's Miyazawa Model Exhibition, the company displayed a colorized version, giving some hope that the figure was actually nearing retail availability.

Image from Orchid Seed.

*Insert vinyl record skipping sound here*

My enthusiasm for this figure has dissipated completely.  The colors of the character's hair, skin, and eyes are all so muted compared to the original illustration.  The eyes completely lack the playfulness and youth of Tosh's girl.  The red netting around her shoulders looks, quite simply, cheap.  The triangles of her bikini top are too large.  That's right, I'm telling Orchid Seed of all figure makers to turn up the sexiness!  Tosh illustrated a great girl, and to see her rendered in such an ordinary fashion is a real disappointment.

Natsukashii by the Barrelful--Atelier: Artworks of Arland Artbook Coming to US

Fantastic news for fans of Mel Kishida and the Atelier JRPGs in the English-speaking world--as previously reported by Anime News Network, Udon Entertainment will publish a translated version of the 2011 artbook Atelier:  Artworks of Arland for North American release in March 2013.

Budding flowers and lush fruit, plus those apples look pretty good too.  Image courtesy of Hobby Search.
This artbook is a compendium of character designs, settings, and staff interviews from 2009's Atelier Rorona, 2010's Atelier Totori, and 2011's Atelier Meruru, known otherwise as the Arland Trilogy, produced by game developer Gust and released in the US by localizer extraordinaire NIS America.  The three games, similar in spirit to the dozen-or-so Atelier games before them, ask the player to guide the astoundingly moe protagonist in a pastoral quasi-European setting, synthesizing items out of collected basic materials to aid in quests du jour, while making friends and solving problems along the way. 

While the games themselves received warm critical praise, what sets the Arland Trilogy apart from previous Atelier games are the character designs of Mel Kishida, whom anime fans will recognize as the man responsible for penning the casts of Hanasaku Iroha, Sora no Woto, and Kami-sama no Memo-chou.  Astoundingly, NIS America removed Kishida's artwork from the cover of Atelier Rorona, instead opting for a completely sterilized version, presumably to attempt to appeal to a wider consumer base while completely nullifying the moe-seeking fandom that the game was seemingly designed to appeal to, instead appealing to the interests of absolutely nobody.


Fortunately for us all, NIS America reinstated Kishida's character artwork onto the subsequent releases of Totori and Meruru, and the characters certainly do have a way of standing out amongst the space marines, wastelanders, and zombie-fender-offers that the games share retail space with.


This new artbook should not be confused with Udon's marvelous previous release, Atelier Series:  Official Chronicle, which collected art materials from all of the Atelier games up to and including Atelier Rorona.  Udon has done immaculate work with their Ar Tonelico and Valkyria Chronicles collections as well, and there's no reason to expect anything less than loving perfection on this release. This book will be all Kishida, all the time, and I for one will have this on pre-order.

Tittilating Titular.  Thanks to konachan.com for the image.

Buriki's Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Illustrations Book-Bound

Visual collection coming, certain to salt the wounds of figure-collecting Haganai fans.

Figure collectors continue to be tormented by the lack of decent pieces of the occasionally spectacled but always spectacular cast of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai; despite a successful first cour, a second coming in January, a backlog of gorgeous illustrations to work with, and a considerable volume of options already released, figure renditions of the members of the Rinjin-bu tend to look like they've stepped in something unpleasant.  The issue is most certainly not the fault of series character designer Buriki, as several perfectly serviceable PVC renditions of Erio Towa from his work on Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko exist on the market. 

As found on your favorite Japanese media import sites late last month, the good folks at Media Factory shall add to the torment of figure fanciers in late February 2013 with the release of their Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Pictures Collection.  While details are forthcoming, we can be certain that the book will be full of Buriki's distinct style with his edgy, roughly hewn female characters in poses and costumes and facial expressions that sculptors will continue to struggle with mightily. 

Thanks to Hobby Search for the image.
The first print edition of the book will come with an edited, full-color copy of the first volume of the Haganai manga.  Details are scant, but I'm hoping that the book focuses on actual character illustrations and spares us the episode storyboards and recaps that most visual collections delve into. 

Contrary to most figure options, the members of the Rinjin-bu are not always dour.  Yozora, maybe, but not all of 'em.  Thanks to the folks at minitokyo.com for the image.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Comic Market 83: Shadow Sorceress Communication Protocol / 影法師通訊協定 / Hiten

Updated today on SSCP's website, they've received their confirmation that they will be present on Comiket 83's third day with a new SAO book, the first time that the circle has parodied the same series in consecutive releases.




Comic Market 83: Mugen@WORKS / むげん@WORKS / Akiduki Akina

No image yet, but Akiduki Akina's Mugen@WORKS has confirmed their presence at Comic Market 83, to be present on Monday, 12/31, with a new SAO book.  This will be the first time the circle has parodied the same series in three consecutive releases.

Update 1 4:42 p.m. 11/26/12:

C82's darling finds a challenge from inside the family

While we're still more than a month away from the moisture-dripping Day Three of Comic Market 83, we have confirmation that the Asunanists will have one less circle to rely upon for their craven delights.  Akiduki Akina's Mugen@WORKS has broken Asuna's hypnotic hold and penned a hentai doujinshi featuring none other than Suguha Kirigaya, real-world cousin-raised-as-imouto of Sword Art Online main character Kazuto Kirigaya.  Preview pages suggest that this book will be in the real world, rather than as their pointy-eared avatars in ALfheim Online. 

From Akiduki Akina's mugen-works.com
It certainly seems that Akina will not shy away from Suguha's reputation as the most abundantly endowed girl to be found in the series--I hate using a term like "udders" to refer to a woman's anatomy, but, well, it certainly looks like she's ready to dispense.  Mugen@WORKS' early books allowed their female leads reasonably human proportions, but between this book and the circle's past two treatments of Asuna, evidence certainly suggests the circle reading from Ishikei's book of human anatomy.  The book is available for pre-order from Toranoana.

Update 2 12:33 p.m. 12/24/12:  

An update on the circle's website reveals an additional black-and-white book to serve as a companion piece to the circle's ero book.  I would have to guess it's a book of genga, and if the cover is any indication, it looks to be worth a look at least.