Monday, December 31, 2012

Careful, they're ruffled! New Tony Taka Figures Long on Frills

Shining quartet ready to clog the instruments and clean out wallets

A spate of new 3D renderings of Tony Taka's grand damsels has emerged onto several sites over the holiday season, giving collectors a reason to keep the holiday spirit going forward into the new year, with perhaps the only bad news being that none of them are of the adorable seifuku'd lass that graces the cover of his Comiket 83 release.  Rather, it's all Shining all the time from sculptors at this moment, though the roster of talent only grows by two.

On December 20, hobby sites presented Kotobukiya's version of Elmina Rhoderia from Shining Blade was posted for pre-order--Tony completists will recognize her as being previously released by Kotobukiya in 2009 from her Shining Wind iteration, and, quite truly, from the bustline down, this figure looks practically identical to that previous effort.  Her clasped hands and hopeful open-mouthed smile are lighter and more moesome than the more businesslike 2009 version, and in general Kotobukiya's work with Taka's designs has improved steadily over those earlier versions of Shining girls, so one could justify a second purchase of this somewhat ancillary character.  The figure goes for ¥6,800, though if you pay that amount for her you haven't tried hard enough of course.  Images courtesy of Hobby Search Japan, where Elmina is ready for pre-order with a scheduled release in May 2013.

A money-printing franchise such as Shining World can tolerate having its licenses shared amongst several goods makers, and Alter has thrown their hat in the Shining ring in the past, with renditions of Houmei and Clalaclan that, even at 1/8 scale, swallow shelf space with a voraciousness few figures dare challenge.  Their long-awaited version of Mistral Nereis, which found its way onto hobby sites on December 26, will certainly keep that tradition alive, though, unlike those other girls, there is presently no other option on the Misty market to satisfy your corseted cravings.  She's costly, as well, with an MSRP of ¥13,000, and if the Houmei and Clalaclan figures are any indication, one can expect shipping costs to be higher than your average 1/8 figure due to positively gargantuan packaging. 

Lest we think they're content to rest upon their laurels, a colorized version of Alter's take on Melty de Granite appeared in Neko Magic's December 22 magazine scans column, also certainly larger than the 1/8 scale would lead one to expect.  I love the outside-the-box approach Alter's taking to this figure, though Kotobukiya's previous effort was no slouch by any means.  Melty definitely comes across as a little more mature and coquettish here, compared to Koto's squee-inducing iteration. 

Finally, Volks, in an attempt to remind figure collectors they still exist, displayed this maquette of Shining Hearts' Amil Manaflare this past weekend at an exhibit in their Akihabara location as part of their Moekore PLUS line.  No figure rendition of Amil exists to date--she's considered too extensively clothed to be commercially marketable--and the only other figure of her bread-making cohorts was a super-rare Kotobukiya Shop exclusive of Neris Filiam.  Here's to hoping that some day Airy Ardit gets a figure so we can all find some shiawase in their collective pan.  These shots courtesy of Akiba Hobby:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Comic Market 83: Wireframe / Yuuki Hagure

No news is good news, except for WIREFRAME doujin fans at C83

A bit of a disappointment from the WIREFRAME camp for this weekend's Comic Market 83; while there will be some Sword Art Online parody goods for sale, after an exceptionally busy year it seems that the circle will not be featuring a new full-length ero book at the final convention of 2012.  The circle's decision is not unprecedented, with a similar showing at Comic Market 80, and at the least there will be some reading material, with the seventh volume of WIREFRAME Extra featuring Suguha Kirigaya.  Also for sale will be a large-format color poster of the same Suguha image.  By and large, though, it looks to be a dakimakura'd Asuna Yuuki doing the heavy lifting for the circle this convention.

Comic Market 83: Abgrund / Yusa Saikawa

Otokonoko Ace seeks redux of post-Comitia success by keeping on the straight-and-narrow?

A survey of the backlog of doujinshi circle Abgrund shows a considerable amount of otokonoko content, both of parody works and originals--if there is a circle better-equipped to explain to skeptics the crossover appeal of the "trap" phenomenon of the past few years, I have yet to stumble across it.  Far from being a one-trick pony, the circle has also done a fair amount of straight ero books as well, and found considerable commercial success with their most recent straight book, making it to the #1 ranking at Melonbooks Akihabara and #4 at Toranoana Akihabara, which has to be considered rarefied air for an original doujinshi.  The circle will attempt to recapture the magic with their Comic Market 83 release:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Comic Market 83: Karory / Karomix

Wedded bliss for our SAO heroes, and a surprise for...figure collectors?

Making us sweat it out until just about the last possible moment, Karory has finally revealed his circle's releases for Comic Market 83, and as a complete stunner, the biggest news is not their ero book but rather an exclusive and glorious-looking 1/8 figure! 

The ero book, Karorful Mix EX10, will feature Sword Art Online's Asuna Yuuki, apparently in post-wedding consummation mode; this makes the third consecutive SAO parody book produced by the circle, matching the trifecta of Haganai books that made EX4, 5, and 6.

The figure is a 1/8 scale schoolgirl with apparent cast-offability; I don't recognize the character, but that certainly doesn't mean much of anything.

I'm thrilled to see Karory getting some 3D love--it is richly deserved!

Updated 1/1/13 8:59 p.m.:

A clean view of the cover of Karorful Mix EX10, provided by Toranoana, and Asuna is ravishing!

Comic Market 83: Raijinkai / 雷神会 / Harukigenia

I cannot imagine the difficulty of reteaching oneself how to draw, but the decades-long body of work by Harukigenia, the artist at the helm of Raijinkai, shows it can be done with success.  Transitioning from the severe lines and distended breasts of 1990s erotic manga art to the moe character design tropes of the modern age surely was no easy task, but Harukigenia has succeeded in the quest to remain revelant, and had considerable success with their two Haganai books from 2011.  After getting linked up with Sword Art Online's Asuna Yuuki for their last two major releases, SAO's Suguha Kirigaya gets the call to arms for their Comic Market 83 release.

Comic Market 83: Aspergillus / Okara

It's been two and a half years since Aspergillus produced a parody doujinshi of a series other than the Magical Index/Scientific Railgun military-industrial complex, but for Comic Market 83, the circle has revealed that they're finally leaving behind the young maidens of Academy City for the resident gothic lolita force majeure of Chiba, Kuroneko.  I love Okara's fidelity to the original character designs of his charges, from his 2009 Amagami parody book Sweet Handler, up through the present.  Generally he puts less of his own style onto his parodies than most doujin artists, giving the circle's books a more authentic feel.  I'm definitely looking forward to the circle's efforts with such an iconic and beloved character, even if it might be a little past due.

Comic Market 83: Ajisai Denden / アジサイデンデン

Finally, time to reap the harvest of this most fertile crop

Back in June 2011, Sunshine Creation 52 saw the release of Ajisai Denden's splendid non-ecchi Spice and Wolf parody doujinshi Harvest.  The creator notes in the back of the book stated that that the circle had to leave out the ecchi content due to a time crunch up to the book's release.  Now, a year and a half and, dumbfoundingly, another Spice and Wolf ero book later, the circle will finally hold up their promise with the release of Harvest II at Comic Market 83. 

Comic Market 83: Mugenkidou A / 無限軌道 A / Tomose Shunsaku

SAO manages to hold Shunsaku's wandering eye at C83

Mugenkidou A managed to stay atop the Toranoana Top Ten for several weeks following August 2012's Comic Market 82 with their Asuna Yuuki-centered Sword Art Online parody Asuna to Online.  For C83, circle helmsman Tomose Shunsaku stays with the series, but swaps out his leading lady for cousin-as-imouto Suguha Kirigaya and her avatar, Lyfa, from the ALfheim Online storyline.  The circle's previous book kept the story inside the virtual world of Sword Art Online, so it remains to be seen if it'll be Lyfa or Suguha who ends up doing the heavy lifting...

Comic Market 83: Maigo Tsuushin / 迷子通信 / Mel Kishida

Let us be wistful together

Maigo Tsuushin's Mel Kishida is a rare bird indeed, an artist whose work has been revered despite, rather than because of, his erotic works.  Rarely does Kishida depict his creations in anything less than bra and pantsu, and his combination of moe facial features with realistic body proportions and coloration make his works stand out distinctly from the pack.  Details are forthcoming, but if past history is any indicator, we can expect Grumble, his Comiket 83 release, to be similar to previous releases, which tend to be simple yet gorgeous character portraiture. 

Comic Market 83: NiseMIDIdoronokai / 偽MIDI泥の会 / Ishikei

Gonzo God looks back at fluid-dripping, wild-eyed, gaping body of work for C83

After complete radio silence following August's Comic Market 82, we finally have a reveal from Ishikei's NiseMIDIdoronokai regarding the circle's Comiket 83 offering.  It looks to be a soushuuhen capturing the past three years of work, which would include the To Love-Ru parodies MikanAL, Oshiri To, Yummy!! and Hakudark, Angel Beats parody Naorimashita, Infinite Stratos parodies Konna no de Suimasen!!! and ORIMUland, and this August's Accel World parody Atari.

Also like the last time he issued a soushuuhen, it looks like there will be a short omake companion piece to go along with the collection, this one featuring iDOLM@STER's Rika Jougasaki.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Comic Market 83: GRAPHICAROSSA / Yoshimura Kentaro

Yoshimura Kentaro of doujinshi circle GRAPHICAROSSA is the doujin artist most enthusiastically willing to take on the unenviable task of parodying Tony Taka's works.  In the past six years, the circle has produced parody works of girls of the Shining series almost exclusively, ten books in all since 2007, with just a couple of other parodies in their midst.  It looks like it'll be the fantasy world of the high school harem rather than one with elves and pirates for Comic Market 83, with none other than Haruka Morishima of Amagami SS gracing the cover of their upcoming offering.

Comic Market 83: Yasudanchi / YASUDA

Perhaps in anticipation of the second season of Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, Yasudanchi will feature Ayase Aragaki in handcuffs and hadaka apron in their Comic Market 83 release.  One would think Ayase would be horrified to learn she's been depicted in such a lascivious manner for the benefit of us disgusting otaku, but judging by Toranoana's preview pages, it doesn't look like she minds all that much.  I rather enjoy YASUDA's character designs; he tends to depict his girls as fairly short and puni, existing somewhere between chibi and realistic, and his books tend to be fun, lighthearted vanilla romps.  While Yasudanchi is a fairly new circle with not a lot of backlog, I expect and hope for a lot more in the coming years.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Comic Market 83: T2 Art Works / Tony Taka

A4-sized Tony Taka?  A4-sized Tony Taka!

The king of doujinshi kings has revealed on his website that, for the first time, he will be presenting an A4-sized ero book to his reading constituency at this weekend's Comic Market 83.  Long the domain of gonzo specialist Ishikei, the A4 paper size is more akin to a standard-sized periodical in the West, rather than the Golden Age comic book-sized B5 that dominates the doujin landscape.  According to Tony's update, it looks like the book will have remastered versions of previously published works as well as new content. 

I personally love every last inch of the new cover girl, from the headpiece to the expression to the color combination of her seifuku to the splendid stretch of her adductor connecting her leg to her groin.  I have no idea if she's a completely original creation for the book or part of a larger work, but I intend to find out all that I can.  On the goods side of thing, we get a dakimakura with a girl in a pilot uniform (apparently a first officer, judging by her epaulets) on one side, and a girl in shibari and bloomers on the other, along with a calendar and other goodies to fawn over. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Comic Market 83: Clesta / Cle Masahiro / CL-orz 26

Perhaps ready to move forward by going back to an old friend?

After a nearly endless string of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere parody doujinshi, Cle Masahiro looks to return back to some old stomping grounds with the release of CL-orz 26 at Comic Market 83.  Asuka Shikinami Langley gets the covergirl treatment, and there may be a dakimakura in the works to commemorate the occasion as well.  This makes the fifth Rebuild of Evangelion doujin from the artist, the last one being December 2010's CL-orz 13, and the second time Asuka has been featured on the cover alone. 

Updated 1/1/13 8:21 a.m.:

A minor update from Clesta showing their full range of Comic Market 83 goods:

Comic Market 83: Digital Lover / Yuka Nakajima / D.L. Action 72 & 73

Asunanists rejoice once more, though we may need more room on the altar for other idols...

We finally have an update from top-flight doujin circle Digital Lover, and the news is good for the denizens of Alfheim.  Asuna Yuuki from Sword Art Online maintains top billing on the cover of the circle's Comic Market 83 release, D.L. Action 72, though, as fans of the series have experienced themselves, it looks like she's going to have to share the spotlight with Lyfa, Silica, Lisbeth, and Shinon.  This marks the third consecutive SAO parody by Digital Lover, after the circle's Comic Market 82 and Sunshine Creation 57 releases.

In addition to this new book, we'll also be receiving a soushuuhen collecting other artworks from previous books, and judging by the inclusion of Madoka Magica's Homuhomu and Bakemonogatari's Shinobu Oshino on the cover, it looks like it might include images not just of previous D.L. Actions, but also of some Rough Sketch books as well.  This is the second such multi-series soushuuhen released by the series, in addition to a previously released Railgun and a Yuki Nagato-centric Haruhi soushuuhen from previous years. 

Digital Lover will also have a calendar on sale, as well as a good-sized tapestry featuring Asuna and her ALO avatar for our perusal.

Update 1:  9:22 a.m. 12/28/12

Doujinshi world's James Brown keeps on delivering the goods

The hardest-working artist in the ecchi business, Yuka Nakajima, revealed a surprise on his website earlier today--beyond the aforementioned SAO-centric D.L. Action 72, we'll be getting an additional release in the D.L. Action doujinshi series featuring none other than his muse (apologies to Railgun's Misaka Mikoto), OreImo's Kuroneko, on the cover of D.L. Action 73!  In addition, a must-have for Haganai enthusiasts, Sena Kashiwazaki and Kobato Hasegawa grace the cover of Rough Sketch 72 in winter kimono, looking ready for New Year's prayers.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Comic Market 83: Afterschool of the 5th Year / 5年目の放課後 / Kantoku

More parody work coming from the King of the Tartans.

An update from Kantoku's Afterschool of the 5th Year, and it looks like no stone shall be left unturned as the circle mines the past year's moesome heroines for inspiration.  I'm excited to see the totality of this book to see what and how many series will be represented, and if it is full-color as the Google translation seems to suggest, this will be a must-have.

Looks like we're also getting a clear file, netsuke, and a bookmark from the circle as well, featuring some of Kantoku's tartan-clad original works...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Comic Market 83: TIES / Takei Ooki

Nothing yet regarding a Comic Market 83 book release from TIES, but the circle has previewed what seems to be a blanket they'll be selling at the convention, featuring Nadeko Sengoku from Bakemonogatari.

TIES has done several Bakemonogatari parody doujinshi over the past few years.

Update 1: 6:05 p.m. 12/26/12

Takei Ooki returns to his muses, the Fire Sisters of Tsuga no Ki 2nd Junior High, Karen and Tsukihi Araragi from Bakemonogatari, for his Comic Market 83 release, revealed yesterday by Toranoana.  This makes the seventh Bakemonogatari parody book done by TIES since the Winter 2009 Comic Market, not counting a previous soushuuhen, and the fifth to feature the Araragi sisters.  It looks like Nadeko Sengoku will be in on the fun as well, to go along with the previously-previewed blanket the circle will have at the convention.

Update 2, 12/28/12 10:23 a.m.:

An update on the TIES website shows off all their C83 offerings, including an omake book and their goods bag along with the previously announced blanket and ero book:


Comic Market 83: Alpha To Yukaina Nakamatachi / 有葉と愉快な仲間たち

I've been awaiting some kind of indication from the sorely underrated Alpha to Yukaina Nakamatachi regarding their plans for the upcoming Winter Comic Market.  While news on a book is still forthcoming (I, for one, am holding out hope for a parody work, rather than a continuation of the circle's original series), the circle did display a sample image of a dakimakura of Airi Totoki from iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls:

I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, and with Alpha's help, I might be a midnight totoker.  Image from Alpha's blog.
   I love what Alpha's done with this dakimakura; riffing on this particular card...

Thanks to for the image.
...Alpha seems to have simply taken the illustration to its logical progression.  Not sure, but I believe this may be the first iM@S parody of any kind that Alpha has produced.

Update 12/23/12 3:01 p.m.:

Let's Become an Expert! helmsman in the giving state of mind

Alpha to Yukaina Nakamatachi first entered my radar with the release of their outstanding Comic 1*6 Papakiki! parody doujinshi Mama ni Nariatino!, for which I broke my cardinal collecting rule, "Buy the content, not the cover."  To my dismay, I learned that Alpha has been at the doujin game for quite a long time with a rather extensive backlog of original works, rather than more easily digestible parodies.  While I nibble away at the circle's previous works, I am also very much inclined to acquire new works, be they parody or continuations of original series.

For whatever reason, it seems that Toranoana and Melonbooks are loath to carry Alpha's newest books, making the secondary market for current releases exceedingly thin.  Coupled with the fact that Alpha does not sell the book alone, but rather as part of a rather large merchandise set, makes Alpha's new works both rare and expensive. 

It seems that the same will be true for the circle's Comic Market 83 release, with a large assortment of goods tied to the new ero doujin for sale only as a complete package.  The ero book looks to feature the twin Takahashi girls that made their debut at the August 2011 Comic Market, this one focused on Sui rather than last Comic Market's Yui.  Looks like we'll also be getting a genga black and white book, a calendar, a clear file featuring chibified versions of Alpha's original characters, and more.

There is some parody work to consider, in dakimakura form.  As previously reported, fans of iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girl Airi Totoki will be given the chance to give her a squeeze--credit to Alpha for cleverly having each side of the pillowcase show Totokin in amorous versions of the clothing she appears in on her S Rare+ cards.

Finally, a reusable shopping bag to store one's loot in--I'd love to see other circles take this approach instead of the usual thick paper stock bags typically deployed at the convention.  I like the bag would actually be usable on a normal trip to the market, and that the art isn't so shocking or sexy as to gather more than an idle glance.