Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Whose Fault!! is that face? News from Ciel & Alphamax

Saeki Ai from Fault!!, September release, thanks to Hobby Search.
When Alphamax announced back in late February that they'd be producing a figure of Saeki Ai from Tony Taka's 2009 eroge, Fault!!, I had figured it was just a gift, an opportunistic mining of the creator's backlog to release a heretofore unheralded heroine onto the shelves of Tony's figure-buying faithful.  And what a gift it was--a gobsmackingly sexy pose,  a spot-on Tony facial expression, a character rescued from obscurity into the must-have lists of collectors across the globe. This is a move I'm completely in favor of; generally speaking and within reason, I will buy anything that Tony has anything to do with, 2D or 3D.

I love a well-executed lob shot--Fault!! by Ciel, character designs by Tony, released in July '09.  Thanks Hobby Search.
And then, calloo-callay, Alphamax announced that in addition to Saeki, they'd also be releasing a figure of Date Wingfield Reiko, also from Fault!!, in October.  Great news!...that is, until you see it.  That shredding sound you hear in your head is your anticipation wrought useless.  Unlike Saeki, I certainly did not find Reiko to be an instant pre-order candidate; the face of the figure is just too far afield of the original illustration, or, rather, of anything that even vaguely resembles a Tony Taka character design.  Observe:

As I mentioned in a previous article, Tony Taka's detractors state that all of his character designs look the same, that he has exactly one face in his repertoire and all he does is change hair and eye colors as needed.  I am of the position that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that when the end result is the illustration on the left.  Now, never mind the original illustration's exposing her breasts, look at the figure's face--who exactly is this girl, and what has she done with my half-Japanese, half-British senpai?  The eyes and the mouth are tragically incorrect, and I simply don't have the disposable income or the shelf space to accommodate her with such flaws.  Somehow, she lacks the youth and the athleticism and the spunkiness of the illo. 

Her upcoming release did, however, immediately enter a more interesting question--what exactly is going on with not one but two Fault!! figures all of a sudden, three years removed from the game's release?  Assuming Alphamax didn't just cherrypick Ai Saeki for figuredom, could this mean some 3D Sugiyama Mio sis-con coming up?  Maybe get Hayama Rika in there for the greatest Women's Doubles teams since the Williams sisters?

A new challenger appears!  Image from
It looks like the answer came today; according to Akiba Blog, a follow-up to the original game will be released in June.  Almost three years after the release of the original game, フォルト!!S~新たなる恋敵~ (Fault!! S ~ A New Rival In Love) goes back to the academy for more volleying, smashing, and fuzzy balls.  Probably some tennis, too.  The box art features our lovely Reiko alongside newcomer Mayo Kamiwazumi.

No complaints about Alphamax getting a previously unheralded group of Tony's girls back into the otaku consciousness, but I do hope that if more is to come, they're rendered better than Reiko is.  Also, I suppose this means that I'll have to continue to wait and hope for a France Shoujo figure in the future...

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