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

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

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.

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