Sunday, January 20, 2013

Access Granted: Alpha (Finally) Reaches Consignment Deal

Doujin hipsters:  "I knew them before they went corporate."

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I broke my cardinal rule of collecting for Alpha to Yukaina Nakamatachi's Sora Takanashi-centric Papakiki! ero parody doujin Mama ni Nariatino released at COMIC 1☆6 in April 2012, and after acquiring that book desired to reach into the circle's previous works, and was surprised to learn that all their recent works have been original works, rather than parodies.  So too has been the circle's work since.

Not only was Mama ni Nariatino the circle's last parody doujin, but it was also the last of their books to be made available for purchase at retail outlets like Toranoana.  For reasons unknown to this writer, Alpha's next four books were made available only at doujinshi conventions, and sold only as part of a larger set of goods, making them a rare and expensive bird to find on the secondary markets.  Thankfully, according to Alpha's blog, this is no longer an issue--the circle announced a consignment arrangement with both Toranoana and Melonbooks to sell copies of the circle's last four books directly to the retail marketplace:

Along with the announcement, we finally get an enlarged and uncensored view of the circle's C83 offering, a direct follow-up to their C82 release, and it looks to be no slouch:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Comitia103: Abgrund / Yusa Saikawa

Saikawa Stays On the Straight and Narrow Path

A reveal from the former Otokonoko Ace Yusa Saikawa's Abgrund earlier this week shows what looks to be a continuation of the circle's Comiket 83 original straight doujin, to be debuted at early February's COMITIA103.  It would certainly seem to me that Abgrund's girls in skirts are at least as appealing as their boys in skirts have been these past few years.

Comic Treasure 21 Reveals, or Life After Comiket

Clesta, Digital Lover not content to rest on their laurels

Beyond the biannual Comic Markets at Tokyo Big Sight, many doujinshi events occur across Japan throughout the year, not just to service those not able to attend those most venerated events, but also to debut new works.  The first non-Comiket doujin event of the season, Comic Treasure 21, takes place this weekend at INTEX Osaka, and at least a couple of top-flight circles will have new pieces for sale alongside their Comiket 83 releases.

Clesta will rest the CL-orz title with this Morgiana-centered Magi parody book:

Allowing himself to be out done this one time, the Doujinshi James Brown, Digital Lover has a new Rough Sketch omake book featuring a tipsy, kimono-clad Asuna Yuuki gracing the cover:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Comic Market 83: MEKONGDELTA

It’s a well-kept secret, not listed on Toranoana, not listed on their own website even, but MEKONGDELTA did indeed have a Comic Market 83 release, and it’s OreImo's Kuroneko once again on center stage.  This is the third straight Winter Comic Market release of this particular Kuroneko-centered series.  Between these and the Glass Cat’s books of Spring and Summer 2012, I would venture to say MEKONGDELTA may have found their muse, though they may need to ask Digital Lover for some elbow room at the altar...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Moeyo's Best of V-Zone 2012

The Oscars have Best Picture, the Nobel Foundation has its Peace Prize, and anime figure otaku have Moeyo's Best of V-Zone 2012, published earlier today.  Without further ado, the list:

1)  Magical Princess Nanako sculpted by oba at Hobby Round 7

2)  Sakuya: Crimson Mode from Shining Blade 1/6 scale by Kotobukiya

3)  Manaka Komaki Physical Education (Pool) Version from To Heart 2 1/6 scale by Beat

5)  Toko Kurosawa original by Brilliant Cut 1/4 scale by Daiki Kougyo

6)  Konimo Yuzuhara Girigiri Bikini on the Penguin version from To Heart 2 DX Plus 1/8 scale by Chara-Ani

7)  Mai Ichijo from Mai Favorite 1/7 scale by Orchid Seed

8)  Kanu from Queen's Gate 1/8 scale by Hobby Japan

9)  Sakuya from Shining Blade by Yamato

There was certainly no shortage of worthy candidates this year, but I can't say I agree with some of the pieces on this list--the Toko Kurosawa one strikes me as kind of a mess, frankly--and I would have placed the Konomi Yuzuhara piece much higher on the ol' banzuke, but here's to a new year of cheap thrills and PVC fumes! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Moeyo's Best of Hip 2012

Supreme anime otaku fandom site Moeyo's Best of 2012 lists continues, following up yesterday's recap of the best breasts of 2012 with their Best of Hip list posted today.  Of course, "hip" to the Japanese means "dat azz" to us Western devils.  The results, as follows:

1)  Manaka Komaki Physical Education (Pool) version from To Heart2 1/6 scale by Beat

2)  Mischievous Thief Xiaomei from Shining Hearts 1/6 scale by Kotobukiya

3)  Mischievous Thief Xiaomei from Shining Hearts 1/6 scale by Kotobukiya

4)  Imari Kurumi from Bible Black 1/6 scale by Daiki Kougyo

5)  Charlotte Dunois Bunny Style from Infinite Stratos 1/7 scale by Kotobukiya

6)  Mischievous Thief Xiaomei from Shining Hearts 1/6 scale by Kotobukiya

7)  Ichijo Manami from Menkui! by Orchid Seed

8)   Alisa Ilynichna Amiera from God Eater Burst 1/7 scale by Plum

9)  Daydream Collection vol. 02 Woman Teacher Mari MANGA version original character 1/6 scale by Kaitendoh

10)  Black Hanekawa from Bakemonogatari 1/8 scale by Kotobukiya

A dominating performance by Kotobukiya's Xiao Mei that somehow doesn't result in a first-place finish is the upset of the year; I certainly had the Black Cat the leader in the clubhouse, with Max Factory's catsuit-clad duo of Maria Takayama and Kobato Hasegawa from Haganai as second and third. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ero Artists Not Named Tony Taka Get 3D Treatment

Urushihara, Ponkotsu Works, Ashito pieces on the horizon

Aside from the regular stream of Kanu Unchou, Tamaki Kousaka, and Super Sonico figures regularly streaming their way on to retail figure sites, a couple of figures have recently appeared recreating the efforts of some of the preeminent ero artists of the day. 

Lifted from the cover of June 2009's Comic TENMA, pubic hair fundamentalist Satoshi Urushihara will have original character Hida Namie rendered in plastic by CM's Corporation for a scheduled debut in April, at a suggested retail price of  ¥8,800.  She is castoffable, unsurprisingly, though no indication yet if she includes Urushihara's trademark underneath her knickers. 

Comic TENMA's June 2009 cover, courtesy of

I can't say this is a candidate for my pre-order dollars--the facial features on the figure screams "HEY GUISE WHAT'S GOING ON," with her mouth in much more of a smile, and her eyes open much wider, while the original illustration's more sensual ovaloid shape and eyes closer to the same height and width.  Also disappointing is the choice of finish on Namie's hair and clothing--Urushihara gets a lot out of high-gloss finishes that communicate silk and satin, and it seems like all of that is lost on the figure except for her stockings. 

A marginally better effort has been produced by Q-six in an enormous 1/5.5 scale rendition of the cover girl of Ponkotsu Works' ecchi tankoubon Kanojo Biyori (localized in North America by Project-H under the title An Ideal Day to Fall in Love), scheduled for release in late April at a MSRP of ¥16,800. 

Image courtesy of

While I like this effort and this figure much more than the effort with Urushihara's work, I still find this figure to be skippable, and not just because of the astronomical cost of entry.  While I'm sure that the artist's stylistic eccentricities are difficult to capture, surely there could have been a better effort put into this girl.  The drowsy, dreamy expression of the original illustration gives way to a guileless, simple smile on the figure.  The razored lightness of the original girl's hair has been replaced by something that may have just been extracted from the ocean.  The gravity-susceptible bosom has been replaced by two weightless spheres.  Finally, the stripes of her pantsu are far too thin and numerous--only seven are evident on the original illo, compared to no less than eleven on the figure's. 

Finally, a piece not yet scheduled for release but eagerly awaited, there is finally a colorized version of Oyari Ashito's King Arthur from Eiyuu*Senki by Gift out in the wild, documented here by Akiba Hobby.

Image courtesy of

This, this effort here is a good deal more like it--Arthur's costume looks fantastic, I love the tousle of her hair, and her face has Ashito's unmistakable look down very well, perhaps just a shade too narrow or perhaps her mouth just a bit too wide, but it's not not enough to quibble over.  She looks to be 1/8 scale, but no date or pricing information is available yet.

Moeyo's Best of Bust 2012

With the end of each calendar year, we denizens of the intertubes can expect our favorite websites to crank out annual "Best of 2012" lists--otaku interest site Moeyo submits perhaps the most useful of these lists annually by examining and recapping the most essential features of anime figures, starting off this year with their Best of Bust rankings for 2012. 

1)  Sasara Kusugawa from ToHeart2 Dungeon Travelers 1/6 by Daiki Kougyo

2)  Kanu Unchou 1/7 scale Swim Wear version from Ikki Tousen by Griffon Enterprises

3)  Tamaki Kousaka Vacation version 1/6 scale To Heart 2 by Griffon Enterprises

4)  Misa-nee 1/7 scale by Native

5)  Queen's Gate Kanu by Hobby Japan

6)  Unico Wingedhorse from Pandra by Daiki Kougyo

7)  Hotori Yoshii by Native

8)  Nami H.O.O.K. Bust Collection from One Piece

9)  Mai Ichijo 1/7 scale from Mai Favorite by Orchid Seed

10)  Tamaki Kousaka 1/5 scale from To Heart 2 by Orca Toys

A bit of a surprise winner at the top of the fixture this year; Moeyo itself calls Sasara's assets "not too large, not too small," showing some love for a figure that actually finds itself within the realm of human physiological possibility.  My vote stays with that stunning Yuniko Wingedhorse figure, personally, with the DFC of Oyari Ashito's Princess Mordina a close second (note: Mordina was released in Japan in 2011, but made her way to the States in 2012, and it's my blog so deal with it), and SkyTube's delectable Ai Saeki a solid third.