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Monthly Archives: January 2010

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Review: 1/8 Ogiue Chika (Cosplay Ver.)

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(This week, we have a special treat from our dear friend Molly who has not only allowed us to borrow this figure for review purposes, but also wrote the actual reviews itself! I hope you’ll enjoy this review as much as we did.)

Within the realm of manga, it’s hard to imagine a title more endlessly enjoyable than the ever-classic Genshiken. However, within its diverse cast of characters and strange situations, there stands a single gleaming gem- and she goes by the name of Ogiue Chika. I am certain that I’m not the first to be charmed by Ogiue’s flustered blushing or adorable anger stints, nor is it likely I’ll be the last, considering this highly in-character figure.

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Strangely enough, Genshiken has been graced with a few notable- and highly desirable- cosplay figures within its 9-volume run and anime adaptation, most notably Yamato’s Kasukabe Saki and GSC’s Ohno Kanako, although many may wonder at the latter’s odd choice in pose. For those of you who haven’t read the manga, the design for this particular figure comes from a chapter in which shy and combative yaoi doujin-artist Chika is reluctantly persuaded into a popular in-series manga cosplay by fellow club member and fanatic Ohno. Alter has done this highly-enjoyable episode justice with Kujibiki Unbalance Ogiue.

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Review: MG Ball (Ver. Ka)

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At the dead bottom of the gundam grunt totem pole, below the lowly Zaku II and practically harmless GM, there lays the most ill-fated clump of mass-produced metal – the RB-79 Ball. Being just as unintimidating as its own name, the Ball is practically useless on the battlefields of the One Year War (from the original Mobile Suit Gundam). Nicknamed the “Mobile Coffin”, these low-cost civilian crafts modified for battle are famous for their penchant to explode.

Because the Ball is unimpressive in virtually every respect in the anime series, the release of the Master Grade Ball ver. Ka in 2004 must have been an immense surprise to Gunpla fans at the time. “Surely there must be worthier candidates for the MG treatment,” they pr obably thought. However, after the initial shock, I’m sure most fans have come to love the little round underdog for a few reasons: it’s amazingly detailed, it’s deceptively large, it’s attractively priced, and it’s refreshingly different.

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Review: Revoltech Gurren Lagann

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Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is an anime that needs little introduction. With its energetic style, high production values and numerous homages to older super robot series such as Getter Robo, TTGL is undoubtedly one of the more memorable anime series of the last decade.

Of course, with any success in the popular anime sphere comes merchandising, and TTGL is no exception. A quick browse through any large online retailer would reveal a plethora of character goods and figures related to the series. Among these is the Revoltech TTGL line of action figures. By combining superb sculpts, decent quality control, a high degree of articulation, as well as relative affordability, the line easily managed to capitalize on the success of the GAINAX produced anime. This week, we will look at the forerunner of the line: the Revoltech Gurren Lagann.

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Review: Non-Scale Ayanami Rei (Yamashita Shunya Ver.)

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Ayanami Rei of Evangelion fame is no stranger to the figure scene. Ever since her debut 1995, Rei’s striking red eyes, pale skin and blue hair have inspired countless garage kit and pre-painted figure incarnations of the character, from BMX tricksters to Mermaids. Though Rei is certainly no stranger to strange representations, Yamashita Shunya’s take on the character definitely stands out amongst the pack.

(Image taken from Yamashita Shunya’s Wild Flower artbook)

Rather than staying true to Rei’s rather slight figure of a 14-year-old, Shunya in his illustration portrays the character as a voluptuous adult in his distinct, western-influenced style. This illustration, like many of his others, proved to be highly popular and was soon adapted into a garage kit and eventually a pre-painted PVC figure by Yamato as part of their Creator’s Labo series. Unlike most other PVC figures, Yamato’s Rei seems to have been in production ever since its release in January 2008. I make this assumption based on the observation of the continuous restock of this figure in online retailers, which suggests that this particular figure has been doing quite well. However, is this success well-deserved? While Yamato’s Ayanami Rei certainly has a great sculpt, one cannot overlook the roughness in the execution of the details. Ultimately, the appreciation of this figure depends on one’s tolerance of these sometimes distracting flaws.

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