Chag: Time sure flies when you’re not shooting photos and not writing reviews, and before we knew it, another season’s with of anime has come and gone! So Ash, what did you think of it?

Ashlotte: Mediocre – Lots and lots of mediocre. It’s not a terrible season by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly lacked in memorable shows.

Chag: I know what you mean, dude. To further complicate matters, out of the few series that did catch my attention, a bunch of them (Strike Witches, Highschool of the Dead) already have figures! As a result, making the subjects for this entry is nowhere as easy as it was for the last.

Since the last figure wish list, we have seen the announcement of a Tenshi figure and a Celty figure. The rest of the gang weren’t as lucky, though I wouldn’t give up on Sawa-chan just yet. In any case, let’s hope we get luckier this time around!

Ayuzawa Misaki (Kaichou wa Maid-sama!)

Chag: Kaichou wa Maid-Sama! is not a summer season show. Rather, it has been running ever since the beginning the spring season. You may be wondering why she wasn’t on the list in the previous entry. Well, back then I still had my panties in a bunch over how perfect Usui (the overbearing and fabulous male protagonist) is. Since then I’ve learned to turn the misdirected irritation into a sort of admiration, because the man is just such a gigantic boss. But enough about Usui, let’s talk Misaki.

If you haven’t watched Kaichou, it’s not a big deal, because Misaki is pretty much a clone of Hinagiku from Hayate no Gotoku! — a tsundere student council president character. What Misaki has over the fan favourite Hinagiku is the longer screen time that she enjoys as protagonist of her own series, as well as her part-time job as a Maid Cafe waitress. I think the maid uniforms of this series look fantastic. The skirt is at a good zettai ryouki length, there’s an interesting fusion between frilly and straight edges, and those semi-detached sleeves with bare shoulders in proud display… mMMmmmm, I know a good maid uniform when I see one.

But I think the best thing about maid Misa-chan is that she’s professional and competent. None of this tea-spilling and ass-kissing bullshit I see from a lot of other maid characters. She doesn’t rely on cheap gimmicks and come off as “trying too hard”, but rather she can win the audience over with her natural tsundere charms. To me, this means she has all the pros of a maid character with very few drawbacks that bug me about maid characters in general, so it’s no surprise that I would want a figure of her.

Ashlotte: Chags talking about Shoujo anime?! The world must be coming to an end!

But yea, Kaichou is a good anime, though I didn’t really bother with it since I read the manga and the anime is basically a carbon copy of it (Yes, I’m one of those heretics that likes it when the production team changes things in the transition…).

She would make a fine figure though I’m sure, but for some reason having a hard time visualizing it which is odd for me…What would you wish for Chags? Serving food like Max’s Mugi or something else?

Chag: Hmmm, that’s a very good question. Since Misa-chan is actually a competent maid character, her body language is pretty subdued, and as we mentioned in the last “Weekly Highlights”, subdued poses just don’t cut it anymore today’s figure market. A balance needs to be struck between accuracy to the character and visual appeal, which is kind of a hard thing for me to think of. Something slightly flirty probably would nice.

Ashlotte: True… It’s mostly the fact that we’re talking about the maid outfit look thats throwing me off. When she wears that, she tends to project a myriad of different personalities depending on the manager’s flavour of the week, so I keep having a hard time trying to think what the “definitive” look would be for her in that outfit.

Ah well when in doubt just make her blush like any proper tsundere!

Chag: Very true. A good tsundere blush is like fried bacon – you just can’t go wrong!

Nakata Sae (Amagami SS)

Chag: Amagami SS has been really hit-and-miss for me. Sometimes the story is just so nauseatingly cheesy that I can’t even finish the episode. Like many other people, I was draw to the series by Karou’s infamous SEX HAIR, but after dropping both of the first two arcs halfway through, I had all but given up hope on the series, but thanks to a certain c78 doujinshi and a few strategic screencaps, I cave for the third time and picked up the Nakata Sae arc. I am glad I did.

I told Ashlotte that Sae is kind of like a hamster with giant breasts, which is actually kind of an apt description for her. She’s small, shy, and has the mousiest voice I’ve ever heard out of a human being’s mouth. Yet despite all this, she’s doesn’t have that confused/indecisive phase – the girl knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it, and I can respect that from a dating-sim character.

So why would Sae make a good figure? The obvious answer would be her outfits. The female winter uniforms from Amagami are probably the best I’ve ever seen along with those Persona 4 uniforms. They’re sleek, simple, yet not dull. For extra points Sae’s also got some killer zettai ryouki going on around that curiously short skirt of hers. There are also a couple of other really nice outfits that she wears, but I don’t want to spoil that for you – go watch it yourself~

To those who ever saw the fanservicy screencaps of Sae, the second reason isn’t going to surprise anyone: Sae’s got a glamorous body. For a pseudo-loli character, she’s got an insane set of proportions. DFC loyalists probably aren’t too crazy about the undulating curves of Sae’s body, but to the rest of us with superior taste, Sae represents the possibility for a figure that scores high on both the “cute” and “sexy” scales. Whether she wears a gentle smile or a bright-red flush, a competent sculptor can scarcely go wrong with Nakata Sae.

Ashlotte: Yes yes your obsession with b00bs… Actually, my favorite from the series thus far is no ironing board either, so I guess I poke at you too much this time.

But yea, Sae…sae… Bahh, I really couldn’t get into her in the end. I’m just not too hot for the scared and timid type. If anything, I’m more into the aggressive personality sub-set. However, if someone every makes a figure of her wearing that dress in the final episode in a leaning pose, I think even I would be swayed. >_>

Chag: My obsession with b00bs? You misunderstand me, my good Ashlotte – I am but a simple connoisseur of beauty, thus instead of suffering from tunnel, I am able to enjoy breasts of all sizes. I think the thing about Sae’s pair of wonders is that I didn’t see it coming. At the first glance she appears to be your token loli character, but then out of nowhere BAM, those puppies leap out at you when you least expect it. It’s all about execution, man.

Not a Sae fan, eh? I’m not really surprised, considering the fact that Amagami caters to a wide range of preferences. So who’s your favourite so far?

Ashlotte: Mmm… I’m hesitant to pick, since we haven’t even seen all of the girls yet (Chubs might surprise me, and I’m quite looking forward to Miss Serious’ arc) but for now I’ve thrown my hat in with Haruka. Admittedly she’s somewhat outside of my usual strike zone looks wise, but her eyes are gorgeous, and there’s something about that oddball eccentric personality of hers that just gets me. A true free spirit for sure.

Chag: A quick glance through MFC reveals that there are no non-GK figures of Amagami whatsoever, which absolutely baffles me. Granted, I have no clue of how well successful the game was, but when the characters look that great, the franchise just begs for figures. Hopefully ALTER is going to jump at the opportunity, because the delicate curls of Haruka and the pigtails of Sae seem really easy to screw up.

…Well, it’s not like I’d want anyone else over ALTER to make my fantasy figures, anyways.

Hagimura Suzu (Seitokai Yakuindomo)

Ashlotte: That there pretty much sums up what I love about Suzu – she doesn’t take shit from anyone!

Seitokai Yakuindomo was one of the very few shows this season that was actually enjoyable from start to finish, and Suzu was a large part of my enjoyment. She’s absurdly intelligent, but has a Napoleon complex about her rather short build that would rival even Edward Elric!

The fact that she also occasionally does act like a kid despite her constant insistence to the contrary just makes her all the more charming. Throw in some good character design elements (Blonde twintails? *check* Killer Pantyhose? *check* Sharp eyes? *check*) and you’ve got a whole lot of awesome in one small package!

If somebody could give me a decent quality fig of her with a slightly irritate face that would be heaven…

Chag: F-FOREHEAD!

…Okay, I gotta admit: I haven’t watched either of the shows that your two characters come from. I’m feeling pretty bad about this, because it’s like I’m not doing my part. Though in my defense, there’s only so many high school series I can handle. Between K-ON, Highschool of the Dead, Amagami SS, Kaichou wa Maid-sama, I was pretty maxed out. In fact, I remember dismissing this show simply because it has “Seitokai” in its title. It’s not like I’m burnt out on anime, because I still like watching the stuff I do follow, but there comes a certain point where I’m just spent on high school girls. Do you ever get that feeling?

Ashlotte: Meh, as long as it’s populated with good characters and an engaging story I really don’t care where the setting is. Honestly with most shows only having 13 episode runs I’m fine with a familiar setting as it makes it easier to just jump right into the show, but then thats the problem with Anime in general…13 episode seasons.

I’m going stop there, or I really will get side-tracked!

Chag: Good idea. *Ahem* NEXT!

Aoi Futaba (Asobi ni Iku yo!)

Ashlotte: I think if I ever made a character with the goal of shoving everything I like about girls in anime together, she probably would come out something like Aoi – glasses, long black hair, slender build, pale, quiet during downtimes and badass when the action gets going. Perfection.

Sadly she’s in a show where she’s forced to fight over some limp-dick male lead, which pretty much killed most of the enjoyment for me in the end. Don’t you hate it when great characters are trapped in sucky stories?

Meh, in any case I’d take any figure of Aoi I could get – school uniform, skin-tight battle suit, sundress, bikini, you name it. A gun and a slightly sad expression on her face would be the cherry on the cake… mmmm.

Chag: Hmmm, speaking of harem leads, are there any harem male leads that you actually like? Personally, I can’t think of any. There are guys that I don’t hate, like Nagasumi from Seto no Hanayome, but I’m drawing a complete blank when it comes to harem leads that I like or respect. This is probably because indecision is a requirement for a harem protagonist, which isn’t exactly a desirable personality trait. Now if Rance got a full-length anime series, things would be different in haremtown.

Oh wait, scratch that. Ito Makoto from School Days – now there’s a harem lead I can respect. Making out with another chick in front of his pregnant girlfriend? It takes a real man to troll that hard.

Ashlotte: Male leads that I like? Hmm…Arawn from Tears to Tiara, Negi from Negima, Akiharu from Ladies versus Butlers, every Alicesoft protagonist, every KEY protagonist… there’s probably more, but those are just the ones off the top of my head. =P

Yea there’s actually quite a few I like, but then I think we tend to dwell on the bad ones. It’s not really hard to get me to like a male lead so long as he isn’t either a spineless wimp or, in the case of Asobi ni Iku yo, so absurdly dense to the point that you want to reach out and punch him in the face. >_>

I just like it when you see a guy and you go “Ok, I can see why all the girls would want him”, you know?

Chag: Hmm, I’m not familiar with all the protagonists you named, but I’d say the KEY dudes lie aren’t true harem leads since they tend to stick to one female protagonist during each arc instead of being simultaneously occupied with multiple girls.

As for being spineless… I know it’s easier for the target audience to identify with harem leads like that, but for me, I don’t want reality when I watch a bloody harem show — I want fantasy! Do I want to project myself on a plain-old timid highschooler in a fantasy? Fuck no, I want to be the dude in a purple suit! For an industry that is fueled by escapism, is there any reason to not take the extra step away from reality?

Ashlotte: Haha that’s cheating Chags. By that definition, no eroge protagonist would be classified as a harem lead (unless he actually has a “harem route”). Are you gonna tell me with a straight face someone like Yuichi from Shuffle isn’t  a harem lead on account of that technicality? >_>

Personally, when I play an Eroge or watch a anime of that genre, I like the guy to be awesome in one way or another whether that be by sheer strength , charisma, or whatever you can come up with — guys like the Negima-sensei, Arwan, Hakuro, and the Alicesoft Heroes.

Chag: Hrmmm, I didn’t think of it that way, since I kept on comparing the characters to Love Hina’s Kentarou… Hmm, now I’m lost. The borders of haremtown are blurrier than I thought.

While the exact definition of harem anime is debatable, I think we can both agree that we’ve veered off track far enough. Man that was a long tangent. To think all that came from my attempt to compensate for my complete ignorance of the character — these rants make for the darnest things, don’t they?

Ashlotte: I think you just have ADD… =P