Chag: Howdy boys and girls, and welcome back to Hobby Hovel now on WordPress! With a lot of help by a certain stand-up gentleman, I was finally able to get off my ass and make the transition. From now on everything will be self-hosted, so there will be no more need to mess around with Flickr and Picasa anymore. It will take some time for Ash and I to get familiar with the WordPress platform, but hey, there’s no better way to do that than breaking in the new site with a post or two. Here we go!

Senjougahara Hitagi

  • Origin: Bakemonogatari
  • Maker: Alter
  • Scale: 1/7
  • Sculptor: Tanaka Touji
  • Release: August 2011
  • Price: ¥9,800

Ashlotte: Why…why does everyone stick to the stupid ugly-looking school uniforms for Bakemonogatri figures? The show kindly provided a lot of lovely casual wear designs for the characters, but I guess since these don’t have “official illustrations” to back them up, apparently it’s impossible for big figure-makers to just look at a damn screencap and make a casual-clothes figure based on that. Sigh…I’m sure if an offical picture of Nadeko in her uniform existed, these figures makers would have used that too!

*sigh* Now that that’s out of the way…what the hell Alter? How does one go from this to this?!?

I know sculptors have reference pictures plastered right at their workstation when they’re sculpting, so it’s not like they can forget what the original facial expression was supposed to look like. Did they suddenly think “hey, you know what this figure needs? A more generic expression!”? Ugh…

So we went from a pensive and slightly flushed face to…blank? Meh whatever, I don’t care anymore! I stewed over it long enough I’m just gonna take my Mayoi figure and be done with the whole mess…*stupid boring goddamn school uniform wearing uncreative figure makers…bah*

Chag: Ah, it’s not quite a figure highlight without some angry, angry ranting from Ash. You SO mad.

I do agree with you on the face, and the loss of virtually all traces of personality is pretty disappointing to me as well. A flaw like this is especially irritating on a figure from Alter, which may very well be received as “perfect” otherwise. I can see that the original illustration may not be easy to transition into 3D form, but I’m not sure if a complete turnaround would be the way to go. But hey, I really don’t think it’s all bad. The face may be inaccurate, but it is pretty to look at, and those who aren’t crazy about the GSC Hitiagi’s face might find Alter’s take exciting. I don’t think her face is bad it just could be a LOT better.

On a side note, I’m liking the display base. We’ve seen it on display at WonFes a couple of times already, so the neat illusion of depth achieved by the handrails is old news at this point. However, I wasn’t expecting the stationary prints on the back of the base! You gotta give some credit to Alter for going the extra mile for the ass-end of this figure.

But as much as I like the base, I don’t care for her school uniform at all. I think the more I see the Bakemonogatari girl figures in that uniform, the more I hate it and there have been a lot of those recently. Besides, am I the only one who thinks Bakemonogatri is overstaying its welcome? I like the series, but it’s not the greatest source material to draw upon for figures, nor did the anime itself change my life. Come on people, get on the Madoka figures already!

Ashlotte: I’ll agree they did great with everything else about her…thats why it annoys me to no end. I could care less about figures with tons of flaws, but when its something like this that just has one singular glaring imperfection…argh, it drives me insane!

I thought Bakemonogatari was one of the better anime out there and I could never see myself complaining about it having too many figures. I know Madoka is the new hotness, but I’m not so eager to forget this one either! =P


Shirai Kuroko &Misaka Mikoto (Maid ver.)

  • Origin: To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
  • Maker: Kotobukiya
  • Scale: 1/6
  • Sculptor: Hirotoshi Nakamura (Kuroko), Zenko (Misaka)
  • Release: July/August 2011
  • Price: ¥7,600 each

Ashlotte: And here we have the flip side of what can happen when the sculptor decides to tweak an original illustration. While Kuroko is fairly faithful to her origin they veered off wildly with Misaka it seems transforming a rather ho-hum look into something a great deal more enticing!

Both renditions carry the sense that the characters are asking the viewer about how they look, but whereas the original illustration did it in a rather unassuming manner, the figure rendition has that delicious vulnerability to it that only a maid can have! The difference between “Oh that’s kind of cute” and “Oh god I just want to pounce on her” is a welcome one for sure!

I do lament the fact that they made the lacing on Kuroko’s back too thick thus obscuring the yummy view of her lower back that you get in the illustration, but I guess you can’t win them all.

Chag: “Oh god I just want to pounce on her”? Remind me to never take you to a maid cafe.

Wow, talk about deceptive first impressions I didn’t notice that these maid outfits have virtually no back beyond a few strings in the original illustrations! The thickness of these strings does diminish the daring appearance of these outfits somewhat, but I think it’s well within reasonable limits. Besides, a little skin on the back is but an afterthought when you have so much personality between the two figures. I usually am not a fan of putting characters into fetish outfits like this, but I can totally see Kuroko having the time of her life in these kinky outfits and it shows on her face! As for Misaka, I’m sure she was duped into donning the maid outfit as the result of Kuroko’s conspiring, and the embarrassed face is just perfect.

Whereas Alter’s Hitagi is able to impress on the technical level, Kobtobukiya’s Railgun maids can give themselves a pat on the back for doing a bangin’ jobs on the facial and body language good stuff!


Tokugawa Sen (Swimsuit ver.)

  • Origin: Hyakka Ryouran
  • Maker: Alpha Max
  • Scale: 1/7
  • Sculptor: 2%
  • Release: August 2011
  • Price: ¥6,800

Chag: I’ve heard a lot of flak on the anime since I placed it on hold a few months back, but no matter how much people seem to hate it, I can never bring myself to pre-emptively drop it, especially after the beach episode.  I’m still waiting on Blu-ray releases of Hyakka Ryouran to come out. The Hyakka Ryouran staff may not have any great writers, but whoever designed Senhime’s swimsuits deserves a raise.

I’ve always had a thing for chokers, and Senhime’s bikini top just so happens to incorporate a choker in the design. I’m pretty sure part of the appeal lies in its semblance to a collar, so in that respect, it’s very nice to see Alpha Max’s Senhime on all fours. Her bikini bottom has to be a true breakthrough in the history of engineering. In order to have Senhime show off as much of her asscrack as humanly possible without risking unintended wardrobe, an apparatus of string is employed to secure the bikini bottom in its precarious position like some sort of ass-sling. It is fantastic.

There are things about Senhime’s outfit that makes no sense though. Who the hell wears high heels to a beach? Wouldn’t this be a recipe for busted ankles? For that matter, why would she wear that ring belt? Wouldn’t that thing grill her bare flesh if she stays under a hot sun for too long? Fortunately, there is a simple remedy for all this silliness: instead of being on the beach, use your imagination to relocate her to a high-end strip club. Suddenly, everything is perfect!

Ashlotte: Funny even though I hated the anime and didn’t really think much of Sen, one of the things that sticks out foremost in my mind from the series was when she first walked out onto the beach in this outfit… The animation crew really lavished on the attention on that shot, and her hips were absolutely mesmerizing because of it!

Thankfully Alpha Max must have had the same thought process and really nailed all the good points of Sen’s swimsuit! As you said the choker is a nice touch paired with the submissive pose and those incredible heels! This is easily one of the more arousing figures to be thrown up for order in recent memory.