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Author: Chag

Discovering Photography

Over the last few months, I’ve gone on a bit of a spending spree. With a new camera body, new lens, and a new bag to hold everything in, I found myself feeling slightly ridiculous at how much I’ve poured into this hobby of taking photos of plastic butts. I was itching to make more use out of the D7000’s advantages, and that itch drove me from my cozy man-cave and into the Canadian winter, where I rediscovered why I enjoy photography. Read more »

Paintless Gunpla for Busy People

LAZY-PEOPLE

Remember that post I wrote for Hobbylink Japan that I mentioned in the Hi-Nu review? It is now live on hobbylink.tv — check it out!

Review: MG Hi-Nu Gundam

Master Grade Hi-Nu Gundam-18

Suprise — a Gundam review! Bet you weren’t expect that, huh?  It’s a little depressing to realize that it’s been a year and a half since I’ve done one of these. But unlike the hiatus I took in figure collecting, there’s a bit more to why the plamo section of Hobby Hovel has been neglected for so long.

In short, I’m a little burnt out on Gundam. From its conception, the Gundam franchise has been somewhat of a glorified toy commercial. Director Tomino Yoshiyuki broke the conventions of the late 1970s with the original Mobile Suit Gundam, but after 30 years, Gundam has become a convention if of itself, along a long list of tropes that are continually recycled to this day.

For me, the straw that broke the camel’s back was episode 5 of Gundam Unicorn, which continues to sideline quality storytelling in favour of echoing as many tropes as possible. There’s even a Lalah clone, right down to her physical appearance. The OVA has started to feel like a snotty little rich kid living big on his grandfather’s fortune — everything about it seems to be a thin slice of something great long ago. Once again, I find my expectations butting heads with reality.

I like Gundam, and the adventures of the White Base and its crew will stay with me forever (not to mention the exploits of Bernie, Shiro, and hell, even Domon). Yet for the sake of the franchise, there is a desperate need for innovation and risk-taking. I’d much rather have oddballs like Turn-A Gundam and G Gundam as opposed to the same story of about the space colony boy stumbling into the cockpit of cutting-edge military hardware.

By now you’re probably asking “if you’re so worn out on Gundam, why’d you buy another kit?” Well, I didn’t — this bad boy is actually a freebie from HobbyLink Japan for a little article I wrote for them (which will be up on hobbylink.tv in a few days). Whatever feelings I may have towards the Gundam franchise, building models is as fun as it has always been, especially when it’s one of the big daddies of early universal century mobile suits. Read more »

Review: 1/6 Aegis (ART WORKS ver.)

As some of you might know, I have something called the “one figure rule”. Since there are so many characters and series that I like, I’ve always thought that it’d be a waste to have multiple figures of a single character. So far Saber and Miku have skirted around the rule due to the drastically different appearances and costumes of each version I own, but I had thought that after getting the figma Aegis I would be done with the character.

To be honest, I have felt some tinges of regret over selling Alter’s first Aegis figure to make room for the figma. Though the figma is a is a lot closer to the character sprites in the game, it just feels a little…insubstantial.

Since I reviewed the figma, Aegis has been the subject of many more figures — so much so that fans of Persona 3 and 4 have been frustrated. While some of the Persona 4 girls have finally started to get some love, there hasn’t been a single figure of any of the human Persona 3 girls in the last three years, while no less than eight  figures of Aegis have been announced. But though I completely understand how frustrating this might be diehard fans, there’s a reason why Aegis has been such a favourite.

Simply put, Aegis is a smoking hot bucket of bolts (and I don’t mean her Ortega Mode), and Alter’s second take on the character, dubbed “ART WORKS ver.” after the name of Soejima Shigenori’s  artbook from which the source illustration came from, demonstrates this point brilliantly by taking my “one figure rule” and throwing it into a pit of fire. Read more »

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