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Author: Chag

Review: Revoltech Date Masamune (Limited White Ver.)

Revoltech Sengoku Basara-023

To live a good life, one must often ask the question “why?” Yet there are some cases in which the question would be better off unasked. “Why is he holding six swords in between his fingers?” “Why is a feudal Japanese warlord spouting bad Engrish like a broken faucet?” “Why does his horse have handlebars and exhaust pipes sticking out of them?” When it comes to Sengoku Basara’s portrayal of the famed Japanese tactician Date Masamune (nicknamed dokuganryū or “One-Eyed Dragon”) from the 17th century, sense and reason are far, far removed from the sphere of relevancy.

For better or for worse, this scene will forever remain as the most memorable moment in the Sengoku Basara anime.

As the companion to the Sanada Yukimura Revoltech figure I reviewed a few weeks ago, this limited white version of the Date Masamune Revoltech is similar to its rival both in their good overall quality, as well the presence of a couple of significant faults. On with the review!

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Review: 1/100 Over Flag

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Being an enemy of Celestial Being in the first half of Gundam 00’s first season is a tough gig. Most of the conflicts ended up being merciless curbstomps in the face of the overwhelming technological that existed between the GN-drive powered gundams and the contemporary weapons of the day – it was kind of like a fight between a lightsaber and a foam noodle. However, despite the odds, there arose a few individuals who were proven to be capable of dealing with the pseudo-terrorist menace. Graham Acker and his Over Flag squadron were among them.

The Over Flags were specifically designed to counter the Gundam threat. By thinning the armour of the standard Union Flag, these newer machines sacrifice durability in favour of speed and agility since conventional armour has proven to be useless against the advanced arsenal of the Gundams. A tri-barrel 200mm/60mm linear rifle was also implemented on the Over Flags to give them a little more firepower. These fighting machines were piloted with the Union’s best and represent the pride of the nation, but does the 1/100 scale model live up to the Over Flag’s lofty status in the anime? For the most part, yes.

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Review: 1/8 Hatsune Miku “World is Mine”

Now, I know what you’re thinking – Another Vocaloid figure review? Why not change your tagline to “Plamo, Toy and VOCALOID Figure Reviews while you’re at it?” Admittedly, I am invested a little too deeply in Good Smile Company’s line of Vocaloid figures. However, the subject of this week’s review – the 1/8 “World is Mine” Hatsune Miku – has a special place in my heart.

Rewind to July of last year. It was a blissful summer, and I was still free of Vocaloid fever. I knew who Hatsune Miku was – a Japanese voice synthesizer program that was responsible for an empire of fan-produced songs. However, at that point in time I still did not understand her virulent popularity. Song like Levan Polka and Black Rock Shooter that were linked to me by friends sounded stiff and lifeless to me, and I had no real reason nor incentive to look into the source of Miku’s magic.

Enter SEGA’s Hatsune Miku: Project Diva game for the PSP. Being the dirty pirate that I am, I decided to give the game a try since it came at no cost to me. After navigating into the playlist, I found myself tapping my way through a catchy tune accompanied by a 3D model of Miku strutting her stuff in a delightfully saucy fashion. That tune was none other than supercell’s “World is Mine”.

It was love at first sight.

Since then, the voice of real living people have been steadily phased out in favour of my new artificial overlords, and it all started with that little song! So when I saw GSC’s “World is Mine” Miku on sale for 30% off along with 50% shipping, I could not resist. Sure, I wasn’t crazy about the natural frame. Sure, I heard the quality control was lacklustre. But can you blame me? Even at the end of the day after appreciating all of this figure’s various flaws (some of which quite serious), I still can’t bring myself to override my ruling fondness for her unique presentation and features.

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Review: HG 00 Gundam & 0-Raiser

Hey-ho boys and girls! Before we get started this week I would like to direct your attention to your URL bar. That’s right – Hobby Hovel now has its own domain! Nifty ain’t it? Unfortunately as a result of a bug within Blogger, all the comments from my older reviews (before I switched to IntenseDebate) were knocked out. Hopefully they’ll resolve this soon… Anyhow, on with the rant!

HG 00 Gundam Raiser-036

Back in summer 2008 when I first laid my eyes on the MS designs for the second season, I was sorely disappointed. Rather than taking a step forward, these four new suits seemed to be a stumble backwards. Gone were the distinctive orb-centred designs of the first season, and in its place I saw a bunch of simple and blocky designs that seemed to be the work of amateurs. The 00 Gundam was the least offensive out of the bunch, yet I still thought the GN drives hanging over its shoulders were ridiculously goofy. Assuming the reason for these simple designs was merchandise marketing, I thought to myself: “The models coming out this season had better be fucking amazing.”

Well, lo and behold a few months later I find myself waiting for the HG 00 Gundam and 0-Raiser to arrive in the mail. Not only did I learn to warm up to the second season’s designs somewhat, web previews of the HG models for the second season had all the innovation the mechanical designs lacked. My expectations, which were heightened greatly by these previews, were not betrayed when the models finally arrived. Simply put, the 00 Gundam is in a league of its own when it comes to articulation on HG models, and as long as you are willing to put a little work on painting some omitted details, these kits are must-haves.

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