Alter's Louise Gothic Punk ver. - Tsun Tsun

I can’t believe this year is almost over, just a few more weeks and on to 2013. So many cool figure releases this year for sure, for me it was a pretty good year for scaled releases and my beloved figmas. Interestingly enough this year saw several releases of older popular figures from a variety of manufacturers allowing some of us to acquire some sought after releases.

One such figure is Alter’s Louise Françoise Le Blanc de la Vallière - Gothic Punk ver. the archetypical tsundere with a mouthful of a name. A figure that I wanted to get my hands on for years ever since I started to collect figures four years ago.

Louise sure has gotten a variety of figures over the years, after all Zero no Tsukaima was a nice long running light novel series and a four season anime. Among those figures there have been three in particular, all from Alter, that have caught my interest and I would love to own someday.

The first I already own, Alter’s uniform version, the second would be their bustier version and finally the third would be the titular figure of this post.

This year was really the year of re-releases and it pleases me to end that one of those figure would be one of my top ten most wanted figures. If I had to pick my biggest pet peeve of the figure collecting hobby it would be the second hand market. For the most part, if you miss out on a release of a figure you have to be prepared to pay way over the retail price or play the waiting game until you find the best deal. Being able to buy this figure at retail price was an unexpected surprise.

I’m surprised though that Louise has not gotten more figures in recent times, the uniform version that I got is from 2009, so is the original release of this figure and 2008 for the bustier version. There wasn't anything big from the third and fourth seasons, even if there were plenty of nice costumes to choose from. In particular I would love a Louise figure in her wedding dress. I always thought Zero no Tsukaima was one of the more popular shows of the last few years. Although I suppose this could be only my point of view as a westerner.

I actually been in another one of my slumps, this time though not because of how my pictures look but because the ideas behind my photo shoots have become stale to me. I’m bored of just doing the tried and true flat background. However, not since October’s Purple Heart have I done a proper scaled shoot. I figured, rather than just not shoot anything until I got more ideas I should do a quick and easy shoot so I wouldn't get rusty and try out some things while I’m at it.

This where Louise comes in, this Goth Punk version from Alter has been out for a while and several people have already reviewed the re-release. I figured, this figure would be perfect for me to try out things and still be fine if I screwed up a bit.

One of the things I tried was trying to use a back lit backdrop, something I never done for a scaled shoot. I experimented a bit with my figmas but nothing serious. Building up from an old idea I threw some lace in front of my diffuser box. I think that was kinda of a failure, with the exposure that I used and the aperture I feel not enough detail came through in the end.

More interestingly for me though, for the first time ever I post processed my photos. I put aside my super negative view of post processing just to give it a try. Following Chag’s super awesome video tutorial I grabbed the trial of the latest Adobe Lightroom and gave it a go. I gotta say it was much simpler that I thought and not that very time consuming either. Then again I did not tweak each picture individually and just applied the same settings to the whole batch.

What do you guys think? Did I butcher my pictures, should I have let my camera take care of it? While I’m still not of the opinion that you need to post process every picture that comes out of the camera I’m more open to the idea now that I was before. Just like I told Chag, it’s alright.

What do you guys do for post processing if any? Is there any cool tips and tricks or tutorials you recommend?

As for the figure itself, I obviously like it quite a bit. I like that it shows Louise in a nice dere dere mood, although I think I would like a figure of her being all tsun tsun too. Kind of a shame though that Alter toned down the blush and perplexed expression Louise had in the original illustration the figure is based of.

Well, I suppose compared to the original illustration where Louise is essentially flashing her panties to us this pose does not warrant so much blushing. Another of the things that Alter toned down for the figure, although I’m undecided if this is a good thing or not. Having her panties right there out in the open is kinda alluring but I think it makes it lose some of the appeal the teasing such as with this figure provides. Although if you really want to see them you totally can along with some delicious zettai ryouki. A must for any tsundere played by Rie Kugimiya. The thigh highs in particular caught my attention as they present a nice asymmetric look to her legs.

This leads to the one part I dislike about this figure. I don’t like her boots at all. I find them to look very goofy, almost clown like. I wonder why they were done this way, in the illustration they look pretty normal and are sized appropriately. I do like the cute skull cat thing on it, pretty neat.

One of the things I always liked about Louise is her gorgeous hair. Might be the pink, may be the nice waves to it, might be nice volume it always seems to have. I don't know what it is but I really like it. The hair for the figure looks the part, the shading is done well and the ribbons accentuate it nicely. One of the most noticeable things in figures for me tend to be the hair, when a figure manufacturer screws up the hair it is usually a very big flaw that does not go unnoticed. Might sound like a broken record but Alter never disappoints in that area for me.

As for the rest, super duper job from Alter as always, which is doubly nice since this is technically a figure from 2008. Whenever I get older figures whether second hand or as a re-release I’m always impressed with them. While not as elaborate as today’s figures some of them such as this one really do hold up with their build quality and paint.

In the end I'm super happy to own this figure, happy that I finally tried my hand at some post processing and I got an excuse to take pictures of a figure that probably doesn't need more. Not that has stopped me before though.

Now it's time for be to go back the figure I really wanna shoot now, the currently overly popular Katanako from Max Factory.

 

Pre-order list: the "dammit dollar, why are you so weak" edition!!!

So this time, me and exilehero are doing a pre-order list together. The pre-order list from last time, which was all my stuff.

February

To start off is a figure both exilehero and myself have sought after for some time now.

Annelotte from Queen's Blade Rebellion. I know nothing about the OVA's or about Annelotte herself but all those pictures on MFC sure have skewed my idea of her.

One disappointing thing though, I had imagined her voiced by Yukana sounding just like Tessa does. Alas she is voiced by Aya Endo who couldn't be further from that high pitched cutsy voice... oh well... Aya Endo is still nice though.

 

I pretty much wanted her because of the pictures in MFC and after seening the OVA I wanted her even more, the Elf instructor included. She has such exploitable expressions, 3 really nice faces to tease her with. I also like that she's a girl knight, I think I like that sort of thing. You don't see many girls with functional armor out there. Not that she keeps it on for long, being Queen's Blade and all.

This figure makes me quite happy, Makoto is another one of my grail figures.

Been wanting her for ages but I never saw it for sale anywhere at all. A helpful soul on figure.fm directed me to a personal sale on ebay, after checking everything out and for a reasonable price no less, I bought Makoto.

Time to look forward to the likely emotional breakdown I will have reliving Kanon when I get to do a photo shoot for this figure.

 

I really don't get why you got this one at all. I just can't understand having not watched Kanon so I can't relate to the emotional response. Being relativity new to figures I see this one as kinda plain in comparison to today's. But hell whatever makes you happy. Though now that I see her from the backside in this picture she does have a rather nice fan-service-y skirt. I just don't understand grail figures.

This is a pair of figures I have been eyeing for over a year.

When they where first released last year I did not see much interest in them, only a few pictures on flickr. I can probably make a guess why people disliked them though.

Still I find them to be charming, after all they remind me of one big reason I like Touhou, everyone has their personal take on the characters. These two figures are the sculptor's take on Reimu and Marisa. I'm getting both since you can't have Reimu without Marisa and vice versa.

 

I don't really like this Reimu that much, but I like Marisa. Reimu looks kinda scrawny from the photo's I've seen, and her face doesn't look very Reimuish to me. Marisa fits the skinnier look a little better to me. She has more defined legs form what I've seen. But more Touhou stuff is always good. I'm still surprised you just went and ordered both.

 

 

 

March

Ah Mami, the ever so popular puella magi that got a bit ahead of herself.

I still plan on collecting all five girls, already got Madoka and Homura and next up is Mami.

Such a shame she got delayed from January until March though.

 

 

 

They included the angsty face even though it was just like 5 seconds or something from the anime. Poor Mami will never live it down. I like how all the Madoka girls come with a bunch of weapons. And it's a good thing it got delayed, now my March shipping costs are shared evenly, yay!

Are you all ready for a squidding invasion  ~ de geso!

Ika Musume is a type of character that makes me so happy the figma line exists. While a scaled figure of her would be nice it would not be able to give me as much fulfillment as this figma will. To be able to relieve all those memorable antics of Ika Musume's invasions would be impossible. Quite frankly, it's because she is a figma that she can live up to the potential of her character.

 

I'm also getting her. I really liked the Ika Musume anime, it's such an emotional rollercoaster, and because of it I can think of a lot of photos I want to take of her. I'm a little woried that her tentacles will get bent out of shape though.

I know very little of Sengoku Rance, one thing is that it contains interpretations of historical figures. Two the protagonist will rape any girl in sight, including a genderbend version of himself. Three it contains really cute looking girls. I remember the bigger scaled version of Kenshin that FREEing did a while back, always caught my attention but since I knew nothing about the character I never bought it. The figma is a nice interpretation, really love that cute blushing face. Good thing exilhero is buying one.

 

 

Erm, well Rance doesn't actually rape himself as a girl, that's just a Bad End, but the other two are correct. Anyway I did play Sengoku Rance and I got way more than I expected. In the end I was actually playing because it was fun rather than for, you know, ecchi stuff. Kenshin is one of the cuter girls in the game so I natually wanted to have her. That FREEing Kenshin was the first figure I actually considered buying, but I thought it was ridiculously priced at the time. I hope they make more Figmas of this series, maybe Senhime or Sill, hell Rance would be nice for funny comics.

Next up is that idiotic puella magi.

While I still dislike Sayaka a bit, I also still think she is the better looking of the puella magi in terms of her design. I look forward to her addition to my collection of puella magi figmas.

Plus that "unlimited blade works" she has going on with her cutlasses is pretty neat.

 

 

 

Ehh I don't know why you hate her so much, she was an idiot and all but I don't see it justifying so much hate. And I also don't get why you like how she looks, her design looks kinda plain to me. I still wonder what those triggers on her swords are for.

Alter's Persona 3 figures are some of my more sought after past releases, but god, those second hand market prices.

Luckily enough for me Alter came to the rescue with the release this awesome looking version of Aigis. This version is even more detailed looking than Alter's past efforts with Aigis, a perfect recreation of the illustration that this figure is based on.

Although it was annoying Aigis was delayed not once but twice, she was supposed to be released in January. I guess my lucky break of figures releasing on time is over now that 2012 has started.

This is my first scaled Aigis, only got the two figmas thank you very much.

 

Don't you already have enough Aigis figures already? I rember you had like 4 or something. Well she does look pretty nice I'll give you that. I really like how detailed she is and how striking her blue eyes are. I always thought that her robot hooves looked kinda gross though.

I have no idea who this girl is other than she comes from a visual novel from Nitro+.

I do remember debating whether I wanted to buy her. I like maids, I like the pose, I love her pouting expression, a nice tanned girl is nice once in a while too.

In the end though, I didn't have to worry whether to buy or not.

 

 

Because I decided to get it. I also don't know much about her, but when I first saw her it was love at first sight. I mean delicious tsundere brown elf girl in a maid outfit! How can I NOT have it? I was on the fence with her for a bit though. Her face reminded me of this one doujinshi where bad things happen to enslaved brown elf girls. Which reminds me of this other H anime where brown elf girls get abused some more. They just can't catch a break. But I researched a bit and found out a little more about her and now I see the face as embaressed rather than sad.

 

 

April

See this bodacious looking sexy woman?

She is one of the few things that genuinely scared me when I played a game. God this woman, I will never forget her introduction into the battlefield.

Anyways, I don't really like this figure, I think the body looks too elongated. I'm quite happy with Alter's other Selvaria which I should really take out of her box one day and snap some pictures of her.

 

Man, the only comment you make of the figure and it's a negative one. I think she looks fine really. The designs from Valkyria Chronicles are kinda like this. I think the figure follows the original drawings rather than the game's design. Raita's drawings tend to be a little exagerated in expression (and breast size), which makes them appealing to me. I was indecisive on whether to get her for a while because her boobs look a little too big and because that shower head is is just stupid. I took a good look at her face though, and I remembered why I like Selvaria so much in the first place. Anyway I can't wait to see her when she arrives later in the year.

I arrived too late to the figure collecting business by the time I got into Zero no Tsukaima so I missed out on all the cute Louise figures.

Luckily enough for me, Alter decided to re-release probably the one Louise figure I sough the most. Actually lately I been getting some nice re-releases from figure manufactures.

Anyways, I find this Louise really cute, just look at that expression. I find it quite an interesting figure as it does not depict Louise in her familiar school uniform or that well known maid outfit she wears.

 

I really like Louise. She's probably my favorite Kugimiya Rie tsundere. Violent temper aside, when she's dere she's really DERE, it just melts my heart each time she's embarassed by whatever Saito is trying to do to her. And because I like Louise so much it was hard to pass on this figure but in the end I did. I can't seem to find a Louise figure that I absolutely love.

Here we go, the last of the puella magi.

I don't know what to say, Kyouko is probably the girl I like the least. I don't hate her, I just don't like her either. I think I ended up finding her boring or something.

Well, whatever, I look forward to get her to reenact some delicious yuri with her and Sayaka. Oh man, when I get her it's gonna be so cool to finally have all five girls together, gonna make me feel quite satisfied for sure.

 

Kyouko is probably my favorite Madoka girl. I like her kinda rough personality, her long red hair tied up in a pony tail, and her character design. Not that many people like her for some reason. As much as I liker her I'm not really getting her. I can't do much with just one Madoka girl, and Miette is getting her so I'll get to see her anyway.

 

 

 

May

Much like last year the figure I look forward to the most is a rendition of Yukari. Reimu might be my favorite Touhou girl but Yukari is the one who gets the nicer figures. She comes with some nice options to display her.

Although I'm quite weary of this figure. It has a quite higher price than a similar figure her size normally goes for, plus she is by QuesQ a manufacturer that I have yet to see up close. Reviews of their figures have turned out fine so I have high hopes for their work.

 

First thing I said when when I saw her was "Ok I'm buying this", then I saw the price, and said, "Ok I'm buying this", then Miette said he was getting it too and I said, "order two". I might have been joking but she looks really damn detailed. The more I see of her the more I want her. I really really like how she looks in the photos so far so I have high hopes for her. The price tag doesn't looks so unreasonable now. Did I mention I like Yukari?

One day, I was noticing a severe lack of swim suit figures in my collection. I only have two of them. I also noticed that I was being a bad Nanoha fan and skipping on her figure releases. Finally I noticed my ratio of loli Nanoha to adult Nanoha was not equal.

Then Alter came to the rescue, not only do I get an adult sexy Nanoha to balance things out, she is also wearing a swim suit. No wonder Alter is my favorite manufacturer.

This figure is based on a poster featuring Nanoha, Fate and Vivio leaning against a wall. The inclusion of a chunk of that wall makes me hope Alter will release a Fate and Vivio to match this Nanoha.

 

 

This one looks really nice. Ever since I got summer dress Fate I've become somewhat of a Fate fan, so the first thing I thought when I saw Nanoha was, "Is there a Fate like this?". Sadly not (yet). I've been meaning to get another Fate figure but I can't quite pick one I like. I kinda wanted to get the enormous 1/4th swimsuit Fate but I'd rather wait and see if they make one to acompany this Nanoha... which was supposed to be the main focus of my comment here. Oh well.

To make sure we do not have a lack of swimsuit clad girls during the summer exilehero is buying this Cecilia. Cecilia is my favorite IS girl, I think she is a fun gal, she is also voiced by Yukana.

I been curious about the Beach Queens line for a while, never got interested in any of the figures to actually buy one. The one exception was Biri Biri but alas, I missed out on that release and re-release. Only one thing I dislike already is their size, 1/10 makes them kinda tiny.

 

I've been wanting a Cecillia figure for a while and this one was the one I liked the most from what I've seen. Miette's been telling me about swimsuit figures in the summer for a while so she takes care of a couple things at a time. Hmm I didn't even realize she was 1/10th scale. I love her drill hair!

This figure I find quite charming. I'm sure only Touhou fans, by that I mean actual fans who play the games, will enjoy this figure.

ZUN, creator of Touhou has a rather unique art style. This figure is based on his art rather than some artistic interpretation of it. In fact this is pretty much the menu screen for the twelfth Touhou game, Undefined Fantastic Object.

The figure itself is really cheap, more along a prize figure, it's also from a manufacturer that I never hear of before. Still as a Touhou fan I can't pass this up, it's just too amusing.

 

This one is just silly.

 

 

 

 

 

June

Alright, raise your hand if you didn't see this coming?

After Robocop I suppose the figma line is branching more besides cute girls and Kamen Riders.

There is also apparently a Link figma now so I wonder what other Nintendo characters will come out. Some people were being idiots on 4chan one time because this Samus is based on her Other M incarnation. I liked the game, a nice Metroid game, a nice action game, a nice gamey game.

My biggest complain is that Samus was not voiced by Jenifer Hale like she was in the Prime games.

I mean, just imagine, Samus sounding as cool as FemShep!

 

Oh don't remind me of the Prime fanboys, oh the humanity! Anyway I'm also getting her. I'm kinda glad that recently I've been seeing more video game characters getting figures. I already have a million ideas for Samus. It's easy for me to come up with stories for game characters it seems.

Here is Rita from Tales of Vesperia the game I bought an Xbox 360 for. For some reason I really, really liked the party characters a lot in Tales of Vesperia. That single handedly made Vesperia my favorite Tales game.

I did find it odd that Alter went and release a figure of Yuri, the protagonist, and Flynn, his friend and rival, before any of the girls.

Now here we are and Alter is releasing Rita, here I hope Alter does the other girls too. Give me Judy, Judy! Man I love that woman!

 

I've yet to play Vesperia. I was gonna play it and then literaly that day the PS3 version with extra content was anounced. So I decided to wait for the PS3 version to get localized to play it... AND I'M STILL WAITING! haha.. I'll play it some day.. *sigh*, on the 360. Oh yeah, only Miette is getting this one.

 

 

 

Another Ques Q figure, this time of the the titular Neptune in her goddess form as Purple Heart from Hyperdimension Neptuna.

My one disappointment from this figure is the lack of the armor that goes along with this form in the game.

That game was sure a mixed bag. A game where you play as the anthropomorphization of the current console war and their fight against piracy. If you are a person who has been gaming for years and watching anime for years the reference fest that is this game is a rather amusing experience.

Too bad playing the game itself was a pain in the ass.

 

I think she looks very nice. For some reason I really like her face and hair and eyes and body and suit. Though I've never really played Neptunia, so that really keeps me from buying it.