Good Smile Company - Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade

Kiss-shot Sup guys! Can't believe it's spring already, this year is just flying so fast! I'm more than ready for the warmer months coming up ahead though.

One of the things I was looking forward to this spring was the screening of the first part of the Kizumonogatari film from the good folks at Shaft. The main reason I was anxiously awaiting was to see the super cool Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade. While she was on for a criminally short amount of time on screen Good Smile Company has provided me with an easier way to admire her.

Kiss-shot

That said though as short as it might have been the scene where she was featured more prominently is probably the best scene from the film in my opinion. It had such a strong impression in fact that I just threw away my plans for this figure and started anew. While I pictured a dark, foreboding, tense atmosphere the movie went a bit in opposite direction. It sure was tense and foreboding but the imagery was actually quite bright and bloody.

It was quite lucky for me that the movie was able to inspire this reaction. I had actually already attempted to take photos before of this figure but I was very unsatisfied with the results. Now though I had the needed motivation and ideas to re-shoot Kiss-shot.

Kiss-shot

Aside from the nice dose of inspiration from Kizumonogatari it was great to finally be able to watch Araragi's and Shinobu's origin story. From the very first episode of Bakemonogatari we had been shown small glimpses and allusions to it all the way to the latest Owarimonogatari. It's one of those things that I just kept wanting to see more and more as new tidbits were revealed.

Kiss-shot

Quite recently I got a chance to do so with the English release of the novel and with it another thing I have been wanting to experience read one of the original novels. Ultimately I ended up not doing so, I wanted to experience the movie for the first time with no bias from the novel. The same way I had experiencing the franchise up until now.

Kiss-shot

Once I watch the second part I will do so and experience this series it its more literary form. Sometime in the latter half of the year anyways.

As just as Shaft teased with the last line of the movie we will have to wait for the rest of the good stuff until then. Sadly I will looking forward to doing so a bit less than for the first part. While I really enjoyed watching Kizumonogatari on the big screen I can't say the same about watching it with a large group of people.

Kiss-shot

Perhaps it's all because I'm used to watching shows while relaxing at home quietly enjoying my time. Perhaps the crowd reactions distracted me. Perhaps it was because the guy next to me had a loud obnoxious laugh, would laugh at every little thing and would slap his leg while doing so disturbing me greatly in the crowded theater.

Yeah, it was definitively that guy.

Kiss-shot

Overall it was still a reasonably good first experience for this kind of thing and glad I finally experienced it. I have had terrible luck when it comes to anime showings on the big screen. A surprising amount of them are during weekdays making it hard for me to attend during the work week or as with the Love Live! movie, I end up traveling out of town or with a prior commitment.

Kiss-shot

The figure on the other hand though it has been definitely a 100% positive experience. While I love Shinobu to bits, I always longed for seeing more of Kiss-shot when I watched the show. Her brief appearances such as in Kabukimonogatari only serve to exacerbate that feeling.

Quite conveniently for me Good Smile Company has once again gone ahead and delivered quite nicely a high quality figure that looks pretty much perfect.

Kiss-shot

My favorite aspect is definitely Kiss-shot's smile. I can just feel the overwhelming confidence, the somewhat arrogant demeanor, the exuberance of power. I own plenty figures of pretty smiling girls but this somehow I get a totally different vibe in this situation.

Kiss-shot

GSC's attention to detail can be easily appreciated around the figure. Kiss-shot's dress contains many tears and singed marks adding to the illusion of the skirt's texture.

Kiss-shot

The folds of the skirt, the attention to the shape of the cloth as it drapes over the legs serve to continue to adding to the illusion of realism.

Kiss-shot

Kokorowatari looks the part quite nicely, the paint work gives the exquisite texture and look of a Japanese sword. Several parts such as the tempered line, the ridge and edge of the sword are easily visible given it good sense of authenticity.

The feathery accents on Kiss-shot's dress with their translucency provide a delicate image and serve their role.

Kiss-shot

The skirt can be cast off giving easy access to take a gander at Kiss-shot shapely long legs, he nice plump thighs and backside. I find however that without the skirt the figure feels a bit unbalanced by the lack of volume when compared to the top part.

Kiss-shot

The reason for that being Kiss-shot's long voluminous hair given its pretty appearance with all the nicely sculpted strands and expertly done shading. The illusion of motion once again done well with the direction of motion easily garnered at a glance.

Kiss-shot

Besides, Kiss-shot has always quite top heavy after all so there is a need to account for that as well. ;D

Kiss-shot

If there is one complaint it definitely has to be the long wait for this figure, when most of the time figure releases are measured in months seeing one such as this measured in years is quite unusual.

Seeing as Kiss-shot was released pretty much simultaneously with Kizumonogatari it makes me wonder if that had anything to do with the timing. Did GSC simply take so long to release because Shaft took forever and a day to release the movie?

Kiss-shot

For me, the wait wasn't particularly long or annoying aside from the always expected one or two month delay. I jumped quite late into the Monogatari bandwagon, right around the time Nekomogatari was being released. Was the wait worth it? I would say yes. I have no complaints at all about the figure itself, whether it is the sculpture or the paint work.

Plus, if anyone ever wanted a nice figure of an adult Shinobu or were tired of all the donuts this is definitely for them.

Now then, I wonder how many loli Shinobu figures I have to go through before someone makes a nice scaled released of teenage Shinobu that is not a prize figure.

Kotobukiya Oshino Shinobu - Mmmm... donuts!

Kotobukiya Shinobu Hey peeps!

How have you guys been since last time? Hopefully you guys have been having lots of fun.

Not too long ago I got to have some fun of my own with the super cute and adorable Kotobukiya Oshino Shinobu from the ever popular Monogatari franchise from good ol' Shaft.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

I have been a long time Shaft fan. When I started to become heavily invested in watching anime during my early college days I became attached to the weird quirky adaptations they made. Shows like Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei and Hidamari Sketch with their bold visual styles and disjointed storytelling really had a completely different vibe than their contemporaries.

Whenever there was a new season I would look to see what Shaft was up to, what interesting show would I add to my watch list.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

That's how I ended up watching things like Denpa Onna to Seishun OtokoMaria+Holic and several others. However, there was one show that was suspiciously absent for many years. One that I went out of my way to avoid, even when people were clamoring how awesome it was, how suddenly it took care of Shaft's money problems, how it was the greatest thing since sliced bread... again!

This good folks was me with a nice good case of hype aversion for certain show called Bakemonogatari.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

I always tend to be weary when the Western anime fandom explodes with whatever shows. I have found out time and time again I like anime shows for very different reasons than the Western fandom.

Heck one time someone called one of my most enjoyable shows to watch "garbage that no one right in the head would watch". Sometimes it seems like my tastes are mutually exclusive when it comes to anime with the Western fandom.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

It takes me some effort to get over that and actually sit down to watch these shows. I eventually watched it, popularity aside this was a show by Shaft. I enjoyed it, it's one the few shows I genuinely I wish I was fluent in Japanese so I could understand all the word play.

I suppose it did work out better for me in the end though, by the time I watched the show it was out on nice looking blu rays and this included all the extra episodes that were not broadcasted during its run.

Heck by the time I watched it the sequel Nisemonogatari was also out in super pretty blu rays too.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

With that said, when Bakemonogatari was at the height of its popularity, when everyone was crazy with all the merchandise I had no interest at all as I had never watched it.

When all the pretty figures were being released by Good Smile Company, Alter, Kotobukiya, etc I looked at them and thought they were nice and enjoyed the photos of them people would take.

The only figure that really caught my eye was GSC's Shinobu but it wasn't really until I saw a certain photo by Fab that I really started to crave that figure. Alas prices on that were silly so I never really thought to actually buy it. Good thing GSC re-released their Shinobu eh?

Kotobukiya Shinobu

After watching Nisemonogatari I ended falling in love with Shinobu, talking and having a personality really helps! I never really understood why she was so popular when she just sat quietly in a corner in Bakemonogatari.

After her depiction in Nisemonogatari I wanted a Shinobu figure badly, really, really badly. There was GSC's high profile rendition but that depicts Shinobu as she was in Bakemonogatari not the Shinobu I wanted. For a long time no one really did a Shinobu I wanted, I almost settled for a prize figure as the best I had to choose from.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

This is when the oft maligned Kotobukiya comes out of nowhere for me to the rescue. I never really subscribed to the hate camp for Koto but it had been ages since a figure from them interested me so I hadn't really paid much attention to them in a while.

Koto suddenly doing not only a Shinobu but just the perfect image of her that I wanted in figure form really struck me. After I saw the prototype at a Wonfes I just needed to know when could I order this figure and when would I get it.

Now then, how well did Koto do in bringing me my dream Shinobu figure to life?

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Shinobu has a super happy smile on her face, why wouldn't she when she is holding one of her beloved donuts in hand. The figure looks the part she has her perma blush, her lovely vampire fangs in full prominence and her beautiful large golden eyes. If you like the cute childish Shinobu this expression is for you.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

However, if the haughty older Shinobu that loves to tease Araragi is more up your alley then Koto has you covered as well. I love how her fang pokes out of her shrewd smile this combined with her narrow eyes makes me think she is saying she won't be sharing her beloved donuts.

As you have seen Shinobu comes with two interchangeable expressions. They work just like they do on figmas and nendos, you take out the front hair piece and swap them out as desired.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Apart from the two interchangeable expressions Shinobu comes with a few other accessories.  One of them is the donut she holds in her right hand, the donut is simply wedged into place. I gotta say I was surprised at how it is a lot more secure than photos make it seem, in all of my moving and bumping the figure around it did not fall out of her hand even once.

As far as looks go, I guess it does look like a donut? When looked from a normal viewing distance and not under a macro lens it looks pretty well.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

On the other hand, I can't say the same for the box of donuts. While it does look the part and gives the texture of an actual cardboard box it is no where as secure as the donut in Shinobu's right hand. With almost every little bump the box would fall out of her left hand. Eventually I got so annoyed at it I just didn't bother and left out as I was taking pictures.

Even without the box, Shinobu's left hand looks fine and can be displayed without if it becomes too much of an annoyance.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

As you probably noticed throughout these pictures Shinobu also comes with a nice straw hat with cute pink ribbon on it as seen in the show. The hat uses the power of magnetism once more, just like Koto's older Marisa figure, to keep the hat secured on her head.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

One of the things I really liked about the figure was the base featuring a certain young chap, I like the nod to how Shinobu lives in Araragi's shadow. Although the more I look at it, the more I keep imagining Araragi just peeking under Shinobu's skirt.

In case you are wondering, this figure has Shinobu wearing panties and not just a band aid.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Another thing I loved about this figure is how Shinobu's pose puts emphasis on her cute little loli behind and her nice slim legs. Not bad for only being in body that appears to be eight years old.

Which reminds, most of Shinobu's figures are of her as she appears in her lovely loli for. If you ask me I would really love one of her as a teenager as she appeared in the final episode of Nisemonogatari.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

I always loved Shinobu's sundress, I really dig the nice sexy back it shows off. Although I suppose with the open back and short skirt this dress would be a bit daring for an adult woman.

May be not, it sure hasn't really stopped cosplayers from doing so at all.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

My biggest complaint about this figure would be a couple of seam lines, or I suppose they are more aptly called gaps. One is the one you get from the separation between Shinobu's front bangs and the rest of hair in order to accommodate the face swapping. While I feel it is inevitable that there would be a gap I think Koto could have done a bit better to make it less noticeable.

The other thankfully enough is covered by Shinobu's hair and it's situated at her right shoulder where it attaches to the arm. I think Koto just slacked off on this one and were counting on the hair to conceal it. I suppose if that was their aim it worked out as it is not very noticeable.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Kotobukiya Shinobu

I wish her hair had a bit more shading, it looks fine I guess with natural shading from lighting but I would really liked a bit more. Perhaps if it did it would not look so much like bananas. I guess this is just Koto following the visual style of the show, GSC's own rendition also has a flat color for Shinobu's hair.

Aside from that the rest of the figure is painted well. Her dress looks very nice with touches of shading to give it some depth along with the folds. The small details like the ribbons in the dress or the underskirt are also done well with no paint going over the border.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

Over all I think Kotobukiya has done a splendid job with this figure. Sure it has some mishaps here and there but they are barely noticeable when you look at the whole package.

The figure looks like Shinobu, has all the elements that are associated with her and even has a variant if you want different expressions.

Kotobukiya Shinobu

I like this Shinobu, I will go as far as to say that I like it more that GSC's version. I do admit this has a lot to do with Koto's version depicting my preferred image of Shinobu and I do find the GSC version the more interesting figure over all.

At some point Alter should be showing off their figure, I suppose the ball is now in the court to see how their rendition matches up.

That's all from me for now, a bit long winded but it has been a while after all. Until next time peeps... ka, ka!

Pre-order list: I still like to burn money!

Greetings fellow collectors, how has the year of 2014 been treating you so far? At least for me the first third has been fairly nice, the figures I pre-ordered are actually getting released. As far as overall figure releases the year has also been nice to me, lots of nice figmas and figuarts I want and some nice scaled figures to top them off. Let's get on with list alright?

May

10253022a8

Panzer vor!

Did any of you guys watch Girls und Panzer last year? Did you like it? It seems the show was pretty much hate it or like it from my point of view. Since I'm buying the figma of the leading lady Miho you can probably guess I enjoyed it. Never knew I would like tankery and tank battles as much as I did when I watched the show.

At first I wasn't all that interested when the figmas were first revealed, after all without the tank the girls are just... well... girls. However, while they don't actually come with parts to build a tank they do come with some nice related accessories depending on their role. As you can see Miho as the commander has the commanding seat and the binoculars. I read somewhere that apparently GSC was gonna release a tank kit for the Panzer the girls ride in I hope it's true.

10254914a6

If I had to say who my favorite girl from Girls und Panzer that would probably be Yukari, the resident Tank otaku from the show. I really liked Yukari, her enthusiasm for tankery and tanks was a bit infectious at times. Much like Miho she comes with some nice bits from her role as the Panzer's loader, I'm really digging that tank shell for some reason.

Although, if I had to say what my favorite part is it would be the awesome sex hair Yukari comes with, so lewd! :P

10256694a

It seems like you've lost your love, oh sad Mr.reader! I, Cure Heart, will set your heart racing again!

Kyun~kyun~!

Have I ever mentioned I am a big Precure fan, I'm pretty sure I have several times before. As of this post I'm just one show and a couple of movies from having watched all of it, Precure 5 GoGo is the missing show for anyone curious, including the currently airing Happiness Charge Precure. Just recently Precure celebrated their 500th episode and this year is celebrating the franchise's 10th year anniversary. That's a lot of Precure I watched since Exilehero introduced me to it back in 2010.

I really, really must like Precure since I keep buying these S.H. Figuarts from Bandai. These figuarts sure keep getting the low end of the stick in my opinion, their releases are so spread apart and not in any timely fashion and their build quality leaves something to be desired sometimes.

Alas, here I am buying Cure Heart from last year's Doki Doki Precure. I liked her, probably one of the most capable leaders even if she was a bit of a Mary Sue in some episodes. Since I'm buying Cure Heart it probably means I will buy the rest of the girls, gotta keep the Precure merchandising machine going for more shows after all.

June

Akseru1391685122

You know how I just mentioned Precure figuarts get the low of the stick right now? Cure March from Smile Precure is a nice example. Now only is she barely getting released this upcoming June, a whole two years since Smile Precure aired, she is also an exclusive. Three out of five girls from Smile were exclusives actually making them a bit more expensive than they really should have been.

It's ok, since I liked Cure March, she was a nice straight up no nonsense Precure as shown by her post transformation catch phrase. Plus, she was voiced by the always lovely Marina Inoue, have her voice a character and you got my interest.

After Cure March that leaves only Cure Sunny for me to complete the set, she already has a release date on MFC but I haven't been able to find her up for pre-order anywhere which is kinda odd.

10260591a6

Do you guys like Idolm@ster? I sure do after watching the anime, I really want to play the games. Alas I'm not fluent in Japanese enough that I can fully enjoy them. Even so I can still enjoy other aspects of it.

One such aspect of it is of course figures as you can see with the super cute Ranko from spin off card game THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls. I love her Chuunibyouness, something I find amusing as her voice actress Maaya Uchida voices a certain other Chuunibyo, and she looks super cute with her goth loli looks. Besides just look at that pouting expression, so darn adorable!

Luckily for the ones that like Ranko and wish she was a playable idol in the main games the recently released THE iDOLM@STER ONE FOR ALL has some DLC of interest for them.

May be I should pick up that game, I always wanted to play a console Idolm@ster game anyways.

10257355a6

One of the hottest properties right now has to be Kancolle the online game with anthropomorphized Japanese WWII era battle ships. While you could possibly know nothing about the game or its contents or anything about WWII era ships I bet a lot of people are familiar with poster girl Shimakaze. Heck just look at the last Comiket's winter braving cosplayers cosplaying as Shimakaze in such large numbers.

While I don't play the game, too much trouble in my opinion with the lottery and VPN stuff, it is an entertaining affair with plenty of girls to fit anyone's taste. While not a fan of Shimkaze as a character I do love her expressions in game and this figma, specially her "damaged" expression. Plus Shimakaze makes very good use of the improvements made with the figma 2.0 body, just look at that lovely tushie of hers!

Since I ordered here from the GSC web shop I wont be getting mine until some time in June but I will be getting an extra version of Rensouhou-chan with a different expression than the normal release.

10257868a5

Infinite Stratos is not the best show around, it has some... problems for a lack of a better word. These problems were definitely exacerbated during its second season not too long ago.

Still, if you were there just for the girls then you are in luck and the show delivered on that front. A while back Wave released a Beach Queen figure of Laura, sadly that figure turned out to be fairly popular and it sold out before I knew it. Haven't really checked recently but her second hand prices were a lot more than anyone should pay for a Beach Queen figure.

Luckily to the rescue of sorts comes Penguin Parade with this super cute embarrassed Laura. I never bought anything from Penguin Parade nor have any of my figure collecting buddies so this figure will be my first experience with them. I'm hopping things turn out well since this figure is just a little bit pricey for its 1/8th scale and would be a shame for my first experience to be a bad one.

10164555a7

A few years ago there was a show by Shaft called Bakemonogatari, each Blu-ray cover got some spiffy illustrations by Akio Watanabe which in turn go some nice figures by Good Smile Company. A lot of people liked both the show and the figures becoming very popular, as for me? I completely ignored both of them.

Fast forward to a few years later and I watched and enjoyed the show and it's sequels, my favorite girl of the show would end up being the donut loving loli vampire Shinobu. Being the figure collector that I am I wanted to add GSC's Shinobu to my collection but alas the second hand prices the figure carried had one too many significant digits. That made me sad, very sad, luckily GSC decided to lift up my spirits by doing a release of Shinobu. Come June I will be a happy owner of this figure for a couple hundred less than some were asking for her.

July

10262705a6

My relationship with Nitroplus has been pretty hit or miss. I loved their earlier release of the Lovecraftian inspired Saya no Uta, which you can now buy in English by the way. It made such a big impression to me that to this day it is the only straight up PC visual novel I finished. It's also the theme of the first post I ever did in this blog apparently.

The first couple chapters of Chaos;Head had some awesome creepy atmosphere going but the anime ended ruining that game for me. I still can't muster enough interest to watch or play Steins;Gate, which you can also now buy in English.

However, when I watched a trailer for the Robotics;Notes visual novel it really caught my interest with the neat in story augmented reality bits and its use of 3D models rather than static 2D portraits. When the anime was aired I watched it, I enjoyed it for the most part and did find some of its commentary and use of technology interesting.

What I liked the most though, would have to be the lovely Frau. Socially awkward geeky girl who knows how to code? Oh god, marry me please! Frau was like a refreshing gust, a character definitely set in a different camp than the usual moe tropes really tickled an itch I never knew I had.

This figure of Frau with the couch and all the pocky boxes is nice, GSC did a good job in spicing up the original illustration. I do wish it was like the nendo and it also came with the disheveled hair in addition to Frau's usual pony tails.

10268224a5

Here we have the third girl from Girls und Panzer, the communications officer Saori. This busty lovely lass sure is amusing to me, always preoccupied with how to attract the opposite gender only to end up being popular only among her underclassmen, all of whom are girls mind you. I mean, aiming to get a boyfriend in a show with an all female cast? Good luck with that.

As you can see she comes with even more bits from the tank, at the very least even if there is no actual tank displaying all the girls together will be kinda neat.

With Saori that only leaves two more girls, gunner Hana and tank driver Mako, I look forward to seeing their proper reveal and eventual release.

10268553a6

~~DON'T LOSE YOUR WAY!~~

Did you guys watch Kill la Kill? I know silly question, who didn't really? After watching Little Witch Academia, buying the Blu-ray release and funding the kickstater for a second episode I can say I really like Trigger.

When they announced they were doing a TV series I figured it would be worth my time. I must be honest at first I wasn't all that into it, I found the character designs a bit ridiculous, I mean just look at Ryuko above! I watched the first two episodes a bit disinterested, but then I got to the third and holy mother did I become hooked, that fight between Ryuko and Satsuki, the music, the sudden bump in animation quality, the over the top fight with people flying about, all that hot bloodiness!

With that said, how can I not buy the leading lady? I'm glad that Ryuko is a character I really like, something that makes me very happy as Ryuko wont be just any figma for me... she will be my 100th figma! I can barely believe I bought 100 of these things, sure as hell didn't expect it when I got Exilehero to buy Yuki when he went to Japan back in 2008.

10268953a3

Ah, the last of the inner scouts, with Sailor Jupiter I will have all five of them. I don't know if you noticed but I have a thing for completing sets like these, at least when it comes to the non scaled articulated stuff.

I actually missed out on pre-orders for Jupiter so she ended up being sold out in the usual set of shops! Luckily for me this is a Bandai figure and Bandai just so happens to sell directly through Amazon in the US so I just ordered her there.

As I been buying these Sailor Moon figuarts I have been noticing I don't really remember all that much about the show or the girls themselves. I heard that there was gonna be a Blu-ray release of the show in the west or something lately, might be a good time to pick it up and re-watch it that way.

 

This takes care of pretty much anything that will be released up until summer Wonfes shows us what's coming for the rest of the year. Although this list might grow by one or two figures before that.

I actually also want to buy Wing's Purple Heart; however, my lack of experience with Wing and the fairly high price made me think it over a long time and unexpectedly for me she sold out. Given her price I was really expecting for her to be available up until her release, only thing I can do now is wait and hope I can still get her for a decent price.

The other figure I'm considering is Max Factory's Yagami Tsurugi from Sasami-san@Ganbaranai, for Tsurugi there is no particular reason I haven't ordered here, I suppose I should just do it.

 

What about you guys, anything tickle your fancy here? That's all for now, peeps, have a nice one!