Alter's Yagyu Jubei - Beating the dead horse

You know that saying, third time's a charm? That’s how I feel after getting my hands on Jubei after so many years.

The first time I had no money to buy her, the second I hesitated too much and it sold out, that’s why this time I jumped at the chance to pre-order without a second thought. This let me with almost four years of suppressed desires to sit down and take pictures of her.

With that said without much further ado I present to you the millionth look at Alter’s Yagyu Jubei from Hyakka Ryouran.

If you ben around the figure scene for the past three to four years you must have inevitably seen either this rendition off Jubei or the variety of offerings by other manufacturers. In particular this version by Alter has been one of those ubiquitous figures that everyone seems to own. Just look at the sheer number of user pictures on MFC and it’s ever present front page entry in the figure category.

If you go on a trip down the memory lane and look at figures blog from around 2009 you will probably see various reviews of this figure, the same for the second re-release more or less.

Quite simply a lot has been said about Jubei, a lot of pictures of her have been taken. This left me with a conundrum, did I have anything new to say, any new way to show her off in pictures?

The answer in the end was no, not really.

If you keep reading, you will probably end up hearing the same things about the figure everyone has been saying for years. I suppose I could complain about Alter’s endless delays this years but I suppose at this point all of that is moot.

This is why at first I didn't actually thought to do a photo shoot when I ordered Jubei, I figured I would just order her and be happy to finally own her.

However, once I actually got the figure, once I saw her in person, that changed. It is a very nice figure, very easy to see why I find it so ubiquitous. So I thought, what the hell, who cares if I’m beating the dead horse and make a post about Jubei. At the very least I felt more comfortable trying out a two point lighting setup which I hadn't done in forever.

I might have mentioned it before but I have only one rule that I always abide to when buying figures. I must have either watched or played the media where a character originates before I buy a figure. Occasionally I cheat a bit and order a figure first and then go check out the source material. That is exactly what I did with this figure, after all at first it was only a line of figures which then got an anime.

An anime where you had a genderbent version of one Japan’s most famous samurai, along with a slew of other historical figures, interesting visual style, and several popular seiyu such as Rie Kugimiya?

Sounds pretty cool, right? Except that it really wasn't, not for me anyways. I mean, it has a lot of things I would normally like and yet for some reason it didn't click.

I have tried watching the first episode several times and the beginning of the second but I can't seem to get past that. It is a fanservice show with historical figures as girls, I sat through shows with a similar premise but for some reason I never been able to with this one, I wonder why that is though.

At least I can enjoy the figures side of it and seems to have been successful enough since there is a currently airing second.

Out of all the figures that have come out, only this interpretation of Yagyu Jubei has really caught my eye. I mean sure some others like Naoe Kanetsugu really tickled my fancy but not enough to click on that order button.

I don't know what it is about this figure, but I really, really like it.

I mean, sure I’m really fond of the way it mixed traditional Japanese imagery with modern imagery in the clothes. That is something that I have always liked about the whole line of Hyakka Ryouran in general.

You look at Jubei and she is essential wearing what looks like the top part of a sailor school girl uniform, sans skirt for some dubious reason.

Her whole design is accentuated by Shimenawa, the rope that can be easily seen at Shinto shrines in Japan, adding that definite traditional flair and strong visual element with the large ribbon in her back. These ropes are believed to act as wards against evil spirits in Japan, seeing as Jubei had some dual personalities going on in the first couple of episodes I wonder if their presence in her design have any relevance to the plot or they were only added because they look cool. Alter did an excellent work with them, while they don't actually have the texture of a rope they sure look like they do which I suppose is all that matters.

In addition to that, something that I hadn't noticed before after all this years is the drum in her back below the ribbon, I wonder what is up with that as well. If you look around you see other different elements like her hair ornament which to me seems reminiscent of a sword hilt or the hair ornaments in the back bun. Of course you can't have a samurai girl without swords which look quite nice, I do wonder though how having swords attached to your thighs works out, I suppose that is a strange decision in their placement.

This placement though draws attention to something that I really like about this figure. Jubei is a bit meaty. She obviously has the bust, nothing to out of the ordinary there. It’s when you look down that things get a more interesting, just look at those nice hips and thighs. The way the ropes around them dig in gives them such a nice sense of volume!

Jubei’s face is something that I love about this figure a lot, the nice bright blue eyes direct my gaze to them, the faint lip gloss is a nice alluring touch and the slight presence of the eye shadow in a color complementing her overall color scheme.

Something that I find amusing about the figure is her pose, it’s not very samurai like, not something I would think of when you say master swordsman. It actually reminds me a lot of the kind of poses idols would do at a concert or an event.

Nice details, nice posing, nice build, nice painting.

I’m quite happy with this figure, not too annoyed at the stupidly long delay since she is up to usual Alter quality. I regret a little bit not being more decisive during that second re-release, could have owned and enjoyed this figure since then. I suppose all that matters is that I have in my hands now... and to think I was gonna cancel it...

Pre-order list: the I'm super glad the world didn't end edition!

DonationCropIf the world totally ended last year that would mean that I would never get any of the cool stuff that I have on my pre-order list. Now that it is 2013 and it has been more than six months since the last pre-order list is time to see what the new year has ahead for me.

February

First up is my beloved Nanoha, she is the one character I have the most figures of. A trend that I will probably mention more than once with this list is how for a great deal of the figures listed pretty much every single one has been delayed. Nanoha is one such case originally this figma was to be released in December but now it ended being delayed twice to this month.

That aside, yay more Nanoha figma goodness! Although I do question why I decided to buy this figma, I mean it is like 99% the same as the movie version that I already own. I do suppose a great deal of my desire is that she comes from the movie adaptation of A's arguably the best Nanoha show and my favorite.

If you get Nanoha you totally need to get Fate too!

I was never a fan of how Fate looked in the original show or the movie; however, her updated look in A's and now the second movie is more up my alley. I already received the Sonic Form version figma and now wait for Fate's regular form. I do find it kinda odd getting the alternate form before this one though but like I mentioned before delays! Oh so massive delays!

I'm super glad that I am an Aigis fan, if I was bigger fan of any of the other girls from Persona 3 I would so be getting the short end of the stick. I don't know why but figure manufactures sure love making figures of Aigis. I'm glad they do because I was able to get awesome figures like the ART WORKS ver. I reviewed before. Heck just with Max factory alone this will be the third figma they do of Aigis after her Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES looks.

Since she looks as how she appears in Persona 4 Arena I totally hope she is in scale with Yukiko and Chie because the previous two Aigis figmas totally weren't!

March

First up for March is a figure that most people are probably really familiar with, Yagyu Jubei from Hyakka Ryouran.

I admit I have yet to go past the first episode of the show but I always been a fan of the visual design of the characters and the show itself. Orignally when this figure was released I simply did not have enough moneys to get her at the time. When Alter did a release my indecisiveness led to the figure being sold out even if she was available for a while. Now the third time around I pre-ordered her immediately!

Although due to a changing financial situation I will most likely end up cancelling her.

Now say what you may about Infinite Stratos as a show but I found the girls to be very darn appealing. This is one of those situations where my favorite figure manufacturer, Alter, makes a figure of my favorite girl from a show, Laura, in a costume I really like, maid uniform.

When Laura first went up for reservations a lot of people complained about her price, including my figure blogging friends. Although a bit higher than usual it is Alter, they will deliver no doubt, and Laura comes with a variety of display options. Then again this could be my bias talking.

Again with like Yubei I might cancel Laura even with as much as I like her, she is simply the most expensive scaled figure in my pre-order list. However, if the USD/Yen ration continues as it is I might reconsider and still get her.

You know what I hate? Exclusive figures. You know what I hate about exclusive figures? Paying a mark up to a middleman to get one. You know what I hate about committing to buy with a said middleman? Not being able to cancel without a fee.

Which is what I would have done if I didn't get charged 15% of the cost of the figure and a permanent ban from the store, geez! After I ordered Tenshi she was promptly listed for a cheaper price on the Good Smile Web shop.

Alas, nothing I can do now but that's ok because this is a very pretty figure! I really liked GSC's previous Tenshi and I find this one even more appealing. It really plays on Tenshi's angel imagery much more than the other figure and for some reason the dress is castoffable.

I just hope the wings are not a pain in the ass like before.

I don't particularly like Madoka all that much so I was not crazy and/or stupid enough to go out and buy GSC's scaled figure. However, a figma of Madokami? That I am willing to buy, after all I already own all the previously released Madoka figmas and would like to complete the set.

One thing worries me about this figma though, her skirt. I get the feeling nice dynamic poses with Madokami wont be something that will be able to be done.

The figma line has been very nice to me over the years. Several times I thought to myself, I sure wish this one character got a figma, and you know what? Several times it has happened, Henrietta is one such case. Why now so long after the anime aired I have no idea but I am glad it happened.

When I first started actively watching anime Gunslinger Girls was one of the shows that had the most impact on me, Henrietta was the same. I talked about that a bit when I did my photo shoot of GSC's Henrietta. As such, I'm super happy she is getting a figma, even if she got delayed by two months. Plus this figma will fulfill another of my figma wishes, a figma sized P90, I love that gun!

After I got my orignal Guts figma I thought to myself, man it would be really awesome if Max Factory did a Berserker Armor Guts. Then it happened...

This figma is actually bundled with the upcoming volume of the Berserk manga, which is pretty cool. I'm also glad I was for once camping AmiAmi to pre-order it as it quickly became sold out not only there but essentially everywhere in matter of hours.

April

I have found all the Madoka scaled figures pretty darn boring, the ones that I did like where usually garage kits. One time I saw one such garage kit in a Japanese blog I follow and lamented that it was one.

Luckily enough for me Gift came to the rescue and decided to make a figure of that garage kit. This figure is not everyone's cup of tea, much like Gift's Sabers, it is a stylistic affair different from the normal. As for me, I love it, it wouldn't be the first time I bought a Gift figure where the style of the face was a big issue with people.  While this will probably scratch my scaled Homura figure itch I do still wish GSC or Alter would do one of her as she appears in the epilogue with the witch like wings.

I really don't care much for Beach Queen figures but I will admit that individually some of them are quite nice such as Exilehero's Cecilia. I actually own the BQ rendition of Biri Biri in her frilly swimsuit and as such getting Misaka-imouto to complement her seems like a good plan to me. I don't know why though but I find something about this figure so appealing, so very Misaka-imouto like.

Although, she might be one of the figures I cancel but even then since she is a BQ getting her later shouldn't be too hard or expensive.

Next up is the self proclaimed student council president from Persona 4 Arena. You know, there is something about the way Shigenori Soejima designs his robot girls. They are a very nice mix of robot and girl not too much or too little of either.

He really is one of my favorite character designers lately and as a fan of the Persona series and Persona 4 Arena getting Labrys seems like a must for me. It does suck though that she was originally scheduled for this month but now I gotta wait an extra two months for her.

Mami, everyone's lovable headless sempai! Because of her I decided to go and collect the uniform versions of the Madoka girls. Mami ended up being a regular release after Madoka and Homura where exclusives making it easier to complete the set.

One of the things I like about characters getting more than one figma is that this result in a greater degree of playability due to more expressions and accessories. Finally people will be getting their tea cup, which apparently was a very big omission on the original since people kept complaining about it.

Pretty obvious right? Of course I'm getting Sayaka too. One of my disappointments with figma Sayaka is that no crazy face was included. Sadly neither does the uniform version but it makes up for it for that stupid smirk of hers, I really like that expression. Plus she comes with a surprised expression so now she can be aghast at the situation together with Madoka.

Now all that is left is for Kyouko to be announced, although I do wonder if she will get her casual clothes or a uniform.

Did I ever mention I am a really big Precure fan? No? Well, I am!!!

You wanna know how much? According to my newly created MAL profile, feel free to add me, I have watched 348 episodes and eight movies and spend nearly 100 days of my life doing so. Mind you I'm still missing two of the shows and accompanying movies since they have yet to be fully subbed.

Among those Heartcatch is my highest rated Precure show with a score of 10, masterpiece. So if there is one Precure show to watch it is that one, even the most critical of anime fans will agree.

Bandai went and released figuarts of the girls which I bought as I shown you all before in some of my photo stories. Then Bandai went and released the powered up versions as exclusives which I bought as well with only Cure Moonlight here being left.

May

Did you guys watch Sword Art Online? Best 14 episode show I watched last year!

I really liked how SAO actually felt like a real MMO, unlike say .hack where The World really is more like a straight up RPG than an MMO. I saw some people complaining about how the figma didn't really look like Kirito. I think he looks just fine though, pretty much how he did in the promotional material.

Originally I wasn't planning on getting Kirito, not a big fan of him, but that changed because...

June

... I really liked how figma Asuna looks! That pouting face of hers totally sold me plus I think the sword art skill effect is pretty neat too.

Yup, this figma realy showcases how nice Asuna was in that 14 episode anime. A capable fighter who would solve murder mysteries, kill the guy attempting to murder her boyfriend and she even cooked delicious virtual meals! Definitively much better than some damsel in distress that ends up locked in a cage like a bird just waiting for an invincible Gary Sue hero to rescue her.

I should really stop being obsessive about getting sets now that I think about it.

Fall 2013

I'm also getting another Dollfie... sigh...

I always told myself I will never buy another Dollfie, that's just silly. Even when my favorite Reimu got a Dollfie I did not buy her, not even when I got a job and had lots of disposable income. I don't have the space for another one, I barely even take pictures of Nanoha I told myself.

Then Volks dropped a bomb on me. They made a Dollfie of my all time favorite character, even more so than Reimu. Only reason I don't own more Kos-Mos stuff is because it's so darn expensive to buy it on the second hand market like Alter's V4 Kos-Mos or Volks 1/4th version for example.

In addition to that for once Volks produced a face sculpt that actually looks like the character, this Kos-Mos dollfie looks just like she did in Xenosaga Episode III.

With all that said I'm so getting another Dollfie. I look forward to it, I always liked fan art putting Kos-Mos in casual clothing and stuff like school uniforms. I also was curious about a Dollfie with a bigger bust but never felt the need or desire to get one for Nanoha. Although I will probably leave Kos-Mos as is and not change her wig or eyes.

 

 

This list has much more stuff than I would like, then again for a good chunk of it I should have already gotten it by now or by this month. Sigh... why did GSC have to go and change factories and why did Alter accept their offer to go along too?

Wonfes should also be going around the time this post is published I wonder what we will see there. Honestly, I been pretty uninterested in the latest scaled figure releases and reservations with a handful of exceptions and there hasn't been a show or game where I really wish I could get a figure of character in a while either.

With that this list is done, until next time peeps!