Alter - Kanzaki Ranko - Memories Ver.

Alter - Kanzaki Ranko - Memories Ver.

I like the iDOLM@STER, I like the iDOLM@STER girls, one of those girls is Ranko.

I want more Ranko in my life and it seems Alter heard my prayers since they decided to make not one but two Ranko figures. Sadly one has been delayed to early next year but Alter didn’t leave me empty handed and released their Kanzaki Ranko Memories Version from the popular iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls spin off.

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Alter - Yuuki Yuuna

Yuuna In my figure collecting years I have essentially have one golden rule when it comes to the figures I buy, I must have watched or played the source material where applicable. I do this as a way to limit what I buy, to make the tough choices on what figures to buy a bit easier. Occasionally I bend this rule somewhat though and I order a figure and while I wait for its release I watch or play the source material.

Yuuki Yuuna by Alter from Yuki Yuna is a Hero was one such occasion.

Yuuna

In retrospect I feel that whenever I do so I'm taking a big gamble. Usually when I buy figures, I do so since I like the character, there is just something about them that I enjoy enough to drop a few hundred dollars buying figures in their images.

The figures that I tend to like the most are those that capture that "something". Whether that is an aspect of their personality, a cool signature pose, a unique outfit from their show or game or imagery that harkens to their character during a big impactful moment.

Yuuna

When I buy blind so to speak I'm essential forgoing any of those reasons or others that are usually behind my purchasing decisions. I'm running the risk of not knowing whether I will like the character or not. After all, no matter how good a figure, no matter how perfect it might be to the character's likeness if I don't like the character my enjoyment of the figure will fall through the floor.

Yuuna

Luckily enough for me not only did I enjoy Yuki Yuna is a Hero as a whole but ended up really liking Yuuna herself. She is the type of protagonist that I like, the type of protagonist that I want to see more often.

Yuuna

Yuuna lives up to her show's namesake, she is a courageous hero that helps others. Not only did she fight against the monstrous antagonists but also against her allies when they wavered when faced with the horrible truth of their world. An act that takes more courage than facing any enemy. When her convictions faltered she might have hesitated but she was able to reaffirm them through a little bit of soul searching and the help of her friends.

Rather than sit down and cry Yuuna took action whether good or bad in line with her beliefs.

Yuuna

My biggest pet peeve when it comes to protagonists are the ones that don't do anything. The ones the spend the whole show whining about how it's not right to do this and that, not taking any action at all.

All these shows have a conflict one way or another, otherwise there wouldn't be a show but by god if you are a protagonist do something about it. Boy did Yuuna do something about it right from the first episode up until the last.

Yuuna

That said, Yuki Yuna is a Hero was not a perfect show for me. I feel that some of the world building that was left for supplementary material would have better served its purpose in the show. Alas, that's a complaint I will always voice when said supplementary material contains things such as dramma CDs or light novels that are typically never translated.

Yuuna

The ending did left a tiny bit bitter taste in my mouth, making me think why did Yuuna and her friends go through all of this again? Perhaps if there was an epilogue that showed what the actions of Yunna and the other girls had upon their world and its ongoing conflict I would feel more satisfied.

Yuuna

Something as with the Madoka TV show would have been nice. We didn't just have to take someone's word for it, Shaft clearly showed what Madoka's sacrifice effect had.

I think there should totally be a second season of Yuki Yuna is a Hero or at least an OVA showing that. I have no idea how popular this show was in Japan but I would hope that it sold enough that a second season wouldn't seem too unreasonable.

Yuuna

Still, I'm quite happy with the show, I liked the journey quite a bit. Interesting imagery, characters, music and battles.

Of those the visual design and imagery caught my attention the most, after all that's why I bought this figure and became interested in the show and Yunna in the first place.

Yuuna

Alter's rendition depicts Yuuna in the pose she takes after her transformation. This was the first thing that attracted me, this pose carries such a strong presence to me. The majority of figures I end up buying tend to go for "cute" poses more than anything else.

Yuuna though? She look like she is ready to pick up a fight.

Yuuna

Yuuna's expression carries a sense of determination more than anything else in my opinion. Determination to go out and do heroic things like "Hero Punching" monsters in the face!

A nice change of pace from the typical smile that figures I buy typically get.

Yuuna

Yuuna

One of the reasons I think this figure has such a strong presence is how well Alter captured all this energy in Yuuna's pose. I can feel Yuuna's hair flowing through the air just looking at it.

Yuuna

This feeling transfers as well to the ribbon on Yuuna's chest plate over her modest bosom. I can feel that rippling motion when I look at it. The ribbon is also a perfect example of the detail Alter included in this figure.

Yuuna

This is best seen in Yuuna's Mankai gauge on her right first, the cherry blossom flower is intricately painted on the back of her hand. Might not be apparent on this photo how tiny details like this are.

Yuuna

While I have no idea what Yuuna's gauntless are actually made off Alter was able to give them a nice tough look to them. They look sturdy enough to go about hero punching things.

Yuuna

All girls are cuter with hair decorations thus I'm glad Alter did a nice job with Yuuna's hair clip. The shape is well defined and the cross shaped markings on it are clearly visible.

Yuuna

Yuuna comes with a simple long oval base to fit her fairly horizontal pose. The base follows Yuuna's imagery with cherry blossoms presented in a good looking layered design with flowers and petals of different colors and sizes.

Yuuna Yuuna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alter went pretty light on terms of accessories for Yuuna. Two versions of her faerie Gyuki are included.

These pretty much depict Gyuki perfectly. One shows it's usually carefree attitude and the other it's big eater behaviour. Gyuki would gobble up anything snacks on sight including even beef jerky.  A somewhat disturbing thought for a cow familiar not lost on the other characters or me.

Yuuna

A bit disappointing I suppose but given Yuuna's melee combat oriented fighting style Alter was limited in the amount of accessories they could include. If it was up to me I would have like in addition to Gyuki the inclusion of Yuuna's second faerie familiar Kasha.

Yuuna

Overall a really nice rendition of Yuuna, in fact I will go and say this is THE rendition of Yuuna to get. While FREEing's version is not bad and the nendo is cute enough this is the more impressive sculpt by far if you ask me.

Yuuna

Although as Alter's version shows a cool looing Yuuna and FREEing's version depicts a cute looking Yuuna I think both figures would complement each other nicely. I regret a bit not picking up the FREEing version when it was on sale not too long ago and doing just that.

Yuuna

All around I find Alter's version a great pickup for fans of the show or Yuuna. I'm glad that this figure caught my attention and got me to watch the show which I would have otherwise skipped on.

Until next time, I will leave you with my favorite of the Hero Club's five tenets: Sleep well, eat well!

Alter's Nishikino Maki Swimsuit Ver.

Swimsuit Maki Hi peeps! How have you guys been? I hope everything is all good on your end!

As for me? I have been spending some quality time with a lovely school idol, Alter's Nishikino Maki Swimsuit Ver.

Swimsuit Maki

These past few weeks I have been all into Love Love! Last week I received the blu ray's released by NISA and I ended up rewatching the whole first season again. Then... I rewatched the first seven episodes again looking to get a friend to become a fan... and succeeded, yay!

He is an Umi guy apparently!!!

Swimsuit Maki

I originally watched the first season along with the second season last summer. Although, I always felt a bit guilty and wanted to rewatch the series at some point. When I first watched them I had them playing on my second monitor while I grinded away in Final Fantasy 14, I wasn't giving the show my full attention per se.

At the very least the show did make grinding for my second set of Atmas a lot more bearable...

When originally watching Love Live! I always had this nagging feeling, something about the characters really bothered me. It wasn't until much later after noticing how finely crafted their archetypes seemed to be, how they were made to appeal to the audience, that I finally understood what was bothering me. I was thinking too much about it.

Swimsuit Maki

I was focusing too much on thinking about why this show was so popular and their characters so loved to spawn the rather large following in a fairly short amount of time. I was looking too closely at the components rather than enjoying the show as a whole.

That is probably why this second time around I found it much more enjoyable.

Swimsuit Maki

I ended liking all the girls unlike on my first watch, heck I'm going for a complete figma set now! The songs seemed a lot nicer than before and I ended getting the albums. I'm almost willing to go watch the movie on its premier next week on a work night.

Although I might skip it since I would end up going alone, I don't like going to watch a movie alone.

Swimsuit Maki

Since lately I have been into Love Live! I found this the perfect chance to motivate myself to take some figure photos. After all, I had the perfect pick at hand with the recent Maki from the good ol' folks from Alter.

It's been a while since I sat down to do a proper indoor photo shoot, the last one was around late January. I think of this photo shoot as a warm up of sorts. Something to get back into the groove, to refamiliarize myself with using indoor lighting and try to get into building up a simple set up.

Overall, I'm mostly happy with the photos I took. I'm thinking may be I should have gone a little less bright, go with something a bit more moody. Well, there is always the next swimsuit figure, there sure are a lot of those around.

Swimsuit Maki

It's been a long time since I gotten an Alter figure, the last one was the always delicious loli Nanoha swimsuit ver. and Alter does not disappoint, Maki definitely turned out pretty much perfect.

Swimsuit Maki

Alter did a perfect job with the swimsuit, I love all the frills and ribbons, gives Maki that fluffy and sparkly idol feel. Plus it shows off her body quite nicely. :D

Swimsuit Maki

I mean, just look that delicious bellybutton, I think swimsuit figures make me have a belly button fetish. ;P

Swimsuit Maki

Even more so at those nice long legs that go on forever and ever!

Swimsuit Maki

I'm always amazed at the small details figure manufactures manage to include in their figures. Things like the painted toe nails or Maki's necklace always blow me away. They might not look all that small in photos but in person they are tiny!

Swimsuit Maki

My favorite part though, is Maki's smile! Maki being quite tsun tsun in the show doesn't really smile naturally all that much. I always loved seeing the scenes where she would crack a smile. I hope I get to see a sparkly smiling Maki in the movie when I get to watch it.

Swimsuit Maki

Super happy with this rendition of Maki from Alter. I have skipped on Kotori and passed on Nico in favor of Good Smile Company's. I do look forward to see what the rest of the Alter girls will look like.

One last thing, Maki is best girl and if you claim another member is best girl you are obviously wrong. Unless it's Nico, I like her even if she is trash. ;D

By the way, made a Facebook page since all the cool kids are doing it.

Alter Takamachi Nanoha Swimsuit ver. - Lolis in bikinis are a staple of summer!

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver. Sup guys and gals! How are the hot summer days treating you all?

Everybody enjoying their summer breaks or the hot daily grind at work? Thanks to the opportunity given by the 4th of July holiday I was able to spend some time with my family at the pool and take a nice cool break from work.

Given that I have my priorities straight, I took the opportunity to snap some photos of the always delicious loli Takamachi Nanoha Swimsuit ver. by Alter by the poolside.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver. Don't you guys love your swimsuit figures? The staple of figure collecting, everyone from the high rollers like Good Smile Company and Alter to prize figures from Sega and Banpresto just loves to get their hands on the swimsuit figure pie.

Perhaps it is their readily availability but it seems to me people tend to look down on them a bit. A perfect example of that would be when I mentioned that I bought this figure on sale on Twitter. I was all happy that I paid less than half the original retail price, yet someone mentioned that it was just a swimsuit figure. Almost as if just by being a swimsuit figure that made it be worth less.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

That got me wondering, a swimsuit figure it might be but I don’t believe that necessarily translates to them being easier to manufacture or sculpt. All the steps should be the same regardless of figure or company. It’s usually how much manufacturers are willing to spend on things like quality control and attention to detail that makes a difference in my opinion.

What about you guys, what are your thoughts on the prolific category of swimsuit figures?

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

That aside, I’m a big Nanoha fanboy especially in her loli form, I really, really like her “blood knight” tendencies which seems to have mellowed out a bit as she grew older. I miss the days when Nanoha would go “befriending” people left and right. Hopefully that third original movie has more of that.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

My love for loli Nanoha is probably as a result of the big impact A’s, the second season, made on me when I watched it all in one day. So good!!! I’m so happy the second movie just turned everything about that season up to eleven especially when you compare the fights.

Amazing how much an animation studio can level up in about a decade!

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

After watching the second movie I was reminded how much I enjoy Nanoha and how much I love her character. Luckily for me it seems figure manufacturers also remembered how much people liked the franchise so they released a few figures to match up. This presented me with a nice opportunity to pick more Nanoha figures.

Around the same time both Gift and Alter released what is essentially the same figure with just a few scales of difference in between. For the sake of my own amusement I ended opting for Gift’s version, the idea of a giant 1/4th loli figure in a swimsuit sounded really silly and fun.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

However, as time went on the proportions of that figure kept bothering more and more and became a bit disinterested in it. The more I looked at it the more I keep thinking that Nanoha’s head is too big in proportion to the rest of her body.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

Fast forward to a very opportunistic sale by good ol’ Hobby Link Japan and I ended acquiring Alter’s version for about 3500 yen or so. AmiAmi also had her for a sale for a couple hundred yen more but I ended up missing out on that. I’m guessing this Nanoha by Alter wasn’t all that popular?

That’s ok with me though, thanks to that I get to own both my giant loli and the smaller version.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

This is my second Nanoha in a swimsuit by way of Alter, a couple of years ago I got to take photos of the super sexy Nanoha Summer Holiday ver. I like adult Nanoha, amazing at how she ended up filling up in all the right places. Plus at her current official age she just happens to be the right age for me. ;D

With a pretty adult Nanoha wearing a very nice and attractive swimsuit already in my possession I thought that getting a cute loli Nanoha wearing a lovely swimsuit from Alter would make a for a nice complement.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

Cute and lovely she is indeed. Just look at her! I like the pose that was chosen for the figure, Nanoha looks like she is having tons of fun frolicking about. Makes me a bit jealous, since I am fair skinned I just burn if I go to the pool or beach. Also, don’t forget… people don’t float…

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

One aspect that I find interesting is the color of her swimsuit, pink with red accents. I’m so used to seeing Nanoha in her signature colors of blue, white and pink that I found this very odd. Perhaps the color scheme is harking to Nanoha’s blood thirsty “White Devil” persona? Nah, probably not.

Regardless the swimsuit looks the part with its nice shade of pink and the red frills, nothing too outrageous or out of the norm. Aside from being a two piece showing a lot of skin perfect for a nice young girl like Nanoha.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

Speaking of showing a lot of delicious loli soft looking skin Alter did their part to make sure that was as appealing as possible. Just look at that smooth tummy, kinda makes me want to play with it like in that one scene from Hentai Ouji.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

If you continue down you can see Nanoha’s supple thighs, they are so slim and appealing. Plus knowing how plump and soft they will become when she is older just makes it all that greater.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

Once you go around the around Nanoha you can see her nice sexy back, Alter added just enough detail to make out her shoulder blades and show the curve of her body adding that bit of realism that makes figures pop.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

As you make your way down you of course encounter Nanoha’s irresistible tushie along with some nice plumpness from a nice bit of baby fat. The frills on the swimsuit bottoms help accentuated Nanoha’s hips nicely. I do wonder though, what goes through the sculptor’s head when they go about spending hours and hours working on areas like these.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

Lastly you can’t forget the number one aspect of a loli, her delicious flat chest. Alter of course with all their figure making prowess made sure it is delicious indeed. The frills on Nanoha’s swimsuit top help to a nice bit of volume and detail.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

One detail I liked about this swimsuit top was the nice bow tying it in place at Nanoha’s neck. Usually things like this tend to look a bit rough due to their size, the same thing goes for Raising Heart she looks pretty good for the small size.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

An interesting tidbit about this figure has to be the floating ring that comes with Nanoha. Typically accessories like these tend to merely look the part and if you touch them they are merely pieces of plastic as one would expect. Not this time said Alter, the ring is actually made of a nice soft rubber, if you push it with a bit of force it flexes, really giving it that extra sense of realism to it.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

Although it does feel a lot denser I suppose due to being filled with rubber rather than air. The floating ring does a good job of keeping in place as it has a few groves matching Nanohas’s accessories on her left wrist to help it keep in place and not roll about.

Accessories that stay in place are great if you ask me, especially if you take the figure outdoors like I did.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

I like this rendition of Nanoha quite a bit. I think it looks well and gives a nice pleasant energetic vibe. Together with Alter’s adult version I think I am set as far as having figures of Nanoha in a swimsuit.

Plus with this photo shoot of Nanoha I finally got to do something I always wanted, take some photos by the pool side of a swimsuit figure. Although I do admit they are quite simple but I do like them quite a bit. It’s nice not having to worry about making props or setting up lighting.

Alter Nanoha Swimsuti ver.

Well then peeps, I hope you enjoy what’s left of summer. I’m sure I will, if it’s not too hot anyways otherwise the indoor world of AC is enough for me. :P

Alter Estellise Sidos Heurassein

Alter's Estelle Hey guys, are you enjoying the spring time?

I’m so glad it finally got warm around here, I can finally go out and start enjoying the nice weather.

I get to do nice things like go out and snap some pictures among a pretty flower field of the lovely Estellise Sidos Heurassein from Tales of Vesperia released a few months ago or so by Alter.

Alter's Estelle

Whenever video game consoles are released it is usually not a particularly good idea to become an early adopter.

You end up paying a higher price as new consoles tend to release with a high price point. A price that will inevitably drop as time goes on during its life cycle. The selection of games available at launch tends to be nothing to write home about with an occasional “killer app”. Launch is then followed by a fairly long period where there are not many notable releases and you end up with nothing to play on your fancy new console after the launch period. That’s why I would suggest waiting a year or two let the library of games grow or alternatively wait for that one game you really, really want to play.

Alter's Estelle

When the Xbox 360 and PS3 released back in 2005 and 2006 I did not have the purchasing power to drop $500+ to buy either of those. Back then I did not find it too much of a bother as there weren't really any games I wanted to play for either console. I followed my own advise and waited, for the right price, the right game, the right time.

Alter's Estelle

Fast forward to 2008 and that had changed for both, on the PS3 I really wanted to play Valkyria Chronicles, enough that I bought the game before I could get my hands on a PS3. On the Xbox 360 side it was Tales of Vesperia, while I would end up waiting another year to buy the slim PS3 I became an owner of a fancy new Xbox 360 on the late summer of 2008.

At that point the Xbox 360 had gotten several price drops, after three years since its release the game library had expanded, HDTVs while still pricy where affordable for most of us and I finally had the one game I wanted to play. Thus that late summer marked my introduction to the HD era of gaming.

Alter's Estelle

During the previous generation I was introduced to Namco’s “Tales of” series in the form of Tales of Symphonia on the Nintendo Gamecube. That game would end up making a big impact on me as it would end up becoming one the shining gems to play in the often maligned Gamecube with its lack of games. Having skipped on the PS2 Tales iterations, Tales of Vesperia would be my return to the franchise and I was looking forward to playing my way through.

I gotta say it was an enjoyable ride; I actually did not end up getting all that much use of my Xbox 360 besides this game and the Mass Effect trilogy. Even so I still find that it was worth it, even if I pretty much just bought it to play Tales of Vesperia I don’t regret it one bit.

Alter's Estelle

I enjoyed playing the game, the visual upgrade; its vibrant and colorful presentation was a huge jump from Tales of Symphonia. The further refinement of its variously named acronyms battle system was even more fun. However, what really made me love this game were the characters, perhaps it was finally having voiced skits but I just loved their interactions with each other.

Alter's Estelle

Which leads us to the lovely Estellise or as I prefer to call her Estelle as she was nicknamed in the game. Estelle is the female lead in the game and the first party member that joins up with protagonist Yuri Lowell. She is the lovely archetype of your somewhat naïve, sheltered princess, she is a light attacker and fills the role of the medic for your party. In fact, by the end of the game, I had her dressed up as a bunny eared nurse.

Together with the theft of a certain McGuffin early in the game she is the catalyst for setting out Yuri’s journey, the meeting of their companions and the eventual quest to save the world as Tales game tradition dictates.

Alter's Estelle

Estelle is a really sweet girl, the type of character that always wants to help out as many people as possible and become friends with everyone. She is the kind that will put others before her trying to hide her own suffering and problems. This is something that ends being quite important during the game’s third act.

While not my favorite girl in the game, I like her, I enjoyed her character. After all I did end buying this rendition of Estelle by Alter.

Alter's Estelle

Speaking of which, oh Alter, I think this might be longest wait for anything I ever pre-ordered. From time of pre-order up until release I think I waited over a year may be closer to a year and a half if I’m not mistaken. The joys of figure collecting eh? I haven’t ordered another Alter figure since but it looks like they are back on track and seem to be releasing figures in a more traditional schedule lately.

While annoying to wait that long, at least I had very little to fear, after all it is Alter we are taking about. Have they ever released a figure people would call bad? I don’t think I have heard of such things in all my years of figure collecting.

Alter's Estelle

Alter did a nice job depicting Estelle as if she is in a running motion, I can definitely feel that nice sense of movement. This is just the perfect pose in my opinion to depict her running through a field of flowers. Sometime after I moved a few months ago I noticed this flower field blooming on the side of the road, I knew I just had to take pictures of Estelle there. The pose, the field, it reminds me a lot of a scene from the opening of the game depicting Estelle among a field of flowers. I just got this image into my head and I just had to turn it into reality.

I’m glad I was able to translate the image in my head into photos, something that might not necessarily go as well as some of my previous attempts with other figures have shown me.

Alter's Estelle

I really like the how the colors turned out, the soft pastel pinks and used for Estelle’s hair and clothes gives her a nice soothing presence. The gold accents do their job and give Estelle the aura of nobility. Alter did a nice job translating Kosuke Fujishima’s character design into figure form.

Her face and expression are perfect for the character, the nice green in her eyes look good and that smile feels really warm to me.

Alter's Estelle

Estelle comes with a few different accessories giving her a couple of different display options. You can choose to display her with her weapons, a mace and a shield. In game she would use maces as seen with this figure as well as light swords like rapiers. The mace splits into two parts allowing it to be inserted into her right hand.

Alter's Estelle The shield on the other hand needs to swap her left hand for another that contains the handle for the shield. Her left hand is simply attached at the wrist to her arm and is easily removed. The handle is attached with a couple of pegs and can be easily interchanged with the hand and handle that can attach to the figure.

Alter's Estelle

This leads me to my biggest issue with this figure, attached to Estelle’s left wrist is what the game’s jargon calls “blastia”, these come in various shapes and uses in the game. The party characters use theirs for battle, these are what allows them to do all the fancy skills and magic in the game. In the case of Estelle it is the shape of bracelet like accessory, for the figure it is attached by a peg on her wrist. This peg fits very loosely, thus causing it to detach and have the red jewel part roll around in the arm.

Alter's Estelle

Another extra item that comes not only with Estelle but with all Tales of Vesperia figures from Alter is a super deformed version of each character. These are quite tiny; they simply plug into the base and have limited articulation with their heads. While not overly detailed given their size I still find them a nice perk.

Alter's Estelle

Although it does have a few mishaps with her hair, some bits of paint here and there that are not even all that visible to the naked eye anyways, and the blastia on her left arm overall I like the figure. To me it was worth the wait, a very, very long wait as a fan of the game Estelle originates from. While a very nice figure I’m not sure if the wait was worth it if you are not a fan as I am.

Alter's Estelle

Alter has made figures for Yuri, Flynn, Rita, Raven and Estelle leaving only Carol and Judy left to get the figure treatment. Alter hasn’t announced any more characters from Vesperia but they are still making Tales character figures. I’m hoping Alter hasn’t moved on yet as I would love to get a figure of Judy my favorite girl of the game.

Alter's Estelle

Hmmm... I kinda wanna go play Tales of Vesperia again now... but I have a big Tales backlog with Graces f, Xillia and Xillia 2, the newest Zestiria and now Hearts R is coming out in the west... that's a lot of Tales to go through...

Well, I guess I should be happy to have so much Tales goodness at my disposal.

Alright peeps, that's all for now, I'll see you around next time!