Project Snap_Fig

Hello, fellow internet figure loving denizens, how are you doing today?

Today I wanna do a quick shout out to this lovely project by the fellows at Sakura Doujin.

They want to publish a photo book, but not just any ol' boring photo book, a figure photo book. However, that is not all, aside from putting a lot of pretty pictures within the pages of the photo book they have another goal in mind:

They want to give a peek into the process behind creating those beautiful figure photos. Camera settings, lighting set ups, behind the scenes pictures, descriptions from the photographers, everything you need to know how a picture was taken.

I like the idea as it shows everyone how all you need is a little photography knowhow and creativity to be able take amazing figure photos. I have already submitted my pictures and so have several others. There is still a bit of time until the submission deadline, so head on over to Sakura Doujin's Project Snap_Fig page to read up on the details of the project, submission guidelines and see a mockup of the pages in the book.

Otagamers is open for business again!

Reimu sweeping up!

Oh no, I haven't blogged in nearly six months, I hope I still have readers!

Regardless Otagamers is back, now with 100% more orange and few improvements here and there.

I think I will just start with the most obvious change, new theme yay! I originally planned to have this new theme all set up by the time the blog anniversary would roll around in September. That obviously didn't plan out that way in the end.

Mobile Theme

This new theme adds a lot of nice improvements such as a nice responsive design for varying display resolutions which includes mobiles devices. One area that was a problem before as the previous theme just didn't have a mobile option. Reading the blog on devices with smaller screens such as my old iPhone 4 was not what I would call comfortable.

Contact Form

A brand new addition is a dedicated contact form, which can be accessed from both the header and the footer menus. Before I had  a small icon in the footer section which you can still see above for an email link. I think the new addition of this menu item will make it more visible and easier to contact me.

Contact for what you might think? Things like link exchanges, any questions about anything about the content of this blog whether the figures themselves, props or the actual photography for example. Whatever you can think of that you might want to hear back from me.

Blogroll

Speaking of link exchanges, I finally went and replaced my apparently not well liked blogroll menu with an actual blogroll page. Right now I just copied the more or less active members of my old list into a wall of links. I do plan to make it a more visual affair in the near future as well as actively search and add some of the new blogs that I been following lately.

If you are reading this and have a figure or anime blog I would be more than happy to add you.

Sitemap

I added a new sitemap page in order to make finding content a bit more easier and as alternative to just using the search bar on the header menu.

Footer

This page can be accessed from the footer menu.

Reimu sweeping again!

Now that the new stuff is out of the way.

Why the long gap of inactivity? One reason was that I wanted to time this 201st post with my anniversary. As well as setting up this theme as a way to celebrate and start on my 5th year of blogging.

Another reason is that I actually became dissatisfied with my current camera so I wasn't really in the mood for photography.

I also ended up interviewing, accepting and moving to a new city for a new job during the later months of last year.

Now that I am settled in, I can start unpacking my figures, and since I have a new job I'm considering buying a new camera. I have been eying the new Sony a7 and a7r, those are some really nice cameras that do a lot of things I want but they are very, very pricy and their first party lens selection is a bit sparse right now. Do you guys have any suggestions for a nice small or mid sized camera with interchangeable lenses? Perhaps something a bit more affordable?

Also, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn happened. Yeah... it was mostly FF14... By the way, I am Miette Patiss on Ultros if anyone plays FF14.

That's all for now, I shall leave you guys until next time where I will do a photo shoot for an appropriately orange themed figure.

It gets pretty cold when it snows! - A year in review

Heya guys, how were your holidays? Did everyone had a good time during the winter break?

I sure did, although my plans to get lots of gaming and picture taking done got skewed in the end. At the very least thanks to getting my one snow day of the year I was able to snap some nice pictures of the always awesome looking Ryougi Shiki from Good Smile.

That aside I wanted to share some tidbits from last year, a light year in review if you will.

According to the nice WordPress year in review email, it seem like 2012 was a good year for Otagamers. Views and visits where up from last year, higher overall monthly averages, except for the few months where we slacked off a bit.  Apparently the top three countries visitors came from where the United States, Philippines and Canada. Numbers of comments have also been good, specially from the regulars. Love you guys!

One last thing to mention, I was very surprised the actual keyword "Otagamer(s)" was on the top most used keywords.

Anyways, that aside I would like to talk a bit about the figures and their posts themselves.

The most popular scaled figure posts would be Exilehero's lovely and sexy Muramasa, with good reason that figure is amazing. In fact, keywords related to the character are among the most used to arrive at this blog.

For my part it would be the super cool looking Aigis ART WORKS ver, out of all the figures I took pictures of last year this one is my definite favorite. It's just so good, fellow blogger Chag sure went out and gave a nice compelling argument for it quite recently too.

I bet next year's most popular post is probably gonna be Misa-nee, just a bouncy hunch.

When I did the giveaway and asked for feedback, people said they liked our original content like our figure comics, made me very happy to read that.

On the figure comic side it would be Exilehero's Queen's Blade and tentacle monsters. If search terms are any indication people sure love their Queen's Blade and their tentacle raping action.

On my side of things it goes on to Madoka showing her love to Homura. Yup magical girl befriending action at its best.

These two posts sure tell me people are pervs, they like their tentacles and their yuri.

http://youtu.be/Uo7oRMO5laY

I'll leave you with a simple video I made, an idea I been entertaining for a while now. This video shows the slide images I used to use for the homepage slider, I always thought since I had one for every post it would make for a nice trip down the memory lane.

Here is every post made in the last year on this blog in order of publication with titles.

I'm curious to know, what were some of your favorites if any?

 

Alright fellas, we'll see you around, let's have a great 2013 together!

Otagamers Anniversary #3 - More belated than the past two years combined!

Guess what totally awesome, amazing and unforgettable event happened... approximately six weeks ago?

That's right folks, this lovely blog in its current form has been around for three years on the interwebs!

I sure delayed doing this post for the longest time, first because unlike the past two years I did not want to simply make a scraped together post. Oh no, I want to be a little more than that, when exilehero presented me this idea I was overjoyed. The wonders of having a blogging partner. Finding the time to sit down and take these pictures also caused some more delays. Alas, who cares, come and join us in this celebration.

I am aghast at the idea that I have been seriously at this for so long, with no plans to stop mind you. Neither is exilehero who celebrated his own anniversary earlier this year.

Yup, these are the people who keep making me not simply stop blogging. So thanks to all the readers, lurkers and people who leave comments and keep coming back when there is a new post. If you are a new reader, I like you too and hope you become a returning reader.

Of course special mention goes to all of the different fellow bloggers that come and visit and keep making interesting comments.

Super special gratitude has to go to the self described (I asked!), friendly weirdo, gentle, sensitive and eccentric Wieselhead. If I find it surprising that I been blogging for three years I find it more surprising someone has been continuously visiting for those three years. Come hail or high water by god this man will leave a comment.

As for the actual numbers it has been pretty constant no super big jumps or dips in popularity. The only exception would be when we did the nendo giveaway to celebrate exilehero's anniversary where that month has almost twice as many views as usual. This has taught me one thing,  bribing people is the best way to get more visitors! XP

Although, I will say I'm bit sad we do not enjoy the same success as some our fellow bloggers it is to be expected. We do not necessarily focus in popular figures, franchises, or in depth reviews, we just do what we like. Which is totally fine with me, I would rather keep doing what I like, I blog for fun after all.

The number of people actively commenting, the number of weekly blog posts, the number of new blogs and faces has decreased over the past year from what I seen. For the several people I noticed they took a break from blogging and participating in the community for various reasons. Some have come back others are planning to do so but others I just heard anything from at all.

After discussing the matter with fellow blogger Chag, we wondered if there was a movement towards bigger community sites such as My Figure Collection rather than individual blogs.

That is not to say there hasn't been new faces this past year, on the contrary there has been a handful, just not as many as during previous years.

So, I pose the question, where is the figure community now?

There is one community I would like to mention, Google+.

Over the past few months a weekly event spearheaded by wara zashi using the tag #figurefriday on Google+ has gotten my attention. Every week on friday he extends an invitation to figure lovers to come and post pictures of their beloved figures.  Sometimes there will be theme or a challenge to go along with  but you can just come and post pictures and talk with like minded people.

I think this community with a lower entry point is something to keep in mind, you don't want to blog? you don't want to write reviews? take elaborate pictures? Then this is for you, you just come post your pictures and hang out and meet new people.

This community is more open and light hearted, more welcoming that say MFC or whatever so give it a go. All you need is Google account, I bet everyone probably has one anyways.

The past few months saw a decrease in posts from both me and exilehero.

There have been various reasons but for me at least I got into some figure blues so to speak. Not many of the new releases have caught my fancy and I have become disinterested in the way I would shoot my figures. Although for me at least finally receiving some long awaited figures have given me motivation and the upcoming should take care of themselves.

As for exilehero he has simply been cutting back on figure purchases. Do not worry, this month a very special figure he ordered should be coming in, it will be the first of it's kind for this blog. I hope you look forward to it.

Plus, I been toying with the idea of introducing another person to become another writer to make up for when we both slack off for whatever reason.

Regardless of the happenings during the past year we wanna thank you all for your continued support. So what's next for the upcoming fourth year? For one, is to act on the feedback that we go with the giveaway, I would like to expand our audience a bit and find more people who enjoy this hobby.

Hope you have enjoyed yourself over the past three years and will continue to do so on our fourth and beyond.

P.S.

If you can name all the figures in this post I will give you a "sexy prize".

The Anime Interrogation Game

I outright ignore the anime blogsphere these days so I get to miss all these occasionally interesting endevours to get to know more about your fellow bloggers. Since Fab tagged me and exilehero and he is a really nice guy I figured we would participate in this anime interrogation game.

This originated from some person named Iso from some aniblog called Nabel.

This works out like this:

  • You are allowed to ask 5 questions, after which you can tag up to 5 bloggers by hyper-linking to their blog; 5 questions because it’s not too many to flood another blogger and occupy too much of his/her time, but yet a large enough number to ask your most important questions, and 5 bloggers to avoid spamming. Hence, prioritize your questions, and who you wish to ask!
  • Those tagged are obliged to answer the questions in a blog post, and after which, they are entitled to create their own 5 questions and tag 5 other bloggers, so on and so forth. You are allowed to tag the person that tagged you in the first place. Also, copy and paste this section on your blog so others can understand how the game goes.
  • In the case where a blogger strongly refuses to answer a question, he/she must instead post a nice anime image, wallpaper or cosplay picture, et cetera in response to that question.
  • To make things interesting, a blogger can include wildcards in his/her 5 questions by placing an asterisk, (*), after which those tagged are obliged to reveal something interesting about themselves that others did not previously know. There is no limit to the number of asterisks one can place (which means there can be up to 5 wildcard questions).
  • Anyone can feel free to start the game; you don’t necessarily need someone to tag you. Just create your 5 questions and tag your 5 people of choice. However, the catch is that you must answer your own 5 questions as well.
  • To potentially prevent an endless game, this round of games will end on the 8th September 2012, 12pm JST (GMT +9). After which, no more bloggers can tag others to answer their questions.

These are the questions that were asked:

How do you choose the anime you watch?

I usually start by looking at the handy seasonal charts that contain all of the shows, OVAs and movies airing and releasing during that season. If there is a sequel to show I liked from a past season or the next iteration in a long running series I enjoy those get automatically added to my watch list. This is followed by checking out what my preferred studios are doing, if the premise sounds interesting I will give them a go. I also take a look at the voice actors, this is probably the primary reason I watched some shows lately. If there is staff whose work I enjoyed before, directors, producers, writers, etc. also increases my chances of checking the show out.

Then comes the social factor, if my lovely animu friends express interest in a show or give me a recommendation it occasionally gives me incentives to watch it.

Finally the most important thing, I ignore what the overly vocal anime internet fans say. Every season I continuously watch and very much enjoy shows that are labeled as bad for some trivial or arbitrary reason.

I don't really go out of my way to look for anime to watch every season but there's several things that get me to watch an anime.

First of all I look at what studio animated the show. I know SHAFT does crazy trippy things, and Kyoto Animation does more down to earth adaptations etc. So depending on what I'm feeling like I might give whatever show they're doing a try.

Another way I get into shows is by looking at online discussions and posts. If I see a lot of people talking about a show I might get curious and see what it's about. This also includes old shows, I don't remember when I saw someone talk about Big O but it looked interesting and I started watching it not to long ago.

One way that will get me to NOT watch the show is character designs. If I don't like how the show looks it's really hard for me to care for it, man that sounds really shallow hahaha.

Which anime cliche annoys you the most or which one do you like the most?

One that has bothered me for a while now is the hot blooded idiot protagonist. I don't mind hot blooded at all, I think it's really cool and given the right kind of idiot might be charming. However, what I keep seeing is protagonists with a complete lack of comprehension of the most basic common knowledge, act in a way that I find it impossible to believe they are as old as they claim. I can't stand seeing older teenagers or young adults acting as if they were a grade schooler who knows nothing about how the world works.

 

 

Hey this is cheating that's like 2 questions in 1 :p. I'll answer both even if there's a "or" in there.

I recently started reading a manga (NiseKoi) with very clear examples of this so that might be influencing my answers haha.

I dislike the childhood friend love interest cliche. I'm just gonna assume it's a girl for ease of writing but I guess it could apply to guys as well. The thing is that most of the time the only relevant thing she has is that she has known the protagonist for a long time. I don't mind when the childhood friend has other qualities, like being really stubborn (like in Sora no Otoshimono), but when her whole personality is just being a nice girl the protagonist knows from when they were kids, it gets boring. If the protagonist just met her, he probably wouldn't even bat an eye to her.

The cliche I like the most is probably the tsundere. Even though I've seen it countless times I still can't get enough of it hahaha.

It often the case that the girl is too damn proud to accept that she has any kind of romantics feelings. I like the internal conflict and the shy/embarrassed expressions that this produces. I especially like it if the artist is good and can make really cute embarrassing faces, or really silly ones haha. I like that the girl is generally strong, a far cry from a damsel in distress, but she also has a girly side that she rarely shows to anyone. I like this sort of contrasting personality traits a lot.

Where you ever caught during an embarrassing scene while watching anime?

Does getting caught fapping to hentai count?

 

 

 

 

I don't think I've ever felt really embarrassed from something in anime, but maybe I tend to block embarrassing moments out of my memory hahaha.

The lucky star opening is really damn embarrassing though. It's like completely unrestricted otaku shock wave. It's really offsetting to anyone that's not into anime.

Oh I remembered something embarrassing that's anime related. I went to Japan to study the language and was in the classroom. The topic of your favorite anime came up and I really didn't want to admit I was really into watching, because of the social stigma that can come with it. Especially since I had no idea how my classmates or the teacher would react. So I went with the safe bet and said I like Hayao Miyazaki movies. Getting asked that in that particular situation was pretty embarrassing hahaha.

Is there a certain character from a certain scene in an anime/manga you would like to be adapted into a figure?

Not really from anime/manga but I want Nu-13 from BlazBlue, preferably in her Murakumo Armor. ALTER MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Also, more Touhou figmas. MAX FACTORY MAKE IT HAPPEN!

 

 

 

Too many! hahaha. Well with the news of the new Phoenix Wright game I'd like some Phoenix and Maya figmas. Hell almost any character from the games would be a nice figma.

On the topic of figmas, I'd like a Cirno one, and maybe a Yukari and Yuyuko. Any more Touhou figmas would be nice

I'd like a scale figure based on Udon-ya, Ishikei, or several other doujin artists. But because they're kinda ecchi I doubt they'll make any.

I'd also like a figure of Yuuko, from Tosogare X Amnesia, other than the beach queen's they announced. But I think it's really hard to capture the style of the Manga. I wasn't quite happy how the anime turned out haha.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of anime compared to western media?

My biggest problem with western media is that it tends to stay within the confines of predefined archetypes. If it's fantasy it's Dungeons & Dragons or Lord of the Rings, if it's sci-fi it's Star Wars and Star Trek and so forth, of course big generalizations on my part but still. There will always be stuff like elves and dwarves, dragons and sorcery, rubber faced aliens, beam guns, etc. everything is too samey. With Japanese media, everyone creates their own rules and universe to play with rather than using the same rules everyone agrees to.

The other big problem I have is that western shows never really have a conclusion to build to, they are written in a way to make them last indefinitely. This is greatly noticeable when a show gets cancelled or lasts longer than the original premise would allow to.

That is not to say anime does not fall under this either. I don't mind so much but it seems the same but that it feels like creators are just going through the motions whether it is anime or western media.

 

It's been a while since I saw any western media that's not movies heh.

The last thing I watched was Game of Thrones and I really enjoyed that. But I think that series is a little different from how things are normally handled. Fist off it's based on a series of books so the story is already written. But they do a really good job of setting the world and expanding the characters. And a lot of developments that happen are really interesting. There's also lots of topless girls, so in a way it's like anime fan service haha, there's no random light beams in real life though.

I think western shows focus more on an overarching story more than on the characters. When I think of Heroes or Lost I end up thinking on more of the mystery or conflict they are trying to solve. The characters are just pawns to develop the story. Rarely do I see writers go into a lot of detail for the characters. In anime you end up knowing a lot of bout the characters, like what food they like, or if they have some sort of ritual when they wake up, if they hate carrots for some reason etc. Sometimes the whole show is centered just on the characters with no real story to move along. This is still interesting because you still get to see characters interacting and being silly and what not.

This character driven narrative is probably why I like anime over your average Western show. Game of Thrones is interesting to me because they put the characters in such situations that both advance the story and develop the character. For example at one point a Eddard Stark, a friend of the king, moves to the capital to help him manage the city. The city is very corrupt and he struggles because of it. You get to see that he's a very honest man and how the city is plotting against himself and the king. It seems I praised Game of Thrones too much heh.

I also think that western media seems to think that you have to be completely obvious with everything you say and do. There's very little subtlety.

Since the deadline was on the 8th we wont tag anyone. The End.