The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls - Kanzaki Ranko - Anniversary Princess ver.

Ranko Curse you, day-moon… (Good morning!)

Continuing on from last time's look at my top idols from 765 Pro we move on the more recent The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls. This time we will look at the bestest Cinderella Girl, Kanzaki Ranko.

Ranko

How did you guys like the recent show? Did your favorite girl get enough attention? I enjoyed it over all, glad my favorite girls got their time in the spot light.

I did have some annoyances with a few characters though.  Cough, Mio, cough... Triad Primus... I also ended liking a few girls who I previously had no interest in or knew very little about.

Uzuki is a perfect example of that but I will save her for next time. :)

Ranko

The show was my first proper introduction to the majority of the girls from the Cinderella Girls game. I had developed an interest in some girls, such as Kaede for example, through some rather amusing fan works. I had only read the first few chapters of the New Generations manga but never got far into it.

The dozens of characters didn't help in making it all a big jumbled mess in my head as to who was who. I can only tell so much from fan portrayals and reading the quotes from the game to get a grasp of the different idols.

Ranko

Ranko though, was a different experience for me. I was aware of her existence, I had seen her card illustrations and various fan art of her, I knew she was a quirky chuunibyou.

It wasn't quite love at first sight though... That is, until saw the figma.

figma Ranko

I just couldn't resist how incredible cute her figma was! Ranko's pouting is just so irresistible to me! This had just sealed the deal, I had found my Cinderella.

As I kept learning more about Ranko I started to love all the different aspects of her.

Ranko

Her bombastic, hammy "Ranko-speak" is just so amusing to me, seeing other character's confused reactions to her statements amuses me to no end. This ended up causing one of my favorite punchline for an episode of the show.

For all her showing off she is still very much a shrinking violet resulting in some rather cute moments such as when kept trying to talk to the producer in the show. Amazing how many words start with "pro"!

Ranko

I was quite happy with her episode as it showcased all the different bits that I love her.

Elaborate high strung speeches? Checked. Troubled shy and cute Ranko? Yup. Everyone wondering what the heck she was going on about? Of course!

Ending the episode with Rosenburg Engel was just the cherry on top for me.

Ranko

I was quite saddened that the rest of the show didn't really focus on her at all afterwards apart from a few lines here and there. Doubly annoying as some of the girls got a second episode focusing on them. Why not Ranko dammit! She won the 2nd Cinderella Girls Election for a reason!

Alas, with so many girls I suppose it couldn't be helped.

Ranko

As a good idol fan I of course went out and bought some merchandise, namely this figure we are taking a look at.

Phat has brought us Kanzaki Ranko - Anniversary Princess ver. This figure also has a fancier and more expensive variant, "Mad Banquet", which includes a more elaborate base.

Ranko

I opted for the cheaper version as I didn't feel the fancier base was worth the price hike. In retrospect I do find it adds quite a bit of oomph to the overall presentation and regret not buying that version just a tiny bit.

Even so I'm quite happy with my first scaled Ranko figure.

Ranko

Looking at her energetic pose I can easily imagine Ranko happily expressing herself in her well known manner.

"Heh, heh, heh… a demon is on the loose… (I’ll do my best!)"

I still have no idea if Phat actually stands for "pretty hot and tempting" or not but Ranko sure fits that description! The sculptor, Knead K@Z, has already proven him/herself in that regard with their previous work with Plum's Erio and now here with Ranko.

Ranko

One of the reasons I like idols is seeing them in their nice stage outfits. These outfits usually tend to be an elaborate affair, Ranko's Gothic Lolita image only serves to take this up to the extreme.

This rendition of Ranko does not disappoint in that regard at all!

Her clothes definitely follow the Gothic Lolita theme, her outfit has all the necessary lace and the bodice hearkens to that style. The bodice which I find emphasizes her bust quite nicely. Hmm... did Ranko always have such a nice bust?

Ranko

The stockings follow the rose motif that can be seen with the rest of clothes, the glossy finish given them a nice silky look and feel.

Ranko

I find the choice of head wear quite interesting, she is sporting a tiara, a hat, pearls and ribbons, that is a lot going on there!

Ranko

Ranko is sporting a nice vibrant smile, happy idols make me happy, I can feel her deep crimson eyes staring into my soul.

Ranko microphone

The only accessory in my version, the fancy old school microphone in her cross handle looks fairly nice. My only complain is that it only rests against the base rather than using a peg so small bumps send it flying.

Ranko

If you look quite closely you can see some small imperfections such as with the roses at her waist, practically invisible to the naked eye. Nothing too out of the ordinary for scaled figures though, so not an issue to me.

Ranko

Phat and Knead K@Z have done an outstanding work with their rendition of Ranko. Together with my previous experience with Phat and now with Ranko I can see myself getting more figures from them in the future.

Ranko

This figure definitely reinforces my adoration of Ranko, I can see myself getting more. I already snatched one I had my eyes for a long time and I am starting to seriously consider going for something a bit bigger.

Until then though...

May you all be blessed equally, my compatriots! Be wrapped in holy light and enjoy good fortune!

PHAT's Yakumo Yukari - You are going to get spirited away!

Hello you lovable readers! This week once again we shall take a look at the equally lovely Yakumo Yukari from the Touhou games.

I hope you don’t mind though since last time exilehero just did a post about her. After seeing his pictures I really got the urge and got in the mood to shoot this Yukari figure by the rather untested PHAT in my collecting experience so far.

exilehero already talked a bit about Yukari but I will talk about her some more, even if some of it is a repeat... because I can!

Much like with him Yukari is one of my favorite touhous, not my favorite per say but she ranks pretty high. I think she is in my top 3 for sure, possibly second right after my favorite Reimu. I suppose the border team is my favorite among the dozens and dozens of touhous.

My interpretation of Yukari is a bit more towards the darker more cunning depiction of her. While I don’t think she is malevolent it does seem to me that she tends to let others do the dirty work for her. Rather than lying or manipulating someone she gives half truths to steer them in the desired direction. Much like way too many of the Gensokyou residents she seems to be very, very bored and might instigate things to shake up the boredom a bit. I suppose when you are a few millennia old and omnipotent you tend to get bored.

http://youtu.be/195XntreoMc

Like essentially every character that I become interested in, it was her because of her music theme. Necrofantsia is pretty high on my list of favorite Touhou songs, it’s among those that I still haven’t gotten tired of yet no matter how much I listen to it.

I really like it, I love how it is a high paced, high energy, rather dramatic affair. It really feels like you are fighting the battle of your life.

You all learned that Yukari is the hidden boss that you get to fight after the hidden boss in the 7th Touhou game, Perfect Cherry Blossom, in last week’s post. Now, I have always found this rather strange, very much strange indeed.

Usually how it goes is like this Stage 1 > … > Stage 6 followed by the Extra Stage once you clear the game without using any continues in any difficulty. Usually the Extra Stage is the apparent hardest stage and boss in the game. Yet PCB has a Phantasm Stage that goes beyond that, harder than hard so to speak. In the game it is described as “planned chaos”.

Never before and never after has there been a Phantasm Stage in a Windows Touhou game. What makes Yukari special enough to be the only Phantasm boss? In addition to that, given the typical power progression in kinda puts her at the top of the food chain.

Well, given spell cards like the infamous Boundary of Life and Death where Yukari just throws faster and denser waves of every type of bullet featured in the game is easy to see as much. Heck at the end of the battle she hasn't even broken a sweat, even the final and extra bosses usually look all beaten up and scuffed from the battle.

This is my Yukari mystery #1.

There is also her informed ability, she has the power to manipulate boundaries which can be applied in a variety of ways. One such application is her gaps, which Yukari uses for instant transportation akin to teleporting. Another example is using a reflection of the moon and manipulating the boundary between the moon and the earth to allow for easy and quick travel between the two. Her powers over boundaries kinda make her a bit omnipotent in my opinion. Yet she lets other people do the work for her when she could probably solve it instantly.

This is my Yukari mystery #2.

Speaking of gaps, why are they so freaky? They have those weird bloodshot red eyes looking from within. Are those eyes Yukari’s? She is a youkai so her true form is probably not that of a young woman. Are the gaps tied at the end with bows just to make them look cute? What in the world is inside those things, is it safe for others besides Yukari to even go in them?

This is my Yukari mystery #3.

Yukari also seems to have been to our side, outside of Gensokyou. In a written supplementary material she has shown knowledge of things such as iPods and Nintendo handhelds, not only what and how to use them but also knowing that they are trendy item in out world.

There are nods such as a Marisa’s description of Yukari using something that sounds a lot like a cellphone to communicate with her servant. There is also the not so subtle spell card where she summons a train in the fighting games to run over her opponents. Does this means she can freely cross outside the boundary that separates the real world and Gensokyou?

This is my Yukari mystery #4.

Yukari sure is a mysterious character, often described as a very youkai like youkai. Yet most of the time she is rather playful and teasing. Good thing there is no truly evil characters in Touhou otherwise Yukari would be one I would be extremely wary of, most depictions of her go for the cutesy and playful depiction.

Which is a bit unnerving considering she is millennia old, I mean an older lady acting like a teenager is kinda weird. Just don’t call her an old hag.

This figure does nothing but show Yukari in a fairly good light though.

PHAT stands for “pretty hot and tempting”, which this figure is a perfect example of. I mean look at her!

That alluring expression, a faint blush, golden locks of hair, an inviting neckline, sexy long legs! Yup, pretty hot and tempting indeed. Actually, this figure does something that I really like, it shows Yukari in an adult appeal rather than a cutesy approach. After all, I always seen Yukari as a mature attractive woman.

This figure is actually very reminiscent of Yukari’s original appearance in when she was introduced in PCB. Phat essentially reused the same pose she had in her game appearance. The only difference is Yukari is missing her parasol and fan. Much like in the game she is sitting in one of her gaps leisurely resting.

How does she even manage that?

The same thing can be said about her clothes, the purple frilly dress, the elbow gloves, the ribbon on her neck, all essentially the same as she looked in PCB. With only a few differences like the corset, the rather open neckline showing Yukari’s ample bosom, and the short hemline showing off her nice slim legs. I like the changes, give her a bit of nice sex appeal.

I found this pose to be quite fun actually, you can go for cutesy thanks to Yukari’s expression and the right angle. However, if you change the angle to be looking upwards you can almost feel like she is literally looking down in contempt. I like figures that give different vibes from different angles.

Speaking of which I always found it quite interesting when in comes to bustlines of the Touhou girls. In the games ZUN did not really draw the girls with any sort of noticeable bustline. However, in fan works you have characters depicted with different sizes, some are flat, some are big, some are in between. I always wondered how such consensus come to pass.

Much like with past Touhou figures you can remove Yukari’s hat. Hats are serious business, touhous still die if they take off their hats, don't take them off. As for this figure, while Yukari looks just fine without it I can’t help but feel she has a loss of identity. Without it she looks like an unknown rather attractive blond young woman. I feel hats go a long way towards a touhou’s identity.

I gotta say though that without it her hair looks really nice, her flocks of blond hair look gorgeous nice accentuated by the red ribbons in her hair. Surprisingly enough though for having so many individual locks of hair PHAT managed to pull it off without noticeable seam lines. Something that tends to be somewhat common when it comes to figures with several individual locks of hair.

You know one thing that I really like about this figure is? It’s Yukari’s eyes, they are nice a violet shade. I always found that a nice nod since her name essentially means violet or so the wiki claims. As the games progressed her eyes changed to yellow or gold, apparently golden eyes are special in Japanese culture.

As for me I would prefer violet, it matches her name and presents a nicer more balanced color palette her.

PHAT seems to have done a good job, never gotten anything from them so I’m happy to have a pleasant first experience.

There was only one big flaw that I found in this figure. There are two pegs on the gap where Yukari’s hands attach to. The pegs are not at the right distance so the arms have to be forced to extend outwards a bit to be able to properly match the holes in the hands with them. Not only that, the hands tend to come out easily since the arms try to return to their original position. Not a major cause for concern since the grove in the gap for Yukari’s tushie and her balanced sitting position keep her in place.

Painting seems fine as well with no problems, everything is line where it should be. I did notice some dark spots but that could just be me failing to clean the figure properly. Besides these are only really noticeable when looked through a macro lens.

In my opinion this is the best Yukari figure around. You read all about ques Q’s last week and while a good enough figure the price of admission is too high. Out of these two I find this figure to be the better made figure while ques Q’s version is more Yukari like.

Other renditions such as Koto’s seemed to be off the mark when it comes to her character in my eyes. With Griffon who pumps Touhou figures like there is no tomorrow I’m very weary. Their own Yukari turned out be very unspectacular.

In the end I say buy this figure if you like Yukari, if you are a Touhou fan, or if you simply like it as a figure. Although for non fans the price might be a little high for a 1/8th figure. If you want it you are in luck since there is a re-release set for November.

Ah! Although I suppose for a lot of people November is probably no good.

Hope you liked reading, more than you probably ever wanted, about my views on Yukari .

 

Edit: Apparently someone linked this post on Facebook and ended getting a bunch of views. I'm curious, if you come from there mind telling me who linked to the post?

Pre-order list: the OMG so much $$$ edition!

It's been a while since I done one of these.

Last time it was back on late June.

October

Ergh, so annoying I was so looking forward to have Yukari waiting for me at home after I came back from my business trip. Alas, she was delayed until the end of October, I hope there is no more delays for her.

Everybody watched Working!! right? Such a fun show, out of all the girls I must say Yamada is my favorite of the bunch. Such a fun character, Alter's rendition sure displays that.

Man, I was so hyped for this figma. I mean, it's Robocop, Robocop!

Much like with Phat's Yukari Robocop was delayed until the end of October.

This is odd, I been collecting figmas ever since their introduction a few years back. All of them have been exclusively girls, now though I want quite a few guys.

I look forward to getting Touma, been wanting to continue that CNN9 report I did back in February.

So, I know how people feel about Kirino and Kuroneko but what about Ayase?

I don't really like her but just look at those faces and cuffs, she is bound to be fun for pictures. Even more so with that unluky Touma figma I'm getting.

November

November can't come soon enough, I can't wait to get Homura my favorite Puella Magi.

Although, I must say, Homura needs more guns, no assault rifles? no light machine guns? Makes me a bit sad.

For a while Kuroko was my favorite Index girl. She is such a perv, I love it.

Sadly I gotta pay extra for her much like with Biri Biri and Misaka-imouto because of bundled in game. Still I look forward to use her on that CNN9 report continuation.

December

Earlier this year my lack of employment led me to miss out on this awesome Dizzy figure.

As a fan on Guilty Gear and Dizzy, I'm happy to have the chance to rectify that.

So I hear NISA might bring the BRS game to the west, including may be that special edition from Japan.

From that game comes this version of BRS. I think she looks quite cool with the wings and the more manageable cannon.

I'm getting all the other Index figmas so no surprised I'm getting Index herself right?

I'm curious to see how the use of cloth will turn out with her and the other figmas that make use of it.

January

Joining Madoka and Homura is Mami.

Was she always this busty? I really don't remember her being this busty on the show. Anyways, I'm quite happy with the selection of expressions for Mami.

We all have figures we wished we had bought, or had the chance to buy.

The original Alter Aigis was one such figure for me, so I quickly jumped at the chance of owning this figure. After all Aigis is my favorite girl from Persona 3.

People go about how this and that character is GAR or manly but none can compare to Guts.

Just look at him, Guts kills the type of things that are final bosses on a daily basis. You want manliness go for the guy that kills Eldrich abominations as if it was a walk in the park.

February

Sigh... this girl... out of all the Puella Magi she was the one with the design I liked the most. Too bad the rest was a lost cause. Still I look forward to owning her, too bad there is no expression to go for when she snapped before she died.

March

I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait for Ika Musume next year. Everything that makes her so awesome is well represented in this figma. Plus just look at the crying face of her, so darn cute.

So there you have it, biggest pre-order list I had up until now. It's only missing one figure, the Queen's Blade version of Noel Vermillion but her exclusiveness and high price is making me hesitate to commit to buy her.

So, anyone getting any these?

Pre-order list time!

This time it's not too long of a list.

The list from last time.

July

The lone figure for July, can't wait to own her as the good Nanoha fan that I am.

August

Still got the cutesome Lat Miku on my list and look forward to her as well. This is one Miku figure I can actually understand the hype for.

I look forward to good ol' Suika, good some neat ideas for a few photos featuring her.

I can't believe this is actually happening, It's Robocop, a figma Robocop, Robocop!!!

Funny though, I watched the movie as a kid a lot. When I watched it when I was older I was quite surprised it's definitely not for kids.

I bought the three other Cures from Heartcatch gotta complete the set with the elegant and strong Cure Moonlight.

September

Still makes me happy I can buy her at AmiAmi, I think out of all the figures on this list this is the one I want to see in my hands the most.

Then there is Madokami, I'm betting on there being a Homura figma otherwise I will find this too be not as appealing.

At least I will be able to take a picture of Kyubei and a certain other magical girl.

This is my tentative list until August anyways.  There are plenty of other figures that I would like to pre-order but with August being a heavy month I will wait. I'm hoping for some delays to spread out things a bit more.

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It's nice to have a job

No worries about whether I will have money for this and that really gives me peace of mind.

The lack luster list from last time.

May

Rei sure has been delayed a lot, heck figures that where announced after her ended being released first. I hope it's not because of some production troubles or anything like that.

I wonder if I'm the only one that liked Kirino, every one else seems to be on the hate wagon when it comes to her. I have a theory that people dislike her because her mannerisms when it comes to otaku antics hit to close to home for some people.

Anyways, I do hope those crossed arms of hers fit other figmas. There is at least one other bossy girl I would like to use that pose with.

I really like this figure, it's simple,  elegant, doesn't pop up too much. Just like Kanade herself, plus because it is a simple a figure the price is not too high either.

June

This is probably the first and last Mirai anything I will buy as I'm not fond of her design that much.

I find this Mirai to have come back in full circle for me. If I hadn't stumbled across Danny's site 4 years ago, I don't think I would have gotten into figure collecting at all. It was because he got his hands on the original figma Yuki that I became interested in figures, 50+ figmas latter here we are.

July

This is gonna be Nanoha figure number 5, 6 if you count my Nanoha dollfie. All of those, dollfie aside are of Nanoha in several variations of her barrier jacket. A Nanoha figure in her uniform is a nice change of pace plus she has hair down giving her a different feeling.

August

I'm not a big Miku fan, I only own the original figma version after all. For some reason I found this version incredibly cute. Hell, I'm not even into glasses or anything.

Next up is the next figma in the Touhou line. The drunkard oni that loves to party, I look forward to many fun pictures with her.

Still, stupid Otacute, what's with the high mark up?

September

Finally we got Yukari, I like this figure, so Yukari like.

I been following this figure since I saw the unpainted version at some event. I was happy to see she was available at AmiAmi as well since Chen wasn't. I do hope though that as my first Phat figure she doesn't disappointmt me.

There you have it, these figures I will get for sure since I can't actually cancel any of them.

Might add some more if money is available.

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