Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas presents

A bit late, but this is the otaku related presents that I received for Christmas:

  • Weiss Schwarz Melty Blood Trial Deck
  • Weiss Schwarz Fate/stay night Booster Box
  • Weiss Schwarz Fate/hollow ataraxia Extra Booster Box
  • Final Fantasy IV for NDS
  • Odin Sphere for PS2
Final Fantasy IV is a remake of the original FFIV, but with the same graphics used for the remake of FFIII . Next year they will release another port of FFIV for the PSP, but I think I'll pass this time....

Odin Sphere was a totally unexpected gift! I recall saying to the person that gave it to me that Odin Sphere was the spiritual successor of Princess Crown (a game that I never had the chance to play but I liked the visuals a lot) and I would like to play Odin Sphere sometime... but I wasn't begging for it or anything!

Unlike the games, WS cards were pretty much expected (I asked specifically for them).

The Melty Blood Trial Deck contains "5 trial deck only cards" (the last 5 in the pic) unlike the other Trial Decks that I purchased, that only had 2.

The parallel card that I got from the Fate/stay night Booster Box was the triple R "Kishi Ou Saber", and I'm missing 7 cards for a full set.

Illustrated by Fujima Takuya, the author of Idolm@ster Break!

I didn't have the same luck with the Fate/hollow ataraxia Extra Booster Box. Even with the box that I bought last year, I have only 30 out of 45 of the normal ones and 17 out of 45 of the parallel ones. For Weiß Schwarz trades, please visit this post.

Is late to wish for a Merry Christmas, so Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nendoroid Saber Super Movable Edition by GSC

In mid November I received Nendoroid Saber Super Movable Edition by Good Smile Company, but I didn't open the box until today.

Nendoroid Saber: Super Movable Edition is different from a regular nendoroid figure because has articulation points throughout the body. Neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, knees, feet... a total of 21 points of articulation puts this at the poseability level of a figma. Also, part of the hair and the front part of the skirt are of soft material that can be bended, adding more moveability.

Not counting Saber Lion and Saber Lily, this is the first Fate/stay night nendoroid that doesn't have the SD style from the game. The sculpt job on nendoroids is getting better and better, and out of the 11 nendoroids that I have this is easily the best looking one.

The extra parts included are 3 faces (smiling, yelling and angry), 3 pairs of hands, 3 swords (Excalibur, Invisible Air Excalibur and Caliburn) and 2 scabbards (Avalon and Caliburn's scabbard).
The base is new in the nendoroid line. Is quite ugly but does it's job better than most of the bases (specially the awful saddle-like one of Saber Lion).

Even with all the articulation points, is hard as hell to pose properly due to the enormous head and the tiny arms (the picture is an attempt to do the Triumphant Excalibur pose). The joints (specially the shoulders ones) are extremely loose and tend to pop out at every movement.

The third face is a SD face from the game, officially called Hetare Saber (good-for-nothing Saber). Here is how appears in Fate/hollow ataraxia Illya's Castle mini-game:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chogokin Drossel by Bandai

One of the figures that I wanted to purchase at the beginning of the year but I gave up because I was short of money was the Chogokin Drossel by Bandai. Once I got money, it was massively overpriced, but I managed to get one from Archonia at more or less the suggested retail price (8,000 yen).

Chogokin Drossel is very similar to the Figma counterpart (both are jointed figures based from the same jointed character, after all) but much bigger (18 cm) and with the inner frame (and some of the external parts as well) made of metal.

Comparison shot with the Figma version.

They have other little differences, some of them because of the much larger scale of the Chogokin Drossel (the written labels and the black paint in the hands), but some of them structural, like the extra points of articulation in the stomach and in the toes.
The base is a single piece of plastic with a single peg to firm the figure, simulating the flooring of the Tempest Tower.

The other main difference between the Chogokin version and the Figma version is the face, much rounder in the Chogokin version. This face is supposed to be more faithful to the original design because the original character designer Fukuchi Hitoshi, was consulted for the production of the Chogokin version, but I prefer the Figma face.
Since the default face contains internal lighting for the eyes, it lacks that cool shinny blue effect, and a noticeable gap between the forehead faceplate (that is removable) and the nose and mouth faceplate.

The light-up eyes are activated via a switch hidden in the forehead faceplate.

The other two faces included have a better eye color, and because the forehead faceplate are not detachable they don't have any intrusive seam-lines. Here is the Obruchev face...

And this is the Belinda face.

Sadly, in some angles even the non light-up eyes are a bit ugly. Compare the eyes in this pose with the figma version.

Like the Figma version, the fingers are not movable but includes 6 pairs of hands, some of them usable only for specific poses from the series.

I don't like to "play" with my articulated figures, but this version is really a blessing for those who want to. The joints are sturdy and since are made of metal there is no risk to break them easily in the process.

The Obruchev unit, includes parts to put it in flight mode.

Back shot.

And in a related note, a second season of Fireball was announced for the 2011, and for now a single image was shown:

A robot that clearly is not Drossel, or she had a massive face-lift...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

1/8 Alphard by Good Smile Company

The Companion figure of Canaan figure is 1/8 Alphard also by Good Smile Company.

Also sculpted by Iwamoto Kunihiro, displays Alphard in mid-air bending the body to the right. The highly dynamic feeling is again worth of praise.

Alphard, unlike Canaan, doesn't have any remarkable fault. The hair is well done and correctly shaded. I don't like the face sculpt as much as I like Canaan's one, but is close enough to the character.

There are tons of nice little details like the zipper or the subtle abdominal muscles.

And the sculpt is not really perfect: the trench pockets doesn't look like pockets at all.

The rear is also well detailed. There is a suspender strap on her back under the coat, but is hard to photograph without doing an awkward angle.

Overall is a better figure than Canaan, with a great dynamic pose and a more than acceptable paint job.

1/8 Canaan by Good Smile Company

I pre-ordered the figures of Canaan and Alphard months before were released, but I canceled them in late February because I ran out of money... At the beginning of the month I purchased them in a sale at Hobby Link Japan, with a 40% discount for Canaan and a 25% discount for Alphard, so at the end I got a great deal for waiting!

1/8 Canaan by Good Smile Company was a highly anticipated figure (I did an entry about it about 10 months before the release date), but CANAAN anime was not that popular at the end, and several quality issues made a lot of people cancel their orders. Is true that the final quality doesn't match the promotional shots from the prototype, but is not that bad as people said.

First of all, the highly dynamic sculpt by Iwamoto Kunihiro is stunning, showing Canaan jumping mid-air, dropping the cape in the process. I don't have any problem with Iwamoto's sculpt, Canaan face is good looking and there are tons of cool detail like her bracelet and pendant, but there are problems with the painting quality of the cape and the base, and the hair molding is not very good.

The cape painting job is not really that great if seen in a not optimum angle, and there are several white spots of what I suspect is glue. You must actively search for defects to see the problems because overall the figure is still good looking.

The external surface of the cape is better painted, but you can see the glue spots there...
The base isn’t quite as detailed as the official shots, but it gets the job done so I won't complain.

The other main problem can't be overlooked so easily, and is the molding of the hair with very visible seam lines and an almost lack of shading. Again, is not that bad with the correct light and in the correct angle but in an unfavorable light the result is pretty bad.
If you can overlook the hair problems, the rest of the sculpt is gorgeous.

You can display it without the cape, but them is a bit plain looking... also note the lack of shading in the hair compared with the rest of the body.

Overall, is a must figure for CANAAN fans (after all, there are not so many figures), and a great looking figure if you can oversee the overall minor faults.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1/10 Hoshii Miki by Wave

Along with Saber and Sakura, I also purchased 1/10 Hoshii Miki by Wave.

Surprisingly, there are not many completed models based in iM@S characters. There are 2 versions of Miki by Max Factory (I have the blond version), the elusive Miura Azusa in wedding dress by Good Smile Company and the ugly faced Brilliant Stage collection by Megahouse.

This is my third iM@S figure and is already my second Miki figure, despite being one of my least favorite characters (mostly because is non playable in The IDOLM@STER SP and her intelligence seems to be downgraded for that port).

The sculpt is by Hokusoh, and displays a cheerful Miki doing a kira pose dressed with her bikini.
The face seems way, way off for some reason; compared with the original artwork, the cheeks are too edgy shaped and the space between the eyes and mouth is too wide... Again, I don't like Miki as a character that much and perhaps I'm biased here, but I still prefer the Max Factory version by far.

There's extra hair parts to display her as awakened Miki, with short brown hair. I prefer the blond version.

Back shot.

Wave already announced Haruka and Azusa in the Beach Queens series, so it's seems that all the girls will be released.

1/10 Matou Sakura by Wave

And to complete the trio of heroines from Fate, I also purchased 1/10 Matou Sakura by Wave.

Like Rin, the sculpt is by Okumura Yukio (circle the poppy puppet) and also is displaying her Fate/hollow ataraxia bikini.
Sakura is the least reproduced character in PVC figures out of the main heroines, and half of the time is with that bikini...

Again like Rin, the face is not 100% faithful to the character but is not really bad. The hand in front of her face seems oddly shaped in the pictures, but is cutely bended. The overall pose is very Sakura-ish, so I can't complain.

Back photo.

It would be nice if Wave releases all the other girls that also appeared in swimsuit in Fate/hollow ataraxia: Rider, Illya, Sella and Leysritt. Rider and Illya in bikini are plausible because there are already figures of them (even 2 versions in the case of Rider), but sadly Sella and Leys chances are zero to none.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1/10 Saber by Wave

A bit late to do the reviews of the last batch of figures that I received at the beginning of this month because of an unexpected return to my job as a postman...

The first one is 1/10 Saber by Wave.

Like the previously released Rin, is part of the Beach Queens Treasure Figure Collection, so is wearing her Fate/hollow ataraxia bikini.

The sculpt is by the veteran Ogawa Yozo, inspired by this illustration by Takeuchi displaying an unusual Saber with her hair down.
The face is a bit too roundish and is not the best looking Saber by Ogawa, but I think is more a problem of the small scale of the figure rather than a sculptor's fault.

Alternately, you can display Saber with her usual bun.

Rear shot.

Like the previous Queens Treasure Figures, the quality is good for the price (available right now for less than 3,000 yen at AmiAmi), but lacking when compared with full priced figures

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Weiβ Schwarz cards: Buy, trade and sell

UPDATED: May 2012 Since I didn't find any place to buy-trade-sell Weiß Schwarz cards, I'll do it by myself.

I will use the prices of orenoturn.com as a reference.
  • In case of trade, the full price is the trading value (negotiable).
  • In the case of sell, I'll sell the cards at the same price (negotiable).
  • I'll buy the cards that I want at the full price listed (negotiable).
I'll pay or receive payments via Paypal only. I have good references as buyer-seller at eBay.
For shipping costs, offers and other questions, leave a comment!

Willing to Buy or Trade: 
Melty Blood:

I'm not listing the trial deck cards and the booster cards that are worth less than 100 yen to avoid excessive flooding. If you are interested in those, please inquire me for availability.
I have cards from Fate/stay night, Fate/Zero, MELTY BLOOD, THE iDOLM@STER and THE iDOLM@STER 2.

Fate/stay night:
FS/S03-046 U 桜の看病
FZ/S17-103 TD 最優のクラス セイバー
FZ/S17-104 TD カムランの丘
MB/S10-062 U G秋葉
IM/S07-030 R 四条 貴音
IM/S07-033 U 浮世離れ貴音
IM/S14-103 TD ユニットメンバー やよい
IM/S14-104 TD 正統派アイドル!春香

IM/S14-096 U 765プロ地獄の特訓

Extra Booster Cards:

Fate/hollow ataraxia:
FH/SE03-001 R 守護者セイバー
FH/SE03-003 R “この世すべての悪”アヴェンジャー
FH/SE03-005 C 蛍塚 音子
FH/SE03-009 C 決戦!デッドブリッジ
FH/SE03-010 C 天地乖離す開闢の星
FH/SE03-014 R 別れを惜しむバゼット
FH/SE03-017 C 水着の桜
FH/SE03-018 C バゼット・フラガ・マクレミッツ
FH/SE03-023 C エスコート

Fate/hollow ataraxia:
FH/SE03-024 C 大切な場所
FH/SE03-025 C 斬り抉る戦神の剣
FH/SE03-030 C 遠坂神社の巫女 凛
FH/SE03-031 C 遠坂神社の神主アーチャー
FH/SE03-032 C 水着の凛
FH/SE03-035 R 謎の少女カレン
FH/SE03-037 R 葛木メディア
FH/SE03-039 C カレン・オルテンシ
FH/SE03-040 C マグダラの聖骸布カレン

Fate/hollow ataraxia:
FH/SE03-042 C 破城槌 イリヤ&バーサーカー
FH/SE03-043 C おやすみの夜
FH/SE03-045 C 魔女の鉄槌

Parallel (Holo, Foil) Cards:

Fate/hollow ataraxia:
FH/SE03-018 C バゼット・フラガ・マクレミッツ
FH/SE03-041 C 悪魔憑きカレン

CN/SE02-02 SR “宝物”カナン&マリア
CN/SE02-09 SC 破壊工作員カナン
CN/SE02-13 SC 蛇の天敵
CN/SE02-14 SC 親愛なる友人
CN/SE02-15 SR 心に咲いた花ハッコー 
CN/SE02-24 SC アルファルド&リャン・チー
CN/SE02-25 SC ダイダラ社社長カミングズ
CN/SE02-26 SC カナンの名を持つ存在
CN/SE02-27 SC 空を舞う蛇

THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars
IM/SE04-07 R 夢をあきらめない涼
IM/SE04-07 R 夢をあきらめない涼 (SIGNED)
IM/SE04-08 C 石川社長
IM/SE04-12 C 歌への自信 美希
IM/SE04-14 C Dazzling World
IM/SE04-17 R “限界にチャレンジ”愛
IM/SE04-20 C 明るい親子 愛&舞
IM/SE04-24 C アイドルとしての才能 愛

IM/SE04-30 C プロデューサー尾崎
IM/SE04-31 C 合同レッスン絵理
IM/SE04-35 C 受け継いだ夢 絵理

 Promo Cards:

IM/S07-103 PR 765プロ
IM/S07-105 PR 天真爛漫な春香
IM/S07-120 PR レッドスパンコール 春香
The King of Fighters 
KF/S05-104 PR 永遠のサイキックアイドル アテナ 
Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~
PT/W07-104 PR パートナー アイン&ツヴァイ 
CN/SE02-28 PR “守るべき絆”カナン&マリア
Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
MK/S11-123 PR とっても元気 シャロ
Gekijouban Macross F
MF/S13-116 PR 思い出の歌 ランカ