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Gift DRAMAtical Murder photo
Don't tease me so, Gift!
Oh Gift, you certainly know how to make me squeal in delight. Recently, @Giftkanegon posted a few pictures via twitter featuring the next bishounen to appear in their DRAMAtical Murder plushie series. The set of pictures play...

ALTER delays photo
Oh Alter, you should just add a question mark to all your release dates.
I knew things seemed a bit too quiet in Alter-land. After all, Alter wouldn't be Alter without a delay or two on a monthly basis, right? Right. They recently updated their September shipment schedule, and as you can probably ...

MegaHouse Tetsuya Kuroko photo
It's hard to resist Kurokocchi's dynamism
[UPDATE: Picture gallery added] [UPDATE 2: CD Japan pre-order link added. Go Go Go !] [update 3: Added another pre-order link :)] Are you ready for some Winter Cup action, Kuroko no Basket fans? Just in time for the highly an...

MegaHouse Ginpachi-sensei photo
It's not a cigarette but a lollipop that's been so lolilolilolied it smokes
The last time we caught a glimpse of Ginpachi-sensei at Wonder Festival 2013 Summer over a month ago, he was still in his unpainted prototype form, but now, the homeroom teacher from the light novel series (and anime extras),...

ALTAiR Uta Pri photo
1000% bishounens!
ALTAiR recently updated their blog and revealed the long awaited prototypes for Uta no Prince-sama's Hijirikawa Masato and Jinguji Ren. Although ALTAiR did display both boys during Wonder Festival Summer 2013, there was a pes...

GSC Delays photo
GSC Delays

Good Smile Company announces August delays

Not even a goddess can deter the dreaded 'D'
Aug 12
// Yami Casas
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Good Smile Company recently updated their website announcing the August release schedule, and well, you can already guess where this is going, right? Our monthly nemesis, the dreaded '...
MegaHouse Gintama photo
Beware of Gorilla!
How would you like Gintoki and his cohorts to join you for some refreshing tea time? Well, now they can, thanks to MegaHouse's delightful Gintama "Tea friends series - Would you like to rest a little?" figure set. The box set...

Portrait of Pirates photo
There goes my wallet
[UPDATE: Pre-orders are officially open! HobbyLink Japan and Hobby Search links added.] Alright, One Piece fans, it's time once again, for a Portrait.of.Pirates glitchfest PSA. MegaHouse certainly isn't pulling any punches th...

ALTAiR Nanase Haruka photo
My dreams have come true
If there is one anime that has been getting a lot of buzz this season, it's KyoAni's new sports themed series Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club. With the immense popularity the show has garnered in just its first four weeks since air...

One Coin Kuroko No Basket photo
Just as adorable as the first set
While the second season of Kuroko no Basket is still ways away from its October premiere, Kotobukiya is easing the wait with a second set of its one coin series aptly named 2Q. The first set of minis, (which is due out this m...

Nendoroid Naegi Makoto photo
It seems the good folks at GSC have been secretly working on a Nendoroid sample of Dangan Ronpa: The Animation series protagonist, Naegi Makoto, and thanks to a recent tweet from @gsc_kyojin we can enjoy a sneak peek at his ...

ARTFX J Atobe Keigo photo
His charm point is his tear drop mole
Shin Tennis no Ouji-sama fans are you ready to chant 'Hyōtei, Hyōtei, Hyōtei,' along with me? Pre-orders have officially begun for the captain of Hyōtei Academy tennis club, Atobe Keigo as the "all rounder...

GSC and Max Factory DMMd  photo
REconnect with Aoba
Fans who were able to attend The CHiRAL Night's (Dive into DMMd) recent event at the Tokyo Dome City Hall were in for a big surprise when they turned to a certain page in their event pamphlet, which listed that both...

MegaHouse P.O.P photo
MegaHouse P.O.P

Trafalgar Law and Donquixote Doflamingo pre-orders set

The Surgeon of Death and Heavenly Yaksha get a second release
Jun 28
// Yami Casas
Thanks to a recent update via MegaHouse's official page, fans of the popular One Piece Portrait.of.Pirates series will have a second opportunity to add DX Donquixote Doflamingo (¥7,600) and Sailing Again Trafalgar Law (&...

Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Jonouchi Katsuya

Jun 17 // Yami Casas
Figure Name: Jonouchi KatsuyaFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail: US$69.99Available at: Koto US Jonouchi's box is rather small, at least when you compare it to his duelist counterpart's boxes. It's really not surprising though, considering he's biggest accessories is the Duel Disk, and that doesn't particularly take up too much space. Other than that, the box is painted in a green hue with a fairly large window taking up much the center, and of course, Jonouchi himself decorating the bottom left corner with an ever-so confident expression. The packaging is fairly simplistic and very compact. Inside the tray,  we have Jonouchi, a set of cards, an additional left arm (with his Duel Disk), and a pink Scape Goat. Kotobukiya does a great job of not wasting any space, but honestly, all that matters is that Jonouchi arrives safe and sound. What do you say we finally release him from his plastic constraints?  Once Jonouchi is free from his plastic tray, he’s ready for some action in lively pose as his left hand sports the thumbs up while his right is clenched in a fist.  Just like the other boys, Jonouchi comes attached to his base already, so there’s no need to fuss about inserting him into any pegs or leaning issues. He’s nice and sturdy! Right off the bat, the first thing that caught my attention was his shiny blue jacket and pants. While I know some my take issue with the glossy paint finish, I personality like it, especially since it's cohesive with Yami Yugi's attire, as well. Let's start things off by taking a closer look at our duelist, shall we? Jonouchi's face is just spot on, and faithful to his character design. I love how intense his gaze is; it's thoroughly captivating. There is also some light shading done underneath the pupils that adds that extra oomph to that powerful stare. Of course, not only does Jonouchi have a great face, but he's got some awesome dirty blonde locks to boot! From the front, you can see a glimpse of his stylish bangs as they hang over his forehead. Here's a quick look at his profile, and that glorious hair I was talking about. Talk about big hair! There is some subtle shading along the creases, which adds nice overall effect to Jonouchi's sporadic hairstyle. While I do appreciate the accuracy to his big hair, I can't help, but notice that unsavory seam line right across his hairline. Since Jonouchi is looking down, the seam is unavoidable, but you can mask the seam by displaying him on a shelf that is higher than eye level. The back of the jacket adds some movement to the sculpt, and a touch of overall dynamism as it sways in the wind. There are also some visible fold lines along the waist line of the jacket, which gives it a realistic look of fabric. Looking at his pants, there are folds along the fabric of the slacks which are accentuated by the glossy paint finish and the shading, particularly around the hip area. Speaking of which, Jonouchi's pants seem to fit a bit of a snug on him, wouldn't you agree? Not that it's something I would complain about, especially when you... ...take a peek at his booty! Yes, the booty shot, you knew it was coming. Besides, he does have a nice, firm butt! All that dueling has its rewards. His shoes are painted in a matte colors, which makes a great contrast to the glossy paint used on the jacket and pants. I only noticed a tiny spot of white paint that bled from the laces onto the body of the shoe, but it's not something that I would consider a deal breaker.  Scape Goat! As a bonus, Kotobukiya includes a cute pink Scape Goat key-chain. Isn't he just adorable? I only wish there was more than one of these adorable cuties included in the package since I have a secret desire to have a Scape Goat army. Who could blame me, right?  Finally, Jonouchi is ready to throw down some cards, and get to some serious dueling. To get him assembled into the duelist mode is rather easy. Just swap out his left arm with the one that comes with the attached Duel Disk, and you're set.  Once it's on, he's ready for battle! The Duel Disk rests against Jonouchi's left forearm, but I would recommend being very careful not to bump the card holder against anything since the piece might snap off. Other than that, the paint job on the Duel Disk is nice and precise. To place the cards into Jonouchi's left hand, you simply need to slide them into the space between his thumb and palm. Once they are placed in his hands there is no need to worry they will slip out; he's got a solid grip on them. The cards have the same generic trading card design in the back that Yami and Kaiba have in their set while the front remains blank.  I couldn't resist getting the boys together for some pictures. As you can see, they look absolutely fierce!  Kaiba VS. Jonouchi. Let's go, Jonouchi! So, is Jonouchi worth it? Absolutely! If you're a Yu-Gi-Oh! fan, I definitely recommend adding him to your collection, especially if you own Yugi and Kaiba. While there are some slight imperfections, Sagae Hiroshi's sculpt stays true to Jonouchi's feisty personality regardless of the way you may choose to display him. I must say Jonouchi is my favorite duelist so far. Kotobukiya has done an amazing job of keeping all the figures in their ARTFX J line very faithful to Kazuki Takahashi's original design. What more could a fan ask for? Needless to say, I'm looking forward to Yami Malik entrance into the line. Nothing like an antagonist to spice things up. Don't forget to check out the image gallery for some pictures that didn't make the review. Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample!
ArtFX J Jonouchi Katsuya photo
Let's get ready to duel!
When Kotobukiya first announced that Jonouchi Katsuya would be to be joining Yami Yugi (reviewed) and Seto Kaiba (reviewed) in the ArtFX J line, I was pretty ecstatic. As a fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, I felt the line was a ...

G.E.M Uzumaki Naruto photo
G.E.M Uzumaki Naruto

Pre-order G.E.M. series Uzumaki Naruto

Jun 06
// Yami Casas
With the popularity of Shounen Jump's Naruto series, it's hard to believe, there aren't that many released scale figures featuring Konoha's leading ninja. While Plex did release a younger version of the noisy ninja, I've alw...

Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

Jun 05 // Yami Casas
Figure Name: Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname Figure Marker: Kotobukiya Retail: US$39.99 Available at: Koto US Madoka's box is small, compact and decorated with pink circles along the front. There's an amply sized circular window in the center while our favorite magical girl is featured with her bow and arrow along the side of the box. Overall, you have a nicely designed compact box, which won’t take up too much space. The plastic encasing includes Madoka, a set of hands with her bow and arrow, two face plates, a magnetic base, and our favorite incubator, Kyuubey. Underneath the base is an additional set of hands, along with a mini plastic storage bag. Speaking of the mini plastic bag, here's a shot of it with Madoka's accessories placed over it.  As you can see, you can store all the pieces without having any issues.  There is also a white bar along the bottom where you can write the name of the items inside the bag for identification.  Once Madoka is finally freed from her plastic prison, she is easily affixed on her magnetic base. Pose with her hands outstretched and a gentle smile, our mahou shoujo is ready to embrace anything that may head her way. No magical girl would exist without the aid of the incubator, Kyuubey granting their wishes.  Don't let that cute cat like appearance fool you though; he only cares about completing his plan.  Madoka is dressed in her pink and white signature magical girl outfit, complete with her red choker and soul gem. The paint job along the bodice and the skirt is well done, no complaints here. I only noticed a tiny speck of white paint that spilled over onto the red portion of her left sleeve, but it’s not that noticeable once you place her on your shelf. Here's a quick glance at Madoka from behind. There are some nice etched creases in Madoka's hair along with a darker shade of pink, which makes the detail pop. Her adorable twin tails are nicely molded, and surprisingly, they can be slightly turned. The knee joints are particularly noticeable from this angle, and although, Madoka has additional joints along her ankles, the red bow molded over her socks does a nice great job of covering them up. Madoka has a plug hole in the center of her back so you can attach the arm that’s provided in her package to the base, just in case you prefer doing some hang-time action poses. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about the ability of the magnets to hold the weight of the figure without causing a spill. The small magnets are located on the balls of the feet, and are strong enough to get the job done! You can pose her standing on one leg, and rest assured she won't take a tumble. Pantsu shot! I know I know, not the kind of pantsu you were expecting, but Madoka-chan prefers to wear pumpkin pants styled bloomers. On the plus side, thanks to her articulation, Madoka can pull a mean Matrix pose. What do you say we get our mahou shoujo prepared to battle some witches? But first, let’s swap out that face. To swap out the face plate, you first need to remove the head from the neck joint, and then simply pull along the hair seam to pull off the face. It’s as easy as one, two, three! I love this expression; she has a million dollar smile. Even Kyuubey is smitten with that adorable smile. Poised with her trademark bow and arrow, Madoka is ready to fight those pesky witches. Both the bow and the arrow are part of Madoka's second set of hands, so there is no need to fuss about placing her weapon into her hands. The magical bow is accentuated with two pink transparent plastic pieces that resembles a gem along the curved branch-like limbs, while the flame-like arrow is made of a translucent soft plastic. Here’s where those elbow joints come in handy as Madoka readies her magical arrow to target a witch. The last facial expression catches the lovely shoujo in an “oh, no!” moment. It perfectly captures the shy side of her personality. Oh no, Haruka-chan is in a pinch! It seems like Kyuubey has made another contact. As a fan of Puella Magi Madoka Magica series, I think Kotobukiya did a great job with Madoka. The three facial expressions were spot on, and while there was a slight paint issue, it's nothing that would deter me from recommending the figure. Besides, who could resist Kyuubey? All joking aside, Kotobukiya continues to impress me with the Cu-Poche line; I can honestly say I am rapidly becoming a fan. It's quite refreshing to not to be hampered by limited articulation when posing a figure. Needless to say, I am looking forward Mami's upcoming release, and hopefully the rest of the Puella gang won't be too far behind. Don't forget to check out the image gallery for some pictures that didn't make the review. [Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample!]
Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname photo
Wouldn't you love to make a contract with her?
Recently, I had the opportunity to review the first figure to debut Kotobukiya's new Cu-Poche line, Haruka Amami from iDOLM@STER fame. While I was apprehensive at first by the new series, I was quickly intrigued by the unique...

Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche Haruka Amami

May 31 // Yami Casas
Figure Name: Cu-Poche Huraka AmamiFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail: US$34.99Available at: Koto US Haruka’s box is decorated with some pastel lines that run across the front. There is a nice-sized round window that allows you to get a sneak peek at Haruka, along with some of her accessories. The back of the box features Haruka in various poses, along with close up shots of her additional facial expressions. All in all, you have a nice and compact box, great for any collector that likes to keep their boxes. Inside the plastic tray, we have Haruka, two face plates, angel wings, a halo, an extra hair piece (which allows you to attach the halo), microphone stand with its accompanying mic, and a magnetic base. Hidden underneath the base is Haruka's additional three sets of hands. Kotobukiya also includes a plastic bag, so you can easily keep all the accessories in one place, just in case you’re not fond of storing your boxes. Here’s Haruka free from her plastic confines, and placed atop her magnetic base. She has an exuberant bright smile, poised and ready to go! I decided to pose her as if she were about to blow a kiss to one of her many fans. She has great articulation thanks to those elbow joints. From behind, you can instantly spot some additional joints along the back of Haruka’s knees and her ankles; there is also a plug hole located on the top section of her back. One of my biggest concerns was how well those magnets would hold up against the weight of the figure. The magnets themselves are located at the balls of her feet, and although they might seem small they work exceptionally well at supporting Haruka. Even in a running pose or at a slight angle, there were absolutely no issues of her falling off the base.  Kotobukiya does provide an arm with an additional extended claw so you can attach to the base, but honestly, the magnetic base does a great job of holding her firmly in place. However, the arm does come in handy for some cool mid air poses. Haruka is wearing a pink vest with a white crop top underneath, and a light blue pleated skirt accentuated with a white and gold belt. To complete her outfit, she is sporting some cute pink and white boots. The paint along the gold embellishments of her outfit is very well done, particularly along the gold notches and the heart belt buckle. My one compliant though is the noticeable gap between her torso and her hip piece. I'm not sure if this is an overall design issue or maybe I just happened to receive one that had this particular flaw. However, the gap does appear a lot more pronounced in the pictures more so, then you look at her with the naked eye. Pantsu! I’m sorry; I just couldn’t resist removing her skirt to get this shot. Doesn't Haruka look absolutely adorable with the angel wings and halo on? The angel wings are easily attached via the plug hole on her back while the halo is attached to the extra hair piece. To swap out the hair piece, you remove the head from the neck joint, and simply pull along the hair seam to remove both the hair and face plates (if you’d like). This was my favorite way to pose her, but what do you say we get ready to sing? Now she’s ready to belt out some tunes in front of her mic. What do you think, Mr. Producer? Her winking face really brings out her all around cheerful personality as she grips her microphone. Haruka’s final expression captures her clumsy side. This was my favorite facial expression out of the three; it just says: “I meant to do that.” Besides, who could resist that face? I admit I had my doubts at first, but after handling Haruka, any doubt I had was put to rest. There were no glaring paint issues, which is always a plus. Of course, my favorite aspect of the figure is the articulation. You can easy re-enact a scene from the anime or take some interesting pictures, thanks to the possibility. Regardless of whether you're a fan of The iDOL@STER or not, Haruka is a welcome addition to any collection. Honestly, I can't recommend her enough!  I'm thoroughly impressed with the debut of the Cu-Poche line, and I can't wait to see the other upcoming releases in the series. I believe Kotobukiya has a hit a home run with their new line, and honestly it can only get better. Don't forget to check out the image gallery for pictures that didn't make the review. [Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample!]
Ready or not, here she comes!
When Kotobukiya first announced their new Cu-Poche line, I was a bit apprehensive. I mean, when it comes to figures in their chibi-fied forms, Good Smile Company has prime time real-estate in that market. However, once I lear...


The dreaded 'D' pays ALTER a visit

Delays ahoy!
May 21
// Yami Casas
I'm sure this will not come as a surprise, but ALTER recently updated their page with news of some of the upcoming figures which were delayed to June (or tentatively "after" June). Here's a complete list of all the items we'l...

Kotobukiya's Echizen Ryouma is ready for pre-order

Game, set, match
May 15
// Yami Casas
Are you ready for a quick game of tennis? Pre-orders have begun for the newest member of Kotobukiya's ARTFX J line Echizen Ryouma, from one of my favorite sports themed anime/manga, Shin Tennis no Ouji-sama (New Prince of Te...

MegaHouse pre-order announcement roundup

Get ready for glitchfest
Apr 04
// Yami Casas
Thanks to a recent update via twitter, MegaHouse has finally announced the upcoming figures available for pre-order come April. So, get ready for a good old fashioned round up, MegaHouse Style. First, we have two legendary p...

Gift debuts new UtaPuri plushies

What's better than one bishounen plushie? Two bishounen plushies!
Mar 27
// Yami Casas
The popular otome game turned anime Uta no Prince-sama is getting ready to return for its second season this coming spring, and to celebrate Gift is offering another chance to add Otoya Ittoki and Tokiya Ichinose to your plus...

Tsume-Art's Black Star makes his big debut

Hyahhaa! He is the star!
Mar 22
// Yami Casas
The good folks at Tsume-Art have added a bit of star power to their impressive HQS line with the addition of the ninja assassin, Black Star. As a fan of Atsushi Ōkubo's fantasy anime/manga, Soul Eater, I am ecstatic to s...

Good Smile announces†some†March delays

...and no one is surprised
Mar 11
// Yami Casas
As collectors, there is one word we are all quite familiar with, delays. Not a month goes by where we don't encounter the dreaded "D," and this month is no exception, especially if you pre-ordered some items from Good Smile a...

G.E.M. series Hijikata Toushirou gets a second look

You won't be able to resist Mayora 13†this time around
Mar 07
// Yami Casas
Recently MegaHouse opened pre-orders for a familiar face in their G.E.M. series, and if you’re a Gintama fan as I am, you’re probably over the moon with the addition. Making a second appearance in the popular lin...

Under the Radar: MegaHouse SA-Maximum Franky

Get ready to sail to the New World
Mar 04
// Yami Casas
Get ready to celebrate, One Piece fans. After months of teasing, MegaHouse has finally opened pre-orders for the final member of the Mugiwara no Ichimi (Straw Hat Pirates), Franky. As a huge fan of the Portrait of Pirates ser...
Akane is ready to measure your Psycho-Pass
We've already had quite a few surprises from Good Smile Company, but nothing has caught my attention like the announcement of Nendoroid Akane Tsunemori from Psycho-Pass. Now, you will have to excuse me for a moment as I try t...


Under the Radar: Media Factory's Amnesia collection set

So many boys. What's a girl to do?
Feb 08
// Yami Casas
While we weren't paying attention, Media Factory opened pre-orders for its collection figure box set of the popular otome game turned anime, Amnesia. The six figure set will include Shin, Toma, Ikki, Kent, Ukyo, and Orion. Ea...

Shannaro! Plex's Sakura Haruno enters battle

A kunoichi and her weapons
Feb 04
// Yami Casas
Plex's D.P.C.F line continues to amaze me with their larger than life renditions of some of my favorite Shonen Jump color spreads. This time around, Plex is focusing their attention on Naruto's resident pink-haired kunoichi, ...

MegaHouse preorder roundup

MegaHouse strikes again
Jan 31
// Yami Casas
Recently, MegaHouse updated their web-page announcing the upcoming figures that will be available for pre-orders in February. So, prepare your wallets and get ready for the February edition of the MegaHouse roundup. Up first,...

Tomopop Review: Good Smile Company's Ultimate Madoka

Jan 28 // Yami Casas
Figure Name: Ultimate Madoka Figure Maker: Good Smile Company Retail/List Price: ¥14,096 Available at: HobbyLink Japan | Otacute | Hobby Search | AmiAmi | CD Japan | Plamoya OK, let’s get the ball rolling by taking a look at the box. Now, I've seen a lot of boxes in my years of collecting, but the size of the box is worthy of the title “the Ultimate Box.” It’s a very big box! The box itself is accentuated with the same circular design patterns that appeared during the last episode, along with a medium sized window giving us a slight peek at the lovely Madoka. On the back, Madoka is featured in various shots highlighting the different focal points of the figure. In a nutshell, the ultimate box does a very job of making sure the magical girl arrives at your doorstep in one piece. Included in the package are two bows (regular and the ultimate), an arrow, the base, ankle wings, and of course, the Kami (God) wings. As you can see, Madoka is packaged quite nicely. It actually took me approximately 10 minutes to free Madoka from her plastic prison. Those twisty ties are the death of me! Once Madoka is freed from her packaging there is the task of assembling her, luckily Good Smile does provide a good set of instructions for the job at hand. The first step was placing Madoka onto the base via the large fold on the bottom of her dress onto the two pegs located on the base. You can rest assured Madoka will stay on her base and won't topple over in the near future. Now, I had a bit of difficulty placing the left wing since it involved maneuvering the piece through her hair to fit it onto the opening on her back. It was a bit nerve wracking, but once I got both wings on they remained securely in place. Her left ankle wing also gave me a bit a problem, but after a couple of minutes I was able to fit it in the slight opening located on Madoka's foot. The final task was assembling the ultimate bow and arrow. The ultimate bow was rather easy since it can be separated into two pieces allowing you to place into her gripped hand. Madoka's arrow has a peg you insert into an opening on her palm. Her left wrist may be turned which allows a proper alignment of the arrow directly on her right thumb. Although assembling the figure is a bit time-consuming once the task is complete, Ultimate Madoka is breathtaking! Madoka's resolute determination in fulfilling her one wish is wonderfully captured by Hiroshi (Sakurazensen) sculpt. I am completely mesmerized by Kamidoka. Why don't we take a closer look at the little lady that has left me awestruck? Let’s start with Madoka’s stunning face; her determined expression instantly captivates me. Her wide golden eyes and furrowing eyebrows reflect her absolute desire to rid the world of witches. I particularly love the darker shade inside the iris; it adds more depth to Madoka’s eyes. I love how her bangs frame around her face as strands of hair flow onto her cheeks. Speaking of hair, it’s pretty hard not to be impressed by these beautiful pink locks. The flowing, long strands of hair give the figure a lot of dimension. I would like to mention that the hair strands don’t feel flimsy at all to the touch. They’re pretty sturdy; however, I wouldn't poke at them too much, just in case. Modoka has a pair of cute white bows that adorn her mini twin tails. The white bows are molded underneath Madoka's mini twin-tails, quite well. There is also a nice fold in the center that accentuates them. As we move along to Madoka's elegant long white dress, let's have a look at the bodice first. The dress has a revealing, plunging V-shaped slit that shows off a bit of Madoka's skin. Along the bodice, there are little creases that flow naturally with the movement of our magical girl. The dress also has a double sleeved top that is molded over the dress. The eye catching top also has V-shape in the back that pops out a bit. Before we move on, I need to mention the wonderful details on gorgeous double sleeves; the top sleeve has folds all around it with some subtle shading between them. The secondary sleeve is painted with glossy pale pink paint; even the insides of the sleeves are painted with a dark purple finish. The neckline has five beautiful jewels which adorn her top. The center jewel is tear-shaped and looks just like her soul gem. You can also catch a quick glance at her lovely pink choker. The multi-layered skirt is just as impeccably detailed as the bodice. The top two skirts have pleats all around it giving the sculpt a voluminous vibrant movement. Like the folds in the sleeves, the multi-layered skit has subtle shading, which emphasizes each fold. Of course, the third skirt is painted with the same pale pink glossy paint as the secondary sleeve. I really love the fact that Good Smile decided to use a satin white paint on the dress it truly gives the dress a realistic appearance. It's a nice contrast to the glossy finish on her third skirt, as well as, the purple used underneath the top two skirts. At last, we arrive at Kamidoka’s legs; she's got rather slender legs. Her thigh highs are painted in the same glossy pale pink hue as the bottom skirt. Once again, there is a wonderful contrast between her thigh highs and her white matte colored high-heeled shoes. The mini wings on her ankles are painted in a glossy finish. The highlight for me, of course, is the painted detail of the universe underneath Madoka's third skirt. It definitely is one of those attention grabbers! In case you were curious as to what color pantsu’s Kamidoka wears underneath it all, wonder no more. Yes, they are white, but let’s move on to Madoka’s… ..wings. The wings are breathtakingly beautiful as they stretch out from her back. I love the way Good Smile decided to paint the wings. It was a wise choice to have the wings transition from clear onto a frosted white and pink paint on the tips of the last five feathers. The wings look absolutely stunning! Every magical girl needs her weapon to battle those pesky witches and Madoka’s choices of weapon are her trusty bow and arrow. The pink arrow has some light shading along the icicle-inspired fletching, as well as, the point. I also want to point out the split where you can separate the bow in order to place it in Madoka’s hand. Although you can see it on this picture, don’t worry once she is on your shelf it’s not noticeable to the naked eye. This was a case of a micro lens picking everything up. The ultimate bow is a very impressive sight to behold! Pink flames snake around the wooden bow which resembles budding roses. The flame on the top of the bow has some dark shading on it along with some icicle-shaped thorns sticking out from it. I really love how powerful Madoka looks holding her bow. If you're not keen on displaying Madoka with her ultimate bow you have the option of switching it out for the regular bow, the bow is much lighter than its ultimate counterpart and has a single rose bud on the tip. Did Ultimate Madoka live up to her name? Indisputably, yes! From the sculpt to paint on the figure, each was impeccably done. Good Smile did an exceptional job with Ultimate Madoka, there really is nothing to complain about. It's quite easy to understand why the magical shoujo was the company's top selling figure for 2012. Although this is one of the pricier figures which have been released from the series it is definitely worth every penny. Ultimate Madoka is one of those figures you can look at from any angle and be in complete awe of her beauty. Honestly, I can’t recommend her enough! Don't forget to check out the gallery for some pictures that didn't make the review.
The ultimate mahou shoujo is finally here!
Among the many wonderful figures released during 2012, there was a certain mahou shoujo that was at the top of my “most anticipated figure" list, Good Smile Company’s Ultimate Madoka. Since debuting at Wonder Fest...


New Prince of Tennis One Coin set is ready to serve

Get ready to be awed by the sight of their prowess!
Jan 19
// Yami Casas
Kotobukiya is certainly taking a bite out of my wallet these days with their chibi sized One Coin series. Their latest addition to the line of miniature figures just happens be one of my guilty pleasures, Shin Tennis no Ouji-...

Under the Radar: Bandai's Chibi-Arts Sinbad

Behold the fig leaf!
Jan 17
// Yami Casas
Fans of Shinobu Ohtaka’s adventure series Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic will be happy to know that Bandai has finally opened pre-orders for Chibi-Arts Sinbad. The King of Sindria comes with two different faces and some ...

Under the Radar: Kotobukiya's Kuroko no Basket One Coin

This is Japanese lunchtime rush!
Jan 11
// Yami Casas
Among the many anime series that I watched last year there was one particular show that quickly became my favorite, Kuroko no Basket. I've always been fond of sports related anime, and Kuroko no Basket, quickly rose to the to...

Gintama's Kagura is ready to set Yoshiwara into flames

Have some sukonbu
Jan 10
// Yami Casas
Fans of the hit series Gintama have a lot to be celebrating. Not only is the anime resuming with an all new story arc, but finally, the second member of Yorozuya Gin-chan is ready for pre-order. The feisty 'China Girl,' Kagur...

Tomopop Review: G.E.M Kotetsu T. Kaburagi

Jan 04 // Yami Casas
Figure Name: Kaburai T. KotetsuFigure Maker: MegaHouseRetail/List Price: ¥6,800Available at: HobbyLink Japan | AmiAmi | Big in Japan As always, we begin with the box. Usually, I don’t really pay that much attention to MegaHouse’s box designs for their G.E.M series line. The boxes never really have any interesting design aspect to them; however, I am instantly in love with Kotetsu’s box. The front of the box beautifully features where our hero lives, SternBild City. On the back, we have Kotetsu, in his pose along with his alternate faces, along with Oji-san’s most notable quote from the series, "Let out a wild roar!" Kotetsu’s packing is pretty simple. He comes with his base and three additional head pieces. A definite plus in my book since there is no need to worry about any other loose items upon unpacking. Speaking of unpacking, let’s remove Oji-san from his plastic prison. Once Kotetsu is out of his packaging setting him up for display is an easy feat. There is nothing really to assemble, all you need to do is place Kotetsu securely onto the three pegs on his base. Speaking of the base, while MegaHouse, didn’t specifically make it fancy I do appreciate that it was shaped to look like Kotetsu’s “Call Wristband.” Since, there are four optional heads in total included with Kotetsu, you have quite a few options to display him. While, the pose may look a bit static with Kotetsu pointing to his hunting cap, it captures his Oji-san moe personality. What do you say we take a bit of a closer look at Oji-san? So, let’s start things with getting a closer peek at Kotetsu’s face, shall we? I admit; I am very much smitten with Oji-san. It’s pretty hard to resist that smile that Kotetsu is sporting along with his soft gaze in his eyes. You may notice that MegaHouse decided to paint Kotetsu's nostrils to accentuate his nose. It’s a nice touch that I really appreciate. As we move onto Kotetsu’s famous casual shirt and vest combo. The white and black vest is molded over his green shirt, which gives it a realistic appearance. Speaking of realistic, the folds and the seams along Kotetsu’s green shirt are flawlessly executed. The folds look very natural like the creases normally would on fabric. This wonderful detail is especially evident along the creases around the vests grey buttons, as well as, in the back around the buckle. Another eye catching detail are the silver buttons on the black tie. Each button is nicely molded over the tie and perfectly painted. One of highlights of this figure is definitely the attention to detail paid on the small things, like Kotetsu’s accessories. On his left hand, his Red Monkey inspired black watch, purple amethyst beads and his wedding bands are all molded over his hand. Kotetsu’s watch is carefully detailed, even the back nickel buckle closure is painted with precision. You can even rotate his beads if you choose to. Not to be outdone his Call wristband is painted with a neon green and white pearl paint. Now, before I move on to discussing Kotetsu’s black dress pants; I couldn’t resist taking a picture of my favorite feature on Oji-san. Yes, his butt! It’s quite the nice butt if I do say so myself. It’s also hard not to notice how tight those slacks are. Let’s move onto those… dress pants. Kotetsu does have some nice long skinny legs. There is notably lighter shading on the back of Kotetsu’s calf’s that does a nice job of accentuating them. I particularly love the creases behind his knee. At last, we reach Kotetsu's shoes. The shoes have a glossy finish to them, which is a nice offset to the matte paint used on Kotetsu's clothes. As I mentioned earlier, MegaHouse included an additional three head pieces so you could vary how you display Kotetsu. Although the expression is the same for each face, there is a variety of ways he may be displayed. You can choose without his trademark hunting cap, wearing his hero mask, or wearing both. I personally have him displayed wearing his hunting cap without the mask, but it’s great to know you have four different ways to pick from. So, what’s the final verdict? I definitely give it two thumbs up. MegaHouse has added another excellent figure to the G.E.M line. Arai Kyousuke did a wonderful job in capturing Kotetsu’s personality in the sculpt. Out of all the Kotetsu’s that have been released so far, this is the best one in my opinion. Even if you’re not a fan of the Tiger & Bunny series, Kotetsu would make a great addition to any collection. I can’t recommend Kotetsu enough.
Prepare yourself for Oji-san Moe!
It probably doesn’t come as much of a shock when I say I have a huge crush on Tiger & Bunny’s resident Oji-san (old man), Kotetsu T. Kaburagi. Naturally, when MegaHouse announced that they would be adding Kote...


Wild Tiger's 12"PM figure will light up your wallet

Aug 30
// Yami Casas
After months of waiting (nine to be exact) Bandai is set to launch its 12 Perfect Model (12”PM) action figure line. The 12"PM line is designed to represent Bandai's high-end figures which feature meticulous detail work ...

Medicom's Real Action Heroes line adds a bit of yandere

Aug 28
// Yami Casas
If you were ever thinking of spicing up your collection with a little bit of yandere, here's your chance. Pre-orders just opened for Medicom's newest addition to its Real Action Heroes line, Gasai Yuno from the manga/anime se...

Bandai reveals new Tiger & Bunny figure-rise 6 kits

Aug 23
// Yami Casas
The latest scan from Hobby Japan's October issue has popped up with the new additions to Bandai's Tiger & Bunny figure-rise series. The scan featured the figure-rise 6 model kits of Wild Tiger (FamilyMart Version), Barnab...

ALTAiR's Orihara Izaya really wants to be with you

Aug 21
// Yami Casas
Earlier today ALTAiR updated its blog to announce the re-release of Durarara's!! infamous information broker, Orihara Izaya. Wearing his trademark black hooded jacket, Izaya may be posed holding a switchblade or his black cel...

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