Another Hobby Japan issue, another round of figures to salivate upon. Scans for the December issue of Japan’s foremost hobby collectors’ magazine don’t quite reach epic levels, but compared to last month’s downright boring announcements, these ones are much more excitable. Contributing to a lot of that excitement is the previews for both of MegaHouse’s succeeding offerings in their “Rurouni Kenshin” G.E.M. line, the already known 1/8 Saitou Hajime figure and now the mind-blowingly awesome tyrannical lunatic, Shishio Makoto!!! First up, we already know Saitou would end up being posed in his familiar Gatotsu stance, but seeing him colored makes the waiting for his arrival even more painful. One could even argue that his more aggressive and fierce presentation trumps the calm and reserved aura of Kenshin’s figure. As for Shishio, sculpting wise, he looks to be spot on and in terms of detailing, much more intricate than Kenshin or Saitou, obviously due to his flowing robe and bandages. I would’ve liked to see some flame effect parts on his sword at least, but that’s a minor quirk. Both of them will be coming out in 2012, with Saitou having a definite January release.
Despite having been concluded already, Banpresto’s Ichiban Kuji division seems to have an unending love affair with Macross Frontier, which frankly, irks me a bit. Not that Macross Frontier was bad, in fact quite the contrary, but I would’ve wanted Banpresto to focus more on other shows (and there are a LOT, mind you) rather than offering the same old and tired characters in different costumes. Also featured in this scan is that HSP Miku by Max Factory, or what I call as the OreImo Miku due to her looking much like a Kousaka Kirino in Miku cosplay. I like her, but I’d probably save my money for something else. Looks gorgeous though.
figmas made more of an appearance this time too compared to last month. What’s new? Well, more previews of Kyoko and Madoka School Uniform Ver. from the still resoundingly popular “Puella Magi Madoka Magica,” mostly highlighting the additional accessories and face plates they come with. Interestingly, Kyoko comes with a Kyubey, making her the second mahou shoujo to come with that huggable furry little troll. She also comes with a jointed spear for more dynamic posing. If you’ve watched “Bleach,” Kyoko’s weapon is akin to that of Ikkaku’s Houzukimaru. As for Madoka, she comes with those much needed sad faces for those excruciating scenes where Kyubey just shows up and gleefully washes his paws feigning innocence while a mahou shoujo gets rick rolled to death. There’s also a new figma Drossel but I don’t care much about that anyway.
There’s more ecchi figures here, but I won’t dwell on them a lot. The point is, they’re here to stay and are in full force, courtesy of “Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls” and the still fan pleasing “Queen’s Blade” in its many iterations. I’m more excited about that Max Factory Kuroneko in her Seitenshi costume. For those who were disappointed by Kotobukiya‘s earlier Kuroneko offerings, this could be the Kuroneko you’re looking for. She seems quite lively and ecstatic from the looks of the figure and oh, did I mention that those frills look delicious?
Of course, every Hobby Japan issue isn’t void of Tony Taka figures as Kotobukiya will also be releasing Rufina from the “Shining Hearts” PSP game. I don’t see her as “must have” material, but in terms of execution, Kotobukiya has nailed her, but of course this is only a preview and she could look much different in person. As for Alter, I just don’t see the epic figures I’m used to seeing from them in years past anymore. In fact, they seem content to just trudge along releasing additional characters for their existing character lines, such as this Gertrud Barkhorn figure for their “Strike Witches” lineup, instead of giving us the routine ass-kicking masterpiece we expect from such a respected manufacturer. Maybe they’re just in a creative drought of sorts or whatever. Anyways, Barkhorn still looks to retain that signature Alter seal of quality so it’s still all good for Strike Witches fans. There’s also another Miku at the top of the magazine spread, entitled “The incarnation of Nebula.” I’m no Miku expert so I don’t know what that means or is, but seeing her propped on an electric chair of sorts gives this one a more serious and possibly, grim vibe.
Nendoroids made an appearance too, but really the only one worth noticing for me is Menma who should be put in jail for being criminally cute. I’m not a Nendoroid collector but that face is just remarkable that even any hardened man slaughterer would be reduced to teddy bear loving pulp seeing that bright and cheery expression of the Nendoroid Menma.