29 July 2008

Nendoroid Shana

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I knew this would come soon or later: A new figure is coming up on the Nendoroid line. This time it's the flaming hair Shana, which will be released in November.

Nendoroid is a series of figures under Good Smile Company, well known for the chibi size with big heads. I haven't planned to get any in the series, but they are quite popular among figurine collectors for their cuteness and chibiness. Radiant Dreamer has even mentioned how his Nendoroid Miku has helped him to improve on his art perceptions and painting skills!

This chibi-looking figure heavily resembles Shana-tan from Shakugan no Shana-tan (spinoff specials of the original anime). Fans can get their own 1/1 real size Shana-tan!

Shana without the black coat and katana.
The usual tsuntsun look is there on her tsundere face.

"Grrrr" - To be honest I didn't expect this kind of face to feature on this Nendoroid o_o
Is she angry because I called her a tsundere?

Another "Grrrr" pose, with a finger pointing at you.
A melonpan will cure the problem for her.

ウルチャイ! ウルチャイ! ウルチャイ! (Uruchai Uruchai Uruchai)
"Chut up, chut up, chut up!"

The retail price for this Shana is 3500 Yen according to official site, which is about the usual price for a Nendoroid. Nendoroids are generally more expensive than the figma series; the Nagato witch ver. Figma mentioned before (which is currently the most expensive figma excluding the PS2 exclusive Haruhi) is cheaper than this by 500 Yen.

There is also a normal hair version of her (with a happy face and a melonpan) as seen in Danny Choo, which is only available via Dengeki Daiou (電撃大王) magazine. I usually like Shana with her flaming hair, but for this time it's the black hair version that has drawn more of my attention. Shana fans will not be too happy with it being a limited release though.

All images are from Hobby Search
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26 July 2008

Local Modeler Show

Not far from where I live there is a small exhibition called "Local Modeler Show" which features a mixture of models made by the Hongkongers. Unfortunately what you see here is literally the entire exhibition, but there are some interesting models despite the small size.

1/100 Dynames Gundam with camouflage-like patterns. Those dual pistols are still reminding me of the Strike Noir Gundam.

A 1/144 Zaku II in desert colour. Perhaps it's a knock to the MG Zaku II Katsumi Kawaguchi ver. as reported in Ngee Khiong's blog?

This interesting "Gouf Test Type" is based on the Gouf Flight Type. The sword/chain whip hybrid is from Kakouon Giros of the SD Gundam line.

Custom painted 1/300 Zakus on the left, and part of the S.O.G. 1/300 Collection on the right.

1/35 Gundam head of GP-04 .

I am not too sure, but this should be a customised work from the Extended MSIA Freedom.

Various 1/35 military models are displayed in a seperate glass case. I can't decide on my favourite out of them; they are all in exceptional quality!

A small number of 1/12 motorbikes as well as 1/72 warplanes are displayed as well.

As I've hinted above, that's pretty much the majority. I wished that the glass cases are not positioned against the walls, as there are a few other models towards the back of the cases that are too far to examine. But overall it's an interesting exihibition for a random passer-by to have a look at.
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24 July 2008

1/8 Kotobukiya Candy Shana

Although I am not exactly a figurine collecter, I have been wanting to get a good figure of Shana (from Shakugan no Shana) for a while. My first choice would have been the one from Max Factory after reading Valiant Ho's review on it, but alas it was sold out so quickly on the net that the price was getting skyrocket high. Nevertheless I got my eyes on this 1/8 Kotonukiya Candy Shana when I was in Akihabara last month. Knowing that I won't always be in Tokyo, I can't afford to miss the chance.

This Shana ~Candy Bikini Ver.~ was released sometime in February this year, which comes with a sandy-looking base, a katana, and a hermit crab. The box isn't very big, due to the fact that Shana isn't a tall character and is in a kneeling pose. This is my first time doing a review and a photoshoot on a figure (and with a new camera as well), so the quality may be a bit wonky.

Her bikini is in a darker blue than the prototype mentioned in Danny Choo last October. I was hoping that the colour would remain the same to show a sharp contrast against her semi-transparent hair, but a dark blue is fine for me. Whether she is tying her top piece up or going the other way round is up to your imagination.

Her pendant is attached to her hair by a small peg, which is not obvious unless it is observed at very close range.

Can't say much about the expression, but she seems to have a very faint blush on her face.

The base has a sandy-looking setting that resembles a beach. A small hole is there so you can put either the tiny hermit crab or the long katana (Nietono no Shana) in it. You can even turn the base into a military diorama, but that is a completely different story.

Overall I am pleased with the figure and it is a good buy. There is also a variant of this figure with black hair and a banana boat, which you can have a look via Danny Choo (prototype) or Hobby Search (actual product). I personally prefer her flaming hair, but I do know that there are quite a lot of people (including Danny Choo himself) who prefer her hair in black.

The lighting stuff is inspired by Valiant Ho's photo booth, which is based on a tutorial from Happy Soda. I have compromised it so much that it literally is just a desk lamp and a printed A4 sheet from quick and poor use of Photoshop (as shown above). However without their sources and passion on figures such post may never have happened.

I also have to thank Radiant Dreamer and his hobby group Anime Figurines Network for their share of interests and photos. Without them I may not even bother wondering why people collect figures in the first place like I do with my 1/144 tanks.

All photos available via Q's Random Photos
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22 July 2008

Human Tetris


It was over half a year ago where I've watched a video of crazy TGM 3 Tetris Arika gameplay from Shadowzo's blog, and got myself to look up more Tetris on YouTube. It was because of this I've bumped into Human Tetris; a Japanese game show where contestants (mostly comedians) must pass through odd shapes in a moving wall.

The rule is pretty simple; a huge wall with a hole of some shape(s) comes charging at the player, who is standing on a red zone near the edge of the water.

The player must go through the hole when the wall reaches the red zone in order to clear the round.

If he can't pass through the hole, he would get pushed back by the wall and fall into the water. Fail!

For this occasion I've embedded 6 of my favourites. Will you last long enough to watch them all?







Still not enough? There's more out there on YouTube. Search them up!
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20 July 2008

More info on Gundam 00 PS2 game


Following closely to the announcement of the new Gundam 00 game, Gunota Headlines has reported about in-game screenshots of Gundam Kyrios and Dynames from Famitsu.com.

Kyrios in Action Movie mode. It looks like that you have to hit the button at the right time (or follow a chain of commands correctly) to get max damage output. A common feature for many action/fighting games.

The GN shield is a notorious weapon for Kyrios in close combat, often used by "the other side" of its pilot. I wonder whether it will use its beam sabre?

Gundam Dynames about to launch a Action Movie move. No pictures available on how the actual sequence would look like.

The dual wielding GN pistols often remind me of Strike Noir gundam.

The official website of the game seems to be up, but there is no content other than the index page as of today.

As far as I know there has been a mixed response on this game. A number of people worried that this game will turn out to be any of the following:
  • Confusing controls like Gundam SEED: Never Ending Tomorrow
  • Simply an enhanced version of the NDS counterpart
  • A generic hack and slash game like the Musou series
  • Fan-oriented

  • I personally will like to see Gundam 00 in a VS series like the Renpou vs ZAFT II, but that perhaps isn't too far away as the latest one, Gundam vs Gundam, has the highest potential for such instalments.

    All images are from Famitsu.com.

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    17 July 2008

    Gundam 00 PS2 game announced


    Info from Gunota Headlines has revealed that a Gundam 00 game is currently in development for PS2 console by the name of "Gundam 00: Gundam Meisters".

    Developed by Yuke's (which is well known for wrestling games such as the WWE series), the game will be released in October, which covers the entire first season of the anime as well as original game scenarios. So far the protagonists' Gundams are announced to be the only playable MS, but I think it is likely that the Thrones and the GN-004 will be available as unlocks.

    One known feature is the Action Movie. By attacking and defeating enemies one can charge up the AM-Guage that can be used to perform interactive special attacks and/or combos via key input.

    Gameplay screenshots of Exia Gundam. The duel with Throne Zwei as well as the Trans-Am mode can be seen.

    Gameplay screenshots of Virtue Gundam. Screenshots depict the battle in Moralia as well as the space battles against GN-X.

    I'm slightly surprised that they are developing the game on a PS2 platform rather than on any seventh generation consoles. Since this is all we've got so far, it's difficult to judge how the game really looks like until we get some in-game video footage. According to the footer on the magazine scans, the development progress is now up to 70%, so things should go pretty smoothly for an October release.


    Famitsu magazine scans from Games Animation Forum
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    14 July 2008

    Figma Nagato Witch Ver.


    For those who are a fan of Nagato Yuki from the Haruhi Suzumiya anime and franchise, you may be interested at this second Figma of her, which is available for the lads attending this year's Wonfest (Wonder Festival) in August. Not to worry; the general release will be sometime in September.

    Figma is a series of posable figures under Max Factory of Good Smile Company. They are well known for great articulations and posability without exposing much of the joints. I have bought myself a Figma Haruhi last month in Nakano Broadway during the trip in Tokyo for 1895 Yen, which I find it a pretty good deal. No photos though as I have yet to buy a new camera.

    Unlike the school uniform Nagato, this version comes in a witch costume (instead of a cardigan) over her uniform with an electric guitar as seen in the anime episode "Live Alive". Some other accessories are from the episode "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00".

    Photobucket Photobucket
    The two signs are labelled "Yamatsuchi Model Shop" and "Daimori Electronics Shop", which appear as sponsors for The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00.

    Photobucket Photobucket
    A magic wand and a tea set. Notice that the pointy hat and the mantle are removable.

    And last but not least...
    Shamisen the male calico cat.

    The retail price for this Nagato according to the official site is 3000 Yen, which is currently the most expensive Figma on the line so far (excluding the roleplay Haruhi which is a PS2 exclusive one). This is most likely due to the fact that it is the Figma that has the most accessories in the line, as well as being granted an early release in Wonfest.

    Alternatively, you can get the cheaper normal school uniform Figma Nagato which comes with 2 books and a folding chair, as well as optional garments such as spectacles and school loafers. Both versions are recommended if you like Nagato, but you'd better pre-order the witch one quickly in case of reservations closing earlier than expected as a result of overwhelming number of orders.

    All images are from Hobby Search
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