31 March 2009

GFFMC Z Plus = A Big Joke?

While I went out today to look for places to preorder Alter Fate, I've come across quite a number of GFFMC (Gundam Fix Figuration Metal Composite) Z Plus boxes in shops, both red and the limited blue version. Each cost around 18000 Yen (ouch), and it ain't cheap at all.

To be honest, I really like the blue Gundam's colour scheme, and was really tempted to get it...

... Until I read this on ToysDaily Forum tonight.

A whole screen of rants in both Chinese and English

While I do not know much of the GFF line, the Metal Composite version of Z Plus(s) are pretty much the most expensive ones I've seen so far. Released just a few days ago for 18000 Yen (heck, that's even more expensive than Fate!), one should expect quite a bit from Bandai right?

Surprisingly, this Fix Figuration itself has received very little paintwork. All white parts are apparently left unpainted, and it's not even top-coated, leaving the Gundam looking very plastic. Leaving them exposed for long period will cause yellowing, which can look rather unsightly over time.

Areas marked with green arrows are the only parts being painted

This is the ironic part of the GFFMC Z Plus, as the GFF line are known for as fully painted, posable (albeit limited) models. Sure, it does have diecast, but how could Bandai have messed this one up that badly? I mean, this completed model isn't that bad by itself it, but definitely not worth 18000 Yen.

Seriously, rather than spending 18000 Yen for a model that looks very plastically, wouldn't it be much more feasible to get a MG Z Plus A1 or C1 for 1/6 of the price?

And heck, I've even got my sister all excited as she really likes the blue colour scheme and the big gun there -_-;;;;;

Also mentioned on Gundam@EFSF

Images from Hobby Search and ToysDaily forum
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29 March 2009

First loot of 2009

No kidding, I've only just got my hands on the first loot of year 2009 - figma Shana Black Hair version. ^^;

This limited figma is acquired from Hong Kong Yahoo Auctions! just like what I had to resort to for figma Fate back in summer (review here). However I wasn't in Hong Kong at the time I won the bid, so I had to ask my mother to kindly retrieve it for me (as trading has to be done face-to-face). Gotta appreciate her for all that trouble ^^;;;

Got a bit of problem with my camera so I've just taken this picture with my phone. Will hopefully get the problem solved by Tuesday. And boy I'm knackered as I've just arrived in Hong Kong a few hours ago!

Say, when did you get your first loot this year? I know some of you have them as early as the first week or two of January! o_o
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26 March 2009

ALTER Fate T Harlaown up for Pre-order

The highly anticipated 1/7 Fate T Harlaown (True Sonic form) by Alter is now up for pre-order on Hobby Search! But blimey! She's to be released in August at a whooping 12800 Yen! o_o

Fate with the dual Riot Blade

Very lovely and dynamic hair to go with the pose~

The stand for this figure will be different to the one shown above (i.e. a white base to stay persistent with other Nanoha girls released so far).

Fate with her signature weapon - Riot Zamber.

The 56cm blade is surely very overwhelming o_o

She looks really great even from the back; the hair and the blade look pretty streamlined when they are portrayed together~

Close-up on the details. Is it just me, or her black hair ribbons look like some kind of nekomimi/ears at some angles?

Riot Blades (top) and Riot Zamber (bottom). Not to scale but the ones on the first image are.

A big thumbs up for ALTER judging from the promotional pictures. This figure surely looks great in terms of pose or look, just like many of the Nanoha girls released so far. Definitely recommended for any Fate fans who are willing to have their wallets tributed to her (laughs) ^^;

But on the other hand, 12800 Yen?! Having figures over 10000 Yen on their pricetags are rather rare, and for ALTER this is the most expensive figure after Exelica (James and Meronpan have reviews of this beast). Okay, let's be realistic. Is this figure really worth over 10000 Yen, or is it knowing that the fanbase of Fate is much more significant than many other characters, that ALTER is deliberately tagging Fate's price a bit higher than others?

For me, converting 12800 Yen to Hong Kong Dollars yields just over 1000HKD, and breaking over 3 digit means a lot to me. Not at least to say how much space hogging is required for this dynamic figure (35cm in height, package size 42cm x 32cm x 36cm). Spending that much money for a hobby item as well as considering the space I've got is rather serious, and if worst comes to worst, I am prepared to give it a pass. It may sound a little firm and grim, but it is something I have to think about seriously.

... Why do you have to do this to me?! Photobucket

Also reported on:
  • Toys Workz (valho was one of the first to find this out :o )
  • Danny Choo
  • SakuAFK

    All images from Hobby Search

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    22 March 2009

    Mount Aso

    Mount Aso, aka Aso-San (阿蘇山), is an active volcano located in the Kumamoto Prefecture. It is one of the largest volcanoes in the world, as well as having one of the largest caldera out there.

    Pictures of my sister's trip to the fierce Mount Aso last Christmas after the jump~

    Mount Aso is part of the Aso Kujuu National Park (阿蘇くじゅう国立公園).

    How about enjoying some local Aso milk before facing the heat? One bottle costs 700 Yen, whereas a cup costs 100 Yen (as shown here).

    As Mount Aso is still active, there are quite a few warning notices out there. This one has some Engrish in it as well ^^;

    More warning signs in different languages.

    This notices saids that the temperature at the cable car station recorded at 9am is 0C. Not sure why the counter-terrorism poster is there on the right.

    On the way to the peaks via cable car!

    Rather than for military use, these bunkers are actually built for shelter in case the volcano does erupt some nasty stuff all of a sudden.

    At one of the craters. The steam gushes out continuously and tirelessly, which is a good indication of the volcano being active. While the liquid looks nice and warm like onsen from here, apparently they're actually really corrosive acid o_o

    Snow near the crater... It's really hot and cold at the same time -_-;

    The interesting volcano landscape around the area.

    Volcano rocks near the craters. Some people have even done some stone piling here and there ^^;

    A map of the volcano. The red dots there are the craters.

    While this looks pretty empty right now, in the summer it's actually a place where you can hire horses for a ride~ For more pictures you can check it out here.

    The land around Mount Aso looks very barren.

    This stone saids that cows and horses have priority for using the passage.
    While this may sound a bit odd, the area around Mount Aso is actually a grazing ground for them in the summers, where there's more grass than barren land.

    Canned soup from vending machines. Do you have these in your neck of the woods, just as Danny Choo would have put it? ^^

    These photos from my sister were sitting quietly in my hard disk while I forgot to blog about them after the Kumamoto Castle post, but I do hope that you enjoy them. Anyone else been to a volcanic region before? I remember having the chance to climb part of the Mount Fuji with a tour while I was little, but I had a fever all of a sudden, and had to stay at the bottom instead T_T

    Official website
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    14 March 2009

    Anime dubbing: Gundam 00

    Pic made from mere YouTube screenshots with Photoshop :P

    When it comes to anime dubbing, some like it, and many hated it. The point of dubbing is to increase their popularity with the local audience by making them more accessible.

    Today I've got 3 versions of the final scene from the first season of Gundam 00, i.e. the GN Flag vs Gundam Exia duel. There will be some spoilers there for those who are planning to watch it, but otherwise let's watch it casually to compare the voice acting done there. :o

    YouTube clips after the jump.

    Original Japanese version:


    US English dub version:


    Hong Kong Cantonese dub version:


    While I am really biased for the Japanese voice acting, I think the dubs here are not too bad already. Graham's English voice sounds a bit... Grunty, but Setsuna's voice is alright for both dubs in my opinion.

    Of course it's pretty hard for the original seiyuus to record their own voices again in another language, especially when they are usually not so fluent at other foreign languages (unless you are referring to something like Das Boot, where the German actors did their own voices for the English dub as well).

    So, do you like the dubs more, or the original one more? I am curious on how people find with this comparison, and would love to hear your opinion~
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    8 March 2009

    MS IGLOO 2 Episode 3 Trailer


    Info and trailer for the third episode of Mobile Suit Gundam: MS IGLOO 2 are now up on the official website and dot-anime~ After having conventional weapons such as anti-tank missiles and tanks in the previous episodes, this one will finally introduce Federation mobile suits participating in Operation Odessa - one of the greatest battle in the One Year War of Gundam's in-universe history.

    Screenshots and trailer after the jump.


    The name of the third and final episode is named 「オデッサ、鉄の嵐!」, meaning "Odessa, storm of steel!" (should be "storm of iron" but "steel" sounds better). For a change the protagonist this time will be a woman. Although I cannot determine her romanisation of her name (アリーヌ・ネイゾン), she seems to have chosen war over imprisonment. What's interesting is that she shares the same seiyuu as the Shinigami, who has featured in the 2 previous episodes as well.

    Ground Assault Type Guntank in assault gun and MS form

    While the rest of the Federation forces uses conventional weapons and the limited production Ground Type GMs, the protagonist leads a team of RTX-440 Ground Assault Type Guntanks. These odd-looking mobile suits are able to transform into assault gun mode, which seems to yield a lower profile (and perhaps better speed?).

    The ending song this time will be NO LIMITS ∞ by TAJA. Those who have watched the first MS IGLOO series will remember her as she sung two opening themes, namely 時空のたもと and 夢轍. It's nice to see her coming back to MS IGLOO for this episode's theme song~

    「オデッサ、鉄の嵐!」 will be released on 24th April in on DVDs and Blu-Ray DVDs. Still feels like a long time from now... ^^; But for the time being let's look forward to the blazing finale!

    Trailer from Youtube below:


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    4 March 2009

    figma Black Hair Shana

    Wow, I think this my 4th post on the figma Shana already... ^^;

    The limited figma Black Hair Shana is out recently. While I haven't got one (and I think I'm starting to regret it orz), I'll be using pictures from ToysDaily forum member yui_style (a great Hong Kong figma modder)

    Comparison of the black hair ver. with the flaming hair (normal) ver.

    This Shana is an alternate release of the normal flaming hair Shana (review + pics here), and is released as a limited item mainly as a Dengekiya magazine exclusive item. The main difference between the two figmas are the hair colour and the different faces.

    It seems like that if there's a Shana figure with flaming hair, there's bound to be a black hair version which will be limited or exclusive. One such example is Good Smile Company's Nendoroid Shana.

    Her smile along with her black hair (which has more of a brown shade) looks very natural~

    You may have noticed that yui_style has done some touch-ups with his Shana, just like his flaming hair Shana as mentioned on this post.

    Shana holding her melonpan with her alternate blushing face.
    Quite deredere here~

    As you may or may not know, yui_style does quite a bit of figma modding before, with figma Lacus Clyne being his first and best known example. This time is no exception, as he has managed to convert the winter uniform to a summer uniform!
    According to yui_style, the parts he used were Mikuru's shoulder joints (apparently left over from modding his Lacus Clyne a while ago) and a figma Sun Seto.

    Both black hair figma Shana (with nekomimi!) and black hair nendoroid Shana enjoying their melonpans on an almost real melonpan!

    Comparison time~

    The two Shanas side by side.

    Black hair Shana's smile definitely looks more natural, whereas flaming hair one has an aggressive yet confident feel to it (i.e. the "I will beat you up without breaking a sweat" look).

    The melonpans are actually different; flaming hair Shana is obviously a bit hungry~ ^^;

    Swapping uniforms. yui_style has asked an interesting question: Would you prefer the flaming hair Shana in her summer uniform and black hair Shana in her winter uniform, or vice versa?

    ... I can't really choose to be honest, so I'd like to hear your answers~ ^^;;

    Despite being a limited item, this figma Shana can still be ordered online on Play-Asia. A tad expensive, but it's there if you are desperate to get her. (EDITED: GONE! T_T)

    All pictures are from ToysDaily
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