GEEKY SHIT: Makoto Tachibana, Haruka Nanase and Shikinami Asuka Langley figures by Alter

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Free! – Tachibana Makoto – ALTAiR – 1/8 (Alter, Hobby Stock)

Makoto1Welcome to round 2 (fight!) of Geeky Shit! Today’s unwanted barrage of geek tedium is brought to you by Alter, a well-known and respected figure company, who, along with Good Smile Company, release the best 1/8 scale anime figures around. The only difficulty when choosing which figures of your favourite characters to get is when both companies announce releases. For those not familiar with anime figures (who accidentally found this page) there are various types of figures, and yours truly has a very strong preference for one type in particular.

Makoto3I mostly collect PVC scale figures. You won’t see too many SD (super deformed) figures or action figures in my collection, although I do have a few of each. Most of mine are 1/8 scale figures, which I find to be a good balance of detail and price, and two of the figures we’ll be looking at today are of this size. The third is a 1/7 scale, which is slightly less common, but necessary to achieve more detail with a character of such short stature. However, we shall start off with the handsome boys of the Iwatobi Swim Club.

Makoto4If you’re a fan of sports anime, pretty animation, pretty boys, or all of the above, then I recommend you check out Free!, and hurry up and buy these first two figures. Initially known as “swimming anime”, Free! was developed from an advertisement into a gorgeous television program, with a gorgeous cast of characters. The first figure we’ll look at is Makoto Tachibana, the friendly but grounded, green(ish) haired chap with a kind smile. His role in the swim club is to take care of the others, and he has a particular fondness for Haruka, often chuckling at his idiosyncrasies.

Makoto7As objectification is the name of the game, each character has a “best body feature” (because of course they do), and Makoto’s is his trapezius muscle. His swimming outfit always has a green stripe, because colour-coordinating with one’s anime hair is important. Like all the members of the swim team, Makoto has a typical girl’s name. Incidentally, Makoto won Sexiest Anime Man of 2013. I can see why. He’s the big brother we all wish we had. Those big, strong arms and gentle smile certainly put me at ease.

Makoto5Vital Statistics:

Classification: ALTAiR (the “female audience-centric” line of scale figures)

Companies: Alter (Manufacturer), Hobby Stock (Distributor)

Artists: Iwamoto Kunihito (Sculptor), Watanabe Yasuhiro (Color producer)

Materials: ABS, PVCMakoto6

Scale: 1/8

Dimensions: H=230 mm (8.97 in)

Release date: 30 Oct 2014

Price: ¥7800

Free! – Nanase Haruka – ALTAiR – 1/8 (Alter, Hobby Stock)

Haru1Haru-chan is the ever enigmatic (or just vague), water-obsessed oddball. He is often caught out not listening when people are talking, and he’ll jump in a pool whenever he finds one. And we all suspect he’s ALWAYS wearing his bathing suit under his clothes. He even wears it in the bath. Haruka is pegged as the main character for the first series, but he’s actually the least interesting. Despite the intrigue (apathy) surrounding him, he’s just not present enough for his interesting relationship with Rin to really draw anyone to his character. But BOY, do I want a Rin figure down the line, complete with shark teeth and hair flick.

Haru2His steely expression with a hint of not-listening-but-instead-imagining-diving-into-water-any-water-just-get-me-some-water is captured wonderfully in this figure. He’s rarely paying attention to those around him, despite many folks vying for him to notice them. The pose of the figure highlights how quick he is to rip everything off and dive into the pool. His “best body features” are his triceps and abdominal muscles.

Haru3He owns a wardrobe full of near-identical bathing suits and loves fish for every meal. His figure has more motion to it, and despite the general lack of motion or accessories (apart from each figure’s removable swim goggles) this figure series feels like it will make an excellent group photo.

Haru4Vital Statistics:

Classification: ALTAiR (the “female audience-centric” line of scale figures)

Companies: Alter (Manufacturer), Hobby Stock (Distributor)

Artists: Iwamoto Kunihito (Sculptor), Watanabe Yasuhiro (Color producer)

Materials: ABS, PVC

Scale: 1/8

Dimensions: H=220 mm (8.58 in)

Release date: 30 Oct 2014

Price: ¥7800

Evangelion Shin Gekijouban: Q [Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo] – Souryuu Asuka Langley – 1/7 – Jersey ver. (Alter)

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One of the most popular female anime characters of all time is actually a little challenging if you’re after a G-rated figure. Her plug suit lends itself well to sexualised poses and by golly do figure companies take advantage of that. But let’s reflect on the fact that SHE’S 14 YEARS OLD for a minute. Let that sink in. Even though this figure isn’t perfect, its focus on attitude and motion is more interesting than the usual languid poses, and I’m VERY glad she’s not draped over anything in this pose.

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The eye-patch and bomber jacket are taken from the third Rebuild of Evangelion film, You Can (Not) Redo, along with the Shikinami surname on the box (instead of Souryuu). Her two poses offer alternate faces and the option to display her with her captain’s cap or with both hands in her pockets. Her hair flick is captured wonderfully, and she looks like she’s ready to pilot a giant robot after she’s finished flipping you the bird. The upturned leg to expose her posterior looked icky in the promotional shots, but is much more subtle in the actual figure.

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It’s hard to avoid the plug suit if you’re just buying the figure for aesthetics. They were always of a design that facilitated pervy shots, but if you’re unfamiliar with the suit, then this figure looks like a woman wearing tights with wires on them under a jacket, which draws more attention than if she were just wearing her plug suit. Overall, I’ve found this to be one of the better figures, and with Alter, it’s hard to go wrong. The details are stunning.

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The texture of the jacket, the shine of the plug suit, the flow of the hair – it’s easy to see why Asuka has shot to the top of many most-wanted lists. Her higher price reflects the detail and complexity of the figure, but I certainly wouldn’t have minded a more interesting base. The cute badges on the hat are a great little detail. She stands taller than many of the other Alter figures, by virtue of her being a 1/7 scale figure.

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Vital Statistics:

Artist: Nobuta (Sculptor)

Version: Jersey ver.

Materials: ABS, PVC

Scale: 1/7

Dimensions: H=230 mm (8.97 in)

Release date: 17 Oct 2014

Price: ¥10800

Asuka11Thanks for sticking around! Figure collecting is great fun, but can get expensive. Like many hobbies and communities, there are forums and sites where people gather to share knowledge. I can’t recommend enough. It’s your one stop shop – and they’ll even point you to literal shops, as well as advise which eBay sellers are known to sell fakes.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments!


6 responses to “GEEKY SHIT: Makoto Tachibana, Haruka Nanase and Shikinami Asuka Langley figures by Alter

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