Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Figure Review: Remilia Scarlet (Touhou Project)

Name: The Scarlet Devil- Remilia Scarlet
from (series): the doujin danmaku shooting game series Touhou Project
Manufacture: Griffon Enterprises
Scale: 1/8

I am not a fan of pink. Still I buy pink figures sometimes^^
I love her pose, and of course her wings which are the highlight of this figure.
Whatever to say about Griffon, the sculptor of the Touhou figures did a great job. They all got so a lovely design. (Ok, the design is taken from the games, but he did a good job at making it into figures)Let’s talk about her wings. While I like them I would have preferred the left and right side having the same size and the same gap to her head. Her left wing (from viewers sight) is a little bit bigger and it has less structure on it then the right one. This looks quite strange if you ask me, symmetry would have been nice. Also they seem to have an easy coming-off colour since there are some white scratches on them. (I am sure they are not by me)

Down from her wings to her head. She has got a very lovely face and her hair is done nicely with no too big flaw. When inspecting her while doing my review I recognized they also build her ears, despite the fact you cannot really see them when not searching for. Very nice.
I really like the hat. Together with the dress it has the look of clothing from long-ago times. (can’t describe it in another way XD) The hat has lots of folds, maybe I should have ad “too much folds” to my “what I don’t like about Griffon -list”^^
It is the same with the dress – lots of folds, that, of course, leads to lots of shading.
I think you can see the level of over-shading when looking at the colour difference of the top-part and the lower part of her dress. Knowing that the colour of the top is supposed to be the colour of her dress you can clearly see what I am talking about. The lower dress-part has far too much shading on it! In fact the regular colour of the dress just looks like light-highlight down there…

I like the frills at the ends of her dress. Still I have to say they are far too thick, especially at the front of the figure. You should be able to see that on the pictures.
Of course you also already noticed the floating-dress phenomenon. Maybe they are doing a Marilyn Monroe expression? XD

While Griffon PVC normally seems like crap to me, especially when looking at the skin of their figures Scarlet is doing fine. Indeed she got a very nice skin-tone.
On her dress there also is a white scratch (like on the wings) and some glossy-paint. I think these scratches are a result of the bad PVC quality; colour seems too easily come off.

When looking at her shoes or at her pants (long grandmother-pants XD) you can once again see over-shading. Both, shoes and pant, are far more grey than white. *sigh*

At the back of her dress she got a big ribbon. It ads to the “old-times dress” look. Very cute.

In the end I really like her. Good Smile would have done better, but she is still good.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

The pre-talk 2: About Griffon

With me in the situation to want to review 4 of Griffons Touhou Project Figures I recognized that I in fact got lots of things I don’t like on Griffon figures in general. So I decided to make this “pre-talk” in order to keep the reviews themselves free of too much talk about the manufacture.
I will also use this to talk about the 4 figures in general, e.g. compare them, tell you whom is my favourite, how I come to buy them and maybe about the phenomenon of Touhou itself.
I don’t like Griffon. If I would have to make a ranking of manufactures I would rank it below Kotobukiya. I think it’s above Taki, Banpresto and so on, but never will reach Good Smile and Alter.
You may say Kotobukiya isn’t better, but at least they
1. give you the figure you see on prototype-pictures
2. have a solid quality standard
3. price compared to quality is a fair deal
4. good shading and nice colours
5. and their figures look more lively.

With that I already give you the idea what I don’t like about Griffon. Let me describe it more detailed:

1. Never expect to get what you see on the proto-type pictures. The colours are sure to look different on the final product.

2. Expect some flaws on their figures (sometimes more or less bad)

3. The price of their figures is too high for my taste if compared to what quality they deliver.

4. All their figures got stiff and un-lively poses. Most of the time they are just standing straight without movement or motion. (or if there is it looks unnatural)
For me the strongest point why I hardly buy Griffon figures. For example look at the Touhou figures – all plain straight standing poses, and they are one of the better ones.

5. I got a dislike of the PVC they use. Its quality is a lot worse than Alter or Good Smile and it looks very plastic-like.

6. The eyes of their figures. Like said in 4. they are all starring straight at you and Griffon tries to make the gaze of their figures “moe”. But somehow that makes them looking dumb (to me).
With their eyes standing close together and their point of view leading at somewhere on to their own forehead they look as if they are squinting. (Yuyuko for example)
However I am sure that’s something not everyone agrees with me on.

7. The shading. I really don’t know why, but while most other companies dent to shade too little bit Griffon likes to over-shade. Maybe you will understand when you see Yuyuko. They used white to set light-highlights on her blue dress, but they over-did it and it’s now more looking like blue-white chess pattern. Griffon generally seems to don’t have a good colour choice when it comes to shading. To me it looks like they often take a too dark colour to shade something and then they shade and shade – and in the end white socks become grey ones.

8. Last but not least –the bases. Griffon figures all come with the same big, high, black base with the name of the character written on a shield. This may look nice when you own one Griffon figure, but it looks very boring when there are more. I recognized that issue with my Touhou figures, they take a lot of space because of the bases and them all having the same one looks so boring.
For example: Some time ago they released a swimsuit figure of Shokatsuryou Koumei from Ikki Tousen. You know what a base she got? Yepp. You guessed right. I mean what’s up with them? This figure looks so nice but the base ruins all the effort they put in her because it definitely doesn’t fit the whole scene.
Strangely it seems no one got a problem with that. I never read anywhere someone else feels like this…

With the Touhou figures this list even gets another point:
Strange appearance of the magical-floating dresses
In fact it’s a funny phenomenon. Really, why the hell are the dresses of everyone floating in mid-air?
I think this should create movement on the figure, but here you can see how unnatural that looks when done by Griffon. XD

With all this said I must still admit Scarlet and Patchouli are over their average standard. They still have most of the problems listed above, however they got very nice faces and the PVC used on them looks nice.
Yuyuko and Youmu sadly fall pack into the general Griffon-quality.

More talk about everyone in their reviews.


The pre-talk 1: Touhou Mania

With me in the situation to want to review 4 of Griffons Touhou Project Figures I recognized that I in fact got lots of things I don’t like on Griffon figures in general. So I decided to make this “pre-talk” in order to keep the reviews themselves free of too much talk about the manufacture.
I will also use this to talk about the 4 figures in general, e.g. compare them, tell you whom is my favourite, how I come to buy them and maybe about the phenomenon of Touhou itself.
My very first contact with Touhou was at the time I first spotted the figures of Reimu and Marisa. Very shortly after that Griffon also announced the release of Patchouli and Scarlet. I fell in love with this two at first sight and finally ordered them trough tokyohunters service. During the time I waited for them I slowly recognized how the attention and interest for Touhou was increasing on the internet. You know, I would never guessed them to be characters of nothing more than some Doujinshi-games.
Up to now I still can’t get what’s so hot about it all, but I also didn’t (and still don’t) understand the Vocaloid -hype. I mean, how can a singing-synthesizer character get so much love?
However I ended with searching for a little bit more information about Patchouli and Scarlet. This is because despite the fact I gave up on only buying figures of series I know I still try to inform myself of the figures background before I buy them. You got to know whom you are letting in your room after all XD
I read through their character description on Touhou-wiki and found it interesting to see that I would actually love their character in the game for sure. So it seems appearance sometimes tells you something about the character of a person, at least in anime/manga?
Does that also happen to you sometimes? Getting interested in an anime/manga or a character because of a figure?
I also have to admit that I have a liking for Lolis. Scarlet seems to be Tsundere-type (at least her figure seems), with my love for tsundere-princess Shana I catched a liking for Tsundere in general it seems^^. Patchouli is more thy silent type I believe.

So, you may ask yourself whom the other two I bought are, since it says 4 figures at the beginning of this post.
After being very happy with my purchase of Patchouli and Scarlet I also ordered Youmu and Yuyuko. Again through tokyohunter since at that time amiami still wasn’t available for international buyers.

While Patchouli and Scarlet are very lovely and definitely above normal Griffon quality Youmu and Yuyuko get less love. They have less charm and more flaws aswell as an awful looking dress for Yuyuko.
My personal ranking: Patchouli is my favourite, Scarlet second, Youmu still nice and Yuyuko I wished I would not have bought.
Yuyuko would have been nice to have for the price you can get her in Japan, but with all the extra cost to get her she was not worth it for me.
Also Yuyuko is the kind of character I don’t like in animes/manga, bought her because the figure looked so nice with the blue dress (I love blue) and I liked the chara-design.


New Blog Design

Ok - I believe you can figure that one out on your ownXD
Finally I got rid of all the pink..never really liked that.
I am still unsure if I will go with this design, but I prefer it over pink^^

Random Stuff

Some days ago a friend of mine visited. For her I put up some figures on a shelf. (normally I only have figures in my display case since I don´t like dust-collecting) I took the chance to take a few pictures before storing them back into the cabinet.

Drossel looks sooo cute on this picture^^

*sigh* Promised to do a review on Jun-chan some time ago. Still planing to do so, if I got the spirit... He is fucking hot XD

Lucky me owns a motorcycle in acceptable size for Figma-fun^^ Haruhi looks very nice on it.

Taiga with a little fellow. Surprisingly they go very well together.