Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina Review

When I was chilling in Singapore for the weekend I chanced upon this quaint shop in Suntec called Otaku House. They got lots of good stuff in there, including some Figmas I've been dying to try getting into. Unfortunately, they didn't have a Mikuru or Haruhi Figma, so I settled for the newly released Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina ~ Mikuru’s Adventure ver. , which I'll be reviewing today.

Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru AsahinaRevoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina

First of all, she's freaking cute. I've never seen an episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but I know the characters and I've been crushing on Mikuru since forever, so I'm pretty glad to have gotten a figure of her.

Sculpt is gorgeous, and the detail is great, though there's some clumping of the paint I see on her costume as well as a yellowing on her apron that I don't see in any promo shots.

Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru AsahinaRevoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina
But her face is one of the most accurate renditions on a figure I've ever seen. It's like she's jumped out of your TV to give you a taste of her Mikuru Beam!

Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina
She comes with a whopping 8 pairs of hands (9 pairs if you include the ones already attached to her) for either putting her in heartbreakingly cute poses or recreating scenes from the anime. Her Mikuru Beam face and accompanying hand sign is worth the price of the entire figure set alone!

Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina

There's also a miniature futon tataki (a futon beater to beat the dust out of futons) and two handguns for when you want Mikuru to get medieval on any lecherous action figs you might put beside her.

Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru AsahinaRevoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina
As for articulation...well, this is the first time I've come across the unique Revoltech artic, so please pardon my n0obness. According to my immensely time-consuming research, the Revoltech joint system uses peg joints that 'ratchet' when you move them, apparently giving them the ability to strike a wide variety of poses "just like in real life" as well as keeping them posed that way.

Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru AsahinaRevoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina

And therein lies the rub on my Mikuru figure. The joints on her lower body (specifically her waist and thighs) are so loose that it's a pain to pose her. I don't feel the ratcheting of the joints other than the ones on her feet, and even then they would be pushed out alignment at the slightest touch.

Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina
She also feels floppy in my hands and getting her to stand on her own is tedious because the natural state of her waist and her head is bending backwards. The figure stand included with the figure is a godsend, but it would have been nice if she was able to stand on her own with ease. I don't know if I just got a bum figure or anything, but it's not something you can actually watch out for, so just be careful in handling her.

Also, be careful in swapping out hands or heads. While I appreciate the modular design of Revoltechs and their ability to be truly 'customizable', you're going to need a little more elbow grease (so to speak) when handling this Fraulein. The Revolver joint pegs on mine are stuck tighter than a black hole, and it took me a while to both pull them out to allow hand and face-swapping and to realize that I didn't actually 'break' my Mikuru and it's supposed to be pulled out like that. >_<

I've been reading from some websites of the ability to 'tighten' Revoltech joints using special 'Revolpliers', but so far I don't think it's possible. So for now I'm stuck with painfully posing this Mikuru figure.

But when you do get to pose her''s magic.

Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina
This Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina is my first anime action figure so she'll hold a special place in my heart (after Hazuki Fujimiya, of course). She's a cute figure of one of my favorite characters, so she's a great addition to my collection. You just have to be really, really, really careful in handling her.

Revoltech Fraulein Mikuru Asahina
I got her for 46 Singapore Dollars, which translate to roughly P1,470++. I don't know if it's cheaper here in the Philippines or anywhere, but with her 'hand'ful of accessories and fun chotchkes, she's very well worth it.

There's a Figma version of this specific costume of hers coming out in May 2009 if my sources are correct. I guess I'm off to save for a Mikuru or Haruhi Figma next!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Charice Pempengco Post 2

Did you hear? Charice Pempengco is coming out in the next Chipmunks movie, supposedly as the Chipmunks’ opponent in a singing competition.

I don’t know which is more insane…the fact that the writers actually think the Chipmunks realistically stand a chance against Charice…

Or the fact that they’re actually making another Chipmunks movie.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hang on! It's a Dragonball: Evolution Review!

Dragonball: EvolutionI finally got to see what the fuss was all about yesterday (thanks to HERO TV for the tickets!) during the advanced screening of Dragonball: Evolution. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know that there exists two schools of thought pertaining to this movie: the one that thinks it’s gonna be one big clusterfuck that will violently rape an anime franchise beloved by millions around the world, and the one that thinks it’s gonna be an alright movie.

After seeing it with my own eyes, guess which one I subscribe to?

Thankfully for you, dear reader, this review is not written by a rabid animu fanboy, so I won’t go on a tangent about Akira Toriyama and home-made Molotov cocktails halfway through. With that comforting thought, read on!

Dragonball: Evolution

Despite the Americans taking some liberties (and, depends on who you ask, pretty fucking big liberties) with the story, Dragonball: Evolution still tries its best to get the most basic feel of the show it was based on. The hero’s still named Goku, and he still sports the ridiculously upright hair. Master Roshi’s in it and he’s still a pervert. And this movie wins alone on Emmy Rossum’s deadpan delivery introducing herself as “Bulma Briefs”. They’re also still after the Dragonballs, seven mythical crystal balls of power that could grant someone’s one true wish. Unfortunately for them, an alien warlord named Piccolo (played by James Marsters) is looking for the ‘balls too, and judging by his demeanor and predeliction to violence, you can probably guess that his wish isn’t exactly gonna be ‘world peace.’

Dragonball: Evolution

The cast does a pretty good job giving life to their two-dimensional counterparts, given the circumstances. Justin Chatwin’s got the anime looks and mannerisms down pat. Chow Yun-Fat might not actually pull off a perverted old man (Samo Hung would have worked better), but damn if he didn’t give it his all in every scene he’s in. And the girls kicked ass as much as the guys in this picture, but the slight abundance of cleavage (especially on Jamie Chung…I mean, wow.) distracted me to no end. But that’s probably just me.

Visually, it’s pretty stunning. Goku powering up looks pretty awesome, and the energy effects are obviously big-budget. Copious amounts of slo-mo for fights didn’t help much, but it got me into thinking that people in Dragonball are pretty fucking fast. And despite almost everything having been modified to cater to a wider audience, I kind of liked the nods here and there, like the (kame) symbol on Goku’s sweatshirt (Goku wore a uniform with that symbol in the anime), or Emmy Rossum’s blue streak of hair (the anime Bulma had blue hair). And I would be lying if said I didn’t geek out hearing Chatwin scream “Kame-hame-HA­­AAA!”

Let none say it sucked for lack of trying.

Take all that away, though, and what you have left is a pretty jarring storytelling experience, where the villain, despite being said to be banished somewhere forever, appears out of nowhere with no explanation on how he escaped…to Goku being connected to the villain’s past without any previous clues as to how and when it happened to be. Standing on its own, Dragonball: Evolution suffers a lot because of these. It’s like a roller coaster ride: lots of scary highs and lows, but you’re hurtling towards the ending at about 100 miles per hour and you haven’t even savored the experience when it’s all over too soon. It didn’t help that the dialogue plays out like an amateur fansubber’s dream…or maybe it just doesn’t sound right when an American monologues about “loving who you are” and “true power comes from within” while fighting in mid-air using ki blasts…

Still, I pretty much had fun watching this movie, but it probably helped that I had friends to laugh with me at the cheesy dialogue and scenery-chewing acting. Watch this alone, and prepare to cringe like hell. For me, Dragonball: Evolution is an okay movie that has its moments, but ultimately falls short of memorable.

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