End of 2011

Time to bid farewell to year 2011. Somehow it didn't feel that long ago when I did the same to 2010.

2011 has been a relatively calm year for me despite a lot of events happening over the world, from disasters to revolutions. I didn't travel anywhere this year, but getting to meet various people from the Internet in person, as well as having events such as Hong Kong C3 as well as the annual ACGHK convention with them is a nice change of things.

The biggest thing I have treaded on is most likely the Dollfie Dream Black Rock Shooter. Admittedly I have started to look more into this hobby since November last year, and gave in when I actually successfully won a bid on Yahoo Auction Japan in earlier this year. That aside, I also met a lot of doll enthusiasts in the Dollism Plus earlier this summer. I'm still very shy on this hobby, especially as it's something I'm not too familiar with, but I hope I will get the gist of it eventually.

Apart from the doll, a fair amount of money has been spent on limited stuff, such as figma WRS and figma Racing Miku 2011. Turns out that more and more stuff I fall for are actually limited stuff ^^; Well, let's just hope this is manageable and not going out of control.

I still do Gunpla kits now and then. Apart from 00 QAN[T] and its GN Sword IV Full Saber equipment, all other ones I have done this year are mass production units, such as Dreissens and Jestas ^^;

Game-wise, I got on a frenzy of Ace Combat series since this summer, and got hooked onto most of the games up to Assault Horizon. It has been a while I got so fired up since my passion into WWII tanks~

On that bombshell, I wish you a Happy New Year!

figma Racing Miku 2011

At last, after six months of waiting sicne its annoucement, the figma Racing Miku 2011 is ready for pickup!

To sum things up, every year (since 2009) there is Miku as a mascot and a race queen for the GSR (GoodSmile Racing) & Studie with TeamUKYO team. This year the team has won one of the races, and the figma is made to celebrate it.

The figma is available in 4 different "sponsor courses" in NicoNico webshop, and the goodies that come with it have arrived a month earlier.

Here are all of the stuff that are available in the box:
The figma itself, a closed parasol, open parasol, a sign board, one extra face, two trophies (the clear one as a bonus item that is packed sperately from the box), 4 pairs of hands, a figma standard and a bag for storage.

Front view

Back view. The skirt itself is slightly transparent.

Viewed from the sides. Depsite having heels Racing Miku can stand pretty well by herself, so balance is not so much of an issue there.

A race queen parasol.

Racing Miku with the parasol opened. The tube can separate from the canopy so that the hands can go in.

The signboard. A special pair of hands is required to hold it. You can put what you want on the signboard with the stickers provided in the box.

And the stickers for the signboard. There are 4 for each kind so you don't have to worry too much about spares.

Here is how the signboard works from a pre-release preview on figma blog:
In the picture "P-IN, L18, 04" means "car number 4 pit in at lap 18".

Racing Miku with the chequered flag and a happy, cheerful face.

A couple of extra shots with the parasol.

Posing in front of FREEing's ex:ride American bike, which is compatible with figmas


And yes the trophies themselves. The clear one comes separately from the figma box as a bonus item, and it has "Goodsmile" and Champion 2011 GT 300" printed on it. The other one has "Goodsmile Racing" and its logo printed on it.

A final picture with original figma Miku, Racing Miku, and Miku Append. Which one do you like the most?

This Racing Miku has taken a more mature appearance over previous years', and also over most other Miku variations. She also has a somewhat cyber looking view with a hint of transparency in the clothings, which add to the sexiness of the design.

There isn't too much to complain about, but the main problem is that many parts are a bit loose, be it some of the hands, or even the front hair piece when the cheerful face is used. Hopefully that is just the problem with my paritcular figma, but it's hard to say. Apart from that and the money one has to pay to get this, this is a pretty neat figma I'd say, even though I don't pay much attention towards racing in general. Well, maybe we'll see a new one next year? The nendoroid will definitely be in, but we'll see if there's another figma as well too (this 2011 version is a first timer for a figma). :o

Gashapon Senshi NEXT Shamblo

Gashapons are not something I own a lot, except with a few exceptions.

This time, it's the AMA-X7 Shamblo, a gigantic mobile armour that features in Gundam UC, and most recently episode 4 of the OVA adaptation. It's highly unlikely to see this guy to appear in model form, but a gashapon, being cheap and small, is something I'd welcome to have~ ^^

All parts are packed in a polybag.

On a side note, gashapon toys and capsules come separately. Store owners may pack them in capsules and have them placed in the dispenser machines so people will randomly pick them when they put in coins and get them out. On the other hand, some will put up a price for each one depending on popularity or rarity so one can get what s/he wants without having to blindly go for a random piece. I went for the latter this time from a good friend of mine who sells mainly shokugans, which is basically boxed versions of gashapons.

All parts laid out. There is no instructions as for how to build it, but it's not too hard to work things out unless one has never seen the Shamblo before. It's a bit like putting puzzle pieces together.

Some panel lining done on the parts. The two shoulders parts show the difference before and after panel lining.

Complted Shamblo with some panel lining. It's funny how the the arms are connected to the forelegs of the MA, rather than onto the main torso itself.

And the back of the Shamblo

The articulation of this Shamblo are mostly on the top half of the whole thing - the claws, arm, legs, and neck. The rest of the base / lower half is immobile.

Shamblo in comparison with Kshatriya. The Shamblo is supposed to be humongous, but in gashapon size it's about the same size as Kshatriya ^^;

Unicorn Gundam vs Shamblo. Sort of re-enacting the scene in episode 4 of Gundam UC OVA

But... The Shamblo finds a nice truck to be used as a hostage.

Banagher in Unicorn: ... I can't bring myself to shoot!

Riddhe in Delta Plus *kicks Unicorn away*: Hopeless emo, let me finish the job. -_-#

Depsite its ferocious appearance in the original settings and story, this gashapon version of Shamblo is rather cute; it's almost like a little dragon in a way. XD

Oh and last but not least, I wish you Merry Christmas! If you don't celebrate Christmas I wish you Happy Holidays!

Hear the chimes of the 30 mm on Christmas Eve!

Image from Project Nagase, a character blog for Project Aces of the Ace Combat series. The Christmas A-10 skin in the picture is actually a DLC for Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Too bad it's not free though ^^;

Sasuke related updates

Allstar - Makoto Nagano 長野誠 - Kagoshima, December, 2011 ©Takasui Corp.

It's been a while since I updated the blog due to health reasons and just recently my video card frying.... Anyway I'm doing a bit better but not 100% by any means but I'm back up and running on my computer. Thanks to some friggin' awesome friends I've got a new computer. In the meantime I've have been getting inundated with questions.. especially given the content of my most recent blog entry about Monster 9 going Bankrupt.. Just wanted to do a quick update on what we know so far. For the record.. much of what is going on now in Sasuke-land is rumor so until we know for sure I'm refraining from posting rumors. Albeit the current rumors are actually positive for Sasuke.. I know everyone is anxious about what's going on but there is very little official information to be had recently. I ask everyone be a bit more patient. What I will post is what we know so far officially.
  • November 11, 2011 - Monster 9 filed for Bankruptcy (Not reorganization but "Liquidation" Ube posted: For those asking about the type of bankruptcy in this situation, refer to here. All the articles refer to 破産 (hasan) or more specifically 自己破産 (jiko hasan) which is voluntary liquidation. See section IV of the link provided.)
  • Creditors had until December 16th, 2011 to file (specially to announce their financial losses to the court) and there will be a meeting on March 12th, 2012 at 1:30 PM in Tokyo District Court. The lawyer who will act as the trustee is one Shuuji Kitagawa (北川秀二).
  • The current list of creditors (for Digital 9 - as of 12/22/11) is listed here and Monster 9 as of 11/17/11 is listed here) has been posted online for public record. As a reminder from Ube the numbers are listed in Yen in the 10,000's.
Founding members of Samurai Rock Orchestra ©SRO

In the meantime with Monster 9 facing full liquidation this directly impacts the fate of all Muscle Musical members as they are instantly unemployed. Remember they were a creation of Monster 9 and were not co-owned by anyone else (unlike Sasuke which was co-owned by TBS in distribution). That said.. seems the members are finding new lives creating other employment opportunities now that Muscle Musical マッスルミュージカル is now defunct. For those who remember co-World Record holder in Monster Box Naoki Iketani 池谷直樹 (he's in the center and creator of SRO) it seems life after Muscle Musical means creating a show called Samurai Rock Orchestra (SRO). Six other former Muscle Musical members have joined with Naoki in this venture which debuts in Japan on March, 2012. Complete information can be found on their website. Please remember it's still under construction and they are still auditioning members to fill out the cast.

Sasuke All-stars posing with Farid Isham during Sasuke 27
All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩, All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠, Farid, All-Star Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己 and All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 with his Poodle "Kokona" (Coconut) ©Farid Isham

In the meantime I'm finally able to do my blog for Farid Isham. Questions have been sent to him (today in fact) and I should get this done fairly soon. Given the amount I sent him though it might be next year.. don't fret though.. it's on it's way!

Gunpla Expo World Tour Hong Kong 2011

Coverage photos for Gunpla Expo World Tour Hong Kong 2011 are now up! Known as Gundam Expo Hong Kong in the past few years, this year's Gundam Expo is renamed as Gunpla Expo World Tour Hong Kong 2011. I went with AstrayP03 to check the event out on Sunday. Too bad the finalist entries for Gunpla Builders World Cup 2011 as they will be shown from Chistmas Day. Will put captions later in the day.

A brief introduction on Gunpla at the beginning of the "Gunpla History Tour"

A huge poster showing the evolution of Gunpla (using RX-78-2 Gundam as example) over the years.

History of Gunpla - it's impressive to see how far they have advanced over the past few decades :o

G Gundam Gunpla. Nobel Gundam fell down ^^;

HG 1/144 Extreme Gundam from Gundam Extreme Vs (arcade & PS3 game).
Despite being a boss "character", Extreme Gundam never fights in this form.

The GMs released in 2011. This year really is the year of the GM~

MS that appear in Gundam UC OVA

MG 1/100 Astray Red Frame, Astray Blue Frame, and Strike Freedom Gundam

MG 1/100 Zaku II Ver 2.0 & RX-78-2 (OYW ver?)

MG 1/100 Unicorn Gundam & ReZEL

MG 1/100 Delta Plus & Sinanju

MG 1/100 Gundam 00 series and Gundam Wing series

RG 1/144 Aile Strike Gundam

RG 1/144 Freedom Gundam

RG 1/144 Char's Zaku II

RG 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam

RG 1/144 Zaku II

The PG 1/60 Gunpla kits...

... And the even bigger 1/48 Mega Size Gunpla

BB Senshi Strike & Force Impulse. I don't build BB Senshis but I miss how they have elbow joints in the past as the ones nowadays don't have such feature.

BB Sensh 00 Raiser & 00 Gundam Seven Swords/G

BB Senshi Wing Gundam Ver. Ka - one of the most detailed BB Senshi kits IMHO

Gundam UC BB Senshi Gunpla

A wall of displays dedicated for 1/144 Gundam UC Gunpla

Sample display of yet to be released HGUC 1/144 Unicorn Gundam Banshee in Unicorn & Destroy Mode

A diorama of Unicorn Gundam and Sinanju

Sample display of MG 1/100 Full Armour Unicorn Gundam

Another display of Full Armour Unicorn Gundam.
Personally I think it should be called Full Arms Unicorn Gundam as there are no extra armour for this upgrade, but rather extra armament!

AG 1/144 Gundam AGE kits. Unlike older beginner 1/144 kits these have much closer resemblance to their HG 1/144 brothers thanks to advance in technology.
1/48 Mega Size Gundam AGE-1 Normal

A wall of display showing kits of Gundam AGE released so far

HG 1/144 Gundam AGE-2 Normal revealed

Another display model of Gundam AGE-2

Prototype sample of MG 1/100 Gundam AGE-1 Normal

Prototype sample of MG 1/100 Gundam AGE-1 Titus
Prototype sample of MG 1/100 Gundam AGE-1 Spallow

A diorama display showing a custom built 1/144 Diva warship and the Gundam fighting the UE MS

HG 1/144 Gundam AGE-1 Normal on display with various display-only effect parts.

A re-enactment of the scene in first episode of Gundam AGE

Huge wallpaper of RG1/144 Freedom Gundam boxart

RG 1/144 Freedom Gundam diorama. I think there are supposed to be the full burst beam parts on the guns (as seen in 51st Japan Model Hobby Show here) but I have a feeling that they got snapped and broken during transport ^^;

MG 1/100 Duel Gundam and Assault Shroud equipments

MG 1/100 Duel Gundam

Beam rifle, shield, and bazooka for MG 1/100 Duel Gundam. It's nice to see that the bazooka is included as it was stolen for Astray Gold Frame to use in the side story, so Duel never got its hand on this weapon.

The outer armour parts and weapons for Assault Shroud of Duel Gundam

RG 1/144 Sky Grasper with Sword and Launcher striker packs

RG 1/144 Strike Gundam with Launcher and Sword striker packs

Strike Gundam vs LaGOWE

Upcoming HG 1/144 LaGOWE

Overhead posters showing what's updated for the re-released versions of Gundam SEED Gunpla. Apart from slight colour changes, there are more stickers and markings available, as well as having an extra joint part included for Action Base 2 stands that are sold separately.

Overhead posters showing the new upcoming HG 1/144 LaGOWE and upgrade parts for HG 1/144 Strike Gundam (including a Grand Slam sword) that will come with 2012 April issue of Hobby Japan. With that said, the localised Chinese version should have this as well.

SD Sangokuden Gunplas on display

New BB Senshis Gundam AGE Gunpla on display.

Many different colour variations of Bearrguys XD

Various Gunplas on display that are made by fans and people who have particpated in the Gunpla Builder World Cup. Some of them have appeared in ACGHK 2011 as well.

HG 1/144 Beginning J & Beginning D Gundam

The Gashapon area

Children playing on the Gundam AGE arcade machines. Apparently there are some in Hong Kong (and not just these 2 machines here), but I have not taken notice of them yet.

Children building AG 1/144 Gafran in a Gunpla workshop

Effect parts for re-released versions of HG 1/144 Gundam SEED Gunplas, which will be available around end of December.

The event shop


Album set:

Gunpla Expo World Tour Hong Kong 2011