It time for more the part of Ongoing Investigations were I show you what toys I bought. First up is new two newest Portraits of Pirates. The set seems to have back in black as the theme. The first is the newest member of the Straw Hat Pirates, Brook. He is a skeleton, with an Afro, a top hat, and a suit who plays the violin. If this combination of words does not make you want a figure of him, I am not sure what I can say to sell you on it. He comes with a sword cane, a tea cup, and his tone dial. Also you can also pop open the little compartment in his skull and keep the tone dial in there which I find an amusing attention to detail. In contrast we have Rob Lucci. Another man in a black suit with a top hat but with a completely different tone to the lighthearted Brook. Rob also comes with his pigeon Hattori and his mask. I really think that as the Portrait of Pirates series has gone on they have really come into their own. While Rob is not as complex as some of the latest entries into the series he is well done and really captures the essence of the character. Brook is complex and customizable for a static pose figure. I am a little surprised that they decided to make Rob instead of the more popular Kaku.
Picked up Spiral’s seventh volume. There are some bigger points that start to uncover themselves here, just hints but it is expected to come slowly. Ayumu taking on brute force verse his logic is great. It also randomly reminded me of the L movie where they sort of imply that violence can beat brains as well. I don’t think I would normally notice that but since I watched that and read this so close to each other it stuck out. I also like that Ayumu is admitting his brother is manipulating everyone like a puppet though he just plain doesn’t want to think so. I also found a couple of moments with Hiyono possibly revealing there is more going on under the surface. Has me curious. Looking forward to more as usual.
Next up is the always sexy Rider from Fate/Stay Night. I have always wanted the original Good Smile Rider figure but it is somewhat of a collector item making it a little too expensive for my tastes. Contrastly, Maid Rider and Swimsuit Rider are little too cheesecake for my tastes. Not that Rider’s actual outfit is not cheesecake but I am willing to accept that because it’s her standard uniform. Yes, that is a bizarre set of somewhat contradictory semantics but a set of semantics I can live with. When I saw the eb Craft version of the classic Rider I went out and pre-ordered it. While I like the pose on the Good Smile figure a little bit more, this one is in a more dynamic pose. She has removable mask and her iron nails as well.
I had been curious about the series Dogs for quite awhile and was rather excited to see it get licensed. So I pre-ordered the first book, Dogs Prelude 0. It has four stories each highlighting a character who is somehow connected to the others in the subsequent stories. They are also connected through a cafe where they all show up at at one time or another. Since this is a lead up to the actual series, I assume they all team up later on. I liked each character for various reasons, but it was nice to see the manga-ka making them very different in personality but have the common terrible pasts to equalize them. Mihai is an ex-hitman so he has skill. Naoto learns the sword from an early age and has equally good skill. Badou seems to have the luck of the devil more than anything else. And Heine just doesn’t care about getting hurt which is kind of a skill? My favorite story was probably the last one involving Heine and a prostitute that he saves during a skirmish on the streets. The relationships between all the characters will be a major factor in this story holding together so far they are doing well. The art is pretty good and there are some nicely designed moments. Also the action scenes, of which there are many, are well done though not as graphic as I was expecting. Seems I will be picking up the next book.
And last but certainly not least is a figure that will not leave you in despair. The Nendoroid line decided to make a Nozomu Itoshiki figure which, while an unusual choice, is delightfully appreciated. My kinship to the despair teacher made me rush out to buy this. He has three difference faces, two different sets of arms, a scarf, art-book, and his suicide travel suitcase. There is also a alternate piece of hair so you can but the little noose that comes with him around his neck. You can have him in his “I am in despair” look which is really all you really need. Everything else is merely icing on the cake.
Finished up the short manhwa series Hissing by reading books 5 and 6. It was a long time coming, never thought I’d get to read the end after Ice Kunion stopped releasing books! As for the ending, it was nice to see it go a little beyond people admitting their feelings. Though the resolution of the family situation starts off rather contrived in book 5, the direction the book took did surprise me a little in the last volume. What originally attracted me to the series was Da-Eh’s passion for drawing comics, which gets thrown to the wayside in the middle books, and only somewhat makes a comeback in the last few chapters. I wish that part of the story was more developed. Overall, one of the better manhwa released in English so far.
As a tribute to the spring and Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei I present to you the pic of the week: