Toy Review- Super7 Masters of the Universe Classics Collector’s Choice Wave 1

 

 

Super7 is a company out of San Francisco, California that specializes in pop culture products.  They are most famous for producing merchandise based on licensed items like Aliens, Street Fighter, Universal Monster and more.  They have recently obtained the license for Masters of the Universe from Mattel, producing new figures in the original 5″ style, as well as reimagined “retro” figures in the lines of classic Kenner-style 3 3/4″ figures (i.e. the original Star Wars figures) from the 70s and 80s.  They haven’t been the only company churning out new He-Man figures in the past 9 years, though.

In 2009, Mattel (the company that owns the Masters of the Universe characters) started to sell figures based on the classic Masters of the Universe characters through a subscription on its website, mattycollector.com.  Their goal was to release a updated version of all the classic MOTU toys by the end of the line’s run.  They preceded to do so, pacing them out over 6 years, interspersed with characters from other related media as well as some new characters or some based on unused concept art.  The line officially came to an end in 2015,but it continued as two separate lines; Collector’s Choice, continuing the Classics line with characters from outside the original toy line; and Club Grayskull, releasing new versions of classic characters, but done to closely resemble their look in the original Filmation cartoon.  Both lines had six figures in the initial run but shortly before San Diego Comic Con 2016 (where upcoming figures were usually showcased) Mattel announced it was closing down Mattycollector and awarding the license to produce Master of the Universe Classics lines to Super7.

That was in 2016 and fans of the line waited to see what Super7 was going to offer them. First, Super7 produced a line called Masters of the Universe Classics Ultimates, which were re-releases of some of the older figures, but with additional weapons and alternate heads that were added as bonuses with other figures or with alternate versions of the same character during the original run.  These were released in 2017, with fans liking them for the most part, but there were some concerns with the plastic being too hard or issues swapping the heads.  There were also some Power Con convention exclusives (three repaints, three new characters) that suffered alternately from stiff  or loose joints.  Then they offered the new wave of Collector’s Choice and Club Grayskull figures in May of last year.  The original delivery day was Sept of 2017, then November, then the new year.  Quality control issues cropped up and Super7 was determined to release the best version of the characters they could.  Finally, they shipped in Feb 18 and I got a set of the Collector’s Choice (because I prefer the Classics design than the less detailed Filmation look.)IMG_1879

Super7 first set of The Collector’s Choice line consists of four figures.  Unlike the Mattycollecter subscription mode, in which you commit to 13 or so figures while only seeing the first three, Super7 was upfront on the four figures being offered.  The packaging is the same as the original Classic line, with the yellow sky and green/grey bricks decoration the packaging.  This is so they can fit in with the collection of those who keep them mint or card (not my style).  The back is similar to those of the original Classics line, with cross sell art showing the characters from this set as well as the four from Club Grayskull.  Unlike the other Classic lines, there is some new art on the side of the card, showing the packages figure.  It also has a bio card (missing from the Collector’s Choice wave from Mattel.)  Depending on your own “head canon,” or if you only go with what was written in official publications or cartoons, you might enjoy these bios or dismiss them.  There is nothing too shocking that hasn’t been mentioned before, like Man-At-Arms turning into a Snakeman or the Unnamed One, the big bad behind the Snakemen, being a evil sorcerer from Orko’s race (all in previous bios/mini-comics)

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Both “facts” mentioned above are in Fang-Or’s bio.

Now lets look at the figures:  First up is Hawke

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Hawke is an Avionian, a race of flying Simian led by her brother and Heroic Warrior Stratos.  Obviously, Hawke got the looks in the family because she is less “ape-y” than her brother, and I guess all female Avonians are like this (that’s a helmet on her head apparently.)  She is based on her Filmation appearance as Stratos was the only Avonian in the original toy line.  She also appeared in the 2002 version and, despite a different character design, also appeared more like a normal woman than her brother.

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The figure articulation is fairly typical of figures in this size and is mostly the same on all female figures in this line.  The head is on a ball joint allowing standard movement and is removable (more on that later).  The shoulder joins are also on ball joints and can move up  and down and up to the sides.  The elbow is a single joint with about a 90 degree bend and the wrist rotate and can bend in and out, with is a new feature seem mostly on the Club Grayskull figures.  Legs are ball jointed at the hips, there is a boot cut swivel at the top of her boots, the knee are single jointed and the ankles can bend and has some pivot.  The only different joint is the torso swivel  mid chest underneath her breasts.  Most female figures have the torso cut at the waist.  The joints on my figure were good, with none of them being too tight or loose.IMG_1885

She comes with three accessories:  A sword (as seem in the picture of Hawke above), a rather large gun (a smoke screen gun, probably from the cartoon) and an extra blonde head,  This head belongs to Delora, Stratos wife (though some sources say sister.  Maybe it’s both?).  People with the forethought (and extra cash) to order two of her could have two separate characters to display, if they choose to.  Both heads are pretty much the same, with the hair color being the only difference.

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Next up is a character from one of the original pack in mini-comics, Lodar

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In the story titled “Slave City”, Lodar was the ruthless leader of an army of Kolbolds that capture people and brought back to their underground city.  He-Man was captured by them and forced to fight in the arena, but overcame his opponent then took on Lodar himself.  Lodar stood toe to toe with He-Man exchanging blows but also cast magic blasts which He-Man turned back on him.  Lodar was one of many characters featured in the mini-comics that never got a figure.

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Lodar is made from the standard figure buck seen throughout the line.  The head is new as is the chest piece, but with Beast-Man’s arm pads converted into shoulder pads. The rest of him is reused molds but they recreate his look from the comic nicely.  His main weapon is a back mace, see before in the weapons included with Castle Grayskull (but in silver).  Articulation is similar to Hawke, but with an ab crunch and waist swivel.  He also has the extra wrist articulation.

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His other accessory is a set of chains.  This enables you to recreate scenes from the story and have Lodar have He-Man chained up.

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Like so.

The third figures is this guy, Quakke

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Hailing from the often forgotten 1989-1990 The New Adventures of He-Man cartoon and toy line, Quakke is a member of the Evil Mutants, a faction led by Skeletor trying to conquer known space and take over the planet Primus, protected by He-Man and the Galactic Protectors.  Yes, it is He-Man in space..  Quakke uses his “Grabatron Meteormace” (I can’t make this stuff up) to create tremors to defeat his opponents.

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The figure’s design is faithful to the design of his original figure (from what I’ve see on Google) and has a futuristic look to it.  He is different from the usual barbarian look of most figures, but remember, even the original toys has futuristic vehicles and characters like Roboto.  His armour has a lot of wire sculpted into it with a seismograph screen built in.  His helmet is cracked and it look like even his face is slightly lopsided like the helmet.  His articulation is standard, with his ab crunch hindered by the armour overtop of it.  He also lacks the extra wrist articulation, which would have been handy for holding his oversized weapon.

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His Grabatron Metoermace is his only weapon but it comes in two parts.  The first part is his staff, with is a gun metal grey and fits in his right hand with the top part resting in the palm of his left hand.  The other part is a meteor itself, which fits in (and easily pops out) of the grabbing part of the staff.  The meteor even splits open, revealing  a mechanical interior.

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Lastly, we have the newest character in this set, the Snakeman, Fang-Or.

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Appearing as a background character in a large battle scene in one of the more recent mini-comics produced for the Classics line, Fang-Or is the Snakemen’s mechanical expert.  Apparently he was able to learn quickly under the tutelage of the transformed Man-At Arms.  He is a well designed figure with  new armour and belt pieces on a Snakeman body.  The Head is a gruesome sight, with his mouth wide open and his pointy fangs on display. HIs extra head features retracted fangs.  His articulation is in line with what we’ve seen, but his armour does not hinder his ab crunch, but he lacks the extra wrist joint.

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He has a few accessories that are all well done.  He has a wicked looking sword, which fits easily in his right hand.  He also comes with a winged snake pet, which, while neat looking really has no place to go on him, unless you carefully balance it on Fang-Or.  Finally, being a mechanic, he comes with tools.  The wrench and hammer all have snake designs incorporated into the tools,  The screwdriver does not, but it is just a screwdriver. They are all panted gold with brown handles.

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Fang-Or’s accessories.  Missing is the screwdriver, because it fell out of the package and I didn’t notice it until later.
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You can get his pet snake to balance on his shoulders, if you are careful.

 

Overall, this is a great initial set from Super7.  The figures look great  I didn’t have joints that were too loose or tight and my paint apps were spotless.  The weakest figure, in my opinion is Hawke, because of the minimal detail on her.  That can be chalked up to her design, since it was based on the Filmation version.  Hawke could have been in either line (Collector’s Choice or Club Grayskull and not be too out of place.  The best was Fang-Or, despite being the newest character and not having a previously known backstory.  He is still an awesome looking figure and we can always use more Snakemen to fill King Hiss’ ranks.

Both Master of the Universe sets (Collector’s Choice and Club Grayskull) waves were preorder only, which means you can only find these figures on reseller websites or eBay.  Expect to pay extra for those figures.  The preorder for the second wave ended mid-March, with a expected delivery date of late Fall.  A third line is planned but will no be announced until the summer at the earliest and not available for preorder until some time after the announcement.

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Why aren’t the Avionian women as hairy as the men? Almost like they use the same logic as the WoW races (males ugly, females hot.)

This Review is for entertainment purposes only.  I have not received any payment for this review. All opinions are mine and any pictures taken are for review purposes only.

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Anime Review: A Certain Magical Index (Series)

Hello.  Once again I dive into a topic that I like, but I really have little knowledge about:  anime.  I look into various series that I have watched, either recently or a while ago, and give my take on them.  I will also look into aspect that arise from cultural differences from Japan and the West, as well as any “WTF” content that may be in the anime.

A Certain Magical Index is a series based on a Japanese light novel of the same name.  The anime was produced by J.C. Staff and released by NBC/Universal Japan (formerly Genon.)  There are two seasons of 24 episodes each along with a movie continuation.  It is licensed in North America by Funimation is available subtitled on Cruncyroll and dubbed on Funimation Now streaming services.

The story is set in a fiction Japanese city called Academy City.  It is a place were students with special powers (called ESPers) go to live, go to school and learn how to best use their power.  In this universe, special abilities like, telepathy, teleportation and electromagnetism are real and scientifically explainable.  Students are tested to see if they have the potential to be an ESPer.  If they do, Academy city trains them and assigns them levels, with the highest being Level 5.  Some, however, have the potential but never tap into those powers.  They are Level 0.  Our protagonist, Touma Kamijo, is one of them.

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Touma is well, meaning, likeable but just can’t catch a break.

Touma Kamijo is a typical anime high schooler, in the regards that bad and embarrassing things tend to happen to him.  Constantly late, forgetting his homework or embarrassing himself in front of the opposite sex, you’d almost think that bad luck was his super power.  Despite being labeled as a Level 0, Touma actually has a powerful ability; with his right hand, he can cancel out any super power.  Whether it touching someone using an ability, touching an object, or cancelling out an attack, he can disrupt the powers of other ESPers.  Unfortunately it cannot cancel out his own dumb luck, and that’s how he runs into Index.

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Index may be mean to Touma from time to time, but she is helpful and she likes him very much.

 

Index is a young nun from the English Puritan Church.  In her head she has 103,000 magical tomes, called the Index Liborium Prohibitorum, giving her access to all sorts of magical abilities.  When she mets Touma, she is on the run from fellow wizards from the Church.  Touma finds out that magic is real, that Academy City is at odds with the various magical Churches, and that his right hand can disrupt magic as it does the “scientific” ESPer abilities.  Touma takes Index in, reluctantly becoming her guardian and becoming more involved in the intrigue between the magic community and Academy City.

Throughout both seasons, Touma deals with the various churches. Caught in a war between the English Church and the Roman Orthodox Church, he fights off bloodthirsty nuns and various magical agents.  He also prevents various magical attacks against Academy City.  That’s not to say Academy City does not have its dark side.  In one story arc, he finds himself caught up in an experiment using one Level 5 ESPer, Accelerator, killing off clones of another Level 5 to reach the next level.  With the help of the girl who was cloned, Mikoto Misaka, they try to stop the experiment and save the clones, who are not the hollow, emotionless dolls that the experimenters believe them to be.  It is definitely an actioned-packed anime.

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Mikoto Misaka is a Level 5 “Railgun” and is one of the more interesting supporting character. Think she’ll get a spin-off?

The subtitled and dubbed version are equally good.  The translated subtitles are easy to follow and won’t leave you confused.  The dub is well done too, with the voice actors portraying the characters well.  There is no time in which you think the voice doesn’t sound right.  I think that the Crunchyroll version is a bit censored, which is often the case on that service.

As it is an anime set in Japan, it follows that the setting would reflect normal Japanese life as much as possible.  While the city is a bit futuristic and the buildings look like more modern cities,  there are still some uniquely Japanese aspects.  Bath houses (not seedy ones), vending machine serving hot drinks in a can and Japanese  shrines are all present.  The school runs 5 and a half days like in Japan and they go to school until the end of July.  None of this is jarring as you know it’s a Japanese show.

In this anime, however, the Western churches are sued as adversarial, in not downright evil organizations.  Given the setting of the anime having magic and super science, the Churches are  placed on the magic side.  They have different, yet similar names to their real world counterparts .  Although the English church is called the Puritan Church, they have nuns, which the real Puritan do not have (or magic for that matter, but, I’m sure you got that) so it is more similar to the Anglican Church, in that respect.  The Roman Orthodox Church is based on the Roman Catholic Church, an organization with its own secrets.  I am not sure if the changes to the name were done for the anime proper, or just the subtitled and dubbed versions.  In any case, some with religious sensitivities may be offended.

The WTF factor: Low-Medium As I said before, Toma has bad like, and that sometimes translates into getting in embarrassing moments with the opposite sex.  Whether it’s bursting in on Index changing, running face first into the boson of a Busty villain or inadvertently getting a peak up the skirt of a Misaka clone, these are fan service-y moments that you find in anime.  Add to that is the fact all the girls he runs into seem to develop a crush on him.  This includes Index, who, although her age is 15, looks younger.  There is some partial nudity, however and such scenes are short and played for humour.

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This is as fan servicey as it gets.

A Certain Magical Index was one of those animes that I hear of but never really looked into it.  I had a passing knowledge of its spin-off, “A Certain Scientific Railgun,” but only due to some merchandise that I saw.  Overall, I am glad I gave this one a chance. All 48 episodes and the movie are available on anime streaming services Crunchyroll and Funimation Now.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only.  I have not received any payment for this review. All opinions are mine and any pictures taken are for review purposes only.

 

 

 

Anime Review: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (aka Star Blazers 2199)

Note:  Hi.  I am trying something new to increase my number of posts and get more practice writing.  With a lot of streaming services out there offering anime, I have been watching quite a bit of it.  I seen shows that I haven’t seen in years, ones that I’ve heard of but never got around to watch and some that are new to me.  So, I will feature some of the ones I have watched and do a review going over the art style, storyline, dub (if it is dubbed) and overall feel.  I will also look at what I call the WTF factor; aspect of the anime that may raise and eyebrow or cause you to ask “WTF did I just watch?”  Our first subject is a remake of an anime that I have known about for years.

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Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (or Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199) is an 2012 Sci-Fi anime series by AIC and Xebec studios.  It is based on the original 1974 T.V. anime series Space Battleship Yamato, which was dubbed and edited for the West and renamed Star Blazers.  The series is 26 episodes long.  The series is dubbed by Funimation and is currently being serialized on their streaming service, Funimation Now, which new episodes being released on Thursday.  It is also on Crunchyroll with in Japanese with English Subtitles, with the series being released at the same rate as Funimation.

The series takes place in the year 2199.  The Earth is at war with a and advanced militaristic race called the Gamilons.  They had destroyed all of Earth defences and, using radioactive planet bombs, destroyed the surface of the earth, driving the survivors underground.  But not all is lost.  A message from the distant planet Iscandar offers help to restore the planet to life.  Included in the message was the plans for a ship that can traverse the great distance between the planets and fight off the Gamilons.  But the UN could only build one ship in time and, for reasons, build it to resemble and ancient Japanese battleship from World War 2, the Yamato.

With the ship build, its crew set out on the perilous journey through intergalactic space.  The crew includes Captain Okita, a man who puts his mission first before his own health; Tactical Officer Susumu Kodai,  a brash young pilot whose brother served under Okita and in whose memory he joins the mission; and  radio and sensor operator Yuki Mori, a woman missing her past.  Together with te rest of the crew they set out on the perilous journey to Iscandar.  Time is not on their side as they have to travel 168, 000 light years to Iscandar and back in only one year, or else the Earth will die.

Star Blazers (as the English dubbed is called, like with the original series) is a space opera, science fiction anime, similar to series like Robotech and the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise.  The series has a serious tone, with the threat of war and it’s consequences being a central theme.  The ship gets damaged, machine fail, space fighters run out of ammo and not everyone makes it back alive (though mostly faceless extras.)  The Yamato does have its all-powerful McGuffin plot device, the wave motion engine, which powers the ship and gives her the ability to fend of waves on Gamilon ships and make the long journey through space.

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Lt Kaoru Niimi is one of the female crew members added to the series.

The art style is excellent.  It looks modern, but is still harken back to the original anime’s designs.  The original series was directed by manga artist Leiji Matsumoto, famous for the Space Pirate Captain Harlock series, so you can see how the ship design for the Yamato (a WW2 battleship) influenced the ship design in Harlock (17th century pirate ship…in space!)  The remake keeps that design, updating so that the ship is larger and only made to look like the Yamato as camouflaged for before it was launched.  The crew of the Yamato is more varied than the original, with a third of the crew being female (Yuki was the only female crew member in the original) with most with speaking roles being all new characters, with only the character of Akira Yamamoto  being gender-bent into a woman in this version.  The Gamilons, the Nazi-esque enemies in the series also were updated, with only those with blue skin being the “pure , true Gamilons, with the others of different skin tones and features, bring races subservient to the Gamilons but still as loyal.

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Pure Gamilons are blue-skinned.

The writing also gives us a better look at the Gamilons.  There are more scenes showing their leader Dessler, interacting with his subordinates.  While most of them are arrogant and looking to please Lord Dessler to advance their own careers, we see some of them in a more sympathetic light.  Some are fathers and husbands, some make the hard choice between duty and family.  Some even express their understanding on why the Earth and Gamilons are at war, causing some of the Yamato crew to realize Earth is not without blood on their hands.  But over all, the Gamilons are still a conquering race, driven by their own self-importance to consider the cost of their actions.

Still there are a lot of similarities’ with the original series.  In fact, there are episodes that are pretty much retellings of ones from the original series.  The fourth episode, “Grave Marker on an Icefield” follows a similar plot to the original series’ “Space Destroyer Yukikaze Sleeps in the Ice Field” or ‘Paladin Rest in a vast icefield” in the Starblazers version.  The major differences are the inclusion of the female medic, Makoto Harada on the mission (the original only had Kodai, Mori and the robot Analyzer) and the introduction of the robot Gamilon troops (one of which plays a big part in a later, orignal episode.  Truthfully, it has been over 35 years since I’ve seen an episode of the original Starblazers, so this is all new to me again, but is seems there is a good balance between honouring the original and telling a new story.

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The uniforms for the female crew members tend to flatter their form. Apparently, in the Medical wing, pants are optional.

WTF Factor: Low.  Now, with cartoons imported from Japan, there will be some cultural differences.  Different aspect of their culture, like holidays and beliefs will pop up and that is to be expected.  Space battleship Yamato 2199 doesn’t really have this issue (at least not with what I’ve seen so far as of episode 14).  Despite the addition of more females to the cast there has not been much of a romantic sub, those both Yamamoto and Mori showing interest in Kodai.  And there hasn’t been much in the way of fan service in this version (the original had a plot of Analyzer being in love with Yuki Mor, flipping her skirt and even confessing his love (this was cut from the Star Blazers version).  While there is a scene with Yamamoto and Yuki Mori in the communal bath (again, a common thing in Japanese culture), any nudity is avoided and the most salacious thing we get is a bit of lower side boob from Yuki.  If anything can be called fan service, it is that all the female characters wear body suits.  While the male uniforms have tunics and pants, the women are all in tight, form-fitting body suits with the only exceptions being Makoto’s nurse uniform with a skirt (or is it a long tunic?) and stockings and Yamamoto’s bomber jacket and flight suit.  Still this is not played up for fan service, with the only exception I can think of is a shot of Yuki descending a ladder behind Kodai in episode 14 (and I think she was flirting with him.)

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Ass shot!

Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is a great science fiction anime that hold up well for a Western audience.  Older folks like me who watch the series will get a kic out of this new version.  For those new to the series, I think you will find it an intriguing anime with a memorable storyline.  The series is done in Japan, but there is already a sequel retelling the second season of the original being streamed in Japan.  Here is hoping we see that sometime in the near future.

Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is currently on the Funimation and Crunchyroll streaming services with 14 episodes released and new ones released every Thursday.

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Yet the front side being open is okay?

PS4 Review: Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash

Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash is a third person action shooter developed by Tamsoft (through Honey Parade Games) and published by Marvelous and XSEED Games.  It is a PS4 exclusive and the second Senran Kagura game on that system.  It follows the events in last years Senran Kagura: Estival Versus but is more of a spin-off than part of the Versus series.  It is rated M for Mature.

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The not-so-mysterious Miss R and Mister K

 

Peach Beach Splash finds the girls of the Senran Kagura series transported to a mysterious island.  There, they are greeted by two familiar-looking hosts, Ms R and Mister K (Hebijo/Crimson Squad master Rin and Hanzo instructor Kiriya in disguise).  They tell the girls they are to participate in an ancient Shinobi tradition:  a water gun tournament called Peach Beach Splash, or PBS.  The winners will receive whatever they wish for.  All four groups agree to participate to find out the real purpose of PBS, and why Rin and Kiriya are wearing those ridiculous outfits.

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Ninja girls having water fights in bathing suits?  Why not?

 

The roster for the game is robust.  It includes all the girls from the four schools (Hanzo, Gessen, Hebijo, and Homura’s Crimson Squad.  Ayame, the shop girl playable as DLC in the last game, also joins the Hanzo Squad.  Rin can be unlocked as well as Daidoji, along with the Mikagura sisters, Ryoki, and Jasmine from Estival Versus.  Former DLC characters Naraku and Kagura are also unlockable in the main game.  Also include right off the bat are characters from the Japan-only mobile phone game, Senran Kagura :New Wave:  Souji, Leo and Yuyaki.

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Yuyaki from New Wave G Burst.

 

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Enemies come in various forms.

 

The gameplay is pretty straight forward.  You control a character a group of up to six girls and battle groups of grunts, robots and other teams using water guns.  The water guns come in a variety of styles, such as pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, gatling guns,water bazookas, water grenade launchers and  shower heads.  Each weapon has its strength and drawbacks, like range, strength, clip size and reload times.

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You equip these cards for special attacks or bonuses.  Some of the artwork is…intersting.

 

Unlike the Versus series and the 3DS Senran Kagura games, there is no shinobi transformation or magic.  Instead, you get special abilities from cards you collect by winning battles.  You equip the cards in your character and activate them in battle using the D-Pad  These cards can affect your character’s stats, such as health, accuracy and clip size.  They can also activate a special attack, like flames, lightning or poison that will affect you enemy.  Other cards that can be earned are weapons.  Each Faction has their own effect cards with their girls on them.  Sometimes you will get higher ranking cards, depending on how well you did, the level you played or the difficulty.  You only need one type of each card however and you will get a lot of doubles.

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The doubles have a purpose, however.  You can trade them in for points to level up you cards, weapons of you characters.  Each card gives you a certain amount of experience points, depending on the rarity of the card (From Common to Ultra Rare).  You can use the points to upgrade your favourite girl to give her an edge in battle.

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Humiliate and disrobe opponents in Splash Mode

 

As you beat the other girls in the game, you get an opportunity to initiate  the Splash Mode.  Using a rubber duck squirt gun you target the fallen girl’s head chest or butt to humiliate them.  Score enough before the time runs out and her top or bottom will pop off.  Of course, lights protect their modesty.  Note that, no matter the outfit the character was wearing, they revert to the default white bikini for this mode.

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The strategic lighst keeps things rated M

 

The single player mode have three options.  You have the main story, Single Splash, which follows the PBS storyline: Paradise Episodes, which you unlock through playing the main game, featuring one or multiple characters in a five level arc; and the V-Road Challenge, which you battle different teams to win the tournament.  There is multiplayer, which has Co-Op survival, , Ranked matches for the online ranking system and free matches in which the host can set the rules.

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Each group has their own story.

 

Like the other Senran Kagura games, you have a shop and a dressing rooms to explore.  The Shop have various hairstyles, outfits and card packs, amongst other things, for you to buy.  New items are unlocked by playing through the various modes of the game.  The Dressing room is where you can customize the girls’ outfits.  All the default costumes are white, two piece swim suits but you can change it to their individual swimsuits from Estival Versus.  You can also dress them in their school uniforms and shinobi outfits along with outfits that you buy.  These outfits get shredded as you take damage in the game, like in the regular games.  There are also outfits that become transparent as you get them wet.  The default one is a t-shirt over a bikini and other one can be bought at the store.  There are also accessories as in the other games to be used or bought.  No balloons, though that may be DLC.

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Have fun in Diorama mode!

 

Of course, the popular Diorama mode comes back, with various settings and poses available to create your perfect scene.  Outfits can be set to be ripped or wet, depending on the outfit.  You can also adjust the characters head position and even their size.  The pervy mode is back too, now in a separate section called Intimate Mode.  You can look at, rotate and zoom in on your chosen girl.  You can also grab them, poke them and do really…unacceptable-in-polite-society things to them, which, for some reason, increases their Like meter and enables you to go in for a kiss.  You can also get a good look at the wet cloth physics by spraying the girls with water to get wet drenched.  You can even change the colour of the water by buying different  duck guns in the store.  I didn’t see a yellow colour, thank God…

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Those wandering hands are back.  Again THIS IS NOT HOW TO GO ABOUT MAKING GIRLS LIKE YOU IN REAL LIFE!!!!

 

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Get her wet…with water!  Get you mind out of the gutter!

 

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Some outfits become transparent when wet.

 

There is actually a story in all of this, but it is not as deep as Estival Versus.  During the story for each faction, the girls deal with a conflict with in the group such as Ikaruga realizing graduation will mean leaving her friends and Murasaki getting jealous when her sister, Imu, pays more attention to Miyabi.  The story is fine, but not deep enough to balance out Katsuragi’s groping obsession and Ryona and Ryobi’s…interesting family dynamic.  But, it is what you would expect from a Senran Kagura game.

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The last Hejibo mission has you fight a giant Ryona, echoing the battle in the Estical Versus OVA.

 

The thing you expect is fan service and PBS has that in spades.  In fact, the game is built around the wet cloths physics that was created for Estival Versus.  The outfits combined with either the ripping or the see-thru when wet mechanics is definitely front and center.  I will state that I like this series because it is a little naughty.  My complaint that I have with the other Senran Kagura games still stands with this one:  some of the girls look too young.  Mirai is the one I most have a problem with, though her default bathing suit is modest.  But, with the Splash mode, she is on a two piece like the other girls.  At least the girls are not hacking each other and fighting with swords, knifes and guns.  Well, they do use water guns , but at leat they aren’t trying to kill each other.

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Packs like these will contain a least on rare card

 

There is a lot of DLC coming out for this game.  This comes in the form of new outfits, weapons, accessories and cards.  In fact, the FIrst Week DLC bundle cost over $73 Canadian.  The DLC most are interested in though, are the guest characters.  In Japan, they got Ayane, Honoka and Marie Rose from Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, Ikki Tousen, with Sonsaku, Kan’u, Ryofu and, my favourite, Ryomu, and Super Sonico, the busty, pink-haired girl from the anime, Super Sonico and the game Communication With Sonico.  No North American Release datehas been confirmed, but if the Ikki Tousen girls come over, they will probably have their Chinese names.  Super Sonico may have an issue depending on the publishing rights Nitro+ has with JAST USA.

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Ayame joins the main cast for Hanzo.

 

Overall, this is a fun game.  It is nice to see a new game in the series come out so soon after the last one and even better that the localization was fast enough to have a worldwide release within six month of the Japanese release.  With a remake of Senran Kagura Burst coming for the PS4 in 2018, Peach Beach Splash will tide us over until the eventual English release.  It is good to see the series thriving after six years.  It might be a few more years until the next chapter in theses girls’ story, but it will be interesting to see what direction they will take.

3/5

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Soapy!

 

 

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Naraku is one of my favourites

 

 

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Oh, Kat.  Never change…

 

 

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Subscription Box Review- DC Legion of Collectors: Batman: the Animated Series

I just got the latest DC Legion of Collectors subscription box from Funko today.  This month’s theme is Batman: the Animated Series, the modern classic that kicked off a wave of superhero cartoons that prized good storytelling over selling toys.   I have been looking forward to this box so lets takae a look.

IMG_1746The box features the silhouette of the Penguin (from his 1997 redesign when the series was revived on the WB) done in blue.  The box is rather large this month.  Other than that, it is just a box.

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Opening the lid, you can see the box’s interior is decorated with art done in the DC Animated Universe style, which Batman: The Animated Series started.

On the top flap are the pin and patch, as always.  The patch features the Joker (in his original design for the series).  As you can see, it is a nice looking patch.  The pin features Catwoman (again in her original design) on top of a diamond-shaped background.

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Under the flap we have the comic book.  It is a reprint of The Batman Adventures #1, which tells stories in the style and set in the BTAS universe.  This was originally published in 1992 and I remember actually having this issue.  It is a self contained story written by Kelley Puckett with art by Ty Templeton and Rick Burchett.

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The T-Shirt this time features a Pop version of the Batman the Animated Series logo.  Done in black, white and red, it looks awesome on the black t-shirt.  I think I have a new favourite shirt.

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Next is the Pop!  We get a Mr Freeze pop vinyl, which was the most requested pop for the BTAS pop line.  Mr Freeze’s colours are cartoon accurate and even has a dome over his head.  The body is well done, if in the standard pop stance, but there is some nice detail with his gun, and the tank on his back.  This definitely the Pop to have for any Batman fan.

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Finally, we get to… the Dorbz Ridez?.  We get a Dorbz Batman along with a little Batmobile for him to ride in.  The Batman can be taken out of the Batmobile easily enough, but the tires to not roll.   I think it is great.  I like Dorbz well enough, it is just I am running out of room with my Pops and this…this isn’t helping.  Oh, the trial of being a collector…

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He looks too happy. Alfred must’ve made cookies.

That is all for this box.  There was a lot of awesome stuff this month.  My favourite has to be the T-shirt, though.  The next DC Legion of Collectors box ships late August and will feature DC’s Most Wanted, centering on the villains.  If you wish to get the next box, you can subscribe at https://legionofcollectors.com/ .  The deadline is 1 August 2017.  By subscribing, you can order boxes from previous months like this one. (supplies are limited.)

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This Review is for entertainment purposes only.  I have not received anything from Funko, DC, or Warner Bros for doing this review.  The item was purchased with my own funds.  All opinions are mine and any pictures taken are for review purposes only.

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Subscription Box Review- DC Legion of Collectors- Superman- Mar 2017

Once again, Funko has shipped out the next box in its DC Legion of Collectors line.  After January’s DC Legacy, Funko has narrowed the scope down to one superhero; in fact arguably the first “superhero.”  This month’s box presents the Man of Steel, Superman.  Let’s get into it.

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We see the standard box here, with a silhouette of Superman featured prominently on the box, with his S-Shield visible.  Not much to see here.

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Inside the box, the inside has comic panels featuring Superman in various action poses.  I can’t really tell whose art this is.  I want to go with John Byrne for some of them, maybe Dan Jurgens as well.  The art gives me a post 1986 vibe to it, with the size of the S-shield.  I could be wrong, though.

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Now to the actual content.  Here we see the standard pin and patch.  The patch has the classic “It’s a bird!  It’s a Plane!” line from the comics (can’t they tell?). and the pin has Superman and the Legion of Collectors logo.

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Under the flap we have a comic.  It is a reprint of Superman issue 1 from 1939 (not to be confused with issue 1 from 1986, 2001, or 2016).  This issue itself was a reprint when it first came out, reprinting the first Superman story from Action Comics #1.  So it is a reprint of a reprinted story.  No other story from that issue was included, but you do get the Pop! cover, which is nice, I guess.

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The shirt is next.  We get a light blue shirt featuring a Pop! Superman flying from the Daily Planet.  As always the shirts are super soft and is done well.  There is no variant with this month’s shirt.

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Next is a Funko Pop! key chain.  This little Superman is in a flying pose.  I have seem the Pop! key chains around but I have never gotten one before.  It is now my default key chain for my car keys.

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The next item is my favourite item in the box.  We get another 3 3/4 Funko DC action figure.  This one is of Superman as he first appeared in Action Comics #1.  The front of the card features the iconic art from that issue with Superman smashing a gangster’s car.  The back also features art, but not from this issue, but from one from the silver age that I assume would be featured on the Superdickery.com website (seriously, he can be a dick sometimes!).  I like these figures, having two Suicide Squad figures from a box last year and two more from retail.  Funko, I want more.

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Superman being a dick to Lois to “teach her a lesson.”

 

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Finally we get to the Pop!  To no one’s surprise, the pos is of Superman in is classic outfit.  The body sculpt is all new, with a more dynamic pose than previous Superman Pop Vinyls.  He stands really well and looks awesome.  The way the cape is hanging off to the side is a nice touch.

So, considering the theme, there was no real surprise that everything in here was Superman.  Some have suggested it would be nice to get a Lois or a Jimmy Olson (Turtle Boy version!)  But maybe in a future Friends of Superman box?.  I love the action figures and having figure of Superman as he first appeared is awesome.  I am not disappointed in this box.  It promised Superman and it delivered.

That’s it for this time.  The next Legion of Collectors box will be shipping in early May 2017.  The next theme is Wonder Woman, based on her upcoming movie.  You can subscribe at https://legionofcollectors.com/ in order to get your box.  The deadline is 1 May 17.  Subscribers can order any of the previous boxes, but supplies are limited.

Subscription Box Review- Marvel Collectors Corps Spider-Man Box

I got an surprise email from the fine folks at Smuggler’s Bounty a few week back.  It said that, due to my loyalty and sticking with the sub for over a year, they were going to send me a box from one of the other Funko subscriptions for free.  My first thought was, “Yeah, I like free.” but them it turned to “Oh I hope is isn’t one of the DC boxes I already have.!”  But I lucked out and got one from their other superhero subscription box, the Marvel Collector’s Corp.  I received the Spider-Man box from last August (didn’t think they send me the latest box, anyways), which came last week.  Let us take a look at the contents.

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The mailer box is a brown box with the Marvel Collector Corps logo and the month’s theme clearly labelled on it.  You get a picture of Spider-Man’s mask on top in full colour.  The box is nicer than the DC Legion of Collector’s box in that regard.

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Opening the box, we see the patch and pin for the month.  No surprise the patch has Spidey’s face and the pin is of his spider symbol.  They both look nice and is what we have come to expect from Funko.

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Underneath that flap we get to the rest of the goodies.  First is this comic, a reprint of The Amazing Spider-Man (the latest run, cover dated October 2016, so released in July 16) and is the prologue of the Dead No More story line which they bring back…dead characters.  That happens a lot in Spider-Man books, in particular.  I still think it was cheap for them to bring back Aunt May all those years ago (let her and her wheat cakes rest in peace!)  If you don’t follow Spider-Man or haven’t check in in a while, you may be lost (yes, May married J. Jonah Jameson’s father so he and Pete are step-brothers and Peter’s is like Tony Stark rich) so good luck to you.

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Next is another of Funko’s Pop! Tops.  This grey and blue baseball cap features a Funko-ized Spider-Man logo.  It is adjustable so it should fit up to the most massive of heads.  The underneath of the visor even has a pattern of Marvel and Pop! logos on a red background.

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Next we get a Funko Frabrikations.  These dolls are done in the Pop style with the large heads and small bodies.  The head can rotate and the bottom of the feet are flat so they can stand up unassisted.  They are made pretty sturdy, too.  They are a bit large, so they would tower over your pops.

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Finally we get to the Pop!, which is. surprise surprise, of Spider-Man.  Forgoing the typical Pop! pose, Spidey is posed as he is jumping, ready to spin a web.  He has a clear stand that attacks to his back to keep in up.  He is also a bobble head.

There you have it.  I like all of the Funko boxes that I have got and the Marvel one is just as great.  I am trying to spend less lately, though I probably won’t be getting another sub ( I have a hard enough time letting one of my other subs go!).  But I would wholeheartedly recommend this subscription to Marvel and pop vinyl fans.

The next Marvel Collector Corp box will ship in February 2017.  The new theme will be Super Hero Showdown.  You can subscribe by going to https://www.collectorcorps.com/ .  The deadline is 15 Feb 17.  Subscribers can order any of the previous boxes, but supplies are limited.  I hope you enjoy this review.