Revenge Of The Sabers (And A Creepy Cute Mayo Chiki! Figure)

Saber downpour

Did you take part in the Good Smile Company’s 10th anniversary product request polls last month and asked for more Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay figures? Don’t worry, GSC heard you loud and clear, and will be releasing 10 different Fate figures in the next four months. Happy now? Continue reading »

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Kyouko Sakura Figure And Why The GSC 10th Anniversary Poll Results Are A Letdown

Kyouko Sakura

Today we are going to have a look at the upcoming Madoka Magica Kyouko Sakura figure from Good Smile Company, and then frown upon the fixation of the Japanese figure fandom.

Kyouko Sakura is one of the girls from the popular mahou shoujo series Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Good Smile Company will be releasing 1/8 scale figures of all five girls from the series one by one. The first two will be Kyouko Sakura and Sayaka Miki. Here’s a picture of the whole crew.

Madoka Crew
Gotta catch 'em All!


Kyouko comes with here trusty spear and a taiyaki. You can remove her spear and put her in “taiyaki battle mode”.

Taiyaki Kyouko
A taiyaki? What happened to her signature red apple?

And that’s about it really. Like most Madoka Magica characters Kyouko wasn’t really shown doing anything but fighting or eating and had only a simple outfit so not a lot could be done with her figure. The Kyouko Sakura figure comes out on September this year and can be preordered now.

In other news Good Smile Company has published the results of its 10th anniversary product request polls. These polls were made to gauge which old GSC figure the fans would like to see reissued. There were three polls created for that purpose: A nendoroid poll, a figma poll, and a scale figure poll. Not surprisingly all the polls were choked full of Hatsune Miku cameos, as she is GSC’s most successful product. To be honest it’s a bit annoying to see the basic Hatsune Miku nendoroid being on the 6th place of the nendoroid poll. There are so many variations of this nendoroid on the market. Wouldn’t you prefer to see some Nendoroid Petit reissues? You know, those figures that came only in magazines or limited editions of games? The ones you actually cannot find being displayed in every toy store in Japan already?

But I was anticipating a lot of Hatsune Miku dolls to pop up in those polls. What really let me down was the fourth poll – a poll dedicated to what figure/nendoroid/figma fans would like to see GSC make in the future. This was supposed to be the place where fans go wild and throw original and surprising ideas. Instead the list was full of Fate/Zero characters and more Vocaloids. It also pains me to see that the average fan doesn’t go more than 5 years back for inspiration. Come on people, this was your only chance to ask for something from back in the old days! You could have asked for an awesome Outlaw Star Aisha Clanclan figure or a Serial Experiments Lain nendoroid. Heck, why don’t we throw in a Chrono Trigger figma? And yet people ask for Fate/Zero figma, regardless of them knowing that GSC would have made these things anyway. At least Kino from Kino`s Journey is up there in the scale figure poll. And hopefully GSC will get to her, right after they finish reissuing Saber Lily from Fate/Unlimited Codes, regular Saber from Stay/Night and black-suit Saber from Fate/Zero…

For the full poll results page click here.


So what exactly is Fate/Unlimited Blade Works? (spoiler-free)

With Sentai Filmworks’ latest acquisition of the Fate/Unlimited Blade Works movie the entire line of Fate-related anime adaptations is now licensed in the U.S. In fact it is surprising that this movie wasn’t licensed up until now, considering that the original fate/Stay Night series (released by FUNimation Entertainment between 2006-2008) sold very well in the U.S. Even the obscure fighting game Fate/Unlimited Codes and the generic Fate/Extra made it to the west.
Arguably though, it was Aniplex of America’s decision to release Fate/Zero in the West that prompted Sentai to rise to the challenge and license Fate/Unlimited Blade Works.

But what is this movie really about? Is it a new story that takes place before or after Fate/Stay Night? Is it just a recap movie? Or is it something different altogether?
The answer is simple, and I’m going to provide it without revealing any spoilers. Fate/Unlimited Blade Works is the name of the second route in the Fate/Stay Night game. The original Fate/Stay Night game had three routes, two of which were not available when you started the original game. Upon playing the game for the first time only the initial route was available. This route was named Fate/Stay Night (big surprise here huh). This one plays exactly like the Fate/Stay anime, minus one obscene scene that was replaced by a roaring dragon in the anime…
Upon completing this route you were given the choice to start a new game in which several new optional scenes took place. If you made the appropriate choices during those scenes the story would then branch off from the Fate/Stay route and enter a different route called Fate/Unlimited Blade Works. This route was different from the initial route in three important ways: the outcome of some of the battles between the Servants was different, Shiro (Saber’s novice master) took part in the actual fighting instead of just playing a supportive role, and the story revealed who Archer (Rin’s servant) really is.

So while Fate/Unlimited Blade Works is part of the Fate/Stay Night timeline it is in fact a retelling with enough meat on it to appeal to those who know the original series like the back of their hand. The movie can’t really cram the story of the original Fate/Stay Night route, so those who haven’t see the anime will be lost in terms of plot and characters. This movie is all about battles and revelation regarding characters which you are already supposed to know and care about from previous Fate iterations.


The original game that started it all. Ironically Fate/Stay Night was
never released in the U.S. and has no legal English translation.

But what does the name Unlimited Blade Works mean?
Well, it certainly isn’t meaningless as Stay Night was (seriously, why give the game a name with no in-game meaning?). While the name Unlimited Blade Works has a meaning (and we are still in the spoiler-free zone here folks) it is also a little weird name to begin with. You see…there is no Unlimited Blade that Works. The developers of the game had “difficulties” in translating their thoughts into English. The name actually means Unlimited Bladeworks. Think about clockworks – the inner workings of a mechanical clock. Now replace the clock part with swords and make it work with unlimited swords. What you get is Unlimited Blade Works – a Noble Phantasm that only appears in this route of the game and gives it its name.

And that’s it really. I hope this information answers any question you had about this upcoming release. If, by any chance, you are interested in the third route of Fate/Stay Night…let’s just say you’ll have to play the game in order to see it. The third route is called Heaven’s Feel. Unlike the two earlier routes in the game Heaven’s Feel has zero potential to become an anime due to the fact that it is nothing but a gore fest filled with sex and crawling insects. Whether or not this is exactly what you wanted from the Fate franchise to begin with is none of my business.

Fate/Zero is an anomaly

I’m not immune to the holiday season and like many others have found myself wondering across different online stores looking for those illusive Christmas sales. The Right Stuf! is one of my favorites among those stores, and since it had a “12 days of savings” event in which each day brought a slew of new discounted products I’ve visited it frequently in the last few days. It was during one of these visits in which I encountered a strange sight. As I was scrolling down my web page, which was filled to the brim with discounted goods (some of which sold for less than 10$) I found myself looking at a link to the preorder page for Fate/Zero. This preorder held a hefty $379.98 price tag for non-U.S. costumers which, due to me being accustomed to the low price tags the holiday season brought forth, put me at a loss for words. I did expect Type Moon and Aniplex to make this collectible pack an exclusive expensive product. But this must be a record in greediness.

Let me explain just how this release is different than all those other expensive Japanese market Blu-ray and DVD releases. I’m not a novice when it comes to Japanese market prices. I’ve bought my fair share of Japanese Blu-rays, some of which cost me up to 300$ for a box set of a whole series. But here lies the catch – this upcoming Fate/Zero box set contains only half of the series’ episodes. The second half will cost you another $379.98, which comes to a total of 760$ (tax and shipping expenses for anyone living outside the U.S. not included). To be honest with you, there have been more expensive releases in Japan, the most famous of which being the Card Captor Sakura Blu-ray release. This remastered Blu-ray edition was split into two collections (the Clow Cards act and the Sakura Cards act) each bearing the price tag of 90,000? for a whooping combined price of 180,000?! (This translates to about 2,304$).

The upcoming Fate/Zero Box. Will you be buying it?

So Fate/Zero is not the most expensive piece out there, but I can’t help feeling that all those who buy both Fate/Zero Blu-ray sets will still essentially be missing half a series. Fate/Zero is the prequel to Fate/Stay Night, which was released on Blu-ray in Japan but was never released on Blu-ray in the U.S., and probably never will. Even if it was, will you be willing to pay another 760$ for it? Will you end up paying 120,000? to own a complete set of both Zero and Stay Night?

Fate/Zero is an anomaly – It’s only half a series and is split further into two 1/4 collections. I’m a Fate/Stay fan, but I’m also a conscious consumer, and I call bogus. Price is usually not an issue when it comes to buying a physical copy of your beloved masterpieces. But the sky does have its limits, and most of us aren’t astronaut.

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