Friday 23 December 2011

1/8 Buddy (Alter)

I underestimated Buddy. I got her because she was a good deal and because she was an Alter. I figured she would eventually gain in worth and I could profit off her. It was a purely utilitarian purchase.

Then something strange happened. I began taking pictures, and they were all beautiful. A light sprung forth in my mind, as I experienced a small ephiphany. Oh my god, SHE'S beautiful, I realized. Then I felt like a douche for not seeing it before. How had I not realized it before?

As a character from an eroge game, I suppose beauty is really a necessity (that, or big booty). Buddy's effortless elegance is truly a sight to behold. I've never heard of Voices from Har Megiddo, but I assume it's full of sexy fun times. I should really try one of these eroge games one day, you know, as research.

After watching the opening, I was surprised to realize Buddy is probably a minor, antagonistic character. I assumed she was a lead, considering she's the first of the series to get a figure. Nevertheless, Alter made a good choice in immortalizing her. Buddy is clearly one of the more attractive girls in the game, other than perhaps the blue-haired, spear-wielding warrior woman in white who she's seen fighting.

Suich and I had the pleasure of unwrapping Buddy's box together. As I carelessly tossed packing paper aside, Suich glanced over.

"That's a nice box," she said.

"Eh," I said eloquently.

I always preferred simple boxes, and Buddy's box embodies everything simple. It sports a pink-black gradient, silhouettes of cogs, and very little else. It is quite attractive, and faithful to Buddy's colour scheme.

Let's take a moment here to ponder the absurdity of Buddy's name. Poor girl, no wonder she falls in with a bad crowd. Must have been teased as a child. Let this be a lesson, future parents. Nothing good can come out of a "special" name.

Buddy is relatively static for an Alter figure. I'm not sure what's she's trying to do with her scythe other than lift it. She has a "Ooh my god, this scythe is like SO heavy!" pose, but I'm sure that's not what she's meant to convey. Let's just assume she's preparing to swing. The scythe is more shaded than I initially thought it would be. For that, I'm glad. I like my weaponry like I like my women—beautiful and metallic (What? Nevermind).

I'm not too pleased by Buddy's base. It's bright and cheap. The pattern has aesthetic potential, but the presentation is all wrong. I wish Alter just stood her on a big, metallic cog. It would be less distracting than a chunk of red plastic.

Thankfully, Buddy can balance without her base, so you can discard that unworthy piece of polymer.

Buddy herself photosgraphs like magic. Alter managed to capture her cool exterior perfectly. I never expected her to turn up so graciously in pictures (despite the cornucopia of brilliant Buddy shots out there). Where really isn't a bad angle on her. Ah, the gift of being beautiful. Must be nice.

Buddy's pink hair and dark purple dress complement each another spectacularly. The dress clearly isn't as dark as it's portrayed in pictures, but I don't mind much. The slight tilt of her head gives her just a touch of attitude, not enough to make her seam sassy, but enough to radiate confidence.


When I pulled Buddy from her plastic confines, Suich looked her over and said, "Her face is ok."

In a spurt of nondescript flubbery, I said, "S'alright."

It's more than s'alright. I was really wondering why the first thing she noticed was her face rather than, say, her lack of pants, but it's not a surprise that her face calls for attention. After all, it's her emotionless expression that gives her life (oh, an oxymoron). Her ambiguous gaze is clearly a product of design. What is she thinking? No one knows. It adds to her mystery. What I see is calm, calculated appraisel. She's computing the perfect angle to optimize her attack. I can just feel it. Is there a touch of disdain too? Perfect.

Nothing sexier than an ice-cold killing machine. 

So cold...
If you look carefully, you'll see the glisten they added to her lips.

The slightest change in angle seems to change her expression. It's a real art.

When I contemplated buying Buddy, I had a moment of crisis over her dress. I liked her top but hated her bottom. Thank goodness I got over my doubt and ordered her. I would have missed out on a beautiful figure otherwise.

From the waist up, Buddy looks amazing. Her upper half radiates an elegant, "dark priest" feel. The flare of her dress, the cut of her collar, the faintly religious feel throughout, all falls together to create a sexy, alluring whole. Even her puffy sleeves, which were a deterrant at first, slowly grew on me. Now they fall into the cagetory of lovable idiosyncracy, like a fish that swims upside-down, or a potty-mouthed granny.

Up close, Buddy's dress is not as dull as I initially feared. I was worried about the depth of her paint job, but her shading was actually quite satisfactory. While I'm on the subject, I'm obligated to mention Alter's excellent paint quality. This is more tautological than anything. Alter excels at paint jobs. Clean lines, solid colour, high paint quality. Lovely. Kosher.

Her folds are scrupulous. I love how the dress is sculpted to look stiff, like it's tough rather than silky.

Unfortunately, what could be said about Buddy's top doesn't translate to her bottom. Her leggings and undergarnments are dismally bland. While I'm a fan of garters, Buddy's lookstrange. Strange and plain. No belts, no lace, no decoration whatsoever. I would have been happier with the leggings if Alter included some discreet folds, or even a few rips, but no such sculpt occurs.

It's also a mystery why Buddy's creators didn't pair her with a spanking pair of sexy knee-highs rather than the ankle-boots she has now. Certainly her design suffers for it. She has too much legging and not enough boot. It was almost enough to turn me away from the figure—almost.

So much little shoes...
Looking in less appropriate regions, you'll find Buddy wears prosaic black underwear. Dull as a doorknob. You'd expect a girl from an eroge game to don something sexier (stuff you wanna peel off with your teeth), but Buddy's panties are wholly unassuming. There's nothing wrong with black underwear, per se, but paired with the overabundance of stocking, her lower regions are truly bromidic.

On the bright side, Buddy has a cute butt. You can't really see it, but that makes it all the more tantalizing. She has such shapely thighs. Makes me want to spank something...

When I first laid eyes on Buddy, I was unimpressed by her hair. I thought, surely, the straight, long-haired anime girl is overdone. It's been sculpted to death. It's generic and uninteresting. Right?

Wrong. Long, straight hair never goes out of fashion, because beautiful things never die (don't quote me on this).

Dozens of anime girls share this hairstyle, but Buddy is saved by her unique corkscrew locks. The sculpt of her hair is not overly dynamic, but plays beautifully into Buddy's restrained pose. Everything about her hints at restraint, from her nondescript facial expression to the very slight cock of her hips. Suich seems to especially like the underside of her hair. Me? It's all about the corkscrews, baby.

Buddy's hair has discreet shading, and by "discreet" I mean it's not really noticeable unless you're looking for it. It has a slight gradient effect throughout and isn't as as deep as I would like it to be. Thankfully, it's compensated by sculpt, which allows for spectacular shadow-play.

You could open wine bottles with those corkscrews.
I can find only two overt faults in Buddy. First of all, Alter pulled a GSC, and decided to shade her seam line. Why? All common sense points to making the seam as inconspicuous as possible. I assume Alter had a brain-fart and dropped the ball on this one.

Secondly, her ribbon looks glued to her head. There are no apparent pull lines indicating her ribbon is actually tied into her hair. It's like the creators took a look at her, went "Hmm, too much like a bowling ball," and randomly added a ribbon. It clings to her head with all the appeal of a fridge magnet. Don't get me wrong, I love the ribbon. I just want a bit more tension where it connects.

Jenn: Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the most detailed of them all?

Mirror: Why are you asking me? I'm an inanimate object.

Jenn: I placed unreasonable expectations on you, sir.

Mirror: Damn straight.

After all, the question is redundant. Everyone knows the answer is Alter. How the painters managed to stencil such detail (I assume it must be stencil work) boggles my mind. Buddy may not be the fanciest of Alter works, but she has her fair share of pint-sized treasures.

Collar test: Pass
Some figures need the doubt of distance to look good.

Thankfully, Buddy looks good from a distance and up close. The meticulous work put into her outfit makes her a delight to behold. The little gems on her coat are true gifts. They're so small I completely overlooked them in the beginning.

I'm not sure why I wasn't expecting much from Buddy, after all, she embodies elegance and composure. After all, it's hard to be downbeat with a figure that plays so beautifully to the camera. Buddy's not the most amazing Alter figure out there, but there's no doubting her quality. To me, her face is the highlight of this figure. There aren't many girls out there with such a calm, dispassionate gaze.

Buddy is seems small for a 1/8, but she's actually quite proportionate.

Oh my, what's this?

Looks like we have a rivalry forming.

Sorry Buddy, I know you're probably pretty good with that scythe, but my bets are on Dead Master.
Buddy is a sleeper hit with me. I had no interest in her at the time of her release, but now that I have her in my hands, I'm glad I picked her up. Sure, she's not as spectacular or action packed as many of Alter's creations, but there's a steady calm about her that's rare in the world of figures. If asked whether I would sell her today, I would laugh and ask how much you would be willing to pay. I realize that's not much of an answer, but everything in relativity, right? (You can take that as a "no")

Buddy is sold out everywhere, but seems to appear in auctions quite frequently (and at a low price). So if you missed out on your Buddy (pun intended), don't despair. Just play the waiting game and she's bound to show up.

The Run-Down
Box: 7/10 (Surprisingly attractive)
Base: 4/10 (Too bright, looks cheap)
Pose: 7/10 (Relatively static)
Sculpt: 9/10 (Almost perfect, almost)
Paint: 8.5/10 (A bit flat, with a shaded seam line)
Overall: 8.5/10 (She's beautiful overall)

Manufacturor: Alter
Price: 7800 yen
Pruchased from: Yahoo Auctions

With love,

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