Alter: Buddy

Buddy, by Alter, was one of those love at first sight figures for me – I didn’t even hesitate when I clicked on the pre-order button. Maybe it’s the pink hair, or the scythe, or her interesting fashion style but this girl’s so pretty I think I can cry.

Okay, so it’s been quite awhile since I last posted something – it’s about time I got back into the groove. I had a good momentum going before the holidays, but then came the break and a new computer and whole bunch of gaming – well, one thing led to another and before I knew it I’ve become really behind on my reviews. You know what they say about procrastination, right? ;-)

I had Buddy’s photo all prepared back in November but never deployed her review. So why not kick off the New Year with her review, being one of my favourite figures released last year. There’s really not much I can say about Buddy’s background, as I have no idea who she is and I’m not familiar with the series she’s in. All I know is that she is an eroge character from Tier’s review – while I could’ve spent some time doing a little more research on her background, why bother when Tier explained it already perfectly well? XD Yeah, yeah, I know I’m lazy…

You know the saying, “too pretty for porn”? Well, that’s how I feel about this figure – Tier had posted a picture from the eroge (I assume) with Buddy in a rather compromising position. I have to admit, I was a little surprised when I saw that picture, in my mind I was thinking awwwww…

… as I’ve said, I didn’t know anything about Buddy’s background so I purchased her based upon what I saw of her pre-production model. I saw her face sculpt and I was instantly hooked – it’s not the best out there, but I think the sculptor (Otsuyama Houjun) did a pretty good job. I just think she looks really pretty, there’s really no other way to describe it. I think the way her head is tilting slightly has a lot to do with it, it adds quite a bit of body language to the figure. Looking at some of the other figures by the same artist, the head tilting appears to be a common theme, which I definitely have no complaints about. Her facial expression also looks a little serene, slightly deep in thought yet the rest of her body appears as if she’s about to swing that huge instrument of death and take your head off if you look at her the wrong way. But who knows, maybe her character’s a real bitch or that she’s a total slut – but at least you can’t tell by looking at this figure. =P

Lately I’ve been running out of ideas for backgrounds but Buddy was pretty easy due to her colour scheme. I was visiting one of the newly opened Victoria’s Secret stores here in Canada getting a friend’s birthday present and I noticed the pink stripe pattern on some of their packaging. I knew it would fit Buddy well but I had to find some way to replicate that pattern on a larger canvas to accomodate Buddy’s size. I shopped around and happened to come across a pink stripe pattern blanket and voila!

Another reason for my liking Buddy is the pink hair and blue eyes, I just find this colour scheme really complementary, although that’s not exactly the case on a colour wheel, but whatever! Whenever I create a female character in RPG games, I typically create a pink hair blue eyes character. I guess Buddy’s got the makings of my anime dream girl? ^_^’

Buddy’s outfit definitely has a religious feel to it, very Templar-ish with all the crosses and flared sleeves and skirt. But that’s probably a given as the name of the sereies is Har Megiddo (armageddon, end of days, the final battle, hope it’s not in my life time kinda stuff). I can’t be sure if the game even talks about armageddon though – and I think there was an anime series too?

The paint work is excellent, as usual with Alter’s quality – the thin white lines have barely any overlap and are cleanly painted. The ripples of her dress have shading and highlights, which help bring out more detail with minimal lighting. The shading is even and blended well – the actual figure is a bit lighter than what you see here though, I was a little heavy handed with the contrast when I post processed these images. I tend to like a higher contrast image, just one of those weird styles of mine I guess.

The way Buddy’s skirt flares open is part of this figure’s sex appeal, as it reveals her stylish panties and leggings. I’m sure this style of panties has a name, but it escapes me at the moment – although it’s plain black, I find it quite fashionable and suits this figure well. The thinner edges and horizontal style reveals more of her pelvic area with some emphisis on her pelvic bone. To me, it shows off Buddy’s feminine body with more obvious intentions.

What I found a little bit odd though is the placement of her belly button, it seems like it’s sitting a little high. But then again, this could be the result of her long waist and low-cut panty line. The belly button is also a little obscure so sometimes in pictures it’s almost non-existent. The leggins, or what I’m calling leggins anyway, have a garter-like feel to it, although I can’t tell if it’s part of her upper dress like a one piece. There is a bit of an ass sculpt, however, so that’s a plus, but it’s not really something you’ll see unless you’re purposely looking up her dress. I’ll admit I did that, how else am I going to take a picture for the review? :)

There’s a “diamond” like theme with Buddy’s design, from the shape of her “tie” to the edges of her sleeve and skirt. Diamond / crystal like gems are also adorned around her skirt – while it looks really nice, I have fears about handling this figure. It looks like these pieces can easily break off if you look at them the wrong way; so be careful when handling her!

Scythe wielding chicks seem to be pretty popular lately, Xecty EVE, Dead Master, Raira Ria Soreru, Fate, girls from Queens Blade, etc. I was never a fan of scythes, I never really thought of them as a viable weapon – harvesting on the other hand… ^_^’ I prefer a more traditional sword or polearm – but that’s just me. At least most of these girls appear they can handle the scythe well, and most of their scythes aren’t overly exaggerated. Buddy’s scythe is fairly plain, not much detail but Alter did manage to add in touches of shading which makes it look livelier then just a flat gray spray. The dry brushing effect also helps with metallic feel – there’s also a clear crystal ball at the end of the scythe. Sorry about the out of focus image, guess I deleted the good image by accident in my final batch and kept this one. C’est la vie!

The scythe fits fine in Buddy’s hand, but is still somewhat loose and can fall out if you bump it. The pole of the scythe also contorts a little if you don’t angle it properly – good thing Alter provided a little instruction sheet on the correct angle to rotate the scythe.

The shoes remind me of mages shoes for some reason – they just look like something a spell caster would wear and not a scythe wielder. I think Buddy would’ve looked hotter with higher cut boots, maybe even hooker boots. Mmmmm, hooker boots – who can say no to that?

The ribbon on her head is somewhat simple, it begins (or concludes) the colour overture of her outfit depending on how you look at it. But at the same time it also feels a little out of place. Take the bottom left picture, for example, doesn’t that ribbon seem like it’s just floating on the back of her head for no reason? The hair is nicely sculpted though, lots of strands with altering depths – it makes things look a little more lively even if it does block a lot of her back. Speaking of her back, Buddy actually has a fairly nice back sculpt with a nice emphisis on her spine and shoulder blades.

Some figures have an odd phenomenon where no matter how good the figure looks, you can only look at it one way and it gets fairly boring to look at (or take pictures of) in a short time span. The figure may look great, but viewing the figure from different angles just doesn’t feel right – an example would be the recent MegaHouse Klan Klang that I had reviewed. I love Macross and that Klan figure, but no matter what I try, it seemed like I was only stuck with a few particular angles to work with. Buddy, on the other hand, is like Momohime – you can look at her from any angle and it just doesn’t feel boring. Speaking of Momohime, I just realized I only have 3 reviews of Alter figures (4 including this one) – which is a little surprising considering how many Alter figures I have collected in the last year (and being my favouorite figure manufacturer). I gotta work on more Alter reviews… =)

Buddy comes in 1/8 scale and is not particularly large, she stands roughly 20cm tall. It doesn’t seem that bad herself and I think the 1/8 scale suits her fine, but when you put her beside some of the larger scaled figures she’ll look like a dwarf. At least it’s not as bad as the VN02 Miku though. Oh, I tease – I didn’t think that Miku was all that bad either, but would’ve definitely been better if it was 1/7 scale.

One thing that this character needs is a better name, I’m not sure why she was named Buddy – that’s somewhat an odd name for a girl. But still, if she was real and I get to hook up with her, I probably wouldn’t care all that much about her name. ;-) That scythe, on the other hand, might pose some problems.

Aside from Tier’s review of Buddy, I don’t think I see another English site review of her, but then again I probably didn’t search very hard. But most of my search results came up with online stores or just news of her release. I was hoping to find some more reviews to see what others say about this beautiful figure – ah well!

Played around with the colour filters a bit – Buddy still came out great, no matter what profile I picked. A beautiful girl is a beautiful girl, what can I say? ^_^’ A definite recommend buy for those that are pondering whether to get her or not – although she’s not my favourite figure, she’s definitely one of my favourites. Kudos, Alter, for bringing out yet another beautiful figure that’s not a current market hype (like BRS and Miku figures).