Year-End Report: Best of 2013

I’m rather embarrassed by my lack of activity this year, having pushed out a paltry two reviews, which means this post will have to stand in as a set of mini-reviews until I get around to something more formal. The list below represents my personal selection of my five favorite purchases of 2013. The usual year-end financial report will follow tomorrow.
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Review: Amakuni 1/8 Leviathan *NSFW*

The Seven Deadly Sins is the latest Hobby Japan original content production and follows the same basic ecchi harem blueprint laid out by prior HJ projects Queen’s Blade and Hyakka Ryouran. We have seven demon girls that collectively represent the seven deadly sins: Asmodeus (Lust), Beelzebub (Gluttony), Belphegor (Sloth), Leviathan (Envy), Lucifer (Pride), Mammon (Greed), and Satan (Wrath). Esteemed Nitroplus artist Niθ has reprised his role from Hyakka Ryouran by once again providing character designs for the new HJ franchise. An anime production was announced in October, but the first products to bear the standard for the 7-Sins project will be a line of scale bishoujo figures, starting with Amakuni’s Leviathan, which is the subject of today’s review.

(This post contains artistic nudity. Reader discretion is advised.)
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Review: Max Factory 1/8 Shana

Remaining loyal to the North American anime industry is an exercise in perseverance. One must repeatedly endure the inevitable time lag between a series airing in Japan and seeing it licensed, localized, and ultimately released on domestic DVD and/or Blu-ray. At best, this delay is measured in months; at worst, years. Shakugan no Shana is a series that had it worse than most. Its fate was tied to the sinking ship that was Geneon, which was responsible for releasing the first season of SnS on DVD years ago. Despite the apparent transfer of numerous Geneon licenses to Funimation back in mid-2008, which presumably included the Shakugan no Shana rights, the second SnS TV series from the Fall 2007 season did not make its NA debut until December 2012. The 2007 feature film and Fall 2009 OVA series followed in January and the third, and final, TV series is promised for next month. At least Funi is making up for lost time by releasing all of SnS in rapid succession.

As part of the NA Shakugan no Shana (re)launch, I have been re-watching the series starting from the first season, which I already had on DVD from the Geneon days, and proceeding through the newer content. As such, I thought it would be a good opportunity to dust off one of my figures of the eponymous loli-tsundere heroine for review, while the series is still fresh on my mind.

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