Thursday, November 14, 2013

Personal Note - Momohime.

I probably don't need to tell you that I love Muramasa. I love all things Vanillaware, and Muramasa in particular - so, for years, I've been aware of a $100 figure of one of the game's two heroes, Momohime.  I always thought it was a pretty damn good-looking figure. 

A year after it first became available, the figure was selling for $150.  Then more.  Then more.  In 2010, the company that made the figure issued a re-release and prices dropped back down to reasonable.  Last year, though, the figure was $160 again.  This year it was $180. 

And I don't know why, man.  I don't know why, but I always felt... like I'd missed out on something by not buying that figure when it was a hundred bucks.  And every time the price rose, I felt stupider for not buying it.  

This year, just before my birthday, I went to the Central Canada Comic Con and, upon returning home, realized I was terribly disappointed I hadn't found the figure there.  Then, suddenly, I understood that yes, I really did want it, and when my birthday rolled around, I decided I wasn't having it any more.  I love Vanillaware, I love Muramasa, I love this character, and goddamnit I'm going to have this figure. 

I picked up a package at the local post office this afternoon, and so, today, I crossed a line that cannot be un-crossed. I am A Guy With A Japanese PVC Figurine.  

This is Momohime. She's fucking awesome. 

Yes, the sword comes out of its scabbard.   As you can no doubt tell, I have no talent for photographing figures, so for the rest of my Momotalk I'm going to use photos from people who give a shit about Japanese PVC figures as a general rule.  Somehow when they take the pictures the colors just pop.


There people do exist, I've discovered.  People who know PVC figurines the way I know video games.  People who review them, and can tell you how this figure compares to the ten thousand others they've seen in their lifetime - people who don't refer to this as Momohime, but as Alter's Momohime, because in the world of figure-collection, Alter is (apparently) a very respected creator.


Maybe that's why I wanted Momo so badly - because, as it turns out, she's like some super-awesome ultrafigure.  She is, it turns out - according to folks who know PVC figures - the Far Cry 3 of PVC figures.  Or The Last of Us.  You get my drift.


Every reviewer I've read praises everything about the figure, from the base to the attention to detail (the texture on the bottom of her shoe, the rivets on her wrist guards) to the fact that - and this is true - no matter how you turn her, she looks awesome.  There's a real sense of movement and dynamism to the figure, and - well, here's how someone who runs a blog called Tentacle Armada put it:
"Alter’s quality is second to none, and Momohime is an outstanding figure; she is dynamic, dramatic, and beautiful, a superlative work of art that stands out even amongst Alter’s most exalted figures."

So yeah.  I've got a Momohime.  And she's totally fucking awesome.   One thing I'd like to point out, though, is that - though all these collectors have got Alter's Momohime and agree that she's a stellar figure, none of them - even those who played Muramasa on the Wii - actually understand what her story is.

So - Japanese figure reviewers near and far - if you're curious, this is the story of Momohime.

Jinkuro Izuna, Momohime and Yukinojyo Yagyu. 

Once upon a time there was a master swordsman named Senju Oboroya, creator of the omnipotent Oboro sword style.  His most promising student was a man named Jinkuro Izuna, who coveted the power of the Oboro sword style for his own, and decided to slay his master to become the only soul with knowledge of this ultimate power.   
Jinkuro was successful - Senju was killed, but not before striking Jinkuro with a fatal blow.  Desperate to save his life, Jinkuro went to the nearby castle and waited for the strong, healthy son of the local Daimyo - Yukinojyo - to appear.  When he did, Jinkuro attempted to strike Yukinojyo with the forbidden Soul Transfer sword art technique - but he did not expect a young girl to interfere.  
The sword blow struck a samurai princess named Momohime of Narukami, Yukinojyo's bethrothed, and the dark magics of Jinkuro's technique did their terrible work, forcing Momohime's soul from her body to make room for Jinkuro's, as his body collapsed, dead. 

His soul now bound to the body of the girl but damned to suffer in Hell for all eternity, Jinkuro is desperate to escape her mortal coil - but to do so, he must re-obtain his own blade, taken from him when his body fell.  And so, Momohime and Jinkuro cut their way across Genroku era Japan, armed with the blades of the legendary mad blacksmith Muramasa Sengo and the unstoppable Oboro sword style.  Together, they fight their way through Hell and to the very gates of Heaven.   
As they travel - a terribly odd couple, the princess and the criminal - Jinkuro softens towards the girl, and soon becomes less concerned with escaping Hell than protecting Momohime from those who would betray her.  If he manages to save his own skin in the process...?  Well, all the better.  
It's a beautiful story.  A beautiful game and a beautiful figure.

No shame.

[update] Six hours later... 

There was part of me that was expecting to open up the box, place her amongst my other figures and discover a sense of disappointment or unease.  I spent almost $200 on Momo, and that's... a lot for... an item of this nature.  

But no, I'm thrilled with it.  Every time I enter my office area, there she is, in action stance, sword mid-draw. 

Very happy with Momohime. [/update]


  1. The shot of that figure 'shopped in front of a stream is beautiful, and should be your new banner.

  2. I dunno, between Muramasa and Dragon's Crown screencaps, I'm really enjoying having screenshots as the header. And now, with the PS4's ability to take screens and up them to Twitter (I really wish I could just get a direct-feed quality screen saved to the PS4, transferrable by USB stick - the PS4 upload screens are 1024 x 576) I'm probably gonna' keep going in that direction.