Friday, March 20, 2015

Divine Geekery.

~ or ~

Ravenous.  Driven mad by wanton Nendo-lust. 

Kayla and I have had a hellish week - stressed to the point of deep circles under our eyes and half-inch fuses. She suggested we hit our favorite geek store after work as an indulgence, and my heart leapt at the thought of browsing our nerdy nirvana. 

She's been on the hunt for the Cardcaptor Sakura Nendo, so I called ahead to see if they had one (then I would put it on hold, under her name, and when she asked about it they'd say "I'm sorry, it's on hold," and then I could say, "well, her name's Kayla," and they'd say "then we have it on hold for you!" and it woulda' been supercool) - but they didn't have one. They told me on the phone they just had Attack on Titan and Sword Art Online ones, but still - our favorite store. I'd probably pick up a Mikasa Nendo if I saw one... but I digress. We went in. They had Link and Luigi, Levi and Armin, and a few SoA... Her shoulders drooped in disappointment - the same stuff they had last time we were in - but then I saw the side of a box. 

A smooth sheen of black and purple.

A regal bearing.

Arcing wings.

I plucked up the box. I didn't even have to ask. I handed it to her.

She was all

While I was more like

She had wanted to go clothes shopping, but decided to skip it, as Devil Homura here cost about a hundred bucks. I picked out a copy of The Killing Joke, and we went home mutually thrilled.

God damn the pusher man.

Once again, Kayla and I have no idea where the character is from, but among our burgeoning Nendo collection, she's the crown jewel.  She doesn't have the place in my heart that Snake, Ryuko, Mako or Link have, but as just a piece of figure art, she's easily the most striking and impressive - and Kayla loves her, which is the important part.

Now you may have said to yourself, wow, he's using a lot of .GIFs in this post.  Way more than usual.  But that's the FigureGAF way, and a community I've become more engaged in lately.

I know you come here for gaming news, dear reader, and I've been talking about figures a lot, lately.  But here's the thing - a thing I've discovered, in the past two years - figures are fucking awesome.

The awesome Gwendolyn, from my beloved Odin Sphere, by Sif.

The FigureGAF community - a phenomenal resource for all things figure-related - was admonished, recently, by a NeoGAF Moderator.  They group there, as a whole, had basically been making too many sex jokes and there had been too much conversation focused on the appreciation of Good Smile Racing Miku 2014's buns.

Excellence in slender booty.

The Mod came into the thread and let the community know that there had been some complaints - not necessarily about the pictures posted (they're pretty good at strictly linking and labelling any NSFW material) or the items being discussed, but - the degree to which sex jokes, innuendo and basically drooling over plastic body parts had overtaken the thread, and nearly become the rule instead of the exception.  This had, the Mod advised them, made some members of the community uncomfortable, and they asked the FigureGAF folks to please tone it down and let the thread remain a welcoming place to all comers.

I don't... consider myself a full-fledged member of the FigureGAF community.  I lurk.  I ask advice - super-rarely I get to correct someone on something - but I wanted to share the past few weeks' Nendo adventures with them.  Given that the subject of the day was lewdness and inclusiveness, though, I fell obliged to... weigh in - and in doing so, I ended up explaining to myself how pleased I am to have indulged in the hobby, how lucky I feel to have a partner who supports and encourages me to do so, and has discovered her own joy in something I love.

This is what I wrote (cribbing a bit from the Sorceress post as I went).

* * *

I wanna' talk about Nendos - but first, as lewdness and inclusiveness seems to be today's topic, I'll bite. The lewdest thing I own is Megahouse's Sorceress from Dragon's Crown. I wanted to complete the set, I completed the set, and after running a Sorceress (named after Roger Rabbit's beloved wife) up to level 107, I can tell you she's totally frickin' awesome.

She weirds out my friends, but my GF loves her. Actually pushed me to get her, to complete the set after it became clear the Elf and Amazon (my fav char) were definitely going to happen. And that's what's important - that I'm free to feel good about this strange thing that I love, and feel supported.

Now, obviously, for folks who've never seen the Sorceress - or are unfamiliar with the depths of depravity to which figures can descend - she's plenty lewd. To those people I would say you have no idea what is out there and how far it goes. You don't want to know, and if you were to look upon its horror you would, thereafter, see the kestrels. By comparison, the Sorceress is as tame as Saturday morning Flintstones.

This punchline will always be hilarious to me.

And I'll also say that... our generation has no unifying experience of popular culture. We have no Elvis or Beetles - no shared experience and love that binds us all. We are a generation of innumerable strange little splinter groups, who can feel quite strange until we wander into some secret corner of the Internet and discover we aren't alone in our affection for this, that and the other. There are forums for people who can't shut up about kitchen knives. I'll bet I could Google a support group for carrot-related problems... there we go.

And that's nice. It's beautiful that our generation is permitted so much freedom of expression, and has such a unique opportunity to explore and learn about the strange things that we, individually, adore. It's never just you, we find. There are people like us, who love what we love, and can help us love it better.

And the thought that someone could discover FigureGAF - discover a place that celebrates and adores the same thing that they adore - and feel... less than welcomed and comfortable is... distressing.

I love that I found this place. I've learned so much, here. I've come to accept and celebrate part of myself that I'd ignored - that I'd suppressed - thanks to this place, and inspired others to do the same. And I want anyone who stumbles through those cyber-doors to feel equally empowered and welcome and free to celebrate their divine geekery.

* * *

And we all... suppress so much of ourselves on a daily basis - just in the name of navigating our society.  We have to.  That's part of being in a society - adhering to certain rules.  Confining our behaviour to what we're told is acceptable, suppressing anything that doesn't conform to the rules of the social contract, and perhaps having to pretend that we agree with all of them. 


There's a phrase from the sixties, that I've always been rather fond of:  let your freak flag fly.  Be you, to the greatest degree you can be - because all the strangeness we tell ourselves we must hide from the world can also be our most wonderful aspects.  There's another one I've heard that kind of runs along the same lines, though it holds a darker insight (paraphrased) - "the scariest thought is not that you're a bad person, or a dumb person, or otherwise undeserving of life's riches - it's that you are, in fact, beautiful, perfect, radiant, already - and you've chosen to ignore it."

So love what you love as much as you can possibly love it.  Thrill to it, and let it enrich you.

We are at our most beautiful, when we are most ourselves.  When we are the most honest.

And honestly, figures are fucking awesome.

I think I'll start saving up for Selvaria.


  1. I'm not really a figure collector, but that Selvaria is amazing. One of my all time favorite games.

    1. It took years for me to trip over myself and end up with a high-end figure in my lap. Started light - little, cheap, low-quality American action figures of Kratos or a Big Daddy... a few crappy statues that came with Collectors Editions (Max Payne, ACII)... But I didn't have any really good ones that represented the games I absolutely love. Turns out, they make stuff like that in Japan, and the quality is incredible.

      I didn't expect to end up where I am with it, but I'm happy I did - and my GF loves 'em. Though any stranger who walks into our house will find themselves confronted with what they will no doubt describe later as "the geekiest thing I have ever seen."

  2. Yep, it is very geeky, but that's ok! While I don't consider myself a figure collector I do have a couple of Figma figures of Chie and Yukiko and a Yukiko Nendo.

    If I could find something along those lines for Valkyria Chronicles (only played the 1st one so far) I would buy it. I love the figures I've seen for Selvaria and Alicia, but not thousands of dollars worth of love.

    Love your site! Keep up the good work!

    1. Siiigh... I'd love a good Chie... And thank you! ^.^