Anime Toy Lines, Various
From:
Epoch
Toycom
Included in set:
Vampire Hunter D - D, Leila
Silent Mobius - Kiddy Phenil, Katsumi Liqueur
Man Machine Interface - Motoko Aramaki

Recently, there has been an in-flux of toy lines based on less main-stream anime and manga series hitting the market, whether it be imports or directly made for the North American market. But, rather than investing a lot of money in hearty toy-lines, the manufacturers have been testing the waters with two and three figure series, focusing on main characters and getting them right before seeing if the series is profitable.

Vampire Hunter D
Series One based on the classic vampire anime (and sequel) includes D himself and Leila, with some nice accessories to augment the two figures. Leila comes with her bike and D comes with an "Sword in the Stone"-like platform. Both figures are nicely modelled and look fairly accurate. While they don't seem to have much in the way of articulation, the two figures do have enough detail and style to please fans. I do wish that they had included maybe one or two more figures (Count Magnus Lee or Doris would have been great), but for fans this is as good a start as one could hope for.

Silent Mobius
Toycom has manufactured a two-figure series on Kia Asamiya's supernatural sci-fi manga. Instead of doing a series on the main cast, Toycom decided to focus on Kiddy Phenil and Katsumi Liqueur. Both figures come with a weapon and a mini-comic. While faithful to the design and look of the characters in the manga, I would state that neither figure is overly poseable or detailed beyond what they look like in the books. Fans will want to get these, but anyone who isn't will want to pass as they don't offer a lot outside of familiar faces. Hopefully, if these sell moderately well, we'll see more of the cast turn up.

Man Machine Interface
While the sequel to Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell is finally making its way to North America in printed format, Toycom has managed to put together a small line of figures. Unlike most other lines, though, this series provides three different versions of the main character, Motoko Aramaki - one in a black body armor suit, and two different variations of her in a white suit. All three figures are heavily influenced by Shirow's style and look like they're ripped straight from the manga. Fans of Shirow and his works will be interested to pick these up, but the limited poseability and limited (and even odd) accesories make it obvious that it's aimed only at Shirow's dedicated fan base. I can't think of too many others who would buy three somewhat different versions of the same character.

- - Vane

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