After getting Reimu, I fell into a bit of a lull from a doll perspective. Nothing was announced that I really felt like getting my hands on and I came to realize that I wasn’t really doing as much as I wanted to with what I had already. It may surprise some to know that I didn’t purchase a single doll for myself during 2012. My focus went to photography, videography (for work), and a couple figures.
A couple months into 2013, Volks put up their announcements for DollPa 29. On the list was Asuna Yuuki from Sword Art Online. I really enjoyed the series and I decided to try to go for it. Volks Japan had other plans for me, thus the losing streak for International lottery continued.
I had to find a way to bring her home though, meaning it was time to hit the secondary market.
Given Asuna’s popularity, her price immediately shot up to at least double the original retail. With prices north of $1000, Asuna would take the title from Saber Lily as the Most I’ve Ever Spent On A Doll™. After scouring sites like Mandarake, I found a couple people people on the now defunct Figure.fm who were willing to let go of their girls (in exchange for a nice sum), meaning Asuna would be coming home to me!
Given the relatively long time since I’d last bought a doll, I decided to do a special unboxing story with her. Unfortunately, I had posted that story on figure.fm, which no longer exists. I even tried to use the Internet Wayback machine to see if the post was archived, but alas, it was not to be. So almost 5 years later, I’m going to attempt to recreate that post since I still have all of the pictures from that photo shoot.
It was a quiet day at the Dollfie Manor. Suddenly a strange object appeared. What could it be?
The object is opening up and some hands are poking out! What is going on here?!
It’s a girl. She seems confused. This appears to be a strange land to her.
Asuna: This isn’t Aincrad, how did I get here?
Asuna: Why hello there. There’s certainly some unusual looking wildlife here…
Asuna: I seem to be in one piece. Hands, check. Arms, check. Sensations seem to be OK too. Is this a virtual world?
Asuna: There are a lot of strange artifacts here. A sword, a microphone…? Drinks and beer…? What is this place? Is it a war zone, concert hall, or living room?
Lily: I found an intruder! Identify yourself! Are you here to steal your beer? Prepare yourself!
Asuna: Whh… whaaat??? I don’t know what’s going on here, why are you pointing that sword at me?
Lily: She’s hostile! Taking immediate action. Entering combat!
Asuna: I guess I have no choice but to defend myself… hopefully my sword skills work here?
Yoko: Hey, break it up!
Yoko: What are the two of you doing? Lily, I told you we had a new arrival coming today, Why did you assume she was an intruder?! Asuna, I know you were trying to defend yourself, but what were you thinking making yourself at home like that?
Asuna/Lily: I’m sorry u_u
That was definitely a fun shoot, something a little different from what I’d done in the past. Obviously Asuna was already unboxed and assembled prior to it, but it still took a ton of planning!
Since then, Asuna has been to a few meets. She largely went out publicly in her default, especially for events. Of all of the girls I’ve had up until this point, she became my go-to for event or casual shooting. I really connected with her sculpt and loved working with the DD3 body she came on.
Asuna at Animazement
Since she was so versatile, Asuna also became the first doll I would properly shoot with the camera body I got in 2016 in a walk around downtown Charleston. It was a completely casual street photography session using some historic buildings as a backdrop. Since it was a new body, I had to learn the ergonomics before taking it to a serious event where every shot counted!
After the lull in doll arrivals in 2012, it was nice to bring Asuna in during 2013. I paid a bit more for her than I’d like and would ultimately be the only girl I brought home that year. Given what was about to happen in 2014, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing…
Name: Asuna Yuuki
Make: Volks Dollfie Dream (DD3), M Bust
Arrival Date: June 24, 2013
From: Private seller via Figure.fm