The Original Tailgrab, Eight Years On

Instead of celebrating the five year anniversary of Tailgrab.Org(y), which would have been in February, I figured I’d do something a little bit different. Celebrating where Tailgrab got it’s name, the original tailgrab.

Eight years ago today the first episode of Under Water Ray Romano (Utawarerumono) aired on Japanese television. And I took no notice whatsoever. There were no simulcasts on Crunchyroll back then, and I don’t recall there being any seasonal charts for upcoming series, but that’s probably my bad memory more than anything. Anyway, a week after the first episode aired I came across an animated GIF on 4chan, back when I actually visited the site. I know it was a week later because I still have that original GIF and the modified date is April 10th, 2006. After watching that GIF, too many times, I had to watch the series it came from.


Now, I’m not going to celebrate eight years of Utawarerumono, because that would be wrong, it would be 11 years 11 months and 4 days. Utawarerumono was an eroge S-RPG before it was an anime, and the anime definitely felt it. It certainly had it’s moments, but it doesn’t deserve praise nearly a decade on. It’s lucky that it had a cute character like Erurū in it or I wouldn’t have even cared about it’s existence.  No, all I’m going to celebrate is that ten seconds of animation I affectionately refer to as the tailgrab. As an aside, why do I like characters with names the Japanese couldn’t possibly pronounce with arguments over proper spelling? Eruruw/Erurū/Eruruu/Eluluu and Horo/Holo (Korbo). There’s lots of characters with tails, why did I pick two with strange names?

I do find it interesting that eight years on my interest in this scene has never wavered. In the early days I looped it continuously (and silently) in a small always on top window on my second monitor. For a year. An entire year (if not longer). It would load on boot up and play away. It wasn’t until I switched to Windows Vista did it stop, and only because I never added the shortcut to the Startup folder. Since then, I’ve included a copy of the file somewhere on every website I’ve run. Most of the time never directly linked, just there, hidden away.

Despite my affection for this scene, I didn’t think to register the domain until two years and 2 days after it originally aired,  shortly after Spice & Wolf Season One finished airing. Even then I didn’t really know what to do with it, I had some ideas and played about, and in the mean time started OMGWebsite, this site’s original name. I’d wanted to use Tailgrab since my first post was going to be all about how I hated TAKI Corporations Horo figure, my first figure, but I’d thought at the time that I wanted to do something else with the domain and held off. Only to figure out I didn’t like that little side project anyway. Then it took me two years to change the sites name and domain to what I’d always wanted it to be. The reason it took two years was because I’d felt I already ‘established’ myself and all the links pointing in from all over, and recognition, etc etc would be lost. Even now I still receive hits to that are redirected to their respective posts in, and maintain redirects of individual files I’d posted places. It’s kind of a hassle, I should have done it sooner so there’d have been less to manage. But I digress.

This took 75 photos to produce. Man a fisheye lens would have been nice back then, instead of a 50mm.

It’s both amusing and terrifying to reflect on things since I first saw this scene. I can’t fathom how eight years have passed. It certainly does not feel that long, but then, it also doesn’t feel like it’s been 6 years 2 months and 22 days since Spice and Wolf episode one first aired and Eruru became number two. Or 4 years 6 months and 7 days since every Spice and Wolf fan started demanding a third season. But more interesting than that is the difference between now and then for me.

This photo is old, there’s more now. Click for uncensored.

Back when I watched Utawarerumono I owned next to nothing anime related. A handful of DVDs, because they cost a small fortune each back then, some cheap wallscrolls, a single anime figure of Hakubi Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo, produced by McFarlane Toys, that was gifted to me by a friend, and… even some Megatokyo[1] posters. Since then that same friend built up a huge collection of Transformers, told me I had to collect something too, which started the anime figure collection, which spawned this website, which became a feedback loop amplifying my interests, until I’d finally broken every rule I’d ever given myself. I wouldn’t buy figures from series I haven’t seen, broken. I wouldn’t buy ero-figures, broken. I wouldn’t buy a dakimakura, broken. I wouldn’t actually sleep with my dakimakura, broken[2]. I wouldn’t have a crazy otaku room full of anime merchandise, broken. I wouldn’t become so obsessed with a character that I’d take them out with me in public, broken. I wouldn’t spend the money to buy a Dollfie because that’s absurd, broken. I wouldn’t buy a second Dollfie no matter what because Horo’s the only character I obsess about enough for it to be worth it, broken. I wont refer to my Dollfies as my girls, broken[3].

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past eight years, it’s that I like to break my own rules. Constantly. And that no one else really liked Eruru, in fact TAKI Corporation hated her enough to produce a figure apparently in her likeness.

My Internet connection today is no faster than my Internet connection in 2006. How depressing.


  1. Visited Megatokyo while posting this. Fred’s evil, he’s got some character with a cute tail now.
  2. Why did no one tell me body pillows are the most comfortable thing in the world? Why did I only just learn this a year ago? I have slept like a baby since getting one, dakimakura aside, the pillow is glorious.
  3. Still never calling them my daughters. Fun fact, I considered making an MDD of Horo’s daughter, until a friend said to me (paraphrasing) “So you’re going to make a daughter.” Now I can’t do it.


  1. Smithy says:

    Nice to see you’ve had quite the journey with anime, figures, Dollfies and hope that the journey goes on and keeps on evolving and bringing you joy. 🙂

    Funny to read about breaking rules. But maybe it’s not so bad to break some rules.

    Also, Horo has a daughter?! Why wasn’t I told of this? :O

    • Aka says:


      I think it’s evolved to the point where I barely like anime at all unfortunately. I’m old enough now to have seen apparently every trope repeated ad infinitum. Now I can barely stand watching 90% of it. *sigh*

      Breaking the rules is fun, but I’d like some more self control sometimes.

      Horo’s daughter is a spoiler I guess, consider yourself told now :P. I found the image before I read the story. I still haven’t read the story, I have no idea anything about her daughter. I tend to avoid fan translations because of their poor quality. So I’ve been waiting for Yen Press to hurry up. Still, I have read some fan translations anyway. But not far enough along to know anything about her daughter.

      • Wotaze says:

        Where did u find that the child is a girl and do u have any idea about this pic and where it originates? would be much appreciated as i was fairly supriced at this ^^

        • Aka says:

          That illustration alone provides the information that Horo’s child is a girl. She’s got a flower in her hair, and is wearing a dress.

          I don’t remember the source of that illustration, but it is illustrated by Ayakura Jū, the artist who illustrated the light novels.

          • Wotaze says:

            So its corfirmed thats its by him…alright .. Thank you very much ,very much appreciated!If you do find out/remember and dont mind could you email it to me?And i wanna say that i love your collection (even though i dont collect anything other than books (i have all japanese spice and wolf Ln vols only from s n w merchantise)) and hope you keep upgrading and updating it!(and good luck to that)

            • Aka says:

              Well, I should say it’s by the official artist, not necessarily in collaboration with Hasekura Isuna the author. I’ve only read up till Volume 13 as I wait for translated copies and occasionally read fan translated copies when I can’t wait any longer.

              Thanks! I quite enjoy my collection as well 😀

  2. Rajura says:

    Oh wow, that long already… man all the time.

    You got me into the figures, but I think I have surpassed your Horo collection.
    I have you to thank… I think it is a good thing to kind of burn-out on anime… one, I am too busy with my work and social life and two, if something new and awesome comes along, I will be pleasantly surprised.

    Besides, I don’t need any other eye candy… my wolfu is perfect for me.

    Here’s to another 8 years! Yeah, Eruru needs to know her place… wolf ears and tail are much better!

    • Aka says:

      I dunno, until you have your very own custom Horo Dollfie, I’m not sure you can say you’ve surpassed mine. Having each release of Kotobukiya’s Horo is just padding your numbers 😛 You going to get the latest 4th release?

      I’m not sure however I should be thanked for drawing you into the hobby. Cursed perhaps. Spending all that money. Surely I should be cursed for it.

      Eruru needs to know her place? I still have posters of her! And if she had some decent figures I’d have bought them as well! It’s unfortunate that no one really liked Eruru. She’s cute, especially when you grab her tail.

      • Rajura says:

        Maybe so… I will probably do that one day, but I don’t have a spot for her… and that is a project to work on AFTER I’m married. I don’t wanna run my GF off now. As of now, she says my preferences are just “a cute little hobby.”

        Now that I know about it… you bet!

        Cute she may be… especially in that scene… but Horo she is not. Horo makes me melt; Eruru is just okay if you were to put them side by side. That is not fair to Eruru, but it is the truth. The only tail I wanna tug on is Horo’s… and it is gonna stay that way.

        Thanks for the heads-up man… I have been out of the loop on any figure releases lately… anything else coming down the pipe?

        • Aka says:

          In Horo terms? Not that I’m aware. If I’m honest, I’m rather disappointed they’re re-re-re-releasing the same figure again. Wish they’d make a new one instead.

  3. Tian says:

    I’d much rather grab Holo’s tail.

    Speaking of Holo, I really like your wall scrolls! mmmmmmm

    • Aka says:

      They’re just prints I had made of illustrations. Two of them are from one of the books I purchased and scanned in, and the censored one is by Simosi. It’s not actually high enough resolution for it’s size, but I upscaled it anyway.

      Grabbing Horo’s tail is more dangeorus, I don’t think she’d be as receptive as Eruru. Best to be careful when grabbing her tail.

  4. Reagy says:

    I envy your collection, all I have is two figures (the overly produced Kotobukiya one and CM’s Corps) and 5 Dakis. I need moreeee.

    • Aka says:

      I guess it helps being there from the start and being able to collect it as it’s released. What five dakimakura do you have?

      • Reagy says:

        Two are just covers with different fabrics and I’ve only got two inners at the moment but I’m planning to get inners because one of my inners is kinda ehh quality and not fluffy at all. images speak better than words

        • Aka says:

          Which fabric type do you prefer? I’m not really a fan of my 2-way tricot one (not pictured), but I’m not sure of it’s the cover or the pillow I don’t like. I guess I’ll find out soon when my copy of Koume Keitos arrives. I guess also, what pillow do you prefer?

          Oh, is your Koume Keito original or knockoff?

          • Reagy says:

            I agree 2-way tricot is a bit of a pain, its a nice smooth fabric but it frays so much, I rarely use the cover which is made of that, which is kinda annoying because I love how it feels but out of all of them I really like is what hobbyheart brands as japanese textile which is more of a cotton crossed with something else, it’s pretty strong while still being soft and considering I have a cat who thinks they are the best things to sleep on, having a more hardy material pays off.

            Sadly all of mine as knockoffs, I haven’t been able to get hold of any of the official ones mainly because of cost, knockoffs tend to be cheaper, can be printed onto any material (bonus for me) and rarely have to pay import tax and duty fees on them because of the overall cost.

            I recently spent a small fortune on getting a holo plush and I know I overpaid out the ass for it but everywhere I’ve found them were asking for double or they were out of stock. I don’t really care though because in the end I’ve got something I’ve wanted for yearss.

            Also shes cute

            • Aka says:

              Mine are knock offs as well. If they were originals, I couldn’t sleep with them just because of the sheer cost and thought of ruining them. With the knockoffs I can just get them reprinted if/when they get ruined.

              And for those reading into that too much, I mean two things, the oils from my skin seeping in from sleeping with them, and the colours fading from washing. Not other potential reasons 😛

              I’ve only got Hobby Hearts 2-way tricot, I’ve got some on order that are the peach skin, just because it was the cheapest. Hopefully they’ll be acceptable. But I can always re-order and get the Japanese textile. My favourite one is actually ordered from ArtsCow, at the time their sizing was for American body pillows which are smaller than Japanese ones, but now their dimensions seem to line up with Japanese body pillows. So I’m not sure anymore, and worry I wont be able to get a reprint in that size. Never the less, if I can’t, I’m fine just using it as a normal body pillow without a print on it, it’s just such a great pillow.

              I’ve never really been a fan of that plush/puppet Horo, so I’ve never really looked into getting it. But they can be difficult to find, and I don’t think I’ve happened across any at a decent price, in what limited times I’ve come across them in searches.

              • Reagy says:

                ArtsCow actually uses a really nice material for their stuff, I’ve got a normal custom printed pillow from them which is buried under the dakis in that image before. Kitty loves it as well as much to my distaste.

                As for the plush, guess its what happens when they only made so many then stopped in ’10. People were screaming at me to not take it out of the bag but its a plush and I wanna hug it and stuff, whats the point of keeping a plush in a bag all its life?

                • Aka says:

                  Yeah I was surprised how nice the ArtsCow one turn out. Given the price and the discount coupon I’d used to make it even cheaper, I really didn’t expect much. In that regard I find Hobby Heart too expensive, given they’re making knockoffs that can cost up to 60% of the cost of an original.

                  As for the plush, guess its what happens when they only made so many then stopped in ’10. People were screaming at me to not take it out of the bag but its a plush and I wanna hug it and stuff, whats the point of keeping a plush in a bag all its life?

                  Yeah, you can’t buy something and then never take it out of the box. I’m not a fan of that mentality. That said, I do have many figures I’ve never opened, but I do eventually get around to it. I guess one of the only self imposed rules I haven’t thoroughly broken yet is I wont take something out of the box until I’m willing to feature it on Tailgrab in some way. Though I’m slowly breaking this by posting quick photos on Instagram/Twitter/G+.

                • Quazacolt says:

                  oh i absolutely love the plush too, regret i only bought 2 instead of like… 4 or 5 maybe XD

                  the new one from rightstuf/funimation i bought 3; not as big and fluffy as the one from aoshima, but it’s still good to have in the car/bed room 🙂

                • Aka says:

                  Well, just received those peach skin dakimakura. Can’t say I’m very impressed. I’d say it’s good for display only. Just putting one of them on my pillow built up a huge static charge. I washed them before putting them on too, and even still they’re a hard feeling material, smooth, but not soft.

                  Live and learn!

                  What I should have done since I was ordering a couple, was order them all a different material. Oh well.

                  • Reagy says:

                    You got static off those? I’ve never experienced that from my one in that material, but I do agree its a pretty hard material, smooth but not soft, it kinda soften up after a few washes but nothing amazing like.

                    Japanese textile next time?

                    • Aka says:

                      I was so surprised to see you’d commented already. I was modifying the theme to accommodate the extra comment layers and fix that blockquote in Quazacolt’s post and then suddenly “Whoa, how’d that comment get there, I must have broken something.” 😛

                      Huge amounts of static. I get some with ArtsCow’s and a little bit with the 2-way tricot. But this was massive amounts.

                      I’ll probably try out another material next time, perhaps Japanese textile as you mention.

                      (Edit: 10 comments deep is the best I can do!)

                    • Reagy says:

                      Jeez you must just naturally have a high static level or something, I’ve very rarely ever had it off mine. Actually not even off stuff like cars and computers when I think about it.

                      Unlucky I guess?

                      Also needs bigger comment pyramid.

                    • Aka says:

                      Well, to some extent it’ll also be dependent on the climate you live in. Winter here for example is dry and static builds up on everything. I’d get the biggest shocks getting out of my Dads Mazda3 (However, none getting out of my Saabaru). I didn’t check the humidity when I got the cases, but today it’s only 37%, so it’s likely that playing a role.

                      So with that thought in mind, and your horobox address being .uk, if i look up the weather in London, UK, it’s 86% humidity, I’d have far less static with that.

                      Of course, there’s a whole combination of things it could be. Carpet in my room, the plastic mat my computer chair is on, etc…

                      WordPress only allows up to a comment depth of 10. That’s probably sufficient normally.

                    • Reagy says:

                      I see what you mean, having that much stuff around for it to build in is really just a trap waiting to off.

                      And yeah welcome to the UK.

                      IT’S ALWAYS WET HERE.


                  • Aka says:

                    That’s not true! Top Gear manages a couple sunny days in their 6 episode series!

                    Actually, I’m surprised by how many dry laps they’ve managed over the years for the star in a reasonably priced car section.

                    • Reagy says:

                      That’s only because they have a unique weather generator made from duct tape and cardboard strapped to the top of their top secret test track located off the A281.

                    • Aka says:

                      You might be on to something.

                      I’d always thought they used that 747 to dry the track, like they do at NASCAR races (not that I watch, but I’ve seen them also used at drag races). Er, they don’t use 747s to dry tracks, I mean the jet engines, generally from like helicopters and such.

                    • Reagy says:

                      Sadly the 747 is just a movie prop after it was retired in ’05, its registration is G-BDXJ if you wanna look into it a bit more, it’s got some history.

                    • Aka says:

                      Yeah, I know. Was a joke. It would cost a fortune to dry a runway using a 747.

      • Iwasawafag says:

        > I guess it helps being there from the start and being able to collect it as it’s released.

        Well, peoples on MFC selling pre-handled figures quite often (except garage kits or gathering) and not always for 400% of original price, so it’s still accessible if you really need it. And I think if we talking about most favorite character – it’s okay to overpay once. Manga, thankfuly, beigng re-released often enough as well.

        But for some other merchantdise, like t-shirts, lunch boxes, wall scrolls and etc – yes, sometimes it’s the only way.

        • Aka says:

          Well, there’s overpaying and there’s completely not worth it. Most of the Horo figures resale for ‘completely not worth it’. Good Smile Company’s Horo for example is just unreasonably priced. Every time I see one for sale it’s like 400-600% markup, the one for sale on MFC right now is 400% markup. And if we go to extremes, one on eBay is 1000% markup.

          Sometimes you can find her for a reasonable price, but it really really helps to have been there from the start. You could buy one of every Horo figure released for the price of that one on eBay (almost).

          If you’re willing to trawl through Yahoo Japan Auctions you can often find the more obscure stuff like t-shirts, lunch boxes, etc.. and Japan’s a lot better at not marking stuff up as insanely as MFC and eBay. Which is why there are frequently lots of deals on Mandarake or AmiAmi’s used section.

  5. Quazacolt says:

    Why did no one tell me body pillows are the most comfortable thing in the world? Why did I only just learn this a year ago? I have slept like a baby since getting one, dakimakura aside, the pillow is glorious.

    i thought i’ve been sharing how wonderful it is to have a dakimakura many years ago 😛

    • Aka says:

      Generally people who get dakimakura never talk about how comfortable the pillow is. They talk about the character on it, or the quality of the materials. Ignoring dakimakura entirely though, no one ever mentioned that body pillows were comfortable.

      Also, I feel like I should rephrase that, babies sleep terribly, waking up every couple hours… Sleep like a cat perhaps, they sleep all damned day!

      (Added the blockquote tag to your comment to make it more obvious you were quoting me, though it looks kind of hideous. I should fix that someday.)

      • Quazacolt says:

        true that haha.
        and yes, envy cats – sleep throughout the day(s) without any worry at all.

        thanks for the quote tag, and yes it’s hideous ^^;