Sunday 18 September 2011

1/7 Nanoha Takamachi School Uniform Ver. (Alter)

It's over. This will be the end of me.

When this figure was first announced I had no intention of buying it. I gave it a passing glance, uttered an indifferent "Meh" and was on my merry way. Then, some ways down the road, I paused. A toxic idea took root. It would be nice, I thought inncently, to display Fate and Nanoha together...

DUN. DUN. DUN. And so it begins.

As the weeks rolled by, the urge to buy grew like some swarthy, parasitic bud. It swelled and swelled until the collector in me finally burst forth. Suddenly, the desire to acquire sets expunged all reason. Collector's logic demanded obedience, and boy, did it demand hard. Fate Testarossa needed a friend — but not just any friend. She needed Nanoha!

And so, Nanoha found her way innocently to Fate, and my wallet cried silent, manly tears.

Nanoha's box, to me at least, is less appealing than Fate's. For one, the standard blue-white isn't quite as catchy as Fate's fiery orange-black. The windows don't have the same sleekness. The box itself is larger and less streamlined.

Nanoha's going to do a nice twirl for you folk out there.

Let's admit it, this Nanoha is adorable. Just look at those eyes, and the discreet tilt of her head. Can we can awwwww? We sure can.

Nanoha's pose isn't very exciting. No flying high-jinks or befriending in this one. Here, she's simply on her way to school (you know, with her weapon and all). I did notice her arm seems stiff without her staff though.

Nothing accessorizes a girl like a good whackin' stick

Being Alter, Nanoha's sculpt is top notch. I'm no expert on cloth, but I assume the folds are realistically portrayed. You can almost feel the breeze tickling her — well, underareas. There are no glaring seam lines except where her bangs connect her head, but that seems to be a feature only the best sculptors can bypass. I noticed that from the side, her head and face seem rather flat, but who am I to complain about flat anime faces?

Just a tad simian?
Other than the flattened side-view, Nanoha's face and expression is my favourite part of this figure.  It's only appropriate for a girl that can blast through dozens of metal walls to be cute. That's just how the anime world rolls. The power of a character increase proportionately with their childish charm.

Nanoha also comes with a slew of accessories. As though to make up for her relative plainness, Alter decided to include with Nanoha (count with me now): an extra head, interchangeable ribbons, an extra hand, ferret Yuuna, and Raising Heart (both jewel and weapon mode). All parts are equally detailed and well made. Do I dig? Indubitably!

White ribbon, or black ribbon? How's a girl to choose? Personally, I prefer the white ribbons. They're bold and easier to photograph. The black ribbons are elegant, but have less presence and aren't as sturdy. Handle with care.

Black or white?
Is it just me, or does Nanoha seem more mature when she lets her hair down?

I was playing around and came up with this. Wouldn't this be adorable? But then again, Nanoha's cute with any hairstyle, isn't she?

As usual, Alter does a superb job on the paint. Despite my best efforts, I failed to unearth any blemishes, paint bleed, or unevenness. The shading is soft and well rendered, especially on the uniform. The shading on Nanoha's uniform is pale lavender, and complements her eyes nicely.

My only complaint about this figure is the colour they've used for her socks and the underlining of her uniform. The production photos don't show it, but both are pale green. That's right, green. I'm not sure why Alter decided to use a limey colour, but I've decided to not like it. The green is difficult to capture in photos, but trust me, in person, it's quite obvious. Update: Looks like Kotobukiya's Nanoha also has the same limey colour. Guess it is the official colour then. My bad!

Finally, we come to the end. Was Nanoha worth the price? Do I ultimately regret or celebrate this buy?

At 7800 yen, she's rather pricey for her plainness. However, being an Alter product, you can expect her to be top quality. I must admit, what sold me on this figure was the interchangeable heads. Even with my inner collector screaming at me, I might have passed had it not been for her onslaught of extras. The chance to display her with her hair down was too tempting (although given the choice, I still prefer her twin tails). That being said, this Nanoha is definitely the cutest of them all, and would be a welcome addition to any Nanoha fan's collection.

At the time of this post, she's still available online at AmiAmi, Big in Japan, and HobbySearch.

The Run-Down

Packaging: 5/10 (It does its job)
Base: 5/10 (Just a circle)
Pose: 5/10 (Plain, very plain)
Sculpt: 9/10 (A little flat on the face)
Paint: 7/10 (The socks, why so green?)
Overall: 7/10 (Very nice)

Company: Alter
Price: 7800 y
Purchased from: Big in Japan

Signing out,
P.S. because I forgot to include his picture in the actual review, here's a shot of Yuuno for you. Poor little guy, so little presence...

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