Saturday, October 4, 2014

MIXED BAG. KILL LA KILL NENDORIOD FIGURES REVIEW!


It is an anime that, every time me and my friend Zach Stanifer finished watching a subbed episode, we'd simultaneously look at each other and say "soooooo goooooood!"

Now, many people might right this anime off at first sight as a cheesecake magical girl show for guys to gawk at. And, while the protagonist is quite attractive and the outfits quite skimpy, but that's just a skin deep look. At the core the show is about amazing over the top action...


...and top notch physical comedy!
And this makes sense. After all, the anime is made by veteran writers and artists that worked on Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL, and Gurren Lagann.


While essentially a tale of friendship and revenge, the execution and ideas flying around are what set this anime apart:

Ryuko Matoi is a new student enrolling at Honnouji Academ to seek revenge on his killer. The primary suspect is Satsuki Kiryuin, the school president and heir to a fashion empire. We quickly discover that this fashion empire has fairly fascist ideals, world-domination schemes, and that their passion for fashion kills. Satsuki and her cronies are equipped with special uniforms that give them incredible power. When Ryuko stumbles upon an experimental uniform made by her late father, she must use it to takedown her opponents and discover the truth behind her father's murder.

Her best friend in the series is Mako Mankanshoku, the other figure I'm reviewing, and serves as the comedic relief of the series to contrast the angst of our protagonist.

The themes of the show include the relationship between people and clothing, fascism (as fashion), friendship, rivalry, resolve, etc.

It is insane, beautiful, and hilarious.

If you're interested in watching it yourself, check it out HERE on Crunchyroll.


I like the anime so much I decided to buy some rather pricey but incredible Japanese Nendoroid figures of the show main protagonists (and eventually the villain) to help add some girl power to figure collection, fulfill some otaku needs, and generally just have too much fun with toys.

The format I'm going to use is rating the figures based on packaging, quality, pose-ability/functionality, creativity, and value.

So, without further ado, let's get to the figure review!
PACKAGING

The packaging on these boxes surprised me. After all, I bought the products on Amazon and had no clue whether these would be coming in plastic bags or whatever. It really is a crapshoot, some times, when you order stuff online. So, when I opened my box from Amazon and discovered the contents, my eyes lit up!

As you can see the front of the boxes provide a rather slick graphic design with lots of color and blown up art of the characters. The plastic window at the front of the box allows you to see the various pieces that come with the figure. The extra plastic is meant to help keep the figures from shifting too much in the box.

And then on the sides we get additional little portholes and on the sides/back we get gorgeous examples of the various poses possible with the contents of the box.

Displaying the figures, in box, is perfect but keeping the boxes around for the aesthetic value and as a way to contain the various pieces is certainly worth it.

QUALITY

Quality can be broken down into the sculpt and the paint job:

The sculpt on these figures is top notch. I've never bought a figure with this sorta price tag and I was unsure how it would hold up compared to the amazing pictures I saw online. The soft and rounded chibi figures, with their limbs and body parts fitting well in place, and the creases almost unnoticeable without closer observation. The little details, from the cute little fingers to the hue of Mako's hair to the details of the uniforms and skirts that give them each a unique look and sharpness to the red see-thru plastic giving the red in Ryuko's hair letting it shine and stand out. These figures really have a quality that I hope to see in more figures I pick up in the future.

And the paint job doesn't have a single flaw as far as I could see on the pieces was flawless. I've bought figures before to only discover a few small paint issues after I open the box, but these figures are on a nother level of painting detail. The stylized anime form of the figures provides for a perfect canvas and format and these colorful figures contrast each other very well.


The paint and sculpt give these chibi figures an almost surreal amount of quality that let them look like perfect 3D versions of the anime character's chibi forms.


POSE-ABILITY AND FUNCTIONALITY

I've never bought chibi figures with this number of poses/options:

Each figure has multiple faces, legs, arms, accessories and more! This allows you to pose your Ryuko flying through the air with her scissor blade or looking pouty and angsty with their foot on top of her weapon case or just looking ready to rumble. Then there is Mako who can pose, hilariously, with her pug, Guts, with her arms super long like the "come at me bro!" sloth or with her falling alseep while standing up and more!

The accessories and detail combinations give you a lot of options to mix up these fancy desk decorations. The biggest helper when it comes to posing these figures are the amazing stands that come along with them:

The clear stands that come with the figures are unobtrusive and allow you to pose your figures in a lot of awesome ways. The only downside is that, due to the heavy weight of these figures, you'll have to use trial and error to keep them from falling over in certain poses.

The other downside to the functionality is that the pegs and poses can sometimes be difficult to set up properly. My Mako's neck is a little loose in the socket and required a bit of work to get her head tilted at the right angle. But these little qualms just come with the territory.

The fact that you can mix the pieces from this line, to creepy results, adds even more fun.

CREATIVITY

So, the wild card category comes into play and we gotta look at how creative they got with these figures, right?

They took a lot of different clever tools to properly create poses and the like that will remind you of the show. It can be something as simple as using multiple pieces for Ryuko's blouse to give it Senketsu's eye instead of the default design or the touches like Mako's mother's croquettes. These little details add a lot to the figures.

The only thing I can think that I would've liked to see is a crying face for Mako (she cries a lot) and maybe a couple more accessories but, for what you get, these figures were clearly made with a lot of thought and care.

VALUE

At about $50 a pop these figures are a big step in price and quality over my other figures that usually are in the line of $10-20 but they look better than just about any anime figure I've ever seen in a Hot Topic or at my local otaku shop (and some of the otaku shop figures are hundreds of dollars).

Nendoroid is a fantastic line for a fan of the chibi and small figures, like myself, and I plan to purchase more in the future. I'm definitely getting the Satsuki Kiryuin figure to complete this set but I would flip my lid if they made a Jojo's Bizarre Adventure style Mako figure or something from FLCL.

CONCLUSION?
 I love them.

These Nendoroid figures are a must buy for any fans of the show with a love of chibi figures and the money to spare. The line of Nendoroid are clearly top notch and I highly recommend them to everyone who is interested in buying something anime, somethin cute, and something high quality for themselves or the otaku in their lives.

And, as a random bonus, here is some more fun crossover fanart! This time we've got a crossover with Ana as Mako and Else as Satsuki! Warning! BAPS A PLENTY!

2 comments:

  1. Cool figures! And I love Kill la Kill. It is one of my favorite series of the year. If I ever get the money, I should probably look into buying figures like this sometime.

    -James

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    1. They are pretty nifty figs and great representations of my favorite anime of recent years.

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