Naoe Kanetsugu by Alter
What!? Naoe Kanetsugu again? “Haven’t you already covered this figure” you ask. Well the character yes, but this time it’s Naoe Kanetsugu by Alter.
I’m not going to go into any detail of who Naoe Kanetsugu is, other than to state she’s from Hobby Japans’ Samurai Girls series. If you want to know more about her check out my Penguin Parade review.
Naoe is my second figure from Alter, Buddy being my first, and she easily lives up to the expectations that come with getting a figure from Alter. The level of intricate detail is truly amazing. It’s such a shame I’m rarely that interested in the characters Alter choose to produce figures of, otherwise I’m sure I’d have more of them. Size wise Naoe is 1/8 scale and has a fairly wide profile due to the bent over pose. You’re going to want to clear about 24cm³ to squeeze her in your display case.
The part I like most about Alters Naoe is her beautiful face. It accurately captures her personality and character design – always happy and bursting with energy. And this is all achieved without requiring a dramatic pose – it’s purely from her facial expression. She looks closer to her original concept art than the anime Naoe, but then the same can be said for all the other Samurai Girls Alter have worked on. While I praised Penguin Parades Naoe for her bright orange eyes I must admit I do like this more muted eye colour. It’s clear where her pupils are and what she’s staring at. I also like the presence of red eye shadow. A subtle detail that adds a further layer to her facial appearance.
Naoes hammer looks fantastic. The gold paint of the barrel is beautifully saturated and the flower decal looks perfect. The red pillars within add a sense of power, as if some sort of cooling mechanism has triggered to release the pent up energy within. Even the little purple cloth round the handle looks convincingly real. There’s an optional chain part that you can attach to the hilt of her hammer, but I’ve not shown it here since I don’t really like it that much. It’s made of malleable plastic that I’m not so keen on, it feels just a little too fragile and sticks out too much. Maybe if it was a real chain link I’d have used it.
If you’re worried about the hammer weight distribution Alter have provided a little clear plastic stand. I’ve not used it since I don’t think she needs it. Plus if there was a weight distribution problem the flimsy stand would happily move with the hammers weight which kind of negates it’s purpose. That or I’m using it wrong.
Bent over poses can be quite difficult to show. A lot of outfit detail is hidden away and you really need to be able to spin her 360° in all directions to take it all in. However the trade off is we get a perfect view of Naoes rear without much effort. The plain white pants are a tad boring mind you, but it adds a sort of innocence which matches up with her characters personality. Good (or bad?) news, no pointless skirt cast-off.
The rope holding her giant gourd has a believable texture even though it’s simply plastic. The size of her gourd is rather ironic given she’s the type of character who gets wasted rather easily.
Her fingers look perfect as do the painted gloves. Each finger has been carefully sized and it’s a detail I can really appreciate.
Naoes red shoes also look great. Heh, I say that about most figures now that I think about it. I must be easy to please in the footwear department. Anyway, the buckles look perfect and the odd square shaped shoe design is something a bit different.
One of the more striking aspects, bar the hammer, of Naoes character design is her huge twintails. I especially like how Alter have sculpted various ‘clumps’ of her hair to add a bit of space to her hair style. I remember my music teacher back in highschool saying the pauses are just as important as the notes – and it’s the same thing here. It looks much better than treating the whole twintail as one giant clump of hair. There’s also lots of little loose strands that add to the believability of her hair. Each twintail is held together with giant bells. She won’t be sneaking up on anyone with those in her hair . Again the ropes look great and the golden paint of each bell has a strong saturated tone.
Finally her outfit, or what can be seen of it, looks great (I’m like Tony the bloody Tiger – ‘They’re Grrrreat!’). Instead of taking the lazy route Alter have sculpted a tie that sticks out from her shirt. It adds a greater layer of depth to her outfit. I also like the open collar, although I’d have liked her wearing no shirt at all .
Alter figures typically come as ‘what you see is what you get’ and Naoe is no exception – that’s pretty much my only criticism of this figure. There’s very little in the way of customisation which has it’s good and bad points. I guess a good point is I don’t have to take as many pictures to cover all combinations of customisation. From more objective point of view it means the sculptor can spend more time on getting all the details correct, which includes covering up seamlines since they don’t need to worry about moving parts. The down side, for me anyway, is you have limited display options; my figure will look the same as yours for example. That’s fine if you just want a figure to unbox and sit on a display shelf ready to go, but I like to get just that little bit more from my figures – even if it compromises their finish to some extent. But that’s just my opinion.
I suppose I need to decide which Naoe I prefer then, this one from Alter or the Penguin Parade one. Well Penguin has cast-off and various states in between; a more interesting pose; and bright orange eyes. Alters one is much more detailed – especially the hair, hammer and eyes; and if I’m being honest looks more like Naoe from the original concept artworks. I also like the colour scheme of Alters Naoe better, it seems more rich and has a slightly better flow. Or maybe it’s just the paint finish that makes me think that way. So I think I’m going to give it to Alter in this case. I still really like the Penguin Parade version, but in this instance it’s the level of detail that wins me over with Alter. And that also pretty much sums up what you’re getting with Naoe here – a high quality statue.
It’s been way over a month since I’ve made contact so what can we expect to see in the future from this blog? Well I’ve got 2 more figures in transit at the moment so hopefully I’ll be able to review them closer to the date of their arrival. I’ve also still got 1 figure from January to open. However I’m not in a rush to get round to her since she’s a re-release and pretty much everyone and their dogs’ dog has this figure. You’re welcome to make guesses as to which figure this is . I’m also planning to post a little about the LED lighting setup I’ve been slowly progressing with. I’m at a point I think I can share but figures will take priority over this. I still need to catch up with the blogs I visit too, it seems I just can’t keep up with everyone now xD. My aim for April is to catch up and then maintain a maximum of 2 day delay between receiving a feed notification and reading said article. Hopefully the catch up won’t take too long, but I have missed a whole month so we’ll see.