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Review: Nakano Azusa by AlterReview: Nakano Azusa by Alter

HumbertHumbertHumbertHumbert3 jaar geledenReview
http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/HumbertHumbert1425321438.jpeg


ITEM #26795

I have had my eyes on this figure for a while, but since it was sold out everywhere I just could not seem to get my hands on it (and then I had bigger issues on my mind). But today I finally received her, after about a week from when I placed the order. My hat off to Solaris Japan for their expedient service.

It looked well sculpted, well painted, and well posed. Of course, I know from experience that the official pictures do not always convey the truth, so it was with both anxiety and anticipation that I unboxed my latest procurement.

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The shipping box was somewhat damaged, so I was afraid the same thing would be true of the packaging for the figure, but to my relief it was unharmed. As I unboxed the merchandise I realized that it was not at the level I had expected from seeing the official photos: it was far better!

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/HumbertHumbert1425321442.jpeg

This is the only figure so far that has exceeded my expectations. With my Sora figure I had really high expectations to begin with, so while it met them, it did not exceed them. But this figure's execution blew me away!

I usually start with the sculpting and posing as they share alot of common criterias, but with this one I think I will start with the feel of it. Starting with the base it gave a sturdy impression and had some weight to it. It was not at all flimsy, and the attachable pillar fit snugly in its sockets, both on the base and on Azusa's feet. So already here I had a good impression of what the quality would be like.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/HumbertHumbert1425321444.jpeg

Next was the figure itself. It had some weight to it, as do all PVC figures, but somehow it just felt like it had been sculpted from a sturdier material. It might have something to do with the guitar, which is a masterpiece in its own right (I have seen people selling guitars like this for around €30).

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/HumbertHumbert1425321440.jpeg

That was all very subjective, so let us move on to more objective matters (if that is possible in a review).

The sculpting is excellent with great attention to detail, to the point of making the source material seem like half-finished sketches. There are wonderful creases in her clothes, a guitar complete with strings and all that other stuff guitars always seem to have, clearly visible details like the seams of her clothes (even on her panties which, thankfully, are hardly visible at all), and it even comes with interchangeable nekomimi mode. The hair is somewhat finicky to remove, but it is not too hard.

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Remove the hair by pulling it forward, not up!

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The jumping motion adds liveliness to the figure, beautifully emphasized by the natural-looking flow of her hair. She looks very happy, and it is quite easy to imagine her being on a stage with her fellow Houkago Tea Time members. It is just masterfully done. If I had to number the flaws, which I probably should since this is a review, it would be three things, of which only two will be visible at a time.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/HumbertHumbert1425321801.jpeg

The first thing would be quite obvious: her mouth. While it does not bother me that much, it does seem somewhat rounder at eye-level than I would like. It looks perfectly fine if she is placed somewhat higher than eye-level.

The second and third things are actually related. The hair in the normal mode does have a rather noticeable edge to it since it is removable. The nekomimi mode will fix this and make it look very natural since it sports a headband, but in return there will be a small gap by her right ear that looks a bit unnatural.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/HumbertHumbert1425322405.jpeg

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Aside from that, it is rather flawless!

So, onto the most important part for me: the paint job!

Kanpeki desu! If you don't know what that means, google it, or just look at this figure to, well, figure it out. First of all, let me hark back to my review of Kuroneko's Swimsuit version by Orca Toys. In it I stated that I have seen too many black haired figures without any highlights or shading on the hair. Well, let me just say that this figure is an example of black hair done right! It is highlighted with a perfectly nuanced shade of grey, making the hair look like a well thought-out and important feature of the figure, rather than as an ad-hoc annoyance on the painters' part.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/HumbertHumbert1425321803.jpeg
The shoes just look amazing!

The rest of the color palette is somber but colorful, blessing the figure with a mature, classy feeling. There is shading on all parts of this figure, to my big excitement, but just to be a stickler for details, I do wish they had given her skin a little bigger contrast. I will not hold it against it too much since everything else with this figure is just extraordinary, and makes a strong bid for the second place in my collection. I guess she and Yukimura simply will have to share the second place (two figures by Alter in the top three? Go figure...). My favorite so far is still Kasugano Sora, though. Why? There's just no beating her paint job.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/HumbertHumbert1425321799.jpeg
From this angle she looks rather shy and cute.

Now a short notice about the future: I have ordered a few new figures (check my collection if you want to know which ones) and so I plan to do reviews on them as soon as I get them. I suppose I will receive them the following weeks, but after that I will have to let up on my purchases for the time being, so I can start renovating my apartment.

If you have any questions or just want to give me your thoughts on this figure, please leave a comment.

Thank you for reading!
3,695 hits • 15 berichten

Waarderingen8/10

Sculpting
Painting
Posing
Base
Packaging
Enjoyment
Resemblence

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3 jaar geleden
Recent Comments
0pt
HumbertHumbert (3 jaar geleden) #2788892Man! I should really ask Mandarake for a percentage of their sales! ;P
Well, congrats on the finds! I actually got three of my four ordered items today. My pre-ordered Kirino from Yorokonde still hasn't come, though. They expect her to be shipped from the wholesaler sometime next week. It's quite frustrating to have to wait for a pre-ordered item when it has been available in other stores for some time now.
Anyway, I would say that owning the whole set would be quite nice, but aside from Asuza, Mio, and Ui, I'm actually not too fond of the character designs of the lot. I like them all fine as characters in the anime, and I do like the anime, but I wouldn't spend any time or money on showing them off in my cabinet.
As for the boxes, I would probably not pass up a really nice offer on a figure I have wanted for some time if it said the damage was only to the box, not the figure. But if it would turn out that it wasn't true, that the figure was damaged as well, I would probably be too furious and disappointed from feeling ripped-off that I don't find the risk worth it. After all, I get these figures to look at them for quite some time, and if all I get from looking at a figure is a feeling of dissatisfaction and a reminder of how I was fooled, it would not really be a piece I would want to look at that often.
I have had my last few orders shipped with EMS simply because the alternative was to wait for a month. Yes, it is more expensive, but at least I can get started with my next reviews faster.
The display cabinets would probably be one of the worst parts of collecting figures. They are next to indispensible, but can cost quite a lot. Although, if you get a nice one it will definitely add to the interior of your room. I was lucky enough to get a cabinet for free from a friend who moved from Falun to Stockholm (both in Sweden). This was before I began collecting, but it has proved to be extremely useful. So far I can fit all of my figures in that one alone, but as it grows (which it no doubt will) I will have to get new ones.

That's like Crunchyroll; it takes a looooong time after release day of figures for me to finally get it.

K-ON is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, slice of life anime, which I why I wanted the whole set. I also bought the two K-ON live stage version nendoroid bundles and the Azusa nendoroid separately. That way I have a stage, curtains, and all 5 characters as nendoroids. Those are still in the mail, but I should be getting it soon. They are in Los Angeles already, so now I'm just waiting for customs I think.

So far my experience with Mandarake has been good, so I hope the figures will be fine. Otherwise, like you said, I would also be very disappointed. Mandarake is quite specific about anything wrong with the items, so no matter how small the bend or crease, they will list it as box damaged. There are some figures on Mandarake that have slightly scratched figures, and they even take photos of the damage, but some of them I can't even tell that something is wrong from their photos. Maybe they need a higher resolution camera. But if anything at all is wrong with the figures, I expect that Mandarake would list the problem to minimize any unwanted surprises for their customers. I like this a lot better than other websites that just say something is good condition or something with no pictures and no description, so I never ordered used figures yet.

For the detolf cabinets, I think 1 would be enough since I already have some bookshelves I use for my figures, but I know later I'll need more, so I'm planning on just buying more than I need now so I don't have to worry about it for awhile. I'm thinking of getting 1 MOSJO TV Unit to use as a riser for the detolfs and shelf for video games, 2 DETOLF cabinets to go on top of the MOSJO, and 2 packs of DIODER multicolor LED lights. Like you said, it's expensive, but it would make my figures so much more attractive that it is worth it to get a dedicated area for my figures. :D
3 jaar geleden
0pt
AndyError (3 jaar geleden) #2788606Different shipping, so you usually use EMS shipping?
And OMG, I found Tsumugi for 4000 yen and Ritsu for 7000 yen on Mandarake. Wow, that is so cheap, I can't pass this up. Both of them have severely damaged boxes apparently. Tsumugi is opened and has damaged, yellowish and sun damaged box, while Ritsu box is resealed and has ripped up corners. HOWEVER, they are both unused, so the figures themselves should still be untouched. I really hope they didn't sell out before I ordered them. They went up on the Mandarake website less than half a day ago I think. Considering the physical conditions of the boxes, hopefully people physically in the store buying stuff would ignore the two items.
Despite the price, you'd probably completely disregard this deal just from seeing "box severely damaged" in the title of the item haha. In my case, I would be very hesitant to buy used items, especially ones that are listed as less than excellent condition, but just damaged boxes is fine. So far everything I got with damaged boxes has had a perfect figure inside from what I can tell. So hopefully the figures themselves that I ordered won't be any different from a new figure. Mandarake says so in the item title if there are any blemishes on the figure.
Not too long ago I also ordered Yui for 6000 yen, which isn't as good of a deal compared to Tsumugi and Ritsu, but still cheaper than other places. It also is unopened, which ups the value. So, if this most recent order goes through, I'LL HAVE THE WHOLE SET! :D Well, I'll have them after the SAL Registered shipping which takes a long time. I don't even have my first order yet. Might as well though, since I'm planning on getting my first detolf display cabinet and LED lights in a couple weeks probably. I'll have to cut back on my spending after all this lol.
All this from me randomly stumbling upon your article. Yup... xD


Man! I should really ask Mandarake for a percentage of their sales! ;P

Well, congrats on the finds! I actually got three of my four ordered items today. My pre-ordered Kirino from Yorokonde still hasn't come, though. They expect her to be shipped from the wholesaler sometime next week. It's quite frustrating to have to wait for a pre-ordered item when it has been available in other stores for some time now.

Anyway, I would say that owning the whole set would be quite nice, but aside from Asuza, Mio, and Ui, I'm actually not too fond of the character designs of the lot. I like them all fine as characters in the anime, and I do like the anime, but I wouldn't spend any time or money on showing them off in my cabinet.

As for the boxes, I would probably not pass up a really nice offer on a figure I have wanted for some time if it said the damage was only to the box, not the figure. But if it would turn out that it wasn't true, that the figure was damaged as well, I would probably be too furious and disappointed from feeling ripped-off that I don't find the risk worth it. After all, I get these figures to look at them for quite some time, and if all I get from looking at a figure is a feeling of dissatisfaction and a reminder of how I was fooled, it would not really be a piece I would want to look at that often.

I have had my last few orders shipped with EMS simply because the alternative was to wait for a month. Yes, it is more expensive, but at least I can get started with my next reviews faster.

The display cabinets would probably be one of the worst parts of collecting figures. They are next to indispensible, but can cost quite a lot. Although, if you get a nice one it will definitely add to the interior of your room. I was lucky enough to get a cabinet for free from a friend who moved from Falun to Stockholm (both in Sweden). This was before I began collecting, but it has proved to be extremely useful. So far I can fit all of my figures in that one alone, but as it grows (which it no doubt will) I will have to get new ones.
3 jaar geleden
0pt
HumbertHumbert (3 jaar geleden) #2777841Thank you for the update! You were lucky to find out about the final order button in time.
All of them together would be quite expensive. Still, they are about the price I have paid for my last order from Solaris Japan. The difference is the shipping and the condition of the figures. Just the Nyaruko figure alone would cost me the same as your recent order. To each his own... It is sort of a compulsive disorder on my part to want to have them brand new.
Happy hunting!

Different shipping, so you usually use EMS shipping?

And OMG, I found Tsumugi for 4000 yen and Ritsu for 7000 yen on Mandarake. Wow, that is so cheap, I can't pass this up. Both of them have severely damaged boxes apparently. Tsumugi is opened and has damaged, yellowish and sun damaged box, while Ritsu box is resealed and has ripped up corners. HOWEVER, they are both unused, so the figures themselves should still be untouched. I really hope they didn't sell out before I ordered them. They went up on the Mandarake website less than half a day ago I think. Considering the physical conditions of the boxes, hopefully people physically in the store buying stuff would ignore the two items.

Despite the price, you'd probably completely disregard this deal just from seeing "box severely damaged" in the title of the item haha. In my case, I would be very hesitant to buy used items, especially ones that are listed as less than excellent condition, but just damaged boxes is fine. So far everything I got with damaged boxes has had a perfect figure inside from what I can tell. So hopefully the figures themselves that I ordered won't be any different from a new figure. Mandarake says so in the item title if there are any blemishes on the figure.

Not too long ago I also ordered Yui for 6000 yen, which isn't as good of a deal compared to Tsumugi and Ritsu, but still cheaper than other places. It also is unopened, which ups the value. So, if this most recent order goes through, I'LL HAVE THE WHOLE SET! :D Well, I'll have them after the SAL Registered shipping which takes a long time. I don't even have my first order yet. Might as well though, since I'm planning on getting my first detolf display cabinet and LED lights in a couple weeks probably. I'll have to cut back on my spending after all this lol.

All this from me randomly stumbling upon your article. Yup... xD
3 jaar geleden
0pt
AndyError (3 jaar geleden) #2777708Turns out I didn't click the final order button that time 3 days ago, so I recently placed a new order for the same 3 figures at Mandarake Fukuoka. I'm glad they did not sell out. For shipping, I used SAL Registered and it cost 3060 yen ($25.32 USD). The total cost for those three turned out to be 16,560 yen ($137 USD). Now I set up some alerts for the other three, and added them to my Amazon wish list as well.
I'm expecting the other three to cost around 19,000 yen total if they have slightly damaged boxes from Mandarake, and that is not including shipping. That would make the total for all 5 characters 30,000 yen, not including shipping, and not including Ui and Nodoka. Ui and Nodoka cost 3,000+2,500, so 5,500 yen, which make all 7 Alter figures total at around 35,500 yen. Total shipping will probably add up to be around 9,000 yen. So the total ends up being approximately 44,500 yen ($368 USD).
Well... Those approximations leave me rather speechless. I guess I should take it a bit at a time. In the back of my mind, it kinda makes me wonder why I spend so much money on this rather than buying a new phone or pen tablet or graphics card or something, but this collection will be so epic once complete!
For your reference, here's the shipping quote that they gave me for those three figures:
→SAL 2box
(Postage reference)
EMS 1box→ 4700
DHL 1box→ 5700
SAL 2box→ 3060


Thank you for the update! You were lucky to find out about the final order button in time.

All of them together would be quite expensive. Still, they are about the price I have paid for my last order from Solaris Japan. The difference is the shipping and the condition of the figures. Just the Nyaruko figure alone would cost me the same as your recent order. To each his own... It is sort of a compulsive disorder on my part to want to have them brand new.

Happy hunting!
3 jaar geleden
0pt
Turns out I didn't click the final order button that time 3 days ago, so I recently placed a new order for the same 3 figures at Mandarake Fukuoka. I'm glad they did not sell out. For shipping, I used SAL Registered and it cost 3060 yen ($25.32 USD). The total cost for those three turned out to be 16,560 yen ($137 USD). Now I set up some alerts for the other three, and added them to my Amazon wish list as well.

I'm expecting the other three to cost around 19,000 yen total if they have slightly damaged boxes from Mandarake, and that is not including shipping. That would make the total for all 5 characters 30,000 yen, not including shipping, and not including Ui and Nodoka. Ui and Nodoka cost 3,000+2,500, so 5,500 yen, which make all 7 Alter figures total at around 35,500 yen. Total shipping will probably add up to be around 9,000 yen. So the total ends up being approximately 44,500 yen ($368 USD).

Well... Those approximations leave me rather speechless. I guess I should take it a bit at a time. In the back of my mind, it kinda makes me wonder why I spend so much money on this rather than buying a new phone or pen tablet or graphics card or something, but this collection will be so epic once complete!

For your reference, here's the shipping quote that they gave me for those three figures:
→SAL 2box
(Postage reference)
EMS 1box→ 4700
DHL 1box→ 5700
SAL 2box→ 3060
3 jaar geleden
0pt
HumbertHumbert (3 jaar geleden) #2761346That is alot cheaper! Congratulations! I'm a bit iffy about opened or damaged figures, why I pay three times the price for a brand new one. But if you are content, I am pleased. And if my review helped you decide whether to buy it or not, it has served its purpose.
Happy collecting!

So far all my orders from mandarake that are open box have had figures in perfect condition (from what I can tell with my meager knowledge of figurines), and I don't care that there are slight bents on the box. And yes, your article helped me in deciding to purchase the figurines, thank you. At the same time, I wonder if I should stop browsing MFC like this so I can prevent myself from impulse spending too much lol. Oh well, it's fun :D
3 jaar geleden
0pt
AndyError (3 jaar geleden) #2760727Haha because of this comment I looked up the figures on Mandarake, and it turns out they possibly have Azusa (¥5000), Mio (¥6000), and Nodoka (¥2500) in stock in Fukuoka, so I placed the order for all three of them. All three of them are open box with the box slightly damaged. Shipping will probably be around ¥3000 with SAL Registered, but this is just a guess since I never ordered 3 scale figures with SAL Registered yet. Last time I ordered 3 nendoroids with SAL Registered was 2000 yen, so I expect it to be higher than that. Now I'm just waiting for a confirmation that they actually have it in stock and a quote for the shipping costs. If this order pulls through, I'll keep my eye out for a good price for other 3, and also hope that I will have the money when I see a good deal lol. Ritsu is the main one I need to keep an eye out for, since she is the most expensive.

That is alot cheaper! Congratulations! I'm a bit iffy about opened or damaged figures, why I pay three times the price for a brand new one. But if you are content, I am pleased. And if my review helped you decide whether to buy it or not, it has served its purpose.

Happy collecting!
3 jaar geleden
0pt
HumbertHumbert (3 jaar geleden) #2759546I can understand the sentiment. Alter has done some very nice figures. I would recommend you to buy them one at a time, though, since, as you say, they are rather expensive. My figure was about ¥11,000. What that is in USD I do not know.
Thank you for reading my review!

Haha because of this comment I looked up the figures on Mandarake, and it turns out they possibly have Azusa (¥5000), Mio (¥6000), and Nodoka (¥2500) in stock in Fukuoka, so I placed the order for all three of them. All three of them are open box with the box slightly damaged. Shipping will probably be around ¥3000 with SAL Registered, but this is just a guess since I never ordered 3 scale figures with SAL Registered yet. Last time I ordered 3 nendoroids with SAL Registered was 2000 yen, so I expect it to be higher than that. Now I'm just waiting for a confirmation that they actually have it in stock and a quote for the shipping costs. If this order pulls through, I'll keep my eye out for a good price for other 3, and also hope that I will have the money when I see a good deal lol. Ritsu is the main one I need to keep an eye out for, since she is the most expensive.
3 jaar geleden
0pt
AndyError (3 jaar geleden) #2759379I'm really tempted by those K-ON Alter figures, but if I try to get all of them they will cost a couple hundred USD... So far I have the Ui Alter figure which is really really nice (and it came with an adorable chibi Yui), but I know I'll want the whole collection if I try to collect the main characters.
How much did your Azusa figure cost from Solaris Japan?


I can understand the sentiment. Alter has done some very nice figures. I would recommend you to buy them one at a time, though, since, as you say, they are rather expensive. My figure was about ¥11,000. What that is in USD I do not know.

Thank you for reading my review!
3 jaar geleden
0pt
I'm really tempted by those K-ON Alter figures, but if I try to get all of them they will cost a couple hundred USD... So far I have the Ui Alter figure which is really really nice (and it came with an adorable chibi Yui), but I know I'll want the whole collection if I try to collect the main characters.

How much did your Azusa figure cost from Solaris Japan?
3 jaar geleden
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