Review by VF5SS
The KanColle version of Nagato is named after the Imperial Japanese Navy's prized battleship. The real life vessel was known as one of the "big seven," as it was part of a handful of ships that could carry massive 16 inch guns in accordance with international arms treaties. It even served as the fleet's flagship before that title was given to the Yamato. Reflecting this prestigious position, the fleet girl is depicted as a no-nonsense soldier who puts the mission of defeating the Abyssals above her own needs. In the recent anime adaptation, Nagato was the secretary ship to the (largely unseen) admiral and was more or less the commanding officer at the naval base.
I must admit that I was on the fence about purchasing the figma Nagato, but her role in the KanColle anime eventually won me over. The figure stands roughly six inches tall and does a great job of capturing Nagato's eye-catching (and cosplay friendly) outfit.
If Nagato seems quite similar to Yamato's, it is because both battleships were designed by Yoshinori Shizuma. Nagato is actually a little bit taller than Bandai's take of her fellow fleet girl, but I think it works since the former is portrayed as stern authority figure.
As a consequence of having a shared designer, Nagato has the same quirky "rudder heels" as her successor. Don't worry though as she is still fully capable of standing unaided. If you think she needs extra support, the included stand plugs into a unobstructed (but dubiously placed) hole in her stern.
Her permanently attached headgear mimics the look of the real life Nagato's bridge, with a pair of bulky antenna jutting out from a round base.
Other boat inspired accouterments include depth markings on her stockings and a belt shaped like the bow of a ship, complete with the IJN's crest in the middle. Unfortunately, the figure's fidelity to the source material does come at a price in the form of Nagato's garter belts, which literally anchor her skirt to her stockings.
While the straps are made out of flexible plastic, they are sized to look flat when she is standing straight up. As such, they don't have enough length to allow for a lot of leg movement. She isn't completely immobile below the waterline, but trying to get Nagato's ball-jointed waist and hips to cooperate with the garter belts is irksome. She also has thigh swivels where where her legs meet the top of her stockings, which can be useful when trying to eek out a little more movement. Also, her skirt is made from flexible plastic but is rather stiff and can also limit articulation.
By contrast, Nagato's upper body is pretty much unhindered. Even her long tufts of hair have their own joints for getting out of the way (or blowing dramatically in a sea breeze).
Aside from her elaborate weaponry, Nagato is a fairly lean package in terms of accessories. She comes with:
- Her rigging, which consists of two cannon batteries that plug into a central block.
- A rack of extra hands which add fists, saluting hands, and grasping hands to the splayed hands she has by default.
- A spare wrist joint.
- Two alternate faces
- The standard figma stand.
- The standard figma plastic baggie (not pictured).
Nagato's default expression shows her disciplined attitude quite well. As is the norm with figmas, you just pull off her front bangs to swap faces. Please note that the horizontal antenna on her head are situated behind each face and are not removable.
The second face sports a gentle smile, and shows that Nagato has a soft side under her battle hardened hull.
The final face has the requisite "feelin' bad" expression.
Honestly, I think her minimal accessory count is perfectly fine since Nagato isn't a known for a lot of quirks or character specific items. Even just a pair of fists and a stern face give this figure a lot of personality.
And she can easily show off those hardened steel-like abs.
"Gyaaaaah! My hand hurts!!"
"Hmmph! You're far too weak to challenge me."
"Uggh... Tonight's curry special was too spicy..."
Sadly, her stomach is only strong on the outside...
"Secretary ship Nagato, I have just the cure for your problems! Do you feel better now?"
And unfortunately, Nagato's headgear gives her some compatibility issues with Akagi's instant repair bucket.
"Oooo! Ain't cha just the sweeeeetest beary bear ever?"
When out of sight of her troops, the otherwise stoic battleship will sometimes expresses her fondness for cute things. Due to how the kanji for "Nagato" can be read, this out of character behavior netted her the nickname of "Nagamon."
"I have seen Naka do this a few times but I don't think it actually helps."
And like with many figmas, Nagato comes with a pair of grasping hands that have nothing to hold onto. You could thread these hands around the barrels of her cannons, but why would you want to do that?
As with many KanColle action figures, Nagato's rigging is a pretty elaborate piece in and of itself. The two outer weapons arrays plug into the middle to complete the accessory. It features faux wood detailing on the interior to mimic the look of a ship's deck. The middle portion has a place to stick the stand since Nagato's own connection point will be used by the rigging itself.
Simply plug the rigging into Nagato's lower back and she's ready to sortie. As it uses the same sized connector as the stand, you could equipped other figmas with these weapons.
Her equipment is fairly light too, which makes it possible to have Nagato stand tall in battle without extra support. She is still back heavy though, so her feet need to be positioned just right to prevent capsizing.
All four turrets can rotate a full 360 degrees and feature individually movable guns. Some of the cannons can be a bit stiff out of the box so move them slowly at first.
The rigging is nicely detailed and helps make this figma feel like a complete Kanmusu package.
Even the smokestack on the back is authentically designed to resemble the real life vessel.
The two forward turrets can also point downward as shown in Nagato's game art.
Also the sides of Nagato's rigging can flare outward, making the figure look even more imposing.
It is really cool to have a KanColle battleship who can show off her fighting prowess without the need for a bulky display stand.
If you want to achieve some more dynamic poses, Nagato will stay happily attached to the included stand. However, since the base is a fairly small you will have to fiddle with the setup so that everything is properly balanced.
Once you get Nagato in a good pose, the armature does a good job of keeping her afloat. You may need to tighten the screws in the stand just to be sure she doesn't overwhelm the stand's joints though.
Here is Nagato next to the Armor Girls Project Yamato in full gear. While I like the contrast between the two classes of ship, becoming more familiar with the source material leads me to think Bandai's take on Yamato's rigging is a bit oversized...
"All ships, move out!!"
Nagato is ready to lead this small fleet into battle.
Overall, figma Nagato is an excellent action figure of a solid design from KanColle. I say this in spite of the toy's limited leg movement, as her general poise and attitude eclipses the articulation issues. In many ways, Nagato is the quintessential fleet girl and the figma serves as a good entry into the franchise. While not the flashiest ship in the ocean, she gets the job done reliably.
|Posted 9 April, 2015 - 11:14 by VF5SS|