Curiously, I have no scale-size Nanoha figures in my collection. I have six Fates, but no Nanoha. This imbalance must be amended – Fate is a lonely girl and she needs a friend. Somebody who will stand by her and give her a big hug. Somebody who will liberate her from a life of thralldom and unrequited love. Somebody who will occasionally Divine Buster her ass when she needs it.
Like many recently-released Nanoha series figures, this particular figure is based off of Nanoha’s movie appearance. The film shows off Nanoha’s impressive homewrecking abilities as she sunders the Testarossa family, utterly obliterating the relationship between mother Precia and her children.
Another major theme of the movie is Nanoha’s enthusiastic embrace of gunboat diplomacy, which she demonstrates to convincing effect as she secures Fate’s compliance and friendship through superior firepower. Nanoha also abandons her friends on Earth to meddle in interstellar politics. And she keeps a ferret as a pet – trÃ¨s Ã propos. The white devil magician girl’s hair even looks like Diablo’s horns. And if all that weren’t enough, her origin is rooted in porn! Shame, shame. Everything but the porn, that is – that part is pretty cool.
Alter and the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise go hand in hand. Their Fate Testarossa from Nanoha A’s was among their earliest figures and is still well-regarded by collectors. They’ve made figures of almost all the principal cast members of StrikerS – not Ginga though, curiously – and they are set to release yet another Fate later this year as well as another Vivio figure, this one from the ViVid manga. Another Nanoha was exhibited at Wonder Festival a few months ago and it would hardly be a surprise if Alter makes figures of the Force characters as well.
There is no shortage of Nanoha figures from Alter or other makers and on the surface, this figure does not look like one that I would select. After all, the great part of my collection consists of either action girl figures or female figures that aren’t wearing many clothes, and while Nanoha is certainly an action girl, this particular figure is rather lean when it comes to visual excitement. Alter recently re-released their Stand By Ready version of Nanoha, which evinces tension and loli determination, and Good Smile Company is re-releasing their supersized swimsuit version, which combines a winning smile with a fetching butt crack, all in 1/4 scale – God’s scale. But this Nanoha figure – banally named the “School Uniform Version” – is only 1/7 scale, and at 18.5 centimeters in height, isn’t even particularly tall for that size.
However, I still like this figure a lot. First of all, it’s an Alter figure, and that means technical quality that is second to none. Second, I have a lot of Fate figures and I wanted a Nanoha figure that could complement them. In particular, I wanted one that would provide a set of contrasts. Contrast is an important concept in photography – one that I don’t pay nearly enough attention to – and it’s also a trait I like to see in my figure collection. Nanoha’s size works well with most of my Fate figures, being that most of them are 1/7 or 1/8 scale, and though she isn’t that tall, she actually looks quite large because of her youthful build. She works particularly well with Banpresto’s Fate, I think, as they are of similar dimensions and embody similar themes. Both figures are unmistakably childlike, both have them holding their intelligent devices, and both wear serene, placid expressions. However, contrast is still evident. Nanoha holds Raising Heart loosely while Fate clutches Bardiche close to her body. Nanoha’s hair is short and orderly while Fate’s tresses whip wildly about. And Nanoha’s outfit is quite modest and light in color while Fate’s clothing is very revealing and dark in tone. They make a very attractive pair, both in the anime and on the shelf.
Although this figure appears at first mundane, Nanoha actually comes with a surprising number of display options. Among them is a swappable head; Alter supplies an entire extra head if one wishes to display her with her hair undone. She also comes with additional black hair ribbons for her pigtails, though I did not play with those. And of course, Nanoha comes with Raising Heart, which is rendered quite well, though admittedly, I’ve never seen a Nanoha figure where Raising Heart was poorly done. She comes with two left hands – one curled in a fist and another that can hold her staff, and she comes with a pendant, which is actually Raising Heart in standby mode. Certainly nothing is stopping a collector from having Nanoha hold two Raising Hearts, one in each hand, which isn’t exactly consistent with the anime but the idea of Nanoha dual-wielding Raising Hearts is just too good to pass up.
Nanoha also comes with rodent buddy Yuuno Scrya. It’s odd how Nanoha figures get bundled with Yuuno but Fate figures don’t get bundled with Arf.
I think I like this Nanoha best with her hair long rather than tied into pigtails. The movement of her dress and hair impart a breezy, carefree atmosphere – something one doesn’t often see in a Nanoha series figure.
Her school uniform may be reserved, but the clean white and black color scheme is appealing. It’s a simple and minimalistic design that provides an effective contrast to Nanoha’s better-known barrier jacket outfit.
This may not be the biggest or most exciting Nanoha figure around but it works very well for my purposes. It’s a good time to be a Nanoha fan, with Alter and Good Smile Company re-releasing figures of her and Cospa’s figure in the bargain bin – or at least, it was in Hobby Search’s bargain bin a few days ago, but they seem to have removed it again – and with Kotobukiya offering a couple of figures of Nanoha in casual wear. Me, though, I’m happy with this figure, as I usually am with Alter’s products.
The 2nd to the last pic makes it look like Fate’s ambushing Nanoha. ^_^ great pics overall 😀
Thanks! That’s another contrast I kinda like; Nanoha looks pretty happy and peaceful while Phantom Minds Fate kinda has this cold-blooded serial killer look going on.
Pic 19 is hinting at an upskirt, but you don’t deliver. I am disappoint. 🙁
But really, she’s a lovely figure, as per usual with Alter girls, but I’m still hoping for a re-release of the 1/7 StrikerS version to go with my Fate (The only to get a re-release so far) as I verily favour adult, mature figures to lolis.
Yep, no upskirt 🙁 I did take a peek under her clothes and they are pink, if anybody is curious. You actually cannot see Nanoha’s underpants from any normal viewpoint; you have to look up under the base to see them. Fortunately, Alter is a thoughtful company and gave her a transparent base to let us do just that.
Yeah, I would really like to see that as well, I think that is my favorite Nanoha figure thus far. Though if they want to make one of her as she appears in Force, I wouldn’t mind that either; the floating battleship parts she’s equipped with are really, really cool.
What’s this, has the tentacle mastermind gone soft? I hope so!
It’s nice to see that you’re experimenting with b/w shots, the last of the three looks quite interesting. As always I’m a big fan of your close-up crops with the warm light, almost all of them look fantastic. Not being a fan of younger looking females flashing their underwear I hesitated a bit while reaching *19.jpg but then to my surprise Obama wasn’t there to greet me. A pleasant surprise indeed.
The figure itself is quite adorable with a great paint job to boot.
Man, I’m going mainstream. Back when I kicked off this site, my entire mission statement was to show off pictures of porno figures. A couple years later and now I’m this set-building artiste. I gotta get back to my roots. Fortunately I got a few figures in the review queue that will let me do just that.
I’m definitely trying to do more stuff with black and white and monochrome, since it’s not something I’ve explored at all. There’s another reason those shots are in monochrome, though; I used Photoshop’s focus stack function to make a composite out of two images for each, but it didn’t blend them perfectly and it’s easier to hide the problems in monochrome. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, though in this case I like the effect anyway, even if I didn’t have to repair the errors.
Man, that reminds me, the tentacle stand hasn’t been on this site in a while. Yeah, I’m definitely going soft.
I find these casual wear figures a little mundane, but definitely a plus with all these extra parts and accessories that they come with. I have a bunch of Alter Nanoha figures, but oddly haven’t done a single review on them yet. I do find them really well done, and like you, I’m a fan of Alter’s Fate figures. Your past review on Fate was really well done and the photos definitely do her justice. =)
Fate looks a little weird here standing beside Nanoha – while Nanoha is in her school uniform, Fate is in a … swimsuit? LOL Yeah, it’s not a swimsuit, but for those that don’t know any better, there’s not much difference. I do like the way Fate’s holding Bardiche, it’s like she’s saying “Yeah, this is mine. All mine! I dare you to come closer.”
You should do one! Nanoha figures are fun to shoot. I’m kinda thinking I ought to review the old 2008 Fate figure just for kicks, since she’s been heavily reviewed and I wonder what kind of spin I can put on it.
Fate looks awesome, standing half-naked next to Nanoha XD Even better, Nanoha’s combat wear is more or less similar to her school outfit. I should’ve taken more shots of those two figures, they look great and I really need more practice shooting multiple figures; whenever I do, all my lighting experience gets blown up and I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.
Maybe Fate doesn’t get Arf because in both forms she would be pretty big and drive up the price or count as a separate figure (rather than an accessory) or something.
Yeah, that’s probably it. I’m somewhat surprised nobody’s made a figure of Arf in her humanoid form, since if I remember right, she appears fairly early in the TV series and gets a good bit of screen time. It’s not like she’s bad-looking or anything.
Haha I can’t agree on badmouthing Nanoha like this, but it was funny, at least XD
This figure of Nanoha looks very good in this airy sculpted school uniform, really nice flow there 🙂 She also has beautiful blue eyes, mhh but Is it just me or is her mouth a little bit too close under her nose? You’ve written that this figure comes with a second head, is there a slightly difference between the face expressions?
Banpresto Fate looks very well together with this Nanoha, still tempted to get her, I already found someone who wanted to sell the Nanoha from that line, but even as Nanoha fan, I prefer Banprestos Fate figure somehow.
Nice pictures as always, I like how the light reflects from the white school uniform, also your group shots of Nanoha with different Fate figures look really good.
I didn’t notice any difference in the facial expressions; I’m guessing they just used the same basic head and glued different hairpieces to them. It might just be the camera angle that makes her mouth and nose look too close together; I shot a lot of these pictures from a lower angle than I usually do, and that was to disguise the fact that I didn’t prepare any kind of special floor.
I checked Mandarake for Fate Testarossa merchandise and they had quite a few of the Banpresto Fate figures in stock. Not too many dakimakura covers of Fate, though, which is what I was looking for.
Dual wielding Raising Hearts?…………You know I was planning on sleeping tonight!!
I think that’d be pretty awesome. Though Nanoha appears to have her armament considerably upgraded in Force; I wonder if Alter will do a figure of her as she appears in that series?
Ooooh I would love to see that. Unlike some people I love what they did in Force (I’ve seen a lot of hate toward the “new” direction they went in Force)
I really like the gradual switch to clear, transparent base with some of the recently released figures these days, clear base is the best, because it looks just like the prototype images (& that’s why prototype images always look better than the actual product images). In fact, one thing I hate about Kotobukiya is their choice of color for their figure bases sometimes makes no sense at all. Most of the time we end up having a base with a completely different, unrelated color compared to the color scheme of the figure itself, thus make the whole sight looks kind of cheap in general.
I like the transparent base as well. Most of the time, I prefer a figure to have an inconspicuous base, like black or white or clear. I also like it better when the base isn’t gigantic, since that also calls attention to itself and also because my shelf space is very limited.
I am a bit new to this blog so please bear with my intrusions. First off, I am impresssed with your photography skills. The lighting placement, the angles and the effect always came out in harmony. Since I already have this fig, I browse to your site for some research (I don’t have a camera for now, nor some setup to do, since I only have two figs as of now, this and vivio). As a novice collector, I am only limited to nanoha so far since I love overdressed characters, hehe. But I know someday that she need some friends later. Oh, and did you check out alter nanoha swimsuit version? (This one’s a prototype as of now, but my senses are tingling for her, hehe)
Thanks for visiting! Nanoha definitely needs friends – Fate would be good, there’s several versions of her in casual wear and I always get Alter’s and Kotobukiya’s mixed up. I did see pictures of that figure and I like it a lot; I think I remember seeing the artwork it comes from, too. I’m glad to see them make more figures of adult Nanoha; I prefer the StrikerS and Force versions of the characters over the younger versions.
Perhaps I will look for a good friend, I mean fate for her partner. I am also looking forward for their Force versions of their barrier jackets. I am sure it would be epic as hell. But alter did not produce erio or caro yet, maybe due to low popularity status perhaps. The only decent figures of these two are only figmas, poor bastards
I don’t know what is up with this outfit, but I would not mind seeing a figure version of something like that. It does look a little unusual on her, though.
The artwork was somewhat based from the manga, maybe directly using the ship’s power to use some magics? Or some suit of armor. As for her personality, nanoha prefers understated outfits, that’s why we dont see much on her figure except on swimsuit form. If they ever animate force manga, my bets will be a loads of figure offerings again from alter and gsc. Speaking of alter, they haven’t take the madoka mania so far, hmmmmm
I surely would not mind seeing figures of the Force versions. Though I’m guessing ViVid might get animated first. I’ve also heard some people not liking the content of Force as much, but I’ve read barely more than a few pages of it so I couldn’t say myself.
Yeah, that’s odd that they’ve stayed out of the Madoka stuff; I expected them to jump right in around summer Wonder Festival. Maybe they’re waiting to see Good Smile Company’s stuff first? Or maybe they’re busy making Strike Witches stuff and Bakemonogatari stuff; they’ve still got quite a few characters left in both those series.
It’s beautiful isn’t it? I knew I had to have it as well whe it went for per order!
It is! It’s a very nice, understated figure – something of a rarity with Nanoha stuff, but a nice change regardless. Though I wouldn’t mind it one bit if Alter re-released the Exceed Mode Nanoha figure.
I quite like seeing Nanoha having her hand undo, never liked her twintails tbh. Even though I am not a big nanoha fan, I too bought a nanoha figure just to accompany Fate~
Yeah, I’m not a big fan of her loli twintail sprouts either. Her grown-up side ponytail is awesome. though, it reminds me a bit of Imari from Bible Black, who I think was the first character I saw with that sort of hairstyle. I liked it a lot then and I like it on Nanoha too.
Arf. Oh Arf. Would it kill someone to make a nice figure of her human form? I thought she had a nice design. ;__;
As for Nanoha, this one is far too plain for my tastes. She’s well made and cute but she just doesn’t get my passion blazing, ya know? It’s nice that Alter spiced things up by giving her so many optional parts.
That 1/4 scale swimsuit Nanoha though….mmm.
I wonder why she’s never got a figure. I hardly see her much in official art, too. I was even kinda surprised when I watched the Nanoha movie and found that Arf had so much screen time since she’s gotten very little merchandising love.
Yeah, this isn’t a figure to get the blood pumping or the testicles quaking, versus say, Good Smile Company’s Fate/stay night figures (unless one dislikes the F/SN franchise, I guess). Nor is their casual dress Fate figure, which I didn’t order, despite being more of a Fate fan (though I don’t own any Fate dakimakura covers. Hmm …)
Man, I wonder if I should order the 1/4 scale one. It looks great, it’s big … I think the main reason I haven’t preordered it is that I don’t like their 1/4 scale Fate as much, and that’s sort of a silly reason.
So lovely. And I love the way you used her in these shots. So original.