As reliable as death and taxes is Alter’s proclivity for making figures of characters from the Nanoha series. This one was a bit surprising though, as it appeared that they had wrapped up the StrikerS series with Vivio a couple of years ago. It seemed likely that they would begin adapting the new designs from the upcoming movie but contrary to that expectation, they’re going back to StrikerS. Not that I have a problem with that since I feel kinda dirty every time I look at my loli Fate figures.
Like many figures, this version of Nanoha is based off of an illustration. A few obvious changes have been made; most noticeably, her right arm is now raised up, giving the figure a slightly more dynamic feel, and the position of her head has been changed, which gives the figure a more perceptible sense of engagement with the viewer.
Like most of Alter’s recent figures from the Nanoha franchise, Nanoha is 1/7 scale. However, she appears quite large, being about 23 centimeters in height, and could reasonably be considered 1/6 scale. She’s ready for display right out of the box with no additional effort or fuss necessary. The gray wall that she’s sitting on can mount to an additional circular plastic base; I don’t really think that it is necessary as the wall seems stable enough by itself, but for those who want an added measure of security at the cost of shelf space, it’s there for you.
To be honest, at first I wasn’t particularly excited about this figure. Neither swimsuit figures nor figures of the Nanoha characters are in short supply, and both categories are reasonably well represented in my collection – though oddly, this is the first adult Nanoha figure that I own. That was one of the reasons I ordered it; I don’t have anything against the characters as lolis, but I prefer their adult designs. I was surprised and pleased that Alter decided to make a figure of grown-up and filled-out Nanoha rather than a counterpart to the Fate figure they released late last year, though I have to admit that I might’ve gotten a loli Nanoha swimsuit figure if they made one, being that the Fate figure looks a bit like a lonely orphan on my shelf.
However, being able to see the figure in person, I’m quite happy with it. I’m very pleased with its size; I’m always a fan of larger figures, and Nanoha’s larger-than-expected size is a definite plus. It also portends good things for Alter’s upcoming Fate figure, which is listed as being a solid 27 centimeters tall.
Nanoha’s face – dominated by her expressive eyes – is also very pretty, and her sunny disposition perfectly complements the breezy, balmy feel of this figure. Her sideways glance and gentle smile project a sense of friendly, flirty affability – all appropriate things for perhaps the most accomplished and dedicated friend-maker in anime.
As expected of an Alter figure, Nanoha’s body sculpt is superb, veritably exuding sex appeal. Unlike some swimsuit figures, her body build is not particularly stylized – her stomach is toned but not overly so, and indeed, there’s a slight suggestion of tummy fat that, as it did with Max Factory’s Tamaki Kousaka, gives her body a softer look. Nanoha’s breasts are large but not unbelievably so, and they are sculpted in a realistic manner, with her bikini top looking as if it’s actually supporting them. Her narrow waist – again, not unreasonably so – accentuates her broad hips, which is one of my favorite aspects of this figure. Also sexy is the way Nanoha’s low-rise bikini reveals the arc of her hipbones.
Speaking of her swimsuit, Nanoha’s bikini has a sporty look that makes for a very nice change from the solid-color suits featured by most figures of this type. She’s also wearing a cute short-sleeve hoody, the garment of choice of chavs, protestors, and now magical girls, it seems – though Alter’s upcoming Fate figure does not wear one despite doing so in the illustration.
Another nice aspect of this figure is the contrast between the movement of her side ponytail and hair ribbon and her relaxed pose. As with Alter’s other Nanoha figures, her hair is sculpted particularly nicely, with individual tendrils of hair whipping out behind her.
One odd thing: her face looks a bit flat when viewed from the side.
Another odd thing: her buttocks are flattened out in this manner so that she can comfortably perch on the wall. It keeps her stable, but it does mean that some creativity and imagination will be required if one wishes to put her on an alternate base.
I’m surprised by how much I like this figure. Nanoha is very sexy and that’s always a good thing, but she also has an attractive and pleasing look that reminds one of sun-drenched warmth, of gentle ocean surf and halcyon, idle, and idyllic days. This is a great-looking figure and I’m quite happy to own it, and also quite looking forward to Fate – despite some misgivings regarding a particular aspect of her sculpt. However, the unpainted sample shown at the recent MegaHobby show seems to have undergone revision in the objectionable area, and one can hope that the issue is thus settled.
Here’s a size comparison between adult Nanoha and loli Fate. The scale sizes look accurate, though the giant anime-style heads skew the perception a bit.