Samurai Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

The schoolgirl-with-weapons theme is a very popular one, so much so that it’s made its way into Hollywood films like Kill Bill and Sucker Punch. Still, it is a quintessential theme associated with pop Japanese culture, particularly anime and video games, and as such one of the most common weapons for such a schoolgirl is a traditional Japanese sword. It’s odd, then, that looking at my collection, I see I’ve only got a couple of figures of schoolgirls with swords. This one here is one of them.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

This figure is manufactured by Max Factory and depicts a character named Katanako, which I think simply translates to “Sword Child” or perhaps less-literally “Swordgirl.” She comes from the PSP game 7th Dragon 2020, which was developed by Imageepoch and published by Sega. It’s a sequel to the Nintendo DS game 7th Dragon; as far as I know, neither game was ever released outside of Japan, which isn’t too surprising, I suppose, as Imageepoch is sort of a niche developer. While several of their games – like the Black Rock Shooter RPG and Fate/extra – are reasonably well-known amongst anime fans, and particularly figure collectors, the 7th Dragon series would seem to have a lower profile than those games. If you’re interested in learning more about the game, Hardcore Gaming 101 has a really good article that provides an overview of it and its predecessor.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

7th Dragon 2020 is a dungeon crawler game, and it’s a shame that it never did get a translation since I really dig dungeon crawlers. In fact, I’d still name The Bard’s Tale III as one of my favorite games of all time. Katanako is a Samurai, the standard warrior character, and that’s pretty much all the backstory she gets. She’s sculpted in 1/7 scale but stands a bit over 24 centimeters tall, making her quite tall for her specified scale size. She’s pretty much ready for display right out of the box; the only optional parts she has are swappable right hands. No castoff options are provided.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

Probably the most striking aspect of Katanako’s design is her stretched, elongated body build, which gives her a highly stylized, cartoonish look that contrasts effectively with her otherwise conventional appearance. She wears a fairly typical sailor-inspired schoolgirl uniform, albeit with a combat harness and body armor over it. While her slender proportions are obvious, the additional bulk of the armor and belt pouch takes some of the overtness away from her exaggerated physique, and it takes a few moments of examination to see just how tall and skinny she really is.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

She effects a very sharp, angular appearance, a visage that seems appropriate given her job. Her jaw is steeply raked, her chin sharply pointed. Her bangs are squared off and her eyes are also strongly sloped, giving her a severe expression. Her mouth is a dark slash across her face, a little wider than typical for an anime-type character.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

I really like her facial expression; she has a stern but rather impassive look that, combined with her pose, radiates confidence and competence. It’s a look that says that her business is cutting things up, and that she’s here solely to do business.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

And this is her weapon of choice, a very large, stylized sword. It’s unusually thick in cross-section, which is in keeping with Katanako’s exaggerated look.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

She also has another blade, a combat knife in a thigh sheath. It also has a very angular look, which is a recurring theme of this figure.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

I like the contrast presented by the obvious violent implication of her weaponry juxtaposed on the femininity of her outfit, particularly the lace trim of her socks and the shortness of her skirt.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

And I would be remiss if I failed to provide this peek under her skirt. Her sex appeal is, at first glance, rather muted; Katanako has only a modest chest, and her uniform will appeal to fans of the archetypical schoolgirl costume, but a glimpse of what it covers reveals a surprising amount of immodesty. A great deal of detail is provided under her skirt, as can obviously be seen here. Unfortunately, this view will probably never be available under normal display conditions.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

The samurai wears unusually low-cut underwear; her panties seem to not be up to the task of covering up her backside. Perhaps she should endeavor to find more adequate underwear during her adventures.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

Going back to less-salacious topics, her hair gives this figure a strong sense of energy and movement, even though the samurai’s pose is stoic and heroic. It’s also one of those aspects where you don’t realize just how much hair she has until you look at it for a few seconds.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

Her right hand can be swapped out for this one, which allows her to be displayed without her sword. This matches the artwork but personally, I think she looks a lot cooler with her sword.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

Among the things I didn’t like about the samurai was the color of her socks and her arm armor; I thought the purple socks and aqua-blue plating looked garish. However, looking at the character art for the game, it seems that the designs were created with the intent of presenting loud, clashing colors. Seeing the figure in person, the colors don’t bother me much now. I really like this figure; Katanako is both cute and confident, and her stylistic quirks are somehow both conspicuous and subtle at the same time. I had hoped that she would look good displayed next to Mishiro Akatsuki, my only other sword-wielding schoolgirl figure (unless you consider Kanu Unchou’s Seiryutou to be a sword), but Katanako looks like a colossus compared to her – not a bad thing in my view, as I always prefer larger figures. Overall, this is a great figure, one I’m glad that Max Factory did, being that it comes from a slightly obscure property.

I don’t plan on ordering Max Factory’s figure of the Hacker, but I am hoping they do a figure of the female psychic; she’s pretty much just wearing her underwear, which is really cool.

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review
Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review
Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review
Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review
Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review
Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review
Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review
Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review
Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review
Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review
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40 Responses to Samurai Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020

  1. Jenn says:

    Wow, very cool. I like the serious tone of the character; the pose; dramatic wind blown hair and armour pieces add to the fact that she’s strong and confident. Also, she kind of reminds me of Yomi from “Ga Rei,” another sword wielding school girl.

    While I like the overall look of the figure, I wish she’d wear something that suits her more as a warrior. I don’t mind school uniforms, but I prefer a kick ass outfit. That’s just me.

    Anyway, good review and nice work with the pictures. I also checked out your previous figures, and I love your Lineage 2 dark elf figures especially. I recently got into Lineage, and I love the character/costume design. Just awesome 🙂

    • Tier says:

      Ga-Rei Zero deserves more figures. I had hoped that Yamato would make a figure of Yomi to go with Kagura, being that I like Yomi a lot better than her, but it seems that it is not to be. (I’d also really like a figure of Natsuki, but well, you know.)

      Lineage really has some great designs. I’ve sorta noticed that quite a few Korean games have really good design sensibilities (though it kinda seems a lot of them are lacking in gameplay … I played Lineage II for about a month and liked the eye candy, but not the gameplay so much). I’m really looking forward to Max Factory’s figures; they always do a great job and I think it’s amusing that they got their dark elf prototype completed while Orchid Seed has been showing the same artwork for years now, it seems.

  2. banana says:

    There are some really good angles on this figure, but a variety of little things bug me about her, which ultimately added up to me passing on the purchase. Most of all, I think her stylization doesn’t work well in 3D. She really shouldn’t be holding a sword in that pose either. It looks rather silly.

    • Tier says:

      I’m kinda surprised that this figure seems to have gotten a very warm reception amongst figure collectors, at least those on Tsuki-board, if one takes that as being a large enough sample size. I thought that her unconventional appearance might be enough to deter a lot of people, but I suppose not. Though I wonder how much of her popularity comes from her being made by Max Factory, and I wonder if she’d have gotten a different reception if it were the exact same figure but made by Yamato or somebody.

  3. Asa says:

    Being a weapongirl, I was interested in this figure at a glance, however being from an unknown source, I skipped her. And I’m glad I did, because while she is over all quite a pretty figure, I’m really not a fan of such exaggerated styles like this. Especially her absurdly long neck. A huge turnoff for my wallet there.

    She is suited to a set like you shot her in here, though. A nice shoot, as always. ^^

    • Tier says:

      Ahhh, this is yet another reminder that I need to get those gangsta lean and umbrella Saber reviews done. When it comes to oddball styles, it’s pretty tough to beat those, particularly since Saber is so iconic that any deviation from her design is jarring. Like her new Fate/extra CCC (or whatever the game is called) costume; it looks so strange. (And awesome, I must admit.)

  4. Aaron says:

    I still think this figure looks great. My only problem with it has always been the funny bulky look of the left arm. I have no problem with the color or the armor, but she looks like she is a part robot to me.

    I thought her neck was going to looked stretched (after you pointed it out in your preorder outlook), but it doesn’t look odd at all. I still think the pink stockings look awesome on her and her body proportions, although exaggerated, work really well with the whole figure.

    It is nice to see the high amount of detail sculpted under her skirt. It is really surprising that she is basically sculpted like a Native figure wearing underwear.

    • Tier says:

      People seem to have very different opinions about different aspects of this figure, which is pretty interesting (moreso since nobody can have a preconceived view of the character, unlike, say, a Miku Hatsune figure). I kinda wish she had a castoff option, since that seems to be a traditional thing for schoolgirl figures – even ones where it doesn’t seem to be too beneficial, like the Izumi figure I wrote a post on not long ago. There’s a lot of detail there that is going to go unnoticed for the most part.

  5. Why the heck didn’t I order this one? She looks so cool. D: I rather like the mismatched colors, with her obnoxiously bright gauntlet being my favorite part. (Her cool shoes are a close second) I’ll pass on Hacker since I’m not a fan of Alice in Wonderland-themed goth loli look, but here’s hoping they make Psychic. She’s dressed like a hoochie and I love it.

    • Tier says:

      Haha, she is indeed. Yeah, I don’t plan on getting the Hacker, either. She looks nice but the Victorian doll look isn’t really my thing, and I cannot stand those stupid crooked little hats and crowns. I blame K-On! for making that style fashionable amongst anime characters.

      Looking at the character artwork, it kinda seems there are some themes the artist wanted to make obvious; both samurai are obviously wearing school uniforms, and the destroyers seem to look like skater kids. The male psychic looks kinda like a goth kid, maybe, but instead of making a matching counterpart, I guess the artist was like, “Ehh, let’s make the girl psychic look like a ho.”

  6. Phil says:

    I bought and sold mine for a higher price…..now I want it back XD

  7. Wieselhead says:

    I liked this since the time I saw her as grey/white prototype on Wonfes, but it seems that I somehow forgot about her as she was preorderable.I guess all preorder slots were full at that time anyway. I like her style a lot, it’s unique and differs so much from the everyday bishoujo figure of today.Everything about her design looks really gorgeous.

    Her face is so pretty with the big eyes and the sculpted mouth, the black line adds so much coolness to her. Maybe one thing that slightly bothers me is the neck, it might be 0,5 cm too long.

    Hehe she’s quite the cameltoe princess, not what I had expected from a figure based on a PSP Game. I like her dress with the bold colors and appealing design elements, though

    Psychic looks also very good, I like Trickster as well.

    • Wieselhead says:

      Oh no to forget the Destroyer class, a really nice design.

    • Tier says:

      It’s pretty neat how she looks so distinctive, being that she’s a combination of two of the most common tropes in anime. I’m happy that Max Factory made a figure of her; though I think I might actually like the original 7th Dragon samurai design a little bit better.

      I kinda wonder if the sculptor just snuck that part in there, or if Max Factory directed that. Seeing the way Gift’s upcoming 1/4 scale Fate is looking, I guess it wouldn’t surprise me if the GSC companies are looking to make their products a bit more risque.

  8. nagisa says:

    Looks like everyone loves her but I still can’t get over how overly long her neck is. Of course I really don’t have any idea on the source material but it seems that her “best details” are hidden beneath her skirt. But it seems that her long necked stature is based on her chara design so we cannot blame max factory for that. Fans of the game will surely appreciate her better.

    • Phil says:

      Well the neck goes along with the exaggerated look, she is supposed to look stylized, not natural.

    • Tier says:

      She definitely does have a really long neck, and a very stretched out body. I think the black sleeve around her neck makes it a little less obvious, at least to me. I remember MegaHouse did this figure a couple of years ago of this one wrestling girl (actually a guy, though the figure was a female version of the character) and it was also similarly skinny and stretched-out. I thought about getting it, since it looked pretty cool, but I decided I didn’t like her tall, slender proportions and so I skipped her. Samurai kinda has the same look, but she’s wearing more clothes (the wrestling figure was nearly naked, being a wrestler and all) so I think it’s easier for me to get past her physique.

  9. warazashi says:

    As always, a nice set.

    I’d actually love to see some of the male characters deom 7th Dragon 2020 get the figure treatment. They seem to be quite dynamic and would be interesting to see some interesting male figures especially since the girls in this set are relying on a lot of typical and expected appearances.

    • Tier says:

      That’d be pretty nice; male characters are pretty underrepresented in this hobby, though more makers seem to be putting out more figures of guys. I don’t plan on buying any of them, though I did think about getting MegaHouse’s figure of Kenshin Himura from a while back.

  10. Halbred says:

    She’s so…LANKY. Is she part giraffe? LOL

  11. Tian says:

    Leave it to Tier to find the perverted aspect of even this figure. Do you have a cameltoe power ranking? Because this one has got to be way up there. They vacuum sealed those panties to her crotch!

    Even without taking the cameltoe into consideration, I still like this figure – especially her face. I passed on it because I didn’t really know anything about the character or the game, but I’m glad you picked this one up to review.

    • Lykaios says:

      Cameltoe Power Ranking…..nice. ^_^

      …..though I don’t know how I feel about loli Fate making a list like that.

      • Tian says:

        Look, we’re just here to comment on cameltoe quality. Leave the moral implication to the politicians in Washington.

        • Lykaios says:

          ….I was gonna say something else, but I think I see your point. Besides, if I was making a grand moral statement I would have worded it differently (not also stating the obvious – that I wouldn’t be on this site looking at and buying this stuff).

          That was just a random opinion on a recent figure that I have seen mentioned here and other places – if you don’t like it, whenever you see my name, don’t read the comment.

          • Tier says:

            I’m pretty sure he was joking rather than making an admonishment. He’s got a direct and deadpan sense of humor that probably works better if you’ve read his site for a while. Speaking of which, since apparently my site does a great job funneling traffic to his site, I’m gonna pimp his site right now. Everyone should go read it.

          • Tian says:

            heh, didn’t mean to sound so serious there, I was just kidding around. We all like it a little pervy, that’s why we’re here! Actually I like it a lot pervy, so yeah… definitely don’t have any grounds to be looking down on people.

    • Tier says:

      I do not, but I probably should. I had this idea to make up some rankings for my figures (best ass, nicest panties, etc.). She’d definitely be near the top, though Nanjou Ran and Narika could make strong cases, too. Maybe that one Saya Tokido figure that I never reviewed, too. Too bad I can’t do such with a list with quantitative analytics, like Hollinger.

      • Tian says:

        This one would kind of be the moneyball option. She doesn’t really have the wares on display, but advanced scouting reveals quite a lot of talent.

        • Lykaios says:

          ….as I hit [post comment] I thought to myself ‘ok, maybe I am taking this the wrong way’ and decided to see the response before saying anything else. Welp, now I feel like an a$$hole ^_^ Deadpan smart-assery is a deceptively complicated thing on the internet. Maybe mentioning Rick Sanitarium in your political comment may have helped. Hope things are all good, Tian, they are on my end.

          Anyway, good has come out of this small misunderstanding – I now have a new site that has been added to my list.

          Thank you Tier, by the way. This site has united Koto’s Muv-Luv Yui and I and for that I will always be grateful. I wish there was a way to wait until your reviews with pictures are up before making a purchase. Unfortunately, if a figure is any kind of popular it will be sold out long before. You might think that figure companies would spend more time on quality pictures – after all, THAT is what sells it.

          And that leads me to this figure. I liked it, but wasn’t completely sold on it because of issues already mentioned. Since I was already overbooked, I gave this thing not a second thought.

          I am not even gonna lie, if I had known about her vacuum-sealed panties…..that alone would have bumped her up a few on the priority list. Oh well.

          Just when I think I am in control of the perv that comprises my soul. While some things may give me slight pause due to creep factor, I haven’t seen much that would stop a purchase. Anyway, keep the great pictures and reviews coming.

          • Aaron says:

            Had I known she was going to have such great cameltoe, I would have ordered her myself. My guess is that this is true for a lot of people because of the way she has absolutely skyrocketed in price.

          • Tian says:

            I’m in the same boat… guess we’ll just have to get the next one.

            No worries Lykaios, just glad you like my site 😀

          • Tier says:

            Yeah, unfortunately I am also pretty slow with reviews these days; I’ve got so many to get to and so little time (no thanks to a newfound video game addiction). I definitely agree that if makers put out more photos, particularly ones that showed a little more imagination, it would make their figures look a lot more attractive. I tend to think that my photos aren’t that great for making purchasing decisions, since I tend to go for obscuring shadows and high contrast, but a lot of people have said they’ve bought stuff based on what they see here, so I guess my picture style isn’t as unhelpful as I sometimes think it is.

  12. Steve Chen says:

    Stylized, highly detailed pudenda area vacuumed stuck (boy you guys’ descriptions are hilarious!) and sold out like hotcakes…………Maxfactory rarely does re-issues no?
    Iirc she was sculpted by the same person who did Samus Aran(wish she also had the camel toe but maybe Big N wouldn’t green light that detail)………..and it shows! Exquisitely beautiful with a tinged of femme fatal deadliness with that confident swagger. Wished I did not pass her over……… because of Alter’s Milia Maxwell…………arrgh!

    Oh! And Tier rocks as usual hehehe

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I don’t remember them doing a ton of re-releases. Samus would definitely be fantastic with a little more spice, as would Kotobukiya’s upcoming Muv-Luv figures; I’m still mildly disappointed that they don’t have erect nipples, like they do in about half of their official artwork.

  13. Adam says:

    Katanako was one of my personal best-ofs for 2012. Love the confident bearing, vivid hues, and overall stylized look that Max Factory managed to imbue into this figure. The only surprise was the cameltoe-infused panty sculpt, which I didn’t expect to see from Max Factory outside of their Native brand. That’s not a bad thing, but just not what I was expecting from an otherwise pretty tame figure.

    I wasn’t planning to order Hacker, either, but I somehow missed Psychic as a future option when researching the 7th Dragon 2020 game. She definitely has potential.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I was quite surprised (and more than a bit amused) as well, particularly since it’s not something that’ll ever be noticed. I wonder if the sculptor made a conscious decision to include it or if it’s just something that seems to be customary.

      I’m also surprised that this figure seems to be commanding a really high resale value already. I like it a lot but being that she’s a mostly-unknown character with no defined personality or backstory, I didn’t think she’d be quite so well-received. It’s great to see that she is, though; I hope it gets figure makers to make more figures of characters that we haven’t seen before.

  14. Aaron says:

    Now that Hatsune Miku has been announced to have a 7th Dragon 2020 version, do you think we’ll see the vacuum-sealed panties on a Miku since it is the same sculptor as Samurai?

    • Tier says:

      I think it’s possible, although it seems somewhat less likely being that Miku is quite a high-profile character. (I was kinda hoping they’d pass over her being that I don’t really care for the way Sega whores out its titles these days, but I suppose it was inevitable.)

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