Dakimakura Review – Nagato from Kantai Collection (clesta Version) (NSFW)

Nagato dakimakura from Kantai Collection

It’s pillowcase show-and-tell time! Believe it or not, the dakimakura reviews are some of the most popular posts on this site. Yeah, I don’t understand it either. It’s been a while since we last looked at one, so we’ll take some time from the figure stuff to take a look at a pillowcase from Kantai Collection, the big new sexy thing in anime culture. We’ve seen this sort of thing before, such as with Touhou, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and the Vocaloid stuff, all of which have established enduring appeal, and also with Black Rock Shooter, which flamed out with scarcely so much as a good-bye. Time will tell whether Kantai Collection will last through the fickle transience of modern culture. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Kantai Collection, it’s apparently a web browser-based card battling game, in which female characters named after Imperial Japanese Navy warships take on a variety of pasty-faced, glowy-eyed female adversaries, most of which are named after characters of the Japanese syllabary. I suppose that in this day and age, the United States Navy is an unsuitable opponent for this sort of thing, but I’m a little disappointed that there isn’t more fan art of the cute Japanese girls being accosted by personifications of Third Fleet warships. I mean, given how many famous US Navy officers served in the war, there are, at the least, some really good NTR possibilities there. Not that I like NTR or anything. But anyway! We have here a pillowcase featuring Nagato, one of the most famous ships of the Combined Fleet and, from what I can tell, one of the more popular characters from the series. Let’s take a look at her.

This dakimakura cover features illustrations by Masahiro Cle, sometimes spelled Kure, who is the principal member of the circle clesta. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), the city of Kure is where the battleship Nagato was constructed. The artist is well-known for his ero doujin work, most of which have titles prefixed with “CL” and feature numerous popular anime girls – and sometimes little boys. His style is readily identifiable and the high quality of his illustrations has gained him numerous fans.

The character here is, as mentioned, Nagato, named after the famous battleship. The real-life Nagato was commissioned in 1920 and was a contemporary of the British battlecruiser HMS Hood and the American Colorado-class of battleships. Like the Hood, the Nagato was progressively modernized throughout her service life such that she entered World War II as a fast battleship. In addition, both ships were often used as flagships – in particular, Nagato served as the flagship of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (who has himself been anime-fied at least a couple of times) until being replaced in that capacity by the Yamato. In a time when most intercontinental travel and shipping was carried on the seas – and when empires were won and defended by seapower – both warships were famous and beloved national symbols. Unlike Hood, which was blown out of the water in 1941 with the deaths of all but three of her crew, Nagato saw little action until the war was already lost. At the end of the conflict, Nagato was the only Japanese battleship still afloat and operational. Seized as a war prize by the United States, she met her destiny as an atomic bomb test target at Bikini Atoll. Her fate is reminscent of another European battleship; like the Nagato, the German ship Ostfriesland was taken by the United States, albeit after the First World War, and served as a test target for US aircraft. The Ostfriesland’s demise signalled the impending dominance of military air power, just as Nagato’s destruction heralded the nuclear age.

This pillowcase measures 160 centimeters long and 50 centimeters in width and is made of the standard 2-way tricot that many doujin dakimakura covers are made of. The front side shows Nagato chained up with a baleful look on her face. She’s wearing her standard uniform, which showcases her toned tummy and very impressive rack, which is pretty much a given as the personification of one of the Combined Fleet’s largest warships.

I really like her toes; speaking of which, we can see she does indeed have correct left and right feet, which isn’t always the case with dakimakura cover illustrations.

Some dakimakura covers show a front view of the character and then the rear view of the character on the reverse side. The reverse side of this pillowcase shows Nagato’s front, rear, and side, as she twists around while trying to hide all her important bits.

Or maybe she’s just stimulating herself, being that she’s not hiding her nipple. This side shows the full face blush that is often featured in Masahiro Cle’s artwork.

Moving down, Nagato’s hand obscures all the good stuff, which is a little surprising given that the artist’s doujinshi are generally very explicit and highly detailed. But then, it’s pretty cute this way, too; I don’t know if the Kantai Collection version of Nagato has a personality or not, but it seems like she’s one of the older and more mature characters in the series, so seeing her acting bashful is appealing, too.

Speaking of which, hopefully we’ll get to see more of her in the upcoming anime adaptation. I’m not really expecting much from it, but hopefully it’ll be entertaining, at least. Oddly, it appears that the anime will star Fubuki, who doesn’t seem to be amongst the fan favorites (I thought Shimakaze would certainly be the lead girl). Moreover, the real life destroyer Fubuki met an early end at the Battle of Cape Esperance, but I expect the anime will be quite a bit more cheery (I’m guessing it’ll be something kinda like Strike Witches). We’ll see if this phenomenon can last or if it will run its course and bow out and give way to the next big thing.

I don’t know who my favorite Kantai Collection character is, but I like Nagato, Yamato, and Kongo (I’m guessing the first two are supposed to be refined Japanese women, whereas Kongo seems somewhat excitable and spastic). Of those three, I suppose I like Nagato’s design the best, so I’m very pleased with this pillowcase; I think it’s one of the nicest Kantai Collection pillowcases I’ve seen.

Nagato dakimakura cover by Masahiro Kure
This entry was posted in Dakimakura Review and tagged , , , , , .

15 Responses to Dakimakura Review – Nagato from Kantai Collection (clesta Version) (NSFW)

  1. Shashin says:

    It has been awhile since I’ve commented here, but it seems like the dakimakura posts are where I come out. I must admit, that I don’t really follow figures (or reviews) all that much anymore, but I still do usually read your reviews. With dakimakura covers, however, I typically do have something to add.

    I was actually playing KanColle before I went off to Japan, and plan on starting it up again. It’s an addicting little game; nothing too deep, but it has a bunch of cute (and voiced) girls with a fun collecting aspect. Other than the collecting part, the character cards don’t have much to do with the actual game. You choose your fleet of ships, equip them with weapons (subs can typically only use torpedoes, battleships get the big guns, and there is some minor overlap), and level them up. You select a map which has pathways to different nodes, ending in a boss node.

    You spin a “compass” after each battle, which determines what you node you go to next (and may not reach the boss on a particular sortie.) From there, you have little control over the battles; attack order is determined by your Range and Speed stats, so the ships will take turns firing at each other over a few rounds of battle or until all of the enemy ships are defeated. To reach the next node, you generally need to damage the enemy ships more than you’ve been damaged. This is where the tough decisions will typically come in, as you expend fuel and ammo after each battle, your chance to hit will go down, while you’re more prone to be hit. Your ship girls don’t have a chance to actually die, unless you enter a battle when one of them has been moderately/severely damaged; if you enter battle that way, there is a chance your ship will be killed and you lose her forever. You can have doubles of ships, but you have a limited number of slots available to you (100 by default, but you can buy more) and you’d need to re-level/re-equip them.

    Nagato is one of the rarer ships in the game; I’ve seen a good number of battleships at this point and still don’t have her, whereas I’ve probably constructed/won at least 4-5 of Kongou at this point. So I can’t speak for her personality, but Kongou is definitely energetic, to say the least. She’s also one of the few ships that will spout out random English phrases, such as BURNING LOVE. You’re right that Fubuki isn’t really a fan favorite (at least not in the English community), but I’m pretty sure she started as one of the poster girls for the game. The fans just decided who they liked more. Personally, I’m partial to Hibiki, Haruna, Shimakaze, and the subs.

    Clesta is one of my favorite doujin circles, and I really wish they’d do more dakimakura covers (they’ve been following the trend of one every Comiket, but they’ve previously released a few in partnership with Toranoana.) Their doujinshi have always been pretty explicit, but they’ve walked the line when it comes to their covers. They print with A&J, which has some of the harsher rules when it comes to what they allow. I don’t own some of their really early covers, but I do own the last four they did (Kimi, Asuka, Raika) plus Nagato. And all of them have fairly tame in comparison to what other circles put out. I definitely prefer the more explicit covers, but the artwork is good enough that I’m willing to settle for something that isn’t super raunchy. Unfortunately, the police have been cracking down on artists lately, and this has led to harsher rules for Comiket and will likely set a trend in the future. If you’ve come across any doujinshi from C85, try to compare it to previous works from the same circle; I know that the censor bars on Clesta’s work were about an inch wide for their C85 doujinshi, which really obscured the good bits. So it’s very unlikely that Clesta is to move towards more explicit covers in the future.

    On a final note, I had a chance to attend a KanColle themed event in Tokyo a few days ago. It took up a full hall at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center (Comiket usually takes up 3-4 halls, I think?) I was practically out of money at the time, but it was still fun to walk the hall and see some of my favorite circles. Clesta was like the 3rd booth at the event; on the perimeter (where the popular circles usually are) and the third booth in the first row. All of the circles/cosplayers I wanted to visit had a booth that was in the first row (on either side of it.) This is a completely random thought, but I have to say that Saku is just as cute in person as she is in her photos.

    • Tier says:

      That sounds like a fun game; I’ve never really cared much for card games (of this type, anyway), but I like the World War II hook, being that I enjoy studying military history. If it ever gets an English adaptation, I might check it out.

      It does seem like Shimakaze and Atago are the big fan-favorites, along with the capital ships. It’s not too difficult to guess what sort of personalities those characters have, so I suppose Fubuki gives the sort of generically inexperienced-but-enthusiastic female main character that you see so often in anime.

      It’s unfortunate that the censors are cracking down. It’s ironic then that anime in general is getting more explicit while ero anime and manga are becoming less so.

    • willowywicca says:

      Comiket takes up 10 halls at the Tokyo Big Sight (All 6 east halls, all 4 west halls). Though it’s possible the 1 hall you refer to was actually 3 halls since the East 1-3 (and similarly for 4-6) halls are each really just a very big hall (at least during comiket, I guess they may have some kinds of temporary walls to separate them into 3 actual different halls if needs be). Though if it really was only 1 hall, then that will give you a good idea of the scale of how huge comiket really is.

  2. Wieselhead says:

    I wanna fulfill my duty on the Nagato XD
    It is always amazing that japan ignores the cruelty of war and combines WWII equipment with beautiful girls. Girls und Panzer was a great tank anime, but seing the german tank as “main character” was strange for me as german citizen. In school we were taught that war equipment and war in general was and is something bad.

    The pillow cover looks marvellous, super detailed and the illustration is really pretty yeah and arousing. A Max Factory figure like the front would be great, even with covered nipples.
    Is it just me or is her right buttock a bit flat?

    I tried to get in the game, but the lottery sucks, even with vpn I didn’t make it. I tried it for nearly a week TT

    • Shashin says:

      I tried getting into the lottery 3 different times. Apparently if you don’t speak Japanese it’s very easy to get in and not realize you’ve done so. The screen you see after you got in and the screen you see when a lottery isn’t taking place (all of the different buttons, ie the server screen) are nearly identical. After you refresh and you get the cat bopping the girl on the head a few times, if you get in, it should change to the server screen after 10-40 minutes. On Twitter, they announce which server will have open slots, and you’ll be able to click that one for as long as slots remain available (if they have 5000 slots, they might let 6000 people to the server selection screen, and the first 5000 to click the right server will get in.)

      So I actually managed to make it to the server selection screen my first 2-3 times, after only 20-30 minutes each time. But the wiki instructions were really poor on what to do next, so I never bothered clicking any but maybe the top few buttons. Then the 3rd/4th time I got to the screen, I saw that one of the middle servers had a very slight sliver of empty space, versus a completely full (red) bar. I clicked it, and sure enough I got into the game.

    • Tier says:

      It’s a really weird thing to see; but then, I suppose there’s a lot of distance between the war and modern times. It’s pretty amazing to think that the same society that advocated mass suicide in the name of honor is the same one that produced Pokemon and Tamagotchi just sixty or seventy years later. I also have to think that many modern realistic first-person shooter games are even more distasteful; it’s pretty lame to make US military-themed shooters while that same military was engaged in a real-life shooting war.

      On that note, it’s also a little weird seeing Chinese anime fans embrace this series, being that the Japanese military did some pretty nasty things to China and the Chinese people during the war. But then, I suppose both countries are vastly different now and at some point, you have to move on.

      (It’s also a little weird for me, being Japanese-Korean in ethnicity. As a Korean, I’d have cause to dislike Japan for the atrocities they committed during their occupation; as an American; I have cause to dislike Japan for launching a sneak attack; as a Japanese, I have cause to dislike the US for, well, kicking their ass; and as a Japanese-American, I have cause to dislike both the US and Japan. It’s kinda complicated but I figure it’s better not to dwell too much on the past.)

      Yeah, I guess it is a little flat; something about the way her right leg connects to her torso seems a little off, but it’s a complicated pose so it doesn’t bug me much.

      I guess GSC is jumping on the Kantai Collection bandwagon really soon, at least in terms of scale-size figures. They do have nice designs so I’d certainly like to see the battleship girls get some figures, particularly since they have those big, complicated turret assemblies. I like the destroyers and the subs and such, but they’re basically just wearing sailor outfits or school swimsuits and we’ve seen that sort of thing before.

      • Wieselhead says:

        I see where you are coming from, some nations overcome their past wars better than others, but China and Japan are still no friends, at least on the political stage. Business or friendship between normal people works much better.

        I like tanks, jets and choopers a lot, I don’t see them and their purpose as unreflected as in my youth, but I still like them designwise.

        GSC plans a nice Shimakaze, unfortunately not as sensual as the pillow cover ^^ But I’ll look forward to Wonfes, maybe there will be other characters of it, but I don’t know their names at all XD

        • Tier says:

          That is true; given how heated things have gotten in recent times, it’s a little surprising how many anime fans there are in China. But then, maybe they just figure that it doesn’t concern them.

          I bet there will be tons and tons. I saw that Amakuni is also doing a Shimakaze, and I’m sure we’ll see more of her, being that she seems to be the most popular of all the Kantai Collection characters. I expect figure companies are going to want to cash in as quickly as they can.

  3. TomTheCat says:

    This is a very nice dakimakura cover, and one can only hope that many, many more Kantai Collection characters will get the dakimakura treatment. I like the anchor chain she’s restrained with. Although on close inspection, Nagato could pull her hands from those chains rather easily. I assume that the chain is there mainly for cosmetic reasons, just like her head ornaments. I don’t know what these are supposed to reflect, I’m not familiar with the battleship Nagato’s looks, but I suppose it’s some sort of antenna installation.

    Her right buttock looks all right to me. She’s gripping it with her hand after all, so it obviously has no chance to flaunt its “full” glory. And, as you say, it’s a complicated pose with her body twisted that way, so one can argue if it’s more realistic than appealing or the other way round.

    On another note, the Hood was sunk by the Bismarck not in 1942 but in May 1941. The Bismarck had no chance to bask in this glory for too long however, because she was sunk herself a few days later. In case you didn’t know already, the German heavy cruiser “Prinz Eugen” was sailing alongside the Bismarck during her encounter with the Hood and the Prince of Wales. After that, they parted company, and while the Bismarck was sunk, the Prinz Eugen went on to survive the war, just like the Nagato did. And, also just like the Nagato, Prinz Eugen was subjected to U.S. nuclear tests at the Bikini Atoll. After surviving two atomic blasts, she was towed to Kwajalein Atoll where she capsized in December 1946.

    • Tier says:

      It does look insufficient to restrain her, but the thought is nice. Yeah, I dunno what the headset is, either; I guess it’s supposed to reflect her mast or something? The ship Nagato had a big-ass mast arrangement (called a pagoda mast), but it doesn’t look too much like her headgear, which is just as well since I think it’s kind of an ugly-looking superstructure (I’ve always been partial to the look of US battleships, especially the post-refit California-class and the other ships with clipper bows).

      Ahh, of course you’re right. That’s what I get for not double-checking the date on Wikipedia. I am, of course, a stereotypical American who forgets that the war was already more than two years old before the US got into the fight. That reminds me of my favorite scenario in this old Brøderbund game called The Ancient Art of War at Sea. It was a sailing ship combat game, but one of the scenarios re-enacted (pre-enacted?) the hunt for the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, except they were cast as ships-of-the-line. You got to control the German ships and your objective was to escape to France. Me, instead of trying to flee, I always tried to annihilate the Royal Navy. What a great game that was. Speaking of sexy battleships, I’ve always liked how the Bismarck and Tirpitz looked, too; they had this big, burly look that looked, well, German, or at least reminiscent of Germany at the time.

      • TomTheCat says:

        Sigh, Broderbund, sweet memories. The game I connect most with Broderbund is Prince of Persia. Just “Prince of Persia” mind you, not any of the “3D” incarnations. At the time, its graphics were very crisp, and I preferred their looks even to those of “Prince of Persia 2”.

        I occasionally played a game called “The Ancient Art Of War In The Skies”. However, that was published not by Broderbund, but by Microprose. It is set in World War One, and from what I remember, controlling was sort of a gamble. I recall literally pulling the plug on my PC quite often when I got so annoyed that the game did not follow my inputs, grrrrrr…

        Yeah, different countries, different philosophies in battleship design. I agree that the most beautiful bow design is the clipper bow. Britain’s ships had this no-nonsense look. Not particularly attractive, but efficient. U.S. ships did look better, but still very much “business”. While one can’t deny that Germany’s Bismarck and Tirpitz are instruments of war, their lines are sort of graceful, if one is allowed to use this word in context with war machines. Yamato and Musashi are the biggest battleships ever built, and in my personal beautiy contest they take third place, for just a fraction behind the U.S. Navy, but way before the Royal Navy.

        • Tier says:

          I never got to play the original Prince of Persia; my family’s Apple II had broken long before the game came out, and the IBM PC clone we had lacked a color graphics adapter, which hugely limited the number of games I could play on it. I do fondly remember a game called Karateka, though, which was by the same creator. Well, I don’t remember the sequence where you got mauled by this mean-ass bird too fondly. Nor do I fondly remember getting killed by the booby trap gate. Or getting clobbered by the princess.

          Ah, I remember seeing that game in the PX back when I was living in Seoul. I kinda wanted it, having played the hell out of the previous two games in the series, but the lack of compatibility with my computer was a problem. I loved a lot of Microprose’s old games, though, especially F-19 Stealth Fighter and M1 Tank Platoon. It is really too bad that nobody makes flight simulators anymore.

          I think it’s reasonable to call those ships graceful; there are people who value aesthetics when it comes to things like smartphones and laptop computers, so I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to describe a boat that way. I think I’d agree with you with that in those rankings. I also liked some of the quirkier ship designs in the war, like the German pocket battleships. They looked so strange but I’ve always thought they looked pretty cool.

  4. GREW says:

    Wow nice. Completely forgot that there is a Nagato Dakimakura from clesta.
    Looks very nice. Thanks to clesta drawing style and color.

    Would maybe have ordered this one as well with my Fatal Pulse Dakimakura. I got myself the one with Nagato and Mutsu, first cover actually. I don’t even have a body for it.

    Let’s hope that Nagato, Mutsu and all the other big ships get some more treatment as well. The number of Shimakaze and other loli ships are high enough. hehe

    • Tier says:

      I agree! I like Shimakaze’s design – mainly due to her thong – but I like the battleship girls the best, I think. I’m hoping the upcoming anime isn’t all about the destroyer girls, but I have a sinking feeling that it is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.