First, a couple of random thoughts: I recently logged in to my Hobby Search account and saw this, which has caused me to consider whether I want to continue receiving figures while Japan Post is not dispatching parcels to the United States. Second, I recently turned forty, which ought to give me pause and compel me to think about the direction my life is going, including whether I am wasting too much time and money on pervy plastic anime figures and gacha games. I’ve actually found that getting older has made me more comfortable with who I am, though; I’ve found myself being less unsure of the path I’ve taken and more content with where I am. The lack of updates here has less to do with me falling out of love with this hobby and more to do with me being lazy and having photographed some uninspiring figures that I don’t feel that compelled to write about.
And that leads me to talk about this figure: this is Narika Shihoudou, one of the three main heroines of the eroge Beat Blades Haruka. I’m always happy to see a figure from an Alice Soft property, even if it’s not executed particularly well, which is unfortunately the case here. And while I enjoyed Beat Blades Haruka quite a bit, I’d probably say that Narika was my least favorite of the ninja trio, and I don’t think I actually ever went through her route. Nonetheless, let’s go over her very quickly.
This figure was released almost exactly a year ago, and while it isn’t exactly new, Beat Blades Haruka is a really old property for a figure maker to pull a character from, so seeing Narika get yet another figure is unexpected. This is actually the second version of this figure; a previous version had her in a squatting pose, which was actually more faithful to the in-game sequence from which it was derived. I liked the game and so was happy that Kaitendoh did produce this figure, but I can’t help but be a little sad that Subaru – the game’s third playable protagonist – will apparently never get a PVC figure of her own.
Narika is sculpted in 1/6 scale and stands a solid 25.5 centimeters in height. The base is of unusual design and thickness; it adds a bit over two centimeters to the figure’s total height. She comes with a few accessories, the most notable of which is a stream of urine which I presume aligns with her crotch to create a peculiar scene that might appeal to some, but as this particular vein of watersports really isn’t my thing, I’m not including it here. I will, however, provide this image in case anyone is curious as to what it looks like. I’m also keeping it in mind if I ever obtain a Trump doll being that it might facilitate certain scenes, perhaps with him as the recipient of his predecessor’s liquid largesse.
Narika’s expression evinces discomfort and embarrassment – appropriate reactions given the source material but her pose is sort of stiff and unemotive. Her pigeon-toed stance is pretty cute, though.
One peculiarity is that I wasn’t able to fit her left arm fully into her shoulder. This may have been my fault but I spent some time working at it and I could not get the extruded part of the arm to fit into the socket.
Narika’s costume is both agreeable and scanty in appearance. Of note is that she wears no pants, leaving her underwear exposed. Her panties do appear to be removable – the urine stream wouldn’t make much sense otherwise – but I didn’t feel like spending a lot of time figuring out how to remove them, so I didn’t.
My figure reviews have always focused more on aesthetic appeal and emotive quality rather than as examinations of technical defects and manufacturing mishaps. I’m willing to forgive a certain degree of quality if I like a figure, but it’s difficult even for me to look at this figure and say that it is well-built. Things like the poorly-fitting arm point to a lack of quality control and her overall look lacks a certain level of detail.
And frankly, we’ll just leave it there. This is a fairly mediocre figure and not one that I’d recommend to anyone but hardcore Alice Soft fans. The main virtue of this figure in my view is its size; I prefer larger figures and Narika is quite large, even compared to other 1/6 scale figures. The flaws include questionable quality control and a fairly nondescript appearance. I’m not sure what Alice Soft is up to these days, being that the Rance series appears to have ended, and I’m not sure what sort of figures we might see from their properties in the future. Hopefully this isn’t amongst the last, since it’s a rather weak one to leave a final impression.