KanColle: Shimakaze (Four Seasons of Chinjufu Naval Base) by Banpresto

Anime Saturday has been gone for a while, I know, but I’m really making an effort to bring it back. This morning, for example, I resisted the urge to stay in bed and read comics and instead, I got up and opened one of the many prize figures that I have stacked in the corner begging for attention. And since it’s been ages since I opened a new KanColle Fleet Girl, that’s exactly what I’m doing today. Let’s have a look at another Shimakaze!

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Yup, I love me some Shimakaze, and this is actually my first Fleet Girl from Banpresto, all the others have been from Taito and SEGA. I stumbled upon this figure one night while doing a little inebriated Amazon browsing and was shocked because I had never seen her before. Yes, I do have most of these prize figures tucked away on a Wish List for easy ordering. Anyway, the price was right and there was only one available so I jumped on it! The figure comes in a fully enclosed box with virtually no English text at all, so this is one of those cases where you really need to know what you’re looking at. There is a familiar Kantai Collection logo on the box, but it too is in Japanese. Inside, the figure itself comes in two parts and needs to be tabbed together. The dock also requires the posts to be plugged into it. The assembly is easy-peasy and when you’re done, here’s what you get…

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Lovely! Shimakaze relaxes on a dock about to start munching on a piece of watermelon while her faithful Rensouhou-Chan stands beside her and looks to be begging for scraps. Now, I’m calling this a dock, but I’ll concede that it might be intended as a table. I’m going with dock because Shimakaze has her trademark striped stockings and rudder boots off, so I’m assuming that she’s paddling her toes in the water. If this was one of Taito’s releases, it would probably have fallen under their “Day Off” series. Neither figure attaches to the dock, so you’re free to place them wherever you want.

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The sculpt here is quite good, although maybe just a tad softer than what I’m used to seeing from the other guys. And while Shimakaze is partly out of uniform from the knees down, everything above that should be readily familiar to any fan of the character. She has her low riding blue pleated skirt, exposing her G-string, her cut-off sailor-style top, with big buttons and black necktie, and her long white gloves with blue and yellow cuffs at her biceps. And no figure of Shimakaze would be complete without her bunny ears hair ribbon. The paint is overall solid. It could be a little sharper in some areas, but there’s nothing overtly bad here when it comes to the paint quality.

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The portrait is excellent. I happen to be a fan of Shimakaze’s more vexed expressions, but here she’s just clearly happy to be enjoying a little down time, and that’s cool. The large eyes are beautifully printed and her pale blonde hair is parted down the back and blowing off to the sides.

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Rensouhou-Chan is as adorable as ever. This is one of the smaller Rensouhou from her retinue. His sculpt is complete with his little flipper arms and bright yellow propeller tail. His guns rise up from his head like antenna and he has an adorable little face painted on the front of his turret head.

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One cool thing is that this Shimakaze fits almost perfectly into the life preserver base from my Taito figure. It’s crazy how well this works despite the two figures being made by two different companies.

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There’s no doubt that this was an impulse buy. I hit that 1-Click Buy It Now the moment I saw it and I’m not disappointed. At about $21 shipped, it’s a pretty decent price. I’ve certainly gotten better Taito Fleet Girl pieces for less, but those were just ridiculously good deals, so I’m not going to hold it against this gal. I’m a sucker for Shimakaze, and I’ll pretty much buy her figures no matter who puts them out.

DX Girls Snap Collection (One Piece): Nami (Vol. 1 and 2) Figures by Banpresto

I’ve been covering a lot of figures from properties that I’m passionate about on Anime Saturdays, but not today. Today I’m going back to my drunken guilty pleasure, One Piece. It’s a show that I only watch when I get back from a crippling night at the pub, and when I watch it, I’m usually simultaneously hunting Nami figures online in an inebriated stupor. Multitasking! So let’s check out some Nami figures from Banpresto’s DX Girls Snap Collection

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If I’m going to engage in drunken online anime figure shopping, I could certainly do worse than the DX Girls Snap Collection. These roughly 7-inch tall figures are simple and inexpensive, so when the package arrives a couple days later, I don’t have to panic and worry about what damage I did to the bank account. The figures come in matching window boxes and while they’re certainly serviceable, they feel flimsy and arrived to me in rather shabby condition. I much prefer the fully enclosed box that Banpresto used for the “Sea Nymph” Nami that I got a couple months back. These boxes are collector friendly, but I sincerely doubt I’ll be keeping them. Rather than go straight to the fan service, I’ll start with Nami in her Alabasta Kingdom outfit…

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As the “Snap Girls” name suggests, these figures are all about mugging for the camera and that’s exactly what Nami’s doing here. It’s a glamour shot with one hand on her hip and the other behind her head and her dress is blowing out beside her and she looks really great. In fact, I only have one negative thing to say, and that’s the ragged cut of her dress looks more to me like a fault in the mold than something intentional, but that might just be me. Otherwise, this is a surprisingly solid piece for such a low end figure.

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Donning the native dress of the Alabasta Kingdom is a big change from Nami’s familiar jeans and bikini top, but I think it makes for a distinctive figure and allowed for a lot more creative license in the sculpt. Both the dress and the half-jacket that she has tied around her top are separate, permanently attached pieces, so there’s a nice feeling of depth and complexity here. The billowing of the dress adds a bit of energy to the pose and allows the figure to show off a little leg… or a lot of legs, depending on which angle your viewing her from. The detail on her arm bands and bangles is appreciated, and while the portrait is pretty simple, it’s undeniably Nami with short cropped hair.

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The paintwork is quite good. There’s some faint blue used on the dress to make it look like thin cloth even though the plastic used is actually quite thick. The blue paint on her waist fringe and ornamentation on her top is all neatly applied. I’ve certainly seen worse examples on far more expensive figures. The eyes are printed on, so no worries there, and they even bothered to paint her toenails. The skin tone is also even and natural looking with none of that awful waxy finish I’ve sometimes encountered in budget figures. All in all, a very nice figure. And now for the fan service…

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Awww, yeah! If exotic Eastern dresses aren’t your cup of tea, here’s just plain old Nami walking along in a bikini and enjoying a refreshing ice cream cone. Nothing wrong with that! There’s not a lot of wardrobe to talk about here and by extension not an abundance of paint operations or unique sculpting. Nami looks as fit as ever and, the skin tone here is again quite good and I’m happy to say there’s no ugly seams to ruin it.

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Despite the simple and skimpy outfit, the paint and sculpt still feature some nice flourishes. The tied strings for her bikini top look good as does the ornamental waist chain that rests on her hips. And uh-oh, she looks like she’s slipping out a bit in the back. I also think it’s funny that Banpresto put the copyright information across one half of her backside. I guess there was really nowhere else to put it. The paint is excellent with a very nice shade of blue for the bikini and some sharp patterns on the top. And of course her tattoo is neatly printed on her left shoulder.

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The portrait is very similar to the Alabasta figure, but this time she’s licking her lips and the hair, while still short, is a completely different sculpt. The ice cream cone in her left hand looks good enough to eat! Also, both figures feature the same plain black disk with peg holes to hold the figure in place.

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At around sixteen bucks a pop, drunk or not, how could I go wrong? These Namis are damn great and I can wholeheartedly endorse having them even now that I’ve sobered up. Sure, I wouldn’t mind having a better example of her in my collection, but my confidence is still shaken from the dreaded Bootleg Nami incident of 2014. These are nice enough that I could have easily Featured these figures separately, but the truth is I have so many anime figures to go through that it would take me a ton of Saturdays just to get to them all. I’m still thinking about looking at my Figmas and Figuarts during the week and saving Anime Saturdays just for statues and prize figures. Now, with that having been said, next Saturday I’m going back to Kantai Collection with a look at a relatively new(ish) line from Figma… FigFix!