Natsume comes in a clear plastic box and sandwiched perfectly between two pieces of blister. Pieces of plastic were also included to prevent any paint transfers or paint chips. Due to the clear box, the entire box is like a window that allows me to view the figure without taking it out of the box yet. This is a plus as I find clear boxes that display figures in their entirety a plus.
The box is also decorated with a simple design with the name of the series. The main feature of this box would be the backdrop which displays a night sky, decorated with fireflies, and a lake.
There is no actual base to this figure as the tree, lake, grass and Natsume come together. The only part which is separate from the rest of the figure is the haori (the cloak with the flower patterns). However for this review, we shall consider everything apart from Natsume, Nyanko and the haori as the base.
The base is pretty and we can see the details and different textures of the individual parts on their respective locations. For instance, the bark looks and feel rough, with a brown shade and realistic shading. The grass is made of translucent green material, and gets more translucent the nearer to the tip it goes. The ripple effect on the water body itself is very detailed and realistic, with a widening gap between each layer.
While this figure is a pretty much static figure, the charm of this is with the atmosphere which it exudes. This figure is very representative of Natsume Takashi himself, as well as of the series Natsume Yuujinchou and accurately represents the calm atmosphere displayed throughout the series. Nevertheless, the pose Natsume has is reminiscent of all the melancholic moments in the anime.
The Book of Friends Natsume holds, as well as Nyanko brings more connection between the series and this figure itself. Both of them have important roles in the series and by adding them to the figure, we are reminded of scenes, and at the same time, hold this figure closer to heart.
Assembling this figure is extremely easy as Natsume and Nyanko already come attached to the tree. The only thing to put on would be the Haori which is in fact, quite simple to slip on. Natsume can be displayed both with and without the Haori, however I find that there are more colors and dimension to the figure when the colorful Haori (the flowers on it are colored) is added on.
Sculpting and Painting
As mentioned earlier, the bark is really well-detailed, but I would like to move on from the base and delve into the different aspects of the figure itself. For starters, I would like to touch on Nyanko's sculpt itself. My Nyanko came with paint speck on his forehead though it isn't obvious at all in photos or in real life, unless you squint really hard.
Nyanko's facial features are accurately depicted with the perfect thickness and shade. He has a mischievous expression, and he appears to be sneaking up to Natsume. Or perhaps... he's simply having some trouble climbing up the branch?
Nyanko's body is as round as it's usually depicted in the anime and carefully partitioned by colors. As far as I observed, there were no paint spills from any of the 3 colors (red, grey and orange) onto the white. It's a little unexpected since I thought the paint of the red collar accessory might bleed onto other parts as it is so tiny and incredibly difficult to paint.
I'm sure that most people would agree with me that this figure is beautiful and you still do feel that even if you don't know the source material well. This looks like a scene taken out of the anime, and although the pose is not dynamic, the amount of details on the figure and base easily overshadows that and makes the figure look much more dynamic.
I would definitely recommend this figure to fans of the series as well to collectors who would like to collect pretty male figures with elaborate bases. Alter usually doesn't disappoint with their end-product figures and this is one perfect example of their skills!
From Your Fellow Collector,