Kuro no Franco (Franco il Nero) hit store shelves today as the second figure in Alter’s trilogy of heroines from last year’s dynamite Nitro+ eroge Zoku: Satsuriku no Jango (Tre Donne Crudeli). Following on the heels of December’s Donne Anonime would be no small feat, but if successful the acrobatic pose chosen for Franco’s incarnation had the potential to outclass even the Woman with No Name. Does Alter’s production prove up to the task? Franco would like to have a word with you on that…

Original Design: Niθ
Sculptor: Tanaka Senu
Source: Zoku: Satsuriku no Jango (Tre Donne Crudeli) (eroge)
Scale: 1/8 (19 cm tall, base included)
Option Parts: none
Materials: PVC, ABS
Release Date: April 17th, 2008
Production: Alter
Price: 7,140 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: [KNC] [HLJ] [HS] [TL]
Support HD!: [PA] [JLIST] [YA]


Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco)

Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco) Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco)

Heisei Democracy figure review: Alter's Franco il Nero (Kuro no Franco)

Character Description

Kuro no Franco is one of the three central protagonists of Nitro+’s Zoku: Satsuriku no Jango (“Jango of the Slaughter: THE SEQUEL”). Inspired by the spaghetti Western tradition (known in Japan as the “macaroni Western”), Satsuriku no Jango ends up as the aesthetic and conceptual bastard child of Cowboy Bebop, Firefly, and Star Wars. In fine spaghetti Western tradition the game is not a sequel, and the character Jango never appears; the story instead focuses on the escapades of notorious outlaw and freedom fighter Kuro no Franco (the subject of this review) and a pair of bounty hunters lured by the promise of her sky-high reward.


original Franco il Nero illustration

Kuro no Franco is the erstwhile protagonist of Satsuriku no Jango. A rough and tumble woman with a fetish for deflowering fit, defenseless young men, if she seems like something other than the eponymous freedom fighter and defender of justice who disappeared several years ago under mysterious circumstances that’s because she is – her current line of work is actually as an impersonator of the real Kuro no Franco, working in tandem with Donne Anonime to repeatedly claim the bounty on herself and using her womanly wiles to escape captivity.

I played through the first part of the game back when it was released last July (initial impressions here), so if there’s some interest I can provide additional information regarding the characters and setting that are tangential to this review. If you’re shopping around for the game it seems a proxy purchase from Getchu might be your best bet.

Sculpt

Tanaka Senu returns with the second figure in his Jango trilogy. After bursting onto the commercial PVC scene with Donne Anonime (Namae no Nai Onna) last December I had high hopes for his interpretation of Franco, and they were not disappointed in the slightest – this is one of the most high fidelity sculpts I’ve seen in many, many months, with the sculptor tackling a tremendously difficult original illustration and bringing it to life in amazingly accurate detail.

For a sculptor such as Senu it seems obvious that he is constrained not by his ability as a craftsman but rather by the choice of subject material, and once again I find myself with the firm conviction that this is a match made in heaven. Many sculptors have tried to incarnate Niθ’s distinctive style over the years since Demonbane first came out, and Senu’s adaptations rise to the challenge better than just about all of the competition. An amazing 3D incarnation of an amazing original illustration – you’ll find no criticism here.

Production

Tasked with the responsibility of bringing Senu’s artistic vision to mass production Alter handles the logistical difficulties of this kit admirably. The basic components are well crafted to keep Franco sturdily mounted against the backplate wall that is either solid ABS or possibly a type of polystone resin; it’s got some heft to it and works well to bear the brunt of the ABS clear plastic rod connecting Franco’s back to the wall. It’s hard to say how well she’ll hold that position over months and years, but the construction feels very sturdy.

The casting job is up to Alter standards as well, with the notable exception of a bit of scarring on her rear. It almost looks like something has been patched over there, and it makes me wonder if that’s the part of the kit that was deficient and required mending before it could be shipped (resulting in the delay to April release). The location is out of the way enough that the kit can easily be positioned so it’s out of sight, but I’m sure someone at Alter is smacking himself in frustration right about now.

The kit’s paint job looks like it was lifted straight from the Nitroplus colorist’s Photoshop palette, sporting a subtle variety of largely matte finishes that mimic the original CG style admirably. Metallic elements such as the gun, spurs, and belt are given an appropriate treatment, and the attention to detail all around is striking. A job well done.

Conclusion

Alter’s Kuro no Franco (Franco il Nero) is a figure I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone who collects this sort of thing. Sculpted by one of the rapidly rising stars of the figure world based on an illustration by an already risen star of eroge and anime designs, executed by one of the best names in the business, this is an impressively complex project that comes off absolutely beautifully and would make a fantastic addition to any collection. If only it weren’t for that mark on her hind end…

Overall Score: 9/10 (sculpt: 10/10)

If you would like to support HD with your purchase, Franco is still available at J-List; other retailers are linked at the top of this post. If you’ve been on the fence I suggest making a decision very soon, as she’s rapidly disappearing from online retailers and will likely become unavailable after not too much longer.