Volume four in the wildly popular series of Shuraki multimedia figures is in some respects a return to more familiar territory, as design duty for Nida was entrusted to the ubiquitous Yamashita Shunya. His designs have been adapted in figure form by just about every major PVC manufacturer in the past few years, but as the first Yamashita offering from Goodsmile there was curiosity regarding how the maker would handle the adaptation compared to those with longer track records. As we’ve come to expect with this series the result is very favorable indeed:
Original Design: Yamashita Shunya (山下しゅんや)
Sculptor: Hagii Shunji (萩井俊士) (Studio Saru Bunshitsu)
Source: Shuraki (multimedia figure series)
Scale: 1/8 (21 cm tall)
Option Parts: gun, knife, damage version shirt, skirt
Extras: Illustration Book, Drama CD (70 minutes)
Release Date: May 13th, 2008
Production: Goodsmile, Red Entertainment
Price: 6,800 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: [HS] [HLJ] [TL]
Support HD!: [JLIST] [YA]
Related: Shuraki vol. 1 Mishiro, Shuraki vol. 2 Meifeng, Shuraki vol. 5 Rize
Translated from her official Shuraki page:
“A German Shuraki. 19 years old, 169 cm tall. A member of the mysterious Europe-based secret society “White Raven”. Her personality is cool and intelligent but she is overly serious and stubborn as a result. She is constantly bloodthirsty and has a standoffish aura that prevents others from coming close to her. She accomplishes her missions with ruthless efficiency and is fiercely loyal to the organization.
Raised as part of the White Raven group from her earliest moment of consciousness, she has no doubts about risking her life in the cursed struggle of the Shuraki. The only place she sees for herself is as part of the organization, and her life as a warrior is everything.
In combat she employs a bayonet (combination gun and sword) that can be converted between “rifle” and “long distance sniper” modes. She is also skilled with explosives and throwing knives, which she keeps hidden about her at all times.”
Drama CD Description
Shuraki Drama CD Vol. 4: Zero and the Akashic Records Constellation Aspect
Starring: Chiba Saeko as Nida Schuetlich
Translated from her official CD page:
“It had been one month since the deadly dance of the Shuraki began in Kagura. The season is spring. As if informing of the end of the long winter at last, the school grounds covered with cherry trees suddenly burst into pale pink bloom. As the gentle rays of the sun beckoned the students to speak of the season, an even more radiant figure appeared – Nida.
A memory from many years ago slept within her deep, dark gaze. An ancient book sat open in a dark, gloomy room, on a dusty desk surrounded by dusty bookshelves. Lost with her emotions trapped deep and secret in her breast, her cold glance was matched with the iron form of the muzzle of her gun!”
Nida boasts the most elaborate Shuraki accessories list to date, coming with a rifle in five pieces (two exchangeable barrels, two exchangeable stocks/magazines, and the main body part) as well as a military knife, the knife handle (to place in the sheath of her undamaged uniform belt) and the standard “damage version” costume parts. I haven’t had the chance to listen to the drama CD yet, but based on the quality of the previous episodes I’m sure this one is great as well.
There was a printing miss in the mini-artbook that came with the set this time: see the black smear in the center, top and bottom, of both pages here. This is the first such error I’ve seen in the series so far, and while it isn’t a deal-breaker it’s something of a disappointment for the collector in me.
For further information on Shuraki (the product) as well as Shuraki (the cosmology and storyline), see our reviews of the earlier entries in the series:
- Shuraki vol. 1 – Mishiro Akatsuki
- Shuraki vol. 2 – Riu (Liu) Meifeng
- Shuraki vol. 3 – Char (Shall) Rhousemann
Sculpting duty for Nida was handed off to Shunji Hagii of Studio Saru Bunshitsu, and in my opinion he’s done a great job with the adaptation. There is a distinct departure from some of the nuance of the Shunya original; Shunji has a penchant for faces that are a bit pinched, but I think it works well to give her a more refined, delicate look than the standard Shunya voluptuousness.
The Shuraki series developers didn’t give either artist a very dynamic pose to work with in designing her, but I think Shunya and especially Shunji Hagii worked quite well with the hand they were dealt. They obviously wanted her to come across in a firm martial pose, and despite (or because of) the strength of the pose, Hagii was able to incorporate some really nice lines and curves into the figure.
The gun serves as a significant visual counterweight that lends dynamic balance, and while the overall look isn’t quite on par with the action poses of her predecessors, Nida holds her own just fine among them.
Ahh, Goodsmile. Must you force me to trot out the same string of superlative adjectives and adulatory phrases time and time again?
Essentially everything is spot-on in the production of this kit. The casting job is high-fidelity with only a few visible blemishes, the paint job uses a wide variety of tones and finishes that remain subtle and appropriate, and the costume looks great whether on or off. If I had to pick nits, there are two points I can see for possible improvement:
First, unless there’s a trick to it that I missed, it’s really tough to get the gun into her hand. Even after removing the hand and wrestling with the pieces it took me a few minutes of careful and nervous bending to get the grip in her palm. That was more stress than it probably should have been.
Second, while for what they are they’re done quite well, the seams around her detachable arms and midsection are still a bit awkward. The midsection seam is especially visible from the front, and the arm seams look rather awkward and gappy from some angles. A bit more precision work there wouldn’t have hurt.
Goodsmile’s Shuraki vol. 4 – Nida is yet another in the maker’s string of unqualified successes in the Shuraki lineup. High quality production paired with high quality bonus material easily justifies the retail price, and while the printing error in the artbook this time was a bit of a downer I’m sure my copy was the exception rather than the rule. Nida’s character is by design not quite as dynamic as the others in the series, but with an equally fetching design she still looks great from many angles. All in all a figure I’m happy to recommend to any collector.
Overall Score: 10/10
If you’d like to support HD with your purchase, Nida is currently available at YesAsia. Other retail options are listed at the top of this post. Other figures in the Shuraki series are also available: