First of all I wish to apologize for the poorer image quality in the upcoming pics of this and the two following reviews. My camera broke so I am using my Sony Xperia Z3. While it does feature a very nice camera for a cell phone, it lacks some of the better modes and settings of my camera. Anyway, on towards the review!
So, Nyarlathotep, one of the myriad alien deities of H.P. Lovecraft's literary creations. I must say I much prefer this version to Lovecraft's. In the anime she is a cheerful and energetic girl (woman?) who goes full-throttle with anything and everything. She is loud and frank to the point of receiving plenty of physical abuse by the male protagonist, Mahiro.
I love her and will call her Nyaruko in this review since I find it much cuter. I did not own a Nyaruko figure before since I have had a hard time deciding which one to go for. Finally I decided to go for this one for reasons which I will explain below.
Well, then! Griffon Enterprises... Not a fan! They brought me the Kirino Swimsuit version (ITEM #167104) which was full of disappointments, so getting this one was sort of a gamble. I have read a lot of positive comments about it, though, so I decided to take the plunge.
The box is nothing special in any way. It does have display windows, allowing for store visitors to get a good look at the product, something I always appreciate since I am all for informed purchases (why else would I write this review?). For someone ordering it online, however, the display windows are quite expendable. The protective packaging covers most of what I have come to expect from figures: figure-formed plastic covers, some plastic covers to prevent chafing. The box itself came covered in a sealed plastic bag, however, which was nice since it offered extra protection for the box.
The base seems to be typical of Griffon Enterprises: black, plastic, flimsy. The pegs are better adjusted to the holes in Nyaruko's feet than in my Kirino figure, though, which makes her more stable.
The sculpting has hit home with just about everything with this figure! The pose is simple but fitting for the character. She is making a V-sign with one hand while holding the other on her hip. Her feet are firmly planted and about shoulder-width apart, making her look very confident. At the same time she is looking very feminine with her weight adjusted slightly to the right leg. The hair is nicely sculpted with her long antenna-like hair extension making its patented arch away from the outward arm, giving balance to the figure and making the center of it also be the center of attention when looking at it. She is smiling happily and her eyes are of great proportions, as opposed to other figures I have seen on the market.
She is wearing a jersey, a neck-tie, a pleated skirt, thigh-high socks, and high-heeled boots, all from the anime. Together with the pose, the proportions of the face, and the coloring, it makes for the reason why I bought this figure instead of one of the others: it is the one Nyaruko figure that really resembles the character!
Other characters seem to have somewhat too big eyes, puffy cheeks, small mouths, etc. This one does not! Griffon Enterprises have really tried to make it look as much alike the anime as possible - and succeeded!
Of course, my biggest grief with this one is once again the paintjob. The shoes and socks are nicely shaded with little to remark upon, except perhaps the black tongues of the shoes which look somewhat out of place, as if they were placed there ad-hoc, or not that thought through. To be honest much of the paintjob is done perfectly fine with no splashes, bumps, or miscolorings. There are some nicely painted details on the skirt and the neck-tie as well. The coloring scheme is really fitting as well.
It is not straight along the neck-tie, but it is nonetheless nicely done.
But my grief is with the shading. Once again Griffon Enterprises do not seem to want to go too bold and try to play it safe instead, making for an adequate, but rather boring, paintjob. There are shadings on the figure, especially on the hair, but they are so close to the base color's hue that they are hardly visible from any distance. Also, apart from the shoes and stockings - which could be considered highlighted depending on which color is the base - there are no highlights on this figure. It would not surprise me if the socks and shoes indeed were highlighted over a very dark color since they are the best parts of the paintjob.
The shading on the hair is done in broad strokes, depriving it of an added depth and liveliness.
I like bolder, more contrasting paintjobs, amd while I certainly recognize that not everyone agrees with my opinion, or does not care about it as much as I do, it is my assessment that figures with better paintjobs (i.e. better shading and highlighting) are also better in terms of posing and sculpting. In other words, if the paintjob is nicely done it is proof of the attention the manufacturer has given to the figure. This one seems to be the exception that confirms the rule. Griffon Enterprises' Nyaruko is indeed worth buying if you are a fan of the anime. I would not recommend it to someone just looking to buy a nice figure, but to fans of Nyaruko this one (perhaps along with the upcoming 1/4 Bunny version by FREEing) is bound to be at least among the top three figures of the anime. It resembles Nyaruko alot, has some fine details to the paintjob, no noticeable flaws (aside from the shading), and does not look cheap, like the SEGA ones do.