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Tomopop Review: MegaHouse's Natsume Yuujinchou Petit Chara Land

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Insert Scarface "little friend" joke here

Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends) will probably always rank as one of my favorite top anime series of all time. For four seasons I laughed and cried with this series like few others. I was pretty sad when the final season, Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, ended back in 2012, but thankfully not all is lost. Not only is the manga still ongoing, there are still companies like MegaHouse more than happy to keep making figures. In this case we'll be looking at their recent entry in the long running Petit Chara Land series featuring Natsume Yuujinchou

Can these little figures really hold up to the discerning eye of a fan? Find out after the jump!

Figure Name: Natsume Yuujinchou Petit Chara Land
Figure Maker: MegaHouse
Retail Price: ¥4,200
Available at: HobbyLink Japan

Starting things off let's take a look at the box. Actually, these being trading figures meant to be sold individually this is a display carton that most people in Japan normally wouldn't buy. I really like the art on the front that was made for the set. On the sides are some really nicely arranged photos of some of the figures taken outside. A lot of these trading figure cartons are either plain with just text or printed in single color scale so as these things go this is one of the better ones I've seen.

The individual boxes share the same art as the display carton, but the sides only have stock photos of the figures. The more creative shots seen on the sides of the carton can be found under the flaps hidden inside the top and bottom of the box. Not sure why they did this, seems like these photos would do a lot more good selling the figures if they were used on the outside instead of the stock photos. OK, enough critiquing the boxes, let's take a look at the figures!

Of the five figures and one secret (though probably not especially rare) figures only one doesn't represent a season; more on that figure a little later. This is the first figure I opened so it's as good of place as any to start. Here we have Natsume and Nyanko Sensei representing winter with Nyanko as a snowman. And... On no! What's wrong with his face!? Seems what little paint there is on his face got quite the smear on it, and it's in too delicate of a place to remove it. So much for being a lucky cat, I'm not feeling lucky at all. Not the best way to start.

Smudge aside I like the looks of the figures. They certainly live up to the word petit, they're very small, roughly two inches tall. Price to size ratio isn't exactly optimal, about ¥700 each at retail, for the size I'd rather they were closer to ¥500, but they're nice for what they are and the current exchange rate helps a lot. Sculpting is nice and I like the themes so I can live with it.

Spring is up next with Nyanko Sensei and Natsume all ready for some cherry blossom viewing. This figure is more elaborate than the winter figure featuring Natsume in a dark blue and green haori holding a cherry tree branch while Nyanko has his beloved sake bottle. Two things I really love about this figure is going the extra length to make the bottle clear and that they painted on all of Nyanko's paw pads. Very nicely done.

For the Summer figure it's a little hard to see Natsume, but check out Nyanko Sensei. This is such a cute figure for him, complete with grilled squid in his mouth.

Here's a better shot from different angle. Natsume is wearing a summer kimono complete with a little blue fan tucked in his back and geta on his feet. It's a great figure, I love the way Natsume is holding Nyanko up.

Autumn is my favorite figure of all. Yeah, it's a little simple, but it's very Natsume Yuujinchou with the way Nyanko Sensei is sitting on Natsume's head. The expression on Nyanko's face is just perfect with the fallen leaf on his head. I also like that of the seasonal figures this is the only one that isn't standing in place. Natsume is holding a bundle of wheat in his right hand to represent the fall harvest, but I'm more interested in what's on his left hand.

Check out the dragonfly! Keep in mind that little thing is smaller than a pencil eraser head and they still got some great detail in it. Yeah, definitely my favorite figure in the series.

The fifth figure in the set is a little more unusual. It's hard to tell, but it's actually Nyanko Sensei transformed into Natsume. It's based on episode six of Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, the Other Side of the Glass. In the episode Natsume is trapped inside a glass jar and Nyanko changes into him to take his place while he searches for the one that stuck Natsume in there.

You can see the jar behind, but unfortunately it seems they couldn't find a way to stick a tiny Natsume in there so it's left empty. It almost feels like half of a concept and if you weren't familiar with the figure's story it would just seem like Natsume is doing a strange pose. For me this is the least successful of the series and from what I can gather it's the least popular among fans.

And here's the secret figure, a redeco of the spring figure. Now sporting a more cherry blossom appropriate pink, it's a nice alternative, but not quite as nicely executed as the blue and green of the original. I wish they would have changed up the pattern or something to really set it apart. Meanwhile Nyanko Sensei is looking kinda cherry in the face himself. 

And that's our six. They're a an exceptionally cute series of figures based on the Natsume Yuujinchou duo and look great displayed. The paint is OK, but could be much better. If you're a fan then they're worth having, but you might want to buy them second hand to assure you get the best looking figures. Still, the cheapest and most efficient way to get them is in a case. Were I to do it again I'd probably still go with the case. 

[Huge thanks to HobbyLink Japan for the review samples!]


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Megahouse: Natsume Yuujinchou Petit Chara Land reviewed by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

 

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Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Jeremy Emerje CrockerAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Jeremy Crocker here, probably better known around the net as Emerje, I'm an associate editor here at Tomopop. I've been an avid figure collector my entire life. There's no time when I can remembe... more + disclosures


 



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