I really don't hide very well that Toradora! is one of my favorite series of the past few years. I think it's the collection of figures of Aisaka Taiga that probably give that away to folks, but what can I say? She made me laugh, and I enjoyed the show enough that I figured picking up a few figures of her would be appropriate. Of course, that now growing Taiga collection includes the new Nendoroid version of her. I wasn't sure if a tiny Nendoroid could truly capture her personality, but since I bought her ... well, we might as well investigate!
So is this pint-sized serving of modern-day tsundere worth it? Hit the jump and find out!
So, to begin with, Taiga's box. It's pretty much your standard Nendoroid box with some Toradora! decorations on it: front window, small side windows, photos of the figure on the back. Nothing fancy, but if you notice, she's 185a. That's because there are two alternate versions of her; one is the Dengeki limited ver. which has the smiling face and was an exclusive (185b), and there's the Last Episode ver. of her in the school uniform she was seen in at the end of the series (185c), along with an embarrassed face. You won't see either here because they were limited run exclusives and super-expensive. I might love Tagia, but she's not worth the US$100-plus I'd be paying for each of those Nendoroids.
So why don't we pop her out of that box?
And we have ... a Nendoroid. Nothing too spectacular about Taiga at first glance: she's about as average as any other Nendoroid, matching up in proportion. She's dressed in her regular school uniform, complete with the high socks and flat chest. Oh, and of course, she looks a bit irritated to see you.
Taiga comes on the square base many new Nendoroids come on (which is apparently going to be phased out for a newer base, if Wonder Festival 2012 Winter taught us anything) and it does its basic job well. I can say that the one issue I have is the wedge part in the back doesn't quite line up with her dress, so it can sometimes feel a little loose.
Taiga's face is ... well, rather pouty. She has that little frown and her eyebrows are scrunched down a little bit, giving her the look of not being pleased. It fits very well, given that she's supposed to be tsundere and all, and I don't really have any complaints, either with the sculpt or with any imperfections showing up here.
As you can also see, she's got her usual bangs, sculpted to frame her face. Though you can't see it here, the usual seamline in the hair where the bangs come off for face switching is there.
Taiga's uniform is a Nendo-sized version of the one seen in the anime. There's no paint issues present, and while it's not super-detailed, there's enough here to suffice. Super detailing has never really been the Nendoroid style, anyways. I also like how the bow is a separate piece not a part of the body itself, but attached. It makes the whole figure look nicer.
Taiga's long, flowing hair has the usual Nendoroid sculpting in the back, with enough detailing to not seem like a giant plastic blob. It gets the job done, and I can't really complain about it, as there aren't any spots of flash or paint markings on it.
Compared to most of the other Nendoroids I've played around with for reviews, Taiga is pretty poseable. She has also the normal Nendoroid joints (wrists, shoulders, waist, neck, and legs) but her hair doesn't really get in the way like with some of my other Nendoroids. That being said ... most of Taiga's accessories and her expressions don't necessarily lend themselves to being expressive with her poses.
One of those accessories is her extra set of arms that has her hands resting on her hips. Combined with the default pouty face, it's an awfully tsundere look (and given Taiga is supposed to be tsundere ... it's a good thing). The arms did move a little forward as they settled while I took the pictures, but it's fixable thing.
Her other set of extra arms is a set that are crossed in front of her chest, for that super-extra bit of tsundere hostility. It's a nice, cute look with a neat little trick:
As you can see, her right hand is actually part of her left arm. The whole thing seals together with a little tab and slot set-up, and when placed together, everything fits together perfectly.
The final accessories are Taiga's bouken, her super hostile face and a little fellow who should look familiar, the Tenori Tiger mascot. Yes, if you never knew where my avatar came from, that's it.
Taiga's extra face features the same pout, but her eyes are a bit more angry looking. Clearly, she means business, and like the other face, it does capture her personality well. It also works well with the bouken to let you know she really means business. Speaking of which ...
The bouken itself is black with a wrapped handle. It sits inside a special left hand that comes with Taiga, though it's a separate piece can come free in case you wanted to try and fit something else in Taiga's holding hand. But really, why would you?
The little Tenori Tiger has what looks like some rub spots on parts of him, but otherwise, it looks pretty good. I like how it's always roaring! ASCII Media Works made a good call in including the little tiger, in part because the other accessories were just too few for a Nendoroid. However, if I could have given up the Tenori Tiger for that Dengeki limited edition smiling face ... actually, no, I wouldn't consider trading for it. This little guy's gonna get a lot more use than another Nendo face.
Even the tail on the back has a little pivot so you can move it around! Fun!
So what would I say are my overall thoughts on Taiga? She's about what you'd expect from a Nendoroid in style, and the fact that she only comes with two faces (pouty and "poutier," so to speak) is an interesting choice, but for the normally tsundere Taiga, I think it's a choice that works. She's definitely not for every collector out there, but fans of Toradora! like myself should be rather satisfied with the regular, basic Nendoroid.
Hey, put that down. Don't pull that tsundere stuff on me, little lady-
... Don't look at me like that. *rubs bump on head*
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