Subdued Figures: Nendoroid Sendou Aichi

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This month I’m reviewing a Nendoroid from the trading card game anime, Cardfight!! Vanguard!

This time I’m trying something a little different! Since I don’t include boxshots anymore, I recorded an unboxing video instead. Feel free to leave feedback since this is the first time I’ve recorded and edited something like this. Sorry for the strange aspect ratio; I recorded this on an iPad and had to cut out the miscellaneous edges after I was done editing.

Anyway, I’ll start by giving some background on this Nendoroid since Cardfight isn’t very well-known in the western fandom despite the anime’s simulcast on Crunchyroll and Bushiroad’s presence at major American conventions. Some of you might know Bushiroad better from their otaku card game series, Weiss Schwarz. The Cardfight!! Vanguard anime series started in early 2011 as a means to promote their new game series of the same name. The feel of the show was similar to Yu-Gi-Oh but waited a while before throwing in its supernatural plot twists. The focus of the first season was largely on showing how balanced the game was, and with the ease of the battle system, it’s since overtaken Yu-Gi-Oh in popularity in Japan. While the game doesn’t have as much exposure in the west, Bushiroad has gone above and beyond in localizing the game, from holding regular English-language tournaments to listening to the fans’ requests to resume the anime simulcast. I picked up the anime on a whim when it first premiered, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m still putting a deck together, so in the meantime I’m showing my support in other ways, like buying this figure!

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Aichi is the soft-spoken protagonist of the show, and the first character to receive the full Nendoroid treatment after the release of GSC’s Nendoroid Plus set (assuming there are no delays, Kai’s Nendo is coming in the summer). Right out of the box, there aren’t any deal-breaker flaws on him–however, there is a mark on the seamline where his bangs connect with the rest of his hair, making the seamline itself more noticeable than it should’ve been. There’s also a bit of a gap on one side where the hair connects to the rest of his head, but it’s not noticeable from a good display angle, so it doesn’t bother me as much as the mark.

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His clothes are from the first season, which seemed to be a good choice because of the simplicity of the design. However, while one half of his body looked fine, the other half was covered in red paint marks, especially along the white part of his sleeve. I guess the team responsible for that piece in the factory wasn’t as careful? I also noticed a blue smudge on the arm that holds his deck box, but that was a week after I took the review pictures, so it’s not nearly as noticeable.

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Much more impressive was how Wingal came out. This little guy is one of Aichi’s card units from his original deck. I personally feel that it would’ve made more sense to include a mini Blaster Blade, but the reasoning here seems to be that they don’t want to redo the Nedo Plus version (however, Kai is still getting his dragon…). Anyway, Wingal came out really well for his size. There’s a bit of smudging on the yellow part of his mane, but there aren’t any other big paint flaws on him. He’s also pretty sturdy, which is good because I must have dropped him or knocked him over at least twenty times while filming the unboxing and then taking the pictures. I appreciate the unique accessory though, since it makes Aichi stand out a bit more in my collection.

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Aichi’s other accessories revolve around recreating Cardfight matches. His two other sets of hands (one with gloves and one without) are designed to hold the cards. The single cards can be removed from the hands that hold them, allowing you to switch the angle or which way they’re facing. You do have to fiddle with the arms a lot more than usual if you want to recreate the poses on the box though, since the angles you have to set them at without causing the arms to fall out aren’t immediately obvious. There are also stickers in the box that you can put on the cards, allowing for tiny replications of the Wingal and Blaster Blade cards. They are so small that I couldn’t get my camera to focus on them, so I apologize for the lack of a detailed picture.

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His other two expressions are a shouting face and an embarrassed/blushing face. I kind of wish that he’d come with a Psyqualia face, but there are other ways around that. Besides, I think I felt an arrow go through my chest when I saw this pose. Is this moe…?

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I also got two copies of the same Grade 2 Japanese Cardfight card that I can’t read or use since I play the English version. It’s a nice extra though, and it makes it clear that they’re targeting fans of the series and the game with this release.

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Overall, Aichi is a bit middle-of-the-road when it comes to Nendoroids. While I really like the unique accessories, it’s a little hard to set the poses that I want and the paint flaws were disappointing. That said, I did not pay much for him (although I haven’t been paying attention to the aftermarket prices) and I love this character and the show that he’s from, so he was well worth it to me. Plus, that blushing face is going to kill me with how adorable it is. If you’re a Cardfight!! Vanguard fan, I definitely recommend him.

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