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N and Zorua by the Pokemon Center/Kotobukiya!N and Zorua by the Pokemon Center/Kotobukiya!Review

MagusfiguresMagusfigures1 month ago
Hello again MFC! I'm back once again for another review! This time we'll be looking at one of my most highly-anticipated figures (and in many ways, a pipe dream come true!)

The star of today's review iiiiis:
N and Zorua by The Pokemon Center and Kotobukiya!
ITEM #1101143
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/09/2879122.jpeg

(The weather was really nice when he arrived, so I couldn't resist going out and taking a few pictures in my yard! In the pacific northwest you never know when another nice day will come around this late in the season...)


Quick aside: If you don't care for N as a character, or Pokemon BW as games, that's fine! More power to you. But this review was not written for you. Please don't waste your time or mine by commenting to tell me your opinion. I don't want to hear it :)

I've rambled in previous Pokemon figure reviews about how much the franchise as a whole means to me so I'll spare you that ramble this time, but it would be remiss of me not to mention that N has been at the top of my list of favorite Pokemon characters for a long time. I fell in love the moment he was revealed in pre-release screencaps, and he practically dominated my creative output for a couple years after the games came out in the states. (I'm talking multiple 100k word fanfics, piles of fanart, etc etc). In 2011 I drew him so frequently I was able to fill a "year in art" meme just with him.

Nowadays it seems like a given that the fan-favorite trainers will get figures, but back in 2011, Pokemon trainer figures were completely unheard of. Outside of the occasional prize figure or kids' toy, literally not a single company was making figures based on the trainers. If a trainer did get a figure it was usually a tie-in with the anime, and at the time the anime did not seem interested in including N despite his major role in the games. (the SUBWAY BOSSES showed up in the anime before he did). All this is to say that my hopes for N getting the figure treatment were virtually nonexistent.

I was proven wrong, of course!! He did get his anime cameo and two prize figures in 2013 (one of which I own) and a nendoroid in 2015 (which I also own). Honestly, as a Pokemon fan I'm used to getting only scraps when it comes to trainer figures, so I would have been satisfied with just that. A nendoroid was already more than I could ask for! Even with Kotobukiya churning out scale figures of the protags, I knew better than to hope N might one day get a nice scale too.

Apollo must have hit me with whatever the opposite of the kickball of prophecy is, because now, a little over 10 years since the games came to the states, a high quality scale figure of N sits on my shelf.

Let's take a look at him!
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883356.png
Here he is from the front! Though the pose isn't strictly speaking in character for him, it does match with the image of him promoted by marketing materials for the last 10 years. (Plus it's pandering to me personally, so I'm not complaining!)

As with all the Kotobukiya-made figures I've bought, N came anchored to his base right out of the box. On the plus side this meant he didn't need any extra setup, but on the other hand, being stuck to the base might make dusting a pain.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883353.png
From the side! You can see that despite the sizable base, he actually doesn't take up much more room than a figure with a standard base.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883354.png
Back view! his leg and the branch do take up a bit more room horizontally but imo it's not much more than say, a figure brandishing an arm or weapon. He's more compact than I expected, which thankfully made displaying him in my cluttered collection pretty easy. I also like that the texture and detail on the stump continue around the back as well.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883355.png
From the other side you can really see how fluffy his hair is!! It looks just great!! While I tend to prefer N with a more desaturated green for his hair, I think Kotobukiya did a nice job with him.

When preview images were released there were a lot of comments about the visible seam in his hair, and I will say that it's actually not super noticeable a lot of the time. Different lighting/angles make it virtually disappear.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883357.png
Here's a closer look at his face, which is unfortunately my least favorite part of this figure lmao.... the expression doesn't really look like Naoki Saitou's illustration, and the sharp angles in his eyes don't match the soft vibe of the rest of the figure. He looks alright from a distance, but doesn't really hold up to scrutiny.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883358.png
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883359.png

Disappointment with the expression aside, there's plenty more to like about this figure!! I was particularly impressed by the sparkly paint on his bracelets and necklace. Koto did a great job rendering all his myriad accessories. I also like that you can see each layer of his clothing (rather than the undershirt being skintight or painted on, as in most of the official illustrations).

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883360.png
If you take a higher angle photo, you can make him look even more mysterious!! You have to do a lot of fenagling with focal distance for his finger to actually touch his lips though haha... my camera wasn't particularly cooperative on this front, either.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883361.png
Here's a look at Zorua! It's a pretty simple Pokemon, so I don't have a lot to comment on how it came out. Its smile is pretty cute, but can only really be seen from lower angles. Like N, Zorua is firmly anchored to the base, so he can't be displayed without his Pokemon like the protagonists can.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883362.png
It's hard to see from the front, but N's Menger Sponge keychain has been included as well! It's painted with a slightly different metallic paint than his bracelets, giving it a green tint. It's also hollow, making it a real level-1 Menger Sponge!

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883363.png
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883370.png

Here's a closer look at the detail on the trunk and leaves! I like that the green of the leaves and grass matches his hair, and that the stump's flat surface is so detailed. I don't often get to play around with such interesting bases!

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883364.png
A look at his other hand! I love how delicate his fingers look here, and his fingernails have been sculpted in as well!

Mine had a small paint transfer on one of his fingers, which was a bit of a bummer and something I'll probably deal with eventually, but with the way I have him displayed it's not really visible.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883366.png
The ah--ahem--the fabric folds and layering of the clothes look quite good throughout.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883365.png
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883367.png

Another look at his hair--it's so fluffy!!!! I just wanna fluff it....

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883368.png
I want to call particular attention to his sidelocks, which are probably my favorite--I LOVE the way these look. It's an interpretation of the original design that matches the way I currently draw him, and I'm here for it!

I think that's all I have for detail shots, so let's get to comparisons!

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883369.png
Here he is next to my first N figure (ITEM #145214)! The difference is like night and day, and the Banpresto figure looks practically amateurish next to the Kotobukiya one. There was a time when I thought that awkward-looking prize figure would be the only N figure I'd ever get to own...

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883371.png
Here he is next to the nendoroid (ITEM #327207)!! To be able to have one of my favorites in both scale and nendoroid form... Truly I thought this day would never come. 2011 me wouldn't have believed that such a future was even possible!!!

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883372.pnghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/14/2883373.png
And of course, my shipper heart couldn't finish the review without taking pics of him next to Touko (ITEM #514852)! Their poses are so different that it's a little hard to display them together (I am in fact not currently displaying them together) but there's still something so gratifying about getting to have them both... Maybe this will be what finally gets me to get off my ass and finish revising that old fic of mine, haha!

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2021/10/15/2883466.png
Here's where I'll be displaying him for now! I had to make some room on my top shelf, and honestly I should probably declutter a little more haha. I wanted to display him with Touko, but I also wanted him somewhere I'd look at him a lot! Maybe if I have to move some figures around later I'll reassess.

Anyway, I think that about does it for the main review! On to the number scores:

Sculpt: Sculpt gets a 10--seriously, couldn't be happier with the way the sculpt came out, and I'm not even mad about the seam in his hair because everything else looks so good! I love the woody texture of the base, too. Every little detail was sculpted with precision, and it surpassed my expectations.
Paint: Paint I'm giving a slightly lower score of 8. Overall it looks very good, with only a few paint flaws here and there. My main gripes pertain to his hair color (it's so bright!) and his expression (it's not my favorite!)
Pose: I'm giving pose a 9/10, because for the most part I am pretty happy with it! I love his casual lean, and it's a very cool looking pose. My one complaint is that his hand with the finger extended doesn't really match the art (or the promo pics) and it can be hard to get my camera to focus on his face with his hand in the way.
Base: Base gets a solid 10! It's really well designed, and adds a lot of atmosphere to the figure. If I had to pick something I don't like about it, it's that Zorua can't be removed--what if I want to display N with other Pokemon too?
Packaging: I don't tend to talk about packaging in my reviews because most packaging is about the same to me, but I did notice something very memorable about N's box design. When you first open him up and pull the top flap, there's something printed there that's hidden when the box is closed: a line N says to you in the game. When I saw that, all my memories of playing the game came flooding back! Whoever designed that box knew what they were doing. 10/10
Enjoyment: Impossible to quantify and possibly can't be expressed with numbers, they just do not go high enough! If you've read my reviews you know I don't tend to buy figures unless I know I'll love them, and there was no way i WASN'T going to buy a figure of my top favorite Pokemon character of all time. (I in fact spent some time wondering if I could justify it, and my husband looked at me like "Ren. Come on. You are absolutely going to buy the N figure." Incidentally, I was super into N/Pokemon BW when we met. That was about 10 years ago now too....)

Anyway, I think that about does it for the review. Needless to say I am very happy with this purchase, and equally happy I was able to get my hands on one without too much hassle! If you're an N fan, this figure really is a must have (though I imagine he'll only get harder to get from now on...)

Normally this is where I would talk about other figures from the franchise I'm looking forward to, but aside from a shoutout to Koto's Leon ITEM #1273874 (who I will NOT be buying, I love Leon but I don't "$250 and an ugly Charizard" love Leon) there aren't a ton I'm keeping an eye on at the moment. I am interested to see how ITEM #1142920 comes out, but I like the May I already have better. And of course, I'm crossing my fingers for more cool Pokemon figures when BDSP and Legends come out... There's one more Pokemon character I'd really like to see in figure form, but considering he's a one-off villain from a movie that's almost 15 years old I'm not holding my breath lol. I mean--Apollo, if you're listening with the kickball in hand....

My next review will likely be in November, or whenever ITEM #1201979 comes home. (Let's be honest, even if he does come home as scheduled in November, I'll be too busy playing Endwalker to make time for a review....)

And if you heard "100k words of fanfic" earlier and had your interest piqued, well--I won't link you the original, because it aged like milk, but I've been slowly revising it and posting the new version on AO3. Here's a link. Go nuts!

If you made it this far, thanks so much for reading!
874 hits • 9 likes16 comments

Scores9/10

Sculpting
Painting
Pose
Base
Packaging
Enjoyment

Comments16

Impressive!
1 month ago
Dromaeosauridae1 month ago#102501159Reading your article I'm just glad that someone so passionate for N managed to get their hands on him! Gen 5 is my favourite too, though in my case more because I liked Hard Mode in B2W2 and all the postgame content (contests have nothing over the movie maker mode and I will die on that hill, big robot Tyranitar model kit when).
I used Zenmarket to order mine from Amazon and they accept Paypal and bank transfer - shipping within Japan is free, so you'll only be adding the service fee on top. In my case it was still cheaper to use a shopping service to buy it because of how rubbish the price Amazon offers for their shipping is. Seriously, if you can grab it now - we all know that the Pokemon figures go nuts in the aftermarket (one day I might be able to get ITEM #514853 for under 15k... or 20k...) and with the USPC preorder debacle N's likely to rise quite rapidly.




Thank you, I'm getting quite emotional about all your helpfulness :D
I will try that.

Update: I orderd him using zenmarket! Thanks again for this suggestion.
1 month ago
Reading your article I'm just glad that someone so passionate for N managed to get their hands on him! Gen 5 is my favourite too, though in my case more because I liked Hard Mode in B2W2 and all the postgame content (contests have nothing over the movie maker mode and I will die on that hill, big robot Tyranitar model kit when).

Pakuccino1 month ago#102488740Oh thanks for your tip, sadly Amazon Japan is not an option for me as I don't own a credit card.
I used Zenmarket to order mine from Amazon and they accept Paypal and bank transfer - shipping within Japan is free, so you'll only be adding the service fee on top. In my case it was still cheaper to use a shopping service to buy it because of how rubbish the price Amazon offers for their shipping is. Seriously, if you can grab it now - we all know that the Pokemon figures go nuts in the aftermarket (one day I might be able to get ITEM #514853 for under 15k... or 20k...) and with the USPC preorder debacle N's likely to rise quite rapidly.
1 month ago
Broserpina1 month ago#102501006He's an absolutely gorgeous figure~! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Guzma might get a similar treatment one day, sob.

I'll cross my fingers with you!! Guzma definitely deserves a figure :D
1 month ago
Broserpina The magi-cooliest✧
He's an absolutely gorgeous figure~! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Guzma might get a similar treatment one day, sob.
1 month ago
Thank you all for the kind comments! Wanted to respond to a few in particular:

SebastianLover1 month ago#102484705I'm so happy N turned out, and that he exists!XD I actually only recently finished Black, but I was pretty smitten with N pretty much the moment he showed up. I like his naivete-to-a-fault personality and that he doesn't just do a heel turn in his beliefs at the end. He's a really special guy and deserves to be immortalized in scale form. Perhaps a criminal opinion but I'd honestly love a Ghetsis figure too. He was just such a good villain
I'm so glad you enjoyed Black! N is my favorite for pretty much all the reasons you listed, and it makes me happy that new players can still fall in love with him all these years later :D And hey, there's nothing wrong with wanting a figure of a villain!

toshibooty1 month ago#102450276Congrats on getting him! Your entire article is so full of joy and love for N and the figure that I'm now also very happy you managed to get him after so long, even though I don't know you.
Aww, thank you :'D I love reading reviews where the author's love for the character comes through in the writing, so I'm happy to hear my love shone through in mine!

Pakuccino1 month ago#102444634As someone who played both BW games and has declared it as her favorite Pokemon game, I'm bummed to not preorderd him (mainly because I missed the po-period)....
He looks sooooo good. °(>o<)° I will have to search for him in the aftermarket...ugh

oh noooo!! I hope you can get him someday ;^;
1 month ago
SkiaEsh1 month ago#102486211He was still available on Amazon Japan but with low stock. It would probably be cheaper to get him from there before he sells out if you can afford him right now instead of searching the aftermarket.

Oh thanks for your tip, sadly Amazon Japan is not an option for me as I don't own a credit card.
1 month ago
Pakuccino1 month ago#102444634As someone who played both BW games and has declared it as her favorite Pokemon game, I'm bummed to not preorderd him (mainly because I missed the po-period)....
He looks sooooo good. °(>o<)° I will have to search for him in the aftermarket...ugh


He was still available on Amazon Japan but with low stock. It would probably be cheaper to get him from there before he sells out if you can afford him right now instead of searching the aftermarket.
1 month ago
I'm so happy N turned out, and that he exists!XD I actually only recently finished Black, but I was pretty smitten with N pretty much the moment he showed up. I like his naivete-to-a-fault personality and that he doesn't just do a heel turn in his beliefs at the end. He's a really special guy and deserves to be immortalized in scale form. Perhaps a criminal opinion but I'd honestly love a Ghetsis figure too. He was just such a good villain
1 month ago
Congrats on getting him! Your entire article is so full of joy and love for N and the figure that I'm now also very happy you managed to get him after so long, even though I don't know you.
1 month ago
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About this blog

 
I'm Ren! Mostly I post figure reviews, but I'll also use this as a space to share figure-related life happenings/creative projects, and the occasional loot!

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