Sunday, November 29, 2009

1/60 SV-51γ Nora's Unit Part 2

Extra bonus?

After the introduction on the background of this unit in the first review, we'll look at the figure itself.

Unpacking the plane today. ^^

Love those golden stripe on the wings and body. ^^

The pilot figure of Nora is included - placed outside the cockpit initially.

Another of the same figure is in - hidden beneath one of the wings.

An extra figure of Nora included. ^^

Checked on the official site, only one figure is supposed to be included. ^^ An extra bonus really, not that it has much application actually. ^^;

Made of rubber/soft plastic, the pilot figure can be bent very easily, so fitting her into the cockpit is made much easier.

Comparison with the "half" figure of Ozma Lee from 1/72 Transformable VF-25S Super Messiah Valkyrie, Nora becomes a Meltrandi XD

Clear red part in front of the cockpit and the pattern on top of the cockpit canopy.

Nora's personal insignia (?) printed nicely on what would be the head of this variable fighter in Battroid mode.

Very nice details inside the cockpit, with the dashboard painted as well.

Fitting Nora into the cockpit, her hands will sit nicely on the side panels.

All markings are printed on various parts of the body, and are loyal to the design inside the anime.

Feet can be adjusted in fighter mode, to reflect the output of the thrusters.

Bottom view of the fighter.

Very accurate separation of the area painted in different colors, especially the golden stripes. ^^

More gimmicks of the fighter, as well as attaching all the missile launchers and booster units in the next review.

Friday, November 27, 2009

1/60 SV-51γ Nora's Unit Part 1

The great purple sensation

The first review on my Yamato's 1/60 Complete Transformation SV-51γ Nora's Unit.

This variable fighter appears in "Macross Zero", the 5-episode OVA prequel to the original SDF Macross series. In before there is war against the Zentradi race, human beings fight against each others (as it has always been so), as forces of U.N. clashes against the Anti-U.N. faction in the OVA. SV-51γ belonged to the later.

SV-51γ Nora's Unit debuts right at the start of "Macross Zero". After taking down all of the protagonist Shin's comrades, she displayes the first transformation ability of a variable fighter in the series and easily trashes Shin's F-16, which then brings the story to Mayan Island.

I love this variable fighter for its uniqueness in design and combat abilities. What fascinates me first about the unit is its "crown" in Battroid Mode, which looks like the ceremonial headdress worn by priests or shamans in certain rituals and ceremonies, which I think is pretty cool. Also, as compared to VF-0 and the later VF-1, the body design of SV-51 is more human-like in my opinion. The chest and waist are more obvious, so as compared to the earlier which has to be designed to bear the silhouette of VF-1, SV-51 is a more refreshing design in the anime. Another design feature: in one of the episodes, it was shown flapping the wings in Gerwalk mode to lift itself to a higher attitude and closer to the enemy unit, which made it looks a huge mechanical crane to me. ^^ I'm not sure if the wings really has such function, but it's pretty amazing nonetheless.

And combat ability, my my, ^^; SV-51γ Nora's Unit performed a side kick in Battroid mode and overhead kick in Gerwalk mode. ^^

All this while I didn't expect the Gerwalk mode to be able to fight so excitingly.

One must be wondering what the pilot (Nora) had in mind about its unit's capabilities in combat. XD While the anime is supposed to be the prequel to SDF Macross, SV-51γ's maneuverability doesn't really agree to that in my opinion. ^^

Speaking of which, I watched "Macross Frontier" some time after "Macross Zero", and the similarity between SV-51γ Nora's Unit and VF-27γ Lucifer Brera's Unit struck me immediately.

Images are from Mahq Dotnet: SV-51γ, VF-27γ.

Cut out the "γ", and even the purple color scheme, you can still see similarities in places like the feet, position of the wings in Battroid Mode, and transformation of the entire beak (also applies to VF-25 as well).

Distance great grandaunt of VF-27γ maybe? XD

Most people who watched "Macross Zero" prefer VF-0 Phoenix, as it's the predecessor to VF-1 Valkyrie in the original Macross series, or SV-51γ in D.D.'s color - "black is cooler than purple" is the perception of many I believe. ^^ But personally, this purple Nora's unit remains my favorite unit from the OVA, and definitely one of my favorite of all Macross fighters as well. ^^

The pilot is another huge factor for my preference over this unit as well. Nora Polyansky is a very strong character in the anime, and plays the protagonist Shin's arch-rival from the start (as mentioned above) till the very end. Her rivalry with Shin is more developed than that between D.D. and the then younger Roy Focker. She is shown in almost every fight involving Shin, from the first sortie when he is yet the pilot of VF-0, the clash on the island when Shin fights in a damaged VF-0, the interrogation on the island, the struggle over the possession of the Birdman's head, and the final "unfinished" duel. And Nora's is shown to have the upper hand in most of those fights.

Nora's character is more developed than D.D.'s in the story as well. From a skillful but merciless fighter at the start, we are later being introduced to the sad story of her background, which explained her fight against the U.N. forces. She has her stance in the entire conflict, and while it's based on vengeance, it isn't too far away from Shin's background.

Nora is the kind of character whom you would hate at first, and then sympathize. "Yes, I would like to see her fight, but no, I don't want her to die." That was my wish before the final combat, but of course, those who watched the anime would know that she didn't survive. And her death was really anticlimactic. It's as if the writers didn't really know how to end her duel with Shin, so they had to ax her like that as ending time of the anime was coming up. ^^;

A very pitiful character all the way.

At this point, I remember another female character I like who is quite similar to Nora: Cima Garahau from "Gundam UC0083: Stardust Memory". A pirate-like Zeon commander at first to a betrayer nearing the end, she did explained her own stance in the whole conflict between Delaz Fleet and the Earth Federation, and I have the same sympathy for her as well.

Image is from this previous posting on my main blog.

Cima's suicidal attack on Dendrobium which saw her being axed is just as equally anticlimactic as Nora's exit as well. ^^;

And, yes, both of them are very gorgeous women. ^o^

Anyway, Nora's rivalry with Shin is definitely more intriguing than D.D. and Roy Focker's ex-mentor-pupil rivalry. Also, fighting against the great captain of the Skull Squadron whom I support very much? No way am I supporting you anymore, Mr. D.D. ^^;

And that hairdo of yours doesn't help either. XD

And now, onto this actual action figure of SV-51γ Nora's Unit after the long introduction above. ^^;

This is my first Yamato's 1/60 Complete Transformation Macross action figure, and she will stay as the only one for quite a while I believe, since I have no other item from this series on my mind right now.

Got this in May at a hefty price of RM600 plus, but the price is well worth it in my opinion. It's brand new, and it was pretty hard to find anyone who sell this anymore since then.

Saw on a forum recently that someone's trying to sell this off in BIB state at about the same price as I paid for her in brand new state, and I thought that's quite amazing. ^^;

Anyway, the box and the figure are mighty huge ^^

Comparison with the box of 1/72 Transformable VF-25S Super Messiah Valkyrie Ozma Lee's Unit.

Front panel of the box can be lifted to show the content of the fighter.
Pretty good design for display. I'm guessing all releases in the series come with such box design.

That's my hand there for a rough size comparison with the fighter.

Opening the box reveals a paper container contenting the plastic trays enclosing all the parts.

Two trays for the fighter jet, other parts and the display base. There are tabs around the tray to help you to uncover the seal.

The manual and stickers are taped to the back of the paper container.

Extra clear stickers you can apply to the fighter.

Black and white manual explaining the transformation sequence.
Looks a bit like the manual of my mom's oven XD

Top and bottom view of the tray container the fighter.

We'll look at the fighter when it's straight out of the tray in the second review. ^^