Wednesday, March 20, 2013

MS Gundam Seed Heroines 4 Part 5 [Final]

Natarle Badgiruel

Like the previous posting, this will be the conclusion of another review series, one that has been ongoing since early January. ^^ This is Natarle from MS Gundam Seed Heroines 4 gashapon set.

Natarle is my favorite character from "MS Gundam SEED". She seemed rather annoying at the beginning of the show, being overly strict in following military protocols and constantly having conflicts with Captain Ramius. Over time, she did show that she has genuine care towards her crew members and people around her in general. Unfortunately, circumstances in the story forced Natarle to be on the opposing side against Captain Ramius, which bore ill fate for her in the end.

I like Natarle very much for her tough characteristics. She's very much like Captain Gladys from "MS Gundam SEED Destiny" in my opinion. Unfortunately for Natarle, she seemed to be stuck with people she couldn't really control on both ships that she managed. ^^; The Archangel crews are mostly a ragtag bunch of emotional kids; while Dominion features a bunch of crazy kids and a bloodthirsty warlord. For that, it's quite amazing that she managed to maintain her commander competency and used her skills to beat Captain Ramius on a few occasions towards the end of the series. ^^ Despite being a secondary character, she did show a clear character development throughout the show. While being hard-edged throughout the show as an Earth Alliance ship's commanding officer, and ultimately met her demise in a tragic turn of events in the end, she did show some revelation in her character, which pushes for some character development on Captain Ramius as well. Natarle's last scene is among the most powerful scenes at the end of the show for me.

A little bit of assembly is required, as the figurine is been separated into a few parts.

More images of Natarle: ^^

Closeups on the details: ^^

The head can be turned to the sides to adjust Natarle's viewpoints for a little bit of change in angle of display.
A wide bend of the head to the figurine's left would expose the neck joint though. ^^

The captain's hat can be removed, but the pair of pegs and slots that are revealed are not that great to look at on both the hat and the forearm. ^^;

The hat is not only too small for Natarle, its solid crown makes it impossible to be used in any way other than to be fixed to the left arm as a display item.

Natarle's right hand can swivel around on the wrist, for almost no practical purpose at all. ^^

Not as poorly done as Aisha but not too impressive either, the face sculpt of Natarle is just average I would say. ^^; She's definitely recognizable as Natarle, but the likeliness is not as impressive as Lacus or Meyrin. ^^; Her face looks somewhat too thin, or from another perspective, elongated. The weakness isn't as obvious as Aisha's face sculpt though, thankfully. Overall, the figurine's outcome is still somewhat of a disappointment to me. ^^;

The rest of the figurine is very well done though. Details like the wrinkles on her sleeves and across her skirt and military rank insignia on the uniform are very nicely done. While the shade of gray for the uniform's main color is not bad-looking, I think I prefer it to be white instead so that it would look more accurate to the character design in the anime. ^^ Then again, gray seems like a more fitting color to match Natarle's black tights. ^^

With Captain Ramius from MS Gundam Seed Destiny Heroines 7:

Since Natarle is gone before the start of "MS Gundam SEED Destiny", the image may seem a little creepy in context. ^^;

A gathering of the captains in "MS Gundam SEED" and "MS Gundam SEED Destiny":

With the sitting Captain Gladys from MS Gundam Seed Destiny Heroines 7 and the standing MS Gundam Seed Destiny EF Collection 5 version.

Both Natarle and Captain Gladys became Captain Ramius's adversaries in "MS Gundam SEED" and "MS Gundam SEED Destiny" respectively, and they didn't get a happy ending out of that character arrangement. Even though I like the more stern and hard-edged qualities of Natarle and Captain Gladys, Captain Ramius's compassion is the more "preferred" characteristic for a captain from the writer's perspective I guess. ^^;

Out of the three, I prefer Captain Gladys to win all the way till the end, ^^ but given her position on the "obligatory" enemy side by the end of the show, I suppose that's not possible. Her exit, as I mentioned time and again in various reviews in the past, is still one of the most incomprehensible turn of events in "MS Gundam SEED Destiny" for me. ^^; It almost seemed like she has to go just because her side lost the war. ^^; In contrast, Natarle's exit has a much clearer and stronger story implication. While I was sad to see her go, since she's my favorite character from that show, I understood the reason behind her demise.

Finally, a group shot of all five figurines from this gashapon set: ^^

Among the four standing types, Aisha is the tallest, while Meer is seemingly the shortest one. ^^

Overall, this gashapon set is a weird mixture of quality in terms of the character design I think. ^^ Lacus, Meyrin and Meer are fantastic designs, Natarle is average, while Aisha is quite disappointing in my opinion. It's even more disappointing to me as Natarle and Aisha are two of my favorite characters from "MS Gundam SEED", and there's no other gashapon series that features them as part of the set. While they are secondary characters in the story, there are others who received more gashapon and even figurine treatment, so it's mighty unfortunate for the two characters themselves. ^^;

Putting the character design aside, the paint work and detailing on the figurines are consistently high as compared to previously reviewed sets from the same gashapon series, namely Set 3 and Set 7. On that note, all of them would certainly fit into the gashapon "harem" perfectly. XD

All reviews on MS Gundam Seed Heroines 4:
Part 1: Lacus Clyne
Part 2: Meyrin Hawke
Part 3: Aisha
Part 4: Meer Campbell
Part 5 [Final]: Natarle Badgiruel

View full gallery:
MS Gundam Seed Heroines 4

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