Review: Nendoroid Kirito

Today is a special day because I will not only be reviewing one of my favorite characters, but something I’ve never gotten to review before: a nendoroid! So get ready for Nendoroid Kirito by Goodsmile Company.

I’ve tried my best, but this review contains slight spoilers for Sword Art Online

Kirito is the main character of the game based anime, Sword Art Online. The show takes place in the future where a device called the Nerve Gear has finally allowed for the possibility of virtual gaming. By wearing the Nerve Gear(it’s a helmet), players are able to completely immerse themselves in games, one of which is the highly anticipated MMO, Sword Art Online. Kirito, who was a beta tester for Sword Art Online, eagerly logs on to the game on its release day and begins playing. But as the first day comes to a close, players have trouble logging out, and much to the horror of everyone, Sword Art Online’s creator appears and tells them that the only way to log out of the game is to beat it which requires fighting through all 100 floors(something beta testers never even came close to). It is also revealed that dying in the game will trigger the Nerve Gear to release microwaves to fry the player’s brain and attempting to remove the Nerve Gear will do the same. With Sword Art Online now a death game and it’s 10,000 players mere prisoners, chaos quickly ensues. But in the midst of this chaos, Kirito is determined to escape, and in spite of being spurned for having been a beta tester, becomes a high level player and has his life forever changed by Sword Art Online.

When I first heard about the death game premise for this show, I was ridiculously excited. Although cute slice of life shows are good, every now and then, I crave something dark and full of conflict that will that will really make me think. Sword Art Online had the perfect setting for this. Kirito was a boy who cared about games and nothing else, so I wanted to see him grow and learn to appreciate life. I wanted to see family members of those trapped struggle to accept what has happened to their loved ones. And I wanted to see just how people cope with living for years inside a virtual world. I got none of this. As the show progressed, it soon became obvious that Sword Art Online had no intention of elaborating on deep psychological issues as I’d hoped and instead transformed into the “Kirito’s Harem Show” and later the “Kirito and Asuna’s Married Life Show”. What made watching Sword Art Online more painful was that occasionally it did give me a taste of what I wanted(like Yui who was a program intended to regulate the mental stability of players but was locked away when the players were trapped and needed her the most or the guild Laughing Coffin who kills out of the belief that players dying in real life is a myth) but spent very little time on those issues. Details of interest to the viewer are either left out entirely or only casually mentioned much too late. For instance, it takes about 20 episodes for it the be specifically stated that the player’s real bodies were moved to hospitals and the same amount of time for Asuna to mention that she became strong by fighting without regard for her life and out of anger for having had her real life stolen from her. I think that had Sword Art Online spent more time showing and less time merely telling, the characters would have been deeper and the world richer because when a character is relatable, their mistakes can more easily be understood and their plight better sympathized with.

But even after this crushing disappointment, I still can’t bring myself to dislike Sword Art Online. My love for the premise and those first few episodes has allowed for my opinion of Sword Art Online to not be entirely tainted and I often find myself thinking of what it could have been instead of what it was. Another reason I just can’t hate Sword Art Online is because of Kirito. Although he was often bland and uninteresting, I think Kirito is cuter than a basket of puppies(I also have a thing for long black coats), and that goes a long way in keeping someone’s interest.

Because of my fangirl love of Kirito, I decided to collect whatever I could with his face on it. This is what caused me to once again open a box I thought I’d closed forever: nendoroids. Two years ago, I owned nendoroid Len Kagamine(again, for fangirl reasons) and Madoka Kaname(impulse buy), but sold them during the Great Collection Purge of 2012 because they just weren’t my thing. Yet when Kirito was announced, I just couldn’t help it and decided to get him. Was this a good idea of just another impulse buy? Let’s find out!

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Kirito’s box is a pleasing shade of blue with black accents and is decorated with typical SAO imagery: rings and stray pixels.

It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten just how small nendoroids are. To emphasize how tiny he is, here’s Kirito next to a mug.
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It’s bigger than he is!

Get in the mug! Get in the mug!
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OH YES. I rarely find myself squealing with joy when I open a figure, but nendoroid Kirito is so little that I just couldn’t help it.

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Kirito is actually the second Sword Art Online nendoroid released. First was Asuna, but I did not get her.

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I wonder why there weren’t more nendoroids from the series. They would have been adorable!

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Notice that Kirito uses the newer square nendoroid stand which has an adjustable arm that plugs into his back.

But just because he’s small doesn’t mean Kirito can’t be detailed. So let’s look at him more closely~
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Kirito’s bangs have been sculpted to appear very fluffy. I like how much dimension has been given to the piece of hair over his forehead.

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Since his hair is jet black, I’m glad that attention was given to sculpting to make up for what couldn’t be done with color.

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Aww there are little hairs poking out. I’m making sure not to let anything rub up against those little hairs so the paint doesn’t rub off on them.

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His head is huge!

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And on top, he has a little part! I really like that detail.

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Kirito wears a long black coat with a black shirt underneath. That they included the little “V” in his shirt even though he has no neck is funny XD. Also notice the metallic paint used on his scabbard strap. The lines on his coat look ok, but could be better

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More metallic paint on his right arm plate. He also has tiny fingerless gloves.

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On his back is the hole for the stand along with another hole which I’ll go over later. This is also where the lines on his coat aren’t the best looking.

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His left arm is the same, but has no metal plate. This is important to remember when switching out arms.

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Normally nendoroids with pants look strange because of the leg joints, but with so much black and a long coat, Kirito is able to get by without looking odd.

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More black. The lack of color made Kirito difficult to photograph…

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Because of his gigantic head, Kirito is very difficult to balance without a stand.

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Tiny. Boots.

Nendoroids are considered action figures, but this is true only in a very loose sense. Without proper joints, the best action pose Kirito can do is this:
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Instead, the nendoroid series relies on optional arms and legs shaped into various positions to create poses. With Kirito three arms, two legs, and four hands are included(not including the ones already on him). This does not seem like much, but a lot can be done with these parts!

First is the leg which is bent.
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The bent leg is meant to help recreate an official illustration and is great for making action poses.

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Next is a left arm that is sticking out straight. This arm comes attached to a hand meant for holding one of his weapons(which I’ll get to later).

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His other left arm is bent and comes attached to a hand with a hole. This hold is for holding another one of his accessories.

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His other right arm is also bent. You’ll notice that his right arm has no hand attached. That’s because all of his hands are interchangeable! And in addition to the hands you’ve seen so far, he has four others.

kirito hands
Two gripping and two relaxed hands.

So with the bent arm and relaxed hand, Kirito can tough his giant face!
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Awwww

In fact, this is only the beginning of what can be done with these parts!
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Show them how fabulous you are, Kirito!

But I could make poses forever, so let’s move on to the accessories.

First is one of the best things about nendoroids: faces! Nendoroids are ridiculously fun because their faces can be swapped from character to character. Sadly, Kirito is my only nendoroid *cough for now cough*, so he’ll just have to use his own faces.
Kirito has three faces:
kirito faces
Standard, lifeless(for when someone dies), and gritted teeth.

Of these three, the standard face is my favorite and the gritted teeth my least favorite. I really dislike gritted teeth on nendoroids and would have preferred a standard open mouth yelling face or even a face like the standard one but with angry eyebrows and a frown. The lifeless face is an interesting inclusion, but I would have preferred something cuter(like the figma’s embarrassed face) for interacting with Asuna.

Now for the character specific accessories!

Kirito is from Sword Art Online, so he has to have a sword!
First is his rare sword: Elucidator
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Elucidator is Kirito’s primary weapon and conveniently matches his outfit. I checked the meaning of elucidator in the dictionary. Apparently it means “To make clear by explanation”. Maybe I should ask the sword a question!

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Up close, the sword is pure black. This is slightly inaccurate since it’s shown in the anime to have a silver edge. Perhaps that’s too difficult to paint on such a small sword?

But Kirito can’t carry his sword all the time, so a scabbard that fits on his back is included.
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The scabbard plugs into the smaller hole on his back. And take note that the Elucidator handle poking out is a separate piece. The full sword does not fit into the scabbard.

In Sword Art Online, players often use combos called Sword Skills to make fighting easier. When a Sword Skill is activated, the sword glows, so Kirito also comes with a glowing Elucidator!
elucidator shiny
Now it really is clear!

But there’s more! Later on in the series, Kirito becomes a dual swordsman and wields a second sword.
dual swords
So say hello to Dark Repulsor! It’s so dark that it’s repulsive!

dark repulsor
Dark Repulsor has more detail than Elucidator. It reminds me of the Statue of Liberty…

both swords
Using the bent arms, Kirito can hold both his swords like giant drum sticks! Just make sure to turn his hands so he doesn’t stab himself in the face…

And in order to carry both swords, a scabbard for Dark Repulsor that attaches to Elucidator’s is also included.
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Dark Repulsor’s scabbard plugs into a second hole.

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Do be aware that having a sword or both swords on his back limits head movement. I also found that the handles of the swords are not glued in and fell out after a while. They fit back in, but keep an eye on them if you take Kirito outside!

The final two accessories are items in the game~
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A potion! The potion fits into the hand with the hole in it.

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The potion is transparent orange and whether it be intended or not, the little bubble makes it look morel ike liquid.

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Then there’s the Ragout Rabbit!

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The Ragout Rabbit is a very rare and tasty ingredient that Kirito found and ate with Asuna on what could be considered their first date. An odd accessory since it was on screen for mere seconds(the again, so was Ultimate Madoka).

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The Ragout Rabbit is kind of ugly. Kudos to Kirito and Asuna for eating it so it won’t reproduce!

Kirito’s accessories are fine, but could’ve been better. Why didn’t he have a menu screen like Asuna? Or a teleportation crystal to go with the potion? Maybe even a sandwich? Honestly I would’ve preferred any of those things over the rabbit since they would make him more fun to combine with Asuna.

Now that we’ve seen Kirito and all he comes with(I’ve been writing for hours!), let’s take him outside for a photoshoot!

rapids
My first real experiment with water photography. I put Kirito in the water, but he either floated like a dead body(should have taken a picture of that XD) or sunk to the bottom, so I used a figma stand to keep him in place. But since the stand was visible, I decided to use my hand to stir up the water. Cranking up the exposure and putting the camera on a tripod allowed me to get this! I wanted it to look like he’s struggling in the rapids, and although this didn’t turn out super amazing, I think it was a good try! XD

so close

kirito night

napping
Taking a nap.

buried
Buried in the snow

sow sweethearts

You might be wondering why there are so few pictures if I love Kirito so much. That’s because I spent the majority of the day dressing Kirito up like a cowboy and making a story with him. Seriously. The story will be up early next week XD

Final Words
Kirito was my first step back into nendoroids, and although I do not intend to collect them(ok, I have one on order…) I don’t see myself selling him any time soon. Kirito is a cute little guy and I think he’d be even more fun with Asuna. He’s also great since there are no good Kirito scaled figures. Awesome for SAO fans or anyone wanting a male nendoroid. And I just paid for the figma! Bring on the Kirito!

10 thoughts on “Review: Nendoroid Kirito

    • Hmmm I don’t recall it being super tight. I usually do my reviews outside though, so the sun warms the pieces a bit. Maybe you’d want to be somewhere warm or use the hairdryer a bit on the piece?

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