Review: Nessa 1/8 by Goodsmile Company

A review that I began in the summer and simply never finished. I figured that before proceeding with others, I should really finish this one, so say hello to a review of my first scaled figure ever: Nessa by Goodsmile Company who is from the anime Fractale.

In the future, mankind has achieved a life of ultimate prosperity and comfort through the Fractale system. Maintained by a temple, Fractale is a network of satellites that is capable of creating realistic illusions and generating doppels which are holographic robots that do everything from work in place of humans to acting as avatars and allowing people to be anywhere without actually going anywhere. This has allowed for humans to be free from burdensome responsibilities and live for their own gain. Clain is a young boy who lives alone but is occasionally visited by his parent’s doppels and finds 21st century technology fascinating. One day Clain’s carefree life is interrupted by a meeting with a priestess named Phryne who has escaped from the temple. Before leaving, Phryne leaves him with a brooch which contains a doppel named Nessa. Nessa’s appearance is that of a ten year old girl and she possesses boundless curiosity. After discovering Nessa, Clain embarks on a journey to return her to Phryne, but ends up discovering the dark secrets of Fractale along the way.

I mentioned in my nendoroid Kirito review that I often have a craving for anime that explores the human psyche. Fractale presented a very interesting world in which to do so and clearly intended to from the start. This is evidenced by the Fractale system which manufactures a life that is seemingly perfect but is actually void of interaction and has brewed a very self-centered generation of people. Watching the first episode, I was especially intrigued by a conversation between Clain and his parents. When Clain asks them why they do not live with him if they love him, his father responds that families are doing each other a favor by living apart because they are not tying each other down. Hearing this, I was thrilled that this would be the type of anime to deal with the setbacks of a civilization hopelessly dependent on technology, and could not wait for Clain to discover with or without his parents what it is that truly makes life wonderful.

But as is often the case when I get hyped up about an anime(which is why I try not to do it now), Fractale did not live up to the grand future I had envisioned for it. Instead the anime merely danced around the core conflicts, and incorporated an unusual amount of slice of life elements which are not satisfying in a supposedly epic fantasy. Clain also ended up joining a group opposed to Fractale which resulted in his spending most of the anime in agricultural areas rather than the visually stunning cities of Fractale. All in all, Fractale was a good idea, but the plot elements were not explored well enough to make it feel complete.
A side note: the paragraph above also summarizes my feelings on Kyokai no Kanata.

As I mentioned earlier, Nessa was my first scaled figure, and it takes a lot to convince someone to buy a type of figure that they’ve never owned before. I had seen the unpainted prototype figure before, but it was not until reading the painted prototype review by Mikatan(this was a long time ago!) that I truly realized the beauty of the figure. I spent the rest of the day at school thinking about Nessa, and soon preordered her. Even now, I use that feeling I got when I first ordered Nessa to judge how much I want a scale.

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Nessa comes in a classically designed white box that bears purple and black accents.
Nessa herself is of course safely packaged in a plastic blister, which is not pictured.

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The cardboard backing features none other than a purple fractal!
The show Fractale takes its name from real fractals, and if you have a thing for fractals, I’d suggest looking up the show’s opening which is full of them.

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And on the side of the box is something I love to see: the art the figure was based off of!

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And this art brings up a decision that I am very very glad Goodsmile Company made with this figure. That decision has to do with character designs which the Fractale anime made some odd choices with.

To illustrate what I’m talking about, here are the original character designs:
Our main three: Clain, Phryne, and Nessa.

And now the anime designs:
Still cute, but not the same.
The biggest offense is to Nessa’s big pink bow which is nowhere near as cute when white. I also feel that the original designs brought the anime an air of maturity which was lost when they were changed.

The revisions also do a disservice to the already suffering story when Spoiler Start We learn that Nessa, Phryne, and the high priestess of Fractale are all in fact the same person(Nessa is an avatar while Phryne and the priestess are clones). This was conceivable when all three had purple hair, but when the anime gave the three red, brown, and purple hair respectively, that revelation becomes a harder pill to swallow.Spoiler End

Putting into consideration just how much I adore the original designs, I am more than pleased that both the scaled figure and nendoroid petite of Nessa feature her lovely purple hair.

Rewinding back to the original artwork, another artistic liberty taken by GSC was having both of Nessa’s eyes be wide open. It does remove some of the charm of the original art, but figures often need to have a degree of vanilla to sell well since something as simple as a squinted eye could be a turn off for many, so I can’t fault them for that.

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Nessa is 1/8 scale, and I’d say she’s a healthy size. She may appear large next to fellow 1/8ths, but that is due to her childlike proportions. Big heads all around!

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To display the figure, you need the metal support, the figure itself, and the base.
Just plug the pole into the square hole in Nessa’s back and into the base, and you’re all set!

Coming up on three years of owning my Nessa, the pole is still a great support and she is very stable. Juse be careful when putting the metal pole into her back, because the plastic around the hole can stretch if you’re too rough with it.

Even if it is a lighter color than in the promotional pictures, GSC did a good job on the base which makes Nessa more interesting than a girl elevated over a piece of plastic. The base has infused glitter which is visible as you get closer and a lovely engraved design.
Speaking of the design on the base, have I seen it somewhere before?
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That’s right! The base’s design is the background from the original art! I love when figure makers do clever little things like this.

But what would a Nessa review be without a better look at Nessa? Let’s take the 360 tour!
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Nessa’ unique outfit stacks many unique elements on top of a kimono base. It was this figure that first made me aware of my love of kimono style!

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This pose really is perfect for the bubbly Nessa. What better place for her to be than leaping in the air?

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It’s too bad they didn’t include the floating flowers from the illustration, but that may have made the figure too busy.

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I still struggle with finding just what it is that draws me to a figure, but one thing I’ve noticed about most of mine is energy. I love the energy is Nessa’s sculpt, and the same can be said for the Caster I own and Morgiana who I have preordered.

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Nessa loves love, and I love Nessa!

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It took me a long time to recognize the dress as based on a kimono because of how it’s worn.

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The pink, purple, and black compliment each other seamlessly.

Now for the details that make Nessa such a cutie pie!
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Her face! Big purple eyes and a mouth that very much resembles the artist’s style. Also notice that she has a slight sideways glance, and you all know how I love sideways glances!

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Her pigtails are adorned by simple white flowers. Each pigtail has one flower on the front and back.

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Her hair really is pretty.
A soft, yet rich purple with a sculpt the gives it the weight and flow of real hair.
One thing I always appreciate about Goodsmile Company as a manufacturer is that they do great shading which helps to give their figures that extra oomph in terms of quality.

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From the sides of the pigtails, you can see that the lines are very clean.

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Even the insides have detail.
Admiring these details reminds me that being accustomed to figma reviews, I very rarely mention the sculptor, so I’ll say now that credit for Nessa goes to Kouji Tashiro who has a surprisingly small body of work. Other notable figures he as co-sculpted are Homura Akemi: You Are Not Alone ver, Sena Kashiwazaki, and Yozora Mikazuki all from GSC.

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On the top of her head, you can see how dark purple in the part and lines of her hair add depth.

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There are stray little curls at the base of her head too. So cute~

But her earrings do have a miniscule, yet odd mistake.
Instead of being blue like the dangling part, the stud in her ear is the same purple as her hair. Even the prototype has this mistake, so I guess nobody ever caught it in production, or they figured nobody would notice.
Come to think of it, there aren’t many anime characters with earrings as part of their design.

The jewelry continues with a silver and blue necklace. The necklace is free floating on her neck, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on it while photographing Nessa to make sure it’s facing the right way.
Shading on her breasts is also great and mimics real cloth. But Nessa’s chest is not this way because she’s a loli, it’s because she’s a child, so lolicons away!

The back of her neck and dress are done well, and imitate how the nape of the neck is often exposed on a traditional kimono as a mild tease.
But remember, she’s ten.

It’s cool that you can see the flow of her body underneath her clothes. The attention to anatomy and flow of clothing is what elevates these figures beyond hunks of plastic and into little pieces of art.

Holding this ensemble together is none other than a bright pink obi! I absolutely love this shade of pink, and it brings a pop of youth into her outfit’s otherwise mature colors.
On a traditional kimono, an obi worn in the front indicates a certain profession(if you know what I mean), but in this case, it’s a very cute design choice.
Sadly, right above the obi is the biggest quality control issue on my figure: a rough spot. The paint is a little messy on the collar as well. However, I have read other reviews where Nessas were without this spot, so it is an isolated case.

On the obi is also what I find to be one of the cutest details on this figure that I am surprised is often overlooked. Is that not the sweetest flower you’ve ever seen?
I wish I could find an obi that cute in real life!

A gold charm at the base of the dress.
Just look at how it tugs at the fabric showing that it’s made of metal. Oh the details!

Another look at Nessa from behind.
I have to say that after looking more closely at the gold trim of her dress, it really could have been painted more smoothly.

Because of how Nessa is posed, her underside is difficult to get a look at, so you have to remove her from the base.

By looking at the sleeves, you can see that the black and white layers are separate. Unlike the collar, the gold trim on the sleeves is painted perfectly.

Very simple and billowy.

And in her hand is a pair of white flowers.
Nessa’s wrist is delicate and ladylike, and they even painted her little nails!

The left side of Nessa’s dress simply flows out and has a design in the corner.

While the right is playfully scooped up in her dainty fingers.
They did a great job in not only having the folds and wrinkles look just right, but in portraying the position of her hand as it grasps the skirt.

Last is Nessa’s legs which are playfully exposed by her pose.

Whereas the artwork depicts Nessa with the bony legs of a ten year old, the figure rounded and matured them a bit.
Also notice the gentle shading around her knees and ankles. I’m still surprised by how smooth the skin on scaled figures looks.

The jagged parts of her tube dress are sharply sculpted, and there are even wrinkles around where her legs are separated.

Two gold rings on her ankles!
The lower ring is fixed while the upper one is free to slide. It doesn’t move up her ankle much, and has left no paint transfer over the years.

Her shoes are simple black sandals that continue the white flower motif.
Her toenails are painted as well!
I love shoes with flowers, so I wouldn’t mind finding some like these in real life…

The left shoe is attached to her foot like normal and is made of typical hard PVC.
But since the right shoe is dangling on her toes, it is made of flexible soft PVC. The shoe can be bent slightly, and with some tugging, can even be removed. Removing the shoe causes no damage to the figure, but leaves a hole in Nessa’s foot, so there’s no point in removing it beyond satisfying curiosity.

Now that we’ve looked at Nessa, how about taking her out and having some fun? Photo shoot time!

Having had Nessa for so long, I’ve grown a lot as a photographer since getting her. Thus, she’s been the subject of many photos both good and bad. Since this is a review, I just included my favorites.

why hello there
I got Nessa, Strength, and Hachikuji in the same package.

Playing with perspective.

When the cherry blossoms bloom~

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Taken the day I got her, and still one of my favorite photos I’ve taken.

Not an especially impressive image, but look, a spider!

Another one of my favorite photos ever which happens to be of Nessa.

My most recent photos of her:

In summer of 2013, GSC held a scaled figure photo contest. This photo and the one below were my entries. I love hydrangeas.

lavender sea
This was the photo I had my hopes on. I named it Lavender Sea since it looks like Nessa is dancing in a sea of purple! Her obi sticks out nicely too!
Even if it didn’t earn a mention, I’m still proud of this photo!

Final Words
Cute and charming, Nessa is a fine little figure. Still, I would not call her a masterpiece of Goodsmile Company because she is simply not very complicated and is easily overlooked next to their more famous figures like Ultimate Madoka, Deep Sea Miku, and Love is War Miku. However, in my opinion, Nessa is an overlooked pearl in the sea of figures, and if she’s your cup of tea, I’m sure you’ll be happy to pick her up.
I don’t see figures which such an innocent joy and cute design often, so Nessa is a proud part of my small scaled figure collection. Not to mention the sentimental value of her being my first scaled figure and of a beloved character. Nessa has outlasted many figures in my collection, and it’s quite a shame that Fractale did not do well because I’d have loved to see more figures of her and other characters.

4 thoughts on “Review: Nessa 1/8 by Goodsmile Company

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