NARUTO SHIPPUDEN

S.H.Figuarts Naruto full series review!

Written by, Rockchala

The Naruto S.H.Figuarts line started with a bang in 2014 with the release of the Uzumaki Naruto figure and continued on till Uzumaki Naruto Sage Mode Complete released in 2018. Afterwards, in 2020 a repackaged version of the original Naruto Uzumaki action figure was released in the Tamashii Nations' Best Selection line. Since then, fans have been eagerly awaiting a revival of the line, and one was finally announced in 2021! This new line of S.H.Figuarts is not just a remake of the previous figures, it clearly showcases the evolution of S.H.Figuarts technology and skill since the first release.

At first glance, Naruto's body design looks similar to the previous releases, so it blends well with the original figures when displayed together. On closer inspection, when you start to feel and move each part, you will notice the subtle changes that were made.

In terms of face plates, this figure comes with five great expressions including a kyuubi face and a shocked expression face that Naruto is famous for. The paint job is crisp and clean, while the skin tone is paler than previous releases. The lips are also thinner than before and the color is more muted. Overall, the face plates are much improved so it is unfortunate, that due to improved articulation are of course not interchangeable with the older releases.

The neck articulation was also improved by splitting the hair into two different parts so the head can move further forward or backward, allowing for more natural poses.

The shoulder and chest area were redesigned by sculpting a bigger curve into the chest. This allows for greater articulation while minimizing the conspicuousness of the joints. The paint job also helps blend the joints with the other parts of his clothes. As a result, the shoulders move in a very natural motion. The elbow joint and wrist peg are similar to recent S.H.Figuarts releases in terms of motion.

The mid-section of this figure is more than meets the eye. It looks very similar to the 2014 and 2018 Uzumaki Naruto S.H.Figuarts releases, but the range of motion is on another level! There is now a larger gap between the torso and hip to allow for more articulation in that area than you could think possible. While I am personally not a fan of the loose floating plastic ring around the waist, it does a great job of hiding the gap. Overall, the articulation of the torso is now much more fluid, so he can be bent backwards in a proper arch. Bending forwards is also not a problem, especially when combined with the articulation of his hip joint.

Although the legs look very standard at first, once you get around to posing with them, you will appreciate how much they were improved. The hip joint and knees can be posed smoothly and have a larger range of motion than they first appear. I would love to see an updated design in future releases in the upper thigh area so the joint is more inconspicuous.

My favourite improvement in design for this figure is the ankles! Ankle joints have always been glaringly obvious on figures, and often combined with limited articulation that makes posing harder. This Naruto Uzumaki release fixes all of that! The feet are attached to the legs via a new joint that pivots and swivels. Additionally, it is designed in such a way that the big ugly metal connector often seen in other action figures is not present! This new joint allows you to do the crouching-Naruto pose with his feet flat on the ground while his torso is horizontal and his hand is holding himself up. This makes other poses more fun to try out since you avoid the awkwardness of action poses from the past. However, like everything, we do have compromise. While this removes the ugly metal ankle connector, there is now a gap under the foot if you push the articulation to the extreme.

This release of Naruto comes with a redesigned Rasengan effect that has a small peg which can be attached to a dedicated right hand. He also comes with one kunai with both left and right hand parts to hold it. Although I normally do not like crossed-arm accessories, this particular one is very easy to put on and take off since comes in two parts.

The evolution in design of this figure will also be implemented in future Naruto S.H.Figuarts, which makes me super excited to see where this line will be going in the future. After playing with this new Naruto for a while, I have found it hard to come up with any major cons or issues. I think the design team have done a fantastic job balancing the aesthetics and articulation and have made a very fun figure for posing and displaying!


© Masashi Kishimoto Scott / Shueisha / TV Tokyo / Pierrot

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