Note: You can check out my review of the Nier Automata Black box edition as well as YoRHa Unit Number 2 Type B here: blog/33766
Today I would like to present to you a mini review of the 2nd figure from the NieR Automata series, YoRHa Unit number 9 type S, more commonly referred to as 9S. This figure is produced by Square Enix themselves and is 1/10 in scale. Most of the time Square Enix tend to be very protective of their characters, and as such, the rights to the characters are owned very exclusively to Square Enix. Because of this, figures of these characters are produced “In-house” by Square Enix and are known for their lack of experience and quality compared to the big name company’s in the figure production world. Thankfully, SE have been a lot more lenient with the “Nier” series and have partnered up with a few different companies to produce some figures from the series besides the ones planned by them already. This is incredibly exciting news, as it gives collectors more options to pick and choose which figures of their favourite YoRHa units to get, but in the meantime, the figures produced by SE are the only ones available as of this date.
The first figure released by Square Enix from the “NieR Automata” series is YoRHa unit Number 2 type B – (2B). 2B and 9S are undoubtable part of a “set”, with Unit A2 currently in production making these figures a set of 3 in the 1/10 line by Square Enix.
2B was only released as part of the limited “Black box” edition for the game, while 9S is a standard release. This choice makes it very difficult for fans of the series, as the Black Box edition is not only rare but it is very expensive – and picking it up for a 1/10 scale figure alone can be a hefty price to pay. It is hard to own 9S without 2B, and this decision will undoubtedly make it hard to decide whether to get 9S on his own for such a small size and price, as well as spending $500 on the black box edition to get 2B.
So is 9S really worth getting considering the circumstances if you don’t already own 2B? Hopefully this review will help you with that very decision.
Without further ado, let’s launch into the review! -
– [PLEASE BE WARNED THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR NIER AUTOMATA] –
– [THIS IS AN IMAGE HEAVY REVIEW] –
– THE BOX –
Let’s start off by having a look at the box. The one thing that I absolutely adore about “Nier Automata” is that it has a very distinctive visual style and as such that visual aesthetic carries over very faithfully in all of its merchandise. The Box is rather small, as to be expected with a 1/10 size figure. It’s just enough to house 9S without being inconvenient. The outside of the box is completely black, as simple and minimalistic as it can possibly get. The boldness of the black could simply be a reference to the concept of the “black box” in the series, and darker gritty colours tend to be what represent the series the most as it is.
Along the sides and back of the box is a very faint holographic print of an elaborate flower-esque design. The back of the box also contains the biggest warning/hazard label I think I have ever seen on a figure. Thankfully we don’t need to take notice of the back, as everything we need to see is beautifully displayed at the front with a nice clear and large display window – literally showcasing the entire figure in all its glory. This is also a good option for collectors who like to keep their items mint sealed – as you can see the entire figure with no obstructions.
Here we have a comparison between the boxes of both 2B and 9S – and as you can see they are both nearly identical. They both spout the same jet black colour, nice display window and the holographic flower design. 2B’s box doesn’t contain any warning labels at all as majority of them are printed on the outside packaging for the “black box” edition – this makes 9S’s box a little more cluttered, but let’s be honest, were not here for the box – lets open him up and take a look!
– THE BLISTER –
Once the box is opened we are greeted with the Blister. The figure is all held together in one solid blister, no construction necessary.
– THE COMPLETED FIGURE – 9S –
Once the blister has been opened up – the figure is all set and ready to be displayed! So let’s dive in and take a look. Much like the first figure in the 1/10 series by Square Enix, considering its size, I am fairly impressed with its quality. The biggest gripe I have with smaller figures is the lack of detail, but it’s fair to say that every little element that makes 9S what he is has been perfectly captured in this small representation. The 9S units in the Nier series are known as “scanner type” androids, and focus on investigation missions and collecting data for research purposes. While they can attack, they are more so known for their impressive “hacking” ability, which allows them to hack into any sort of technological form in order to take over or download information.
The completed figure showcases 9S with his arm out ready to launch a hacking command, with his trusty companion, Pod 153. My first impressions on the pose is that it wasn’t very dynamic, that 9S looks rather stiff and robotic. Of course the irony comes out in that sentence straight away, I have to keep in mind that 9S “IS” an android, and as such his movements are rather calculated and robotic. I think if perhaps maybe his legs were slightly more apart and maybe bent down with his arms out it would look a little more dynamic. Because this is a figure locked into one position, the idea of having something that looks “frozen “in place doesn’t act as an interesting display piece, but the more I look at 9S the more I begin to appreciate the details and effort gone into creating this figure, so lets take a look.
Here is a shot from the left side. Seeing the figure from this angle does not really do the figure justice in any way. It doesn’t compliment the pose well and continues to draw attention to that flat “static” pose. But seeing the figure from this angle helps to give the general impression of how SE utilizes the “space” around this figure.
A shot from the back, very similarly to 2B, 9S has a lot of impressive details going on at the back, which is a shame that a lot of these details go unnoticed from the front, but we will take the time to go through these elements and appreciate the effort put forth.
Lastly, a shot from the right hand side. I personally believe having 9S displayed from this angle does the figure a lot more justice. Despite Pod 153’s painfully obvious steel support rod, there seems to be a lot more “character” shining through on this side then the static lifelessness being showcased on the other side with 9S’s arm by his side.
Moving away from the figure as whole, let’s take a closer look at the upper half of 9S. Honestly, the level of detail here is pretty amazing for his size. The creases in his coat around his arms look amazing, as well as the incredible stitching work along down the front of his coat. The buttons and the gold buckle on the belt are all painted very carefully with no transfer what so ever, which is very impressive considering how small these details are. The gold on black is a beautiful contrast and really makes these details stand out, especially the incredibly intricate flower design featured along the bottom of the coat – real nice attention to detail – especially that all those patterns are sculpted and not printed, leaving a nice “popping out” effect on the designs. Another element I really liked about this figure is the ability to be able to perceive the type of material everything is made from, like the shiny latex gloves, to the smooth black coat and leather brown belts.
I also really like the way his fingers are positioned on the arm stretched out ready to launch a hacking command. The way they are all curled up like that shows a strong sense of character of how much strength and energy he is launching into the hack. I think the one element to be thankful for with the Nier series is the aesthetically pleasing “blindfold”, which is a signature element to most YoRHa units. Because of the figures size, I cannot imagine such tiny details like the eyes would of translated well, so the blindfold is a neat cover up to avoid such details ( we shall see how that turns out when A2 is released wont we?) The hair isn’t fantastic, but it is great for what it is, Square Enix are generally known for their poor texture work on the hair on figures but it features a nice gradient from white to dark grey, a little gradient like this goes a long way from having a plain colour slapped on which can look generally tacky – so props for that painting detail considering the size.
Let’s take a look at the lower half of 9S as well as the base. Truly, my favorite part of the figure lies down here, and that is the awesome dirty texture splattered across his boots. Such a tiny piece of detail, but the colouring used really makes it look like wet mud splashed across his boots, really impressive. The base is also really nice, I am a massive fan of any figure that includes a dynamic base rather than just a plain circle or clear base. Having 9S stand of this concrete like structure instantly creates an environment for the figure but it also adds context. The concrete base appears to be maybe the corner of a building roof type, cracked and decayed over time with the fall of humanity and the machine war. The light grey texture adds as an excellent contrast to the high level of black featured on the main figure, really helps make the two stand out. The sculpting on the cracks are just really nice, really love the base choice here, very impressed.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the back of 9S. A lot of details from the front have carried over smoothly to the back, such as the flower pattern and the belt buckles and buttons. From the back we can see 9S’s little bag, which sits really nicely on his back. Another bit of detail worth pointing out is the sculpt work on his socks. Probably not a big deal to most, but the sculpting line work on the socks really demonstrates that “stretchy” fabric displayed in socks –such a tiny piece of detail that goes a long way to help capture the realism of the different types of materials. You can also see more of the stitching sculpting along the back of the jacket and sides of the shorts, really well done.
Included alongside 9S is his Pod – Pod 153. While I think the inclusion of Pod 153 is fantastic, did they really need to use an insanely obvious steel rod to have it levitated? I feel like you would have gotten the exact same effect and sturdiness from a clear acrylic rod. Although a lot of the time, such large rods make it impossible not to notice due to their size, but I honestly think a clear one would have made slightly more sense than a steel rod in this case.
Over all the sculpt work and detailing on Pod 153 is accurate, but due to its size, the silver paintwork comes out looking a bit sloppy. Which is a shame considering the solid black/grey sections are so very smooth compared to the oily looking metal around the claws and center section.
A shot from the back showing the detailing in both the core pod compartment and the arms. The red chrome parts also seem to suffer from “sloppy paint syndrome”, while all of these are small parts – these are the only 2 sloppy paint jobs on the entire figure. I would much rather the painting be sub-par on Pod 153 then on 9S himself. Either way I am very glad they included the Pod as it makes the figure a lot more interesting over all.
– CONCLUSION –
Besides Nendoroids and figmas, I don’t not personally own many small scale figures. Due to their size they never quite seem to have the level of detail I desire and they tend to still be rather expensive. That being said, I am very impressed with how 9S turned out and I am very happy to have him as part of my collection. Over all the sculpting work on 9S is really impressive; the creases and folds in the coat are amazing and I simply love all the stitching work running around the front and back of the jacket. The paint job is really spot on, with the gold contrasting beautifully with the matte black of the figure.
You can really get a sense of the different types of materials, which is hard to illustrate sometimes in a figure, but Square Enix have done a fantastic job at bringing this figure to life. Not to mention that awesome dirty mud texture on his boots – truly amazing! As well as the flower design sculpt on the coat, very impressive work there
The base is fantastic and adds a lot of character and context to the figure, keeping the apocalyptic aesthetic is really important and helps makes the series unique and visually amazing.
Of course there are some flaws on this figure – the first being most noticeably the pose. While still debatable, I feel the pose could have been slightly more dynamic, this can be changed depending on which angle you display 9S on – but I think he could have benefited slightly from being posed with slightly more movement.
While I am grateful for the inclusion of Pod 153, the steel rod is an eye sore and doesn’t do the figure many favors. Not to mention the sloppy paint job on the silver and chrome red parts of the Pod.
–THE SET – 28 AND 9S TOGETHER –
Before we wrap up this review, I thought it was important to show what the two units look like side by side. And seriously, they look absolutely fantastic. Having both of the characters on a small black base on top of some sort of environment really makes them look part of a set – and I believe that element is what makes these figures look so incredible.
They just look great together, both of them complement each other and they are both simplistic and complex in their own right without taking away the details from each other. After putting the two together, my problems with 9S’s pose instantly diminished, and I thought that was rather fascinating. While 2B looks fantastic on her own, I think it really does help to have 2B alongside 9S to help showcase him better.
Over all I believe 9S is a fantastic figure, while I do believe he looks pretty great on his own – he ultimately looks “complete” alongside 2B, and with A2 set to release in the future, the trio will look even more fantastic all lined up together. I can safely say though that 9S is worth the price, I have seen many terrible 1/10 scaled figures out there, but both of these figures have an impressive amount of detail and sculpting unlike any other that really make them special for their size.
If you missed out on my review YoRHa Unit Number 2 Type B, you can check that out here: blog/33766
–BONUS – THE NIER AUTOMATA COLLECTION–
Before we wrap up, I thought I would take the opportunity to showcase my current “Nier Automata” collection. I absolutely adore this series and I cannot wait for the new figures to be released in the future.
I hope you have enjoyed this review and found it helpful! If you have any questions or would like to request any photos of different aspects I didn’t capture; I’ll do my best to help out! If anyone has any requests on ANY of the items I own I would be more than happy to review them also :)
Thank you so much for your time,