If you’ve looked at my past comments on some of Moeronpan’s nendoroid reviews, you’ve probably noticed that I wasn’t too fond of nendos in general back then. It’s been two years since that time, and my views on them have definitely changed.

(A fairly long and wordy review ahead!)

Some might say she looks sinister--I think she looks adorable.

Dead Master is actually my second nendoroid—my first being HMO edition Miku; but Moeronpan already called dibs on reviewing that figure, so I suppose that Dead Master will be my first nendoroid review. (You can expect me to make quite a few comparisons to HMO Miku in this review, though; as it’s the only other one I have.)

Although Dead Master is far from being a “new” nendoroid, she also isn’t TOO old in the nendoroid line-up. She’s the second nendoroid released for the Black Rock Shooter series, (with BRS herself released first, obviously), and is the main antagonist/rival in the OAV. Being one of the later nendoroids produced by Good Smile Company, she comes with a nice number of parts and extras.

Yup, that's... a lot of parts. (Not pictured is her checkerboard stand and base)

Here’s the total laundry list of parts she comes with: Dead Master comes with a total of four faces in all (her normal face, her grinning face, a face with her tongue sticking out, and a sad “deformed-style” face); three pairs of arms (a normal set, a pair for holding the scythe, and longish sleeves meant for the sitting pose) + an extra arm (held out); two pairs of legs (one for sitting, one for standing) + one bent one; her wings (which come separately); her two flying skulls, her scythe, and her checkerboard base/stand. It’s… a little odd that she comes with three “happy” faces and no “angry/fighting” face; but I guess Dead Master’s character stands in contrast to the always serious Black Rock Shooter.

Here she is pictured with the one bent leg. "Tee hee!"

Being one of the later nendoroids, she also comes with the annoying peg stand which (while it’s a huge improvement in terms of appearance over the ugly claw stand), is sometimes rather finicky when it comes to actually keeping the figure on. The peg fits the hole in her back… just barely. However, she still sticks much better than HMO Miku, which allows for some cool airborne poses. Her base is also unique to most other nendoroids: a black and white checkerboard pattern (which matches BRS’s). It’s surprising that a little detail can go such a long way—her base really pulls the whole thing together and makes the figure look very nice when displaying.

That peg is honestly the bane of my existence when trying to pose her, but I suppose GSC has still come a long way since those terrible claw stands of old.

The “extras” included this time around are only her flying skulls and trademark scythe, but it’s not like she had any other trademark items in the OAV so what else would you want? The skulls are somewhat simplified compared to their OAV/figma counterparts, but they’re nicely sculpted all the same. (Supposedly, you can also switch them with the heads of puchi nendoroids. I don’t have any myself, sadly; so I can’t take any photos of it.)  The scythe itself is lovingly rendered and full of detail; not to mention that it is also carefully painted in a way that really gives the blade a metallic shine.

The skulls. There's not much else to say about them as they're not very interesting on their own. Personally, I far prefer displaying Dead Master without them, but that's just me.

The amount of detail in the scythe sometimes makes it a bit hard for Dead Master to hold in her tiny nendoroid claws (especially the ribbed parts) but it’s easily worked around. The skulls themselves attach to a small rectangle-ish base which you have to jam into the main base. I know that figure producers create tight pegs so that figures don’t fall apart at the slightest touch, but goddamn it was a huge pain trying to shove the thing into the main base. It honestly didn’t seem to fit at first. Complaints aside, what you get in the end is a stand that allows for easy poseablitly of the two skulls.

Okay, so Dead Master doesn't really have all that much variability in expressions, but it was nice of the figure producers to include so many faces, right?

Now on to Dead Master herself–I think this nendoroid has captured a “chibi” version of her character perfectly. Her dress is somewhat simpler than other nendos, but I think it allows the figure producers to put more effort into other aspects of the figure, such as her hair. There is an amazing amount of detail put into the curls (drills?) that hang at the sides of her face. However, this leaves the back of her head rather plain, but it’s not like you’ll display your figures from the back too much. Because of her short hair, she’s a bit easier to pose (than Miku, definitely); though her curls do get in the way of her arms sometimes, especially if you’re making her hold her scythe. I also love her little wings and the horns on her head, though you do have to be careful with dropping her because of it. My greatest fear is of accidentally breaking those parts…

Not many nendoroids can sit; but Dead Master is one of the few that can! This is my favorite way to display her as I don't have to deal with the pesky back peg.

As mentioned earlier, she comes with a pair of legs that allows her to sit. I have to give kudos to the figure designers as they cleverly designed Dead Master’s frilly dress in a way that allows the bottom part not to interfere with the “sitting down” pose. If you position it right, her legs fit snugly under two frills in the dress, allowing her to sit. She’s extremely sturdy in this position, and can be perched on her stand without a peg. She’s even well-balanced enough to sit on the edge of a shelf or table, though you do have to be careful not to accidentally knock her down.

The simplified face was produced to keep in line with the "cutely injured" tradition started by Black Rock Shooter. I think it's amusing nonetheless.

Although her “sad face” is meant to be displayed with her sitting down pose, it can be used in other poses too. (And why not, right?) The face comes with an extra hairpiece that is also a simplified design of her normal hair, and includes two bumps on her head to top it off. The face and hair are actually two separate parts, allowing for a wider range of display options. The bump attached to the hair piece can also be removed from each other, should you ever want to have her with the simplified hair for some reason. (However, doing this does leave a hole where the bump was.)

Her horns are also removable from her main hair piece, allowing you to switch the horns over to the other one. And as said earlier, her wings come separately. So if you really wanted to, and had another nendoroid with normal hands, you could create a “human” Dead Master if you wanted.

She looks a little odd like this though... She's not *quite* normal-looking enough to pass off as Yomi, but it was worth a shot.

Overall, Dead Master is a very nice, well-rounded nendoroid with a decent amount of parts and extras. I haven’t found too many problems with posing her (annoying back peg aside), and she’s very sturdily built so that if you move her around a bit, she’s not going to fall apart or anything. Some poses are impossible given her wings/arms/hair bangs, but I’d still say she has more poseablity potential than past nendoroids. Unfortunately, one of the more obvious downsides to all the parts she comes with is that she’s a bit higher priced than other nendos. I got her for about $45 USD in a store near where I live. If you try importing her from an online store, the costs may be higher. With figures boasting these price tags, you definitely need to have some love for the character you’re buying. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Dead Master and/or is looking for a first-time nendoroid. You won’t be disappointed.

You can buy her at these places:

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Master-Nendoroid-Action-Figure/dp/B0040V5LO0

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM2826744202P?sid=IDx20101019x00001a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM2826744202 (WTH, SEARS?! Since when did they start selling anime merch?!)

http://www.jbox.com/product/YYN582

(There are probably cheaper places, but Dead Master is more popular than I expected so the usual online stores I look through are sold out…)

I got bored and took some other photos for fun. HMO Miku makes a cameo here!

RUDE Miku.

Miku looks surprisingly pretty with Dead Master's face!

I never thought Miku's "=3" face could look so... terrifying. xD;

Dead Master doesn't like playing second fiddle to anyone.