Kit Review: Kotobukiya – Non-Scale Muv-Luv Alternative – Takemikazuchi Type-00F Mana Tsukuyomi Custom ver 1.5 part 1

Blood-1 to all Bloods! Kill all the BETAs!

The Takemikazuchi – the Thunderous Sword God – is the ultimate Tactical Surface Fighter of Japan’s Imperial Royal Guard – the most elite amongst the elites. A special unit exclusive for the Shogun and His/Her Highness retainers, the Takemikazuchi boasts high performance and is extremely difficult to maintain. Furthermore, not all Takemikazuchis are the same, some are stronger than others. The strongest is reserved for the Shogun’s sole usage, and the next inline – for Fudai Warrior Houses – is the Takemikazuchi Type-00F.

For Muv-Luv, Kotobukiya is the sole manufacturer of their model kits (while the figures are made by Volks and Revoltech). As we know, Kotobukiya’s model kits are quite different to Bandai in many ways. The Non-Scale Takemikazuchi is quite a hefty kit in many ways, so we will split the review into two, as there are quite a lot to cover when it comes to this kit.

Design: The majority of Muv-Luv mecha are based on real-life fighter jets, except some of the Japanese ones – including the Takemikazuchi. There are no fighter jet that the unit seems to borrow its design from, but the overall aesthetic and design principles is inspired by mecha designer Mamoru Nagano. The designer of the TSF – Ni0 – who also designed Demonbane – know just what to make it “stand out”. The Type-00F is a 3rd-generation machine, and all of 3rd-gen TSF tend to be on the edgy side. And boi is the Takemikazuchi is one sharp fella. It has a lot of sharp esges especially on the feet, head and arms as well as the Jump Unit. So holding it in your hands need some extra care unless you want some sacrificial blood for the plastic god.

The red color is bright and vibrant, which works well with the black panels (black goes with everything anyway). The purple clear parts is also very well made and look crystal clear, which has always been a Kotobukiya’s special. 3rd-gen TSF also has the “Obarism” proportions, with extremely thin waist and quite a huge chest/shoulder armor. The upper-thighs of the Takemikazuchi is also quite t h i c c, it does evoke an image of a warrior in samurai clothing.

Build quality: Well, it’s Kotobukiya, and if there’s a company that remain unchanged after decades, then it’s them. The plastic quality and build process are pretty much the same as the original kit and Koto’s older products. The snap-fit isn’t quite there on Bandai’s level, but then again, no-one is on Bandai’s level. There are a few places where some slight sanding is recommended like the shoulder or the thigh armors, but overall, if you get rid of the nubs (which is also very hard), it should be fine. There are also very small parts that are easier to fit but also easier to lose, so be careful with that.

Even though Kotobukiya are fully snap-fit kit, there are places that I advise using a bit of glue/cement, especially the head or any small parts. I’d say if you don’t intend to modify the kit, just glue the parts on (except the joints of course). There are some ball joints on the kit (the shoulders, the Jump Unit) that I recommend just leaving it like the original without sanding since you need as much friction as possible to keep those parts from getting loose.

Spare parts: This is a new section, since the spare parts from this kit is quite exceptional. This particular version is a 1.5 – which is kinda a “remastered” version of the original. There are changes to the outer armor and some joint parts, which result in old parts not being used, particularly the weapon racks, the thigh armor, etc… and you can sorta use those too so keeping them handy isn’t a bad idea. There’s loads of them though, so separating the actual accessories and the spare parts is also a good idea. You can use them for replacement or for new projects etc…