I think everyone who has seen the nadesico movie have the same opinion of it. (it was pretty poo) but there were some good points. Personally, I liked the Astromeras which was seen very close to the end at the “concert” but the main mecha was, without a doubt, the black Sarena. Piloted by everyones favourite cook Akito Tenkawa (oh wait, was that a spoiler?).

This model was released in March and is part of the Soul Of Chogokin line. Normally, the SoC line deals mostly with super robots but they created a special line for the “real” robots called the SPEC line. Currently, it’s dominated by the Evangelion mecha but they also have Dragonar Unit 1 and SPT Layzner in the lineup as well.

The black sarena is the latest release in the line which offers the same attention to detail and die cast construction one expects from the main Soul of Chogokin line. So how does it fare?

The main selling point of the black sarena is that it allows you to create all 3 forms seen in the movie (and various Super robot wars games), the high mobility mode, The standard combat mode and the “armour off” basic aestavales.

High mobility mode it pretty plain, but then you kind of expect that, since it’s basically a fighter jet. Even in the Super robot wars games, this mode only had 2 attacks, machine guns and “Crash into the opponent”.

The purple parts which make up the main high mobility mode snap together and wrap around the main unit so it’s very easy to switch between the 2, aside from the fact that the 2 modes require different attachments to the base…

Without a doubt, most of the work was on the main black sarena mode. Makes sense, since this is the mode which is the most well known and the most used in the movie.

In total, there are 11 parts which cover up the main aestavales.

Detailing is pretty impressive, with lots of little details and markings around the armour, esp on the shoulders.

One rather annoying thing is that they attached the tail piece permanently to the back, which makes it troublesome to place the black sarena correctly for the high mobility mode, since you need to feed the tail in so it doesn’t get in the way.

Once you remove all the armour parts (which come off quite easily but hold very well when inserted properly), we are left with the trademark pink aestavales for Akito.

Most of the metal parts are in the aestevales and it shows, the thing is really heavy compared to it’s size. Shame that the articulation is pretty poor. Not as bad as the Kotobukiya SRW models but still not good.

The box came with several different hands, one with the guards down so you could do a gekigan flare!!

Also, as an added bonus, they gave an extra head to simulate the last scene in the movie, where oil was collecting in the aestavales eyes and gave the impression that it was crying

But the main question is “is it any good?”

And I would have to say, not really. One thing which may not have come across in this review is the severely limited things you can do with this model. The high mobility mode has no articulation at all, and the main black sarena only really allows you to move the arms slightly.

That isn’t a knock on the work of the manufacturer, far from it. The model itself is really well made and captures the mecha 100% accurately, but that’s the problem!

The black Sarena doesn’t really do much in terms of movement anyway. Having used it in 3 super robot wars games (SRW R, W and MX) I can tell you that it’s animations were very dull, and even in ACE3, the unit moved like a brick! So the problem isn’t so much the model, but the source material.

Still looks very nice tho, and it built very well but not really worth the price tag on it, IMO.