Sunday, September 9, 2012

Garo Kiwami Damashii Dan Part 1

From gold to white

Going back to action figure review after the completion of HG 1/144 G-Exes Jackedge. ^^

The second Garo Kiwami Damashii to be featured after Garo: Dan the Midnight Sun Knight (白夜騎士 ダン).

First came out in January 2011, Dan is the third release in the Garo Kiwami Damashii series, after Garo and Zero. Technically speaking, one would expect Kiba was going to be released first since he is the main antagonist in the original TV series while Dan is just "the other" Makai Knight in a separate Garo film called "Garo Special: Demon Beast of the Midnight Sun" ("牙狼スペシャル 白夜の魔獣") released in 2006. But in order to compliment his own movie "Kiba Gaiden" ("呀 暗黒騎士鎧伝") that came out in September 2011, I guess it was reasonable to move Garo Kiwami Damashii Kiba's release to May 2011.

Then again, it would make Dan looks like he was released to fill in the gap in the series between Zero (December 2010 release) and Kiba. ^^;

In terms of the character itself, I can't say I'm a big fan of Dan really. ^^; I only watched the TV series and "Garo Special: Demon Beast of the Midnight Sun" so far, and Dan only appeared in the latter. Even so, I didn't feel that his role or action in that two-part film was significant in any way (just my opinion). Maybe Dan gets to play a more important role in subsequent films and TV series (the second season of "Garo" that began in 2011), I can't tell since I haven't watch those. However, just from "Garo Special: Demon Beast of the Midnight Sun" alone, I didn't find Dan to be particularly great. ^^;

A compilation of action sequences from that TV film:

Dan appears at 1:57 mark.
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to the website if you can't see anything.

Maybe it's the earrings Dan wears on his helmet that somewhat irks me about this Makai Knight. XD They look really distracting during Dan's limited fight. Even the human character Tsubasa wears one on his left ear as well, which serves to remind the audience the connection between him and his armor I guess, even though his Madogu is a bracelet not the earring. ^^;

Even though the character isn't that interesting to me, I still find this Kiwami Damashii figure to be extremely attractive. ^^ At the same price as Garo (1,680 Yen inclusive of tax), just the detailing on the figure alone is enough to warrant the purchase. ^^ I'm all for elaborate details on model kits and action figures (for most characters), so I really didn't think too much when deciding to get it, as with Garo, Zero, Kiba and Goten, but one review at a time. ^^;

The Equip and Prop version of Dan released back in 2007 is the definitively best action figure version of the character so far. The overall sculpt work, detailing, paint work, even accessories and optional features are much better given its size. But that version is 4,725 Yen (inclusive of tax) and is no longer in production, so I don't think it can be used as a fair comparison with this Garo Kiwami Damashii version. ^^;

Closer look at the figure and accessories through the front window.

Side views of the package.

Simple introduction of the figure on the back of the package.

Package open.

The paper "holder" and separate tray that contains the figure.

A simple hard paper cutout as the package's backdrop.

Like Garo, an instruction sheet is stored inside the backdrop between the cards.

The instruction sheet shows the package content and how to equip the spear, Midnight Sun Spear (白夜槍) to Dan's hands.

Front view of the package content.

Rear view of the package content.

(Left) A few tiny string to removed when getting Dan off the plastic tray.
(Right) A smaller separate tray is placed between the figure's cape pieces and his back to keep the former in place when the former are still on the tray I guess.

Straight out of box Garo Kiwami Damashii Dan.

A look at all of the accessories included for this figure:

All of Dan's accessories.

Two parts to form Dan's spear, Midnight Sun Spear (白夜槍).

It's very obvious that all the curved details are etched on the spearhead, not printed like Garoken, making the overall look of the weapon even more impressive. ^^

Very nice sculpted details on the handle and hilt as well. ^^

While the red poles are made of harder plastic to give them a more rigid appearance, the handle part however, is of softer plastic that can be bent very easily.
Different materials used for the two components is to allow easier attachment between the parts and to the hand unit while lowering the risk of breaking the combined spear I believe.

The peg connecting the two spear parts has a specific shape to match the slot on the handle.

The completed spear.

The overall length of the spear is 17cm, which is very impressive as compared to the figure's size.

Four hand units with equally impressive craftsmanship and detailing are included: a pair of spread palms and a pair to hold Midnight Sun Spear.

As compared to the ones included for Garo, the claws designed on these four hand units are much sharper and more obvious to see.

The hand unit to hold the spear grips onto the handle area quite loosely. ^^;
The benefit is much easier attachment and detachment obviously. XD

The default pair of closed fists on the figure.

Like Garo, the level of sculpting and detailing on these limited accessories alone is just unbelievably awesome, but there are obviously much more to the figure itself waiting to be revealed. ^^

More images of Garo Kiwami Damashii Dan coming up in the next posting. ^^

No comments: