Thursday, February 21, 2013

Garo Kiwami Damashii Zero Part 4 [Final]

Broken joint again, sort-of

A look at Garo Kiwami Damashii Zero's articulation design after the previous posting. ^^

Tilting the head upward is very simple. Bending the head downward (right image) can be done as well, but the movement is very minor and hard to see.

Horizontal tilt is not a problem at all for the head.

Side-to-side and backward bends are possible with the upper body.

Even though the shoulder joints are of ball-type, their upward rotation is severely restricted by the upper arms' armor.
The bent left arm in the image above shows the maximum range possible for this articulation point. ^^;

As the shoulder armor is connected to the upper arm, the latter can swivel around on the shoulder joint without restriction.

Double ball-type joint for the shoulder joint.

The upper arm can swivel around on the shoulder joint.

The upper arm swivel is perhaps unintended for the figure, as I find the joint to be very loose after successfully "activated" the joint. ^^;
The upper arm can be popped back up onto the shoulder joint very easily, but falling off constantly due to the loose joint is definitely an issue. ^^;

Much like Garo's design, the forearm can swivel around on the elbow joint.

Very limited elbow bend. ^^;

Pretty wide expansion for the legs.

The thighs can swivel forward and backward via the ball-type hip joints.

The entire leg can be bent forward for a wide degree, but not so much to the back due to the hip design.
The full 180-degree knee bend is inherited from Garo.

The double point hinge joint of the knee.

Rather restrictive side-to-side and upward-downward bends for the ankle joint. ^^;

While the legs (especially the knee joints) and body of the figure itself is doing quite well to support its kneeling pose, the restrictive ankle joints are not cooperating though. ^^;

Looking back on my own question from Part 1 on whether Dan or this figure, Zero was the one that featured more prominent improvements in terms of articulation design of the entire Garo Kiwami Damashii series, my answer is undoubtedly Dan, which isn't the figure I'm reviewing now. ^^;

Zero is roughly 90 percent identical to Garo in terms of articulation design I think. Most of the impressive points on Garo, especially the knee joint are inherited; but at the same time, most of the flaws weren't fixed, unfortunately. Instead of fixing them to the upper arm, the shoulder armors should be made as separate pieces like Dan to allow better movement for the upper arms. The double ball-type shoulder joint seems wasted as the arm's upward bend is severely limited. Also, surprisingly and disappointingly, the elbow joint's movement range is actually poorer than the same joint on Garo, which can at least manage a standard 90-degree bend.

The loose upper arm swivel is quite disappointing as well. ^^; The pair of peg and slot between that part and the shoulder are evidence that it's supposed to be movable, but the loose joint that would cause the arm to fall out constantly seems to suggest otherwise. This articulation point isn't available on Garo, so maybe that can be taken as an indication of whether the joint is meant to be movable, but still, the absence of the upper arm swivel is almost unacceptable for the figure's playability, especially when the elbow joint is doing so poorly. ^^;

Of course not everything is doom and gloom with Zero. ^^ The flexible knee joint is still very impressive. The wider hip expansion should be able to support more dynamic poses for the legs as compared to Garo I believe. ^^ Also, while the shoulder armors are restrictive to the upper arms' movement, they are at least separated from the main body of the figure, thus allowing the shoulder to swivel around on the shoulder joint without restriction. While the armor design of Zero should be credited more for that articulation point, it's still a positive feature as compared to Garo's design. ^^

Some action poses of Garo Kiwami Damashii Zero after the introduction on its articulation design:

With support using Soul Stage Act 3 Action Support Clear Type.

Overall, Garo Kiwami Damashii Zero is a mixture of awesomeness and disappointment for me. ^^ I really like its look and details, as mentioned in the previous posting, but its poor articulation is a letdown. ^^;

However, adding a bit of bias to the conclusion, I really love the silver armor design of Zero, so everything is still well and cool with this figure. XD I don't have the larger Makai Kadou version or the Tamashii Web Shop limited S.H. Figuarts release, so this is the only figure of Zero in my collection. The lack of any direct comparison certainly makes it hard to say that it's completely terrible. ^^;

With Garo from the same series:

With Dan included for a "family shot": ^^

This isn't the last figure from Garo Kiwami Damashii in my collection. ^^ I still have Goten and Kiba waiting to be featured in the future. ^^

All reviews on Garo Kiwami Damashii Zero:
Part 1: The in-between figure to be reviewed
Part 2: Dreadful initial roll-out fright
Part 3: Silver coolness
Part 4 [Final]: Broken joint again, sort-of

View full gallery:
Garo Kiwami Damashii Zero

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