Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Keropla God Keron Part 33

One angry little fella

Rolling out the third kit from Keropla God Keron after the completion of Tamama and Tamama Robo Mk-II back in early April. ^^

Following the sequence of the five kits' detailing work last year, it's Giroro's and Giroro Robo Mk-II's turn to be assembled this time. ^^

All the paper containers that hold the parts of Giroro and Giroro Robo Mk-II.

Parts of the mini figure and display base.

The third multi-jointed one-piece part for the body to be assembled in this entire review series. ^^

While the instruction made it seem very simple, sliding Giroro's belt onto the figure's body while aligning the front buckle and rear display stand slot to match their respective positions is actually a pretty troublesome step. ^^;

Successfully assembled the belt onto the body after a few attempts.

Separable components of the mini figure and display base.

On the back, the belt has a hook-like curve to not obstruct the peg slot's ability to connect to the tiny display base.

Done for the mini figure. ^^

Using the molded joints on the body frame part, action poses are possible for Giroro.

Unfortunately though, unlike Keroro and Tamama, the belt's position limits the movement range of Giroro's left shoulder and right leg (left image). The slight protruding segment above the left shoulder caused by the belt also leaves a noticeable gap between the head and body. ^^;

Just three parts for the control pod, which can be assembled very easily.

Giroro on his control pod.

You can see how the left arm is unable to reach the control pod's handle because of the belt's limitation as mentioned earlier on. ^^;

With his fellow teammates from the Keroro Platoon. ^^

Except for the headlights which were painted red, the control pod is identical to Keroro's and Tamama's.

Moving on to Giroro Robo Mk-II's assembly next. ^^

Parts of the legs.

Paper stickers in front and painted details behind the main leg parts.

Separable components of the legs before the final assembly.

Done for the two legs.
The painted yellow vents on the shins which are "enclosed" in the maroon ankle pieces look really good. ^^

Identical to the same joints on Tamama Robo Mk-II, the hip joints' hinge component allow them to be adjusted vertically, and they can swivel around on the thighs as well.

Despite having caterpillar tracks as feet, the ball-type ankle joints still allow the legs to bend from side to side. ^^

Mainly for its transformation gimmick, the leg can be bent to the front (left) for a greater degree than to the opposite direction.

(Left) The track covers on the heels can be bent upward/downward.
(Right) They can also swivel around on the heels.
The track covers and their articulation points are meant almost exclusively for Giroro Robo Mk-II's contribution in God Keron's transformation. ^^

Will move on to the body's and arms' assembly next. ^^

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form Part 5 [Final]

Brother from another family tree

More action poses from S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form to start off this final posting for this series series. ^^

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

Because Kamen Rider characters are the prominent feature in the S.H. Figuarts and S.I.C. action figure series, it would be interesting to see how they compare to one another. Here's a comparison between S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form and Kamen Rider Dark Kiva from S.I.C. Vol. 54 Kamen Rider Ixa and Kamen Rider Dark Kiva: ^^

Front view.

Closeups on the details.

Rear view.

Closeups on the details.

Comparison between the two Zanvat Swords

The scale between the two is the first major difference to be spotted. ^^ However, the more interesting point that separate the S.H. Figuarts series from the S.I.C. line is the detail treatment in my opinion. ^^ I purposely chose Kamen Rider Dark Kiva as the figure to be compared with Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form because of their closeness in design elements. I do have S.I.C. Vol. 50 Kamen Rider Kiva, who is a lot closer to this figure in terms of story implications. However, putting that aside, and of course their color differences, the similarity between Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form's design and that of Kamen Rider Dark Kiva is pretty uncanny. ^^ Then again, that similarity makes this comparison relevant, and very interesting at the same time. ^^

Very easily, you can see the more exaggerated armor design on Kamen Rider Dark Kiva when compared to the same components on Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form, for example taller collar armors, larger, spikier shoulder armors with more elaborate details, sharper-looking gauntlets and greaves, more evil-looking Kivat-bat in the middle of the belt, larger cape pieces with more visible folds and wrinkles, plus larger blade for Zanvat Sword with more complex details on the fuller.

I think it's appropriate to say that for the S.I.C. version, the armor design of the characters are re-imagined to give them a more artistic feel while still conforming to certain design elements as seen in the show where the characters originate from. ^^ At the same time, it's also interesting to see how close is the resemblance between S.H. Figuarts figures and the actual Kamen Rider characters. I even feel that there's some sense of "formality" involved here, that above everything else, the accuracy of character resemblance is an important determining factor to decide if a particular design is a good S.H. Figuarts figure or not. ^^

When the universe of Gunpla is put into the picture, the comparison between the two action figure above would be equivalent to that between the High Grade series of "MS Gundam SEED" and its Master Grade Remastered line I suppose. ^^

When I reviewed Figma Kamen Rider Thrust and Kamen Rider Ax, I wondered how similar/different between the design of Kamen Rider action figures between Tamashii Nations and Max Factory. ^^ With one S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider figure now out of its box, I think I can finally find the answer I'm looking for since Max Factory announced Figma Kamen Rider Torque. ^^

With Figma Kamen Rider Thrust.

Figma Kamen Rider Thrust is slightly smaller than S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form. That's just about the only main point of difference I can see between the two actually. Since they are from different Kamen Rider series, with different emphasized design element, it's hard to really pinpoint other contrasting factors. Proportion-wise, Figma Kamen Rider Thrust may seem less "muscular" than S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form, but Tamashii Nations' S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Zolda doesn't seem to be overly different in the muscle area either. XD

Overall, S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form is a very impressive action figure in terms of look and articulation. The accurate realization of the character's armor design is the immediate benefit detectable about the figure when it's removed from the box, but the extensive articulation capabilities enabled by all its various joints mean that it's also a figure meant for posability and playability. ^^ It really strikes a nice balance between awesome look as a great-looking Kamen Rider as well as extensive action poses as an action figure. Seeing how such balance is sometimes not achievable by others from different action figure series, S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form is definitely a great design in my opinion. ^^

All reviews on S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form:
Part 1: A kingly debut
Part 2: When silver outshines gold
Part 3: That one missing joint that becomes all too obvious
Part 4: The Golden Bat Rises
Part 5 [Final]: Brother from another family tree

View full gallery:
S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form