Review by SentaiSeiya
Lionet Ban is one of the five minor saints from Saint Seiya. Although he suffered from minor face-time on the show, he is actually one of the hardest to get and thus one of the most expensive. Is this Saint with such a small role to play worth the cost of admission? Read on to find out.
Ban is one of the orphans, adopted by the Graude Foundation, who successfully completes his training and obtains a Bronze Cloth to prove he is a true Saint of Athena.
He returns to Japan, with the Leo Minor Bronze Cloth in order to participate in the Galaxian War, which pits the ten returning Bronze Saints against each other in winner-take-all tournament to claim the Gold Cloth of Sagittarius. In the first round of the Galaxian War, Ban faces another one of the second-tier Bronze Saints, Unicorn Jabu.
Although Ban starts the fight by brutally pummeling Jabu, Ban is ultimately defeated. After the Galaxian Wars arc of the Saint Seiya story, Ban fades into the background only to appear a couple of times as a minor supporting character.
Lionet Ban is packaged int the usual book-style box of the Saint Cloth Myth line.
Kurumada designed the Lionet Cloth with an Asian aesthetic in mind. It bears a striking resemblance to the Koma-inu which stand at the entrances or inner shrine of many Shinto temples.
The Koma-inu originated in China, where they were called the Fo( Imperial Guardian) Lion, during the Tang Dynasty and were exported to Japan, among other Asian countries.
Now that were done with the architectural history portion of the review, let’s get back to the figure.
Unfortunately the design for Lionet Cloth did not make a clean transition from the Anime to Saint Cloth Myth line. For the most part it looks good, except for the GIANT feet (made from the shoulder pads of the armor), which make it look more like a caricature than a homage of the Asian lion statues that inspired its design.
The cloth is very simple, but is unique and has some shelf presence. The Cloth sports a metallic orange paint job, making him the only character in the line with a shiny orange armor. He is also a bit bigger and bulkier than many of the other characters, so he adds a nice size variety to the collection of Bronze Saints.
Although Ban has very little armor, most of it is made of diecast metal. Only the shoulder pads and headpiece are made of plastic.
His lion feet are kind of cool and unique among the Saint Cloth Myth line; they also give his feet some extra stability. He does, however, suffer from the fact that his leg armor covers his ankles very snuggly. This means he cannot move his feet laterally… at all.
Another thing that I like about this figure, and pretty much all of the Bronze Saints, is that the minimalistic armor allows for the figure to utilize most of the articulation of the body.
Ban's headpiece is fairly large and covers a good portion of his noggin'.
This is a good thing since face sculpt is pretty goofy and kind of crude; it serves as a reminder of just how much better Bandai has gotten with the face sculpts of the line in the past years.
Although it is a decent, yet simple design, I think Bandai could have made this figure a little better. First of all, the little clip that attaches the right shoulder armor can pop off quite easily when you are handling it, since it goes into a peg on the chest armor and there is nothing to hold to hold it in.
Second, this figure is a pretty bare-bones. For extras he has: 3 sets of hands and ... well that is it. Ban comes with a pair of closed fist, a pair of open hands and a pair of hands for holding items ( which makes little sense since he doesn’t come with anything to hold, nor can I think of anything he ever held in the series). So for demonstration purposes, Ban is borrowing Pandora’s trident.
My final verdict on this figure: he has a nice presence due to his size, color and shine. This is a good addition only for the hardcore collector willing to shell out money in the triple digits in order to complete their collection. Quite honestly, I wish I would have picked this guy up when he was at retail price, but I was not into the Saint Cloth Myth line at the time.
|Posted 22 March, 2012 - 21:03 by SentaiSeiya|