Saori Kaido (Athena) with Metal Plate
Review by Atom
Saori Kido is the physical incarnation of the Goddess Athena from Greek/Roman mythology in the Manga/Anime series “Saint Seiya”. Athena is reborn on Earth every 250 years to restore the balance of peace and bring hope when evil and darkness consume the earth. In the history of the Saint Seiya universe this cycle leads to repeated confrontation with her brother Hades whom is hell-bent (pun intended) on consuming the Earth in total darkness. For a complete and thorough breakdown of Athena in the series head over to Wikipedia.
Saori is this years mail-in premium figure. Bandai traditionally makes 1 or 2 figures available every year in a mail in campaign. These tend to be non-armored characters or less popular characters, giving fans the chance to get less popular characters without lots of product left over on the shelves.
Collectors cut out proofs of purchases from previous releases and send them in with an order form for the cost of shipping. These exclusives are generally only available to residents of Japan, however Bandai makes premium releases available outside of Japan thru retail. Saori came courtesy of Angolz.com.
This premium release came in a box identical to previous releases, simulating an antique book. However this release doesn't open and has no window either. I suspect it's because they have packed this release the to the gills with some real nice accessories.
Accessories that take up a fair amount of space in the box. Even with using the space in the box for maximum storage capacity it is still large. It is the same size as larger standard releases like Hypnos or God Cloth Pegasus. More on the accessories in a bit...
The guys over at Angolz sent the metal plate with this release as well (Thanks Ken.) The official Bandai plates are designed to fit the after market stands, giving them a metallic base. These serve no other function other than to jazz up your Saint Cloth Myth displays.
Some folks do collect these metal plates as well, each is packed in a nice foldout cardboard booklet with various stats. Unfortunately, in order to use the metal plate or token (the little round part, I don't use them) you pretty much destroy the package to get them off the cardboard.
Athena features an all new sculpted female body. What I really like about this release is they where able to keep the poseability the Saint Cloth Myth line is known for while making the bare limbs look natural. The arms are slim and the joints aren't to noticeable. Athena's dress is very well realized, with individual pleats sewn into the dress. Stitching looks very good as well upon close inspection. Honestly I am not surprised at this point. Bandai has been very consistent with the quality and level of detail on each release in this series. Now that they appear to have nailed the female form for this line maybe they will consider doing the Amazons, Eagle Marin or Ophiuchus Shaina.
Athena comes with 2 different waist pieces. The first is more anime accurate with larger more colorful jewels.
The second is more subtle. I believe it is more akin to the manga illustrations. I prefer this version myself more.
Bandai also packs in the arm band and hair piece she is seen wearing early in the series.
As I mentioned at the top of this article there are lot's of accessories packed in the box. I've said it before and I'll say it again Bandai really thinks of all the little things a fan of the show could possibly want included. In the box are in additional to the usual alternate face, hands and hair are...
They include a new style of stand for the Saint Cloth Myth series. The base is much smaller so it hides under Athena's skirt nicely. No fear of her falling over as the include clips attach securely to her legs.
Used to seal the soul of Poseidon during the Poseidon arc.
For a character that is so central to the storyline she does spend most of the series being the proverbial damsel-in-distress. Basically every story arc puts Athena in some sort of peril and the Bronze Saints must overcome a series of obstacles to save her. In the Sanctuary arc, she is shot with an arrow and the heroes have 12 hours to work there way thru the 12 temples of the Zodiac to retrieve Athena's staff to heal her. In the Posideon arc she is trapped in a pillar flooding with the oceans waters, only to be saved by our heroes destroying the pillars of the oceans. In Hades she is put in a large urn that slowly drains her blood.
As you can see by the pictures Bandai gives you everything you need to display her in the Urn. The figure does fit into the urn and they include an alternate hair piece to display her hair draped over the Urn. I love this! If you don't watch the series I realize it may look strange but it is such a cool accessory to include in the set for fans of the show.
But wait, that's not all! What good is the Goddess Athena without her throne.
The throne comes dissembled and features an excellent level of sculpted detail. A nice detail here is the “hole/slot” where the cushion and seat back meet. This allows Athena's hair to fit in between these 2 parts when she sits on the throne. This allows her to look anime accurate and regal while siting on the throne (a problem with Pope Sion/Pope Aries and the Pope throne...the hair would prevent them from sitting properly in the seat.) Little things.... Bandai really pays attention to the little things.
Once again Bandai gives Saint Cloth Myth fans a lot to be happy about. Athena/Saori is beautifully well made, well accesorized and a MUST for any fan of the Saint Seiya universe. I mean how can you be collecting Saints and not have your Damsel-In-Distress? Seriously...
You can get your Saori Kido/Athena from Angolz.com. But don't wait to long, premium figures have much shorter runs than standard releases so your window of opportunity is short. A short video review is embedded below for your entertainment.
|Posted 25 March, 2009 - 18:37 by Atom|