Evangelion Provisional Model Unit-05
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
This item appears here courtesy of HobbyLink Japan.
Evangelion Unit Five (エヴァンゲリオン５号機, Evangerion Gogouki) makes only a brief appearance in the very beginning of “Evangelion: 2.0- You Can (Not) Advance” (2009). Stationed at the joint European/Russian-operated Bethany Base in the ocean above the Arctic Circle, Unit-05 was activated for the first time when the Third Angel scientific specimen breached its deep-freeze containment and attempted to escape the research facility. The full name of this EVA Unit implies that its construction was somehow rushed or incomplete, hence its dramatically untraditional appearance compared to other Units. The arms and legs are fully mechanical, but the torso and head retain the life-sustaining organs of the Evangelion Unit and space for the modified Entry Plug cockpit/escape pod. Additionally, controlling Unit-05 is different, requiring the use of both a modified Plug Suit and a closed-visor helmet to be worn by the Pilot Candidate. Because of a ‘forced synchronization’, the sensation of being mentally connected to the EVA is more raw and unfiltered than normal; additionally implying Unit-05’s rush into active duty.
Unit-05 derives its power not from an umbilical cable attached to its spine, but rather by a pair of eject-able pantographs attached to its utility wings, which drag along dual electrical rails on the ceiling of the tunnels inside Bethany Base. Like all other EVA Units, though, when disconnected from its main external power source, it automatically switches to its back-up battery, providing only five more minutes of activation. An additional feature is a cluster of rocket motors at the base of the four legs, which provide a short-range jumping ability.
The only weapon Unit-05 is seen using is a drill-like jousting spear, which can be detached from the two-finger right claw.
In her first confrontation against an Angel (and indeed, first live synchronization with an Evangelion), 14-year old pilot Mari Illustrious Makinami enthusiastically charged at the Third Angel, but was roughly pushed aside. The Angel then proceeded to cut its way out of Bethany Base and into open sky. In a last ditch effort, Mari impaled the Angel, pinning it by its neck to one of the giant pillars surrounding the rooftop with Unit-05’s spear. The pinned-up Angel tried to retaliate by cutting the EVA’s four legs off, but Mari used both of the EVA’s pincer claws to crush the Angel’s core (located inside its skull). Seconds later Unit-05 and the Third Angel exploded, vaporizing both, but Mari escaped unharmed but exhilarated.
It is discreetly implied, however, that perhaps Unit-05’s self-destruct program had been intentionally and covertly activated to cover up something, rather than to simply ensure the Angel’s destruction…
Kaiyodo’s Evangelion Evolution line (or EVA EVO for short) is a new version of the giant cyborgs featured in the Rebuild of Evangelion feature film quadrilogy. Starting with the particular Evangelion Units seen in “Evangelion: 2.0- You Can (Not) Advance”, they are a completely new remold from all of Kaiyodo’s past representations of them. Whereas past Rebuild EVA sets were based on in-production material provided by the animation studio making the film(s), Studio Khara, the EVA EVO line now provides updated and fully screen-accurate sculpts, paint applications, and accessories despite being not even two years distant from Kaiyodo’s respective 2007 and 2009 releases. (Most collectors think it’s actually just Kaiyodo’s staff looking for another excuse to make more Evangelion figures since they love the show so much… and honestly, who could blame them?)
A selling point of the EVA EVO line is that each release contains a unique diorama- a snap-shot moment taken directly from a scene in the Rebuild movies that featured that EVA Unit prominently interacting with an Angel. As a result of this, all of the EVA’s accessories have been restricted to what has been seen in just this moment of the film, rather than providing everything that has been seen on-screen. [So some features and weapons are not present even though they may have been used in the movie(s).]
(Un)fortunately for us, Unit-05 will only ever appear in one scene in one movie, so we’ll always get everything here regardless!
The only articulation that doesn’t have an associated Revolver Joint with it is in the four knees (which are single-axis-only friction joints), and the ball joints inside the utility wings on the shoulders.
Okay, starting from the top and working down…
The pantographs need to be attached, and are on the smallest 2mm Revolver Joints. (Mari does discard them in order to catch-up with the Angel, so showing Unit-05 without both of them is fine too.)
Be aware that, unlike all previous Revoltech Evangelion sets, Unit-05’s utility wings are permanently fixed in place and cannot be removed!
I would also advise that you should not attempt to remove the flexible power cables on its back!
Unit-05 is packaged with two heads, one with, and one without the mouth open. It is shipped with the open-mouth head attached. The little orange tab along the right side of its yellow visor on the open-mouth head is an imitation explosion (though what that was about was never explained).
The Entry Plug escape vehicle (which also features a 2mm Joint, I don’t know why) can be detached and you can replace the Joint with a tiny piece of the real Entry Plug.
Two pairs of claw hands are provided, one pair with the claws closed, and the other with them opened. Neither pair can move.
The spear comes in several pieces, though it is shipped in the box complete. You must swap the right claw in order to place the spear onto the right wrist Joint. The front portion of the spear can be removed from the handle, and you can swap out a ‘wider-fanned’ gear.
For convenience, a tiny black and olive-green piece is provided in the box. You swap the Joint in the wrist for this alternate piece, and its purpose is to fix the spear in one position so that it is parallel to the forearm. (Just don’t forget which one is in there- the replacement piece can’t move!) To keep the spear sturdy, there is a small peg on the right elbow that the back of the weapon can slip onto. (There is no secondary attachment point on the right forearm in the movie; the spear just hangs from the oddly-angled right claw. So, Kaiyodo is extending us this courtesy.)
In current Revoltech fashion, an additional ‘dramatic special effects’ piece is included. You can swap the hilt-like gear(s) for this SFX piece.
Beneath the base/hips of the four legs (can this still be called a crotch?) are two downward-facing olive-green cones. These cones are actually detachable covers for a pair of immobile drill bits.
(I have no idea why they’re there, but Mari used them to help brake the over-burdened Unit-05 after it overshot the Angel in the tunnel.)
Two sets of four wheels are provided that can be swapped out. The caterpillar tread-like wheels can turn, though they’re meant more for posing. The second set of wheels is meant to show Unit-05 as it’s rolling, so they are less detailed in favor of imitating motion blur. The motion blur wheels actually allow the figure to roll a little depending on how tightly you push in those olive-green hubcaps.
Oh, look- accessory storage. Sweet! (No coin though, oddly. And the wheels don't fit in there together either.)
The diorama of the Third Angel is taken from the moment where Unit-05 pins the Angel to one of the pillars on the roof-top of Bethany Base at the climax of the battle. Only the head and a small portion of the neck are represented. Unit-05’s spear is already permanently attached, so in order to get the figure attached, you have to disconnect the front half of its own spear and plug the hilt into the diorama’s spear section.
The Angel can be posed minimally via three yellow friction-only 2mm Revolver Joints along its spine. If you want to restrict the amount of motion, you can swap one of the Joints for a single non-movable accessory piece that looks identical.
Traditionally in a Revoltech set, a display stand is provided so that you can get the figure into more dynamic poses where it would ordinarily not be able to keep its balance. A clear display stand is included with a detachable extension arm, and it can be used to help in posing Unit-05, but the display stand is primarily used to elevate the Angel diorama off the ground (since the Angel’s head was above Unit-05 in the scene), and then the Unit-05 figure will balance between that and its own legs.
Be advised: it is impossible to suspend Unit-05 from just the diorama; it cannot possibly hold that kind of weight!
(In case you’re confused: Unit-05 was actually standing on the Angel’s body during this confrontation, not dangling from the spear. After the Angel cut off its legs, then Unit-05 suspended itself in place by grabbing with both pairs of claws on the Angel’s core.)
While not my first Revoltech figure ever (that distinction belongs to 017- Shin Getter 3, another multi-legged mecha, by the way, which I know absolutely nothing about but looked cool enough to buy just on appearances), my first Revoltech Evangelion figure, and only one, to this point, was the winged 026- Evangelion Mass Production Type (which ironically shares the numbered designation of “Unit-05”; I’ll spare you the details). So, I kind of knew the score going in when I ordered this sampler. Obviously the leg and arm arrangements would be different, but that doesn’t really enter into the equation here. The point is, I knew how to pose a Revoltech EVA Unit, and knew I would be getting a good deal.
At the same store where I got Shin Getter 3 and my other three Revoltechs (which I recently learned went out of business), I got to handle a floor display Revoltech of my namesake, though it was broken before I saw it. It taught me how fragile and delicate these then-new Revoltech figures were. I considered myself warned.
Now, I must point out a rather important issue right off the bat, and that is that the EVA EVO figure of Unit-05 is out of scale with all other Revoltech Evangelion figures. Despite the spindly, spider-like blossoming appearance its legs, spear, and pantographs have, Unit-05 is actually smaller scale-wise than its normal-appearance brethren. I’d guess that it is about half the size of what it should be. So when you stand (roll?) it next to any other EVA EVO figure, you will notice the difference in scale almost immediately.
(Why did they do this? I suspect it would have been too big for the Joints to handle it if the figure had been larger. Or maybe a to-scale figure would have been more expensive to produce and sell because it would have needed more plastic proportionately than the other sets did. I don’t know; I’m still a relative newcomer to Revoltech, so I’m rather out of the loop on that.)
Ordinarily, scaling issues wouldn’t be a problem because, well, all Revoltechs are about the same size. This has the unfortunate side effect, however, of making it difficult to grasp when you want to pose something. Yes it certainly has the Revoltech-rich articulation going for it, but because it is proportionately smaller, things are closer together, but it is also both frailer and harder to manipulate. Because you have those four larger legs to deal with, you really gotta tip-toe around. (So basically be extra careful on everything from the hips-on- up…)
With all of that said, my biggest problem with this set is that it’s not big enough as to be reasonably manageable. I mean, those pantographs and the cables on its back are almost card stock thin! And there are seven of those really tiny 2mm Joints on the wrists, neck, pantographs, and Angel diorama that I’ve recently come to dread When I got this out of the box, it took me 20 minutes to carefully sort out which joints ratcheted (Kaiyodo’s doing their best these days to hide their Revolver Joints as much as possible), and then get it into even a basic at-ease pose. Twenty minutes for a figure not even 5” tall! (That may be inexperience talking there, but still-!)
Please don’t ask me what it took to get this thing into all the poses for all those photographs above; I don’t want to relive the nightmares any more than I have to, thankyouverymuch…
Of particular frustration was swapping the heads, because the heads themselves cover up the Joints. It’s really difficult to get in there with adult-sized fingers. (I’m not even going to attempt to move the Joint in the base of the neck for fear of cracking it. Unfortunately that’ll hamper all future posing…)
On the flip side, that bloody Entry Plug vehicle pops out every god-dammed chance it gets. I mean, why is it removable or posable to begin with!? I can understand it being manufactured separately and then pegged in only with friction for safety, but in what fashion would you want to remove it and/or display it with the Entry Plug piece attached!? (I appreciate the attention to detail, but I think they went a little overboard with the whole Entry Plug set-up here.)
Something else that likes to pop-off frequently is the cone covers for the crotch drills. Better to just store the condoms away and not even bother with ‘em since it’s doubtful anyone- including you- will easily miss them. (Hell, a year after memorizing almost every frame of “Evangelion: 2.22”, even I didn’t know there were drill bits there until I saw them in this figure, and then double-checked the footage!)
What won’t pop off easily is that faux wrist accessory piece for the right arm. Nice to have, but I doubt the 2mm Joint it replaces will be able to hold a pose with that long-ass spear for very long under gravity. (I’m guessing that fake joint will be the first thing to break on this figure.) They gave me two of them in this set- one for the wrist, and one to replace one on the Angel’s neck. I mean, what the hell are Joints that tiny doing supporting all that weight of the Angel’s head!? In the 24hrs+ since I opened the diorama and set it up on the display stand, the head has already started drooping. I would much rather have had the next-size-up 4mm ratcheting Joints (for comparison, there’s a pair of 4mm Joints in the elbows) than the non-ratcheting 2mm ones; they just look like exposed cartilage anyways, so I doubt anyone would have complained about that.
Speaking of ratcheting joints, I can already tell the friction in those four knees is gonna give out really soon… Ironically, Kaiyodo’s first swing at the Evangelion Provisional Model Unit-05 (set #069) two years ago did have Revolver Joints at the knees! I think most collectors could just have sucked it up and been grateful that they didn’t go with screen accuracy in this case. (Oh, well- I guess I’m not “most collectors”…)
Speaking of “screen accuracy”, have I mentioned the outstanding level of detail on this figure yet? (It is always the little surfaces that do it for me on any toy, model, or figure I consider getting.) The heads are both spot-on (though I could have done without the little spark along the right side of the visor, but whatever), the motors at the end of each leg, the pantographs, the arms and claws, and of course the Third Angel diorama (which is highlighted by the perfect use of a transparent red core). The SFX piece for the spear was nice but unnecessary (meh), and I want to thank Kaiyodo for giving us that little extra peg on the end of the right elbow so we could stabilize the spear on it.
You will notice in a few of the official studio photos that both the diorama and figure are attached to display stands. While one stand is included, I kinda wish a second one could have been provided to help hold the figure up simply because it is heavy enough with those extra two legs hanging there than the provided stand and fixed spear can handle, and may not be able to hold a tripod-like pose for very long.
On that point, there is a reason why you never see any pictures of Revoltech Unit-05 attached to the Third Angel diorama without the former being attached to its own display stand, and that is because even with the display stand extender piece on the Angel section, it's basically impossible to get the EVA directly underneath the diorama as happened in the movie! You actually have to tilt the figure and diorama at an awkward angle, leading to even more undue pressure and weight being exerted on the spear and arms! So unless you have some spare stands lying about, or can tolerate having the whole thing tilted diagonally to the ground, you're gonna find it rather impossible to make this display as screen accurate as you may want. (*whining tone* I really wanna extra display stand in this set-!)
So despite all its good points of articulation and detail, its physical size is the biggest hindrance to me giving the Evangelion Evolution Provisional Model Unit-05 set a glowing recommendation. I’ll keep it, and I’m sure the other EVA Units in the line fared better, but this one is just a bit too full of itself.
Whew-! So, that was an unusually long, but necessary review, considering I’ll probably never get another chance to review a figure of the-
Specialized Seal-Guarding Limited Use Weapon: Artificial Human Evangelion: Local Specifications Model 05
(封印監視特化型限定兵器 人造人間エヴァンゲリオン 局地仕様 仮設５号機)
-I’d best make the use of your attentions while I can. (And yes, that is indeed what the full official name of this thing is, and I’m not even kidding.)
…and now I gotta do this three more times. Sheesh.
|Posted 28 April, 2012 - 02:08 by EVA_Unit_4A|