Makai Kadou Garo
Review by SentaiSeiya
The original Garo TV series was advertised as a ‘Hyper Midnight Action Drama”, and rightly so. It was no Super Sentai or Kamen Rider. It takes the formulas and staples of the genre and runs with them in a mature way. The main story is well penned, concise, and unique. The premise of the show is that demons, called Horrors, are manifesting themselves in humans who have very corrupt hearts. The story of each human is quite unique, resulting in the “Monster of the Week” episodes being very interesting in their own right, and complementing the main story rather than dragging the pace of the show. There was also lots of attention put into the creation of the world of the Makai Knights, who protect the humans from the threat of the Horrors. The show also has some of the best choreographed fight scenes in Tokusatsu history: nice mix of martial arts, wirework, CGI, and swordplay. On top of that, both of the intros for the show were done by JAM Project, so you also get some kickass tunes.
Here is a cool video that showcases both the music and action of the show. Please note that some of the scenes are from the later part of the series/movies, which some could consider spoilers. I also want to note that this I did not make this video,
If you like Tokusatsu, Japanese shows, Asian cinema, or all of the above (I am assuming that has got to be just about everybody that reads CDX), you owe it to yourself to check this show out. Heck… stop reading and go watch it right now… but come back to read the review.
You back? Okay. So the main character in Garo is Saejima Kouga (Aka the Golden Knight, Aka Garo). He is a young man who inherits the Garo Armor and devotes himself to fighting the Horrors.
We get a nice window box with a glossy finish on the cardboard.
The figure is fairly tall, standing at about eight inches.
The armor for Garo is very unconventional for a Tokusatsu. It is armor in its truest form, not the “Super” modes of Super Sentai, or the padded armors of Kamen Rider. Having grown up with the spandex-clad teenagers of Power Rangers, it took me a while to warm up to Garo’s armor.
Bandai really hit it out of the park on terms of detail figure. All of the intricate details of the armor are beautifully rendered, which adds depth to the figure.
Bandai did a fairly good job on the paint apps. There was a small oversight with my figure though: the back armor of the left leg is missing some of its green paint.
The shiny gold and silver paint of the armor adds luster to the figure. While the black/ tarnish shading on the armor gives it the feeling that this armor has be seasoned by many battles with numerous Horrors. The Makai Kadou Garo is a delicious piece of eye-candy. Bandai painstakingly recreated every aspect of Garo’s armor. Even Zaruba, Garo’s magical talking ring, is present on left hand.
They even went to the trouble of making his eyes green, which is something that is only visible if you have the right amount of light hitting the figure.
The jaw on the helmet moves, allowing Garo to go from neutral to “roaring” face without the need for changing heads.
The entire figure is made of plastic. The only presence of diecast metal is in the sword.
Unfortunately, the shoulder joints are not strong enough to support the sword, which causes the arm to droop down. Also, the right hand that was included for holding the sword has a slightly loose fit over the sword, which causes the sword to wiggle around a bit. These issues detract from what was otherwise another nice touch by Bandai.
Garo also comes with his signature lighter, which he uses to indentify Horrors. Garo occasionally sets his sword on fire for some flaming demon slaying, for which Bandai has included a flaming sword.
Unlike the regular sword, the flaming sword is made out of plastic, so Garo can hold it high.
Bandai has included a semi-clear, soft plastic cape for Garo, which is a mixed bag. The soft plastic makes it look like it is blowing in the wind.
The cape also makes the figure back-heavy, however, and can make Garo fall backwards since he lacks any diecast in his body to counteract the weight imbalance. The cape attaches to the back with the “wings” and triangle that peg it to the figure.
Garo has a decent range of articulation. The legs seem to be connected by a ball joint that allows 360 degree rotation. The torso connects to the chest plate with a ball joint, which allows the chest to move independently of the torso.
The elbow joint is a single hinge joint. Surprisingly, the upper arm is divided into two sections and connected by a ball joint for extra mobility.
The detail that makes the figure looks so amazing also somewhat restricts the movement of the limbs, with the pieces of armor at the joints often keeping you from getting that extreme pose you may be looking for. The head also cannot move much due to the fact that the helmet bangs against the collar of the armor. I can see why Bandai opted for a simpler design with the S.H. Figuarts version.
The Makai Kadou Garo figure leans more towards form than function. Overall it is a great figure that makes for a better display piece than something to fiddle with. I want to thank my buddy, Joe, for letting me borrow his S.H. Figuarts Garo for the comparison shots.
|Posted 29 December, 2011 - 11:03 by SentaiSeiya|