Review by VF5SS
Detonator Orgun is a hidden gems from the waning years of the OVA boom. Released in 1991, it is an excellent action oriented anime done in the two-fisted tradition of Ultraman. It revolves around a young man named Tomoru who is given the ability to merge with a mysterious alien being named Orgun. Together they fight to defend the Earth from the invading Evoluders and their powerful bio-mechanical warriors called Detonators. While not the most original story, it was the kind of thing that played to all the strengths of director, animator, and all around wrestling fan, Masami Obari, who delivered a really solid product. Combined with the fantastic soundtrack by Susumu Hirasawa, Detonator Orgun was a standout among standalone animated productions.
One of the reasons for Orgun's relative obscurity is probably his roundabout connection with the more well known Tekkaman Blade series. Like Tekkaman Blade, Orgun was styled as a remake of the original Tekkaman: The Space Knight which explains a lot of similarities between the two. Interestingly enough, Orgun predates Tekkaman Blade by about a year. And according to Masami Obari's twitter, his impressive work on Orgun is what convinced the producers of Tekkaman Blade to hire him to do the opening animation for that show. Years later in the crossover game Super Robot Wars W, both Tekkaman Blade and Detonator Orgun finally teamed up to fight the forces of evil. In a way, Orgun is kind of like Blade's somewhat distant uncle.
Sen-ti-nel Co,. Ltd is a relative newcomer to the high-end toy market and have a bit of a reputation for producing ambitious action figures of some of the more obscure properties out there. As an OVA, Detonator Orgun is meant to sell itself on the home video market so there was never a burning need to create merchandise for it. There were a few limited run garage kits of Orgun and his fellow Detonators but never any toys. About two years ago, Sentinel teased pictures of a Detonator Orgun figure for their RIOBOT line and needless to say I was quite intrigued. More and more we are seeing people with a passion for old and often forgotten things who are taking their desires and turning them into real products. It's the kind of thing that has made toy collecting much more interesting.
While it took about two years since Orgun was announced for him to actually get released, the finished product is worth the wait. Orgun comes in a rather posh box featuring a great illustration of the character in question.
The box even features a velcro sealed front flap that allows you to inspect the figure before taking him out of the package. On the opposite side of the flap is a list of all the people who made this Orgun toy a reality. It's a nice nod to those involved and a reminder that toys do not just materialize in the warehouse of a retailer when the release date rolls around.
You get a couple more photos of the figure on the back just in case you need some inspiration on how to pose Orgun.
Inside that fairly elaborate package is a small yet comprehensive set of accessories. You get a display stand, two wrist blades, two lances, a huge gun, and two pairs of extra hands.
The RIOBOT figure is identified on the box as the "Earth Type" as it represents Orgun's second body. In the beginning of the OVA, Orgun is seen desperately fighting his way through the solar system with his former allies in hot pursuit. He does this all while beaming a signal to an earthbound automated factory. When Orgun comes to rest on the Earth's moon he finally succumbs to his wounds but is able to transmit his "life data" to the new body that was built on Earth. During flashbacks, Orgun is seen in his original Evoluder body so it makes me wonder if Sen-Ti-Nel will ever make that version of the character.
Once again I'd like to thank David White of Mechazone for the animation cel!
Orgun himself is a beautiful looking action figure that perfectly captures the muscular armored knight motif that is imbued with Masami Obari's signature style. The white paint used on much of his body has an excellent glossy finish that works well with the small smattering of contrasting colors. He stands a little under 6 inches tall and is made entirely out of plastic. Orgun is very light but extremely well balanced.
The detailing and paintwork on Orgun is quite good from his piercing yellow eyes to the vibrant red crest on his head. Orgun's head is mounted on a ball-joint with the base of the neck ending on another joint.
The crest lifts up on a small double hinge to reveal Orgun's P.E.C. Cannon. This is one of Orgun's more subtle references to the original Tekkaman as the latter fired his Voltekka weapon from the crest on his forehead. My only complaint is it's difficult to move Orgun's head without pushing the red part out of whack. Due to the solid plastic used in Orgun's antenna, it's best to carefully grab his head by the chin in order to pose it.
A pair of pectoral panels open up to reveal some of Orgun's innards. As Orgun has no space for a pilot, Tomoru is "digitized" and then phased inside through this area where he and Orgun fight as one being. This mechanism comes in play later for when Orgun unleashes his ultimate attack. On the RIOBOT figure, the panels open and close quite smoothly and the detailing underneath is crisp and clean.
From the rear, the RIOBOT Orgun is really evocative of that 90's anime style where both men and machines started to look leaner and more muscular like a highly trained athlete.
Orgun's exceptional shoulder pads are expertly realized on the RIOBOT figure. The main red trimmed boosters and extra engines on the underside definitely look the part.
The upper body articulation is accomplished via several large ball-joints located in the chest and abdomen. Together these allow for a wide range of poses such as a deep ab crunch. When you bend Orgun's upper body, some small mechanical spine detailing appears from under a hinged panel. I think this speaks highly for Sen-Ti-Nel's love for their work if they went as far to include little touches like this one.
Orgun's shoulders employ a bevy of cleverly hidden hinges, swivels, and ball-joints to give his arms a great range of motion while also managing his impressive shoulder pads. His arms can move both forward and back at the shoulder socket with the entire assembly being able to swing upward on a faux accordion joint.
Coupled with the double-jointed elbows, Orgun can flex and move like a mechanized muscleman.
Orgun never needed silly names for his attacks. He just screamed in rage as he cut down his former allies for attempting to ravage the universe for its resources. D-Boy knows that feel bro.
The legs on RIOBOT Orgun have what we in the business like to call "pornographic levels of articulation." You need some fine legs in order to capture the cinematic craft of the man who would go on to direct Angel Blade. So Orgun features double-jointed knees and ball-jointed hips with an additional pull down swivel to allow him to really spread those legs. I recommend going slowly when maneuvering Orgun's hips as you need to make clearance for the white protrusions come off of his thighs. They can be easily tucked into his groin area though. Just be wary of the white paint as chipping can occur with improper handling.
His feet are just as tricked out with ball-jointed ankles attached to ankle tilts in the gray part of the foot so he can almost always have a solid stance no matter the pose. His toes even feature a soft clicking ratcheted joint that keeps everything in the desired position until moved.
The stand included with Orgun is the typical Sen-Ti-Nel setup of a black base with a matching articulated arm that is basically the same as a Figma or Tamashii Act stand. One cool thing is the removable clear panel that lets you slip any kind of backdrop underneath. You can plug the main arm at the four cardinal edges of the base where you see a tab to go in the slot at the bottom of the arm.
Hidden underneath is a pair of smaller tongs for the display arm. These are bit too tiny for Orgun but are handy for smaller figures. I appreciate that these small pieces have a place to go on main base for storage.
For melee weapons, Orgun comes with a pair of wrist blades that replace his existing cuffs. These can sometimes be loose so be sure to plug the hands in all the way to help keep the blades in place.
Once in there they are quite imposing even if they are a little on the large side. In the OVA these blades slid out from from arms and were a bit narrower. Here they're almost as beefy as his twin lance!
Orgun himself is said to be one of the inspirations for the Takemikazuchi from Muv-Luv. The wrist blades and big honking shoulders pads do make this girl look like a chip off the ol' block.
With two wrist blades and the display base, Orgun can attack like a whirlwind. I find the default tongs to do a decent job of gripping Orgun by his robo-abs but a built in attachment point would have been preferred. They really prioritized the sleek look of Orgun over any such minor amenities.
The twin lance seen wielded by Orgun in most of the promotional material debuted in the third and final episode. It's another one of the homages to the original Tekkaman: The Space Knight that gets Orgun confused with the D-Boy Come Lately of Tekkaman Blade. On the RIOBOT figure, one of the blades of the lance can be detached from the main shaft to allow you to thread it through one of the lance wielding hands. One of the hands is a bit tight with the shaft so I just twist it around the pole until it's in the right spot. That seems to make it thread through a lot better.
You also get an additional handle so Orgun can wield two single lances at once. The connection on this extra part is a bit loose but can be easily fixed.
Orgun's wrists are flexible enough to even hold the twin lance with both hands. It's quite an impressive sight to behold.
Combined with Orgun's great articulation, you can replicate all the classic poses.
With just his lance...
Or his head mounted P.E.C. Cannon...
Detonator Orgun is ready for anything.
To prep Orgun so he can wield his large gun, you need to first pop off his right shoulder pad so you can thread the gun around the arm.
And then fit the shoulder pad into the ringlike area on the gun. This weapon, called the Antimatter Injection Bullet Gun (or something to that effect), was not in the OVA to my knowledge. I'm sure it probably comes from some unused line art out of a companion book.
While the gun is very detailed and looks quite menacing, it doesn't work very well with Orgun and he can barely wield it in any dynamic poses.
The problem lies in how it barely fits around the shapely shoulder pads and is permanently connected to the hand that holds it. Even once everything is in place, the best Orgun can do is look like he's about to take aim at something but without actually pointing the gun at a target.
Again the gun is well put together and even features its own tiny tampographed markings on the targeting sensor and barrel, but in the end feels like an attempt at giving Orgun another weapon to pad out the RIOBOT figure's arsenal. It probably would have worked better if Sen-Ti-Nel had included a smaller shoulder pad just for working alongside the gun. As it stands, it's too much of a hassle for me to want to bother with it and I'm too leery of Orgun's antenna to keep trying to pose that big ring thing next to his head.
Not that Orgun needs the gun when he can unleash his GRAND CRUCE ATTACK by opening his chest panels and channeling the power of the sun into a devastating beam weapon. It wouldn't be a true Masami Obari production without some odd religious imagery and an amazing deus ex machina.
As Detonator Orgun's first action figure in his 22 years of existence, the RIOBOT figure is a pretty amazing toy. It's actually kind of surreal for me to finally see something come out of Detonator Orgun that isn't some obscure garage kit or a scratch built figure. I first watched Orgun on some barely working VCD's another guy was just giving away and despite the dodgy video quality (and equally dodgy dub), I instantly fell in love with the the OVA. Even though Orgun was intended to be an homage to the original Tekkaman, he was quickly usurped by the official remake that was Tekkaman Blade. As the years passed I resigned myself to the notion that maybe Orgun would get a Revoltech figure much like the equally obscure Dangaioh did at the start of that line. Years passed and things seemed quit on the front for Orgun until the RIOBOT was first teased in 2011.
As an action figure, the RIOBOT Detonator Orgun has a lot of things going for it besides being the first of its kind. It has amazing articulation, a keen sense of balance, and an impressive look to it that really captures the spirit of the character. Unfortunately, all of this comes at a price.... a 9,800 (about $100) price. Now I am normally not one to belabor the price of luxury goods such as these, but I must admit there was a little sticker shock over a figure roughly the size of a Robot Damashii that cost over twice as much. Coupled with a few minor flaws like potential paint chipping and some fragile feeling bits like his antenna, I fully understand that the RIOBOT Detonator Orgun is not for everybody. I hope that this figure entices someone else to make a less expensive version of Orgun down the line so that we can have something in between "cool but expensive" and "absolutely nothing." I must say that even if this is the only toy Orgun ever receives, it definitely does justice to the character in a way far beyond what anyone could have expected wit the first attempt. There's a lot of love in this figure and it needs a lot of love to want to own it.
Orgun became a part of history in his own OVA and it's only fitting that the toy did the same.
|Posted 6 August, 2013 - 17:55 by VF5SS|