Ex Libra Dohko
|Character Design||Masami Kurumada|
Review by SentaiSeiya
Libra Dohko is one of the oldest Gold Saints in the original Saint Seiya series. As a survivor of the previous Holy War, Dohko’s duty is to watch for the return of Hades, God of the Underworld. Then when Hades is resurrected and his Specters attack Sanctuary, Dohko is one of the remaining Gold Saints that pushes back the advances of Hades’ undead army.
The box for the EX Libra is the usual Saint Cloth Myth EX Pandora box with a glossy sleeve cover.
The design of the Libra Cloth is based on a balance.
The Object Mode for the Libra Cloth is a bit more complicated to put together than your average Saint Cloth Myth’s Object Mode. The reward, however, is worth the extra time. The Object mode is pretty substantial and nice to look at.
The Chinese design of the helmet, which sits at the front, gives the Object Mode a touch of Asian flair.
On each of the scales rest three of the Cloth’s weapons in their compact versions. Both sides of the Cloth are pretty much identical.
The only thing breaking the symmetry of the Object Mode are the shoulder pads on the sides, which are slightly different. It is kind of ironic that the Cloth that represents balance is one of the two Gold Cloths with a bit of asymmetry.
The design of this Object Mode also makes good use of some of the Libra Cloth’s weapons to create a good looking Object Mode, rather than trying to cram every single weapon into the design. This is very faithful to the way the Object Mode appears in the show.
The EX Libra Dohko looks pretty good with his Cloth on. One nitpick that I have with the figure is that in the show Dohko has very defined and square chin. The chin on the toy’s face, however, is rounded and thus missing one of Dohko’s defining features.
Another thing worht noting is that the the slimness of the midsection makes that part of the armor less full.
The slim midsection also makes the sideskirts look bigger and bulkier by comparison to the midsection above it.
From the back you can see several slots on the armor that hold the compact form of a six of the Libra Cloth’s weapons.
Of course Libra needs to be sporting a shield on each arm to be fully suited up… This is where the proportions and faithfulness to the source material are thrown out of whack.
This is due to the fact that the EX Libra Dohko only comes with one pair full size shields that are to be used for everything: for the weapons, for the Object Mode and to adorn the armguards. So the full-sized shields end up being too big for the armguards. In the show, the shields are magically smaller Dohko has them attached to his armguards.
Besides being too big for being an accessory on the Cloth, the shields of the Libra Cloth are also VERY orange. While the shields are orange in the show, in that they are a light golden orange. Instead we got a shiny radioactive orange. This is one of those times that I have to call out Bandai for their false advertisement. Because the pictures on the box clearly show the light golden orange that we should have gotten with the actual product. This means that the photographer either had a prototype toy with the correct colors or that somebody did some fudging in Photoshop before the pictures hit the box. The shield is not the only piece of armro to suffer from incorrect coloring. The orange accents on the shoulder pads and helmete, as well as the san setsukon on Libra's back, and the tonfa are way too orange.
But at least the EX Libra Dohko is still the best iteration of this character.
I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.
As wtih the original release, the majority of the armor is made of metal.
Only the covers for the back of the hands, the helmet, the armor for the midsection and the shields are made of plastic. I am actually glad they made the shields out plastic. Since they failed to make them the correct size, the light weight of the plastic makes it easier to keep the arms in their proper position. Imagine the slender arms of the toy having to support those big freakin' shields made of metal and the weight of the armor for the arms. Those shoulder joints would get very loose super quick!
Okay, now that I am done bitching about the looks of the toy, let’s talk about what it can do.
Articulation is the awesome amount that we have come to expect from a Saint Cloth Myth EX body.
Even in full armor, Libra Dohko is still pretty poseable. This is all thanks to the way Bandai engineers the armor for the toy. You can even get a good Hyakku Ryu Ha pose out of this toy.
However, the fit of the armor is not perfect. First of all, the fit of the belt over the midsection is super-tight. This means that the body cannot rotate at the bottom of the midsection and will always face the same direction as the waist.
But that is not all. On my figure, the hole on the left armguard is slight too big, so it doesn’t hold the shield in properly. The thigh armor has a tendency of moving around a bit. The armor for the biceps just loves to spin around. Finally, the side skirts were engineered in a way that the connection points are at the bottom of the skirt. This means that the skirt armor can easily be nudged upwards and out of place.
So while the fit and finish of the Cloth leaves a bit to be desired, at least the EX Libra Dohko comes through in the extras department, especially the weapons. The person who earns the right to wear the Libra Cloth also has the responsibility of guarding the 12 weapons of the Cloth. Under normal circumstances, Saints are not to use weapons… Unless you are Shun, June, Aioros, Capella, etc.
Anyhow, when a Saint’s fists are not enough to destroy the obstacles that lay before him, then the awesome weapons of the Libra Cloth may be used. That is if the Libra Saint permits the Saint to use the Libra Cloth’s weapons.
The Libra Cloth comes packed with those 12 weapons.
Besides beign able to sport the shields on the armguards, one of the shields can also be attached to the right shoulder pad by removing a little plastic piece that is covering the hole on the shoulder pad.
Also included handle and chain to attach to one of the shields.
This turns the defensive shield into an offensive throwing shield.
The previous three types of weapons are weapons that would have been common during ancient Greek times. The following ones, not so much.
2x San Setsukons (Three-section staff)
These weapons are obviously not true to the ancient Greek time period. Instead their inclusion is most likely due to the Asian influence of Kurumada’s upbringing and his years practicing Martial Arts.
The majority of the weapons are made of diecast metal. Only the bottom handles of the spears, the shields in their entirety and one link in each of the San Setsukons is made of plastic.
The decision to include 12 weapons was not an arbitrary one. There is one weapon for each of the Gold Saints. As was mentioned earlier, the Saints can use these weapons during dire times. Which is what happened during the Hades Chapter and several of the Gold Saints had to take up arms in order to push forward in their attack against the God of the Underworld.
Since not all of the EX Gold Saint came with weapon-holding hands, the EX Libra release had to rectify this mistake. Besides Dohko’s 5 sets of hands, this release also comes with 9 other sets of hands. One set of holding hands for each of the previously released EX Gold Saints. One can assume that for the last two releases, the Saint will come with his own hands for weapon wielding.
Sorry for the low quality of this picture. The gallery just couldn't handle the awesome that is 5 Gold Saints together.
Now the real travesty comes in the fact that the Bronze Saints, minus Shun, cannot hold any of Libra’s weapons. Seiya, Shiryu and Ikki, like the Gold Saints, did not include a pair of “holding things” hands. Fans of Saint Seiya will remember that in the show the Bronze Saints were the first to prominently use the weapons of the Libra Cloth. First in the Sanctuary Arc to cut through Aquarius’ frozen tomb and then in the Poseidon Arc to destroy the pillars supporting the seven seas. So it sucks that the EX Bronze Saints have to go weaponless.
Besides all of those weapons and hands for holding them, this release also comes with the signature three piece EX SCM cape, which is attached to a separate armor plate for the back of the toy.
Finally, here are the 3 faceplates and 5 pairs of hands for Libra Dohko that were included in this set.
So as you can see this release comes with a ton of stuff, which is why this release commands a higher price than other Saint Cloth Myth releases. In the end, however, I wanted to like this release more than I did. It is still a fairly good toy of a character that I really like. The fact that Bandai dropped the ball on some of the execution of this toy makes me wonder if the people responsible are just coasting at this point. Maybe they figured that with only 2 Gold Saints left in the EX line, most people who have bought into getting them no matter what. So why bother hitting this one out of the park? I just hope that Taurus and Aquarius bring the quality of the line back up a peg.
|Posted 17 December, 2013 - 19:43 by SentaiSeiya|