Andromeda Shun EX
|Character Design||Masami Kurumada|
Review by SentaiSeiya
Andromeda Shun is the kind-hearted member of the Bronze Saint in Saint Seiya. As a kid, Shun was always under the protection of his older brother, Ikki. Even when Shun was picked to train at the living hell known as Death Queen Island, his brother came to his aid. Thanks to Ikki’s sacrifice, Shun was instead sent to Andromeda Island for his intensive training to gain the right to wear the Andromeda Cloth.
The box for the EX Andromeda Shun is the standard EX fare.
The figure comes packaged in a nice, sturdy box designed to look like the Pandora Box of the Andromeda Cloth, covered with a glossy sleeve with various product photos.
Those who are familiar with Greek Mythology may recognize the character of Princess Andromeda. In order to satiate the thirst of a monster that was going to destroy her kingdom, Princess Andromeda was offered as a sacrifice to the monster. The visual of Princess Andromeda chain to the rock as sacrifice is where Kurumada drew the inspiration for the Object Mode of this Cloth.
The Object Mode for the Andromeda Cloth looks as it should and is fairly easy to put together due to the armor being very minimal.
The only thing that is a little challenging is getting the wrist pieces, which have the chains attached, to stay on the arm pieces of the Object Mode’s frame. They are difficult because the wrist pieces stay on merely by force; so the wrist pieces have to fight gravity and any tugging that may occur on the chains in order to stay in place.
In the anime, the chest pieces for the Object mode are composed from the kneepads of the armor. This is not the case with this figure. Instead, the Object Mode features separate circular kneepad pieces to act as the Object Mode’s boobs. Where then do the kneepads go you may ask? As happens sometimes, Bandai will incorporate the pieces of armor that are not use for functional purposes into hidden parts of the Object Mode. In this case, one kneepad fits in a cavity in the chest (to be covered by the chest armor); the other kneepad plugs into the back of the head (to be covered by the helmet/hair piece of the Object Mode).
The other unused armor pieces for the Cloth are the covers for the back of the hand, which find their way to the bottom of the Object Mode's stand.
As was the case with the other EX Bronze Saint releases, this release also includes a set of broken armor to replicate what the Cloth looks after the character has taken a pummeling, resulting in it cracking and breaking. I know I have said it before, but I have to restate how much I love the asymmetrical damage of these EX Broken Cloths. I especially liked how one of the fins on Shun’s headpiece is partially broken off.
The Cloth for this release is Andromeda’s second armor, which Shun wears from the beginning of the Poseidon Chapter in the manga (and the Asgard Chapter for the anime) until the later part of the Hades Sanctuary chapter. The damage represented by this figure is closest to how if looks after Shun’s battle with Siren Sorrento.
Enough of how the Object Mode looks and let’s move on to what most people look for in a Saint Cloth Myth release: How the armor looks on the figure.
The figures in EX line are skinnier and taller than those in the regular line to accommodate a fully- armored figure that looks closer to how the character looks in the show. This works fairly well for the Gold Saints who have a lot of armor to cover their bodies and give them a bulkier and fuller appearance. The Bronze Saints, on the other hand, end up looking a little on the lanky side. Making Shun look even more long-limbed is the fact that this form of his Cloth does not have any upper leg armor. This results in the figure being exposed from the knees to the waist. I know that some people tend to hate on the EX line because of the design choices that were made to create a line that is bigger than the original and also better accomplish articulation with the armored figure while striving for the best show accuracy.
Lankiness aside, however, I think this is a great release of Andromeda Shun that is way better than the original Saint Cloth Myth release of this character in this Cloth. The original had odd proportions for the body.
The original also suffered from a disproportionately big head with a face so pasty, odd looking and trying to achieve an effeminate look that it reminds me of Michael Jackson’s face after all the surgeries and whitening procedures.
I mean, look at how much better the face for the EX version looks!
As for the Broken Cloth, it looks great on the figure.
Like his brother's release, Shun also comes with another set of feet pieces that have cracks in the foot armor.
The thing I love about the Broken Cloths is how they allow the characters to be displayed in as they often appear mid-way through a battle.
The EX line is known for its articulation and Shun brings just about every bit of movement that the EX body offers, thanks to his armor providing little restriction.
As for metal content, a majority of the armor is made of diecast; only the covers for the back of the hands and the headpiece are made of plastic. Ditto for the Broken Cloth. Score!
Of course, Andromeda Shun would not be complete without his signature Nebula Chains. The left chain is for defense and the right one is for offense. The figure comes with two sets of armguards. One set of armguards are the complete ones, meant to be displayed without the chains (as seen in the earlier pictures). The other set of armguards are missing their wrist pieces, which are supplemented by the wrist pieces that have the chains attached. At times, the wrist pieces with the chains can be a bit of nuisance at times, since they may not line up correctly with the armguards, leaving a bit of gap.
The length of the chain provided is not enough to pull off his Circle Defense attack. This was a missed opportunity by Bandai to make this release that much better. I am a little less indignant about it this time around, however, because at least there was not a picture of Shun doing the Circle Defense on the back of the box to raise my hopes up for the inclusion of a long enough chain to recreate that attack, as was the case with other releases.
Now in the show, Andromeda performs various attacks with his chains. This is especially true of Andromeda in the Poseidon Chapter, where he has to get creative with using his chains to defeat Scylla Io’s seven beast-based attacks. While none of the one-shot attacks found their way into this release, Bandai did release the two attack effect chains that have been standard with all of the Andromeda releases thus far.
One is the Thunder Wave effect chain that is zigzag shaped to recreate how the chain will pursue its enemy.
This chain is made of plastic and it wraps around the figure's arm to stay in place.
The other effect chain is the Rolling Defense chain. For the effort that Bandai made to redesign this particular chain, I want to say: bravo! This time around, Bandai made the Rolling Defense chain out of five interconnecting parts. This means that this chain can fit into the package without taking up crazy amounts of space AND it can be given a metallic paint job because there is no need to flatten it for storage, which would certainly cause havoc on a paint job. The end result is a great metallic-looking Rolling Defense Chain.
For every other release of Andromeda Shun, Bandai has used a chain made of grey, soft PVC, which could be pressed down for storage. This made this effect chain look cheap and out of place when compared to the metal chain in Andromeda’s other hand.
For comparison, let’s see how Michael Jack-Shun does the Rolling Defense.
For extras, Shun comes packed with a half a baker’s dozen of hands (that is 6 ½ for the non-bakers out there), including those needed to pull of his signature poses from the show.
As for faces, Shun comes with five different face plates, which is par for the course for the EX line. Included are the: serious face, kind-of-happy face, a face with the eyes closed, and a screaming face. While it is great to have these faces to switch out according to the needs of the pose, these are nothing new to the line.
The last face is unique to Shun, however, and I was ecstatic to see that Bandai had included it in this release. That, of course, is the crying face.
Now you may be asking, what kind of sissy action figure has a crying face? That is a normal reaction to Shun, as he is often viewed as a weak character due to the fact that he often gets sentimental when he must fight his opponents. Just because Shun may shed a few tears for his enemy does not mean he should be discounted as a weak character. When pushed, Shun is actually a formidable warrior who will unleash his trusty Nebula Chain on this opponent.
You might be thinking, what kind of a weakling hides behinds his weapons in a show where most people fight only with their fists? However, Shun’s deadliest attacks are in fact the ones he performs sans-chains. Even without his chains, he is able to unleash his Nebula Stream and Nebula Storm, two attacks that focus his Cosmo into deadly winds.
Shun only looks and acts weak and innocent up to a point, and you do not want to find out what his breaking point is. Just ask Siren Sorrento.
As an added bonus, you can always plug Shun's head onto the EX Virgo body to show off Shun wearing the Virgo Cloth, which he does like once or twice during the span of the show.
What makes the ability to this more amazing is the fact that Ikki's release was not able to do the same, due to the fact that the hair on the EX Ikki clashes with the collar on the Leo Cloth.
While this release is by no means perfect, it is great release in the EX Saint Cloth Myth line. Besides the lanky looks of the figure, which take a little getting used to, the only issue I had with this figure was the fit of the armguards and leg armor, which were a little loose. Other than that I am glad to add Shun to my growing collection of EX Saint Cloth Myth figures. I especially love the inclusion of the Broken Cloth because you can squeeze two display pieces out of one toy.
An extra set of chains, however, would have been nice for Andromeda, as you will have to display either Shun or the Object mode without chains, or display Shun with the effect chains.
|Posted 13 March, 2013 - 16:04 by SentaiSeiya|