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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

[FiguReview]Super Robot Chogokin - Aquarion EVOL

OSORE!! Blogging your figure don't give up now keep reviewing on, kimi wo dakishimeru nandomo nandomo nandomoooo~!!!

'Sup guys, this time I'm writing a review of one of the latest mecha figure line from Bandai, Super Robot Chogokin. This line best-selling point is its poseability and articulation along with the heavy feel thanks to die-cast material used and the playability with effect part or weapon set. Although most don't have transforming or combining gimmick and has smaller scale compared to the Soul of Chogokin line, it still has great quality and comes with cheaper price.

And the one I'm reviewing is Aquarion EVOL, the titular mecha from the sequel of Sousei no Aquarion, Aquarion EVOL. Without further BS, here goes the review. Sousei review, go Aquarioooooo~n!!!

Super Robot Chogokin - Aquarion EVOL
October 26th 2012 | 5250 yen | Bandai

Character History
Aquarion EVOL is the result of combination of the three Neo-DEAVA's Vectors machines, Vector Z, X, and Y, with Vector Z as the head. The most balanced form of all three forms Neo-DEAVA Aquarion has, EVOL was first formed when Amata and Mikono, the two main characters, break the Guize Stones seal that prevent the unification between opposite sex, evolving the Aquarion hence the name EVOL. Fight bare-handed, EVOL still has built-in long range beam weapon on its head and able to manifest Solar Wing and the signature Mugen Punch when Amata pilots, making it resembles Solar Aquarion of the original Aquarion more and more. Like any form of Aquarion, EVOL has many techniques it ables to do depending the Elements power its pilot have. At the end of the series, with the fully-awakened power of Amata, Kagura's Power of Reversal, and Amata and Mikono's love, upper part of EVOL combines with the Ancient Aquarion, evolving Aquarion for the last time, becoming Aquarion LOVE.

Blind packaged, as in you can't see the content inside, the box is quite thick even for SRC standard. I love how the front art is mirroring EVOL pose when it finishes the combination sequence, with embossed text "Kinjirareta Gattai" (re: Forbidden Unification) like the series tagline. On the back side of the box, there are more sample pictures showing some of the figure's gimmick. Some? Yes, there's still some surprises, so keep reading to know what it is.

The content of the set is stored on two double-layered blister since it has many parts on it. Yes, it uses blister unlike most other Chogokin lines, since even with the die-casts, SRCs aren't very heavy. And don't forget to check the backside of the carton, there are effect parts on it. See the picture above for what the set looks like inside the box. Lastly, there's instruction manual you need to read, mostly so you don't bend the part of figure it shouldn't be and to learn all of the gimmicks. Even if you can't read Japanese, the pictures provided makes it easy to understand.

Set Content
It has a lot of parts, yeah. This is the list of all you get on this set:
  • Aquarion EVOL figure
  • Set of backpack wing on the folded form
  • Pair of backpack wing on the active form
  • 1 extra pair of interchangeable hand
  • Mugen Punch effect part consisted of 4 arm attachment parts
  • 1 interchangeable right hand and 1 large arm attachment for closed-up Mugen Punch
  • Set of stand
  • 1 effect part for Mugen Punch text board
  • 1 dimension effect part

Stands about 14 cm tall, EVOL looks sleek but very solid, and overall great. All the details are depicted beautifully and almost all joints are well-hidden. But on the bad news, you can see some bolts throughout the body, even though those are quite small and not really eye-hurting.

The antennae and heart-shaped part on its head are from plastic, and thanks to those, it's quite hard to turn EVOL's head since it feels quite fragile. The pointy parts on the elbows and knees are quite sharp too, so be careful there. And even with the backpack, be it on closed or active form, EVOL is pretty stable to stands on its own. But in the event you want to pose it dynamicly, on EVOL's bottom there's a hole where you can connect it with Tamashii Stage stand.

The paint are spot-on and great. Sure some parts have bad, rough finishing on its edges but nothing too noticeable and irritating, so for me I can let it slide. The one thing I kinda disappointed at, is the face. Maybe since because the size is too small, the paint there can't really do justice, EVOL doesn't look as badass as it was on the anime. And oh yeah, the active backpack wing has gold-plated parts so it's shiny, but somehow doesn't match the rest of EVOL's body parts.

Articulation is one of SRC best trait. Usually a mecha figure doesn't have great articulation movement due to its design, but that's not the case for SRC. And luckily, EVOL sleek design is perfect for easier move. The joints are well hidden but you can easily figure which parts are movable. Most of the joints are easy to be moved so you don't have to put much force, except the swivel joint on its arm and the crotch joint for the leg. EVOL's movability can be seen on the pictures on this segment, with the addition thigh swivel joint which I forgot to show.

The joints are also sturdier than Solar Aquarion. My Solar Aquarion arm movement are quite loose now even though I rarely pose it, but EVOL is better on that department albeit its arms are quite easy to detach when I want to pose it doing Mugen Punch.

Speaking of Aquarion, of course it's Mugen Punch! Yes, even if this figure doesn't have 'open Aquarion' de-combine and the three-way combination gimmick, but there's nothing that can beat its Mugen Punch gimmick. To do this, simply remove the hand part and attaches the arm extender one by one. These extenders are not the same, there is one different part that supposed to be attached as interchangeable hand replacement while the others to be attached to each other.With 4 extenders, EVOL's Mugen Punch is longer than Solar Aquarion's. And it still gets better because there are large extender and hand parts to give natural close-up feel!

And do you remember the image and text shows up every time Aquarion learns new technique? Bandai also give one for Mugen Punch (well, it's written as Mugen Attack, but I still like to call it Punch), and it can be put on the stands. There are 2 sets of the stand, for the Mugen Attack card and the giant/close-up Mugen Punch, and you can set the stand's height if you only want to use one since its parts are separated. There's also a dimension hole effect board which you can put between the arm extender to recreate Chojiku Mugen Punch as seen on episode 16. 

Aaand, I forget to mention EVOL's first gimmick, which is its backpack wing. Unlike Solar Aquarion whose wing are transformable by itself, EVOL's aren't transformable but with part swapping. The close form are made from two sets, one on the back and another on thigh, while the active form are only one part and it has joints that make it movable.

Enough with the text, it's better to show EVOL's capability with pictures.
*Zetsubouteki ni kimi wa kirei sa~!!*

Reach to the sky, our feelings are infinite!!!
*kimi no kegareta Eve no danpen wo, boku no Adam ga sennen motomeru*
The legendary technique, Mugen Punch is once again reawakened...

Atashi wa Amata no koto ga... SUKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
*Sekai no hajimaru no hi, inochi wo ki no shitade~*
Mugen Punch....... Vanishes?

You're wrong Mikono-san! You can't connect people by yourself.
If someone's with you, if you share your feelings with them, that's how you connect!
I'll always be on your side!
Whether we grow old together or it ends here as a legend, I'll be right there with you!
We'll fly to the infinity, we'll keep loving to infinity! Mikono-saaaaan!!
Sousei gattai, go! Aquarion EVOL!!!
*aisuru tame ni bokura ga koeteiku, kono yami ni yutaka, yagate hajimaru zero*

Let's reenact more technique EVOL showed...
*Go tight shoutai fumei no show time*
Yunoha, c'mon, don't be shy!

What else that make Aquarion EVOL famous? Donut and "MIKONO-SAAAAAAN" screams =3

Since I also have SRC Solar Aquarion, let's display them together!

And in case you're wondering, the arm extender for Solar Aquarion can be used on EVOL, despite the color difference. So, you can use the extender on both arm to do All Together Attack (or Mugen Cross on Sousei no Aquarion term) or make a really long Mugen Punch like this.

Now, let's do some joke shoots :v
Yuki Kaji combi :v
That's not a karaoke screen, boys...
"Kimi wo dare to kiss wo suru? Ore, soretomo, ore?
Well, both Aquarion and Macross are Shoji
Kawamori's work, so... XD

Last shoot is (poorly) edited LOVE cries like at the finale. Actually they colored LOVE wrong on the tv airing version, since on the DVD/Blu-ray, both normal and director's cut version show us what LOVE supposed to look, all shiny silver with pink glowing aura...

End Verdict
Great sculpt altough it feels too skinny, great paint job, superb articulation, and cool gimmicks for play value. An one awesome figure you don't want to miss, especially if you're a fan, since so far Bandai's SRC is the only line that have released Aquarion EVOL figure. The price is worth the quality, but IIRC this one, along the Solar Aquarion and quite number of SRCs, was on the discount on HLJ, so you might want to check it if you're interested. That's all for me today, bye~

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