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Monday, September 9, 2013

A Talk with Katsuhiro Izumi on AFAID13

Hello everyone! It's really been awhile since my last entry, but worry not since I'm still breathing and pretty much alive, it's just I don't have any worth material for a new entry on this blog. I won't do any other VN summaries anytime soon (planned to do Sena and Rika route for Haganai Portable but my PSP busted) and as for the figure review, I still haven't buy a new camera yet. I have many new figures but without a decent camera, I don't have any motivation to do the usual review. I still take some pictures of those new figures I posted on my Instagram, follow me @bakanki if you're interested.

Anyway, today on this post I'd like to share my conversation with Mr. Katsuhiro Izumi on Bima Satria Garuda booth on Anime Festival Asia Indonesia 13 yesterday. If you don't know yet, Bima Satria Garuda is the first Indonesia tokusatsu hero created by MNC Media with Ishimori Production cooperation. As for who Katsuhiro Izumi is, he is the current Chief Producer/Designer at Bandai HK as well as the toys designer of Bima Satria Garuda series.

I can't really say my conversation with him as an interview, even an informal one since really, we just talk casually when me and my friends came to Bima booth. At first me and my friends are really excited when we saw the prototype figure of upgrade form of Bima, Bima God Helios Form, and new collector figure line for Bima; and then we notice a Japanese wearing an ID, and since there was an article on local kid magazine months ago featuring him, we recognize that he is Katsuhiro Izumi himself! So then with a push of my friends, I started talk to him with my crappy Japanese and after short introduction and confirming that he really is the man we thought, and after asking if he can speak English, we start asking him questions. So here's some interesting information about Bima from the booth and my talk with him.

  • From the displayed prototype action figure, Bima is confirmed to have an upgrade form, called Bima God Helios Form. This form can be achieved when Bima equips God Helios, a big blue bird whose body parts becomes Bima new armor, wing, shield, and sword. It's still unknown if God Helios is upgraded Helios sword or a separate arnament and when will God Helios appear on the show, but according to Mr Katsuhiro, Bima God Helios Form action figure will be released on October '13 so we probably see it in about a month from now, probably after Bima's current power isn't enough to beat his new enemies, and most probably that enemy is Azazel.
  • Speaking of Azazel, when I bring it up Mr. Katsuhiro is surprised that me and my friends already know about it and even ask where we got the info. I said that we found out about him from leaked back stage picture on Facebook. And when I asked if Azazel will be Bima friend or enemy, Mr. Katsuhiro said that we have to watch the show and see it for ourselves, but now I remember that Azazel's design have been already shown back then when the show concept is introduced for the first time. At the first day of the AFAID13 event, when we ask whether we will get Azazel figure, Mr. Katsuhiro said that they have already made one, and then at the last day of the event they brought the mask and soft vinyl figure of Azazel!
  • At the booth, they also display a prototype of never-before-seen new line of action figure for Bima, called MPAF, Maximum Poseable Action Figure. Unlike the Simple Action Figure one, MPAF is targeted for older fans. Unfortunately the prototype doesn't have any joint yet to demonstrate its poseability, even the promotion pictures on the display use actual Bima costume and suit actor. Mr. Katsuhiro said that they plan to release MPAF on spring 2014, and as for the price there's a questionnaire on the booth where on of the questions asks what the respondent think of the worthy price of it, with the lowest option at Rp 300,000 (about $26) so if we're lucky that could be the price of the figure.
  • Last one, we asked the possibility of Bima getting SHFiguarts and/or SIC treatment. Mr. Katsuhiro said that they have to see how well the other merchandises sell, if it does great then they will consider to make one, and it won't be in near future. *read below for the further confirmation of this news from Tamashii Nation side*

Originally, we plan to do a do-over for more formal interview with a Indonesian SHFiguarts community, SHFIndo, but one thing lead to another we couldn't do it. At the last day though, I came to the booth again but since it's still pretty crowded so I couldn't talk much with Mr. Katsuhiro anymore, and beside I was trying to get his signature on my Bima soft vinyl figure and mask anyway.

Buu~t! At the second day I met South East Asia division head of Tamashii Nations (whose name I forgot, sorry Ma'am) on Tamashii Nations booth and talk for awhile about Tamashii Nations product. Here's some interesting information I got from her.
  • The reason why SHFiguarts Blade get so fast reissue announcement is because it's not really a reissue. Bandai actually only release part of their Blade stock, but since turns out it sold better than expected now they will use the remaining stock for the November "reissue".
  • I'm a big fan of Kamen Rider Hibiki, so naturally I ask about its SHFiguarts. And just like I thought, they push back Hibiki because it wasn't that famous in Japan so they don't plan to release it on near future.
  • SHFiguarts Shining Agito will most probably become Tamashii Web exclusive like Blade King.
  • For 2014, they will release the renewal version of SHFiguarts Black RX, but they still not sure whether to make Roborider and Biorider. And if they do, they still not decide whether to release it as set like nowadays trend or individually. The chance for SHFiguarts Roborider and Biorider is bigger than SIC though.
  • Speaking of SIC, they plan to skip Fourze series. For one it's because Fourze is not really that popular and other reason is due to the design problem.
  • They won't make another SHFiguarts for Tiger & Bunny since it's not that popular anymore, but they will eventually release Dragon Kid since it will be too harsh not to do the last one. They're hoping the second movie will make its popularity rises again.
  • Remember the Tamashii Effect parts they displayed on Tamashii Features vol 6 months ago? They said they will release those soon, with Act Impact as the first one.
  • I asked about the chance of more American comic book characters for SHFiguarts, but she said that it's out of question to make Marvel Comics characters due to licensing issue, but like announced on previous event, they're trying to do DC's Injustice characters with 50:50 chance since they haven't known which area/country they can sell those items. Actually when they were planning to release SHFiguarts Iron Man and War Machine, due to licensing issue it's almost impossible to do it but they really want it happen so they pushed it and managed to release it even if it's only on limited area.
  • Following what Mr. Katsuhiro said about Bima SHFiguarts, they back him up that they have to wait and see for the other merchandise's sales. Plus, since Bima is targeted primarily for children, they have to wait until those kids grow up and can make their own money to buy collectible items like SHFiguarts, and probably it has to take about 10 years (not kidding here) for them until that time comes.
And that's it. Since it's also a casual conversation, I didn't prepare any questions and just ask things by whim or just following where the conversation went. I should've asked her about the SRC Genesic Gaogaigar at the very least, haha. Oh well, that's it from me for now, see you on the next entry guys!

Source of image from the links: Bima Satria Garuda Facebook fan page and other sources


  1. I wish for MPAF as good as SHF in terms of articulation and quality :)

    1. Amen for that =D
      Also, for it to be cheaper >3<

  2. Nice info... Thanks a lot for this... :)

  3. 10 years? Wow that's hella long time to wait :O But the good thing is I got more reason to make any custom figure based on it... Thanks Anki for sharing ^^d

  4. "At the second day I met South East Asia division head of Tamashii Nations (whose name I forgot, sorry Ma'am) on Tamashii Nations booth..."

    Her name is Shizuko Fujimoto...hope u read this, Bakanki

  5. "SHFiguarts Shining Agito will most probably become Tamashii Web exclusive like Blade King."


    Did you ask why do they release Blade King as exclusive?

    1. Didn't ask it, probably because they thought Blade series won't sell that well (as proven with how they said they only release half of their Blade stock for its first release)? Or maybe production cost for Blade King with all that shiny armors is too high so they decided to make it only as much as the orders? Who knows ^^a


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