SHF: Kamen Rider Gills

Released only a week after Robot Damashii’s Gundam F-91, Bandai tops off April with yet another stunning piece from their other money-sucking tree, S.H. Figuarts’ Kamen Rider Gills.

I may have never watched “Kamen Rider Agito” in which Gills is featured in, but the suit design itself was enough to justify a squeeze on my wallet. I’d say it’s one of the few Heisei suits designed by someone who actually has any design sensibility, as opposed to creating a walking gimmick intended to sell toys and gadgets.

Added with the fact that Kamen Rider Gills embodies Ishimori sensei’s vision of Kamen Rider as a monstrous and reluctant anti-hero, this is a figure that is sure to attract fans from both sides of the fence.

Having followed up on criticisms regarding the lanky proportions of the earlier SHF bodies, Bandai have finally achieved the perfect balance between muscle tone and a stylised body with this release.

Similar to Another Agito, the decision to omit the use of die-cast in the feet is confusing to say the least, especially since these two are arguably the best SHF figures on the market at the moment. Robbing the figure of its ability to stand firmly at all times did make things a little frustrating at times, and spoiled its chance to receiving a perfect score.

A generous selection of accessories has been supplied, including tentacle whips that can be adjusted in length to your liking, extended spikes which can be exchanged, the usual assortment of hands, as well as an extra head with an open mouth.

If only each segment of the tentacles were individually articulated like they were on the tail of Scorpio Milo’s headset from the Saint Seiya Myth Cloth figure line; that would have made things really extraordinary. Nonetheless, seeing as the tentacles are moulded in PVC, they do have a good level of malleability to it. If you’d like to send them flying in various dramatically angles, setting up a few stands would do the trick.  It just consumes more space.

The figure sculpt is definitely a 5-star job, every aspect is amazingly detailed, and as a result, the sheen on the raw plastic is barely visible. The subtle gradient effect applied on the chest piece coupled with the glossy textured shoulders creates a really rich organic effect that is a pleasure to look at. And to top it off, the stone on the belt is even moulded in clear parts, a detail that has was forgone on Another Agito.

The head sculpt is nothing short of fierce and menacing, with an ultra clear set of compound eyes that almost looks as though it could light up. And little details to attention like the clear parts used for the stone on the forehead really puts this figure on a level above other top tier S.H. Figuarts. The way Bandai have recreated the eyes on the SHF figures in 2010 has continued to be incredible; which make me wonder what the special recipe is. If only the S.I.C. Kamen Rider releases can take a leaf out of SHF’s book in terms of the material used for the compound eyes.

From the side, it appears that Gills have some very well built pectorals.

The spikes located on the wrist and the ankles can be swapped and extended, but the smaller pieces can be a little difficult to remove.

Badass level increases exponentially as the spikes grow.

As mentioned earlier, the figure comes with two heads sculpts where the horns are interchangeable. The smaller set reminds me a little of Kuuga’s Growing Form, but without…it looks a little like the original Sentai doesn’t it?

The shoulder articulation is amazing in both function and design. It’s fluid, and pretty much seamless. When Bandai gets around to releasing a SHF Kiva, I hope they remembered what they did with Gills, because this figure can do everything that Kiva needs to do the way it was intended.

Kneeling isn’t a problem either.

Initially, I thought the shoulders will actually collide into the chest piece, thus restricting its movement. But it is so well designed, that you only need to move it down slightly, and readjust it a little to eliminate any problems. The tightness of the joints are perfect, and hip articulation is excellent also.

The 180 degrees kick shown in the promo shots are indeed possible, but do not force it if you are having trouble achieving it. You must extend the hip joint first, and proceed to pulling the other leg back accordingly to give it a natural posture when setting that pose.

This shot is my personal favourite.

Priced at 3,000 Y, it may cost a little dearer than the early S.H. Figuarts releases, but Bandai really have pulled out all stops to make it worthwhile this time. Kamen Rider Gills is definitely one of the Top 5 releases in the line without fail.

At 3,300 Y, Exceed Gills will be making its way to collectors in July. With a 300 Y increase, let’s hope Bandai will have some pleasant surprises in store for us and exceed expectations. (Pun intended or not to your own discretion!)

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    • Nightslash3535
    • June 15th, 2010

    With this release, I hope Bandai would have confidence to do better stuff in the future. I’d also expected high hopes for the Exceed Gills release. I bet this and (later on) Exceed Gills will be one of the very few SHFs that sold out very quickly.

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