SHF: Shadow Moon

The winner of last year’s Tamashii Nations’ “Most Wanted” poll, and one of my most anticipated releases of 2011, we’re going to have a look at S.H. Figuarts’ “Shadow Moon”.

Known to most as the main antagonist from Kamen Rider BLACK and Kamen Rider BLACK RX (1987-1989). Shadow Moon is one of the most recognisable villains from the Kamen Rider franchise, and a personal favourite of mine. Newer fans of the series who may not have seen the original, may be more familiar with the Shadow Moon from an alternate universe seen in the film “Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker”.

Nobuhiko Akizuki (Shadow Moon), step brother to Minami Kotaro (Kamen Rider BLACK) were both born on the day of a solar eclipse, and revered as the rightful heir to the organisation known as Gorgom. On the birthday in which the two became of age, the two were abducted by a Kaijin, where they were infused with the King Stone’s power by the 3 Priests of Gorgom against their wills.

With the assistance of his step-father, Minami Kotaro was able to escape the laboratory before the brainwashing process, but the same could not be said of Nobuhiko. In the end, the two are made to duel against each other for the title of Gorgum’s new Century King.

As for the toy itself, I was quite worried when the official images first came to light. Given the character’s popularity, is Bandai going to be half-arsed with this release, thinking that it’ll sell regardless of what they’ll put out? The shins did appear too thick in proportion to the rest of the body, while the top half seems to be a tad thinner than it ought to be. But my worries were put to rest when I finally got this is my hands. It appears Bandai is just really bad at posing their own figures.

After years and years of waiting, I was very excited to finally own an articulated Shadow Moon figure that provided an accurate representation of the character. For starters, it’s definitely far more satisfying than the stiff-boned 1/6 RAH DX offering from Medicom.

Bandai has provided both the Satan Sabre (as seen in KR BLACK) and the Shadow Sabres (as seen in KR BLACK RX), giving collectors the option to represent Shadow Moon from the era of their choice. The figure comes with 3 different pairs of hands, with quite a snug grip around the swords.

There is little to fault with the head sculpt, it’s basically a miniature version of the real deal, and dashingly handsome. There are no shortcuts taken here in regards to detail, and the fact that it is moulded in firm ABS plastic actually gives the silver armour a greater depth than that of Medicom’s 1/6 scale figure, which is fitted in an armour of softer PVC plastic.

Not only is the articulation impressive, the joints are also discreetly placed, maintaining a high level of aesthetic.

There are times when you really need to acknowledge Bandai for being the masters of the toy industry. Especially when you realise the engineering work they sometimes put into areas that may be overlooked by your average collector. I was thoroughly impressed with the new method in which the shoulder armour attaches to the figure’s shoulders right above the biceps. By eradicating the visible joint where the shoulder armour latches onto the chest piece, not only does it make the movement of the arms appear more seamless, it also eliminates the awkwardness in which the armour flips up when the figure’s arm is raised.

The elbow is capable of bending 90 degree quite comfortably, and if you wish to go further, it is possible as the silver ring on the lower end of the biceps are a separate piece moulded in soft plastic. And whilst SHF figures no longer employ the use of die-cast feet and ankle articulation, they have improved the articulation of the plastic feet in a similar fashion to Robot Damashii figures by reinforcing the actual joints with metal, giving it a greater range of movement and durability than the ball joints we’ve suffered from for a couple of months.

The spike on its elbow is created in PVC, which is quite considerate, given that swapping the hands can be quite difficult at times, and accidental breakage could happen. Those attached to its heels are made of ABS, and are articulated/removable.

The Satan Sabre and Shadow Sabres included both look superb, and are moulded in a clear crimson red plastic. There are subtle differences between the grips of the 2 Shadow Sabres, and the engravings on the swords are replicated with great attention to detail.

No difficulties in doing a double grip on the sword.

If only BLACK and RX were given a re-release in the fashion of New Den-O (Strike Form) in a quality akin to that of Shadow Moon, I’m sure fans would quite happily part with their money to make another purchase.

Shadow Moon’s own version of Rider Kick is dubbed…the “SHADOW KICK”!!

A showdown between two brothers.

As a candidate for the new Century King, Shadow Moon is just as capable of commanding the Battle Hopper created by Gorgom.

A group shot of the three core members from the Kamen Rider Black saga.

Not only did Shadow Moon survive the events of Kamen Rider Black, he returns equipped with the newly powered Shadow Sabres, hellbent on revenge.

Let’s swap things around with a black background. There are odd paint mishaps as seen on the thigh here and there, but being silver, it isn’t that obvious. As long as it’s not a chip on the face or dead centre in the chest, I’m quite content with it.

Not doing too badly posed with folded arms either.

The joints are so well hidden on the figure, it can even pass for a 1/6 scale RAH DX figure in some of the shots. And those compound eyes really glow when reflected by lighting in the right angle, making the figure even more photogenic.

No matter what weapon you choose to equip him with, Shadow Moon exudes an intimidating presence the way a true villain should.

As a whole, I’m thoroughly impressed with this figure, and had some fantastic fun shooting it, because it’s just so bloody handsome. It’s unfortunate than when displayed alongside its arch-nemesis BLACK and BLACK RX, it really puts the other two to shame. Whilst it’s highly unlikely, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a renewed release of those 2 characters. RX’s Roborider and Biorider forms are also warmly welcomed.

Looking forward to the releases of more classic Showa Riders in July and September.

  1. Hi,

    May I know what brand and model of camera you were using in this review? I like your shots.. 🙂

  2. Hi, Im Locust and I would like to ask for your permission if possible that I can somehow post some of your phots + reviews on my blog, I would definitely make sure to put a short URL link to the page so users can be directed to your site.

  3. last request can I put your blog on my ‘Recommended Blogs” widgets on my blog??

  4. thanks a bunch.. 🙂

  5. oh my gorgeous photos. I am currently shooting with a Lumix GF1 and I wonder do you shoot in a lightbox or anything of the sort? It turned out really fantastic! I agree, Shadowmoon is a gorgeous SHF. probably the best that I have…other than Ichigo (Shin ver.)

    • I use a Lumix LX3, and I shoot with what is really a poor man’s DIY light box…

      It’s just made out of some tracing paper, HLJ shipping boxes, some ordinary desk lamps, and sheets of cooking foil!

      Can’t wait for Amazon to come out next week, I’m expecting to be wowed by it like I did with New Rider #1!

    • poh ngean
    • September 9th, 2011

    i’m wondering where did you get the bike???

    • It’s a Tamashii Web order exclusive released in March of 2010. It’s very expensive now even if you see one on eBay.

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