Considering I’ve done a lengthy review of the MMS body already, I wouldn’t want to be overlong with Zelnogrard. The basic body’s already been touched, and so has the articulation. The short of it is that the MMS body is pretty good. Not mindblowingly awesome in and of itself, but then, the whole point is to mix and match the limbs and accessories. So this’ll focus more on the theme of this figure. Oh, and in the case of Zelnogrard, accessories = weapons. Another point before I go on, do be careful when removing body parts from the figure, as the rings that go between each connection are present just about everywhere, including the wrists.
Note: As I was doing this part, I noted it was a bit hard to separate the appearance of the figure and its accessories. Obviously, this is because the look of a Busou Shinki is highly dependant on its accessories. So yeah, I’m combining them.
Zelnogrard’s theme is firearms. Unlike the Mulmeltier who has a Nazi thing going, and the Asuka who has a WWII Japanese fighter thing going; Zelnogrard seems to be more neutral in terms of where she stands on the whole Axis vs Allies thing. Possibly she’s Russian/Soviet? She doesn’t look Italian… well, except that she looks like a character named Anna Coppola from Ichigo Mashimaro.
In any case, she has a nice and wide selection of guns, guns, cannons, knives/spikes and more guns. The guns can also interplay with each other, to become bigger guns, longer cannons or more overkill… or all three. Not only that, but the guns can interplay directly with Zelnogrard. This is notable because earlier Busou Shinkis seem to let you swap out limbs for armored pieces. In Zelnogrard’s case, she lets you swap out limbs for weapons. The most awesome application isn’t the fact that you can swap a forearm with a cannon, giving you a Megaman effect, but that you can swap out a LEG with a GATLING GUN. How awesome is that? If I were rich, I’d buy 3 more Zelnogrards just to replace ALL her limbs with gatling guns.
Holding all this weaponry together is a respectable array of connector pieces that’ll allow you to stick the weapons to Zel’s limbs, to an engine block that’s you stick up her back, or you can use the connectors to further combine the guns to each other. The fun of Busou Shinkis is to come up with your own configuration, and boy is it fun. This is yet another figure that makes me wanna get a camera, because it’s also very photogenic.
Anywho, overall, Zelnogrard’s accessories maintain a theme. She doesn’t necessarily have to look like a cyborg, which is one of my gripes with certain Mecha Musume designs. She can, but she can also just look like a baby faced assassin packing enough heat to assassinate an entire battalion.
Speaking of baby face, I love the head design and I dig that her secondary expression isn’t some angry faced yell. Which is normally fine, but that’s kinda generic. The head design was obviously one of the things that drew me to the character, as that’s where a lot of the personality is invested. A poor head design, or simply one that doesn’t suit your taste, can be a real turnoff. This is especially true with an in-house brand like Busou Shinki. Fortunately for me, I really like Zel’s head.
At this time, I don’t feel like I’ve comprehended the full scope of Busou Shinki, which is pretty impressive. But I can say this. I like it. I don’t feel like I have to rush out and get every Busou Shinki, because Zelnogrard already feels like such a complete package, but I’d definitely wanna check out the designs that interest me.
While the basic figure is very respectable, the right accessories definitely pushes it above and beyond. Okay, so sometimes I feel like I have to be extra careful and gentle with Zel, because of her many detachable parts, and as a slim female figure, she’d naturally feel less sturdy than say, Hasbro’s Transformers Universe Classics 2.0 Ultra-Class Onslaught. But otherwise, she’s almost flawless. It’s hard to justify a score lower than a full five stars, despite the basic body only averaging around four stars. So here it is:
***** out of *****
Note: Zelnogrard is just an EX Set, so her price should be less than that of a Full Set; yet she comes with a MMS body and a base. Which means this is a pretty good deal.