S.H.Figuarts Kamen Rider Black

Tendangan Padu MAAAAAAAUT!

Man, there’s a LOT that can be said about Kamen Rider Black, so I’ll keep to just the important bits to save time… NOT! I’m gonna ramble on and on about KR Black, because this guy is the Superman figure in Bizarro World, or the Green Arrow figure in the real world. Getting a truly good version, or even a version at all, is truly an event.

If you were a South East Asian child of the 80s, then chances are your top superheroes are Superman, Spider-Man, maaaaybe Batman, and Kamen Rider Black. From what I understand, KR Black was pretty successful back in his homeland of Japan, but here, here he’s achieved a level of idolization normally reserved for the likes of Optimus Prime or Superman. Kotarou Minami aka Kamen Rider Black aka Kesatria Baja Hitam (Black Fertilizer Knight?) was and as episode 27 of Kamen Rider Decade shows, still is, just that damn cool.

It’s truly a shame that this S.H.Figuarts version of him just doesn’t seem to be getting all that many toy reviews, at least not as far as Google is concerned. Hence why I feel compelled to help rectify the situation, if only by a little.

Onto the toy itself, let’s take a look at its looks. You know, the funny thing about this figure, for some reason, whenever I saw it on the shelves or whatnot, I keep thinking it looked kinda more green than I’d like it to be, but once I got it out, yeah baby, Kamen Rider is back, and he’s Black. So once that hurdle had been cleared, I was able to bask in the glory, that is Black aka Black Sun.

You see, I’ve always liked the simplistic design of KR Black. It’s very much a simple yet elegant design that works soooo well. It’s very “1st Generation” in the sense that it isn’t cluttered with ever more embellished re-imaginings. After the very first Kamen Rider, we’ve had guys who’ve taken the basic design and built on it, and in some cases, go on a total departure from it. It’s like Ironman and his various incarnations like the classic armor to the Centurion Armor to the Hulk Buster Armor and back to the Mark III armor. Kamen Rider Black is the equivalent of the Mark II version, in that it’s simple, yet evocative of the original premise.

Yeah, I’m gushing and ranting and rambling, so to sum the aesthetics up… Kamen Rider Black’s design is pretty un-ornamented, but still looks cool and has plenty of detail wherever possible. Check out his joints, which have a very organic sculpting to them, just as with the original show character. He also hides his joints extremely well, especially in the shoulders, which looks like they shouldn’t even have any articulation.

However, his simplistic design might be a turn off for people who aren’t into Kamen Rider or Kamen Rider Black specifically. But for an oldie like me, I love it. It’s nicely unobtrusive. If there’s any valid mark against his appearance, then it’s probably that his wrist joints do stick out somewhat, slightly ruining his proportions.

Articulation… I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.

Accessories is sort of crap, he only comes with 5 extra hands, but Black was pure fisticuffs anyway, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to have lots of weapons. And you pretty much have all the hand poses you’d need for this guy. Still, it would have been nice if he came with some redundant hands. Maybe a pair to hold weapons from other S.H.Figuarts toys. That said, I can’t hold this against him, since again, he was a character of pure fisticuffs… and sentient motorcycles, but we won’t speak of them any further.

Kamen Rider Black is pretty bad (bad as in good, like “You know I’m bad! I’m bad! You know it! Ahuh!”). It’s also pretty ass (ass as in “That’s a fine piece of ass”). These two traits combine to make him a bonafide badass.

If you’ve never heard or never grew up with Kamen Rider Black, then by all means, you might want to grab one of the flashier Figuarts like Kabuto or The Next or even one of the Kuugas. But the rest of us, the cool kids, we’ll stick with Black, thank you very much.

Pros: It’s Black. Lotsa details where possible. Articulation. Inherent awesomeness.
Cons: Nothing significant, maybe the wrist extend out just a tad too much.

4.0 out of 4.0

0.0 – 0.0 = I’d pay to get rid of it
0.1 – 0.5 = I’d give it away
0.6 – 1.0 = I wouldn’t take it for free
1.1 – 1.5 = Very Bad
1.6 – 2.0 = Bad
2.1 – 2.5 = Average
2.6 – 3.0 = Good
3.1 – 3.5 = Very Good
3.6 – 4.0 = Excellent

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