Tuesday 26 July 2011

How I suck at Portal

Yeah....sadly this really happened. In my defence, I was playing it on a laptop with an uncooperative mouse pad - I'm not that bad at Portal, I swear.

This comic was drawn by my lovely girlfriend Beth, who still mocks me about the incident to this day. She takes commissions, and can be found at deviantART.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Anime REVIEW: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

There exist strange creatures who have the power to grant one wish to each chosen girl. However in exchange for that wish, the girl must then become a magical girl - a girl with magical powers to fight against witches, evil creatures born from darkness that are responsible for murders and suicides.

In the city of Mitakihara, a schoolgirl named Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki are approached by a one of these creatures, named Kyubey, who offers to grant each of them one wish in return for making each of them a magical girl  Another one, named Homura Akemi tries to prevent Madoka from making such a deal, while Kyubey urges Madoka by telling her she will become the most powerful magical girl  However, contrary to glamorous notions of being a magical girl, they actually find themselves dealing with death, isolation, agony over the value of her wish, and existential crises. Madoka, following her friends, soon sees the darker side of being a magical girl, and now knowing the truth, questions if she should become one as well. This 2011 anime series is 12 episodes long.

Going into Puella Magi Madoka Magica, anyone who's familiar with the magical girl (mahou shoujo) genre of anime will see all the usual conventions straight away - innocent girls, the flashy transformations, the cute animal mentor etc. But as the series progresses it becomes very clear that this isn't your run of the mill magical girl anime. In fact, it doesn't just subvert the genre's conventions, it corrupts them. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not afraid to kill off its central characters, leaving those that are left to deal with the grief that their deaths have left behind. As a matter of fact, Madoka herself does not even become a magical girl until the final episode of the series, instead bearing witness to the horrors of this lifestyle as her best friend is slowly sucked into it. Kyubey, the seemingly cute mentor creature, is in fact completely detached from the girls - not wholly evil, but at the same time manipulating the magical girl for his own purposes and not telling them the whole truth about their 'greater purpose'. And his cold, emotionless stare is the stuff of nightmares, especially when the camera regularly focuses and zooms in on it.

The five main characters in the series all have different personalities and different reasons for becoming magical girls, which often lead to head-on clashes between the characters. They survive by taking the energy from defeated witches to purify their Soul Gems (an egg shaped crystal that holds both their souls and magical power). If they don't purify their gems, they eventually will become witches themselves - and as you can imagine this often leads to fighting among magical girls in order to stay alive, both physically and in their varying methods of witch hunting. But they all share the same tragedy that is that their wishes often bring more harm than good once they come true, either to themselves or the people around them. This series not only chronicles one magical girl's fall from grace from start to finish, but also shows how, despite the masses of power the girls are given, their efforts to change their fates are ultimately futile.

The characters are each noticeably different from each other to avoid confusion (due to their unique hair colours, which all serve as the basis for their magical girl costumes) as are their costumes and weapons (forget magical batons, this series has everything from swords and bows/arrows to grenades and machine guns). The art style for the witches dimensions differs greatly from the beautiful detailed real world setting, delving into the twisted and surreal animated through paper-cut stop motion. While the witches present a very real threat in the world of Madoka, they aren't the main focus nor have any real development - giving the animators a chance to real go wild with the twisted fairytale-like imagery of it all.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not for people expecting a light and fluffy magical girl anime. It's dark, grim and wholly depressing. It completely subverts the usual conventions of the genre, and the result is something unlike any others that have come before it. With a beautiful and wide variety of art styles, well developed characters and a truly engaging narrative, this series is a must see for maturer anime fans.

Thursday 21 July 2011

Series REVIEW: Tensou Sentai Goseiger

Unknown to the people of Earth, there is a branch of humanity called the "Gosei Angels" whose mission is to protect the Earth. When the Earth is targeted by an evil alien invasion force called Warstar, they destroy the Heaven's Tower, the bridge between the Earth and the Gosei World, home of the Gosei Angels, to keep them from interfering. However, five apprentice Gosei Angels are on Earth at the time and, while finding a way to return back home, they become the Goseigers to battle the advances of the Warstar. Tensou Sentai Goseiger is the 34th Super Sentai series, airing in 2010-2011.

Out of everything a Sentai series needs to be successful, a good, strong main team is probably the most important. Unfortunately, Goseiger does not have this. All 5 of the Gosei angels are simply awful. I get that they were trying to enforce the 'in-training' aspect of the angels with their ages, but the team are all far too young and fail to impose any sort of authority. Sure they've grown by the end of the series, but I can't help feel that for the majority of the series their victories were simply down to dumb luck (which is quite fitting to Alata's annoying "It'll all work out" catchphrase). Alata and Eri's overall cheeriness is grating, and Moune and Agri's feelings of superiority aren't much better (these do die down as their team bonds become stronger). Hyde is definitely the most interesting of the five due to his backstory, which could have benefited from much more depth. The sixth Goseiger, GoseiKnight is a more interesting character due to his origins, and even more so when you take into consideration that he doesn't actually become a proper team player until around two thirds into the show. However, he can't carry the show on his own, and often his struggle to understand humanity falls into the realms of cliché. The supporting cast are very weak - Nozomu proves to be a further example into why child main characters don't work in these sorts of series, taking far too much time away from the angels. His bumbling father is an injection of slapstick comedy that the series really didn't need.

Next we come to the villains, who are arranged a little differently in Goseiger. There are three main groups of villains in the series - the alien Warstars, the monster Yuuma Beasts, and the robotic Mantrintis Empire. When one group is defeated, the next takes over from them. As these groups differ greatly in both tactics and aesthetics, it does help add a little diversity to the series. What also differs greatly though is the quality - the Warstar are by far the strongest of the 3, feeling the most fleshed out and threatening (since they are ones who destroy the Tower of Heaven in the first place). The Yuuma Beasts are far less interesting - their leaders are among the weakest costume designs in Goseiger and their plans recycled straight from Engine Sentai Go-Onger two years previously. The Mantrintis had the potential to be a very good addition, but their overall story arc despite several interesting moments (such as Metal Alice's development) seemed very much like an afterthought. The only constant, and in fact the series greatest triumph overall, is Buredoran. Despite being the main antagonist of the series, Buredoran simply sulks around in the background for the first half of the show, eventually making a bid for power in the tail end of the Yuuma arc. He then goes on to have some interesting developments as a Mantrintis, and then the reveal of his true identity and goals proves to be the best moment for the series in terms of plot. Buredoran lies to anyone and everyone, friend or foe, changing forms several times in the series to fit in with whoever he allies himself with. Not only is he by far the standout character in the series, but also probably my favourite Super Sentai villain I've seen thus far.

The actual show aesthetic is particularly pleasing - the Goseiger suits look very grand and the helmets inclusion of the moulded mouthplate invoke memories of older series such as Carranger, Gingaman and (especially) Zyuranger to name a few. The weapons are also very nostalgic, complete with a combined cannon form. The inital mecha are excellent - Gosei Great and its headder combos being among the most visually pleasing aspects of the series. Gosei Ground and Gosei Ultimate aren't quite as good as Gosei Great, but their designs still retain the elegant qualities of the show and it is nice to see a single ship mecha again. The show's main gimmick, the Tensou cards (which also tied into the Super Sentai Dice-O game Bandai were promoting at the time) is particularly obtrusive though. As the Goseiger's main powers come from these cards, almost everything in the show revolves around them. The super mode upgrades also leave a lot to be desired - the Goseigers just wear giant golden animal heads on their chests and their weapons look like gumball machines.

With three different groups of villains to include, one could imagine that there's quite a lot of plot to cram into a 50 episode series. Well, this is true, but it doesn't stop pretty much every episode of Goseiger feeling like filler. The endless amounts of one shot episodes are completely forgettable, failing to serve any sort of character development or growth. The only memorable episodes are the ones where villains are either introduced or defeated. The series' climax, despite having excellent set-up, is particularly disappointing, with the final fight being over and done with half way through the episode.

So, Tensou Sentai Goseiger isn't completely devoid of positive features - it has an excellent lead villain and the overall aesthetic for the series is very pretty. Other than that though, it falls completely flat on its face. An unlikeable main cast and a terrible balance of mountains of filler and seemingly rushed main plot makes Goseiger an incredibly disappointing series. Sandwiched between the excellent Samurai Sentai Shinkenger and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, if there's any Sentai series of recent years that's probably worth a skip, it's this one.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Samurai Mega Red Ranger

Power Rangers Samurai toys have finally hit the UK, and in what I consider a rather odd move, Bandai have decided to market the Mega mode figures before the standard ranger costumes (which will be coming later). For anyone not familiar with Power Rangers Samurai, the mega modes are the suits the rangers wear when the pilot the Megazord, and don't actually use them for any sort of combat despite the fact they could make a very nifty super mode for the team. Anyway, today's review will be on the red ranger, which originally was the only mega mode figure I planned to buy.

For such a small figure, the level of detail is pretty impressive. All of the costume's grooves and padding remain intact, as is the costume's good mix of red, black, gold and silver. The articulation is excellent too, with full 360 degree rotation in both the shoulders and the hips. The elbows and knees are on hinge joints, and then the head, hands and feet can rotate 360. Quite possibly the most articulated mainline Power Rangers figure Bandai have given us thus far.

The figure's accessories are the mega mode sword (which again, is merely used to pilot the zords in the show and not for any actual combat) and the red ranger's signature weapon - the Fire Smasher (Power Rangers can call it what it wants, but it will always be the Rekka Daizantou to me). The standard sword is able to clip to Red's belt, and is pretty accurate to the on-screen version despite it only being moulded in one colour. The Fire Smasher is more interesting - while it has retained its ridiculous size, its much thinner and stylized to look a lot more like a sword (rather than an oversized toy). While I like the original Fire Smasher design, I like how this version is a lot more sword-like and not so huge that it jacks up the overall price of the figure. All the details are moulded on the Fire Smasher, but are unpainted.

The only real problem with this figure is the scale. While I know 3 3/4" figures are highly popular at the moment (G.I. Joes, Marvel Fury Files etc) but Power Rangers figures for the most part have always been much bigger (my old Zeo figures are able to stand with my newer RPM figures without TOO much of a size difference). What makes it worse is, it seems that the Samurai figures seem to have a variety of scales for different figures (the standard figures look to be a lot bigger than these) so really these are really only displayable on their own. This isn't a huge deal to me, as I'd much rather the sizes be this way around than vice versa, but its the only real fault I can find in what otherwise is a pretty damn good figure for something that appears and does very little in the actual show.

Saturday 16 July 2011

The Future of Power Rangers?

With Power Rangers Samurai currently in its mid-season break, and me currently watching both Tensou Sentai Goseiger and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (the two Super Sentai series that succeed Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, which is what Samurai is based off), I find myself wondering about the future of Power Rangers. Despite its popularity (something I'm very happy about) I've found Power Rangers Samurai to be a somewhat disappointing, and the next two Sentai series may prove difficult to adapt for the US. After all, Goseiger has an angel theme (religion being a touchy/no-go area for US kid's TV) and Gokaiger is an anniversary series that covers 15 years of Sentai that never existed in Power Rangers continuity. Just for fun, I'm going to briefly discuss the areas I think Power Rangers Samurai went wrong (I'll do a more detailed review of the overall series once the series has finished) and then my ideas for how Saban should adapt both Goseiger and Gokaiger. A lot of my ideas are wishful thinking, but I thought throwing a few ideas down on paper might be a good idea.

Where its going wrong:
* Americans as part of a Samurai lineage - Power Rangers Samurai so far is pretty much a literal translation of Shinkenger, so the concept of each ranger being part of families where the ranger powers have been passed down for generations has remained. From a story perspective these seems really silly, especially since the beginning clearly states that the Nighloks attacked ancient Japan in the past. I feel the series would have made more sense if the ancient Samurai rangers were Japanese, but following the defeat of the Nighloks the origami animals (which could have also acted as the source of the powers) became the stuff of history - moving around collections, museums for many years. Then, in the present when the Nighloks return, the animals would awaken and choose their partners - which would be the teenage members of whichever families seem to possess them at the time. Cue Master Ji, who's from a lineage of the families that served the original Samurai rangers, who would go on to teach the new rangers the ways of the Samurai. This then would present the problem of introducing the second red ranger (for those who don't want Samurai's big twist spoiled, I won't go into too much detail), but even that could be passed off as the heir to red ranger powers returning to claim them.

* Mega Mode suits - I'm going to start off by saying that I love the Mega Mode suits - their nicely designed and help distinguish the series from Shinkenger well. The problem is what their being used for. Why exactly do the rangers need to be armoured when they're piloting giant robots? The Mega Modes would have worked much better as some sort of super mode (think the Legend modes from MagiRanger/Mystic Force), with the Red Ranger also getting a battlizer mode as is PR tradition (and if its anything like the toy, it should hopefully be something very special). This would of course meaning creating more American footage, which brings me on to my next point.

* Lack of original ranger footage - So far, the story has stuck horrifically closely to that of Shinkenger. Sure there have been a few differences here and there (Deker's origin being the most noticeable), but otherwise its mostly the same. This is obviously proving cost effective for Saban, who don't need to create any new ranger footage for the fight sequences. Hell, we've hardly had any civilian fight sequences so far. With the money the toyline is apparently making, I'm hoping Saban have something planned for the future of Power Rangers, especially since the final episodes of Samurai seemed to take a noticeable turn from the events of Shinkenger.

* The cast - I'm not going into go to great detail here, but Samurai's cast is collectively among the worst in Power Rangers. Until Antonio showed up, they were horrible to watch. Steven Skyler has already proved to be the best actor among the 6 of them, and with Antonio's inclusion the group has picked up (I'm still not fond of Kevin though, and I don't think I'll ever like Emily). I know Power Rangers isn't the most glamorous of jobs, but I find it hard to believe that these were the best people who turned up to casting.

Bear in mind I still haven't watched all of Goseiger yet, so I'm basing this on what I've seen so far. Even so, despite it not being a particularly great Sentai series (a full review will be up in the next week or so) I feel it has a lot of potential to be a great Power Rangers series.
My ideas:
* Drop the angel theme - This is a given really. However there are plenty of other possibilities for the series. Goseiger has a very majestic aesthetic to it, both in the costumes and weaponry. Therefore I propose something along the lines of mystic/celestial knights. Change the morphing sequence to remove the angel wings, and you're all set. The knights can still be from the three different elemental clans (skick, landick and seaick) like in Goseiger, just change the origin up a bit. Hell, Master Head is already a very Zordan-esque figure - just do something along the lines of Mighty' Morphin, Goseiger looks pretty much like MMPR mkII anyway.

* Tone down the card gimmick - It's impossible to get rid of this altogether since the series weighs so heavily on it, but since its pretty unlikely the Dice-O card game is going to make it to the West giving it such exposure seems pointless.

* Get rid of Datas - I'm hoping Saban will do this anyway, because he doesn't look like he'd fit in well with a Power Rangers series anyway. How you'd do this when Datas grows, battles and combines with the series Megazord I don't know, but at the very least he'd need some sort of character change.

* Make the cast better than Goseiger's - There isn't much else to say here. Goseiger's cast is awful. If Saban followed Goseiger to the bone like they did with Shinkenger, this cast would be worse than Samurai's.

This is going to be a very idealised adaptation of Gokaiger. My suggestions rely almost completely on Saban's willingness to film new footage, something I'm hoping they'll do anyway given the lack of it in Samurai (cost cutting for the future?) and just how difficult it'd be to do Gokaiger without it anyway. I'm also well aware my ideas sound like complete fanwank, but then Gokaiger is complete fanwank anyway, and that's brilliant. I don't see why the same can't work for Mighty Morphin' Pirate Rangers (NB. This isn't what I think it should be called). Also, its based on what's happened so far in Gokaiger. Its only just coming up to halfway through, so anything could happen between now and the end of the series.
My ideas:
Switch the story around - here's an crazy idea, how about ending adaptation with the Great War? Think about it like this - the Zangyack (or whatever their Western version would be called) have conquered the galaxy and erased the legacy of the Power Rangers. Cue our band of pirates - who could still be searching for the 'ultimate treasure' ala Gokaiger (I don't see why their backstories need to change that much), who are in possession of the ranger keys (the last remaining powers of the morphing grid) and the powers of the past rangers. They meet past rangers, which in turn awaken the powers in the keys and restore a portion of the morphing grid. Then, when all the powers have been collected, end the series with the footage of the Sentai war, with the rangers being physical manifestations of the keys. This accounts for rangers who had the same identity (MMPR through to In Space) being in the same place as once. Zordon could even be brought into it somehow (hell, it'd seem silly not to have Zordon in it). Just don't make him AkaRed, because that would be silly...

Use the ranger keys less - Now anyone who knows me knows I'm a massive fan of Gokaiger, but one of the few areas it disappoints me in is the lack of fight sequences in Gokaiger mode. The rangers morph, shoot some enemies and then pretty much use the keys straight away. With 16 less ranger teams to use this gives the opportunity for an adaptation to use the Gokaiger suits a lot more. Obviously you can't rule out the pre-Zyuranger teams altogether due to their inclusion in the Sentai War footage - so pass them off as alien ranger teams and give them far less focus. But, at the same time - do it better than Masked Rider did.

More variety in guest rangers - Reds are always exciting in Super Sentai, but the can't be said for Power Rangers. Therefore guest spots in an adaptation of Gokaiger shouldn't just be limited to past red rangers. While Cole is the obvious choice for the Wild Force episode, RJ would be a far better choice for a Jungle Fury episode and Cam for a Ninja storm one (As the Hurricaneger episode is still yet to air, for all I know Gokaiger might use Asuka for the episode). The only real problem is tackling Power Rangers RPM, as you have to establish whether that happened in the future or in a parallel universe. But then, there's nothing to say a Gokaiger adaptation couldn't happen after RPM and the fall of Ventrix.

A new GokaiSilver origin - I haven't really given this one much thought yet as Gai is still relatively new to the series, but I can't see a Power Rangers fanboy really working as a character. Especially when you consider the ghost rangers that gave him his powers (Dragon Ranger, Time Fire and AbareKiller) didn't die in their respective Power Rangers series. I always thought some sort of Zangyack bounty hunter would work as an introduction. The GouJyuDrill would work fine as a spaceship, and Silver could be working alone to get the powers until he meets up with the rest of the rangers. As I said I haven't put that much thought into this (I literally came up with that explanation as I typed it) but I don't see why that couldn't work.


So yes, these are some of the thoughts I had on how the future of Power Rangers should be shaped. It was very much a 'for fun' post that I came up with while bored, and shouldn't be taken too seriously. I very much doubt anyone working for Saban will ever read this, but on the off chance you are - feel free to steal my ideas. If it makes future programming more like the glory days of Power Rangers, then I'm all for it.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Custom Figure: Damaged Dalek Drone

This was done as a birthday present for my girlfriend (who clearly has excellent taste since she asked me to do it). Was harder than I expected it to be, given that the new thing with the new daleks is that they look so shiny and clean. The paint just seemed to slide off the red, so I found myself having to chip the red away before I could get the paint to stick. My rust effect still needs a lot of work, but I'm quite happy with how this turned out. It was excellent practice for The Only Good Dalek Strategist (from the graphic novel of the same name) I have planned.

I mainly used Citadel paints for this custom (mythril silver and chaos black). The brass and browns were Revell paints.

The inspiration behind my design was that a Dalek ship had crash landed on an uninhabited planet with only one survivor. The drone patiently awaits orders from higher ups, but is never going to get any. It tries to follow the primary Dalek function, but with no-one to enslave it can't even do that. It is entirely alone, and essentially wanders an empty planet. It has no proper means of repairing itself, and its casing is beginning to rust and disintegrate. The silver panels are where the Dalek has lost panels in its travels, and thus replaced them with metal taken from the crashed ship battered into the same shape (obviously these panels don't retain the functionality proper ones do).

Friday 8 July 2011

Anime REVIEW: Shinryaku! Ika Musume

Shinryaku! Ika Musume (Invasion! Squid Girl, or simply Squid Girl) is a 2010 12-episode anime series based on the manga of the same name. It tells the story of a squid girl named Ika Musume, who vows to conquer humanity as revenge for its pollution of the ocean. Her first task is to make the Lemon beach house, a restaurant owned by the Aizawa sisters, her base of operations. However, when she accidentally breaks a hole in their wall, she is forced to work as a waitress to pay off the damages. As she continues her life on the surface, she also meets a lifeguard named Goro, an obsessive fan named Sanae and Cindy Campbell - the leader of an American scientific team who believe her to be an alien.

Ika Musume's episodes are split into 2 or 3 smaller episodes, which each focus on a different theme with very little connection to the last (although sometimes things might be brought over into future episodes). While most of these episodes are light hearted and comedic, some of them are actually quite touching. This is especially true of the "Aren't you Going to Keep It?" segment in episode 5, which really stood at to me as the highlight of the series. Episode 12's climax is also a very touching story, and a nice way to round off the series. The comedy in the series itself varies - some of it is excellent, other episodes kind of fall flat and are largely forgettable. Luckily there isn't an episode of wholly bad stories, so the bad is nicely interspaced between the good to make the series enjoyable on the whole.

The primary source of enjoyment for the series though is definitely from the characters itself. There are a few weak links in the cast (mainly the males), but otherwise each character serves a unique purpose in the series and they all work well together. The series is at its strongest when Squid girl herself is the focus - her naïvety at how easy the surface world is to conquer is a constant source of hilarity, and Squid Girl is a very unique character in both design and characterisation (particularly when you consider that she can actually be perceived as the 'villain' of the series). But even then a main character is only as strong as her supporting cast. From Sanae's unhealthy obsession with Squid Girl to Chizuru's hidden dark side, there's plenty from each character to appease whatever you might be looking for.

Finally I must make a note of the series' opening theme - which is perhaps one of the catchiest openings I've heard in a long time. Usually I skip openings after one or two episodes, but here I found myself listening to it all the way through for all 12 episodes. Judge for yourself.

Ika Musume is a very enjoyable series - and its especially nice to see a series made up of short stories that isn't overly kawaii, but on the whole it isn't anything particularly ground breaking. If you're looking simply for a short light hearted series to kill some time this is definitely recommendable, but it's not "must see viewing" by any stretch of the imagination.

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Dark of the Moon voyager class Megatron

As some of you may have realised by now, I've effectively given up collecting Transformers. This isn't because I've gone off them, just that the sheer amount of ones I wanted + constant price hikes + Hasbro UK being rubbish + interest in other better quality lines meant I had to sort out priorities a bit. With the release of Dark of the Moon though, I've bought my first Transformer in a year. And what better way to get back into things than with my favourite movie Transformer - the mighty Megatron.

For the first time in the movieverse, Megatron has an Earth vehicle mode - more specifically a Mack Titan oil tanker truck (which is a nice foil to Prime's truck mode). The toy's vehicle mode is nicely detailed, being mostly made up of browns and greys. The cab windows are translucent red, which while probably not accurate I feel its a good look for the Decepticon leader. The front portion of the oil tanker (which is also the figure's mechtech weapon) can be removed and placed on the top of the cab. Its a nice little play feature, but it does look a little silly.

I've never felt movie toys have had the simplest of transformations, but with Hasbro improving their instructions vastly since the Revenge of the Fallen toys (close ups, instructions being printed both ways rather than just "to change back reverse instructions") Megatron retains the impressive transformations the movie toys have without being too difficult for children to do. While not completely movie accurate, Megatron's robot mode is a nice interpretation of his rusted, beaten down appearance in the film. The headsculpt nicely shows off the damaged side of his head (which happened in the climax of Revenge of the Fallen) and the toy has a nice range of articulation to put Megatron in plenty of menacing poses. The tarpaulin can be attached as a hood/cape to replicate his movie appearance, and does nicely cover the damaged side of the head when attached. His mechtech weapon (which when pushed extends the cannon and 2 claw-like appendages) can be put on either arm via a peg.

The main place the figure really falls short is ironically its size. As the comparison picture with RotF voyager class Starscream illustrates below, the figure is rather small and skinny for the tyrannical leader of the Decepticons. This obviously was somewhat necessary for the transformation to look as good as it does and Megatron is probably much more in scale with DotM's deluxe Starscream, but even so the figure still comes across as a little small. I'm also disappointed the figure didn't come with the shotgun-type weapon he uses in the movie, but I'm hoping a future leader class figure may rectify that.

Despite being small and not completely accurate, Megatron is still an excellent figure and well worth picking up. I'm only interested in a few of the DotM toys (the others being Sentinel, Shockwave and Laserbeak for now) and I have no regrets about buying Megatron. A piece well worthy to any Megatron collection and/or Transformer collection as a whole.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Megatron yells at animals

I just bought Transformers Dark of the Moon voyager class Megatron, and while I was taking the pictures for a future review (which will probably go up tomorrow, this weekend at the latest) I felt the need to recreate the scene in the movie where he shouts at some animals in Africa. Since I didn't have any elephants or zebras on hand, I thought these McDonalds Lion King 2 plushies would do. Enjoy!

Toybox REVIEW: Revoltech Camus

The third and final of my Revoltech Detroit Metal City reviews, today's focus is on Camus (real name Terumichi Nishida), the band's perverted, overweight otaku drummer. Probably the most dedicated member of the band, not even fire or snakes will stop his drumming!

Camus has an excellent build, showing off his overweight stature nicely. His costume is a lot more simplistic than his co-members, but has nice broken colour scheme and the waistcoat is a rather fetching vibrant red. The balance issues that were present in Krauser and Jagi are absent here, with Camus able to do a wide variety of poses without the aid of the stand included with the figure. That being said, he still shares the visible joint problem of his friends, particularly in the shoulders, wrists and ankles.

The figure's downfall is in its accessories. Included with Camus are 3 extra hands (3, not 3 pairs), D-M-C display stands, drumsticks, a speech bubble (what it says I am unsure of) that can be attached to his back via a revo joint, a set of expression stickers than can be applied to the figure (or any other Revoltech)'s face, and two highly posable snakes. The figure does not include a drum kit in any shape or form. While what is included with the figure is certainly well done, to not include a drum kit is a huge disappointment for me. It may have ended up being quite large and replacing the other accessories, but if the Figma Ritsu (from K-On!) can achieve it, I don't know why this can't. Obviously all the effort went into the snakes, as they have 4 revoltech joints each (which look quite obtrusive, ruining the overall effect of the snake anyway).

Camus is a great figure, but lacks that little extra spark that makes his band members so special. The lack of any form of drum kit is also a disappointment, as it means a really good DMC stage display can't be achieved without looking into toy drums that are in scale with the figure. Still, he compliments Krauser and Jagi nicely, and at the cheap price he can be found for at eBay is a necessity to anyone looking to own the full band line up.