Animu,  Code Geass

Composite Ver. Ka Shinkiro

P1030214Hey look, another Shinkiro – I’m a huge Code Geass headgeek, and a huge fan of Lelouch’s personal Knightmares, the Shinkiro and Gawain. Black and gold forever. I had originally gotten the Robot Tamashii Shinkiro a while back, but when the Composite Ver. Ka was first announced, I was ecstatic.

The Composite Ver. Ka line was still in its infancy by the time Shinkiro was released, and I believe it still is now. Not sure how many figures have actually been released under its title, but I’m sure it isn’t much. The first in the lineup, the Knightmare Frame Lancelot Albion, was a figure to be feared for its horrible quality. Needless to say, otakus and Code Geass fans all around were disappointed, and feared the worst for the next Knightmare.

P1030245Aesthetically, the Composite Ver. Ka. Shinkiro is an absolute success. The new proportions, gunmetal paint, extra detail…it’s amazing.

My favorite bit of the new design is all the fancy markings all over the figure. Guessing it’s to evoke something of the Britannian Royalty, but I love how elegant it looks. Just my thing.

P1030246The detail really is a step up from the Robot Tamashii. I like how the back of the float unit actually has clear pink pieces installed.

P1030239The standard Land-spinners are included and functional, but aren’t anything special in the least. They don’t even lay flat on the ground unless the legs are perpendicular to the floor. Wheels are solid black plastic.

P1030201This figure actually sports a respectable amount of different swappable hands. I love their design, from the beautiful gold finish to the sharp sculpt of the fingers. Captures both the Shinkiro’s original mechanical design as well as the personality of its Devicer.

Some more generic Shinkiro action. It’s actually a very difficult figure to pose, since anything extreme or outlandish would look off on such a reserved Knightmare. Lelouch doesn’t do much besides the usual arms out, legs together thing.

P1030215Chest bloc opens up for the Zero Beam launcher. In this figure’s case, it’s just the reflector prism inside, which can’t be removed. The prism itself is really nice though, molded in a clear, ice-like blue.

P1030221Shinkiro’s other primary offensive weapons are its Hadron Blasters, mounted in the underside of its wrists. In-series, they fire little balls of Hadron energy, as opposed to the long stream beams fired by the Gawain.

They both pop out from under the wrists, and aren’t anything flashy. The nozzles originally came painted in silver, but if there’s one thing the Robot Tamashii did right, it was the red for the blasters instead. I went ahead and filled in the silver with red myself, a quick fix.

P1030223Something interesting that the Composite Ver. Ka. introduced for the Shinkiro was the existence of actual Slash Harkens on the Knightmare. While these weapons are a staple and universal standard for Knightmare Frames, the Shinkiro never displayed any possession of them in either the show or any other figure incarnations of it.

The Composite Ver. Ka. gives you two Harkens that plug into the kneecaps of the Knightmare. I can say with a good amount of certainty that these were thrown in there just for this figure, and aren’t in any way actually canon on the suit. The Harken tips themselves also originally came all in gold, but I added some gray in there for contrast.

P1030228And, as per any good Knightmare Frame figure, you get an opening cockpit bloc. Nothing fancy, just a simple hinge joint that swings open.

P1030229Much more detailed and stylized than the Robot Tamashii, which also sported an opening hatch.

P1030205A nice little extra you get with this figure is the inclusion of a tiny Emperor Lelouch figurine. It’s actually very nicely detailed, and fully pre-painted. No face details, though I don’t mind that. I’d rather a blank slate than a funky looking (and potentially creepy) mini-face.

P1030232The little tab on Lelouch’s base slots right into the top of Shinkiro’s open cockpit, allowing one to recreate the scene right before the Battle of Damocles.

P1030167And then, Shinkiro’s main feature – The Absolute Defense Territory Protection Field.

Unlike the Robot Tamashii, which just gave a giant clear pink plate to serve as the Defense Territory, the Composite Ver. Ka. goes for a more show-accurate representation of the feature, with multiple clear pink parts attached via small clear claws to a circular ring that pegs into the Shinkiro’s display base.

The clear shield pieces can be attached any number of ways; clear connector parts are given so you can arrange the pieces together like a puzzle, connecting multiples to form large clumps or just attaching them directly onto the ring.

P1030185Unfortunately, however, the above tends to happen over time, as the clear plastic is a bit brittle for constant use. I’ve tried gluing some of the pegs back together after they begin snapping apart, but the type of plastic used apparently doesn’t get along very well with the usual Krazy Glue. While some excess parts are given, eventually many of these begin to deteriorate just from normal wear.

Overall, when I first worked with this feature, it was certainly impressive, and is by far the most anime-accurate representation of the defense field. However, with the durability going ever-so-steadily down over time, it’s become much less appealing. In addition, the entire set-up is very delicate, with the weak pegs leading to shield pieces falling off rather often. Therefore, once it’s up and running, Shinkiro can’t really be moved inside at all, lest the entire thing should fall apart.

P1030195The figure also comes with its own dedicated base, which is very similar in fashion to the bases used by GFF’s. An all-white plastic plate, though the Shinkiro’s is considerably smaller and more space-saving than that of a traditional GFF’s.

P1030196Some basic information about the Knightmare is printed on the base. There are two removable holes on the side of the base to allow the clear Defense Territory ring to plug into.

In addition, the pole arm that holds up the Shinkiro is explicitly tiny. It’s only enough to support it standing on the base; ariel poses are nigh-impossible with a pole that short.

P1030233Following the tradition set by the Robot Tamashii, Shinkiro, not Lancelot, is the one that comes with the anti-FLEIJA javelin.

As per usual, I could care less about this accessory, but upon some comparisons with its previous incarnations, it’s certainly very stylized and much more aesthetically appealing. The metallic green and clear pink centerpiece is certainly a step up from the previous plain version.

P1030204Another useless extra that comes with the figure if you don’t have Lancelot Albion is a piece that can be used to attach the Lancelot’s VARIS rifle to its butt. A nice touch for those who own the previous figure, but for those who don’t, just another odd piece of extra plastic.

I can’t fathom why Bandai never thought of including this in the original Lancelot release.

P1030240Of course, the Shinkiro retains its feature to transform into Mobile Armor Submarine mode.

The transformation process is actually quite a bit complicated this time around, involving just a few more moving parts and things clicking in place. By the time it’s done though, I have to say, I actually really like it’s transformed mode. I originally had no appreciation for this feature of the Knightmare at all, but on the Composite Ver. Ka. the Submarine mode is both stable and very pleasing on the eyes.

P1030244And naturally, the cockpit hatch is still accessible, allowing our holy Emperor Lelouch (bless his name) to ride atop his metal steed.

P1030238So, overall, by the end of this day, is this figure a worthy buy? To be perfectly honest, I’d say only if you’re a die-hard Code Geass/Shinkiro/Lelouch fan. While this is a very aesthetically pleasing figure, over time it loses its stability very quickly. The leg joints weren’t very strong to begin with, and it’s fraught with loose parts and joints. It makes an excellent display piece, especially with the beautiful Absolute Defense Protection Territory feature, but at the same time, it’s one of those figures that I abhor touching.

Compared to its brother figure, the Robot Tamashii, which I’ve contrasted it to for pretty much this entire review, it’s certainly a massive step up. If choosing between the two, definitely go for the Ver. Ka. The Robot Tamashii is certainly worlds more stable and durable, but for all the extras and aesthetic pleasure included in the Composite Ver. Ka., the trade-off is worth it.

Leave a Reply