Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Crossbone Intensifies!

There's something about the Crossbone Gundam designs that simply makes them look badass.
I know, having recently purchased the RD Crossbone Gundam Full Cloth, what is the point of buying the MG? Well, for starters, the RD figure lacks A TON of the weapons and stuff this bad boy carries: the model kit comes with more accessories than a Barbie doll!
Secondly, one of my very first models back when I began this hobby was the MG Crossbone Ver. Ka, but I guess I was just too much of a n00b to do a proper job with it (I snapped plenty of pieces of that one!), so let's think of this an attempt to redeem myself from that disaster. I don't think I'll even bother with the actual Full Cloth, as I know from various reviews that it is way too cumbersome, so I think I'll go with either the vanilla X-1 or the Skull Heart version.
As for the other kit, the Vigna Zirah, damn, it oozes style. It may be quite old (and cheap too, less than 1,000 yen!), but the design is also really cool and thanks to its features, it stands out from being the generic grunt doomed to be cannon fodder, although it seems it requires quite a bit of painting and detailing to make it shine.
I also bought it because I really wanted to give the MG Crossbone a partner to pose together, and given that the X-2 and X-3 are fucking exclusives by Bandai, I decided to settle with what arguably is the coolest normal released Crossbone kit out there besides the actual X-1. Now if only Bandai would finally make a MG of the V2 to assemble the 3 main late UC Gundams...
Anyways, I'm still not sure on which one I'll begin to work, as while I plan a simple OOB build for the X-1, I want to add some details to it with a little bit of paint and waterslide decals I ordered, I think the Vigna Zirah may deserve the silver base + clear red technique I used in the HG Sinanju.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Future GPX Cyber Formula SIN

The conclusive chapter of Cyber Formula. After Aoi Zip's shameful one year suspension due to the Al Zard fiasco, Kaga makes his comeback in order to challenge Hayato once again. Things don't look so good for Kaga, as his inferior machine is left behind biting the dust by Asurada, while the board of Aoi Zip Formula decides that they will retire from the racing business if they can't win the 2022 championship. With such a somber outlook, Kyoshiro Nagumo offers Kaga the chance to drive the prototype of the Al Zard in order to turn the tide, the Ogre AN-21, a monster machine...

Despite being the shortest OVA (with only 5 episodes), it is definitely one of the most intense of the Cyber Formula series, as by this point, Hayato is practically an invincible god behind the wheel who already has FOUR championships under his belt. Furthermore, Asurada gets even faster thanks to the partnership the Sugo Team establishes with GIO Motors Inc., apparently making impossible for anyone to dethrone Hayato and Asurada.
Meanwhile, Kaga tries his best to master the Ogre, a monster car that forces him to go into the Zero Zone in order to barely control it. Through this OVAs, we get to see the rivalry between Hayato and Kaga reach its climax as they mutually swear to beat each other at any cost. It is only at the very final corner of the last race, that Kaga pulls off the miracle to finally settle the score with Hayato by beating him.

After having watched all the episodes, I can only say that Cyber Formula is an amazing ride that I highly recommend. It is really, really good and I think it deserves plenty of praise not only for the way the characters keep developing, but also because of the quality of the animation (seriously, the details in the OVAs are mindblowing), along with the superb OST, but most importantly, for the way it keeps you at the edge of your seat. Very few series have all of the above elements, so I'm really glad I discovered this gem. So, if you haven't watched it already, get moving and do so right now!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Future GPX Cyber Formula SAGA

Hayato grows tired of driving Asurada and decides to switch to a new machine in order to test his skills as a racer. Meanwhile, a major restructuring at Aoi Zip Formula brings in Kyoshiro Nagumo as the new team manager, who introduces the Al Zard, an apparently unbeatable precision machine that none of the previous champions are able to match...

The first thing you notice in this set of OVAs is that the characters seem pretty grown up, especially Hayato. Secondly, (and strangely) he develops an asshole attitude during the first episodes when he ditches Asurada, arguing that he no longer wants to always agree with the AI in order to race, especially after having to retire during the final race of the 14th Grand Prix (and lose the chance to become a champion once again) due to a disagreement of opinions with Asurada that ended up in a disastrous collision.
The seemingly perfect performance of Al Zard during the first races of the 15th Grand Prix, along with the painful realization that a racer doesn't need only a fast car to win, prompts Hayato to hop back into Asurada in order to prove that the new (illegal) machine of Aoi Zip can be beaten with the skills of a pilot.
Honestly, I liked ZERO much more, as this series of OVAs portrayed a very unlikely attitude for Hayato considering all the development he had through the TV series, Double One and ZERO. Nevertheless, once he realizes he fucked up and has to improve, he develops a totally crazy "Lifting Turn" drift maneuver, with which he absolutely demolishes the rest of the competition. In short, an uber cool move.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Latest Loot

Ever since they announced that the next Metal Build was gonna be the ARX-8, I knew I just had to get it. Oh, along those nice flame effect parts for some of my Myth Cloth figures.

A quick peek at the contents was enough to please me, as this reproduction of the Laevatein is very detailed, sporting some nice markings, mechanical details and a good chunk of diecast in the ankles, knees, thighs, pelvis, chest and arms. Nevertheless, it is not that heavy as I expected. Anyways, it packs the same accessories as the Robot Damashii version and a little more. It is worthy to mention than the Demolition Gun is ridiculously long.
It stands as tall as the average MG gunpla and a mere glance tells you of its high quality. I wonder what mecha will be the next one to board the Metal Build line, although I'm almost certain that first, we will see the booster thing the Laevatein uses near the end of Full Metal Panic! of course, as a web exclusive item.
As for the fire effect parts, the damn things are pretty heavy and take a good chunk of space. Still, they are simply gorgeous, the red flames make a perfect complement for any Phoenix Ikki Myth Cloth you have, while the blue version simply fits Cancer Deathmask, although I guess they could also serve for the ice wielding Saints like Camus or Hyoga.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Future GPX Cyber Formula ZERO

On his way to win his 3rd Grand Prix in a row, Hayato finally meets the consequences of going TOO FAST TOO FURIOUS.

At the middle of a perfect season, Hayato suffers a nearly fatal accident caused by entering the so called "Zero Zone", a state of mind he unlocks by going so fast, which allows him to predict the movements of the other racers in the track, however, said feeling is extremely taxing on one's nervous system and having never experienced it before, prompts Hayato to lose control and almost die in the crash.
The first half of these OVAs are pretty heavy on the drama aspect, as they dwell mostly on Hayato recovering and evaluating his career, deciding to retire for good. He even goes as far as proposing to Asuka and promises her that he will never race again. Still, his desire to return to the track, along with the need to conquer the fear than the Zero Zone implanted on him, forces him to come out of his short lived retirement to compete in the 13th Grand Prix in 2018.
The second half of the OVAs are pretty good, as while Hayato has no chance to become a champion since he entered the next Grand Prix so late, the races in which he participates are super intense, as while Asurada's specs once again are inferior, Hayato's skills along with his mastering of the Zero Zone allows him to overtake everyone like a boss despite using an inferior car.