Review: SHFiguarts Kamen Rider Gaim (Orange Arms)

HENSHIN! Kamen Rider is a Japanese tokusatsu franchise of young adults who put on belts to become superheroes who ride motorcycles and kill monsters. Riders are traditionally bug-themed, but have since branched out to other themes such as cell phones, playing cards, musical instruments, space ships, and yes, even fruits. Whether that sounds awesome or stupid will no doubt say a lot about your personal taste. The most recently-completed installment of the franchise is Kamen Rider Gaim, which revolves around breakdancing teenagers… or so it would seem. It’s actually an extremely good show, and it was enough to bring me back to the Figuarts stage with SHFiguarts Kamen Rider Gaim (Kouta Kazuraba) in his Orange Lock Seed-granted armor.

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Appearance

Gaim is the fruit-themed Rider series, and the titular lead Kamen Rider’s default and most commonly-touted form sees him wearing samurai armor themed after a big metal orange (if you haven’t seen the show, a giant metal orange literally falls from the sky onto his head, unfolding into armor). Let me begin by saying that the metallic orange paint. Looks. Gorgeous. Like, I can’t get over how amazing this looks, and it’s absolutely spot-on to the suit.

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Really, this entire figure is spot-on to the suit. It’s a near-flawless sculpt that really shows just how far Figuarts have come since the Kabuto releases. Kouta’s joints are generally well-hidden, proportions are spot-on, and everything feels premium in the best ways. The only slight flaw is that the blue undersuit should be a much shiner metallic, whereas here it’s a bit duller than I might’ve liked.

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Articlation

If there’s one thing Figuarts are and always have been known for, it’s their excellent articulation. However, a lot of Rider designs still present limitations in posability due to whatever crazy-looking armor they’re wearing. Not so with Gaim! Kouta is full of fantastic joints, including: double-balljointed neck and torso, universal shoulders (with inner joint for added movement), hips, and ankles, double-jointed elbows and knees, bicep and thigh swivels, ball/swivel wrists, and toe joints.

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The orange shoulderpads are on a simple hinge so that they never get in the way (and it’s accurate to the show suit), and the chest armor seems to be on some kind of joint, though I’m not sure what; it really just wiggles a bit. The only real limitations in articulation come in his hips, which have ditched the double ball-joint design common to recent Figuarts in favor of a new, joint-concealing universal design. It totally works and looks great, but it does mean his legs can only go up parallel to the ground. No high kicks for Gaim.

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Accessories

First off, Gaim comes with a gamut of alternate hands: fists, open hands, Musou Saber-wielding hands, and what seems to be two sets of hands for holding the Orange Daidaimaru. They might be different from each other in some minuscule way, but they look identical to me. The open hands have the ability to easily hold the smallest accessory: an Orange Lock Seed! There’s no real reason to have this, but it’s a neat little bonus that I’m terrified of losing. You can peg the Lock Seed into one of the three pegs on the right side of Gaim’s hip for storage… or just leave it in the box.

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The opened Lock Seed in Gaim’s Sengoku Driver is also removable, as the little yellow knife can rotate out of the way (and feel scarily fragile), and you can peg it into the Musou Saber for show-accurate Fruit Charge action. It’s a nice feature, and thankfully the Lock Seed fits solidly into both ports. The Musou Saber itself is extremely well-done and not lacking whatsoever in detail, even down to the Gaim symbol on the gun barrel. It can slide into the hilt on Gaim’s left hip for storage, though the hilt too can be removed if you wish. Also looking spectacular is the Daidaimaru, sporting more of that gorgeous orange paint, and even makes use of the clear-plastic-over-shiny-paint effect seen on Gaim’s (lovely) visor. Thanks to the figure’s fantastic articulation, you can get just about any pose you want out of these swords. You can even peg them together at the hilt for more show-accuracy!

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Overall

I really want to say the Gaim is perfect, because, well, he pretty much is. Admittedly, I just got back into Figuarts after dropping out during the Fourze releases, so maybe this huge jump in quality is commonplace now. I also could be biased by how much I like the show, but it really doesn’t seem like it. Gaim is an incredibly well-done figure, and I was blown away when I unboxed him. Nothing feels inadequate or missing or only half-done; all the paintwork is excellent and the overall quality is peerless. I very much hope the quality in Gaim is an indicator of the rest of the Figuarts line, particularly from this show (especially with the prices they’re going for). If you’re unfamiliar with Kamen Rider Gaim, I recommend both the show and this figure highly. Gaim’s retail price is significantly higher than other Figuarts due to demand, but I daresay he’s worth paying premium for.

Where to Buy

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