Coming up next is my review for Busou Shinki figures Lirbiete and Vervietta. For those not familiar with Busou Shinki, its style is referred to as “mecha musume” or “mechanical girl” in that it combines mechanical designs with cute anime style girls. Both of these figures are designed after the Vic Viper fighter ship that appears in the Gradius video games. Since Konami makes both Busou Shinki and Gradius it’s quite fitting really. It’s often common for Busou Shinki (or Shinki for short) figures to have a “sister” or “partner” set. Such sets can carry the same theme (Vic Viper Girls), have parts/components that interact between sets (Lancamento and Espadia), or exist as counter-parts for each other (Angel Arnval and Devil Strarf).
Shinkis are available in full armour sets (like the Vic Viper girls), and they also come in “light armour” and EX sets. Light Armours (like Werkstra) are just small sets that don’t contain a lot of large pieces, but they do come with a base body. Whereas EX sets (like WaffeBunny) are similar to Light Armours, but they don’t come with a base body. “Blank” bodies are available and come in different colours and styles.
Again, I will be doing a double-review since both of these figures share a lot in common.
This time around I have the package on hand. It seems like a rather large box, but then again it contains a fair amount of stuff. Shinki boxes this size are typical of a full armour set. The box features artworks of the girls in and out of full armour mode, and also has pictures of the various modes available (fighter, robot, full amour, etc). A preview window is available so you can see the girl in the package along with some of the interchangeable pieces that come with the set.
Both girls have slender figures (typical among Shinkis and some other toys made through Konami) and appear to be quite poseable. It’s clear when you put the two together that they’re meant to be sisters or partners or some sort. Both feature animal style “ears” on top of their heads and each has its own distinct hair style (often necessary since anime characters often suffer from “sameface syndrome” :P).
Once assembled, the fighters make quite an impressive pair. Both ships have the split, two-pronged front end that makes the Vic Viper instantly recognisable. Like the girls, the fighters share design cues and it’s apparent that they complement each other in some way. Lirbiete’s ship carries missile pods and a large sword, while Vervietta’s ship carries gun pods and a large laser rifle. Each girl’s colour scheme carries over to each ship so it’s easy to see which ship belongs to whom. They both have a “similar but different” feel about them.
The amount of accessories that come with a full armour set can be too many to list so hopefully my photos can do them justice. Shinkis generally come with extra faces and an assortment of interchangeable hands. Among the parts that make up the set are often additional weapons for the girls to hold as well as additional connector pieces so you can customise your set by mixing and matching with other Shinki sets as well as some other Konami toy lines. Also included is a display stand – pretty handy for these two since they are unable to stand in their full armour mode.
Shinki base bodies use the Multi Movable System (MMS for short) which allows for some pretty impressive movement. How often do you see figures that can hug their knees (the slender figure really helps in this regard.)? The separations at the bicep and thighs which are used for connecting set pieces also allow for movement in those areas. A ball joint in the neck gives the head a good range of movement and the upper torso is able to move forward and back, tilt left and right slightly and twist slightly. Due to the joint system in the hips, there is no joint around the waist. I often see Shinkis posed with the feet at full point. I know that the joint in the foot allows for that, but to me it looks unnatural and unnecessary.
The fighter is able to transform into robot mode, though because the joints mostly consist of pegs-in-holes, it’s easy for parts to work themselves loose by being rotated. The overall effect works, but you will need the display stand due to the robot mode being “en pointe”. There is a slight knee bend in robot mode which then becomes non-existent in full armour mode from the way that the front pieces of the ship attach to the girl’s thighs. All things considered, it’s not too difficult to get them into the right pose.
Fans of the mecha musume genre will definitely be satisfied with the Busou Shinki Vic Viper girls. It combines transforming robots/spaceships with cute anime girls – what’s not to love? Even without all their mechanical gear, the girls still make a fun toy to have on your desk just to pick up and pose now and then. Having a full armour set where all the mechanical components can operate independently from the base body is a real treat.
Lirbiete and Vervietta can be found at the links below along with other figures in the Busou Shinki range.