Kit Review: HG Kyoukai Senki – Kenbu Zan

We’re going to win this war! And then go travel this world!

After season 1’s ending with the Kenbu completely annihilated, Amou and Gai luckily survived thanks to plot-armor. And of course they have to rejoin the battle to liberate Japan, and as tradition dictates, they must have an upgrade! In comes Kenbu Zan, a souped-up Kenbu with a higher focus on close combat and greater overall performance that basically reigns over the battlefield with no equals, except for one.

Kit: HG 1/72 Kenbu Zan
Series: Kyoukai Senki
Price: 2,750 yen
Release date: Apr 2022

Design: The Kenbu Zan is basically a straight upgrade of the Kenbu. The unit still retain the same basic structure of the Ken Okuyama design for the MAILeS, with the segmented arms and legs. The Zan, however, has thicker armor and more “bulk” than the Kenbu, with more color separation as well. It makes sense since the Kenbu was mostly assembled by Amou – an amateur mechanics – whereas the Zan is built from the ground up by an official manufacturing company. The Zan doesn’t have the “bare” incomplete feeling the Kenbu has, but rather a “finished” machine that is built for war. In terms of weapon, it’s basically the same config as the original unit, but with a more melee-oriented design with a much larger blade and integrated arm gun – which has fewer rounds but more convenient to use.

Build quality: Pretty much standard Bandai quality…again. The snap build is easy, simple and enjoyable. Due to it having much better color-separation, the build is longer than Kenbu and the kit oob looks much more detailed. There are still quite a bit of stickers to use, but they are mostly flat so with some setter, you’d be fine. The only tricky one is the stickers for the sword and the chest as they require some folding. Otherwise, the build quality is very nice.

Articulation: Pretty much the same with other MAILeS kit, especially the Byakuchi and Kenbu. The Kenbu Zan has a wide range of motion thanks to the lack of armor that get in the way. Even with the much larger shoulder armor, the arms can move around with ease and can pull off many dynamic poses with out a problem. Furthermore, with longer legs and wider knee range, you can actually stand the kit up straight instead of the reverse-knee stance that is typical with MAILeS kit, and it actually looks pretty balanced. For me, the best poses for this unit is running, charging and acrobatic poses that require maximum stretching/bending of the limbs.

– Gimmicks: There’s not much gimmick to this kit that is different from the Kenbu. It still has the back weapon rack which is quite versatile to hole a variety of Kyoukai Senki weapons, but the Zan has one extra segment that increase the range you can swing the weapons to and that helps a lot especially with the new large blade. Just like other MAILeS unit, the Kenbu Zan can be “folded” back into parked mode and carried by the ASC Carrier vehicle.

x1 Super Heated Vibrating Long Sword

x1 Arm Cannon

x2 sets of hand

The best accessories is without a doubt the Long Sword. It’s a 2-handed blade that’s t h i c c and awesome. You can pull off an Obari Sword Pose almost effortlessly with this weapon. The only downside is there is no way to recreate the “heated” mode unless you paint it. Even if they give you a sticker it would still be a pain. The Arm Cannon can be attached to either side of the arms, that also means if you get 2, you can have a twin-arm cannons which is pretty cool. The accessories for this kit is quite limited, but you can combine it with many other military equipment to increase the playability.

Overall: The Kenbu Zan is pretty much just a better Kenbu overall. Great looks and proportions, better articulation and badass weapons, the Kenbu Zan is definitely the protagonist machine and the ultimate kit of Kyoukai Senki. Even if you don’t follow the series, this kit is a must-have for fans that enjoy something fresh with a high playability.

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