Kit Review: HG Kyoukai Senki – MAILeS Kenbu

MAILeS Kenbu, full boost!

The MAILeS Kenbu is the titular mecha from the anime show Kyoukai Senki. Kenbu is designed and developed by the resistance Yatagarasu in a mission to bring back Japan. Kenbu was found in an abandoned factory by the main character of the show Shiiba Amou. The Kenbu was fixed by Amou’s mechanical skills using spare parts from salvaged AMAIM’s. With pure plot convenience Amou then came across Gai – a smart-learning AI with emotion – which is Kenbu’s key component to operate properly.

HG 1/72 MAILeS Kenbu
Series: Kyoukai Senki
Price: 2,640 Yen
Release Date: October 2021

Design: The MAILeS Kenbu has a very unorthodox design. Most of the mechs in Kyoukai Senki are designed by Ken Okuyama Designes (Designer for the G40 Gundam). By this knowledge the MAILeS looks very industrial, giving the effect of “what if we have fully functioning robots for war.” The kenbu has a very long chest because the pilot seat is on the back of the MAILeS, this design is very similar to Code Geass. The joints also support really nice bearing details to show the point of articulation. The bearing details also transfer really nicely in model kit form.

The Kenbu has the oddest design out of all the MAILeS. The Kenbu has this very odd dinosaur look to it because of the head design and the overall design motif of having reverse knee joints and the very claw like hands. Because of this the Kenbu can really pull off some beast like poses especially when it gets the upgraded arm (Super-Heated Vibro Claw). In my theory it may be actually a very subtle hint for the upgraded form of the Kenbu.

Build quality: The Build and Quality for the Kyoukai Senki kits has been amazing so far. A lot of the kits don’t really feel underwhelming but the price could be a bit better. Build wise the most enjoyment you will get is the chest and the head. The limbs are very simply to build almost borderline boring. All of the Plastic I think are made out of KPS Plastic because wearing the joints down takes some time and they generally feel tight out of the box. The Plastics has a mix of clear, matte, and semi-gloss which gives it a high-quality look. In terms of quality the only main complaint is the stickers. Some of the stickers I think can be easily turned into plastic details. The worst offenders for the Kenbu are the completed shoulders having big gray stickers around them.

Articulation: Kenbu has the reverse style knee joints giving it a dinosaur leg motif. The legs really give this very “fast” feel to it and a very strong sense of jumping capabilities because of the concept for the design. The legs support a nice amount of articulation. The legs have one point of bend in the knees but the range is decent. The feet support a nice back and forth motion and a nice effective toe bend but has a limited side to side due to the ankle armor. It’s such a joy seeing the legs flex in episode 1. The arms are very simple they’re just a couple pieces slapped together but thanks to the simplicity the range of motion for the arms are amazing. The Kenbu has one point of rotation in the elbow and in the wrist and the hands are on simply standard ball joints. The shoulders has a nice amount of forwards and upwards movement and has a nice piston moving feature on the chest. The head supports a simple ball joint and hinge at the bottom giving plenty of range while the neck up only has a hinge. This limits some poses for the head but it’s overall well-articulated. The torso is the best part for the MAILeS units. The Kenbu supports a huge ab crunch and a nice side to side movement. The torso connects to the hips via a ball joint. One con for the torso design is the lack of backwards crunch. Overall the Kenbu supports nice articulation to pull off a ton poses.

– Gimmick: There’s really no notable or unique gimmick for the kenbu besides the weapon rack supporting the 60mm Portable Autocannon and the Super-Heated Vibro Sword. One gimmick if you can call it that is swapping the shoulders for the unfinished ones to recreate its 1st form when it was found in the abandoned building.

The other gimmick is the ability to “change” into a parked state to be loaded onto the ASC Carrier (sold separately). It’s a neat trick for anime accuracy but I doubt many people will display the kit in that state.

Verdict: The Kenbu overall is a really good kit. Design may be boring to some but it’s also an advantage because it’s pretty much a blank canvas for a modeler and the builder can do anything to elevate its looks. Build is very refreshing and simple very unorthodox huge pieces put together and really nice color separation on the head. Accessories are also very decent lots of poses to pull off especially having the option to convert it to its first form. A couple nitpick is the odd decision for giving it big stickers for parts that can be easily molded in plastic and the price range of being $25 to $30 retail. With that budget I think the color separation should’ve been better. Final thoughts, the pros outweigh the cons. The Kenbu is a really nice model kit and is an easy beginner friendly kit. If you really want to get a feel of what the Kyoukai Senki kits has to offer then the Kenbu is a nice kit to start with.


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