What happens when you mix science fiction, western, happenin’ Jazz music, and a great story into one anime? Cowboy Bebop, my friends. First airing in 1998, the anime follows the exploits of a team of bounty hunters (Cowboys) on their ship, the Bebop, as they capture wanted folk and have adventures. The writing is excellent, the series moves along at a happenin’ pace, and as a bonus, it’s one of the few great animes that isn’t about teenagers!
One of the central bounty hunters goes by the name Spike Spiegel — a lanky, suit-wearing Cowboy with a devil-may-care attitude and a past with a former crime syndicate. He is aided by his companions, Brain, Faye Valentine, Jet, and Edward (all of whom I hope S.H. Figuarts will make figures of, but I’m not holding my breath!). They are releasing a Vicious figure, however, which looks very promising.
This figure is an excellent representation of Spike. He’s got the green shaded black hair, super lanky frame, wide shoes, and a cool suit. He comes with some pretty basic accessories, but he doesn’t need much. A few cool expressions, his pistol and a few hands for posing and smoking. Overall, a very solid figure with great posability that is appropriate for his cool Jeet Kune Do style butt-kicking!
Due to his lanky look, the engineering on this figure does end up showing off parts of the spherical swivel joints employed at the knees and elbows. His jacket is made of a softer rubbery material to allow ball-jointed waist movement as well as a decent diaphragm joint movement.
His accessories are simple but effective. The gun is well sculpted, though lacking in the paint app. The multiple hands help with smoking, gun holding, Jeet Kune Do moves, and fighting. The extra faces are probably the best of the accessories because they capture not only his cocky grin, but also his more intense looks, and a smoking face.
You can get this figure into some very cool fighting poses. He’s got a good range of movement, but he does suffer from some balance issues. Because of how faithfully he is built to the anime, his lanky legs don’t hold him up super well in one-legged stances. Though with patience, you can usually fiddle your way into a decent pose.
You can pick this figure up for a very decent $50 USD on Amazon, HobbyLink Japan, or your nearest import figure store. If you’re a fan of Bebop like I am, you’ll definitely want this one. If you’re also looking to get a matching Swordfish 2 ship, you’ll have to pick up the reissue of the model kit — which looks great!– for about $80 USD. It won’t hold the figure (it is at 1/24th scale I believe), but with some good photography, it would make for a great background shot. Now excuse me while I continue to empty my wallet on figures!
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