Available from HobbyLink Japan here.
The Breadth of the Cosmos
KOS-MOS is one of the characters within the Monolith Soft line of Xenosaga games, which have been running on and off since the first Playstation 2 trilogy – which in itself is a sequel of sorts to the old Xenogears Playstation game.
The games present a future in which a seemingly idyllic, technology-driven society is actually teetering on the brink of ruin, especially so in the first three PS2 games which heavily reference Judeo Christian religion and Nietzschian philosophy (which espouses a number of ideas relating to fate, death, Apollonian and Dionysian, Perspectivism, and the death of God, among other streams of thought).
KOS-MOS is one of the central characters in most of the Xenosaga games (and a few offshoots) and something of a fan favorite POV character.
Born out of the age of the popularity of armored girls and/or cyborgs in the Japanese pop culture scene, she was/is so well thought of that (as this recent release indicates) she has even garnered a release of a 1/3 scale doll version by the Volks company (complete with her two sets of triple gatlings and an 800 USD price tag…).
I think one of the elements which made her such an endearing, yet difficult character to grasp, is the way in which she is ‘coded’. Essentially a pure logician, she is also gifted with a series of alternate programs – ranging from extremely violent self preservation protocols that would make even the Daleks hide behind the sofa, to a rather off-putting simulated personality, which makes poor old Osaka look like Einstein.
As her Wiki tells us:
“KOS-MOS has significant powers believed to be superior to all other party members. In addition to superhuman strength and speed, the nanomachines her body is formed from allow her to morph parts of her body (specifically her arms) into various energy projectile and melee weapons. Her body is also able to self-repair and is very durable though not indestructible, and she is also protected by a force-shield. She also possesses the ability to summon weapons such as the F-GSHOT chainguns and her famous F-SCYTHE and equipment from another location via U.M.N. transport. She also has a long-range sensory array, the D.S.S.S. system and CPU that exceeds even those possessed by Observational Realians. She also possesses a Hilbert Effect projector whose power is thousands of times greater than that achieved by even the largest spaceships.
KOS-MOS possesses several black box components left behind by Kevin Winnicot. Each of these black box features are found in each of her skeletons, Version 1, Version 2, Version 3 and Version 4. One of these is her potent X-BUSTER weapon, a powerful burst of energy beams from her abdomen that absorb the Gnosis. Others are related to her “simulated personality” OS and her self-awareness. KOS-MOS also has some form of energy manipulation tied to the Zohar. KOS-MOS has another weapon system called the “Tertiary Weapon System”, which is seen periodically throughout the series. They consist of a set of energy wings, a pair of energy cannons and other attachments meant to be fitted onto her. While she is programmed to protect Vector personnel unconditionally, her highest priority is to protect Shion specifically.
An almost human alternate persona tends to come out from time to time in the form of a blue-eyed KOS-MOS. This blue-eyed KOS-MOS is far more powerful than red-eyed KOS-MOS and talks in a more empathetic human-sounding voice. This alternate KOS-MOS is in fact KOS-MOS’ true personality that partially awakens at times when Shion is in extreme danger.”
I’ve never been much of a fan of the games, in truth, but I do collect dolls (including the Volks KOS-MOS) and am very intrigued by Kotobukiya’s figure line, as they seem to be marketing them in direct competition (in some ways) to Bandai’s Figure-Rise series.
Kotobukiya may not be as monolithic as Bandai, but I have been very impressed with some of their recent releases, so I am looking forward to diving into new territory…
The model presented here is the version of KOS-MOS as she appears in XenoSaga III, and is my favorite iteration of the character.
Though the various faces which come with the kit are already pre-printed with eyes, the inclusion of various eye decals is a nice touch.
On this build, I have had a challenge laid down by one of my former students, who now works for Kotobukiya – no paint allowed. When I saw the demo version, I asked how the paint effects were achieved, she laughed it off and said ‘raw styrene’.
Looking at the kit, I see what she means. The kit is made from extremely high quality materials, and even the ‘skin’ elements are molded in matted styrene to remove the need for matt coating.
Officially, this seems to be because the figure is designed to be poseable, in the fashion of a Figma, which would be more awkward with a fully painted figure.
Still let us see how we go, and it this challenge can be met,
Note the pearl finish on the hair and the quality of the gold parts. I am confident that, with careful cutting, this challenge might work out.
Note the matting on the flesh parts, as well as the pre-printed components.
The battle is on. Even being fond of speed building and making use of any trick I can get hold of to manage fast, dirty builds, this one is going to be a real trial.
Start the clock, and let us see if God really is in the machine.