May 19
Cacophanus

By Cacophanus from Mecha Damashii

1/50 Full Action Model Chamber by Good Smile Company (Available From HobbyLink Japan – HLJ.com)

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In an interesting move by the same company behind the hugely successful figma range, Good Smile Company has teamed up with Sentinel to recreate the machine caliber Chamber from the rather fantastic Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet. The result is something really rather special.

Before I start about Gargantia, it’s important to understand that one of the main figures behind it is Gen Urobuchi. He’s a writer who has risen to prominence within anime over the last few years and also recently created Aldnoah.Zero. Some analyses of his shows, including Gargantia, often mistakenly cite Gundam as a reference point. That’s almost completely wrong; in fact, Urobuchi seems to take his main inspiration from the works of Ryosuke Takahashi.

Takahashi was the real robot foil to Yoshiyuki Tomino during the ’80s and came up with all manner of fantastic shows. Series like Dougram, VOTOMS, and Layzner are clearly what Urobuchi is basing much of his mecha work on, with Layzner being especially relevant to Gargantia.

Set in the very distant future, humanity is fighting a hugely powerful and gruesome intergalactic foe known as the Hideauze. The Galactic Alliance is trying to stem the tide of this vicious life form, using new weapons called machine calibers. In one failed battle one of these machine calibers accidentally warps back to a planet that had thought to be lost: humankind’s home planet of Earth.

Earth is a very different place though, as it is now almost entirely ocean and what’s left of the planet’s population lives on a hodgepodge of ships called Gargantia.

Over the course of the series, the machine caliber Chamber and its pilot, Ledo, discover their superior officer and his machine caliber also made the trip to Earth. However, all is not what it seems and what ensues is one of the better mecha anime series of recent years.

Chamber is an interesting mecha though, as the cockpit is housed in the head and is supervised by a very powerful AI (that also takes care of Ledo). This approach, plus the super advanced nature of the machine caliber technology relative to Earth’s inhabitants, harks back to Layzner in more ways than one.

The mecha design is also really great throughout the show, with Chamber being one of the highlights. Designed by Makoto Ishiwata, he manages to capture both the gritty Gargantia technology clashing with that of the super advanced Galactic Alliance machine calibers (there’s also a great interview here with Ishiwata that’s very much worth a read).

Up until now we’ve not really had much in the way of toys or kits for Chamber, but Good Smile Company and Sentinel have delivered pretty much the best possible toy anyone could have realistically imagined. So if you’ve been impressed with the figma and Riobot toys, get ready for when those toy lines fuse to create something pretty damn amazing!

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The full review will go up soon as well, so keep an eye out for that!

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