There are a few anime series that are genuinely close to my heart and Aura Battler Dunbine is definitely one of them. So to have the fantastic Robot Damashii Billbine re-released meant I was more than happy to snap one up and explain to people quite how awesome it is.
The world of Dunbine is split into two parts: the Upper Earth (where you and I live) and Byston Well, a fantastical realm between where the land meets the sea. People can reach Byston Well by travelling along the aura road and it is heavily implied that throughout the series that Byston Well is in fact the afterlife.
However, this afterlife isn’t all that great as it’s still both a medieval and feudal place, where rival kingdoms are constantly fighting.
One of these, the Kingdom of Drake, managed to force a fellario (a type of angel) to open the aura road to Upper Earth and bring people from it, in the hope of using their powerful auras to improve the kingdom’s chances in a war. The first of these was a man called Shot Weapon who was a weapons expert and started to create modern machinery within this medieval kingdom.
One of these new machines was the aura battler built from the bodily parts of various creatures from Byston Well, stitched together by Upper Earth technology and powered by the aura of its pilot.
It turned out that the auras of native Byston Wellians tended to be rather weak, though there were exceptions to that, so Drake was tasked with bringing more people from Upper Earth to pilot his new aura battlers.
It was shortly after this when it became apparent to Show that he was on the wrong side in this new war and he ended up hooking up with one of the rival factions instead.
The series was aimed more at teenagers than kids and was also entirely self contained narratively. It was also quite bleak in places but both the narrative and characterisation were and still are brilliant.
It also kicked off the fantasy mecha genre, something series like The Vision of Escaflowne owe a great deal to.
The Billbine was the mid-season upgrade to Show’s Dunbine and was a hugely powerful aura battler. Not only could it transform into a wing caliber, allowing it travel great distances, but it also was packed with a variety of new weapons.
It was also one of the newer aura battlers in the series to by designed by Yutaka Izubuchi and as such had quite a swarthy as well as muscular look to it.
The Dunbine-related Robot Damashii figures have all been thoroughly amazing thus far, not only in capturing the series’ difficult designs beautifully, but also in its gimmicks, with the Billbine being notable.
So I was naturally very happy to get my hands on one of these, finally!
Anyway keep an eye out for the review as this is a really lovely little toy that you don’t want to miss out on!