Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sūn Wùkōng (孙悟空) Monkey King

"Monkey Magic!" is a 2007 Japanese movie released following the success of the hit 2006 Japanese television series Saiyūki (西遊記), based on the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en. Sūn Wùkōng (孙悟空) Monkey King (Son Gokū) is the main character in Journey to the West as he accompanies the monk Xuanzang or Tripitaka on the journey to retrieve Buddhist sutras from India, along with Pigsy (猪八戒 Zhu Bajie) and Sandy (沙悟浄 Sha Wujing). Japan was the first country to adapt this Chinese fantasy tale to television in the 1970s with Japanese television series also called Saiyūki (西遊記) and "Monkey Magic!" was the English language voice-over version produced by the BBC and broadcast in Britain and Australia in November 1979.

Shingo Katori portrayed Sūn Wùkōng in the 2007 version of Saiyūki (西遊記) and Medicom released this 1/6 scale 12" RAH (Real Action Heroes) Figure Monkey Magic Saiyūki Gokū the same year. I didn't know anything about the series or the movie when I saw this Medicom RAH figure but I just liked the look of it (same reason how I ended up getting Medicom's Mad Capsule Markets and Kyoka Gai Kokaku Zero). Monkey King had always been like a superhero when I was growing up and Journey to the West was certainly a most entertaining fantasy tale.

I liked the whole outfit and how it's put together. Another red and yellow armored figure.

Medicom's head sculpt of Shingo Katori seems to have a bit of Jet Li in it. Coincidentally, Jet Li also portrayed Sūn Wùkōng (孙悟空) Monkey King in the 2008 movie "The Forbidden Kingdom", which condensed many of the elements of his character (his mischief, his playing havoc amongst the gods, his magical staff obtained from the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea, and his three magical hairs) into a single narrative. It was the first film starring both Jet Li and Jackie Chan with action sequences choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping. Jackie Chan plays traveling scholar Lu Yan, a supposed 'immortal', who is surprisingly alert and agile when drunk - reprising one of his most famous roles in "Drunken Master (醉拳)".

A close-up of his body armor

The boots are quite cool because they are in two parts but yet remain seamless, thus allowing the feet portion to articulate separately from the upper part.

Sun Wukong possesses incredible strength, being able to lift his 13,500 jīn (8,100 kg) Ruyi Jingu Bang 如意金箍棒 (or simply as Jingu Bang, an iron rod which Wukong obtains from the undersea palace of Ao Guang, the Dragon King of the East Sea. When it is not in use, Wukong shrinks it to the size of a sewing needle and keeps it behind his ear) with ease. He also has superb speed, traveling 108,000 li (54,000 kilometers) in one somersault. Sun knows 72 transformations, which allows him to transform into various animals and objects; he is, however, shown with slight problems transforming into other people, since he is unable to complete the transformation of his tail. Each of his hairs possesses magical properties, and is capable of transforming into a clone of the Monkey King himself, or various weapons, animals, and other objects.

One of the most famous poses of Sun WuKong, Monkey King.


cosmicbaby said...

Very nice monkey!
if only Medi was cheaper

alex teo said...

thanks marcus, i liked him too ;p

Anonymous said...

I have checked already. The selling price is very expensive on ebay now.

alex teo said...

thanks desmond, i didn't know that. it was at a good price when roy got it for me ;p