Karas is a six-part OVA (Original Video Animation) series produced by Tatsunoko Production to commemorate its 40th anniversary of anime production. Karas tells the story of Otoha, a former yakuza, living in a fictional version of Shinjuku, Tokyo populated by humans and yōkai (Japanese spirits). He is one of the titular karas, humans appointed as super-powered agents of the land.
Karas won the Best Original Video at the 2006 Tokyo Anime Award competition, and most reviewers were impressed with the images produced by fusing 2D and 3D art techniques. The story presents themes on the conflicts between cultural traditions and modern society, and the relationship between people. [ source: wiki ]
This is a 1/6 scale Karas figure from MoreToy and it is just awesome! It has always been said that Medicom Toys produce some of the best 1/6 scale Japanese Anime / Manga figures. Granted they are very expensive and NOT value-for-money (IMHO which is why I've stopped buying Medicom stuff) but Medicom does some fine work with anime / manga figures. Now I dare venture to say that MoreToy is giving Medicom a run for their money with this release of their Karas figure. Not expensive and very well produced :) scroll down to see a lot more pictures (I got carried away with the beautiful sculpting / crafting of this figure and didn't stop snapping)
The box is HUGE because although this is supposed to be a 1/6 figure, Karas is 14 inches tall! In this case, it's 14 inches of sheer beauty and craftsmanship. The cover flap (which stays close via concealed magnetic snaps) opens to reveal a shot of the MoreToy Karas figure with a short intro taken from the web / wikipedia: "Karas tells the story of Otoha, a former yakuza, living in a fictional version of Shinjuku, Tokyo populated by humans and yōkai (Japanese spirits). He is one of the titular karas, humans appointed as super-powered agents of the land. Able to transform into a car, an aircraft, and an armored crusader; the skilled swordsman is to stop his corrupt predecessor, Eko, from taking over Tokyo. Supporting characters such as Eko's former henchman, Nue; the yōkai; and Homura, the karas of another city, help Otoha in his quest. A concurrent side story focuses on humans affected by Eko's scheme."
The box opens to reveal the 14-inch Karas figure in the tray without any twisty ties. The MoreToy Karas figure is in 1/6th scale and stands about 14-inch tall. It is licensed and officially produced. It is supposed to have a limited production run although as with most limited run products without any numbered certificate of authenticity, we don't know what the numbers are but it is still an excellent collectible. Figure comes with full set of costume and accessories including: metal sword with sheath and three extra hands, besides the fist hands attached to the figure. There is another shorter looking scabbard but no knife. Each figure also comes with a figure stand with special design.
The MoreToy 1/6 scale Karas 14-inch figure is highly detailed and well crafted based on the animation. Karas has a slim figure, and is actually a suit of armor animated by human souls infused into them. Karas appears to be wearing a black metal plate that covers his whole torso, a gold belt with an emblem in the middle and thigh armor / protectors that have a slit across the top. Karas also has spiked shoulder plates, knee pads with three ridges lining across vertically, calf protectors with three leather straps, "metallic" shoes with a tongue that covers the top of the shoes and ankles and arm plates with three spikes lined across. Finally, Karas wears a unique helmet in the shape of a Raven's head with blue glowing eyes and what appears to be feathers around his neck, like a garland.
This is another instance where I went and bought a figure purely based on look alone :) Previously, before the advent of the internet which offered us a wealth of information readily available, I had bought figures that appealed to me. Now with the internet and so many sources of information and news on toys and collectibles, most new releases are previewed and pre-ordered before their release. This figure seemed to have slipped me by. I didn't know about it until it arrived at my toy dealer's shop but upon viewing the figure, it was a must buy for me :) Then it's on to the internet to find out more.
I am very pleased with this Karas figure because it is totally different from the usual suspects and everything about this figure, from his helmet and intricate full body armor to his sword appeals to the designer in me :) I liked that the shoulder armor / spikes are not the same on both sides.
Scroll down to see more turnaround views and close-up shots as well
And now here are some close-up pictures of the MoreToy 1/6 Karas 14-inch figure head / helmet in the shape of a Raven's head. The red light on his chest seems to be inspired by those seen on Ultraman.
There seems to be something resembling a creature of some sort (it has what appears to be eyes) on top of Karas' head / helmet.
The blue eyes are a nice touch. Most animators would use red eyes as they tend to look more menacing. You can also see the garland of feathers resting on his neck with the two ends resting on his chest.
There are what seems to be three claws protruding from his back armor.
A side view / profile of the MoreToy 1/6 Karas 14-inch figure head / helmet
Karas appears to be wearing black segmented armor plates that is layered and cover his whole torso. The armor is very well detailed. MoreToy has made these plate individual pieces so that their Karas figure can bend and flex his torso without being restricted by the armor. The 1/6 scale Karas figure is wearing a leather-like body suit under all that armor. That is something I'm not too fond of.
Check out the right shoulder armor spike of Karas. It looks like a bird's beak. It even has what appears to be eyes. The right shoulder armor is totally different from the left shoulder armor.
The left shoulder armor is really pointed and sharp as a spike should be and it is painted with a metallic silver shine to make it look like a blade, a very sharp blade.
Check out the three spikes / blades coming out of his forearm gauntlets. It reminded me of what Batman wears as well, especially in the remake of Batman by Christopher Nolan. In "Batman Begins", the scallops were attached to a separated bracer worn below the glove around the wrist. These bracers were part of the costume of the ninja sect Bruce Wayne trained with and was hard enough to break Ra's al Ghul's sword into many pieces.
The spikes appear rather sharp as well. The CAUTION note on the MoreToy Karas box packaging did say that components to be assembled have sharp edges (or points) and to exercise care during unpacking and assembly. This is after all a collector's model (i.e. collectible) and not suitable for children under 14 years of age.
A closer view of MoreToy Karas back armor with the three claws protruding. More on that in the NEXT post
Check out the claws. Quite cool looking but its purpose is rather simple. Karas is the name of any of the city's appointed agents. They protect the city from any evil that plans to threaten the city and destroy them. Karas have a dark nature and are "menacing" in their look. Karas are modeled after Ravens as Ravens always seem to be watching over the city.
Close-ups of Karas leg armor, all the way from the thighs down to his feet - completely encased with nice details and does not limit the articulation too much.
When humans are transformed into Karas their strength drastically increases and they gain "superpowers" which allow them to transform into a car, an aircraft, or an armored crusader. This transformation makes them the super-powered agents of the city and skilled swordsmen.
Look out for MORE of this MoreToy 1/6 scale Karas 14-inch Figure in my NEXT review