As with Dorothy, I’m thrilled to be getting Big O figures eight years after the show premiered. Now that Roger Smith is on my shelf I can breathe a sigh of relief that at least the two most important characters on the show were made.
Like the Heavy Arms version of Aegis, Roger Smith was a Wonder Fest 2011 summer exclusive. Some were produced early and sold at the show, but the majority of them were sold online after the convention and made to order after the fact. It’s kind of fun having toys pop up randomly in your mailbox long after you’ve paid for them.
Again, I’m going to have to thank Max Factory for doing this. High middleman fees can sometimes be the deciding factor on if a person can afford a figure, and this was a great way to skip that hassle entirely. I hope they continue the online exclusive program long into the future.
Roger Smith is the main character in The Big O. He’s basically Bruce Wayne, without the need to dress up like a bat and stalk the night. Instead, Roger solves most of his problems with the giant robot named Big O and a battle against whatever forces stand ready to destroy Paradigm City. It’s a pretty simple concept on the surface, but like Evangelion, there’s plenty of symbolism, deep running metaphors, and philosophical questions that bring up new ideas with each viewing.
The show’s art direction was heavily influenced by Batman: The Animated Series, which is another thing I really liked about the show. It gave the characters a unique look among all the other anime at the time. Unfortunately the style doesn’t always translate well into 3D. Roger looks fantastic from certain positions and super awkward or deformed in others. I think it’s mostly because of how angular his body is. Dorothy doesn’t seem to have this problem since most of her surfaces are round.
Aside from the angles issue, Roger’s sculpt is very simple and spot-on. His tie and collar are a separate piece and tuck nicely into his bulky suit jacket. But like Dorothy’s dress, his jacket is made of a very soft and rubbery plastic. I’m curious to see how these pieces will age. I’m hoping they’ll be ok, but I have a sneaking suspicion they might start molting that white chemical dust after a few years. I hope I’m wrong though.
Roger’s paint job is almost non-existent since almost every piece of his body is molded in black. There are the terrific white accents to his suit, which stand out really well in pictures. Something I found really surprised is that the bottoms of his feet are painted brown, like real dress shoes. That’s a nice little touch. Something I was a bit disappointed in is that Roger’s skin tone is nearly the same as Dorothy’s. This is fine for Roger, but it just emphasizes even more that Dorothy needed to be made with more of a pale complexion. Continue to page 2…