I know I must be getting old because it seems like this year just flew by, and it looks like I’m doing the final 2011 review. Surprise, it’s an import! I’m a little behind on Gokaiger reviews, so I’ll get Gokai Blue in before next year begins.
The second Gokaiger figure to be made in the SH Figuarts line is Gokai Blue, Joe Gibken. Joe was once a loyal soldier for the evil Space Empire Zangyack. Under the tutelage of his master and fellow soldier Sid, Joe became an expert swordsman. His nearly unrivaled abilities led him to be quickly promoted to Zangyack’s Special Forces.
On his first mission Joe failed his duties in disgrace when he refused orders to kill a group of children and instead physically fought his commander until the kids could escape. Joe was imprisoned and beaten for his actions until Sid freed him, eventually sacrificing his own life so that Joe could escape. But with a tracking collar around his neck, Joe was constantly on the run from his Zangyack executioners.
Desperately outmanned and fighting for his life against a Zangyack unit, that’s when Captain Marvelous (Gokai Red) found him. Together they defeated the Gormin foot soldiers and Marvelous even risked his life removing Joe’s tracking collar. In return, Marvelous asked for Joe to join his crew and help him search out “the greatest treasure in the universe.”
As an aside, Joe eventually learns that Sid was captured and experimented on. A Zangyack scientist removed his personality, emotions, and memories, but leaving his expert swordsmanship abilities intact. Now he’s a nearly unstoppable cyborg known as Barizorg, and personal bodyguard of the Zangyack Prince.
One thing that really bothers me about this line is its lack of enemies. Part of what makes Power Rangers interesting is the unlimited amounts of creative villains. What else are my super-articulated Rangers supposed to fight? Characters like Barizorg or the Gormin soldiers would make fantastic figures, and I really hope Bandai gets on the bad-guy ball soon. End aside.
We’ve seen most of Joe’s sculpt already with Marvelous’ figure. Basically everything from the neck down is the same composition. It’s still a great sculpt, which looks entirely accurate, but we’ve seen it before. And we’re going to see it again with Gokai Green’s figure. The one piece that is entirely new is Joe’s helmet. Each helmet has its own unique visor design that adds a bit of personality to the figure. The angular look of Joe’s visor makes him look much more serious somehow. Or maybe that’s just me projecting the character’s personality onto the mask. Continue to page 2…