By Loran

It’s no secret that I’m really not much of a fan of Gundam SEED, but once again that’s a discussion for another time. Time to talk about another kit, and you know, I have to say the first SEED series had some really underappreciated grunts, and it’s a REAL shame that only three got High Grades under the massive flood of Gundams. Sure, a lot of them had those cheesy no-grade kits, but those things are barely poseable, hard-to-paint, and just don’t look that good. It’s a damn shame we wouldn’t get an alternate universe High Grade line with a lot of grunts until 00. I’ve almost always find the grunts cooler than the Gundams themselves, but that’s just me.

Every series has its Zaku equivalent, and the GINN would be SEED’s answer to that question. It’s not as creative as the Leo from Gundam Wing or Jenice from Gundam X, but it’s pretty cool in its own right, looking sort of like a Gelgoog crossed with a Zaku. It proves that you don’t really need to be a fresh design to be a decent design.

Unlike most grunt suits, this design has quite the colorful head. While it doesn’t have a crystal monoeye or anything, it has three colors and all of them are molded-no extra paint needed, making painting a lot easier if you’re painting the whole kit.

Torso is pretty much what you’d expect, with no real surprises, using the standard polycaps these kits had. There are no ball joints or anything, but that’s to be expected considering the joint system used. The waist doesn’t have a front skirt than can be split, but it does have ports to mount the sword and gun when not in use-very cool. The freaky wing backpack is mounted on a few polycaps, too, allowing a lot of movement for the wings and the backpack itself. Also cool!

Its arms are nothing out of the ordinary, although I do find myself liking how the upper arms were done-thanks to the design it doesn’t look off no matter which way the forearm is facing-any “unevenness” is barely noticeable.

But where this kit really shines is the legs-they’re so much fun! I don’t know exactly what it is but this kit has some of the best flexibility I’ve ever seen on a high grade kit. It’s seriously up there with the HGUC Zaku I, one of my all-time favorite kits. It even has a double-joint in the ankle, though it isn’t really necessary. It also has moving ankle armor, too, but that again, is another case of going beyond what they needed to. The icing on the cake? Well, my favorite Zaku weapon-leg missile pods! Yeah, and they’re much more stable than the HGUC Zaku’s, too.

The weapons are neat, too. You get the typical SEED-style beam rifle… machine gun thing (if it shoots beams why does it have a cli-you know, screw it. It’s SEED), and this REALLY awesome knight-like sword. Yeah, none of that wimpy beam saber crap, this is a REAL sword! Unfortunately it needs a lot of paint, but that’s not surprising.

With some neat weapons, great color distribution (two shades of white? The GM didn’t even have it that nice!) and lots of flexibility, the GINN is a winner on a ton of levels, which is really good considering how many variants Bandai put out-color variants, extra weapons, high mobility types, whatever. It’s a good kit, and honestly, if you were to take a grunt HG without caring about design, I’d suggest this over the HGUC Zaku II (I know, heresy). So check our shelves for this awesome kit or any of its variants. In the meantime, I gotta pick a cool color scheme for this guy-I’ve had him for seven years and I haven’t even touched him with a pen!

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