SH Figuarts Shadowmoon Review

By Loran

Kamen Rider villains are something you don’t see too often in the main SH Figuarts line. Early on, Bandai experimented by doing the gold, silver, and bronze Riders from the Kamen Rider Kabuto movie, and they all ended up being extreme shelfwarmers. I can understand why kids don’t always go for the villains, but it’s odd to see them not do too well in a toyline aimed exclusively at collectors. I guess Japan must not care as much.

Of course there are some villains that are classic, timeless, and awesome. Ones that deserve toys even more than their rivals. I of course, am talking about Shadowmoon, former friend turned worst enemy of Kamen Rider Black.

A few years ago, Shadowmoon was my first Kamen Rider toy. I bought the old Souchaku Henshin figure at New York Anime Festival back in 2007. I loved it. Of course, now that Figuarts are around, those old toys just don’t hold up, and upon hearing of a Figuarts Shadowmoon’s release, I sold it off to my friend along with my Black RX. And you know what? I don’t regret that decision at all.

Shadowmoon is a thing of beauty. The silver paint has a great shine to it that contrasts Black perfectly, almost like a yin and yang. I wish I still had my old Souchaku Henshin to contrast the two, but I can say that while this iteration may lack the diecast, the slimmer body and overall better proportions completely make up for it.

His articulation is good, but the armor on his elbows inhibits some of his articulation, and something about the slide-out hips on him don’t really do it for me. However, he does have a great ab crunch like Black, although it isn’t as loose or freeing.

I mentioned in Black’s review that his ankles don’t do much for me anymore, and this is why. This ankle style was first introduced on New Den-O, I believe, and I think they’re the best of all, lack of diecast aside. Instead of a hinge, these have a free balljoint that allows for poses that aren’t too stiff, but aren’t too loose either. I really wish more of the OOO guys had these… would’ve made my life a lot easier.

Shadowmoon doesn’t include much in terms of hands, just two open hands, two grabbing hands, and two fists. I suppose he doesn’t need many because he doesn’t have any signature poses, but more is always better, I think.

Unlike Black, Shadowmoon DOES come with accessories. He has a trio of swords, two similar knight swords (at different lengths) and a big saber. The knight swords both have molded detail inside them, making them look much better than your average beam saber. The saber is just plain cool, with the jewels on the hilt and shiny gold.

Really, if you’re going to be buying Kamen Rider Black, you need to get Shadowmoon. It’s only logical. He’s the definitive Kamen Rider villain, and one of my favorite villain archetypes: the equal rival. He just came out this past June, but the initial wave went quick, so you’re best off waiting for a reissue, which he still has plenty left. When that time comes, look for him at FPNYC!

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