Of all the characters in the One Piece mythos I never expected to like, Golden Shiki would be toward the top of the list. In general I find shonen anime movie villains to be some of the weakest and most unmemorable characters from a series. But Golden Lion Shiki totally me completely off-guard with the combination of his wacky sense of humor and his top-tier Devil Fruit abilities. Not only do I like Golden Shiki–he’s one of my absolute favorite One Piece villains. So when Banpresto created a Shiki figure for their One Piece DX Grandline Men figure line, buying it was a no-brainer. Now that I’ve had time to open and appreciate him, I’m pretty glad that I did…
I was actually really surprised to take the One Piece Grandline Men Shiki figure out of the box and discover that he comes broken into five pieces: his upper torso, lower torso, two swords, and base. I’m just so used to the Bandai One Piece Figuarts Zero line that it never occurred to me that Shiki would come with some assembly required. I was concerned that since he comes apart, Shiki would have very blatant and ugly seam lines on his body. Luckily, he doesn’t–the proud pirate Captain looks completely natural when assembled, and the fact that he comes in chunks has no detrimental effects on his visual appeal.
To me, the biggest and most important factor of any One Piece figure’s appearance is their head and facial sculpt. The body can be the most ornately-decorated and well-done in the world, but if the head isn’t right, then it’s simply not the character. And the Golden Lion Shiki Grandline Men FX figure has one awesome head sculpt. It perfectly captures Shiki’s personality, an amalgam or crudeness, confidence, and wackiness (perhaps with just a little bit of insanity in the mix as well).
The other thing that I particularly love about this One Piece Grandline Men Golden Shiki figure is how great his long hair looks on his back. The sculpting on all the hard angles of his hair is truly impressive considering just how much hair Shiki has. It just looks cool and it sort of makes me want to position Shiki with his back facing me as he stares down Luffy or another of the Straw Hat Pirates.
Shiki’s twin swords aren’t really anything I was excited about (or even thinking about) when I ordered this figure, but the word Banpresto did on these is golden (no pun intended). The paint deco on his swords has a great textured look to it that adds a lot of depth and realism to the swords and really sets them apart from any other One Piece figure swords I have. Shiki looks very out-of-place when not holding the swords, so it’s a huge win that they came out looking so nice.
The base for Shiki is just that–a base. It’s a black oval without any text or logos, unlike the Figuarts Zero One Piece Bandai line. I actually prefer a less-distracting base, and it does its job well, which is all I really care about in a base.
Seeing as how this is likely the only Shiki figure that Banpresto is ever going to make in the Grandline Men line, I would have strongly preferred Shiki with his swords for legs. We only see Shiki with human legs in the story for a short time, and he has his swords for the entirety of the Strong World movie. I understand the challenges of designing a Shiki figure with swords for legs that can stand stably, but that in my opinion is the iconic Shiki that Banpresto should have captured here.
One Piece Grandline Men Shiki was released in summer 2012 by Banpresto, and is still available from a lot of online retailers. Mine came from Amazon, where Shiki is still available for retail price with no tax and free shipping as of writing.
Overall: Though I was a little dubious about my first foray into the Banpresto One Piece DX Grandline Men line, Golden Shiki turns out to be a terrific figure and a great first Grandline Men entry for me. The paint applications are stellar and his facial sculpt is loaded with personality. He fits in well with the Bandai Figuarts Zero line, and is a well-made and sturdy figure. I would have preferred a Golden Lion Shiki with swords for legs, but other than that, I’ve no real complaints about this figure. If you’re a fan of the One Piece Strong World Film or just Golden Shiki in general, this figure is highly-recommended and a must-have.