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Toys / Busou Shinki

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Small, adorable, and fierce fighters

Busou Shinki is a line of female action figures produced by Konami from 2006-2012. The figures, called MMS ("Multi Moveable System") figures, are highly poseable and feature many interchangeable parts. Several body designs are available, but they are not all compatible with each other, even though they all use the same peg-sizes. Most figures consist of a basic body with add-on weapons and armor parts. Another type of release are the EX sets, which only consist of armor and weapons and require the buyer to already own a MMS body. Furthermore, blank bodies that include a stand are also sold for customization purposes or use with EX sets. Each figure stands about 15 cm tall, which amounts to 1:1 scale, as each Shinki is supposed to be a small robot.

Each figure includes a code that allows the figure to be unlocked in Konami's on-line Battle Rondo game and Diorama Studio. Each figure has been designed by a known Japanese artist.

Incidentally, this line of toys is the brainchild of Fumikane Shimada, who is also responsible for Sky Girls and Strike Witches.

The toys received two anime adaptations, the Busou Shinki Moon Angel downloadable episode in 2011 and the Busou Shinki TV series in Fall 2012.

Moon Angel covers the story of an Arnval MKII who was rescued and adopted by a boy, who then gave her the name Kaguya, naming her for the beautiful princess from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.

The toyline had a tied-in web browser game, Battle Rondo, which was later discontinued in favor of the Battle Masters series of Shinki games on the Sony PSP, and the original Arnval and Strarf MKI made appearances as guest playable characters in Otomedius, where they were portrayed as gynoids made by reverse-engineering alien technology.

As of late 2015, model kit manufacturer Kotobukiya has purchased the rights for Busou Shinki from Konami and has been working on modernized Shinki model kits of the original Arnval and Strarf MKI, with updated articulation and body structure based on the Machineca standard employed in Megami Device figures, which, in itself is an evolution of the MMS body-type. This new generation of Shinki adopted Koto's standardized 3mm pegs for weapons and accessories, as parts can now be interchanged between Kotobukiya's figure lineups, such as the original Frame Arms and their feminized Frame Arms Girls.

In late 2017, Konami made an announcement: they touted a revival of the Busou Shinki franchise, with several artists collaborating to design all-new Shinki. The aim, according to the project's slogan, is to "Re Arm, Re Boot, [and] Re Construct". Collaboration with Kotobukiya and a tie-in mobile game have been confirmed. By 2018, Kotobukiya announced the development of the B-Series Megami Device girls, who are basically Busou Shinki being built with the new Machineca bodytype, and started the lineup with all-new Shinki taken from the new mobile game.

Busou Shinki provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All There in the Manual: The boxes, online bios, wikis, and video games give us the official info. on the characters, including official personalities.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Xiphos is described as using a now ancient style of combat, making her an oddity in the battlefield. Same could be said about her traditionalist sister, Benio.
  • Badass Adorable: Considering that every character is a Robot Girl with a varying amount of weaponry, this trope is rather prevalent.
  • Badass Biker: Yda and Ach are of the speed bikes variety, and Estroil being of the kawasaki bike variant, and Jill Rivers is another biker.
  • Badass Preacher: Harmony Grace is a nun variant.
  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: Shinki are classed as Heavy, Balanced, High Mobility, Aerial Supremacy, and Support.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Even on 'blank' bodies, Shinki lack certain feminine attributes. Fanmade unofficial custom bodies, however, may possess them.
  • Battle Bikini: Some shinki wear skimpier clothes in their battle form than in their normal form, while others have a lot of exposed unpainted skin-tone plastic under their armor.
    • One such offender is Gabrine - in "normal" form, she already wears a short cut crop top with underboobs to match, and in "battle" form, a "top" that can best be describes as "pasties".
    • The Violin and Guitar Shinki, Sharatang and Baby Razz, have mostly skin-tone bodys with paint apps that suggest either swimwear or underclothes, as their armor is styled as clothing.
  • BFG: Several Shinki come with oversized guns, like Arnval MKI's beam rifle, which has a body-length greater than her height, and Fort Bragg's massive shoulder-mounted cannon. There's Artille as well, who comes with a large artillery cannon and a shoulder mount that can seat it.
  • BFS: Some of the melee-focused shinki have massive weapons. Tigris has a scissors blade sword designed for her large battle armor, while Strarf MKII and her Lavina repaint have a massive katana for theirs.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Murmeltier" is German for "Woodchuck". Because of this, Murmeltier's been given the nickname of "Panzer Voodchuck" by the english-speaking community.
  • Breast Expansion: In a manner of speaking. Several of the Shinki come with breastplate armor that can be swapped with their "unarmored" breastplates. For a number of Shinki, their Armored Breastplates are at least a cup size larger. Maryceles and Proxima, the Tentacles and Centaur Shinki, are two of the Shinki with this phenomenon. Ianeira, the Mermaid shinki, has massive breasts on her 'battle' breastplate, which according to the official profile are actually her flotation devices.
  • The Cameo: There's a rare shinki of Nagi Sanzenin from Hayate the Combat Butler, aptly named the "MMS Type Ojou", and an even rarer shinki of Aisaka Taiga from Toradora!, naturally named the "MMS Type Palmtop Tiger".
  • Canon Immigrant: Tsugaru is originally from beatmania.
  • Cat Fight: The premise of the games Battle Rondo and Battle Masters essentially.
  • Cat Girl: Maochao. There's also a ferret girl (Partio), a Tiger girl (Tigris), a Lynx girl (Artille), a dog girl (Howling), and a squirrel girl (Pomock). All of them are adorable.
  • Chef of Iron: Double - subverted with both Mirienda (MMS Spoon), and Kohiru (MMS Chopsticks). Both come with combat utensils - that can't be used as actual utensils. Doesn't mean they don't have Good recipes and cooking skills with ACTUAL utensils,though.
  • Combat Tentacles: An unusual example. Maryceles can use her tentacles as shields. Or as arms.
  • Combining Mecha: Several shinki 'wave sisters' have semi-official portrayals of their armor combined together into a larger two-toned mecha, like Vitillus and Tigris, and the Beetle Sister shinki.
  • Crack is Cheaper:
    • In the lore, a Shinki costs about the same as a high-end computer.
    • In-Universe Shinki Masters spend significant sums of money buying clothes and doll-sized furniture and props of all kinds for their Shinki. In the anime series, several Masters own holographic or VR kits for their Shinki to roleplay and hold sparring matches inside of, while other shinki show off nice clothes their Masters buy for them, and a Shinki owned by a JSDF personnel was given camping equipment and portable field charging hardware by her Master.
  • Crocodile Tears: MMS Calf Vitulus is regularly appearing in official art is crying. As shown in the third Battle Rondo opening, it's revealed that this is for setting up traps, when done in combat.
  • Cute Machines: Well, Cute Robot Girls. The MMS3rd Small Shinki and the Kemono Shinki designed by Blade are especially adorable.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Some of the themed armor.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Maryceles, MMS Type Tentacles, is themed after the creatures from the Cthulhu Mythos. Her bonnet can even be worn as a battle mask instead, and this is said to bring out the violent side of her personality.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: Sharatang, the Violin shinki. She is armed with a violin and has the motif of an elegant musician, with her performance hardware built into her sleek black/gold armor. which resembles an elegant dress.
  • Empathy Pet: Maochao, Howling, etc.
  • Evil Twin: The Dengkei exclusives of Eukrante, Ianeira, Arnval, and Strarf (well, more like good twin, but whatever), as well as Arnval MK. II Tempesta, Strarf Mk. II Ravina, Altines, and Zielbellen.
  • Expy: Xiphos. Blond chick in silver armor over a blue dress and wielding a sword? Where have we seen that before?
  • Floral Theme Naming: Flower and Seed Type.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Some of the Shinki sport this hairstyle, such as Lirbiete, Strarf, and Valona.
  • Gratuitous German: Panzer Type Murmeltier note .
  • Green Thumb: Both Zaryadarya and Juvisy fight using unusual bio-weaponry, described as seeming alien to anyone not familiar with their models. Parodied, in that Zarydarya has been known to activate peoples allergies to pollen.
  • Hell Hound: Gabrine, who sports a spiked collar on her alternate chestplate and has a hellhound-themed helmet. She even has a pair of hellhound-headed gauntlets, which, true to her motif, have their own subprocessors and sensors, allowing her greatly-enhanced reflexes when battling.
  • Hot as Hell: Type-SUCCUBUS Valona. Her headgear and flightpack have a bat-wings motif, and her primary breastplate has cleavage while her secondary breastplate has underboobs. Her close-combat fighting technique is even described as looking like she jumps/crawls into her opponent's arms!
  • Idol Singer: Schmetterling, who has a butterfly motif and is armed with a microphone and stand. She comes with a robot dog drone that has nuclear symbols plastered on it and can be transformed into weapons for her.
  • Improbable Weapon User: There's a whole category on Battle Rondo and roleplay wikis for special weaponry that shinki can use. Such include bio-weaponry, music, and more.
  • Japanese Beetle Sisters: Lancamento and Espadia. Both armor sets form their own beetles (Rhinoceros Beetle for Lancamento and Stag Beetle for Espadia.) and can also combine together to form a beetle themed robot.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Most of the Japanese-themed characters. Strarf MKII in particular has a giant Japanese-styled sword that she can wield with the massive hands of her Armor.
  • Kitsune: Renge. Her 'nine tails' are made of swords, and she has large ears and expressive eyes, as well as facial markings remiscient of some Japanese kami portrayals in traditional art. To complete her 'gatekeeper fox' motif, one of her breastplates has a Shinto shrine gate moulded into her collar, and she can be rather strict when scolding the player in the Battle Rondo web game.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Xiphos, who comes with a full suit of plate armor and a variety of weapons, including her large knightsword, several sidearm blades, and a polearm/lance.
  • Laser Blade: A number of the Shinki, like both the MKI and MKII Arnvals, have these. The Vic Viper Sisters Lirbiete and Vivietta come with beam sword blade attachments for their transforming armor.
  • Little Bit Beastly: About half of the line, usually with Unusual Ears either using armor pieces or hair.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: All of them.
  • Mons: The entire premise of the line.
  • More Dakka: Some shinki come with Gatling or machine guns.
  • Miko: Asuka.
  • Musical Assassin: Sharatang is a classical musician who can put a whole town to sleep with her music, while Baby Razz, her younger sister, utilizes The Power of Rock.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Some shinki figures have extra arms for holding weapons attached to their armor, such as Starf models. Special mention goes to Maryceles, who has four extra hands.
  • Mythology Gag: Tsugaru listening to music during the 2nd opening of "Battle Rondo". See Canon Immigrant, up above.
  • Ninja: Fubuki and Mizuki.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A number of Shinki combine multiple archetypes of character design into a single package. For example, Asuka is a Miko, a fighter pilot ace, and her own plane at the same time.
  • Our Angels Are Different / Our Demons Are Different: Arnval and Strarf (Type Angel and Type Devil, respectively) are the very first examples any Shinki fan could think of, although a few other figures use a similar theme.
  • Painted-On Pants: Or very tight body suit. The most famous example is Graffias, MMS Type Scorpion, whose outfit can be generously described as "Duct tape". There are also the exclusive swimsuit bodies for Arnval MKII, Strarf MKII, Athlene, and Altines, which were made as a tie-in for the TV series anime, and the exclusive repaint Summer Swimsuit variants of Oorbellen Lunaria and Zielbellen Amethyst, all of whom have essentially skin-tone Blank bodies that have had their swimwear painted on.
  • Palette Swap: About half of the exclusives are recolors of regular releases.
  • Putting on the Reich: Murmeltier again, as she's based on a German tank. Yet no one can explain why her uniform's jet black color scheme reminds them of the Waffen SS that much.
  • The Power of Rock: Baby Razz, Type Electric Guitar. She's armed with a guitar that has a switchblade built into it, and has speakers as part of her battle armor.
  • Robot Maid: Strarf MKII Lavina invokes the look of a meido, with her black-and-white armor pattern and a neat little red tie on her breastplate.
  • Royal Rapier: Subverted with both MMS fencer shinki. Instead, they use long swords and shields.
  • Samurai: Benio. Her armor even comes with a fearsome battle mask.
  • Santa Claus: Tsugaru, whose armor is red with white stripes. Her weapons can combine into a sleigh.
  • School Swimsuit: Two of the blank MMS bodies are essentially this, being featured in blue and white.
  • Seashell Bra: Ianeira.
  • Sensual Spandex: Without nipples or camel toe, but if Konami could have gotten away with it...
  • Shed Armor, Gain Speed: Xiphos and Benio are both described as being able to switch between heavier and lighter armor at will, in order to choose between defense and speed.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lirbiete and Vivietta, the Vic Viper Sisters, are themed after the player's ships in Gradius.
    • MMS Type KNIGHT Xiphos, with her blue armor, longsword, and blonde hair tied up, bears a significant resemblence to Saber.
    • Artille's black repaint, with the missile pack and railgun attached in a particular fashion and her helmet visor down in combat mode, has more than a passing resemblence to some of the Metal Gears.
  • Showgirl Skirt: Maryceles's tentacles can be adjusted to waist height and fanned out in this fashion.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: As many of the Shinki were released in pairs wave by wave, they are often collectively considered to be 'wave sisters' by the fandom. As such, they usually have some manner of contrast, like Arnval and Strarf being angel and devil shinki, Maochao and Howling being the cat and dog shinki, Benio and Xiphos being the Samurai and Knight shinki, Vervietta and Lirbiete being the Vic Viper and Lord British, Werkstra and Valona being the Angel Cop and Succubus, Oorbellen and Zielbellen being the White and Black Swan jewelled fencers, and so on.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: There's lot of this going on, most notably Arnval MKI and her signature massive beam rifle.
  • Stripperiffic: As a side effect of having the in-series conceit that Shinki treat any clothing they receive as "armor", their unarmored paintjobs can sometimes be revealing by human standards.
    • Graffias, the Scorpion shinki, has a mostly skintone body with rather scant purple markings that resemble a skimpy exotic dancer's outfit.
    • Ianeria, the Mermaid shinki, has a rather scant green paintcoat that either suggests swimwear or mermaid scales.
    • Sharatang and Baby Razz, the Violin and Guitar shinki, have basic paintjobs that suggest swimwear or underclothes, as their armor is basically clothing.
    • Gabrine and Renge, the Hellhound and Kitsune shinki, have a lot of skintone plastic exposed, and their battle breastplates show even more skin.
    • The limited edition Oorbellen Lunaria and Zielbellen Amethyst, being both Light Armor shinki and a special swimsuit variant of the Jewelled Black/White Swan Fencers, have mostly-skintone torsos with just their swimsuits painted on.
  • Super-Intelligence: Of the "Exceptional Perception" variety; Gabrine's described in her official bio as having 3 separate processing units, so as to enable hyper processing. In theory, this should also make her of the "Manipulator Extraordinaire" variety. In practice, she prefers to just mow down the enemy with as many bullets as possible.
  • Temporary Online Content: The online game Battle Rondo had several online-only shinki parts, none of which were made available in real life. It also had a free diorama to play in, also gone.
  • This Is a Drill: Maochao's armor set comes with a drill as one of its weapons.
  • Tin Man: Justice, one of the last made shinki, if not the last period, was designed to be a much more emotionless fighter than the rest, going off design. In practice, she more The Comically Serious.
  • Token Mini-Moe: The MMS 3rd Small body type invokes this image, with the 1st and 3nd Tall body types being One Head Taller (MMS 2nd is dedicated to licensed characters, the sole difference from 1st being that they lack a modular chestpiece design that would allow for hotswapping).
  • Transforming Mecha: Several armor sets, like the ones belonging to the Vic Viper Sisters and the convertible trike/quad vehicle-armor sets of Ach and Yda.
  • Tsundere: Several shinki are described in their profiles as having difficult personalities in various ways, yet they can still make loyal and loving partners if cared for.
  • Underboobs: Several Shinki, for example the Succubus Shinki Valona, sport this.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The Battle Rondo browser game allowed you to customize your virtual shinki quite extensively, and included something like a creative mode to let you run wild with your imagination.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: Given the figure line's lack of characterization and backstories, each shinki gets different weapons to set them apart. Battle Rondo allowed you to give unique ones to your shinki. These ranged from things like large missiles and hand grenades, to swords and scythes, to boomerangs and boxing gloves, to.... Feathers, a silver fork, and an ordinary pen?