What’s up everybody? I’m Geddy Cahoon. You might remember me from such fundraisers as Out with Gout ’88 and Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House! Today I’ve got something a little different from my typical wrestling/TV based articles – an action figure (More accurately, a statue) review! I’ve dabbled in this sort of thing before, but never on PTVP. I wanted to kick off what I hope to be a semi-regular feature with a review of something from the group of toys that I consider the pride and joy of my collection – a One Piece Portrait of Pirates statue, courtesy of the folks at Megahouse. The statue in question? Blackbeard Pirates member and all around creep, Shiliew of the Rain.
So here’s how these reviews will typically go down. I break the figure down into 4 categories:
Paint, accessories, sculpt, articulation and value. Pretty simple, really. In this case however, articulation won’t be factored. 8 out of 10 One Piece statues don’t feature any articulation, so it’s hardly fair to judge ol’ Shiliew on that front.
With that out of the way, I can’t help but give a little back story on Shiliew before I get into the actual review. Sorry, I just love talking One Piece.
Shiliew of the Rain showed up about 4 years ago during One Piece‘s Impel Down arc. He was introduced as the former Head Guard of Impel Down, the undersea prison that all the baddies in the One Piece world get sent to. Shiliew lost his position, however, when it was found out that he had been torturing and slaughtering prisoners for his own amusement. Luffy storms Impel Down, causing a massive breakout, and head warden Magellan decides to free Shiliew temporarily, as Shiliew’s power will be useful in quelling the uprising of the prisoners, cruel and obviously unhinged as he may be.
Shiliew, upon being freed, immediately slaughters the guards who freed him, and goes on his merry way. He meets with the Blackbeard Pirates a few times, at one point saving their lives, and eventually joining them. His rationale behind becoming a pirate is that he believes strongly in fate, and that fate brought he and Blackbeard together. Eiichiro Oda has not specified Shiliew’s rank within Blackbeard’s crew, but it can be assumed from his implied power level (It’s stated that he could have easily taken down the entire Blackbeard crew himself had he chosen to) that he is the first mate.
Though Shiliew has only been seen a handful of times, the decision to make him into a POP is not an odd one. He is a visually striking character with a compelling personality – Though One Piece has its share of villains, Shiliew is one of a kind. Typically a One Piece villain has some sort of master plan or goal to reach, and their cruelty comes as a result of that. Shiliew is simply pure, malicious, sadistic evil, with no real goal other than to inflict pain. And it’s implied that he’s extremely skilled at doing so. I’m sure I’m not alone in being excited for his eventual duel down the line with the Straw Hats’ swordsman, Zoro.
Anyway, I find Shiliew to be an incredibly compelling character, and I’m sure the more we see of him the more my interest in him will grow. But what about what you actually came here for, the statue itself? Does it line up with it’s fellow POPs as ridiculously amazing, or is it Megahouse’s sole flop? Let’s find out!
Seriously, this sculpt is just… Perfect. Portrait of Pirates is a premium, high end statue line for diehard fans of One Piece and that sentiment is reflected in most of the sculpts that Megahouse produces, but this Shiliew sculpt is still almost unbelievably amazing.
As you can see, Shiliew is sculpted in a crouching position, his blade at the ready. Typically with POP’s I prefer more neutral poses, but I actually really enjoy Shiliew’s dynamic positioning. It gives him character, as a neutral pose combined with his somewhat drab color scheme and flowing clothes would render him a bit boring. But the most beautiful piece of this figure, the thing that ultimately earns Shiliew a perfect score, is the face.
I mean GOD. DAMN. Is that not the coolest face you’ve ever seen? I just can’t get over how awesome Shiliew’s face is. The obnoxiously large nose, the Jay Leno chin, the absence of any sort of eyebrows or hair, the mysteriously curved eye, the excessively large lips… Eiichiro Oda designs some crazy characters but something about Shiliew’s face just makes me giddy, and Megahouse has created a rendition that is literally perfect. The expression just conveys such unbelievable malice and evil, but a hint of casualty. And I love the heavy-lidded look of the eyes. The detailing on this figure is also insane. From the creases on his boots to the buttons on his chest, everything is fully sculpted and realized.
The prison coat on Shiliew’s back is also expertly sculpted. It features a billowy look, adding to the overall dynamic feel of motion that the figure conveys. One complaint I’ve heard is that due to the aforementioned billow effect, one of the coat’s arms is covering the kanji on the back. I’ll admit it bothers me a bit but… You’re never really gonna see him from that angle on the shelf anyway, so who cares.
Shiliew’s base also falls into the sculpt category. It’s a standard POP base. Nothing to write home about. However, it is unbelievably large. It’s the largest POP base I’ve ever seen. I wish it was a bit smaller, but I guess they had to sculpt it relative to the size of Shiliew himself, and even crouching, he’s a pretty wide, tall figure.
At the end of the day, there’s not a bad thing to say about Shiliew’s sculpt. Megahouse tends to hit home runs with its sculpts, but this one is a grand slam (Substitute a sports analogy of your choice here). The dynamic pose, the perfectly translated face, the effects on the clothing… Everything here just works so damn well.
There’s honestly not really a ton to say in this category. These are hand painted statues, and it shows. There is a teeny bit of slop on the brim of Shiliew’s hat, but I couldn’t get a great picture of it.
The slop is hardly noticeable, and perhaps I’m just being nitpicky but I think that it warrants taking a point off. I mean these are premium figures. They shouldn’t feature ANY slop. Anways, everything else on Shiliew is well painted, if a bit drab. As you saw in some earlier photos, the golds and the reds on his uniform look great and stand out perfectly against the dark, steely blue colors of the outfit. The skin tone is also amazingly realistic, and the paint on his teeth and inside his mouth is surprisingly well done for such a tight spot. It’s hard to complain even about the figure’s one blemish when everything else paint wise is just executed so perfectly.
Most POP’s come with a multitude of accessories, and Shiliew is no exception. He features his sword, an extra set of arms, not one but two cigars, and an exquisite looking sheath for said sword. Oh and the cloak also counts.
Shiliew’s sword is the real highlight of the accessories. The way it works is a bit odd though. This is piece number one of the sword:
Basically, this goes on the end of the sword’s handle. The reason for this is that the handle actually fits very snugly into Shiliew’s hand, and it actually wouldn’t fit if this piece was molded on to the handle. Thus the fix is that you snap this thing on to the handle yourself after sliding the sword into Shiliew’s hand. This can be a teeny bit tough, as the sword is fragile and you need to apply some measure of force to get the gold bit on. Once it’s on it stays on, but it requires some measure of caution. Once added it creates a pretty phenomenal looking sword, and putting the sword in the beautiful sheath just makes it look that much cooler.
Shiliew also features two cigars. They’re small pieces, so it was good of Megahouse to include an extra, assuming you lose one. There’s no discernible difference between the two. Similar to the gold end of the sword, a little force must be applied to get the cigar in between Shiliew’s teeth, but once it’s there it isn’t going anywhere.
Although I previously stated that most POP’s feature no articulation, that was more of a half truth. Shiliew, as with most POP’s, does have a ball jointed neck. It allows for a pretty reasonable range of motion, but it does have a tendency to pop off if you’re too rough with it. Ultimately, it’s a nice feature that adds some more dimension to an already amazing figure. You can really amp up the already dynamic look of the figure just by turning his head.
Shiliew’s alternate arms are also super cool. Before I get into that however, there are two odd things about this figure vs. other POP’s, and they both kinda fall into the accessory category. First up is Shiliew’s arm situation. Typically, POP’s with changeable limbs or hands feature large white pegs that insert into gaps on the torso or arm. Shiliew breaks that trend by featuring this:
Two silver, LEGO like pegs that plug into holes in his torso. On one hand, this makes both putting in and removing the arms much easier, and also works to prevent paint chipping and flaking. On the other hand, the fit is not nearly as snug. The arms are a tad bit wobbly, and while they don’t fall out unprovoked, excessive moving of the figure will cause them to fall. It’s not really a huge problem for me since I have my POP’s stationary on a bookshelf, but it’s something to be wary of. Anyway, the alternate arms are actually really cool. They serve to make it appear as though Shiliew is reaching for his deadly blade, about to unsheathe it.
From one angle, it’s quite a cool pose. The look of his right arm is a bit odd, but I love the incorporation of the awesome looking sheath. My only real issue is that his left hand can’t actually reach the sheath and grasp it, although it’s clearly supposed to be able to. It only looks awkward from a certain angle though, and with him facing forward on the shelf it’s not a big issue.
Like I said, it’s overall a minor issue and these accessories do nothing but enhance Shiliew’s look and value. This figure though, features one drawback. I noted earlier the sheer size of Shiliew and his base. That extends to his cloak. The cloak extends extremely far back and is also an extraordinarily heavy piece. As such, it tends to slope off of Shiliew’s shoulders. Megahouse’s solution? A teeny little plastic stand, it’s own little separate piece, that holds the cloak steady.
I’m not sure what to say here. I love the cloak and I love the look of it. Thus I appreciate Megahouse leaving it in this form, even if the fix is a bit unorthodox. However, this little piece makes an already obtrusive figure even more massive. I barely had enough space on my shelf for Shiliew, and this little piece makes it even worse. It actually sits in between two other figures, holding the cloak up as the cloak almost brushes up against my Bartholomew Kuma POP. I guess at the end of the day though, the little stand is a necessary evil. I don’t want Shiliew’s cloak to slope.
Like I said, the accessories packaged with Shiliew are amazing, and they just serve to make an already amazing figure even cooler.
I got Shiliew for $89.99 with free shipping. That was an absurdly low price for a figure this great. Typically he’ll run you about 100-130 bucks, and he’s honestly worth it. Always look for a great deal when buying high end figures like this, but be wary of bootleggers. There are an innumerable amount of bootleg POP’s floating around. On eBay, bootleggers have to admit that they’re selling bootlegs, so there you’re safe. But other sites are not so strict. When shopping for Shiliew, be wary of anything below 90 bucks, and don’t even take your chances with anything less than 70.
What else can I really say about Shiliew? I’ve been collecting One Piece figures for about 4 years now, and I own some of the coolest POP’s available. Honestly, after purchasing Shiliew and getting a good look at him, he’s a contender for my favorite POP ever. He’s just the perfect combo of great accessories and a dynamite sculpt. He’s a figure that definitely feels worth whatever you pay for him. It’s amazing to me that we can get such an incredible figure of a character who, at the moment, is so vague and underexposed.
Shiliew is an unbelievable statue, and I’m tempted to call him Megahouse’s best work. If you’re a fan of One Piece or POP’s, you need this. There’s no argument. Though Shiliew will take up an absurd amount of space on your shelf, he’ll look kickass doing it. And he looks pretty kickass when placed with his captain.
Well, that’s it for today! Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), friend me on Facebook (Geddy Cahoon QWN) and follow me on Twitter (@stupidbeard414) to talk action figures, One Piece, articles or whatever! I hope this can be a semi-regular thing here on PTVP, so until next time: Let’s all keep collecting action figures well beyond the age it’s generally considered socially acceptable! Thanks for reading!