UPDATE: Bandai Spirits has released better CG renders of the HG 1/72 Kenbu along with what I think is the official English translation of Kyoukai Senki, that being AMAIM: Warrior at the Borderline. (via bandaihobby on Instagram)
At the same time that the upcoming Kyoukai Senki anime was announced, Bandai Spirits revealed the tie-in model kits. These will 1/72 scale High Grade kits and I’m guessing these will be along the height of your standard High Grade Gunpla.
To those unfamiliar, Sunrise Beyond is one of the studios under Sunrise who worked on Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE and was formerly known as Xebec. Most of the staff worked on other mecha series, including all entries in the Fafner franchise. That said, Kyoukai Senki would be their first anime-original production as Sunrise Beyond.
As mentioned in the anime reveal, the mechanical designs will be supervised by Ken Okuyama Design. Other mechanical designers onboarded include familiar names like Kanetake Ebikawa (Full Metal Panic, Gundam 00), Kenji Teraoka (Code Geass, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), and Ippei Gyoubu (GUNDAM Reconguista in G, Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans).
The humanoid machines in this world are called AMAIMs and our protagonist is using Kenbu, which is a special type of AMAIMs called MAILeS that have AI embedded in its systems. At first glance, it does look more realistic albeit a little blocky. It will be interesting to see how this moves in animation.
Now let’s talk about the model kits. We’ve got a taste of how Bandai Spirits translates Ken Okuyama-designed mecha with the HG Gundam G40 but this looks totally different. You will notice how the elbow and knee assembles are unconventional. They are mainly single-axis hinge joints attached on the sides, allowing a great range of circular movement. The same is true with how the hands are attached. It also looks color accuracy can be easily done via smart parts separation, though that head would likely need some paint work.
In any case, this is an interesting design and I am definitely looking forward to building one, and watching the anime as well. Kyoukai Senki is scheduled to premiere this autumn.
HG 1/72 Kenbu