The MG Aile Strike RM received a lot of praise and a pretty decent score when reviewed several months ago. Of course, when that released speculation was rampant about there being a Strike Rouge RM and, no surprise to anyone, it was announced very quickly along with the news that it would come with a different backpack. So how does the new Strike and its new backpack, the Ootori, measure up compared to the Aile and the rest of the Master Grades? Let’s find out.
Overall Look: 9/10
It looks just like the other Strike!
Of course, there is a big difference; the backpack whose name can be translated as ‘Big Bird’ and indeed it is big.
That’s quite the difference and makes the Rouge look completely different from the Aile. Both have their own unique look and they both look great.
I gave the Aile a bit of grief for being standard colors so I gotta give the Rouge props for being completely different from what we’re used to seeing. The pink, more pink, and red work really well together and there’s even some yellow thrown in there though that comes in the form of stickers. More on that later.
Again the Rouge scores higher here thanks to that giant sword that is included which begs the question, why no Grand Slam with the Aile Strike’s release? The Sword is pretty cool and comes with its own effect part.
To get it on you have to remove the plastic part at the tip and set the effect part in place before putting the tip back on.
I’m reversing the trend here and actually putting the articulation of the Rouge and backpack one point lower than that of the Aile Strike. The Ootori is significantly larger and heavier and that affects its ability to pose. There’s also one thing that bugged me about the Aile Strike that bugs me here on the Rouge as well; the side skirts.
When posing the kit, this is pretty much how you’ll find the side skirts the majority of the time. The side skirts for both kits are designed so they are two segments that pivot where they connect. Unfortunately, that pivot point hangs below the point of connection to the skirt frame so when you move the leg it presses up underneath the side skirts at a point where the pivot cannot compensate and pop, off it comes.
It bugs me. But if you aren’t worried about the side skirts you can leave them off and get some sweet poses.
Like the Aile I expect the poly-caps to weaken and then he will succumb to the gravity acting on the big Ootori backpack, but until then he stands pretty solidly. Even with that giant sword on it’s back.
Build Design: 9/10
In the ways the Aile Strike was solid so is the Rouge so nothing really needs to be said about the Mobile Suit itself but we can take a moment to talk about the Ootori. It’s basically a giant jet fighter complete with weapons.
When have I ever not liked extra weapons on my gundams?
When not mounted on the Rouge the Ootori is free to fly around with its wings either open or closed, X-Wing Fighter-style, and when the time comes to slap it on the back of Mr. MS it’s a simple, painless transformation. Even the top stabilizer can move.
That huge sword mounts securely to the back of the kit and is in no danger of falling off.
It actually takes a bit of concentrated effort to remove it once it’s on.
There is an aspect of the Ootori which I would normally rant about when it comes to MG but in this case I can’t. That’s right, those yellow stickers.
The yellow trim on the Ootori is so fine that I don’t see it being a plausible option for Bandai to design the backpack using plastic parts for the yellow. It would take a whole new design for the wings and probably double the amount of parts for that section of the kit. Once the stickers are put in their proper places they actually look pretty good, but in some areas I’m already started to see ends lift off. I guess you can’t have your Gundam stickerless-plastic-model cake and eat it too.
Fun Factor: 8/10
Dadada da, da da, dandada.
As cool as the Ootori (and the giant sword) is/are, I can’t say I had the same enjoyment with this kit as I did with the Aile Strike. Of course, that’s because when it comes to the Mobile Suit part I’m building the exact same thing again. They do give you an extra runner of darker parts for some of the Rouge frame (which actually draws out the build a little as you’re flipping through an extra runner among your batch as you assemble) but that ‘hey, cool, neato’ sentiment wasn’t really found with the Strike Rouge RM. But don’t think I’m bagging on this kit because it’s still a good kit and feels quite modern, if I can use that word.
You get a stand!
Okay, it’s not as cool as the one that came with the Aile Strike but I would argue that a stand is more necessary for a kit like the Rouge/Ootori than it is for the Aile Strike. The backpack is so large and heavy that to get the most out of the Rouge you’ll need to have it attached. Sure, it can stand on its own when it’s all decked out…
…but with a backpack like this this kit just needs to be flying.
It connects to the stand quite simply, yet securely, and is even kind of hidden behind the nose of the Ootori when it is folded underneath.
It does lean a little too far forward for my liking and you’ve no way to adjust it but that’s a minor gripe.
The Rouge also comes with a huge amount of markings, just like the Aile Strike.
And I’m happy to report that Bandai has, perhaps realizing the error of their ways, announced a new batch of waterslides that will be hitting stores in the upcoming months. These include markings for the Rouge but it looks like they’ll be coming as a set for that kit and the Aile Strike. Two birds with one stone, there. They’re also releasing waterslides for some of the RG kits that have been released in the past few months or more, and are even going back further and giving us decals for older Wing kits (Epyon, Shen Long, Heavy Arms, etc). Nice!
If you’re a fan of the Rouge you’ll like the kit and the Ootori definitely adds to the experience. I’m curious if we’ll see some other Strike RM variations in the near future but until then I’ve got a Rouge play around with.