Thursday, May 28, 2015
Square Enix Transforms the Predator into an Oni Demon
Back in 2011, Sideshow Collectibles released a Samurai Predator figure as part of its Alien vs. Predator line. As the figure's name suggests, the design mixed together the Predator's usual appearance with Samurai armor into something that, as I commented earlier, "look(s) like a monster that came straight from ancient Japanese folklore." Fast-forward to 2015 and Square Enix will be releasing a new Predator figure as part of its Play Arts Kai line that combines the movie monster's appearance with something from another area of ancient Japanese culture: oni.
According to Wikipedia, "Oni are a kind of yokai from Japanese folklore, variously translated as demons, devils, ogres or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theatre. ... Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes. Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common. ... They are often depicted wearing tiger-skin loincloths and carrying iron clubs called kanabo. This image leads to the expression 'oni with an iron club', that is, to be invincible or undefeatable."
With that in mind, the Play Arts Variant Predator has all the hallmarks of a classic oni. It is colored predominantly in red, and it includes a horned helmet and a bone-like club. Between the Samurai Predator and this new Variant Predator, I'm hoping that we'll get at least one Predator movie--either live-action or anime--that's set in Japan.
The Play Arts Variant Predator will be released in September and will cost about $122.