Ban is the second Saint we actually see during the anime, moments after a first shot of Jabu of Unicorn, whome he seems to be beating up fiercely, only to have the battle reversed. Ban then is seen to get up again... and we shift to Pegasus Seiya.
One of the 5 `other bronze saints`, Ban has a very limited role in both the manga and the anime, the major difference being he actually has one or two lines in the anime before their arrival at the fallen Athena near Sanctuary, while in the manga this became a tongue in cheeck joke.
Ban's Bronze Cloth represent the constellation Leo Minor, and is made in the form of a small Lion. The constellation Leo Minor has no mythology associated to it, despite its relation to the constellation Leo.
The Anime version differs to slightly from the original, as the shoulder pads have been modified into claws, the headpiece is the face of a lion (which in the manga is visible when the Lionet Cloth is assembled and not being worn) and leg armors has appeared.
Rather than simply reproducing the image of a small lion, Masami Kurumada designed the Lionet Cloth resembling the mythical Koma-Inu, from Japanese Shinto folklore, also known in Chinese folklore as Shishi or Fo lion. This is noticeable when the Lionet Cloth is not being worn by Ban and assembled.
His cloth is one of the more rarer to find, clocking of on average at just under 100 euros on eBay excluding shipping. However, I got lucky and found one in... native Belgium of all places and including shipping only costed me 64 euros, a bargain for an anime deprived - all the stores now have been closed, so we have to make due with the internet and the occassional limited stock in the local comic shops - `metropolis` of Antwerp.
Now the model itself is a simple design shared by most earlier bronze saints, without to many fancy thingies and no gross mistakes. The chestbelt, arms and legs are in metal, the other parts are plastic pieces, and it assembles without to much puzzling. The feet have been sculpted into the armour pieces, so no twiddly attachments to add there!
It is a deep rich orange in colouring, and I kinda like the facial sculpt, comming close to the anime depiction including a wide, confident grin reflecting his brave, lionesque attitude. Not much to say actually about the kit honestly...
I think Bandai did a nice job on the `little lion`, an often overlooked Saint in favour of `that other kitty` in the series, but a worthwhile addition to any collection, especcially if you can manage to get hold of him at a discount! I`d rate him the baseline score of 3 out of 5, nothing wrong with the model, but I fear that his destiny on collection shelves is going to be like in the anime and manga... near the back of the crowd.
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