Overwatch features a great selection of popular characters with diverse origins and skills. Hanzo and Genji are brothers and were once members of the criminal Shimada Clan, before Hanzo was instructed to execute his wayward sibling. Genji was defeated but survived with assistance from the Overwatch team.
75971 Hanzo vs. Genji depicts the first meeting between the brothers following that battle, taking inspiration from the 'Dragons' animated short. This set bears a resemblance to numerous NINJAGO models based upon its Japanese architecture so does not particularly stand out to me, although the minifigures are superb!
Several brand new pieces have been created for the Overwatch theme, among the most appealing of which appears on Hanzo. The character's black hair piece looks marvellous, featuring some fantastic texture and an attachment point for a golden ribbon. This design is accurate when compared with the video game and I like his severe expression, although there is no alternative face which is somewhat disappointing.
Furthermore, the torso design could be improved too. LEGO continues to encounter difficulties when printing bright colours on darker pieces and that is particularly apparent here as Hanzo's skin tone is inconsistent between the torso and head. However, I love the blue belt around the minifigure's waist and the pearl silver decoration on his legs looks good, although dual-moulded legs could have been used.
Hanzo discarded melee weapons following the duel against his brother, instead taking up Storm Bow. This dark blue weapon is represented by a standard bow accessory which works perfectly and some arrows are kept in a black quiver on Hanzo's back, matching the source material once again.
Genji suffered grievous injuries at the hands of his brother but survived, following an intervention from Overwatch who equipped the fallen ninja with cybernetic implants. This minifigure accordingly consists almost entirely of armour so ascertaining how much of the original human remains is extremely difficult. His white and medium nougat suit is attractive, featuring lime green highlights that correspond with the video game as well as a metallic breastplate.
The helmet is moulded in pearl silver and includes considerable detail, although the face mask should be a lighter colour. The lime green visor is excellent though and I like the pearl silver head underneath. A dark bluish grey ribbon attached to the back of Genji's helmet. Spares of both this and the pearl gold version are included and they fit into a standard peg hole, like the existing feather piece, so may prove useful elsewhere.
Shuriken are Genji's favoured weapon but he also wields a blade named Ryu-Ichimonji, represented here by a lime green katana. This accessory has not appeared in lime green before and looks great when compared with the game, sliding into a sheath on the minifigure's back. Unfortunately, he is not equipped with a wakizashi sword which should be kept on his lower back but LEGO does not produce an appropriate sheath for that.
Hanzo enters Shimada Castle annually on the anniversary of his brother's supposed death, fighting past some guards like this Shimada Henchman. Two characters from the 'Dragons' animated short feature a similar quiff so this minifigure looks superb and I like this frightened facial expression which has only appeared twice before. An alternative face would have been welcome though.
The guard wears a black suit which is reasonably simple but looks matches his animated appearance closely. He carries a black machine pistol and also comes with a printed mobile phone, corresponding with one of the characters from the animation who tries to sound the alarm concerning Hanzo's arrival.
The Completed Model
Hanamura is the ancestral home of the Shimada Clan and its traditional Japanese architectural design looks magnificent in the video game. This small model represents a small section of the map, focusing upon an altar at the centre of Shimada Castle which feels reminiscent of some NINJAGO sets such as 70651 Throne Room Showdown. That is not necessarily a criticism but contrasts with other Overwatch models that seem more innovative.
A pearl silver katana is displayed at the heart of the Shimada compound alongside a black sheath. The sheath does not actually work here but it looks great and I like the black incense burners on either side. These are constructed using BB-9E's head which is now available without printing and also appears in 75973 D.Va & Reinhardt.
The banner hanging above the sword is decorated with some Japanese characters and reads 'dragon head, snake tail' so matches both the Hanamura map and its appearance in the animated short. I love the tattered edges and the slashed dragon icon above the banner looks wonderful. However, the most impressive aspect of this structure is probably the decoration on top, known as a kasagi, which makes clever use of curved tiles.
Two small alcoves are connected to the shrine using hinges. Each one features a lantern hanging from the ceiling and some accessories, with a printed Overwatch medallion on the left and a trans-light blue health pack on the right. This item seems particularly appropriate given Genji's notable reliance upon health packs in the video game! You can also display a few minifigures on the balcony level.
Disc launchers are hidden at the base of each alcove, firing 2x2 round tiles which are decorated with a dragon design. Their differing blue and lime green colour schemes reflect the ferocious rivalry between Hanzo and Genji, both of whom can command Spirit Dragons. I was initially expecting the steps beside the disc launchers to be minifigure catapults but they are actually cosmetic details.
The back of the model is extremely plain, as one would expect. It looks alright though and includes a couple of blue Technic pins where you can store additional discs for each launcher. Furthermore, the disc launchers are activated by pressing the red buttons on this side of the building which works well.
75971 Hanzo vs. Genji contains two outstanding minifigures and the Shimada shrine features some lovely details, although it does not really stand out across the Overwatch theme. I think that can be attributed in part to the existence of NINJAGO, which has already produced some impressive buildings that are inspired by Japanese architecture, as well as the structure's modest size.
Nevertheless, I am delighted with the minifigures and would recommend this set to fans of Hanzo and Genji. The price of $19.99 in the US seems reasonable in my view but this set costs £24.99 in the UK and 24.99€ across most of Europe and that feels quite expensive so I suggest waiting for a discount.
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This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.