Review: 75971 Hanzo vs. Genji

Posted by ,
View image at flickr

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!

Minifigures

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.

75971 Hanzo vs. Genji

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.

75971 Hanzo vs. Genji

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.

View image at flickr

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.

75971 Hanzo vs. Genji

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.

75971 Hanzo vs. Genji

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.

View image at flickr

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.

75971 Hanzo vs. Genji

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.

75971 Hanzo vs. Genji

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

Overall

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.

View image at flickr

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.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.

This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.

 

Sponsored content

28 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United States,

Awesome details.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Good set great review

Gravatar
By in United States,

The new hair/helmet molds on the Overwatch minifigures are great!!!

Gravatar
By in United States,

That guard brought a gun to a sword fight...

Gravatar
By in United States,

All the stuff about their backrounds in very confusing as I don't know about the game, but the set would be great for parts!

Gravatar
By in United States,

First when I saw this I thought to myself "I don't remember Ninjago having Flesh colored heads and pistols." Hmmm. Almost looks exactly like a Ninjago set, which you might consider getting instead for better price per piece count. Unless of course you like the characters (which I don’t) which I guess is the big draw of this set. Easy pass for me. You guys can buy the overpriced ninjago set.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Interesting how you framed the similarity in architecture to a Ninjago set as a con when for me it's part of what makes the set appealing. Sure, we've gotten all sorts of great Japanese architecture in Ninjago as well, but the most distinctive architectural features of this set are new (that curved kasagi is genius) and provide wonderful inspiration for me for Ninjago MOCs. On top of that, this set depicts a memorable scene from the animated shorts, which give it extra appeal to me since I don't play the game but have loved most of the animations.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Fake Tenno!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Your future president: "Almost looks exactly like a Ninjago set. Easy pass." Because… it's a licensed set depicting a location that happens to be Japanese-inspired? That's like complaining about #76015-1 or #76082-1 because they "Almost look exactly like City sets. Easy pass."

It just leaves me feeling bewildered, considering how common it is to see complaints about licensed sets that don't fit in visually with existing themes, or praise for ones that do… I mean, less than a month ago people here were pouring heaps of praise on the Chinese New Year sets, complaining about their region exclusivity, and in many cases even planning to use them specifically in combination with Ninjago sets on account of the many motifs and cultural influences they have in common. Why is that a strength for those sets but a weakness for this one?

Personally, I quite like the design of this set. Not only is it very accurate to the shrine/memorial as it appears in the Dragons animated short (which is linked above, and which I encourage people to check out if they haven't already seen it — it's very beautifully animated, with some fantastic Wuxia film motifs), but I'm struck less by its coincidental similarity to Ninjago than the way it employs techniques we've never seen before in Ninjago sets to create the kasagi over the wall scroll and the urns on either side.

Regarding the urns, I greatly appreciate them not only for their creativity but for being our first confirmation that the truncated cone shape introduced for BB-9E's head in the Star Wars: The Last Jedi sets is not IP-locked, and I hope that suggests we might one day see the BB-8 head (https://brickset.com/parts/design-47465) and body (https://brickset.com/parts/design-49879) molds in non-Star Wars sets. The bodies, with a less license-specific pattern, would make very good paper lanterns for other Asian-inspired sets like this one.

The new ribbon elements for the Shimada brothers are quite nice new parts as well, and it will be interesting to see if they, too, show up in other themes. I suspect that most of the new hair and headgear parts in the Overwatch theme will be IP locked, but the ribbons are a little more up in the air. Regarding Genji's helmet, I appreciate the depiction to make it a helmet rather than a

As for the minifigures' graphic designs, though, I'm not surprised Hanzo's arm is not printed (Mark Stafford was upfront about having a limited new element budget for each wave, and stated his team's intent to improve on the figures' level of detail if the theme continues long enough), but I'm surprised we don't see at least the part of his tattoo which extends onto his chest. I definitely also agree that he badly needs a second coat of Light Nougat ink on the front and back of his torso. Genji's design is strong as well despite the lack of side printing on the arms and legs.

On another graphic design related note, it's interesting how the slash and spatter marks from the animated short appear in red on the wall scroll, but are somehow (perhaps due to their small size and the lack of cinematography specifically calling attention to them) a little less obvious as bloodstains. It helps that even in the short itself, the stains are more or less identical in color to the red border of the wall scroll, as reflected here.

I don't know if the "Power Blast" elements are locked to Super Heroes sets (they might be to keep them feeling special, even though those represent IPs belonging to multiple owners), but it might've been cool to see them, possibly in combination with recolors of https://brickset.com/parts/design-36017, to represent the visual effects associated with the Shimada brothers' Dragonsword and Dragonstrike abilities. Maybe in a future set…

Good review overall! Neat to see this theme getting off to a good start with some well designed sets.

Gravatar
By in Poland,

Terrible choice of mobile phone. It would have been much more fitting to use the light grey version "Flat tile 1x2, No. 137"

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Lyichir - The similarities between this set and certain NINJAGO models does not necessarily detract from its appeal, although several of the other Overwatch sets are really distinctive so this one does not particularly stand out to me.

As mentioned in the review, that is not necessarily going to be an issue for everyone but I do think it is worth acknowledging in this context.

@Aanchir - It is interesting that you should mention using BB-8's body as a paper lantern as that element, with a new printed design, forms the pearl in #80102-1 Dragon Dance!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Aanchir, when a new set in a new theme comes out, there should be a distinguishing factor that separates the main build from another theme or set. Not saying building in the style of Japanese or of Chinese is limited to ninjago, but the exact layout of this set mirrors several sets from the previously mentioned theme. For example set 70651 Throne room showdown which came out this year! And nor do I say that this style of building is bad in any way. I do see your point though, and although I do not necessarily disagree with you, I still believe a more charactistc build that doesn’t almost exactly mirror that of other sets would have been welcome. (Not commenting of characters included in this set)

Gravatar
By in Brazil,

@Aanchir don't even bother. Not-to-be Future President still didn't get over this "extremely violent" theme corrupting our children.

Loved the set. Comparing to the game map it's incredibly faithful. I wonder if the composite bow would be more appropriate for Hanzo, given his Storm Bow is quite high-tech. And I guess it'd be too much asking for arm printing on his arm for the Dragon tattoo... And it's strange that after all those years of Ninjago sets there is no wakizashi piece! That would nail this Genji.

On a final note, the reviewer showed a nice knowledge of Japanese stuff and Overwatch lore. Congrats.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@ Somnium.

Friend, obviously you did not take the time to read my comment. I purposely avoided the argument of the theme in general. I usually do not care to comment on personal insults but this time I feel that this has gone too far. I am entitled to my opinion just as much as you are. But apparently my opinion is less meaningful because it does not fit with yours. I can understand that some close minded individuals can feel that way, but it is not how I choose to think. @Aanchir brought up a point about my comment that I did not fully agree with at first, but found that there were parts that I accepted. I did not and have not insulted his or anyone’s intelligence or opinion. And it would befit you well to do the same.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Well said

Gravatar
By in United States,

On the one hand, the fact that every Overwatch set fits in existing themes pretty well (Tracer vs Widowmaker and Watchpoint Gibraltar in Space, little Bastion and big Bastion in Creator, Hanzo vs Genji in Ninjago, DVa and Reinhardt in ... mechs in every theme) shows that, aside from any reservations about the source material, the theme is actually a really great fit for Lego. On the other hand, the fact that every Overwatch set fits in existing themes pretty well means that there's no reason to buy them if Ninjago already meets your ninja needs and the other themes already meet your mecha needs. It's just a matter of taste.

Gravatar
By in United States,

A really lacklustre set designed only to tack on the sale of a few bricks to what is in reality a mini-figure sale. Nobody would be running out to buy this if it came with non-licensed figures.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I'm completely uninterested in Overwatch as a theme--I don't play videogames and never really did--but I find this set quite tempting, partly for the excellent parts use, partly because of the unusual minifigures and their accessories. Given the price and the piece count, it doesn't seem at all lackluster. Were I to buy it, I'd probably combine it with my Ninjago sets (as many others have stated) and be quite pleased with the result.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@YourFuturePresident:

Look- I don't play Overwatch, but I don't complain they made a theme over it. We get it. You don't like anything about it. Your opinions have been made in plenty. Please stop raining on everyone else's parade.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Genji is the only minifigure from this line I'm actually not a fan of. In the game the padding of his suit is more of sandy purple (almost grey) than light nougat. The nougat just feels a little bit too bright and "non-robotic" for him. The rest of the figures in this line are just so good, I wish one of my favorites would've been done better.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Aanchir Power Blasts aren't IP locked - Grindelwald's Escape used them. Hope the Power Bursts aren't, either (they'd be awesome as Force effects for Star Wars).

Gravatar
By in Russian Federation,

Caramel Genji

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

For me, the poor printing on Hanzo will make it easier to swap the flesh arm out for a grey or silver one and have it look more consistent as clothing.

Gravatar
By in United States,

what kind of game is over watch again?

Gravatar
By in United States,

This set reminded me of the ninjago set with the tall stone warrior and pirate

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I swear the comments get more and more unpleasant every time I come to brickset. What happened? Is it a few bad eggs with chips on their shoulders or are we turning into Reddit?

Anyway. Is the head on Genji unprinted?

Gravatar
By in United States,

I love the BB8's head makes up that candle holder thing. However, like the reviewer said LEGO needs to get their act together with the skin printing over black, it looks awful whenever LEGO does it. Either use more paint and do it right or don't do it at all. AKA use skin ton and paint black on top.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@MisterBrickster - Yes, the head is plain pearl silver.

View more reviews »
Return to home page »