DX Engine Gattai Engine DaiShōgun
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
Wandering Engine 1 - Retsu-Taka (back) His human Honoshu form is Retsutaka because the evil Empress Maki in Samurai World used her magic to prevent his life-force from changing into an Engine Soul. In the event of his demise and that of his companion Honoshu, Retsutaka forged a sword tied to their Engine Casts to prevent them from being used for evil purposes. He is represented as a combination of a falcon and a hot rod. Retsu-Taka forms the head, arms, and upper torso of the Engine DaiShogun.
- Retsu-Taka is portrayed by actor Kento Handa, who is better known as playing the lead hero role in “Kamen Rider 555” (2003)!
- Wandering Engine 2 Shishi-no-Shin (back) His human Honoshu form is Shishinoshin because the evil Empress Maki in Samurai World used her magic to prevent his life-force from changing into an Engine Soul. He is represented as a combination of a mythical lion and a passenger bus. Shishi-no-Shin forms the lower torso, legs and Engine Ken of the Engine DaiShogun.
- Shishi-no-Shin is portrayed by actor Jyunichi Haruta, who has played in two different roles in Super Sentai previously- Goggle Black from “Dai Sentai Goggle V” (1982) and Dyna Black from “Kagaku Sentai Dynaman” (1983)!
- Wandering Engine 3 Tsuki-no-Wa (back) Her human Honoshu form is Tsukinowa because the evil Empress Maki in Samurai World used her magic to prevent her life-force from changing into an Engine Soul. She is represented as a combination of a black bear and an all-terrain buggy. Tsuki-no-Wa forms the center torso of the Engine DaiShogun.
- Tsuki-no-Wa is portrayed by actress Mika Kikuchi, who- among other roles- is known to Super Sentai as DekaPink from “Tokusou Sentai DekaRanger” (2004)!
I must get this out of the way right away so that I don’t have to be clever about sounding like this is an original set. It is not. This set is a repaint of the lead combining robo DX Engine Gattai Engine-Oh. Most of what you see here is the same between the two sets, except for coloring and a few new molds. It is the differences that will be the focus of this review...
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As opposed to stylized Roman numerals with animal features like all of the regular Engines from the series have, the three Wandering Engines use Japanese daiji numerals reminiscent of the Edo period (1603-1868 CE) which is prominently represented in Samurai World. Each numeral is written in stylized scripture:
- Retsu-Taka’s symbol is 壱, which is the number “1”.
- Shishi-no-Shin’s symbol is 弐, which is the number “2”.
- Tsuki-no-Wa’s symbol is 参, which is the number “3”.
(Though these symbols are used even today in legal documents, newer symbols are used more commonly throughout Japan.) Retsu-Taka, Shishi-no-Shin, & Tsuki-no-Wa- instead of being dressed in unique colors mirroring those of Speedor, Buson, & Bear RV- are painted and molded in identical base black with burgundy, gold, and silver highlights; to reflect typical coloring used on traditional samurai armor. Additionally, all three Wandering Engines’ eyes are green as opposed to blue, brown, and green.
Retsu-Taka’s beak has been heavily modified so that it has both tiny molded-in bolts holding bands of armor in place, and then a very large golden crest/crown can be held securely on it. Along the back, the wing-like spoilers above the rear wheels have been modified to have a more-stylized feather appearance. These, and the Engine DaiShogun's arms beneath, can be extended in an identical way to resemble Speedor's flight form (though he does not do this in either the movie or series cameo). Shishi-no-Shin’s molds are identical to Buson’s, but two brand new parts have been added. A golden mustache (found on traditional artwork from that era) is snapped into the two holes on his face. The mustache can pop off if need-be, which then shows that Shishi-no-Shin’s face is still identical to Buson’s save for coloring. Shishi-no-Shin also has a display sign above his face, but instead of the phrase saying (in English) “Go-Onger”, the Japanese phrase- again in kanji- is 風林火山, says “Wind forest volcano”. (I had to trust an online automated translation for that, so it may have appeared/translated more awkwardly than it actually is.) Also like Buson, Shishi-no-Shin carries the Engine DaiShogun’s sword. But instead of collapsing down and being stored within the Engine Cast, the Engine Ken (literally “Engine Sword”) is stored externally with the use of specially-designed clips that fit in the holes at are used for the Engine-Oh G12 combination. The Engine Ken will only fit onto the left side however. Because the Engine Ken is stored outside, both of Shishi-no-Shin’s internal compartments are not utilized. Tsuki-no-Wa’s modification is far more limited- only her button nose was modified slightly to have two tiny bolts and some armor bands. But her nose retains the trademark stylized “G” that the Go-Onger, Go-On Wings, and all of the Engines have.
[Go-On Red]- “Renn, Saki, let’s go! Retsutaka, please fight with us!”
[Go-On Red]- “Speedor Soul, set!” [Go-On Blue]- “Buson Soul, set!” [Go-On Yellow]- “Bear RV Soul, set!”
[Speedor]- “What power!” [Buson]- “I don’t feel the pain at all!” [Bear RV]- “Let’s go! Just for today, we’re Engine DaiShogun!”
Though similar in appearance to Engine-Oh, the reemerged Engine DaiShogun displays a notable increase in strength and endurance - which is remarked upon by Speedor, Buson, and Bear RV when their Engine Souls were placed inside of the Wandering Engines’ Casts. Its primary weapon is the Engine Ken, which it holds proudly at its left hip when it is not being used. With the gold-and-red katana, it can perform the powerful GouOn Guren Giri- where the Engine Ken grows larger and slashes horizontally through the Yoma monsters as tall banners fly in the wind behind the Engine gattai.
“Engine DaiShogun: Grandly marching into battle!”
Again I will not go through a complete description of the Engine Gattai Engine DaiShogun (back) except to say that it is a repaint of the Engine-Oh. Some things are functionally different, however. Perhaps the most prominent in this form is the grand crown-like horns on its head- removed from Retsu-Taka’s beak. While the hole in the beak is now exposed, flipping over his engine block reveals that though the head and face are pretty much the same, a hole has been placed on the forehead which allows the crown to be snapped into place. (The crown itself is composed of three parts- the outer edges made of PVC for safety, and are capable of separating if forced.) The two feathered spoilers along Retsu-Taka’s back half now are seen as part of the shoulder armor. On the back of the shoulder armor, the two decals in the set have also been changed so that they now resemble golden clouds on a black background. Shishi-no-Shin’s mustache is not removed in this mode either, but the Engine Ken is since Engine DaiShogun cannot stand properly with it still attached to the leg. To keep the Engine Ken close at hand, a different tab along above the other two on the side of it allow the sword to be attached to one of the slots on Engine DaiShogun’s back- just the same as samurai kept their own weapons stored; it even tilts a little diagonally! Oddly, though the toy’s does this, in the series Engine DaiShogun always holds the Engine Ken in its left hand near its left hip (also a traditional position for when katana were about to be drawn in battle). But do not be fearful- the toy can also do this (though the grip still isn’t quite as tight as I would have liked). Again, the compartments in the legs are not utilized in this set like they are in the DX Engine-Oh. Though the Engine-Oh had the V Shield (the folded-over undercarriage of Bear RV) stored on its back which could be removed, Engine DaiShogun does not use [the] shield in either the movie or the series even though the toy can still remove it’s.
In addition to future accessory DX Engine sets, the common ‘collecting’ gimmick is the battery-powered Engine Soul cartridge. These serve as a replacement in all of the toys for a dedicated light-and-sound effect. Each Engine Soul shares an identical shape (2 ½” x 1 ¾” x 9/16”, or 2.57cm x 4.5cm x 1.5cm), has a single bright red LED light (which can project over 6ft / 2m in a dark room!), a large decal which identifies it, and they all have some generic sounds. Because of this, any Engine Soul (or Change Soul, which I won’t get into here) can be fitted into any properly-fitted toy that can accept one. But, the gimmick is that each Engine Soul has a unique set of sound effects...
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The DX Engine DaiShogun set comes with a special-edition Engine Soul. It is uniquely identified by its transparent neon-yellow ABS casing, the stylized Go-Onger “G” symbol, and the phrases “ES” & “00” on the front decal. While each of the Engines in the “Go-Onger” line can accept an Engine Soul, it will work equally in all of them since, again, all Engine Soul cartridges are the same size. The storage compartment for each Engine has a small door that must be unlatched in order to place the Engine Soul inside. When inside of them, the Engine Soul in Retsu-Taka and Tsuki-no-Wa can be activated by pressing in on their noses, while you have to press up on Shishi-no-Shin’s back wheels (which explain their mysteriously spring-like suspension).
When you first place the Engine Soul cartridge into any containing compartment, you will hear the typical power-up sound, followed closely by the sound of Japanese horns- the same horns that are heard when the Engines grow to their full size in the movie and series! This special Engine Soul- unlike all other Engine Souls- does not have any spoken phrases; since the three Honoshu warriors were the souls of the three Wandering Engines, then no physical Engine Soul cartridges were used/made. Therefore, there is no proper placement of this particular cartridge into any of the three Engine Casts. Placing it into Retsu-Taka, however, would be the best way to utilize all of its sound effects:
- When not combined into Engine DaiShogun, if Retsu-Taka’s beak is pressed, the special cartridge will produce a different sound of taiko drums!
- When combined into Engine DaiShogun, there are two sound effects available-
- a key musical phrase from the series/movie
- taiko drums beating in a third unique pattern, followed by the sound of a sword slashing quickly several times
There is a third sound effect which cannot be accessed by using any of these three Engines, unfortunately. While you could come up with a home remedy, I strongly suggest you use another “Go-Onger” toy to achieve this- which requires pressing both activation buttons at the same time. When you do this you will hear:
- a horn sounding
- a repeat of one of the taiko drum patterns, but without the following sword-slashing effect
As of this review, “Power Rangers R.P.M.” has not aired yet, so it is impossible to compare the DX Engine Gattai Engine DaiShogun to its English-speaking counterpart. We haven’t even gotten a name for it yet. However, taking into account pre-release images, I am doubtful that the transition will be smooth in any way. With the complete rebuilding of the Deluxe High Octane Megazord for 2009, it is clear that the Engine Soul cartridge system will not be making it to American shores in their current forms, so the possibility of seeing the DX Engine DaiShogun coming over are slim-to-none. It is entirely possible that it may even be written out of the series completely so that a toy does not have to be made for the “PR-RPM” release. Expect either a scaled-down remake, or no releases at all save for 4½” action figures in 2009...
Repaints happen maybe once a year in Super Sentai- be they an accessory mecha, or one of the lead combos. More-or-less they just change the coloring and that’s it. And once in a great while, some minor molds are changed in addition to that. For most of those repaints, it’s hard to not see them as anything other than just that. But in this case, the changes are significant enough that I truly got a different feeling off of it than I do from the Engine-Oh. Using the daiji symbols was a nice touch, as was adding a mustache to Shishi-no-Shin; finally answering the question as to what those holes in Buson’s face were for! The large crown on the head is certainly a big change, and it combined with the new shoulder armor helped me to see the overall design in a different light. Otherwise, it behaves exactly the same as the DX Engine Gattai Engine-Oh. Indeed, it features all of the same holes, tabs, and pegs so it is also fully compatible with all of the other accessory Engines, in addition to being able to make the super combinations. The coloring scheme is also very appropriate and draws it just that much closer to its samurai origins even if the Engine-Oh was not. Now, was there anything I would have liked to see them do differently? there was one big thing- even though it holds the Engine Ken at its hip, I think either a different tab set-up or an accessory clip could have been included to allow it to actually click onto the hip, but I am glad that it can attach to the back as well. The special Engine Soul- oddly- is the most finicky of them all that I have had to deal with yet: it shifts around inside Retsu-Taka, and that start-up sound effect goes off at the first chances it gets! (I think the wiring may just be a little loose rather than this being intentional.) Was I disappointed that separate characterized Engines Souls weren’t included? Not really- since I didn’t want to then have to buy some other toys that I may not have wanted from the start. Could the number of effects in the cartridge been increased? Certainly and easily! But, I like the effects that are in there as well. So, for being a repaint (and CDX readers know how few of those I get as it is), having some good decorations, and for giving off a different aura that the originating design, I recommend getting the DX Engine Gattai Engine DaiShogun; it truly is worth it.
|Posted 12 February, 2009 - 04:45 by EVA_Unit_4A|