DX Samurai Kyojin Daikai-Oh
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
Eighteen generations ago, special ancient samurai warriors called the Shinkenger were authorized by the Japanese Emperor to defend their country against the Gedoushuu monsters from the mythical Sanzu River. The Shinkenger succeeded, and the Gedoushuu were defeated. Hundreds of years later in 2009, the Gedoushuu have slowly rebuilt themselves, and they are slipping through all dark crevasses once more to collect human screams to flood the Sanzu River into the world for their return. Takeru Shiba, the current samurai lord of the Shiba Clan, now summons four vassal samurai from different clans, and arms them with the magical scripture power known as mojikara to become the new Samurai Sentai Shinkenger!
Though it makes its first appearance in Act 19, the Ebi Origami (which Genta created from scratch, and affectionately calls “Ebizou”) enters combat for the first time in Act 20- “The Ebi Origami’s Transformation”. After stealing the soul of Kotoha (Shinken Yellow), an Ayakashi monster fights the other five Shinkenger and escapes back into the realm of the Sanzu River. Unable to reach the Ayakashi before sunset, when the theft will become permanent, Takeru (Shinken Red) prepares to sacrifice himself by transforming into a Gedoushuu (because no living human can survive in the Sanzu River) in order to reach the monster. Genta (Shinken Gold) stops Takeru at the last moment, however, saying there is another way to draw the Ayakashi out, but only if they can complete the Ebi Origami’s construction in time. The five remaining Shinkenger insert much mojikara into the dormant Origami, and it grows to full size, finally complete. At that same moment, the Ayakashi is drawn uncontrollably out of the Sanzu River and crashes into the Ebi Origami. While the Ayakashi is confused, Genta explains that in their earlier battle he had inserted some mojikara from Ebizou into the monster, and that mojikara would be drawn to merge with the newest Origami when it was completed. This also disables the Ayakashi’s special ability, and he is defeated by the Shinkenger.
With the Ayakashi growing to giant size with his second life, Shinken Gold boards the Ebi Origami and fights him. When multiple Onanashii Renjuu arrive, the Ebi Origami transforms into the Samurai Kyojin Daikai-Oh (“Samurai Giant Great-sea-King”)!
As Ebi Origami, it has the use of its lobster claws (Ebi Basami, “Lobster Scissors”), and can use the Futomaki Korin (“Large Roll Halos”) special attack, which shoots flying energy discs (which resemble Shinken Gold’s own Sushi Disc) from its claws.
The Daikai-Oh is capable of switching between four different modes of attack, each one using a different fighting style and named after the four compass directions, and each has its own special finishing attack.
Ratcheting joints are in the shoulders, and the claws can open one notch. One of the tail’s transformation joints can ratchet up and down. Unfortunately, this mode is not very stable and the flimsy PVC lobster legs cannot hold its weight up very well (which is a common complaint among collectors).
The Ebi Origami’s antennae and legs are the only parts of the toy that are made of PVC; all other plastic is ABS.
Each claw can grasp a single Hiden Disc, and when the claws are open the Disc(s) will ratchet-spin when attached.
Samurai Kyojin Daikai-Oh
All four modes have only ratcheting shoulder joints (they snap to every 45-degrees), and because of transformation the hips can optionally ratchet-swivel vertically for spread-toe stances. (Be wary that the knee transformation joints will flex inwards if you’re careless! )
Symbol: 東 (tō, “East”)
This is the default mode for Daikai-Oh. It can either use its fists, or it can redeploy the Ebi Origami’s claws for powerful crushing and punching.
Daikai-Oh Higashi’s special attack is the Ebibasami Honte Gaeshi (“Lobster Claw True Ability Payback”) energized slashing finisher.
Symbol: 南 (nan, “South”)
It utilizes two katana, called Lobster Swords (which combine to form the Ebi Origami’s head), and are normally stored on the back of the robo.
Daikai-Oh Minami’s special attack is the Ebigatana Daimyō Oroshi (“Lobster Sword Daimyo Fillet”) double-slashing finisher.
Symbol: 西 (shā, “West”)
It utilizes a large war fan (which doubles as the Ebi Origami’s tailfins) for deflecting attacks and creating short-range windstorms. It is stored as the back skirt of the Daikai-Oh when not in use.
Daikai-Oh Nishi does not have a special attack feature, being that it is a defensive mode, not an offensive mode. Trivially, this is also the only one of the four modes where the two horns above the head are not present.
Symbol: 北 (kita, “North”)
Samurai Busou- Ika Daikai-Oh
This mode can only be activated by combining Daikai-Oh with the Samurai Gattai Series 04- Ika Origami (though the toy can continue to function without attaching on the accessory Origami). The Ika Origami is the only accessory Origami that can attach to the Daikai-Oh (which makes sense because Genta created both of them without knowing about the Kabuto, Kajiki, and Tora Origami).
Because of the additional chest armor, range of motion in the shoulders becomes more limited. The armor lightly ratchets on its connection point and can spin, however, allowing the arms a bit more- though not full- range of motion.
Ika Daikai-Oh can utilize the spear-like Yariika Tokkan (“Squid Crash”) finishing attack.
The DX Daikai-Oh set contains a ‘smart’ electronic light-and-sound feature that keeps track of the various modes as-and-after you switch them. If you turn it on in either animal or robo mode, it will declare “Ebi Origami!”, or “Daikai-Oh!”; the same happens if you attach/detach the Ebi Origami’s head (which is the switch that tells the toy which mode it is in). All sounds are accompanied by the single red LED in front of the face lighting up in sync with the syllables.
In Ebi Origami mode, when you press the activation button (on the lower left chest) once, one of four sounds will play randomly:
- Ebi Origami chirps (higher pitch)
- Ebi Origami chirps (lower pitch)
- claws clash twice (higher pitch)
- claws clash twice (lower pitch)
(Holding down the activation button or rotating the Hiden Disc in Ebi Origami mode will do nothing.)
In each of the four Daikai-Oh modes, each mode has one generic attack sound effect:
- Higashi – claws clash twice
- Minami – swords clash twice
- Nishi – fan blowing wind about once
- Kita has three different effects, though they all end the same way (an explosion)
Regardless of which Daikai-Oh mode it is in, however, if the activation button is held down for two seconds, a generic power-up and explosion will be heard.
The DX Daikai-Oh set comes with a single Hiden Disc:
#14 – Ebi Disc
Unlike all other Hiden Dics that have been made [in the entire Shinkenger toy line], the Ebi Disc is the only one that is double-sided. One side has the typical pre-applied sticker with the animation pattern (the Ebi Origami’s claws opening and closing) for use on the Hiden Saiseitou ShinkenMaru, while the other side has the four molded-in and painted faces for the Daikai-Oh (which are not utilized with the praxinoscope on the ShinkenMaru).
The Ebi Disc can only be inserted into the Daikai-Oh one specific way, and unlike all previous Shinkenger toys (when Hiden Discs are allowed to freely turn), when in place it will only ratchet in 90-degrees increments to ensure that only one face is seen at a time. This also insures that the faces will always match up properly with the light-and-sound feature.
Shin Samurai Gattai
Sets required for this combination:
- DX Samurai Gattai Shinken-Oh
- DX Samurai Kyojin Daikai-Oh
In Act 24- “The True Samurai Combination”, the Shinkenger realize that as the summer months approach, the Gedoushuu are gaining in strength, as evidenced by their hard battle against an Ayakashi in Act 23. Receiving a pendant from monks at a secret Shiba Clan shrine, Genta takes on the responsibility of completing it with his advanced electronic mojikara so that it can be used as a tool against the Gedoushuu by combining the powers of all of the Origami. In order to do this, however, he needs to use all of the Hiden Discs, which will reduce the fighting efficiency of the already battle-weakened Shinkenger. Genta succeeds, and the Hiden Kaisekiki Inrōmaru is completed.
In addition to granting a bonus combat upgrade to the single Shinkenger who attaches the Inrōmaru to their ShinkenMaru (changing them into Super Shinken Red, etc.), a new Hiden Disc has been created (#16 – Shin Samurai Gattai Disc) which will allow the Shinken-Oh and Daikai-Oh to fuse together to form the True Samurai Combination Daikai Shinken-Oh!
The Daikai Shinken-Oh has greater defense, physical strength, and skill by itself than the Shinken-Oh and Daikai-Oh have by themselves, and it uses the two Lobster Swords as its weapon.
Its special attack is the Niten Ichi-ryū Midaregiri (“Niten Ichi-ryū Turbulence Slash”), which uses both Lobster Swords in a powered-up dual sword slash.
The only articulation is in the ratcheting shoulder joints, and the transforming swivel joints in the Shinken-Oh’s hips. When not in use, the Lobster Swords are stored on the Kame and Saru Origami on the back of the robo.
(The DaiShinken katana from the Shinken-Oh does not appear in this mode, through the toy can still grip it just as easily. The Hiden Shield cannot be stored or held by the Daikai Shinken-Oh toy, however.)
In addition to forming the Daikai Shinken-Oh, the Shin Samurai Gattai Disc allows for the creation of a powerful stand-alone weapon called the Ika-Tenkuu Buster, which combines the four accessory Origami- Samurai Gattai Series 01 - Kabuto Origami, 02 - Kajiki Origami, 03 – Tora Origami, and 04 – Ika Origami into a separate self-contained unit.
In the series, because of the considerable amount of mojikara necessary to power the Ika-Tenkuu Buster and its single massed energy attack, the Origami Daikaihō (“Origami Grand Release”) can only be fired once in a battle. (The toy, however, does not fire anything, so you don’t have to worry about that.)
Despite being a separate weapon, the Daikai Shinken-Oh toy does not grip or attach to anything on the Ika-Tenkuu Buster, so you just have to conveniently place one directly behind the other to achieve the appearance seen in the TV series.
On a personal note, in the eight years I have been volunteering for CollectionDX.com, I have never, ever received as much persistent inquiry and prompting to review a single toy than I have for the DX Daikai-Oh! From mid-2009 when it hit the shelves in Japan until now in late 2011 when I got this, it has been almost non-stop “PLEASE review Daikai-Oh!”, “You should get Daikai-Oh!”, “I love the Daikai-Oh!”, et cetera et cetera et cetera, and has haunted just about my every step on YouTube for the past two years. This is certainly one of the most bizarre phenomena I have encountered as a collector so far. (I’ve had to practically scream at people to leave me alone about it!) I swear, people speak of this toy in the same breath as the legendary DX Shogozyu Dragon Caesar from 1992’s “Kyoryu Sentai ZyuRanger” (aka Deluxe Dragonzord from 1993’s “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”); it just seems to have reached that level of popularity in the fan base.
Well, consider this purchase and subsequent review me caving to pressure from the fan base. If people like it that much- and I have been known to swim against the current once in a while- then maybe I need to take a second look.
I won’t get much into my motivations in acquiring this toy here, but I’ll go so far as to say many of the opinions I have held for the last two years have been reevaluated.
(While I’m at it, I’d like to pass a special thank you out to CDX’s founder and webmaster JoshB for helping me in acquiring this highly-popular and hard-to-find toy. )
Like much of Shinken Gold’s persona, fighting style, and décor, the Ebi Origami’s body is quite sharp and angular, and I can imagine any Ayakashi having a difficult time getting a hold of it without getting cut to ribbons in the process. For the first appearance of a lobster mecha in the Super Sentai Series, it makes a hell of an entrance at near 1/1 scale with the real animal! (Perhaps that’s what makes this toy so… tasty? ) The limited realistic posability in Animal Mode also makes it a stand out in the Origami toy line.
There are two things that bother me about this mode. First, as many have pointed out, it does not balance well. The Daikai Shinken-Oh’s head juts down awkwardly beneath its torso, and there is no tripod effect on which it can rest easily since the tail is not wide enough for that to happen, and the back legs don’t even touch the flat surface it rests on! (Bit of an oversight, those legs not touching the ground evenly. I don’t care what the transformation involved in later combos are, they should have had an optional ratcheting hinge for this mode, and they didn’t. ) The other is that, even though attaching random Hiden Discs to the claws is a nice circular saw blade idea, my problem with it is the Discs are not securely attached enough, so they have a tendency to pop off when you’re spinning them. Closing the claws solves the problem… but then you can’t spin the Discs when you close the claws! (Someone at Bandai goofed up there.)
My standard complaint remains, however, in regards to the transformation not being origami-like in a toy labeled a “folding-god/spirit”, though it involves a bit less parts-swapping than past Shinkenger releases other than the mecha’s hand-held weapons. (The Origami featured in the Shinken-Oh are the only ones that continue to surpass in that regard.)
When I first saw and considered whether I would get this toy in 2009 or not, the single feature that stood out for me was the spinning head Hiden Disc gimmick, which I found rather amusing and a good variation on the series-wide gimmick. It remains so even today, regardless of which parts are used in each mode. I’ve also learned since 2009 that each mode’s face is reminiscent of the weapon it uses. For example, Higashi has large red claws, and Nishi has a wide green visor that is a war fan. (I can’t really see the swords in the Minami face or what the hell they’re trying to do with the Kita face.)
Integrating an animal’s body or face into the hilt of a sword is usually a good idea and quite traditional in Japan, but it’s a bit awkward on the Lobster Swords. I can see what they were trying to do, but it just didn’t work out that well.
Having giant claws for a weapon is pretty great, but I don’t care much for how weakened it makes the upper arms look. (Oh well, that’s just a nitpick.) In the same vein, the feet are a bit disproportional and un-noteworthy, but it manages to hold itself upright quite well despite the lobster leg-wings on the back.
Speaking of which, I’m actually surprised how much I’m enjoying those lobster leg-wings. I could go a couple of different directions with how I view them, but when the Lobster Swords are stored on them, it just makes the whole array of PVC fingers look awesome and not a bit kibble-like.
Are those supposed to be cannons above the knuckles? They’re not part of any transformation, and they’re not highlighted in any way in the show. Seeing as PLEX very rarely leaves anything unaccounted for in their Super Sentai mecha designs, I have to wonder what they’re there for…
When asked nowadays which mode is my favorite of the four cardinals, I’d have to say Nishi (“West”) for three reasons: A- a bald “great sea king” of Japan should be casually sitting on his glorious throne in his golden armor with a massive war fan in his hand; B- the lobster leg-wings look more majestic with a bit of silver in them and extra smaller lobster leg-feathers added to it from above; and C- it doesn’t have those stupid pointy rabbit ears.
On the flip side, my least favorite of the four is easily Kita (“North”) because: A- what the hell kind of weapon is that if it isn’t a very poorly designed spear?; B- the new armor looks pretty bad and bulky and spins on that torso connection point way too easily (why does it spin at all?); C- why couldn’t the Ika Origami form a helmet for the combo like the other three accessory Origami did for the Shinken-Oh to remain consistent?; and D- that face is really freaking me out. I have to give PLEX credit, though, for even attempting to attach one of the accessory Origami to the Daikai-Oh- at least they kept that part consistent from the Shinken-Oh.
The Daikai Shinken-Oh just takes that whole ancient ornamental samurai armor-thing to a completely new level here, while somehow managing to maintain a nicely-proportioned shape while doing that. It’s certainly one of the bigger mega-class combos that I’ve seen in Super Sentai! I’m not quite sure what those things hanging off the sides of the legs are, but I think I like them. A lot of people complained about the reduced function of the Saru and Kame Origami (the only two Origami controlled by female Shinkenger, coincidence?) from arms to simple clip-on holsters, and I have to agree with that, though having the Lobster Swords sticking out awkwardly like that somehow works for me. Also, I can understand and appreciate the difficulty of integrating the horns of an ancient Japanese battle helmet or ceremonial headdress into a giant robot in a different way each time when your limb-swapping gimmick is battle helmets with unique abilities built into each, but what in the name of Hell is that thing on top of its head??? Honestly! The face and head work just fine for me (another popular reviewer on YouTube coined this combo “Cowboy-Oh”, which I truthfully can’t blame him for), though like most I don’t care for the large unsightly block of function-less kibble hanging out the back of the head. I did gush for a bit about the lobster leg-wings, but why does it have giant lobster leg-wings and a pair of kemonomimi hanging out on the top of its head!? ( General Sarris called, by the way- said he wants his head antennae back.) Though I usually never have to address this with a toy produced by Bandai of Japan, one connection you need to watch for in this mode is between the torsos of the Shinken-Oh and Daikai-Oh. The latter just pegs into the former, but it’s not a very solid connection. It won’t fall apart if you simply touch it, but it will wiggle enough and induce the fear of it popping off. This is something that has been noted by other collectors, and it’s not a quality control issue (more like a minor design flaw or oversight), but it should be treated with some semblance of care.
The light-and-sound feature in all of the modes is quite satisfactory. If I could be nitpicky about one thing, I wish the Daikai Shinken-Oh could have been recognized by the electronics within and provided its own unique sound or two. It just depends on whichever cardinal mode you last had it in before you combined it with Shinken-Oh. Also, why does Ika Daikai-Oh have three general sound-effects all to itself (and none of which are heard in the TV series), when the other three modes have to share a single special-attack effect? (Perhaps these two sound-related complaints are related to one-another- the extra Kita effects are used for both itself and Daikai Shinken-Oh…?)
As I complained about in my review of the Ika-Tenkuu Buster in my review of the Ika Origami, I wish the Daikai Shinken-Oh had been able to grasp some pegs or fitted into some slots on the back to make a solid, legitimate connection. Now that I can make the super-class combo, it just reinforces my opinion from the earlier review that it didn’t tie the Ika-Tenkuu Buster down to being used by just one robo as far as toys were concerned. Still, some kind of effort would have been nice.
Two years and much fan enthusiasm later (thank you for all that encouragement, support, and faith in my reviewing capabilities, by the way! ), I must give the DX Samurai Kyojin Daikai-Oh my resounding support. Whether it’s the best thing since sliced bread, I cannot say, but unlike most Super Sentai robos these days, it certainly lives up to the hype.
|Posted 27 November, 2011 - 19:50 by EVA_Unit_4A|