Samurai Gattai Series #1- Kabuto Origami
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
This toy appears courtesy from HobbyLink Japan.
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!
In Act 05: “Kabuto Origami”, a new Ayakashi monster is able to easily evade all of the Shinkenger’s physical and mojikara attacks. Depressed, the four vassal Shinkenger are stunned to see that Takeru has a special Secret Disc, which is the only one that has survived in the possession of the Shiba household through the generations of battle against the Gedoushuu. Unfortunately, to use the Kabuto Disc, one must summon twice the amount of mojikara. Takeru has spent days training alone to use it, but it always backfires on him, physically draining him each time. Though worn out the next day, Takeru reengages the Ayakashi alone, and finally succeeds in activating the Kabuto Disc. When the battle scales up, though, Shinken-Oh also cannot harm the Ayakashi with its DaiShinken katana. So, Shinken Red exits the Shinken-Oh, and uses the Kabuto Disc to summon the Kabuto Origami from thin air! Boarding the orange kabutomushi beetle-shaped Origami, he uses its large horned head to, instead of cutting, catch and twirl the Ayakashi about, and then shoot at him with focused energy blasts.
In order to awaken and control the Kabuto Origami, the Kabuto Disc must be fit onto a Hiden Saiseitou ShinkenMaru, and place it into the control column in the cockpit. At the same time, a giant version of the Kabuto Disc appears along the outside of the Origami itself as well.
Kabuto Origami (Japanese rhinoceros beetle)
The Kabuto Origami features no poseability. The tip of the upper horn, all of the lower horn, & all six legs are made of soft PVC, while the rest of the toy is ABS.
It does not rest on its legs, but rather four small independent black wheels underneath.
Unlike the five Origami from the DX Samurai Gattai Shinken-Oh, the Kabuto Origami does not collapse into a Badge Mode, and instead can store its own Secret Disc within the center of itself.
The Kabuto Origami’s head can move once a small catch lever above its head is released. Then, when the Kabuto Disc is spun, the head will turn around in synch with it.
The Kabuto Disc can be placed onto the Hiden Saiseitou ShinkenMaru. When it is spun, you see the black silhouette of the Kabuto’s head spinning!
Sets required for this combination:
- DX Samurai Gattai Shinken-Oh
- Samurai Gattai Series 01 - Kabuto Origami
Stunned that his favored technique seems to have been defeated, the Ayakashi summons giant-sized Oonanashi Renjuu grunts to swarm Shinken-Oh, but Shinken Red initiates a samurai busou (“samurai armament”) which combines the Kabuto Origami with the Shinken-Oh to become Kabuto Shinken-Oh! With the Kabuto Hou cannon attack and the DaiShinken katana, the Kabuto Shinken-Oh makes quick work of the Oonanashi Renjuu. Then, Kabuto Shinken-Oh’s face is covered up, and the samurai busou drops to one knee to fire its Kabuto DaiKaiten Hou (“Big-Revolving Cannon”) giant fireball finisher.
(Some episodes later, Shinken Red passed the Kabuto Disc onto Shinken Green.)
The two spots usually reserved for the Shinken-Oh’s Hiden Shield to be stored on are taken up by the new parts, so the only thing it can do is be held onto; the DaiShinken has no hindrance on the left hip.
To activate the Kabuto DaiKaiten Hou, the lever atop the Kabuto’s head is released, and the Secret Disc spun. Woo-hoo.
Wha-- already!? One of my growing complaints (which began around 2003) with each succeeding Super Sentai Series mecha line is changing themes of the mecha mid-season: what was established in the first few waves suddenly changes in the name of gimmicks. Here… the change happens immediately! What do I mean by that? Well, the five Origami that make up the Shinken-Oh are triple changers: Badge, Animal, and combined Modes, and the DX set came with one Secret Disc (the Shield Disc). Naturally, my expectation of the Origami theme is that each succeeding accessory mecha will be a triple-changer (Badge, Animal, Combiner Mode), and have its own character-specific Secret Disc. Now all of a sudden, we have a new mecha theme: a fully-formed Origami with no Badge Mode, with a gimmick that is controlled by the Secret Disc which can be stored on/in it. Is this how the Origami mecha line is to evolve for the remainder of the series…? What happened to the whole folding paper-aspect of the mecha which gives them their name and actually made for a unique gimmick in and of itself??? Anyways…
Three things irk me about this Origami when it is stand-alone. First, that huge, completely unavoidable projection that sticks out so unapologetically from the top-left side. Really, Bandai? Whatever this thing combines with in the future (FYI, it is backward-compatible with the shoulder joints of the 2003 Bakuryuu mecha line from “Bakuryuu Sentai AbaRanger”!), you’re telling me that an accessory component couldn’t have been developed to streamline this a little bit? Boo-hiss! Second, though I wasn’t entirely holding out for posable legs, I was disappointed that the upper horn didn’t raise and lower like it does in the show. Instead, the whole horn pops off! This is either a safety feature, or part of the transformation for said future combination. Third, there couldn’t have been some kind of internal gearing system that would allow you to spin the Secret Disc hands-free when rolling the Origami on the floor? Like, yawn!
I like the idea in Super Sentai of mecha helmets giving said combo a special power, and the swapping that ensues to keep things interesting. This was done to satisfactory standards for the first time in “Chouriki Sentai OhRanger” (1995) with the Chouriki Gattai OhRanger Robo, which came with five helmets in just the one DX set. Nice. (Remember, this was before the limb-swap era, so we didn’t have to worry about buying a bunch of accessory mecha.) Then, two years ago, we kind-of-sort-of got the same from “Jyuken Sentai GekiRanger” (2007), except that each accessory mecha turned into a weapon of some kind in addition to providing a non-functional mask/helmet just for style’s sake. (I wasn’t big for any of the Geki Beasts anyways, so “meh”.) But now… is this supposed to be a backpack held very high on its back… or a giant helmet??? For as much bulk as there is hanging off the back, balance is surprisingly not a concern. Again, you’re telling me that it couldn’t have been engineered to have that Secret Disc section fold down flat against its back, while maintaining the giant orange helmet with multi-laser array? On top of this, a transformation gimmick comes back to haunt us from the Geki Beasts, and that is the replacement face. As strange as this sounds, Shinken-Oh’s head is folded back down as if in Shishi Origami form, and then an identical head from within the lower horn is put in its place. Um… why? There’s plenty of space in there to work with! Or, hey, why not design the Shinken-Oh’s own helmet to contain a face so that you don’t have to put it down just so it can be replaced with the exact same face on another accessory? Oh, here's why: because the whole front of the face spins for a gimmick which is supposed to be a giant cannon but just looks like a big crab claw. Other than the huge, completely-unavoidable projection that sticks out so unapologetically from the top-left side of the giant helmet, I can’t say that I disagree entirely with the fact there’s implied to be a giant array of cannons hiding within the body of the Origami there. Adding the beetle legs to the outside of the Shinken-Oh’s arms was a simple-yet-nice touch, nothing particularly special when you think back to the Geki Beasts. (Look at all the little mini cannon-barrels lining each forearm piece: can you say “alpha strike”?)
For all the pricey uniqueness that the Shinken-Oh brought us, the Samurai Gattai Series 01 - Kabuto Origami reminds me of how quickly a great idea can be turned into mush within just a few weeks of a series’ debut. Recommended, but under protest because it is so obviously needed for whatever lies ahead.
|Posted 24 June, 2010 - 02:39 by EVA_Unit_4A|