Each Shinkenger posses a small “folding-spirit” known as an Origami, which have been passed down from generation to generation. Each Origami is an embodiment of its owner and will follow only his or her command. Their small size allows them to spy on Gedoushuu activity or act as distractions. Through the use of both mojikara and specifically-designed Secret Discs, a Shinkenger can command their Origami to perform special maneuvers or even grow to giant size to combat the second lives of an Ayakashi monster!
The Shishi, Ryuu, Kuma, Saru, and Kame Origami belong to the core Shinkenger team. Each has a dormant Emblem Mode, which displays the kanji symbol of the specific Shinkenger that controls them.
kanji: fire (火)
kanji: water (水)
kanji: heaven/sky (天)
kanji: wood (木)
kanji: earth (土)
When instructed to, they can unfold themselves into Animal Mode, and act independently/sound like the animals they physically appear as. All are able to fly, though when grown to giant size, only the Ryuu and Kame Origami can still fly (the others become land-bound except for attacks and special maneuvers).
Shishi Origami (lion)
Ryuu Origami (dragon)
Kame Origami (turtle)
Kuma Origami (bear)
Saru Origami (monkey)
Though intelligent on their own, when the Origami grow to giant size through the use of the Henshin Keitai Shodou Phones and mojikara-
“Origami dai-henge” (great change)
kanji: big (大) -they are boarded by their respective Shinkenger for more-direct control in battle. They can also modify their forms as needed, converting back to a larger version of their Emblem Mode for escape or special attacks.
For the toys, both the Emblem and Animal Modes are at 1/1-scale with how they appear in their smaller forms in the series. (Shrinking/enlarging mecha is rare [thus-far] in the Super Sentai Series, and so to have them in-scale is extra special. Only the living-mecha Engines from 2008’s “Engine Sentai Go-Onger” had their toys in 1/1-scale, which could later grow to gigantic proportions in the series.)
This is what happens when a gattai is performed incorrectly- without mojikara…
kanji: unite (合)
“Shinken-Oh, united under Providence!”
Shinken-Oh’s primary weapon is the DaiShinken katana sword. (The blade is hollow PVC, the rest is ABS.)
Notice the simple-shaped Origami that appears on the blade…
The Hiden Shield (essentially a giant Secret Disc) is normally stored on its back. (This was also true for real samurai in ancient times.)
It can be placed on the side of the left arm…
…or it can be held in either hand, usually the left.
For the toy, the Hiden Shield can be removed from its base…
…and placed onto the Hiden Saiseitou ShinkenMaru. Thus, the Shield becomes the Shinkenger’s own Shield Disc- which is used to activate the Shinken-Oh’s finisher, the DaiShinken Samurai Slash.
The loss of poseability on the separate Origami is no big issue since smaller Super Sentai mecha usually get such treatment anyways. Poseability has never been a strong point in DX-sized mecha, and this one is no different. In this toy- if it moves, it is needed for a transformation only. The exceptions are the jaws of the Shishi, Ryuu, and Kuma Origami, and the shoulders of the combo. In combined form, it is only the shoulders that are dedicated to posing. What does irritate me, though, is the kanji symbols in Emblem Mode- they only appear on one side of the figure rather than both sides. While this is countered a little by the presence of smaller patterned shapes molded into the black surfaces, there is no such black surface on the back of the Shishi Origami- just a mass of folded-up parts. One thing to note that is different from the series is the golden crown on the helmet- it is closed on the toy, whereas in the series there is a gap between the two horns. I seriously doubt this was changed for safety reasons, and was more likely for stability of the plastic used. A returning flaw is really annoying- it cannot hold the full length of the grip of the DaiShinken in the right hand since it is closed on the other side of the fist. One must remember, though, that Bandai and Toei like using puns and play-on-words in their naming of items, mecha, and monsters- Origami (in this case, “folding spirit/god”) is meant to be a homonym of the word origami (“folding paper”). Thus, you need to look at the mecha here not just as more transformable mecha, but as folding and twisting and bending in the same way as the ancient Japanese paper craft. When you can see it that way, the value (or rather, the unusually-high price) of the DX Samurai Gattai Shinken-Oh becomes clearer.