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Series: Transformers Go!
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2013

Sensuimaru has a mind as cold and still as a calmed sea. No situation is too dark or too chaotic for him to think through and devise a logical plan of action. Although his demeanor can sometimes seem as cold as the ocean depths he can traverse, he actually sees himself as a mentor and father figure to the rest of the Swordbot Shinobi Team.

Robot Mode: Let’s get the bad out of the way first. All of the Swordbots have to struggle with the fact that they are part of a three-way combiner and thus are about two-thirds legs and have no actual belly and hip. Some manage quite well, some not so much, and then there is Sensuimaru, who doesn’t manage at all. Not only does the robot barely manage to conceal the fact that it has no belly and hip (the legs begin directly underneath the shoulders), it has an even bigger problem in that the lower legs, or rather the kibble hanging off them, are so wide that he can only stand wide-legged.

It’s too bad, because overall the robot doesn’t look that bad. I like the shark on the chest and the fin-blades on the arms. The face sculpt looks pretty good, too, and he can add his Kabuto helmet as a double harpoon shooting weapon on his back, which doesn’t look half-bad, either. His main weapon, the shark’s tail fin, which he can either wield combined as a sort of throwing star or separate as blades, is not that great, but looks okay, too. Overall, though, this is a robot mode clearly suffering from too many compromises. I really wanted to like it, but the lack of a lower body, the leg’s clearance issues and the odd proportions are really too much to ignore.

Alternate Mode: Sensuimaru transforms into a robotic shark / shark-like submarine and this most definitely the better of his two modes, even though that isn’t really saying much considering the abysmal robot mode. Anyway, everything folds together very nicely and the two big missile launchers that hindered his robot legs so much in robot mode now sit underneath the belly, where they look pretty good.

Overall I like the look of this mode a lot, though, as there are far too few naval modes in Transformers in general. Sensuimaru’s weapons become the tail fin and the shark mouth can open up. You can also add Sensuimaru’s Kabuto helmet/gun thing underneath to give the shark additional harpoon weapons, but that doesn’t really look that good. And that’s pretty much it. So overall a decent alternate mode, nothing special, but looking good. No particular complaints here.

Combiner Modes: Sensuimaru can combine with fellow Shinobi team members Hishoumaru and Gekisoumaru in three different variants. In this review we shall look at the GoSensui variant, where Sensuimaru forms the upper body of the combiner. The other two variants will be in the reviews of Hishoumaru and Gekisoumaru.

Simply put, the fact that he becomes part of a combiner is this figure’s salvation. GoSensui is a pretty good-looking combiner the big missile launchers now part of the forearms and the Kabuto helmet providing a cool head and chest with the shark’s head peeking through the center. Hishoumaru forms the legs and Gekisoumaru the back, all combining into a stable, nicely articulated figure. Hishoumaru’s legs might just be a little too long and skinny for this figure, but they still work and GoSensui is in no danger of toppling over. Not much more I can write here that the pictures can’t tell better, so I’ll close here with saying that if you buy Sensuimaru at all, you should leave him as part of the combiner. Which part is up for grabs, as I like all three variations of the Shinobi Team.

Remarks: I’ve written a short summary for Transformers Go! and the role of the Shinbo Team in my review of Gekisoumaru, so I’ll focus on the toy here. Simply said, Sensuimaru is by far the weakest toy among the Shinobi Team. His alternate mode is more or less okay and he works well in the combiner variations with his two teammates, but his individual robot mode is crap, simply put. So while I do recommend the Shinobi Team as a whole to all fans of Japanese Transformers and combiner teams, please realize that Sensuimaru’s ONLY value lies in being part of a pretty good combiner. He is not good for anything else, I fear, so don’t even think about getting him as a stand-alone figure.

Rating: C-
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