Series: Transformers Go! 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.
Letís 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 doesnít 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.
Itís too bad, because overall the robot doesnít 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 doesnít look half-bad, either. His main weapon, the sharkís 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 legís clearance issues and the odd proportions are really too much to ignore.
Sensuimaru transforms into a robotic shark / shark-like submarine and this most definitely the better of his two modes, even though that isnít 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. Sensuimaruís weapons become the tail fin and the shark mouth can open up. You can also add Sensuimaruís Kabuto helmet/gun thing underneath to give the shark additional harpoon weapons, but that doesnít really look that good. And thatís pretty much it. So overall a decent alternate mode, nothing special, but looking good. No particular complaints here.
Sensuimaru can combine with fellow Shinobi team members Hishoumaru
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 figureís 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 sharkís head peeking through the center. Hishoumaru forms the legs and Gekisoumaru the back, all combining into a stable, nicely articulated figure. Hishoumaruís 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 canít tell better, so Iíll 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.
Iíve written a short summary for Transformers Go! and the role of the Shinbo Team in my review of Gekisoumaru, so Iíll 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 Sensuimaruís ONLY value lies in being part of a pretty good combiner. He is not good for anything else, I fear, so donít even think about getting him as a stand-alone figure.