The main Robo of Avataro Sentai Donbrothers, Don Onitaijin, is one of the biggest debuts in the latest Super Sentai series and is also one of the most unique Megazords.
The Robo of the 46th Sentai deviates from the usual concept seen in the mecha of the franchise and even has one of the best toy releases that any Ranger fan would want. The Don Onitaijin was also late to debut as the Don Zenkai Oh was the temporary Robo for the Sentai in early episodes. This is a full look at the Don Onitaijin and why this is a fantastic Megazord and a Deluxe figure worth getting.
The Robo, also known as Megazord in Power Rangers, is the main mecha featured in the Super Sentai series that is special in every Sentai. Like the Rangers, they are designed with the theme of the show in mind, which is usually formed by multiple machines/Zords. As most Zords are partners of the Rangers, they often match the motif of those that pilot them such as a Shark Ranger having a Shark Zord.
The Zords can be anything from Sci-fi vehicles, to Animals, or even monstrous combinations of both, but all often form a human-based mecha. Most recent Megazords often have distinguished parts, this is due to how the Zords combine to form parts of the formation, such as a yellow tiger foot due to the Sabre tooth Tiger forming a leg or a Red torso from the Red Patrol card making the body.
The 5 core Rangers form the Don Onitaijin in their Robotaro modes, which the formation first debuted in episode 12 of Avataro Sentai Donbrothers. This later feature became a replacement for the Don Zenkai Oh that first debuted in the previous series, Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger. The Don Zenkai Oh was formed with Zenkai Juran and the DonMomotaro’s EnyaRideon, a Superbike that Don Momotaro was seen riding since the premiere episode of Donbrothers.
Don Onitaijin is formed by the Red Don Robotaro, Yellow Oni Sister Robotaro, Blue Saru Brother Robotaro (Monkey), Pink Kiji Robotaro (Pheasant), and the Black Inu Robotaro (Dog). This Ranger Robo is different compared to the usual formula seen in both Sentai and Power Rangers, as it changes the way Zords are used.
The Don Onitaijin and Robotaro Forms are More Robot Than Zords
Whereas most Megazords and Zords are often as tall as skyscrapers, the Robotaro form is Ranger-sized rather than oversized. Like with the Majin form seen in Mahou Sentai Magiranger, the Rangers become the Robotaro form by using their Gold Avataro Gears but don’t grow bigger. The Zord-like form is treated like a power-up mode where the Rangers become robots with unique capabilities, hence the name deriving from ‘robot’.
This is different from most Super Sentai series, which involve all Rangers needing to ride/drive a kaiju-sized machine before entering a master cockpit. The Don Onitaijin still maintains this general size even when the Robotaro Rangers combine, with the size just an increase from the result of merging together. This changes when a Hitotsuki becomes a Hitotsuking and an alternate dimension opens from their ascension, which is much like the integrated dimension seen when the Rangers wear their glasses.
In this combination, the Don Onitaijin can use its own gold Avataro Gear to enter the alternative dimension in the expected size for a Megazord. This leads to the gigantic fights that Ranger fans are accustomed to, but instead doesn’t make people wonder about the collateral damage that usually occurs in these battles.
Even as the Don Onitaijin, the Rangers don’t enter any cockpit or spirit form but remain in their transformed bodies. With the exception of Don Momotaro, the Rangers have their heads near the parts they create yet can still talk and activate abilities. This is due to the other Rangers becoming part of Don Momotaro’s body while in Robotaro form, meaning that he is the main operator of the Megazord while the others provide support.
This Sentai Robo has a unique blend of epic gravitas with humor scattered around its design, especially when the Robotaro Rangers combined for the first time. The abilities and attacks are a significant part of this Megazord but are not as unique as the difference between past Sentai and the featured Robo in Donbrothers. The name is true to the concept as the Robotaro forms and the Don Onitaijin are a transformed team of Rangers, made to become Robots rather than Zords. The fact that it is able to change to the skyscraper size helps maintain the regular kaiju-based combat Ranger fans are used to, but it is great that the show deviates from the normal formula to bring a new experience to viewers.
Beauty-ratio equivalent for Megazonds seen in Don Onitaijin
The ratio of parts for a Megazord is a vital part of the design as each Ranger is expected to be represented when they become a part of the formation. This means that if they become a leg or an arm, then the colors and design will show even while a functional component of the mecha. Great examples of this beauty ratio for Megazord design include Dekaranger’s Dekaranger Robo, Zyuranger’s DaiZyuJin, and Gaoranger’s Gaoking.
The Don Onitaijin is one of the Super Sentai Robo formations that uses a great ratio for all the Rangers that make up the formation. This allows all colors to be on show while using the details of each Robotaro to perfectly create a unified design.
The Don Onitaijin matches the ideal ratios for both proportions of mecha and fair representation of Rangers around the anatomy. The representation of Rangers includes a Red Ranger body, Blue Ranger arms, Yellow Ranger right foot, Black Ranger left foot, and Pink Ranger shoulder armor. Kijibrother may have a lower percentage of presence in the formation but still includes their head on the right shoulder, opposite Sarubrother, and forms the dual blade weapons that are used by Don Onitaijin as the primary weapon.
The overall use of every Ranger is well balanced and grants each Ranger a perk for the Megazord formation, including mouth-fired Kiji Missiles, Wings on shoulders for flight, rapid-striking Oni Kick, and a Continuous Sky Monkey Strike from Sarubrothers arms.
After Zenkaiger, it’s great to finally see the main Robo represent all members of the core team and have that representation in the early episode of the show. Before, Zenkaiger had its own unique Robo formation using only two but then had a last-minute formation with the Zenrouku Zenkai Cannon, due to popular demand. This formation represented all Rangers of the core team near the end of the show, which is the demand that the Don Onitaijin has met with the ideal proportions.
The proportions of the Megazord are so balanced that it will be hard to determine what the designers have planned for any new formations, including the Don Doragokuu Robotaro, so fans will have to wait for the information to be revealed.
The Deluxe Figure of Don Onitaijin
The Deluxe toy of the Don Onitaijin is a perfect product created from an amazing concept idea, along with amazing articulation never seen in Deluxe Sentai Megazords. As fans would expect, the DX Don Onitaijin is formed when the 5 Robotaro figures are combined for the formation and even keeps the proportions seen in the show. The new articulation is primarily for the Don Onitaijin but some of the Robotaro figures also have articulation because of the design.
The Don Onitaijin is 35cm tall in its combined formation, which is a significant height compared to other Megazords.
The features of each Robotaro form of the Rangers are all highlighted in the united form, with details seen on every Zord combined to form Don Onitaijin. Some of the best features include the fur detail on SaruBrother Robotaro, Visor designs matching the Rangers, pink detailing on KijiBrother wings and swords, crest-based chest on Don Robotaro, and the sleek black and light blue color scheme for InuBrother Robotaro. Every detail on these forms are wisely transferred when forming the Robo, including using the core muscles of Saru Robotaro for the Megazord mode.
The designers of the DX Don Onitaijin have thought about every element for the Robo even before the show concept was finalized. Akira Terano of Bandai and Takuya Tsurumaki of Plex have spoken about the toy in an in-depth interview with Dengeki Hobby regarding the size and articulation of the DX Don Onitaijin.
Along with discussing details seen in the Robotaro forms, they have revealed the factors that have influenced the design process for the Deluxe Sentai Robo. This includes the following quotes that influenced the choice for great articulation featured in the DX Don Onitaijin.
“DX Robo is based on transforming and coalescing, and every year we throw a change ball with the concept of “This is how to play this time”. In the world, toys for children not only in Japan but also overseas are quite movable, so it is about time to move DX Robo thoroughly.”Akira Terano, Designer in Brand Design Department of Bandai Toy Division
“As for the fact that DX Robo up to now has not moved like an action figure, I think it is not “I couldn’t do it” but rather the result of my predecessors deliberately omitting to make it easier for children to play by thinking about various things.
However, my son (4 years old at the time), who was playing DX Juragaon at the time of the Zenkaiger broadcast, noticed that he could not take the same pose as in the main story. In his mind, he seems to have been connected to the main story Robo = DX Robo, but I realized again that mobility is an attractive point even for children.”Takuya Tsurumaki, Designer for PLEX
The insight into the DX Don Onitaijin has revealed that the Megazords released for Power Rangers may have influenced the toy for the new Super Sentai series. It is also interesting to discover that the target audience also appreciates articulation for their Sentai Robo toys, as a lot of fans have often used articulation to create amazing displays.
The only downside to the resulting product is that OniSister Robotaro doesn’t have the structure, or articulation, like the other Rangers, which is because they form a foot and didn’t require articulation for the transformation. It’s amazing that kids also see the fun in articulation and may hopefully change the future for Deluxe Sentai Robo releases to continue this trend.
The Don Onitaijin is a fantastic Megazord that changes the usual lore that Ranger fans are used to seeing. The balance in design for the Robo is one of the best seen in the recent Super Sentai shows and could be one of the greatest in the franchise’s history. The only improvement that could be released is another OniSister Robotaro release that has more articulation, which has been done for Zords such as Ninninger’s shinobi maru. It will be exciting to see what the plans are for the 6th Ranger as the Don Onitaijin has set a high bar for the standards in this Sentai series.
Avataro Sentai Donbrothers has a new episode airing every Sunday in Japan, with the Don Onitaijin now part of the opening cinematics. The DX Don Onitaijin is now released and available to order online or at your favourite Toku store.
What do you think of the Don Onitaijin? Have you got the Deluxe toy of the Sentai Robo? Do you like the unique concept of the Robotaro forms? Let us know on social media, or in the comments section below, and keep following The Illuminerdi for more Super Sentai.
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Source: Dengeki Hobby