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A year has passed since the events of Sunbow’s third season, and the war between Convoy’s (a/k/a Optimus Prime) Cybertrons and the Destrons has finally come to its conclusion. Peace once again reigns supreme over the galaxy: but the game quickly changes with the emergence of a new breed of Transformers . . . the Headmasters!
Now you can finally watch the rarely seen Japanese series that’s had Transformers and anime fans talking for over 20 years! Includes the original Japanese audio with brand-new English subtitles!
In 1987, the toy company Takara and the Toei studio began producing an alternate version of the popular product-based Transformers series featuring characters and story lines geared to the Japanese market. For decades, American mecha fans could only watch Headmasters in dim conversions from other formats and/or bootleg copies. Shout Factory is releasing the series for the first time in the United States. During this first season, the familiar Autobots and Decepticons are replaced by a new corps of robots who turn into tanks, helicopters, and other mechanical devices designed to please the core audience of elementary-school boys. However, the basic components of the story line remain the same: friendships are forged, battles are fought, allegiances shift, threats appear, situations grow dire, and good robots triumph over bad ones. For viewers who grew up on the original Transformers, Headmasters offers an enticing blend of nostalgia and new adventures. However, anyone who lacks those childhood memories may wonder what all the excitement is about. The animation is extremely limited, the Japanese voice actors chew the painted scenery endlessly, and the direction repeats many of the clichés of '80s Saturday morning kidvid. (Instead of creating transitions between scenes, the directors simply cut to a spinning logo, as their counterparts at Hanna-Barbera and Filmation did.) The designs of the robots, including the central cadre of Fortress Maximus, Brain Storm, Chromedome, Hardhead, and Highbrow, lack the dynamic sophistication of Yoshiyuki Tomino's Gundam, which debuted in 1979. When Transformers premiered, children's advocates and parents' groups denounced it as a thinly disguised commercial, created to sell toys to boys. Those boys have grown up, and men who want to revisit that part of their childhood will revel in the struggles of Fortress Maximus and his fellow warriors against their evil counterparts. (Not rated; suitable for ages 6 and older: cartoon robot vs. robot violence) --Charles Solomon
(1. Four Warriors from Outer Space, 2. The Mystery of Planet Master, 3. Behold the Birth of Double Prime, 4. The Autobot Cassette Operation, 5. Rebellion on Planet Beast, 6. Approach of the Demon Meteorite, 7. The Four-Million-Year-Old Veil of Mystery, 8. Terror of the Six Shadows, 9. Planet Cybertron Is in Grave Danger, Part 1, 10. Planet Cybertron Is in Grave Danger, Part 2, 11. Zarak--The Shadow Emperor, 12. The Dormant Volcano Mysteriously Erupts, 13. Head On, Fortress Maximus! 14. Explosion on Mars! Maximus Is in Danger! 15. Explosion on Mars! Scorponok Appears! 16. Return of the Immortal Emperor, 17. SOS from Planet Sandra, 18. Daniel Faces his Biggest Crisis Ever, 19. Fight to the Death on Planet Beehive, 20. Battle for Defense of the False Planet, 21. Find Scorponok's Weak Spot, 22. Head Formation of Friendship, 23. Mystery of the Space Pirate Ship, 24. The Death of Ultra Magnus, 25. The Emperor of Destruction Vanishes on an Iceberg, 26. I Risk My Life for Earth, 27. The Miracle Warriors--The Target Masters, Part 1, 28. The Miracle Warriors--The Target Masters, Part 2, 29. The Master Is in Danger, 30. The Zarak Shield Turns the Tide, 31. Operation: Destroy the Decepticons, 32. My Friend, Sixshot! 33. Duel on the Asteroid, 34. The Final Showdown on Earth, Part 1, 35. The Final Showdown on Earth, Part 2)
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First up, if you're reading the review and are not a long-time fan of the Transformers then you might wonder what exactly the series is. Transformers is actually a joint operation between Japanese toy manufacturer Takara and the US-based toy company Hasbro. And back in the 80s when the first ever toys were released, Hasbro commissioned a cartoon based on the series and Takara then followed along by having the G1 cartoon dubbed into Japanese for their market as well. Fast forward 3 years to 1987 and Hasbro is finding that the brand's popularity is waning and it's not worth them paying for another full season of the G1 show, so they have a small 3-episode 4th season/de facto series finale made and leave it at that. Takara meanwhile doesn't believe they need to abandon the cartoon just yet, so they ignore the 4th season/finale episodes that Hasbro had made (called "The Rebirth") and instead get original Transformers animation company Toei (yes, Toei animation of Dragonball and Sailor Moon fame, among others) to create for them the first of what would be three new Japan-only Transformers series.Read more ›
Don't know where exactly where this will fit in (timeline wise), but if your interested in the Japanese rendition, then this will be your first choice.