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With the aid of the Headmasters the mighty Cybertrons (Autobots) continue to wage war against their evil counterparts the Destrons (Decepticons). But with Convoy (Optimus Prime) now gone can the Cybertrons win? Written by
Eric Mackenstadt <email@example.com>
Originally, the Transformers series in Japan is a re-dubbed version of the US series. When the series ended in the US, Toei produced a continuing series as Transformers still proved to be very popular in Japan. The final three episodes of the US series was disregarded from the Japanese Transformers continuity. See more »
Alright, but only for "serious" TF fans (especially G1)
The first Transformers series produced entirely in Japan, "Headmasters", is worth watching and purchasing if, like me, you're interested enough in seeing more G1-style Transformers episodes to overlook some serious flaws. It is not for people who liked the 2007 movie and want to try some earlier incarnations; for that look to the original 1984-87 series. I might even say it's not really for people who lost interest during the 3rd series of G1, as it carries down an even more esoteric path. This is not to say some of these people definitely wouldn't enjoy it, but in my own personal estimation it has some flaws only a serious Transformer fan could love. Of course, every other version of TF has had serious flaws, but many have reaped far greater rewards for getting past them.
The series is infamous for its poorly produced, ill-researched and risible English dub. It is often very funny, but I couldn't help but think how great the series could have been with a dub from the G1 cast. Unfortunately there are problems with the series no matter what language one watches it in. The show has a continuing plot throughout the 35 episodes, which is initially promising but it gets muddled quickly with some truly far-out concepts. Several familiar characters (chiefly Galvatron's henchmen Cyclonus and Scourge) seem to have had their IQs diminished in the move to Japan, which is a shame because most of the new characters aren't that interesting. The score is often grating; not a patch on the original series and especially not Vince DiCola's inspired work.
But I digress; there are some nice things about Headmasters. The censorship restrictions in Japan are nowhere near as severe as they are in America leading to some interesting scenes; chiefly some deaths which while they are not a patch on the famous scene in the 1986 movie, are quite effective in their own way. The animation is not great, but it adapts more overtly Japanese motifs to the style of the classic series quite nicely. Of course the main appeal for many fans will be to see many TF characters in the classic style for the last time. Though their behaviour and movements may be different, all the characters from the G1 series who appear here are based on the same animation models they always were. "Headmasters" does allow us to get a closer look at many characters who were underused in the original series, such as the Gestalt teams and most notably Fortress Maximus and Scorponok, characters based upon the two biggest toys in the original line. If that last sentence interested you, "Headmasters" is worth watching, if not necessarily going too far out of your way to do so. If it didn't, don't bother! BTW, the theme song contains lyrics which roughly translate to "This current suffering we are going through will be of benefit to future generations". Catchy!
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