|Index||4 reviews in total|
This Japanese only episode introduces Metroplex, Trypticon, Ultra Magnus,
the Arielbots, Protectobots, Stuntacons, and Combaticons. Note that this
episode's plot conflicts with that of the American series, so it should be
viewed as independent of its American counterpart.
The episode itself is good, however, this episode was meant to be a first of a running series - this episode ends in a cliff hanger - Metroplex and Trypticon are about to face off. Sadly, no other episodes were made.
It's quite unfortunate because the first episode showed potential of a strong series.
Of all the Transformer spin-offs, this Japanese-language one shot is
the one that feels closest to G1. Of course, this is mostly because it
was produced in the G1 era and uses the same Animation models and style
as the classic series, in addition to a lengthy prologue consisting of
footage taken straight from the American cartoons.
"Scramble City" isn't deep, even by Transformer standards. It is a Toy commercial on a level perhaps unrivalled in Transformers at least until the brief Fourth Season. The main purpose of it is to sell the Gestalt (combiner) teams (Constructicons/Devastator, Stunticons/Superion, Aerialbots/Superion, Protectobots/Defensor, Combaticons/Bruticus) and Autobot (Metroplex) and Decepticon (Trypticon) cities. But the sequences showing these characters are fun and exciting, and its engrossing and extremely enjoyable for a Big G1 fan like me just to watch these characters, some of which were underused in the original series, in action. The show is also noteworthy for the first appearance of Ultra Magnus, one of the most beloved Transformer characters.
"Scramble City" is a great watch for all G1 fans, and makes a superb bonus on the DVD of the classic animated movie.
Well, ok, I lied. You'll still be confused. Ostensibly, this piece of work
serves to sort of bridge the gap between the end of the second season and
the beginning of the third (this is referred to as an entirely separate
series, "2010," in Japan, however). This is important, given that the
of "Transformers the Movie" do not occurr in the Japanese timeline. The
premise is pretty simple: Convoy tasks Ultra Magnus with overseeing the
construction of a secret superfortress (alternately referred to as
City and Metroflex) to combat the Constructicon combiner Devastar.
catches wind of this and dispatches multiple Destrons to destroy it.
Hilarity ensues. As the other reviewer mentioned, this doesn't fit into
American cartoon continuity. What he did not mention, however, is that it
also fails to fit in with the Japanese continuity for which it was made.
With the exception of "Transformers The Movie," everything that happened
the US cartoon continuity up until the 4th season 3-parter "The Rebirth"
happened in the Japanese continuity. This means that Starscream would have
no reason for being totally unaware of the Stuntron unit as he was very
present for the construction of it in season 2. Likewise, how is that
Dinosaurer is present in the timeline before his own creation which
in "2010?" This one-shot video does not do much to clarify anything. Quite
frankly, it's a showcase for the third-year figures like the Aerialbots
As a one-off episode, however, Scramble City is pretty decent. Fair characterization and great original animation make it come together really well. Not counting continuity, the only major gripe I have with this episode is the voice work. If you can get past the fact that a lot of the voices sound exactly the same, then you're confronted with the fact that many of them are really, really annoying. The combiners have these incredibly low voices that make their words virtually indistinguishable. Convoy is far too melodramatic. Bumble sounds like a 4-year-old child. This is a good introduction to the Transformers mythos, but I honestly can't see myself recommending this to someone who doesn't have at least a little knowledge of the original Transformers series.
This OVA is split in two parts: the first half is just recap and
recycled footage from the American cartoon episodes 'More Than Meets
the Eye' and 'Master Builders', resulting in slightly over 10 minutes
of actually new footage.
Even if the original Transformers cartoon was basically just half-hour toy commercial, it was never quite so blatant about it as Scramble City is. SC basically uses that 10 minutes of new "story" to show nothing but big robots fighting, which it uses as an excuse to throw all the season 2 gestalts on the screen, silently telling children "do you have these yet?".
Scramble City was meant to bridge the 20-year gap between season 2 and *The Movie* and not season 3 as you are most commonly told. The Movie actually IS part of the Japanese continuity, and although it didn't make it to the far east until 1989, most people did know the basic premise of the film, thanks to generous coverage by TV Magazine which published much of Transformers printed material at the time.
However, it does not fit into the American continuity for one big reason; the episode ends with Trypticon making his debut, and if you've seen Five Faces of Darkness, you know that he hasn't even been built yet (the Japanese dub of the cartoon changed this). Scramble City was meant to be the first part in a series, but for some reason, no other parts were made. "Scramble City 2" is not a sequel, but merely a retelling of this one using the actual toys with stop animation.
Despite having received something of a cult status in the west due to being a part of Japanese G1 Transformers that never made it into the English-speaking territories, I have to say that you'll be better off not having seen this. Like I said, there's only about 10 to 12 minutes of actually new animation, and the storyline is nonexistent.
|Plot summary||Ratings||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|