Here’s a new weekly feature: I will recap the Transformers episodes we never got to see, along with screencaps of the weirdest stuff. You see, after the Transformers cartoon ended here in the U.S., it actually kept going in Japan. As in, the same continuity and characters. Technically, it ignored the three-part Headmasters episodes we got here and continued directly from The Return of Optimus Prime. And it went on for YEARS. Being from Japan, things were a bit different. You’ll see.
The show highlights the same-but-different right off the bat with its opening song. Visually, the animation and character models are pretty much what we’ve always seen but the song is a Japanese man singing about justice and honor. We see some of the characters we know like Rodimus Prime and Blaster (although he’s blue) and Galvatron but also a lot of new characters. Read on to learn more.
Episode 1, “Four Warriors Out of the Sky,” kicks off with Galvatron appearing on the Transformers’ home planet of Cybertron with a force of Decepticons including three new characters – Headmasters called Weirdwolf, Skullcruncher and Mindwipe. They politely introduce themselves, although the translation loses something.
Basically, this show loves any Transformer with a gimmick so you’ll see lots of the combiners, lots of the new Headmasters and anyone else that’s new. The Headmasters are basically small transformers that turn into heads which in turn control the robot body. They never spell it out but over time you pick up on the fact that the heads are the actual being and the body is sort of a tool.
The Autobots defending Cybertron call Optimus Prime who has established a new base for the Autobots on the nearby Earth-like planet Athenia. Prime gathers some troops and heads to Cybertron to help out. Hound (yes, Hound!) guesses that Vector Sigma (another reference to season 1!), the computer which controls Cybertron is unstable ever since the Autobots used up the energy in the Matrix to cure some sort of space disease in The Return of Optimus Prime.
Spike and his wife Carly come in and Spike’s entrance is three thumbs up:
Spike says he thinks the Decepticons are going after Vector Sigma to take control of Cybertron. Carly doesn’t get it:
Meanwhile, Ultra Magnus is in charge of the Autobots defending Earth. He takes troops to their space bridge but finds it blocked by Decepticons lead by their new ninja, Sixshot. Here’s their face-off:
Sixshot shoots at Ultra Magnus and Ultra Magnus ducks and shoots at the ground vaguely near Sixshot, prompting this great exchange:
Meanwhile, Wheelie and Daniel are nearby and they get chased by Trypticon. But they simply walk across a rope bridge and Trypticon falls into the ravine because he’s really, really stupid apparently.
Fortunately, a flying train shows up. Apparently these are the Trainbots. Don’t know why they fly, but they do. This turns the tide of battle and then Autobot City transforms into Metroplex and the Decepticons retreat. Then the Autobots all get in the Trainbots and use the space bridge to visit Cybertron. Wheelie and Daniel stow away.
On Athenia, Kup recalls the early days of the war for Hot Rod (4 million years ago!) and we get a second or two of seeing Megatron and Starscream fight Optimus.
A bunch of combiners punch each other around on Cybertron and Optimus dropkicks Devestaror:
Then Mindwipe hypnotizes the Autobots.
All seems lost until a massive ship arrives (helpfully subtitled “Fortress Maximus” and four Autobot Headmasters jump out.
Galvatron is taken aback by how cool they are. They each state their names. End of episode!
Episode 2 is called “The Mystery of Planet Master.” Get used to memorizing these planets. There’s a lot of going back and forth to the same planets.
While the new Headmasters balance the scales in the battle on Cybertron, Optimus Prime sneaks away to stabilize Vector Sigma, deep in the heart of Cybertron. He’s helped by the ghost of Alpha Trion, the Autobot leader who originally built Optimus (season 2 episode “War Dawn”). Actually, he mostly just follows Optimus around.
The Decepticons are temporarily driven away and the Headmasters including Fortress Maximus visit the nearby Autobot planet Athenia. There, Kup greets his friends that he hasn’t seen in 4 million years:
The Headmasters (with Kup’s help) relay their story: 4 million years ago they left Cybertron in search of a life outside of the war. They landed on the planet Master and eventually several of them rebelled under the leadership of the mysterious Scorponok. The rebels were banished from Master and joined up with the Decepticons.
The Autobots on Earth figure out that Optimus Prime is trying to stabilize Vector Sigma but theorize he won’t be able to do it without the Matrix. Optimus hid it somewhere on Earth. Blaster somehow uses his abilities to pinpoint several likely locations. It leads to the following bizarre advice for Wheelie:
However, Soundwave and his cassettes were spying on them and send Decepticons to intercept the Autobots. The Aerialbots and Stunticons battle in the desert and Galvatron and his Headmasters show up.
The Autobots beat up on the Decepticon Headmasters leading Skullcruncher to whine:
In the Arctic, there’s a battle between Hot Rod, Blaster and his cassettes and the Predacons. Then Soundwave shows up and he and Blaster decide to fight to the death. They both kill each other. Soundwave’s cassettes fly away with his remains and Blaster dies in Hot Rod’s arms. Hot Rod vows to complete his mission. Then Daniel ruins everything.
Next time, we’ll complete the Vector Sigma trilogy and take a look at Galvatron’s new weapon: The Madmachine.