Episode 11 is titled “Ginrai: God On of Rage!!” but I don’t really get it. When the Godmasters transform into engines they shout “God on!” but how do you then move into a preposition? I don’t know, all that’s important is that Ginrai will get angry this episode, according to the title.
But it begins with two pilots looking for an island that just popped up in the ocean. That island? The Decepticon base. Things are gonna get weird very quickly after the jump.
What you see there is Lord Giga golfing. Yeah, he sets up his purple golf ball on Decepticon Island or whatever they call it and drives it right at the jet, off in the distance.
Aaand blows it up. So I guess he kept the Decepticons a secret with the power of… golf. I love golf. I play regularly. But I’ve never found it to be a particularly menacing activity. Super-God Masterforce thinks differently.
Mega explains to Hydra and Buster that it isn’t just Giga’s killer swing. She’s invented “Deathballs.” They look just like golf balls, for the record. She has a case of them and they have golf dimples and everything. But these are called Deathballs because they explode.
Giga is very upset that the Autobots know about the new Godmaster, Ginrai. He doesn’t want the Autobots getting any more powerful so he smashes his golf club against the wall and orders Hydra and Buster to destroy Ginrai. It’s about as intimidating as a dude that looks like Steven Segal in a Mardi Gras costume with a golf club sounds.
Giga’s golf club’s shaft snaps. He’s just that angry. The Godmaster brothers swear to destroy Ginrai. And with those evil golf balls, I don’t know how they could fail!
Meanwhile, Diver has invited Lander to visit and try to talk Ginrai into joining up with the Autobots in the name of peace. Lander brings a bottle of wine. And the show specifically calls out a real brand, Robert Mondavi. It’s a little weird to call out a specific wine on a kid’s show, but it’s even weirder to proclaim that it’s the best wine. I like Robert Mondavi’s Cabernets. They’re very good. I don’t know about the best. Then again, I should remember that this show takes place in the future. Maybe Robert Mondavi will BECOME the best. Maybe Super-God Masterforce knows something I don’t. I’m gonna go invest in Robert Mondavi!
Okay, I’m back. Oh… the Autobots are scrapbooking. Well, this show was made before the Internet was much of a thing, let alone iPads. Still, Star Trek had iPads. They have a secret base with big computers. The best way they have to record Decepticon activity is a scrapbook. I smell Diver’s secret hobby!
Lander argues his case that the Decepticons are dangerous and Ginrai could be a real asset. But then Ginrai tells him that he’s thinking of making TV appearances with his new abilities to get rich. Lander is shocked and Ginrai says he’s just kidding. But remember that line, because I really don’t think he is. I’ll explain why, later.
Ginrai takes a break from Lander’s lecture and watches Diver feed some fish. He think they’re cute. This is clearly some well-used time where we get to know that Ginrai thinks animals that are eating are cute.
Again, Lander and Diver try to talk him into joining the Autobots, but this time Ginrai strikes an insane kabuki pose and tells them to knock it off. I don’t know whether this was supposed to be super-serious or super-silly. And that’s why I love it.
Ginrai effectively ends the meeting by saying he’s a trucker and he’s gotta ramble on. He’s a loner, Dottie. A rebel.
Meanwhile, Cab, Shuta and Minerva are eating a pile of bananas.
Cab’s bird flies in but hits the window and crashes onto the table. For some reason, this infuriates Cab and he screams at it that it’s making noise in front of a lady. I’m pretty sure that yelling at your pet when it’s hurt is not going to impress the girls, Cab.
Hawk visits and tells them he’s confident that Ginrai will join the team. When they ask what he’s like, Hawk essentially tells them how Ginrai is way better than them. Because that’s what a leader does.
Remember Hydra and Buster’s mission of destroying Ginrai? Their plan is, instead of looking for the Autobot base, to find any trucker and destroy it. We first see them buzz a truck on the highway, which is not the right color as Ginrai, but maybe they figure he gave himself a paintjob. The truckers, instead of flipping out at a jet that low to the ground, just give it a frustrated, “Watch it!”
The Decepticons shoot a deathball and blow them to hell. They literally just kill them and that’s the scene. The truckers never had a chance.
At a truck rest stop, Ginrai greets his trucker pal, Billy. He points with his can at something he calls awesome and I don’t blame Billy one bit when he asks if Ginrai is talking about his soda. But no, he’s pointing at his new truck. Billy agrees it’s fine, not too excited. Nor should he be since his truck looks nearly identical. They make plans to drink later that night at a bar called something like Nellisco. I think the Japanese animators guessed on that for an American name.
Billy is immediately tailgated by an even larger truck. It plays like the cartoon version of the Speilberg TV movie, Duel. Except Billy is way more foul mouthed than Dennis Weaver.
Even though Billy curses like a… truck driver… he’s still polite enough to just call him “persistent” when he begins ramming him from behind. Billy hits his brakes as they pull up to a railroad crossing, but the larger truck pushes Billy closer and closer to the train.
Eventually, Billy’s truck hits the back of the train and falls over and explodes. I guess the Decepticons didn’t really need those deathballs. Thanks anyway, Lady Mega.
Hydra’s reaction is pretty amazing. He looks at the flames and THEN decides, very nonchalantly, that he got the wrong one AGAIN. This dude’s not just a killing machine, he don’t give a care.
It’s the end of the work day and Ginrai hits the bar and immediately begins downing a pitcher all by himself. Hey, you can’t always have Robert Mondavi wine, the best wine in California.
Eventually, Ginrai notices the TV news reporting on dead truckers and asks his fellow truckers what’s going on. They let Ginrai know that Billy and other trucker buds have been killed today. Jesus, Ginrai. Do you even own a CB radio?
Diver and Lander are also watching the news. Diver sits in his chair just like Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Do you think he does it because he has back problems, too? The Autobot Pretenders discuss how the five destroyed trucks all looked the same. After saying it out loud, they seem to realize what they’ve just said and realize Ginrai is in danger. So we got to witness them figure that one out.
Hawk is contacted and he says he and Phoenix will come join them and help protect Ginrai. He gives the Headmaster Jr. kids the all-important job of watching the base. But why? It’s a secret base and what do they have there that’s so valuable, anyway? You can’t even spare ONE of them to help out? Hey, you’re the boss.
Ginrai knows what to do. He instantly mopes and stares at an old photo of him and Billy and some other trucker pals. I would’ve loved to have been there on the day that half a dozen truckers got to talking about how much they needed a photo to remember this special time in their lives, hanging out at a truck stop, living their dream.
Suddenly, Ginrai decides he should do something about this. And here’s where he says he should do that instead of appearing on TV. So he WASN’T kidding with Lander. He did plan on just becoming a reality TV star. Our hero!
He hops in his truck and IMMEDIATELY is tailgated by Hydra in the larger truck. That was easy.
Hydra chases Ginrai and the two battle back and forth along the winding roads over some really tall cliffs. As they round a corner, an innocent couple is terrified to see two trucks bearing down on them. But then it just drives between them. So I guess it wasn’t that big a deal.
Hydra bangs into Ginrai and while he pauses to mope about his new dents, Hydra rams him again, right off the cliff. Hey Ginrai, remember that your truck fixes itself. And you can turn into a robot. And when someone’s trying to kill you, worrying about dents is a low priority.
For the second episode in a row, Ginrai crashes his truck off a cliff. He climbs out, making sure to carry his special photo of his dead friends. Because priorities.
Hydra gets out of his truck and Buster flies in. The Autobot Pretenders also arrive right then. Buster says he’ll handle the Pretenders if his brother can destroy Ginrai, the Godmaster. It’s a flawless plan.
Buster uses his Chokon power to shoot energy at the Autobots. He comes very close to telling them to “eat this” but we have to settle for a “swallow this.” Buster wears a bird-themed helmet. Do you suppose when he said “swallow” he was hoping someone would get the pun?
Ginrai remembers that he’s a Transformer and crosses his master braces, shouting “Metamorph.” Nothing happens. Whenever Transformers in the Japanese cartoon transform, they shout “Transform!” But I never thought they HAD to do that. For instance, last episode Ginrai passed out and his master braces touched, transforming him. To hell with internal logic!
Diver tells Ginrai his magic words and like Billy Batson shouting “Shazam”, he turns into a car engine and transforms his truck into robot mode. By the way, Ginrai looks like Optimus Prime but he does not transform the same way. I had the toy so I remember being baffled by this. Optimus Prime used to have his head and arms flip out and his legs come down, turning his grill and cab windows into his chest. Ginrai transforms to the other side. That means his BACK is the cab windows and engine. His robot chest is designed to look like his other side for some reason. It’s very strange.
Ginrai throws a punch at Hydra but Hydra easily deflects it. It’s not just about power, it’s about technique! Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.
Hydra uses his space kung fu to knock Ginrai down. But before he can finish him off, some sunlight reflects off of the framed photo of Ginrai and his trucker buds. This completely blinds Hydra. I would have preferred for Ginrai to notice the reflection and turn on his headlights to blind his opponent, but we have to instead believe that a jet robot can’t deal with some reflected sun in his eyes. Well, as long as the Autobots remember this weakness, Hydra is useless. How much you want to bet that they never take advantage of this ever again?
Ginrai pounds the crap out of Hydra. The four Pretenders together hold off Buster. No huge kicks to the face or badass wrestling moves this week, sorry.
The Decepticons do their retreat thing, not because they’re losing badly but because they know the episode is almost over. At least that’s how it works in my head. But what about all those deathballs? As the Godmasters flee, they rain down dozens of exploding deathballs at Ginrai.
Yeah, Ginrai is fine. Sitting on his butt, rubbing his robot head, but nary a scratch on him. Those deathballs are real duds!
Suddenly the Headmaster Jrs show up. Hawk is surprised and asks why they aren’t watching the base. The reason? They want to meet Ginrai. Hawk just accepts this and says something about how what’s done is done so go ahead. Lander tells them next time they’ll be in trouble, though. I doubt it.
Hawk expresses his sympathy over Ginrai’s lost pals but asks him to join and says maybe the Autobots can all be his new friends. It’s slightly less callous than that time that Minerva bought a little girl a new puppy because the Decepticons killed her old one.
But Ginrai isn’t convinced! He ends the episode telling them he’ll think about it. Yeah! His friends have all been killed, he has the power to stop this from happening, but he still isn’t convinced! He must have one hell of a TV appearance deal he’s mulling over. Anyone want to speculate on what the moral of the episode is supposed to be? Because I can’t figure it out.