It’s been a while since the show has addressed the Decepticon named Cancer and how he doesn’t quite agree with everything the Decepticons do. Minerva is convinced he can be good but no one else is. This episode confronts it head on. But first, the actual plot involves Devil Z ordering his Decepticons to split up and attack various areas all over the world. Overlord is sent to destroy “Southern Europe” which seems vague. For some reason the Autobots send just Lightfoot to try to hold him back. Hydra and Buster are deployed to Northern Europe and Ranger has to fight them. In a fairly matched fight, the Pretenders on both sides battle one another in Latin America but we never check in on them throughout the episode.
If it sounds dull to just mention who is where, trust me, it’s worth knowing for later when different characters need to travel. So why isn’t the Autobot leader, the most powerful dude, Ginrai, helping out?
Oh, Ginrai is just hanging out on a Pacific island with the Headmaster Jrs. If you want to defend the fact that they’re doing jack shit, I guess you could argue they’re all waiting in case they’re needed for BlackZarak to appear or some other sort of new Decepticon weapon. But really, they’re just not fighting. But they sure are irritated at those Decepticon “yatsura” for causing so much destruction. If you read these reviews, you know I love screencapping every instance of someone shouting “Eat this” which they say a fair amount on this show. But they say one thing even more. So often I can’t screencap it all. They all call each other “yatsura” ALL THE TIME. It’s the go-to insult on this show and the translations just keep it as is. I tried to look up a translation but I can’t find one. It’s an insult but I have zero clue what it means.
The Decepticon Headmaster Jrs are also doing nothing. In fact, they’re just playing cards and reading magazines. So this war is far from epic. Bullhorn wonders aloud if this new plan is such a good idea. Devil Z is having the Decepticons work on wiping out all of humanity and Bullhorn isn’t sure if he’s down with that since he’s part of humanity.
Wilder points out that it’s too late for second thoughts and that they’ve already sold their souls to the Decepticons. As soon as they open this line of thought up, I’m now curious WHY these three wanted to join the Decepticons for this kind of power. The show will lightly touch on Cancer’s motivations but we never learn anything about Wilder or Bullhorn. They’re just generically evil.
Cancer is acting all glum and Wilder helpfully tells him that BlackZarak is actually on the way to China to destroy his hometown and kill everyone he ever knew. But he’s such a dick he tells him in passing as though he shouldn’t care. Cancer (along with his tiny gun, Browning) take off in a helicopter to try to stop it.
Cancer’s brilliant idea is to walk around in his monster form, telling everyone an attack is coming. The citizens hilariously can barely be bothered to pay attention to the giant monster, let alone heed his warnings.
Road King happens to be on patrol “in China” and watches what’s going on. It’s just one of those coincidences you have to go along with. But when this show has people bump into each other in outer space, I suppose all of China is pretty small in comparison. Road King updates Ginrai and quietly tails Cancer to see what’s going on.
Cancer next wanders into a park where a bunch of kung-fu students sees him and flees in terror. So let’s check that out: businessmen and shoppers – not scared of robot monster. Kung-fu students – terrified of robot monster. One of the students stumbles while running away but Cancer recognizes him and ejects from his Transtector to greet him.
Turns out this is Cancer’s old best friend, Chang, and they used to study kung-fu together. Cancer warns him that BlackZarak will soon launch an “indiscriminate” attack. Say what you will, the Decepticons will not be accused of racism. Their attacks are indiscriminate.
Chang and Cancer head back to their old kung fu school where Cancer is devastated to learn that his old teacher is now dead. They look at a picture and they guy looks like a goddamn monster a hundred times scarier than Cancer’s Transtector. Jesus!
Cancer remembers all the good times he had being raised by his teacher who took him in after he lost his parents. Apparently some of those days were spent balancing on his head on the palm of his teacher’s hand. You know, like we all do as kids. Cancer seems to refer to wanting to get the power he has now so that he could one day be rich and powerful and come back to pay back his teacher. Chang says their teacher thought Cancer had turned his back on him so he got sick and died!
Then two drunk students try to attack Cancer but Browning, the tiny robot, kicks each of them. Cancer decides to run away before BlackZarak attacks.
Road King is waiting by Cancer’s Transtector and says he saw everything and tries to empathize. However, Browning shoots at him and Cancer gets in his robot and runs away. Nice try, Road King. Your subjects must be in awe of your diplomatic skills.
Road King updates Ginrai on the news that BlackZarak will attack China. Ginrai gets the Headmaster Jrs into his Godbomber trailer and begins flying to China from the Pacific island he was hanging out on. He tells Road King to tell the mayor to evacuate the city. Maybe that’s what Cancer should have done? I don’t know which is more likely to clear a city – a crab robot wandering around telling everyone to run or a race car celebrity asking a mayor to listen to him.
Minerva thinks Cancer is trying to do good but Cab and Shuta tell her she’s gullible. They’re real smug about it, too.
Cancer hangs out by a bridge, glumly deciding that he really has nowhere else to go but to stay with the Decepticons. I believe in his decisions. He is just a kid, after all.
BlackZarak finally arrives from wherever the hell he’s been and begins destroying buildings left and right. He has a lot of fun blowing things up as both a scorpion and a robot. That’s the fun of being a Transformer.
Witnessing the destruction, Cancer decides to intervene but BlackZarak barely notices him. He certainly doesn’t acknowledge him. If anything, he sort of seems to add more gunfire in Cancer’s direction. It’s a little funny to me that BlackZarak is so above all the other Decepticons he just doesn’t give a shit.
Cancer looks to the burning buildings and happens to see Chang and… some guy… in one. He transforms into his robot form and picks them up out of the window. Chang says he hadn’t fled because he was hoping to see Cancer one more time. Jesus Christ. Congrats on getting your wish, you nut.
Cancer says he’ll take them to the safety of the mountains but is instantly hit by a stray laser blast and says he can’t move. He tells Chang and the other random dude to run for it and they actually listen. Cancer is then buried beneath a bunch of rubble from a collapsing building.
Ginrai FINALLY arrives in China and the Headmaster Jrs head out in their rescue vehicles. Shuta declares he will fight but then they’re ordered to help rescue people and he grudgingly agrees. What a great hero.
Minerva stops short while they’re all driving into the city and when Shuta and Cab ask why she says it’s because Browning is in the road. Sure enough, he’s there and tells the Headmasters that Cancer is trapped. It’s adorable.
Cab and Shuta want to let him die. But Ginrai tells them it’s their job to rescue people, even Decepticons. I understand his sentiment but at the same time – most Decepticons are not worth saving. They kill people. They’re bad guys. They’re your enemies. Minerva begins digging for Cancer herself but Shuta and Cab join in, under their orders.
Ginrai backs up the barely-able-to-survive Road King in a battle with BlackZarak and they knock him down. BlackZarak then calls out “Spark Dash!” but it actually does mean something. Three new Decepticons, the Firecons, emerge from the ground. I had one of these as a kid. Their gimmick was they had a flint wheel in their mouths that you could make spark. Like a lighter but with no fuel. It wasn’t very exciting and their monster forms were very generic. The transformation was essentially flip the monster head back for the robot head.
Ginrai declares that these Decepticons are “weird ones.” I’m curious where on his scale something becomes weird. Are the Autobot Pretenders not weird? They look like giant humans in bubbly astronaut outfits and turn into very vague vehicles. But they’re not weird? Ah, whatever. He’s the Autobot leader so he can throw around whatever pejoratives he wants!
The Firecons breathe fire at the Autobots but they easily dodge the jets of fire, return fire, and the Firecons blow right up. Three new characters, destroyed in under a minute. Pretty cool, aren’t they?
Ginrai radios Ranger and tells him to help Lightfoot battle Overlord. Fortuitously enough, this comes just as Ranger shoots down Hydra and Buster. They… aren’t much of a threat anymore. Wow. At least he gets to shout “Eat this!” just to make me happy.
The Headmaster Jrs successfully free Cancer from the rubble. At the same time, Devil Z orders Overlord to aid BlackZarak. Overlord arrives in the next scene. So, to summarize: it takes Ginrai half the episode to go from a Pacific island to China but Overlord can journey from Europe to China in moments. Consistency!
Overlord is about to help BlackZarak when Shuta shouts out that Cancer is by them. Lady Mega, one half of Overlord, is shocked and won’t shoot. You see, she has a creepy mother thing going on with Cancer that we won’t explore because it is creepy. God Ginrai takes advantage of having only one active opponent and shoots BlackZarak with his God Cannon. Then he flies up behind Overlord, flies into the sky and then does some cool reverse piledriver move where he smashes Overlord and BlackZarak into one another. Ruthless! The Decepticons retreat.
Shuta and Cab begin jumping up and down celebrating their win. Guys. You didn’t drive them off and there are thousands of people trapped in burning buildings and under rubble. Maybe don’t celebrate right this moment.
Oh, and the Autobots then let Cancer hop in his helicopter and leave because he had a good heart. But he is going back to the Decepticons. Ginrai, you may look like Optimus Prime but you are no Optimus Prime.