MRD Review: Transformers: The Headmasters

Holy crap! For once, I actually made a review again after how long exactly? Yeah, I’d like to apologize for this review taking so long. The main reason I took so long is really just because I had a really rough college semester last spring, but there were other reasons which I will actually get into later. Regardless, I apologize for taking so long and I promise no other review will take this long ever again. That being said, time to get into the next show, Transformers: The Headmasters.

Now, let’s start off with a little bit of background information. A lot of you may not have ever watched this show and the reason is that this show only ever aired in Japan. In the US, the original G1 cartoon ended with a brief fourth season where the concept of Headmasters was introduced and it ended with Cybertron being restored to its former glory while the Decepticons got stranded in deep space. However, in Japan they never got the brief fourth season that viewers in the US got. Instead, Takara decided to continue with the series and made an entire show with the Headmasters concept in it, albeit with a few changes. In the fourth season of G1, Headmasters were organic beings who piloted Transformers in place of the Transformers’ head, which was removed. In this show, they are Transformers who learned how to become a head for a larger body called a “Transtector”. However, even the show was never really aired in the US, it did eventually get an English dub which is rather infamous due to it being dubbed in a country where the native population does not generally speak English, which can provide for unintentional comedy.

This show features the return of many Transformers from the G1 cartoon as well as the humans Spike, Carly, and Daniel. We also get introduced to some new faces, primarily the Headmasters. The Autobot Headmasters include their leader Cerebros (or Fortress in the Japanese version), Chromedome, Hardhead, Brainstorm, and Highbrow while the Decepticon Headmasters include their leader Scorponok, as well as Skullcruncher, Mindwipe, and Weirdwolf. As for the plot, it takes place one year after the end of the third season of G1 and starts with the introduction of the Headmasters who are robots from Cybertron who departed from the planet long ago and ended up stranded on the planet Master, and to survive the harsh environment they learned to transform into heads and combine into larger bodies called transtectors, hence why they are called “Headmasters”. Aside from that, it’s just the typical Autobots vs Decepticons type of story where the Decepticons are trying to destroy the Autobots and rule the universe and the Autobots have to stop them.

With all that out of the way, what is my opinion of the show itself? Remember how I said earlier that there were other reasons in addition to just college that caused me to take so long with this review? Well, another reason is that I really did not enjoy this show at all. I honestly had to really force myself to watch this show and finish it. I really didn’t want to keep watching after just 8 episodes, but I forced myself to watch the entire show. Just like with the G1 cartoon, the main problem with this show is that the writing is a complete mess. Granted, I stated in my G1 review that I did enjoy the show despite the bad writing but at least I liked a lot of the characters and ideas present. I also watched that show years ago and had more tolerance for its writing back then. As also stated in my G1 review, when I went back to watch a few episodes more recently I found that the show didn’t live up to its original expectations. The only part of that show that did was the 1986 animated movie. Maybe if I had watched this show years ago, I would have been able to appreciate it more.

But enough about that. Let’s get into what it is that’s so bad about the show’s writing. Just like with G1, it is very inconsistent and in general not very well thought-out or anything. For example, in the first few episodes, Optimus Prime had to reach Vector Sigma to stabilize it and to reach it he had to go through so many traps and obstacles… then he gets there, and the Decepticons were there waiting for him. It’s not like they were there to begin with either. Rather, they heard he was heading there and went there and were just there and didn’t have to go through anything. And then Autobot reinforcements arrive and they didn’t have to go through anything either. Was there some sort of secret backdoor entrance that Prime was unaware of or something? And that’s not all. Throughout the whole show, things just come out of nowhere for the sake of the plot, be it the Headmasters magical ability to hold hands and recharge their energy through the power of friendship (no, I’m not even kidding about this. If you really want, you can watch the show yourself and you’ll see that it happens in some of the later episodes), or when Fortress Maximus is out of energy and is at the mercy of an exploding planet and then the explosion’s energy somehow recharges him and lets him escape or he’s thrown into lava and survives with no explanation. And then some things just don’t make sense. Like, in one episode when Vector Sigma is creating a new metal that was stronger than the regular Cybertronial metal, Scorponok feared what could happen if it fell into the hands of the Autobots so he decided that the only way to stop them was not just to destroy Vector Sigma, but all of Cybertron…. May I ask why he needed to wipe out the whole planet? I get Vector Sigma, but why all of Cybertron? And if anyone is wondering, I’m not just nitpicking a handful of moments like this from the show. Rather, these kinds of things happen throughout and these are just a few notable examples. Another thing to add is that the battle sequences in this show feel very repetitive. Not much feels different about any of the battle sequences in this show.

Yes. Because these guys were such well-developed characters that I care so much about them when they died because of the Decepticon scum, and you play that sappy music in the background(sarcasm). Also, if you're wondering, the dying guys are members of some alien species that appear throughout the show.

As for the characters, I don’t care for any of them at all, be it Autobot, Decepticon, human, or anything else. There’s nothing about any of the Headmasters on either side that appeal to me, Cyclonus and Scourge are treated like idiots, Wheelie and Daniel are REALLY annoying, especially Daniel who is always whining, half of the Autobots don’t actually do anything such as Arcee, Scorponok is a bland villain, and I could just go on. Seriously, the characters in this show have such a small appeal that when someone dies I don’t even care, even if it’s someone who I may actually be a big fan of in other Transformers series. And no. The sad music they play when someone dies doesn’t help even a little to make me feel bad at all. Though, speaking of the music, one of the only good things about this show is the background music can be catchy at times. Also, for an 80s show, the animation was pretty good. Those are the only positive things I can think of for this show. Though, if you decide to watch the English dub, you may also get some enjoyment out of the terrible voice acting and dialogue.

Now, if anyone out there enjoys this show, I’m sorry. I’m not trying to take that away and if you like it, more power to you and you go ahead and keep enjoying it. But I personally couldn’t stand this show. I really wanted to just stop watching and a few times I would go for days without watching any episode and had to really force myself to finish it, and I don’t plan on ever revisiting this show ever again. Maybe I’m looking at this show the wrong way, and should realize it’s an 80s show and I may just not have an appreciation for what it may have been trying to do (aside from helping to sell toys of course :P). That being said, I hope you enjoyed this review and I apologize if it was not to your liking. The next Transformers show I plan to review is Super-God Masterforce, or just Masterforce for short. I don’t know when it’ll be up as I have to watch the show first but I’m hoping I’ll be able to get it done by the end of next week. With that, I will see you all later.

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MRD Review: The Transformers: The Movie (1986 animated movie)

Welcome everyone to my review of The Transformers: The Movie, an animated movie made in 1986 based off of the popular 80s show that aired at the time. The events of the movie takes place between the second and third seasons of the show (and in my opinion, it probably should have been the ending considering what happened in the third season) but the reason I’m reviewing it separately from the show is because I felt that because this was a whole animated movie, it wouldn’t be right to just stuff it in the same review as the show. With that being said, let’s jump right into the review.

First, let’s talk about the plot and characters. I’m not going to go into the whole plot because I don’t want to spoil everything (even though this movie has been out for almost 30 years). In fact, I will state right now that in a lot of my future reviews, I don’t plan to spoil the ending or give away the full story for any show regardless of whether the show came out 2 years ago or 20 years ago just so that anyone who is interested in watching these shows after reading these reviews won’t already know a lot of the plot. Though, there are some shows where I will be making exceptions because I really don’t see how I can talk about the plots of certain shows without giving away some information about the plot from a previous show. But even in those cases, I will do my best to spoil only what I feel I absolutely need to give away to explain the plot of another show.

The plot of the animated movie is that it is the year 2005, and the Decepticons have managed to conquer Cybertron, and the Autobots’ only line of defense now are bases on Cybertron’s moons and Autobot City on Earth. The Decepticons attempt to crush Autobot City to force a final surrender from the Autobots, and this would culminate into a huge battle that took the lives of many Autobots and ended with a climactic battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron which would end with Optimus getting fatally wounded while Megatron would end up crippled, but alive. With Megatron injured, the Decepticons are forced to retreat and Optimus Prime passes on the Matrix to Ultra Magnus upon his deathbed. However, as all this is happening, a new threat emerges in the form of the planet-sized transformer known as Unicron who devours whole worlds and now has his sights set on Cybertron itself. However, the Matrix of Leadership is the only thing that can stop him and so he summons the crippled Megatron and other injured Decepticons to himself, reformats them, and gives them greater power. Megatron, now called Galvatron, along with Cyclonus, and Scourge and his sweeps then set out to find the Autobots to destroy them as well as the Matrix.

The 1986 animated movie introduced a few new characters while killing off a lot of the old cast (after all, how else is Hasbro going to sell new toys? :P). Among the new characters are Hot Rod, a young hot-headed Autobot with potential to be a great leader and who also serves as the protagonist, Ultra Magnus, a noble Autobot who was chosen by Optimus to lead the Autobots after his death, the old-timer Kup, a female Autobot Arcee, the quick-speaking and quick-moving Blurr, Springer, Wheelie, and Spike’s son Daniel Witwicky. There are also new villains such as Unicron, a giant planet-sized Transformer that devours whole worlds who also serves as the antagonist, Galvatron who is essentially just Megatron but he was reformatted by Unicron after being grievously wounded by Prime in their final battle and is now stronger than ever, as well as Galvatron’s troops Scourge and his sweeps, and his lieutenant Cyclonus. A few old characters also return like the Dinobots, Spike Witwicky, the Constructicons, Soundwave, Starscream, and more. Though, some members of the old cast only make brief appearances as many of them are killed off, and some of their deaths are not even shown on screen like Wheeljack.

Always remember - he died for your sins... and so Hasbro could sell more toys :P

Anyway, that’s enough about the plot and characters. It’s time for the actual review. What do I think of the animated movie? First, I’d like to say that it has been a few years since I last watched the animated movie but I watched a few times to prepare for this review. If you’ve read my review of the G1 cartoon, then you’d know that I think that show has not aged very well and rewatchings of episodes causes them to hold up noticeably worse every time. So how has this animated movie held up? Pretty well, actually. Now, don’t get me wrong – the movie is not perfect as I noticed a few issues with the plot here and there like how the Autobots just feel that the Matrix will stop Unicron on a whim and there area few plot inconsistencies with the cartoon itself (like Prime suddenly had the matrix in this movie but was never actually shown possessing it in the show prior to this movie), but overall I really enjoyed it. One thing I really appreciated about the movie is that the pacing is really good. Every moment of the animated movie serves some sort of purpose in the overall plot. There’s never a moment like, say, from Transformers: Dark of the Moon, where right after Sentinel Prime reveals that he made a deal with Megatron long ago to save his planet, instead of continuing on and going to something actually relevant to the plot, the next scene is about Sam talking to his parents about his relation with Carly which does nothing to serve the plot and was completely unnecessary and which I doubt anyone watching a film titled “Transformers” gave a crap about. Here, everything flows well and everything is plot important.

As for the characters, admittedly there are a few I don’t really care all that much for like Daniel and Wheelie, and Arcee honestly feels like she’s there for the sole purpose of having a female character in the story. The main antagonist Unicron, however, in his debut I felt was very imposing. I mean, at this point we’d seen robots who turn into cars, trucks, planes, military vehicles, and more but this is the first time we really see one that turns into a whole planet. And whenever he’s on screen, he had an imposing presence about him. Galvatron was also pretty menacing as well. The protagonist Hot Rod, I’ll admit I wasn’t a big fan of him because he caused Prime to die in the first place through his carelessness, but I like how we see him go from being a young hot-headed Autobot to a seasoned warrior. He’s kind of like Luke Skywalker from Star Wars episode IV. In fact, a few people have noted similarities between this movie and Star Wars like Arcee’s helmet looking similar to Princess Leia’s hairbuns, the Matrix is kind of like the Force, and Unicron is like the Death Star. But, enough of that little tangent. Kup serves as a sort of mentor to Hot Rod throughout the movie and often talks about old stories, the Dinobots are also like they were in the cartoon - big, brutish, and not very bright, and pretty much everyone from the cartoon is just like they were in the cartoon itself which I'm happy about.

You gotta wonder how hard Sludge was hit if his eyeballs popped out like that.... before going back into his head like nothing happened.

Then there’s the soundtrack. Throughout the film, there are tons of hard-rocking 80s songs like Stan Bush’s “The Touch”, Dare to be Stupid by Weird Al, the main theme by Lion, and more. I admit they add an interesting touch to the movie. As for the animation quality, well it’s an 80s animation so you can’t expect anything that great by today’s standards. And just like the G1 cartoon itself, there are a few technical errors here and there but nothing too bad. I think the voice work is also pretty good. Orson Welles voices Unicron (sadly, it was also his last performance before he died) and gives him a really imposing voice, Leonard Nimoy does a great job as Galvatron,, Hot Rod is voiced by Judd Nelson, Blurr is voiced by the fastest-talking man in the world John Moschitta Jr., Susan Blu voices Arcee, Robert Stack voices Ultra Magnus, and the rest of the cast return to reprise their roles in the movie such as Frank Welker as Megatron and Soundwave, and Peter Cullen voices Optimus Prime. Also, there are lots of other voice actors I didn’t list, but I don’t want to just spend too much time in this review listing everyone who was part of the movie.

Overall, I really enjoyed the 1986 animated Transformers movie. It’s definitely the best part of the original G1 cartoon and to this day it is still a cult classic among Transformers fans. Even though the movie also takes place in the middle of the G1 cartoon, part of me does feel that anyone who hasn’t watched the cartoon and who can get past the 80s animation may find some enjoyment in it. With that said, I hope you enjoyed this review and I will see you all next time for my review of Transformers: Headmasters.

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MRD Review: The Transformers G1 (1984 cartoon)

Welcome to my first Transformers show review. Since I’m going in chronological order, it’s only fitting that I start with the original 1984 show that started it all, “The Transformers”, or as it is commonly referred to, Generation 1 or G1 for short. The name of the show was originally just “The Transformers”, but since the toyline after it was called “Generation 2” or G2, everyone just referred to the toyline and everything else that came out before it as G1.

Before the actual review, I’m going to start off with some backstory. The whole idea behind Transformers started when Hasbro partnered with Takara and bought the rights to one of their toylines featuring transforming robots. However, Hasbro, with the help of Marvel, actually went and gave a backstory and characterization to all the robots, thus giving birth to the Transformers franchise. Marvel would also produce a comic series as well as help create the original show that I’m going to review.

I also want to mention that although this is the first show, I did not actually grow up with this show. Rather, I grew up with Beast Wars and (unfortunately) Beast Machines. I knew of this show for some time but I didn’t actually watch it until around the time of the first live-action Transformers film by Michael Bay. In fact, it was around that time that I really became a more hardcore fan of the franchise, because from the film, I learned of the comics based off of the movie by IDW Publishing and from that I learned that IDW had an ongoing comic series so that’s how I got into the comics, which is probably my favorite medium of the franchise. Now, even though Transformers was based off of a toyline and even though it’s a huge part of the franchise, I actually don’t really collect the figures all that much. This is mostly just because right now I don’t really have the money to collect a lot of the figures. I still have a few figures from the Beast Wars era from when I was a kid, but other than that I don’t have that many of them. Of course, when I can afford it, I will probably start collecting them as well.

Anyway, I think you’ve all had enough of just reading about this, so it’s finally time to get to the actual review.

Let’s start with the plot. The story behind Transformers is centered around a conflict between two warring factions of transforming robots that come from the planet Cybertron. One on hand, there’s the heroic Autobots, lead by Optimus Prime, who fight for the freedom of all. And on the other hand, there’s the evil Decepticons, lead by Megatron, who dream of conquest. Their war wages on for millions of years and eventually their planet becomes barren of all its resources as a result. Desperate to find more resources, particularly energon, the life-blood of all Cybertronians, the Autobots start seeking out other worlds to find the resources they need to restore life to their planet. Eventually, the Autobots locate Earth and travel there on a ship called the Ark. However, the Decepticons managed to learn of their plan and follow them in their flagship, the Nemesis. On the journey to Earth, the two sides continue to battle it out and in the midst of it the Decepticons manage to board the Autobots ship where the battle continues. However, amidst all of this chaos, the Ark loses control and crashes into a volcano, resulting in everyone onboard, both Autobot and Decepticon, going into state of stasis lock.

Millions of years later, the volcano known in the modern day as Mt. St. Helens erupts and awakens the robots onboard who then take on the forms of machines on Earth, mostly vehicles, and their battle then continues on this planet. With their war now taking place on Earth, humans start to get caught in the middle of it all. The Autobots try to form a more cordial relationship with the humans by working together with them, while the Decepticons are more hostile and desire to drain the planet of all its resources. Of course, every now and then the Decepticons also ally themselves with some humans who harbor wicked intentions. Among the most notable humans that get involved are Spike Witwicky and his dad Sparkplug (might I ask why he was named that? Seriously, who names their child “Sparkplug”?). Along the way, other humans who get involved include Carly, who would become Spike’s girlfriend and eventually his wife, Chip, a supergenius whose legs are disabled (I think it was meant as a nod to Stephen Hawking), eventually Daniel Witwicky, the son of Spike and Carly, Marissa Faireborne, and as I said earlier, every now and then a human villain who allies themselves with the Decepticons, though there are occasionally villains who work independently.

Now, I’m not going to go too much in depth into the rest of the story since a lot of it is just Decepticons creating new evil plans to get energon and the Autobots having to stop them. Along the way, however, new Autobots and Decepticons are also constantly introduced, including some unique Transformers such as Gestalts, which are Transformers who can combine to form bigger Transformers, and Transformers with multiple alternate forms, like the triple changers. Overall, nothing too plot important happens until the events of the 1986 animated Transformers movie (which I will be reviewing individually after this review), when the old cast was pretty much killed off, including Optimus Prime himself, and a new cast of Autobots and Decepticons was introduced (and all because Hasbro needed to sell toys. How about that? :P). Megatron would also get upgraded and would call himself Galvatron, while the Autobots new leader was Rodimus Prime, who was formerly just Hot Rod but became leader after Prime’s death and after he received the Matrix of Leadership.

With that, I think I’ve said enough about the plot. So, what do I think of this show, personally? I think that it has a lot going for it. I love a lot of the characters. I like Optimus Prime, the heroic and noble leader of the Autobots, I like Ironhide, the tough-guy and muscle behind Optimus’ words, I think Megatron is a cool villain. Sure he suffers from 80s villain syndrome, but I like a lot of the evil schemes he has and I like that he’s not just leader of the Decepticons because of his might, but because he’s an excellent strategist as well. There’s also Starscream, the conniving lieutenant of the Decepticons who desires to overthrow Megatron and become their new leader. Of course, he’s not very good at keeping it a secret from Megatron and isn’t that competent so he doesn’t ever really succeed in doing this. Soundwave is pretty much the most loyal of Megatron’s henchmen, and I also really like his voice which is done by Frank Welker (who also voices Megatron himself, as well as half of the cast of this show). The Dinobots are also among my favorites, especially their leader Grimlock. The Dinobots are a team of Autobots who were built to be exactly like dinosaurs, so they are incredibly powerful but not very bright. Then there’s also the cold and calculating Shockwave, another of Megatron’s most loyal henchmen who actually stayed behind on Cybertron as a guardian. I could go on, but generally I like a lot of the characters in this show, though, to be quite honest I’m not too big on the humans. Granted, there are really only a handful of humans in the whole Transformers franchise that I genuinely like, so it’s not like this show is alone in that. I mean, I don’t hate the humans by any means, but I don’t really care for them all that much either. And there are some characters I just despise… particularly an Autobot named Wheelie who is introduced in the 1986 movie. I’m sorry, but Wheelie and his stupid rhymes can die in a fire if you ask me.

Anyway, aside from just the characters, I’d say my favorite thing about this show is just the imagination and ideas present. Despite being a show based off of a toyline and being about robots who just transform that come from a distant planet, I like a lot of the ideas that are used throughout the show. I like seeing the various schemes that Megatron has, I like all the technology at the disposal of the Cybertronians, I love some of the ideas for transformations like some robots who actually turn into cities (i.e. Metroplex and Trypticon) and others who have more than one alternate form, and in general I feel that this show was a wellspring of ideas which can serve as the basis for lots of potential stories.

I also have a lot of respect for this show because it is the original Transformers show. As I stated before, I did not grow up with this show, but having watched it as well as viewing various other Transformers media, I can see how this show had influence in those other media. Without this show, there are a lot of other great shows and comics that we never would have gotten.

However, all that being said, this show has its flaws. The primary issues of this show lie in its plot and a lot of the writing. Honestly, this show’s plot can be very repetitive. Like 80% of the episodes can pretty much be summed up as “Autobots discover something like a new energy resource or invent something new, Decepticons learn about it and plan to steal it and use it for themselves, some more stuff happens, then Autobots and Decepticons engage in battle, there’s some banter between Megatron and Starscream with Starscream trying to say everything would work better if he was in command and Megatron beating him up or just scolding him, then the Decepticons seem to gain the upper hand as they obtain whatever the Autobots discovered, Autobots regroup and retaliate and win at the end of the day, and then it ends with the Decepticons running away like bumbling idiots with the Autobots having a comical laugh, maybe a moral of the story, or something”. Or a lot of the time, it’s just” Decepticons create evil scheme to destroy Autobots and rule Earth or Cybertron or whatever, and the Autobots have to stop them.” While they have different schemes, and I said I do like seeing the different ideas present in each episode, the repetitive plotline can be dull after a while.

In addition to being repetitive, the show’s plot can also become very inconsistent. Let’s take the origins of the Constructicons for example. In their debut episode, they were stated as having been built by the Decepticons as construction robots. However, in a later episode the Autobot Omega Supreme says that they were once Autobots and they were his friends back on Cybertron, where he served as the guardian of a city called Crystal City. Megatron then captured them and brainwashed them with some device and turned them evil, and also gave them the ability to combine into an even bigger robot called Devastator. It was also stated that the brainwashing was permanent and Omega said it could not be reversed…. And then in another episode where the Decepticons are planning to destroy the whole planet with the intention of then gathering all the energy created as a result of the planet’s destruction to use as energon to revive Cybertron, the Autobots manage to actually take control of Devastator to try to use him to stop Megatron’s plan… wait, I thought Omega Supreme said that the brainwashing was irreversible. So how did they do that? And again, what is their origin supposed to be? Are they Decepticon-created robots or were they former Autobots? Oh, and in yet another episode the Constructicons are shown creating Megatron….. Wait, what?

Apparently, these guys were once Autobots. But...
They also created the evil leader of the Decepticons, who would later brainwash them, and then build them when the war takes place on Earth. Makes perfect sense.

And it’s not just them. Let’s take the Autobot Skyfire. In his debut episode, Skyfire was introduced as an old comrade of Starscream’s who was found buried in the Arctic by the Decepticons, and so he decides to join them initially, but over time he finds himself sympathizing with the Autobots and so he switches to their side. At the end of this episode, he makes a heroic sacrifice to stop the Decepticons evil scheme before crashing and getting buried beneath the arctic yet again. The Autobots and Spike all mourn for him and act like they’ll never forget him… and then the very next episode they apparently just dug him out and he’s apart of their team…. So, what exactly was the point of mourning for him if they were just going to dig him out of the ice and have him join them anyway? The show is just full of inconsistencies. Another example is that Optimus Prime is never shown possessing the Matrix of Leadership until the 1986 animated Transformers movie, and it’s shown he contains it in his chest. Yet there were previous episodes where he was disassembled or analyzed and the matrix was never shown.

But the problems with the writing don’t end there. Some episodes, the writing can get really bad. For example, there’s an episode where Megatron devises this ultra-complicated plan to make a machine that can move the moon to alter the tides to generate energy. Where’s the issue? For his machine to be able to move the moon, it would already require a large amount of energy… so why doesn’t he just use all that energy to do whatever he planned to do, rather than make this ultra-complicated plan to begin with? I get that this is an 80s show and that it’s likely more about imagination and not about being realistic, but there are times I feel I have to question what the writers were thinking when they wrote certain episodes.

However, despite all this, the inconsistent and repetitive plot and questionable writing was tolerable for me mostly because I liked the characters and a lot of the ideas that were present in the show… that is, until season 3. This is the point at which the show really started going downhill. The third season of the show takes place after the 1986 animated movie, so there’s a completely new cast of Autobots and Decepticons. However, there’s honestly only really a handful of episodes from the third season that I genuinely enjoyed, such as the more Decepticon focused episodes, the one featuring a cameo of Cobra Commander himself, and the episodes featuring Optimus Prime’s return, as well as a few others. But for the rest of the season, I really felt that the writers were scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas. There was literally an episode about Daniel wanting to find out when Ultra Magnus’ birthday is so they can give him a huge celebration. However, he doesn’t want to ask him when it is because he wants to keep it a surprise. So this results in him going on a huge adventure which eventually leads to him finding some central database that contains all information about every Cybertronian, and then there’s a huge battle with the Decepticons which results in the destruction of the database, so all the information in it is lost forever. At the end, Magnus asks him why he went through all that trouble and so he tells him, and then Ultra Magnus responds by saying that even he doesn’t know when his own birthday is. So what do they do? They decide to just make his birthday that present day… so their whole adventure was just a huge waste of time. I remember when I first watched that episode, I literally just facepalmed at the ending and I was even cringing throughout the whole episode because the very premise came off as ridiculous to me.

The show also has lots of coloring, animation, and technical errors here and there, but I actually don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s an 80s show so issues like that don’t bother me that much.

Technical errors like this actually don't bother me much. In fact, sometimes they make for unintentional comedy. :P

When I first watched this show about 7 years ago, I actually really enjoyed it a lot. And while I still like it, over time as I’ve rewatched some episodes I’ve honestly found that the show got notably worse. There are episodes I initially thought were really cool, which upon rewatching made me realize how flawed the writing was in certain places. Take “The Key to Vector Sigma” for example. When I first saw it, I thought it had a cool premise and I liked the ideas present (and I still do). Then I rewatched it and noticed there’s an instance where Optimus describes how they narrowly avoided a blast… yet we never saw the blast onscreen. I even rewatched it and paid closer attention and still noticed nothing. And this episode is just one example. There are other episodes which were fine at first but were notably worse upon reviewing.

Now, I know this last part of the review sounds very negative and it probably gives you the impression that I don’t like this show. Don’t get me wrong – I still like this show and I have a lot of respect for it for being the first Transformers show. However, I feel that it hasn’t aged that well. Part of the reason I was able to enjoy this show upon my first viewing was because I kept in mind it was an 80s show. There are a lot of people who regard this show as being the best Transformers show ever made. I think that this show may have been awesome back when it first came out, but by today’s standards it honestly isn’t that great. And it’s not just me. I have seen newer fans of the franchise say that they tried to watch this show and they were baffled as to how people could honestly call it the best Transformers show.

So, how do I summarize my opinion of this show? Personally, I do enjoy it despite its flaws but I can’t really recommend it to anyone who isn’t a hardcore Transformers fan who is interested in seeing the beginnings of the franchise, or willing to watch it while keeping in mind that it's an 80's show and shouldn't be held to the same standard as today's shows. I respect the show a lot because it is the foundation for the franchise, and without it there are lots of shows and comics that we never would have gotten. But as just a show in general, I honestly don’t think it’s that great.

I have a feeling quite a few people are going to disagree with this review and that’s fine. As I said before, none of my reviews are meant to convince anyone of anything or change anyone’s mind. If anyone out there considers this to be their favorite Transformers show, that’s fine. I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong or that you can’t like it or consider it to be your favorite. This whole review is just meant to be what I think of the show, not what everyone has to think of it.

With that being said, this is the end of this review and the next review will be of the 1986 animated Transformers movie.

6 Comments

MRD's Reviews of Every Transformers Show

Hey everyone. Since I'm a huge Transformers fan, and because this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Transformers franchise, I felt I would celebrate it by doing reviews of every Transformers show ever made. Now, there are a lot of shows I still haven't seen myself and I will watch them before writing a review for them, so I won't make any guarantees of when a review will be up. I'm not sure if I'll be able to review every show within this year, but I will try to do most of them. I will also be reviewing them all in chronological order, so I'll start with the original 1980s Transformers show and go from there.

Another thing to keep in mind is that everything that I say in these reviews is purely my own opinion. None of these reviews are meant to change anyone's mind or convince anyone of anything, so don't take anything I say to heart. If someone happens to really like a show that I have a less-than-favorable opinion of, or if someone happens to hate a show I love, that's perfectly fine.

That being said, here's a list of shows I plan to review. I haven't listed every show either because I don't plan to review it for reasons I can give if anyone's curious, I'm not sure if I will review it (and I do have reasons as to why I'm not sure), or I was just lazy and didn't feel like looking up a logo for the show. :P

Also, after I review a show I will post a link to it on this blog as well.

The Transformers (G1):

http://www.comicvine.com/forums/off-topic-5/mrd-review-the-transformers-g1-1984-cartoon-1535181/#0

The Transformers: The Movie (1986 animated movie):

http://www.comicvine.com/profile/blog/mrd-review-the-transformers-the-movie-1986-animate/96744/

Transformers: The Headmasters:

http://www.comicvine.com/forums/off-topic-5/mrd-review-transformers-the-headmasters-1583604/#0

The Transformers

The Transformers: The Movie

Transformers Headmasters

Transformers Super-God Masterforce

Transformers Victory

Transformers Zone

Beast Wars: Transformers

Beast Wars II

Beast Wars Neo

Beast Machines: Transformers

Transformers: Robots in Disguse

Transformers Animated

Transformers Prime
Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters

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Transformers Prime Review (Beware of Spoilers)

On Friday November 26 2010, the first two episodes of the new Transformers show, Transformers Prime, premiered on Hasbro's new channel called the Hub. After watching the premier twice I am now ready to make a review of it. Overall, I thought the show was pretty good. I like how it follows the the original G1 show in the way that their planet has become uninhabitable because of all the wars they waged and how they've come to Earth for energon. I also love the voice-acting: Peter Cullen is Optimus and Frank Welker is Megatron and I'm glad that the originals are voicing them, though Welker doesn't do the same voice as he did in G1. Steven Blum as Starscream is also very fitting and Arcee's voice-actor was pretty good too. The humans aren't my favorite, and they are usually my least favorite part of most Transformers series, but these ones aren't as bad as some of the humans from other TF series. The humans in this show are Jack Darby, a teenager who was the first to encounter the Autobots, Raff, a small techno-geek kid, and Miko, a Japanese girl who seems to be crazy over machines. There's also Agent Fowler, a human who the Autobots use as their liason between their selves and the outside world. The Autobots are Bumblebee, who can't talk like in the movie, Optimus Prime, leader of the autobots, Arcee, the only female in the group, Bulkhead, a big Autobot, and Ratchet, who doesn't seem to like the humans very much at all. There was also Cliffjumper who dies in the very beginning at the hands of Starscream. The Decepticons introduced in the premier are Megatron, Starscream, and Soundwave. Megatron has apparently discovered a new substance while he had been away - a substance known as the blood of Unicron which is also called Dark Energon which is said to have the power to revive the dead and is used on Cliffjumper to turn him into a mindless monster. To me, the pros of this show are the voice-acting, the story, the CGI look which makes it the first TF series to be full CGI since Beast Wars and Beast Machines which is why it felt a lot like those shows, and the way the show mixes themes from the movie series, the G1 series, and even a little bit of Animated in the way how the bots are designed. My main problem is the more human-centered parts aren't very good, though I will admit these three aren't as bad as some of the humans from previous shows. This show is actually also supposed to be the new G1 universe for those who don't know. This show and the War for Cybertron video game are actually retconning the original G1 cartoon and will be the new mainstream cannon G1 cartoon series. For a score, I think I might give it maybe an 8 or 9 out of 10 and I recommend any TF fan out there to at least give this show a try.

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An Explanation of Post-Crisis Darkseid

First off the reason I'm making this is to explain all the out of context and low showings people have been using to downplay post-crisis Darkseid because I have grown tired of people calling him Jobberseid and discrediting him. 
 
I'll start off by explaining the context behind these two scans.

 




 
 
 
 

Now, when you just look at these scans it appears that Batman kicked Darkseid and made him bleed and that Superman can take him down in a few punches. But when you establish the context, you see that he was in a really weakened state at the time and here are scans to prove that he was weakened because the omega force, the source of his powers, had been lost to the source wall.
 
 



 
 
 
Next, here are two instances of massive PIS from Superman vs Darkseid: Apokolips Now!



From the first instance, Superman deflected the omega beams with his heat vision and in the second he made Darkseid hit himself with his beams. Both instances are massive PIS. Why? The first instance is PIS because the beams can move through matter or energy so they should have been able to just pass through his heat vision and the second one is PIS because Darkseid has complete control over the beams and they go where he wants them to and if they are aiming for a target which he does not want to hit, he can either make them go through the object or go around it.  So hitting himself with his own beams is just bad writing.
 
Now, here's an instance in which it appears that Superman beat Darkseid around.


 
When you look at this scan, it appears that Superman defeated Darkseid. In actuality, he did not defeat Darkseid - he beat Desaad. Many of you would be confused as to how that could possibly be Desaad and the answer to that is Desaad is cunning and many times he tries to act as Darkseid behind his back and here is proof of that.
 








 
 As you can clearly see, Desaad has tried to act like Darkseid behind his back before. And here is a scan which shows many instances in which Darkseid appeared but were really just Desaad disguised as Darkseid. You can see one of those instances is that moment where Superman fought Darkseid. Keep in mind that this instance and the one above are from the late 1980s. You can also see another instance in which he encountered Dr. Fate which also appeared in the late 1980s. This shows several appearances of Darkseid that were really just Desaad disguised as Darkseid.
 



 
 
 And lastly, I will go over this scan of Hunter Prey Doomsday defeating Darkseid.
 
 
 



Now, from the looks of it, it seems that Doomsday beat Darkseid. In truth, that was just an avatar of Darkseid. Now, I would show scans or give an issue number but I actually don't know when it was revealed to just be an avatar - I've only heard that it is from other people. But I will establish proof that Darkseid does have avatars.
 

 
As I said before, the purpose of this is to show everyone that Post-Crisis Darkseid is NOT a jobber and that all of those low showings are out of context or are just bad writing. I hope this helps people understand Post-Crisis Darkseid a little better. I also hope people can use this as a reference to show to anyone who is trying to downplay post-crisis Darkseid.
15 Comments

Which Viners Have you met in real life?

I'm not sure if this has been done before, but I'm just asking who here on the vine do you know in real life or have at least met somewhere in real life? (Also, I'm posting this as a blog post so that I can complete one of the quests. :P )

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