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Transformers: Super-God Masterforce (トランスフォーマー 超神マスターフォース Toransufōmā: Chōjin Masutāfōsu?) is the title of a Japanese Transformers line of toys and anime series that ran from April 12, 1988 to March 7, 1989 for 42 episodes. On July 3, 2006 the series was released on DVD in the UK, and began on AnimeCentral at 11:30pm on October 17.

Development

With the conclusion of the US Transformers cartoon series in 1987, Japan produced their first exclusive anime series, Transformers: Headmasters, to supplant the fourth and final US season and to carry out the story concepts begun in The Transformers: The Movie and carried on through the third season, using the existing cast and adding the eponymous Headmasters into the mix. With the completion of the series, the evil Decepticons had finally been forced off Earth, and the stage was set for the beginning of Super-God Masterforce.

Although nominally occurring in the same continuity as the previous Transformers series, there was a very obvious effort on head writer Masumi Kaneda's part to make Masterforce a "fresh start," introducing an entirely new cast of characters from scratch, rather than using any of the previous ones. To this end, although the toys are mostly the same in both Japan and the West (barring some different color schemes), the characters which they represent are vastly different - most prominently, the toy known to Western audiences as Powermaster Optimus Prime is known as Ginrai in Masterforce, a human trucker who combines with a Transtector (a non-sentient Transformer body, a concept lifted from Headmasters) to become a Transformer himself. The other Powermaster toys (known in Japan as Godmasters) and the Headmaster figures released during that year were the same: human beings who become robots.

Story

The core concept of Masterforce begins with the human beings themselves rising up to fight and defend their home, rather than the alien Transformers. Going hand-in-hand with this idea, the Japanese incarnations of the Pretenders actually shrink down to pass for normal human beings, whose emotions and strengths they value and wish to safeguard.[1]

Adaptations

The series was dubbed into English in Hong Kong for broadcast on the Malaysian TV channel, RTM1 along with Headmasters and the following series, Victory. These dubs, however, are more famous for their time on the Singapore satellite channel, Star TV, where they were grouped under the umbrella title of "Transformers Takara," and all given Victory's opening sequence. Later acquired by the US Transformers animated series creator Sunbow Productions, they were given English-language closing credits (even including the English Transformers theme), but no official release of them has ever been carried in the US, simply because they are infamous for their poor quality. Performed by a small group (literally, less than half-a-dozen actors) with little knowledge and less talent, the dubs feature many incorrect names and nonsensical translations - in the case of the Masterforce, especially, all the English-equivalent names are used for the characters, so throughout the series, the clearly-human Ginrai is referred to as "Optimus Prime".

The attempt to start things afresh with Masterforce does give rise to some continuity errors, however, such as Earth technology being portrayed as contemporary, rather than futuristic as in 2010 and Headmasters, and some characters being totally unaware of what Transformers are, even though they have been public figures for over two decades. Similarly, the show has one primary failing, which is its regular reluctance to supply the viewer with the full backstory - within the main 42 episodes of the series, important aspects such as what the true villain, Devil Z is, where the Godmasters' Transtectors come from, why Ginrai looks like Optimus Prime, or who BlackZarak is are never explained. Even the timeframe of the show was never revealed, with the series taking place an indeterminate amount of time after Headmasters. Most of these facts would all be revealed later in made-for-video clip shows and other media.

Characters

Autobots (Cybertrons)

Godmasters

  • Ginrai 23x15px Freightliner COE Tractor Trailer (Voice: Hiroshi Takemura)
    19 year-old truck driver from Nagano, Japan who moved to America. When the truck's cab is combined with its trailer, he becomes Super Ginrai. A drone named Godbomber is later built, and transforms into a tandem trailer. When Super Ginrai combines with Godbomber, the end result is God Ginrai. He commands the power of fire, exemplified through his assorted "Fire Guts" attacks. Although the mold is that of Powermaster Optimus Prime, released in the U.S, Ginrai is portrayed as an entirely new character.
  • Godbomber - Assault Trailer
  • Lightfoot 23x15px Mazda Savanna RX7 FC3S IMSA (voice: Tsutomu Kashiwakura)
  • Ranger 23x15px Dune Buggy (voice: Yoshitada Ōtsuka)
  • Road King 23x15px F-1 Racer (voice: Kaneto Shiozawa)

Headmaster Juniors

Pretenders

Sixchanger

  • Sixknight - Drill Tank, Jet, Puma, Assault Gun, Sea Skimmer (voice: Sho Hayami)

Pretender Headmaster

Decepticons (Destrons)

Headmaster

  • Black Zarak (voice: Banjō Ginga)
    Former leader of the Decepticons in a new body, now brainwashed by Devil Z

Godmasters

  • Overlord (voice: Keiichi Noda)
    Decepticon Ambassador of Destruction. A combination of the Giga Tank and Mega Jet.
    • Giga Template:Country data Cambodia (voice: Keiichi Noda)
      The father-figure of the Decepticons. Controls the Giga Tank (M1 Abrams).
    • Mega (voice: Rihoko Yoshida)
      Mother-figure of the Decepticons. Controls the Mega Jet (SR-71 Blackbird).
  • Hydra Template:Country data East Germany Panavia Tornado ADV (voice: Ken Yamaguchi)
  • Buster Template:Country data East Germany F-16 Falcon (voice: Yoku Shioya)
    • Darkwings
      The combined jet form of Hydra and Buster.
  • Doubleclouder 23x15px Missile Tank / Falcon (voice: Takeshi Kusao)

Headmaster Juniors

Pretenders

Seacons

  • Turtler - Tortoise (voice: Masato Hirano)
  • Overbite - Amphibious Shark
  • Kraken - Stingray
  • Lobclaw - Lobster
  • Gulf - Coelacanth
  • Tentakil - Octopus
  • King Poseidon - gestalt Warrior (voice: Masato Hirano)

Gunman

  • Browning (voice: Kyōko Yamada)
    A small pet transformer given to Cancer from Mega. Speaks in Kansai dialect. Transforms into a FN Model 1910 pistol.

Guard Minders

Minions of Black Zarak, they turned into six-wheeled tanks.

  • Black Lorry (voice: Masaharu Satō)
  • FastTrack (voice: Hirohiko Kakegawa)

Firecons

  • Guzzle - Dinosaur
  • Fizzle - Eagle
  • Jabile - Insect

Trivia

  • In the show's opening sequence, the logo was set as a parody of the 20th Century Fox structure.


References

  1. "The History of Transformers on TV". IGN. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 

External links

id:Transformers: Super-God Masterforce nl:Transformers: Super-God Masterforce ru:Transformers: Super-God Masterforce zh:變形金剛:超神 Master Force

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