Transformers: Super-God Masterforce
|Transformers: Super-God Masterforce|
North American DVD cover
(Toransufōmā Chōjin Masutāfōsu)
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tetsuo Imazawa|
|Licensed by||Shout! Factory|
|Original run||April 12, 1988 – March 7, 1989|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010)|
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 it was aired on AnimeCentral in the UK a few years later. In 2008, Madman Entertainment released the series on DVD in Australia in Region 4, PAL format. On May 1, 2012, the series was released on DVD in the US.
With the conclusion of the US Transformers cartoon series in 1987, Japan produced their first exclusive anime series, Transformers: The Headmasters, to supplement 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.
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 never supplied 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 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, including a Special Secrets episode where both Goh and Grand Maximus would explain and reveal several pieces of trivia about the show.
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. At least this is the case with the Autobot Pretenders. The Decepticon Pretenders tend to remain being large monsters, unless they battle in their robot forms. Later on children would be recruited to become Junior Headmasters for both the Autobots and Decepticons. But as the story progressed the story focuses more on the Powermasters (Godmasters) and they'll become the more powerful Transformers on the show. The Powermasters themselves would be more human beings with the ability to merge with their mechas. Most of the Powermasters would be adults with the exception of Clouder who is about the same age as the Junior Headmasters. Other characters would later appear including Black Zarak who would later merge with the Decepticons leader; Devil Z for the final battle and for the Autobots comes Grand Maximus who has a Pretender guise and is Fortress Maximus' younger brother. Also the Firecons make a brief appearance in one episode and a robot who transforms into a gun (similar to G1 Megatron) was giving to Cancer of the Junior Headmaster Decepticons as a gift from Lady Mega. His name was Browning (or BM in the dub). The Decepticons also had the Targetmaster Seacons under their command, but like the Pretenders, they were sentient robots and didn't require humans to operate them. The Autobots would also gain the help of another sentient robot called Sixknight (Or as he is known outside of Japan; Quickswitch), who appeared on Earth as a travelling warrior who wanted to challenge Ginrai (Optimus Prime) to a battle, but soon decided for himself to fight for the Autobots cause. The story basically tells the efforts of the heroic Autobot forces as they protect the Earth from the Decepticons. Only this time round, human characters played a more important role then in other Transformers series.
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, because of their poor quality. Performed by a small group (less than half-a-dozen actors), 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", and the little blonde girl called Minerva is referred to by the inappropriate name "Nightbeat".
In 2006, the complete series was released in Region 2 with the Japanese audio with subtitles (although like Shout Factory, it does not contain the English dub).
US English Sub Notes and Episode Titles
For the Shout Factory release the Cybertrons are still referred to as Autobots and the Destrons are still known as the Decepticons.
1. Rise Up, Pretenders!
2. The Decepticon's Fearsome Manhunt!
3. Kidnapping! The Targeted Jumbo Jet
4. Birth of the Headmaster Juniors
5. Rage! Little Devils with no Need for Rules
6. Go, Go, Shooter! Showdown in the Wasteland
7. Panic! Protect the Wild Animals!
8. The Super Warriors: The Godmaster Brothers
9. A Fierce Battle! The Autobots are in Trouble
10. A Hero is Chosen and his Name is Ginrai!
11. Ginrai: God-On of Rage!
12. A Strange Friendship: Cancer and Minerva
13. Friend or Foe? The True Form of the Monster
14. Eliminate the Godmaster Ginrai
15. The Heroic Birth of Super Ginrai
16. Lightfoot: A Dramatic Encounter
17. An Enemy? The Third Godmaster, Ranger
18. A Powerful Foe! Sixknight the Wanderer
19. At Full Strength! The Four Godmaster Gunmen
20. The Autobot Warrior, Sixknight?
21. Save the Little girl! The Chojin Warriors, The Godmasters
22. Lightfoot Must Choose: Life or Death?
23. Expose the Decepticons' Dark Deception
24. Super Ginrai Gets Blown Away in the Desert
25. Will the Bomber Project be Destroyed?
26. God Ginrai: Into the Sky!
27. God Ginrai—Showdown on the Surface of the Moon
28. Overlord—Terror of the Choken Tornado
29. Escape from the Exploding Underwater Volcano
30. Destroy Godbomber!
31. The Appearance of theFinal Godmaster!
32. Secret Orders: Destroy the Autobots' Base!
33. Disaster! The Autobots' Base Explodes
34. Black Zarak: Destroyer from Space
35. Crisis! The Day of the Downfall of Humanity
36. Will God Ginrai Save Cancer?
37. God Ginrai: Showdown at the Decepticon Base
38. The Ultimate Combination! Black Zarak, the New Lifeform
39. Battle to the Death! God Ginrai Vs. Darkwings Reborn
40. The Autobots' Desperate Attack!
41. Malevolent and Inhuman: The True Form of Devil Z
42. A Battle... And Then...
- Transformers Japanese Collection: Super-God Masterforce at Shout! Factory
- Transformers: Masterforce (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Transformers: Super-God Masterforce at the Internet Movie Database