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View Full Version : So, the old Japanese cartoons...


Clay
2013-06-20, 05:11 AM
Borrowed the Shout Factory releases of Headmasters, Super-God Masterforce, and Victory from a friend. Have finished Headmasters, and am now three episodes into Masterforce.

Far more enjoyable than I had imagined, I'll say. Daniel is every bit as annoying in Japanese as he is in English, but overall I liked Headmasters. Definitely has a high body count for a kid show, though. But so far, Masterforce is already winning the totally crazy race. Necromancy in episode two!

Should have started this thread when I started Headmasters, but oh well. I'm nothing if not always behind schedule...

Clay
2013-06-22, 02:31 AM
Ok, one of the decepticons kicked a puppy. And it died. This is going to be a rough series.

Inaction Master
2013-07-04, 06:14 PM
Are you going to continue on to Victory? I've only seen like the first two episodes or so as like some fandub. Been a while.

How's the video and audio quality of the DVDs?

Knightdramon
2013-07-08, 05:46 PM
Masterforce was okay-ish when I watched it quite a while ago. Didn't get to the end, but it's typical Japanese kid anime through and through, once the Godmasters start appearing.

Cyberstrike nTo
2013-07-08, 05:58 PM
The art style in some episodes of Masterforce like the episode Overlord debuts in robot form, reminded me of Geoff Senior's style. :swirly:

Ryan F
2013-07-08, 09:18 PM
Being a fool, I bought the UK Metrodome box set of Headmasters / Masterforce / Victory and it was a bit of a chore to get through, I think I saw about three-quarters of Headmasters before giving up entirely. It still sits on my shelf, collecting dust.

I am a bit of a hoarder, and have an absolute ton of other complete series I need to powerbox through before I even think of touching TF again.

inflatable dalek
2013-07-13, 01:16 PM
I'm actually far more fond of the Japanese shows than I should be objectively. I even like Headmasters and that's the one everyone just sort of ignores as it's not as crazily different from the American show as the others.

I think a lot of my fondness is residual from how mysterious and difficult to get hold of these shows were even ten years ago. The reality doesn't live up to the enigma, but every rewatch brings back fond memories of people insisting there were unbroadcast American episodes locked in a vault, that the dub totally ruined the subtle clever scripts, that the movie wasn't part of Japanese continuity...

Cliffjumper
2013-07-13, 05:31 PM
I always thought HM had the bigger Western following through being Season 4b myself... MF/Vic mainly have a transitionary following from animoos as a stepping stone to more grown-up stuff.

All three would be salvagable with some very heavy editing - say the Gundam route of three 90-minute films from each series, but they're still just intrinsically too cheesy to work as anime and too weird to work as Transformers.

The biggest failing is the humour - all three sway between far too serious for their own good and the sort of goofiness that makes S3 Grimlock look like a Beckett character; there's very little genuine wit - even the American stuff did a respectable trade in one-liners. The other killer is the complete lack of character variation - all of the Autobots/Cybertrons are just faceless cheerful heroes, like the Season 1 cast on prozac.

Clay
2013-07-19, 06:03 AM
Have finished Masterforce and Victory. Yay, now I can be an internet expert™!

Masterforce: I liked the bird and the armadillo. Maybe it's because I watched all the episodes while drowsy and waiting to go to bed, but they struck the right chord of "cute" with me. I also didn't mind how they handled the pretenders. Size-shifting shape-shifters? Technically in the same universe as Soundwave and Megatron, so eh, why not?

I did like the roughly first half of the series more though. As it progresses after that, the human cast spend less time in their "normal" outfits and more time in their masterforce fatigues, which is a visual change that complements the tone becoming bleaker. Especially after the Autobot base gets blown up. It's just sad and dire after that.

An oddity of the set though is that the Shout Factory release for Victory includes all the clip shows, but Masterforce clip shows are omitted. Odd since it's one the clip shows that contains the explanation as to why Ginrai looks like Convoy.

Also noticed a linguistic quirk. While most everyone pronounced Ginrai a soft 'g' as in garage, Dauros/Skullgrin seemed to pronounce it with a hard 'g', like garage.

Springer85
2013-07-19, 09:48 AM
Also noticed a linguistic quirk. While most everyone pronounced Ginrai a soft 'g' as in garage, Dauros/Skullgrin seemed to pronounce it with a hard 'g', like garage.

This is a very confusing sentence to me. :sweatdrop

Did you mean with soft 'g' the second 'g' in the word?

FortressMaximus
2013-07-21, 01:02 AM
Of all the Japanese series, I liked the Masterforce the best. The toys are not too bad either.

Clay
2013-09-08, 05:45 AM
Some thoughts on Victory...

It's the silliest of the three, easily. I liked it for that reason, but not a whole lot happens. I did enjoy the smaller cast compared to Headmasters, which was basically every character in the franchise up to that point.

The one Dinoforce member... the triceratops that always says he's sorry... I like him a lot. He came off as cute instead of annoying like some other attempts at comic relief.

Character designs were a bit of a problem, though. Destrons were fine, but I had a hard time telling the difference between various Cybertrons. Road Caesar, Multiforce, and the Micromaster guys just sort of looked too much alike.

I'd say, out of the three series, Masterforce is the one that I'd most likely watch again. But not anytime soon. :)

Tetsuro
2014-07-04, 08:38 AM
An oddity of the set though is that the Shout Factory release for Victory includes all the clip shows, but Masterforce clip shows are omitted. Odd since it's one the clip shows that contains the explanation as to why Ginrai looks like Convoy.
All six or twelve of them?

I could probably just look this up, but I'm just gonna throw a wild guess and say six - I understand that all three shows had videotapes released at the end of their run with clip shows summarizing the entire series, and it was the home video releases that include the "big book of masterforce" bit.

The thing about the second batch of Victory clipshows is that Masumi Kaneda, who oversaw the production of Masterforce and wrote the premise for Victory (which was largely ignored in the anime; since he wrote the manga, that's actually what the anime should've been like), also oversaw the production of the last six clip shows for Victory. I saw some clips of the last one on youtube and unlike the usual clip show which is just narrated compilation of footage, it played like an actual episode...except with footage from Masterforce edited in to shoehorn cameos of the cast of that series into Victory, while completely omitting the part where Goryu revelas the weakness of Deszaras' space fortress to the Autobots. There was also clips of the previous Autobot leaders edited into the scene where Victory Saber, almost powerless, is drifting through space and convinces himself to keep on fighting.

I'd love to see the home video clip shows subbed, at least for curiosity's sake.