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Blackjack 2011-08-12 04:35 PM

Six more episodes to review! Come on, Blackjack, persevere! You can get through this show's dying finale!

Good god, I had been sympathetic, but this show simply refuses to live. Unlike Armada or Cybertron which tries to be good at the end, RID just, like, withers and dies.

I'll wrap up RID, then continue on with Animated. Animated makes me smile, makes me happy man. If I review Armada or its ilk, it makes me angry, makes me angry man. I don't want to be angry man, I want to be happy man. So chronology be damned, after I finish reviewing Dark of the Moon, I'll do Animated.

Any of you who're expecting Fun Publication reviews to be up soon, I apologize... but I have only so much free time.

Blackjack 2011-08-12 05:20 PM

Four episodes and a clip episode more! Bring it, mother***ers
The Human Element
Airdate: 23 February 2003
Written By: Junki Takegami
Adapted By: Tom Wyner
Japanese Title: The Mystery of Brave Maximus

Galvatron is furious that Scourge had failed to control Fortress Maximus. Galvatron orders the Decepticons to find out what went wrong. Sky-Byte, trying to gain favour, spies on Scourge and Mega-Octane as they examine Cerebros. Scourge concludes that Maximus obeyed Koji because he is a human. With help from Movor and Cerebros they locate Fortress Maximus in some random deserted area. In the Autobot base, T-AI and Doctor Onishi try to figure out why Maximus obeyed Koji. After a lengthy (and pointless) discussion T-AI detects Decepticon activity. Optimus, the Brothers and the Onishis rush to the site. Scourge has found Fortress Maximus by the time the Autobots arrive, and Ruination holds the Autobot Brothers off. Side Burn babysits Koji and his father. Scourge announces that Fortress Maximus will only obey humans. Fortunately, when Scourge scanned the tanker truck and Optimus, he also scanned Kelly, giving him human bio-energy, which Scourge magnifies a hundred fold. Thus, Scourge is now able to enter his command center and control the giant Autobot. Sky-Byte sulks.

Ultra Magnus pops out of nowhere and merges with Optimus Prime, but Omega Prime is ineffective against Fortress Maximus. Koji manages to convince Side Burn and his father to allow him to try and talk to Maximus, but Scourge’s control is too powerful. Side Burn and Koji is knocked aside by Maximus, and Sky-Byte inadvertently rescues Koji. Doctor Onishi announces that he has the answer to the problem, and Team Bullet Train and the Build Team arrive, carrying a thousand children (WTF). The children shout for Maximus to stop, and he does. Omega Prime blasts Scourge away, and Fortress Maximus sinks into the ground. Galvatron pops out and snatches Cerebros away. Koji apologizes for endangering himself.

Featured Transformers: Galvatron, Scourge, Sky-Byte, Mega-Octane, Cerebros, Fortress Maximus (flashback and present), Prowl, Side Burn, X-Brawn, Optimus Prime, Ro-Tor, Rollbar, Armorhide, Ruination, Megatron (flashback), Emissary, Ultra Magnus, Omega Prime, Rapid Run, Midnight Express, Railspike, Wedge, Grimlock, Heavy Load, Hightower
Notable Others: Koji Onishi (flashback and present), T-AI, Doctor Onishi, Kelly (flashback)

Marginally better than last episode, even though I still cannot stomach the ‘kids can control Maximus’ bit. It’s so cheesy that my eyes cringed when the Autobots arrive with the children army. Where did they find so many kids anyway? At least Sky-Byte and Scourge are back to normalcy with their power games, which is a good thing. However, a good chunk of this episode is devoted to Koji angsting, which is horrible, horrible, horrible. Koji is irredeemable; he is so uninteresting that peeling paint has more personality than him.

Fortress Maximus is handled slightly better, although the action scenes with him are clunky and, really, with guns up the wing-wong, you’d think that sand storms are the least of the Autobots’ problems. Galvatron is still, unsurprisingly, deathly ineffective. And as expected, Ultra Magnus has a knack of appearing anywhere without a bridge, even in the middle of a desert. And he appears only to form Omega Prime, not to do anything else. What a power mushroom. Sad life of Ultra Magnus. Sad life or Robots in Disguise as a series in general, because sadly the show does not show any sort of improvement as it withers onto its unspectacular death.

(Three out of ten)

Again, the Insecticons are name-dropped. As in ‘going to crush you like Insecticons’.

Side Burn turns semi-transparent when he super-charge. While this could be passed as an inconsistency, it’s actually a reference to the clear redeco of Side Burn’s toy which is exclusive to some shops in Japan.

As in earlier episodes, X-Brawn’s head is visible in his interior.

Scourge paraphrases Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for a man, one large leap for all mankind”, except with Maximus and Decepticons instead of a man and mankind.

The fish that swims across the opening shot of the Decepticon ship is absurdly large due to a cell stacking error.

When Sky-Byte is buried in the sand, his exposed flipper is white instead of blue, and seems to be quite far away from his main body.

Ultra Magnus is definitely a stalker; he seemed to be in the middle of a desert in central Africa.

The children with the Build Team are out of scale. For that matter, all of the children are out of scale. And Fortress Maximus should technically be so much larger (taking G1 Fort Max as a comparison, the smallest unit in G1, Spike, is the size of a human while RID Fort Max’s smallest unit is Cerebros, the size of an Autobot).

How did the Autobots round up so many kids at short notice?

Blackjack 2011-08-13 08:43 AM

Mystery of the Ultra Magnus
Airdate: 30 March 2002
Written By: Tom Wyner

In the Predacon ship, Megatron complains to his troops about Ultra Magnus foiling their plans constantly. Megatron then looks back at recordings of Ultra Magnus’ actions, from his arrival on Earth, to attacking the Autobot Brothers and Decepticons, and Magnus attacking Optimus Prime, up until Optimus and Magnus’ combination into Omega Prime. Megatron complains about the incompetence of his troops. Megatron then recalls the super-charging of the Autobot Brothers, then tells his troops that they need to get the Matrix from the Autobots.

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Ultra Magnus (flashback), Sky-Byte, Scourge, Movor, Ro-Tor, Rollbar, Armorhide, Mega-Octane, Prowl (flashback), Side Burn (flashback), X-Brawn (flashback), Ruination (flashback), Optimus Prime (flashback), Omega Prime (flashback)

Clip shows are terrible and soporific in general, but ‘Mystery of the Ultra Magnus’ clearly had no effort whatsoever put into it. It’s not even a filler episode, since chronology is out of whack, despite the Japanese original show making a clip show that actually made sense. Since Ultra Magnus’ role in the series thus far has been reduced from angsty brother to power mushroom, it’s stupid to recall this sequence of episodes. It’s clear that the producers did not care much for this episode, since it’s aired out of sequence after RID had whimpered away. The only thing I thought of while watching this episode is 'when will it end?' Do yourself a favour and skip this episode.

(Zero out of Ten)

In Japan, a whole different clip show, ‘Gelshark’s Blues’, is aired instead. It made more sense chronologically, involving Sky-Byte moping about the Autobot Brothers’ super charging, Megatron being turned into Galvatron and Fortress Maximus in general.

This episode recaps the events of ‘Ultra Magnus’, ‘Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion’ and ‘the Two Faces of Ultra Magnus’.

In a dub-added addition, Megatron refers to working for a Council, a holdover of the Tripredacus Council from the Beast Wars series.

The air date for this episode is correct; this episode, despite it’s ordering in the series, is aired out of order as the last Robots in Disguise episode, hitting the screens after the series has well and truly ended.

‘Mystery of the Ultra Magnus’ in itself is a goof. Unlike ‘Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion’ before it, however, the title was never corrected in subsequent re-airings or the DVDs. Its proper title is probably ‘The Mystery of Ultra Magnus’.

The placement of this episode certainly is wonky. At this stage Megatron has already become Galvatron and the plot revolves around Fortress Maximus, with Ultra Magnus’ role reduced to popping up near the end of each episode to become a power up. Logically it should be between ‘the Two Faces of Ultra Magnus’ and ‘Fortress Maximus’.

Nope, the Predacons never go for the Matrix. Why do you ask?

Blackjack 2011-08-13 11:13 AM

Mistaken Identity
Airdate: 2 March 2002
Written By: Yukiyoshi Ohashi
Adapted By: Michael McConnohie
Japanese Title: Black Convoy’s Ambition

Karl and Jenny see Koji in the park, wondering how he managed to control Fortress Maximus during the last confrontation. Scourge and Mega-Octane show up and try to kidnap Koji, but the Autobot Brothers chase the Decepticons off. Koji is taken to Autobot HQ and Optimus orders the Brothers to protect Koji, since the Decepticons are after him. In the Predacon base, Scourge tells Galvatron that the human boy is their way to control Fortress Maximus, and Galvatron demands Koji be captured. Galvatron ignores Sky-Byte’s reserves about Scourge’s loyalty. Meanwhile, Koji and Karl are skateboarding and Koji laments the Autobots’ constant watchful eye on him. Koji and Karl hatch a plan, and later Karl, disguised as Koji, manages to fool Side Burn into following the disguised boy. Prowl and Side Burn manage to catch up with the real Koji and take him back to HQ. Wedge calls in, saying that Sky-Byte has kidnapped Koji, and the Autobots realise that the Predacon got Karl. Sky-Byte is told off by Galvatron for bringing the wrong boy. Scourge, however, suggests that they try using Karl to control Fortress Maximus instead.

Movor pinpoints Maximus’ location, and the Predacons arrive there with Karl and Cerebros. Karl is forced to command Maximus to transform, and a tractor beam pulls Karl into Maximus’ command center. Upon Scourge’s order, Karl makes Maximus punch a mountain. T-AI pinpoints Maximus’ location, and the Autobots set off with Koji tagging along. Karl is excited with the prospect of controlling Maximus, and realises he can destroy the Decepticons. Scourge orders Karl to destroy Galvatron and Sky-Byte, much to Galvatron’s anger. Maximus refuses to obey this command, however. The Autobots arrive and attack Galvatron. Sky-Byte tries to capture Koji, but Karl orderes Maximus to toss Sky-Byte away. Maximus expels Karl next to Koji. Ultra Magnus arrive, shoot off Sky-Byte for a second time, combines with Optimus and they drive away Galvatron. Galvatron disables Scourge and promises the Decepticon retribution. Fortress Maximus sinks into the ground again. Koji apologises to Karl, who forgives him.

Featured Transformers: Mega-Octane, Scourge, Prowl, Side Burn, X-Brawn, Optimus Prime, Galvatron, Sky-Byte, Wedge, Fortress Maximus, Movor, Cerebros, Emissary, Ultra Magnus, Omega Prime
Notable Others: Kelly, Koji Onishi, Karl, Jenny, T-AI

Palatable, if only because there’s an actual plot other than just another showcase of the cast’s general stupidity. Koji still has the personality of wet cement, and Karl has even less, but Sky-Byte and Scourge steal the show as per normal business. However, continuity inconsistencies such as Scourge forgetting that humans can control Maximus and stuff are really inexcusable. Scourge finally makes a bid against Galvatron actively, but it’s silly because it hinges on Karl actually listening to him. Sadly this is the only time Scourge will do anything like that, a shame for the character.

The Brothers, Optimus, Tai and Magnus are all lifeless as ever, making watching this episode still quite painful. Galvatron, at the very least, is competent enough to punish Scourge. Yeah, this episode implies another Starscream, but you’ll see. Karl at least is pragmatic enough to try and squish the Cons but he’s still very uninteresting. Fortress Maximus and his gag of disappearing every time, and having the personality of a brick, gets boring after the first time. Koji is the biggest offender, though, having so much screen time and doing nothing interesting in any of them. It's not that he's irritating, it's that he's got the exact same personality as Fortress Maximus but with dialogue, which is really, really painful. Sky-Byte still plays on his gags, but even those are not enough to save this show from flopping like a dead fish. Power of kids save the day, whoop de doo.

(Two out of Ten)

Scourge has new stock transformation footage.

The ‘Y’ on Koji’s helmet stands for his Japanese name, Yuki. Karl’s ‘K’ stands for Kenta, his Japanese name.

Fortress Maximus only listens to humans in robot mode, which will never be explained why or how through the series. Just roll with it.

When Sky-Byte drops Karl in front of Galvatron, all the shadows are coloured purple.

At one point Scourge calls Galvatron as Megatron.

Despite already working out the fact that Fortress Maximus responds to any human bio energy, Scourge apparently forgot this fact until midway through the episode.

Blackjack 2011-08-13 01:58 PM

Surprise Attack!
Airdate: 9 March 2002
Written By: Tadashi Hayakawa
Adapted By: Tom Wyner
Japanese Title: Brave Maximus’s Rise

Galvatron sends out energy from his spark to reprogram Scourge and the Commandos into loyal servants. Galvatron praises Sky-Byte and the Predacon Trio for their constant loyalty, and places Sky-Byte in command of the now-loyal Decepticons and of their next mission. Sky-Byte goes off to find Koji, and after an awkward moment with Jenny, Sky-Byte is given instructions to Koji’s house. Sky-Byte hides on the side of the street as Koji runs past, and trails the boy in hopes that Koji will lead him to the Autobot base. Surprisingly this plan works and Sky-Byte finds out that the base is inside a parking structure. Sky-Byte informs Galvatron. In the base, Side Burn gives the unresponsive Cerebros a speech about how he’s an Autobot that needs to protect Earth. Cerebros replies with a soulless tirade of his own, how Cerebros is programmed to obey Autobots while Maximus is programmed to obey humans. X-Brawn points out that it’s a silly system. However, the Decepticons attack the structure. T-AI contacts every single Autobot in the field, and sends them to a rendezvous point. Optimus takes Cerebros as bait, leading the Decepticons and Predacons to said rendezvous point. Sky-Byte, thinking that he’s cornered Optimus Prime, soon finds himself in a trap with all the Autobots waiting for him.

In a nearby lake Kelly is in a paddle boat, trying to ignore the Autobots. Galvatron has been floating in the lake in his hydrofoil mode and transforms. The Decepticon ship appears out of the sky and open fire on the Autobot forces. The Predacon trio hide behind some rocks, only to find Sky-Byte doing the same. Ultra Magnus pops up and Omega Prime is formed. Build Team combine into Landfill but gets shot down quickly. Rail Racer is next and uses his speed to try and fire into the afterburner of the Decepticon ship, but he is blown back by missiles. Wedge rushes the ship all by his lonesome and says that he’s an Autobot that can’t give up, but predictably gets shot down. However, Wedge’s courage activates Fortress Maximus. Galvatron transforms into his claw mode and links up with the Decepticon ship’s right arm. Controlling the ship, Galvatron and Maximus battle each other while the Autobots easily defeat Ruination and Scourge. Maximus roars and finally unleashes his entire arsenal of firepower and blows up the Decepticon ship. Galvatron hits the ground, and the Autobots rejoice… but Galvatron begins to twitch.

Featured Transformers: Scourge, Rollbar, Armorhide, Mega-Octane, Ro-Tor, Movor, Galvatron, Dark Scream, Slapper, Gas Skunk, Sky-Byte, Cerebros, Prowl, X-Brawn, Side Burn, Optimus Prime, Ruination, Skid-Z, Tow-Line, Mirage, Ironhide, Crosswise, Wars, Rev, Hot Shot, Rapid Run, Midnight Express, Railspike, Hightower, Grimlock, Wedge, Heavy Load, Landfill, Rail Racer, Ultra Magnus, Omega Prime, Fortress Maximus, Emissary
Notable Others: Doctor Onishi, Koji Onishi, Jenny, T-AI, Kelly

A decent episode, mostly because it’s more action oriented and we get some payoff after all the pain we had watching the series. Finally the Autobot base is found… by way of Sky-Byte following Koji in the back. Thirty episodes of fruitless searching for the base, and like the O-Parts and the kidnap of Doctor Onishi, this major plot point is handled like turd by the story writers. Likewise, Scourge and the Commandos are brain-wiped into basically loyal trooper drones, which means we will never see the manipulative Scourge again. It’s frankly rather tragic for a show in which not a single character gets injured-to-the-brink-of-death, let alone die. Sky-Byte is in full fun form this episode, even though again the villains carry the idiot ball. The Predacon Trio have devolved into uninteresting gag-deliverers instead of their more funny appearances in early RID episodes.

The Autobot assembly scene is pretty fun (even though T-AI has about the same amount of personality as Koji). Wedge… well, he is plucky and kind of irritating in that Bumblebee-Cheetor kind of way, but I don’t hate Wedge the way I hate Koji or T-AI. I suspect it’s because his plucky charge into battle actually helps to move plot forwards. Yes, Fortress Maximus is finally revealed to have actual free will in a grossly stereotypical anime ‘fight for the Earth scene’. The problem with RID is, the Decepticons or Predacons never even have the slightest chance of winning a single battle, so it’s really a show without any tension. And when there is no tension, there isn’t really much of a story, isn’t it? At least RID has the decency to try and wrap its plot up.

(Six out of Ten)

Final appearance of the Decepticon ship other than in flashbacks, which is apparently named Megastar. Blackjack is only aware of the ship’s name until after he finishes the guide, so he won’t bother to change anything.

Cerebros and Maximus are finally shown to act independently this episode. All previous appearances have them as mindless, soulless robots. Cerebros again initiate ‘Headmaster protocol’. It is unclear who build and programmed Fortress Maximus with such a stupid system.

Galvatron again mentions a Predacon Council, and states that the whole reason that he comes to Earth is for Fortress Maximus.

One of the buildings that the chase scene passes through is the building of Dongwoo Animation. Due to looped background Optimus and Sky-Byte passes through the building three times. Eh.

To note is the fact that Skid-Z and Tow-Line (and to a lesser extent the Spychangers and Predacon Trio) reappear after a lengthy disappearance for the series. This was especially jarring for Skid-Z, who has only appeared in his debut episode before. Of course, neither Skid-Z nor Tow-Line do anything but fill crowd scenes.

The animation of the smaller Commandos transforming is one of the stock footages. However, it uses background from ‘the Decepticons’, so the military base pops up for no reason.

Also, the Spychangers avoiding the Decepticon ship’s missiles is lifted directly from ‘Volcano’, so the sky is all different. And Wars just kind of falls in from the sky (he was thrown by Scourge in Volcano).

Every time Omega Prime calls Wedge, he refers to him as ‘Landfill’.

Galvatron is out of scale terribly when he combines into the arm of the Decepticon ship. The Decepticon ship is shown as being about the size of Maximus’ torso, so Galvatron is as large as Maximus’ fists. Problem is, usually Galvatron is only a head taller than Cerebros, who is the head of Maximus’ transformed head. Which definitely is not the size of a fist. Not to mention, with Galvatron that big he wouldn’t be able to fit inside the ‘Con base.

Blackjack 2011-08-13 02:42 PM

Galvatron’s Revenge
Airdate: 16 March 2002
Written By: Junki Takegami
Adapted By: Richard Epcar
Japanese Title: Counterattack! Devil Gigatron

The Autobots are happy of their recent victory, but Omega Prime is unsure. T-AI informs the Autobots that Galvatron is repowering. Galvatron flies up and onto Fortress Maximus and begins to drain the giant Autobot’s energy. The Brothers try to physically stop Galvatron but are shot out of the sky by Scourge and Ruination. Landfill and Rail Racer battle the Decepticons, while Omega Prime confronts Galvatron. Galvatron responds by unleashing a cloud of smoke which magically goes onto the Autobots’ faces. Galvatron then unleashes a swarm of Cyberbats, one of which latches onto Koji’s head and mesmerizes him, much to T-AI’s distress. All around the world Cyberbats latch onto children’s heads and Galvatron holds them hostage. Doctor Onishi tells Omega Prime that despite his efforts he can’t remove the Cyberbat on Koji without causing brain damage. Omega Prime calls for a retreat, because he wants a water-tight plan before proceeding, much to the annoyance of the Autobot troops.

However, as they disappear into the Space Bridge, Galvatron does the unthinkable and open fire on the mountain, exposing the physical tunnel. Galvatron sends the Decepticons in, and an eager Sky-Byte follows them. They catch up with the Autobots, who are unprepared and because of the Bullet Trains kind of almost fail to transform. Galvatron announces he’ll get rid of the Autobots and the traitorous Decepticons, and uses his power to rupture the walls of the tunnel and flood it with lava. Ultra Magnus tries to stop Galvatron but is swatted aside. Galvatron calls Scourge and bids him goodbye as lava begins to flood the tunnel. An exasperated Sky-Byte is told off for going in without orders. Since he does not need hostages anymore, Galvatron recalls the Cyberbats. As Optimus sinks in the lava, he hears Koji’s pleading words and with newfound determination he and the Autobots burst out of the ground. Galvatron inhales all the returning Cyberbats, and uses his newfound power to lift the Autobots into the air…

Featured Transformers: Omega Prime, Fortress Maximus, Cerebros, Emissary, Galvatron, Slapper, Dark Scream, Gas Skunk, Sky-Byte, Scourge, Ruination, Side Burn, X-Brawn, Prowl, Omega Prime, Heavy Load, Wedge, Hightower, Grimlock, Rail Racer, Landfill, Mega-Octane, Armorhide, Rollbar, Ro-Tor, Movor, Ultra Magnus, Midnight Express, Railspike, Rapid Run
Notable Others: T-AI, Cyberbats, Koji Onishi, Doctor Onishi

Blah, this degenerates into stock anime clichés and terrible dialogue pretty soon enough. Any attempt of making sense of Galvatron’s wacky plan is eschewed by dropping the energy vampire edge, so the Cyberbats don’t really make sense. In any case the terrible dialogue and stunted action scenes mean that this episode doesn’t really have the impact it probably deserves. Animation and technical goofs don’t help either. And why Galvatron wants to kill the Decepticons after reprogramming them, other than a cheap way to show how vile this uninteresting villain is… heck, everything here is pretty banal. Omega Prime, Galvatron, Koji, T-AI… all of the main characters are cardboard cutouts without much of a personality!

I’m not trying to be mean or anything but frankly this episode is rubbish. Finale it may be, but it’s on its dying breaths. The whole premise of Galvatron’s master plan is stupid and as poorly executed as any of the Predacon’s incompetent and absurd plans. Really, sinking in lava shouldn't be used at all as the ultimate threat to our heroes. And another sickening example of how children's sense of justice saves the day... ick. None of the characters are interesting, and even Sky-Byte’s little jokes can’t save this episode. The sole saving grace (other than Sky-Byte) would be Ultra Magnus’ return as a character instead of just the guy that Optimus can combine with. Otherwise it’s just another caricature of a generic RID episode. Just be thankful that the series is coming to an end soon.

(Two out of Ten)

The first appearance of the Cyberbats, which look like tiny cute versions of Megatron’s bat mode. Also, this is the last appearance of Doctor Onishi, whose final scene basically is him fussing over Koji and the Cyberbat on his noggin.

The plot of the finale is one of the more infamous script changes from Car Robots. In Car Robots, Galvatron is an energy vampire and uses the Cyberbats to drain mental energy from the children, which causes his power boost after he re-absorbs the Cyberbats. In Robots in Disguise, Galvatron merely uses the Cyberbats to hold the children hostage. Since the dub omits the whole energy vampire edge, it’s kind of jarring, what with the sudden power up at the end. Also, he clearly sucks Maximus’ energy and the Autobot troops next episode, so I think it’s better if they hadn’t gone and changed it.

Once again, the term Insecticon is used to insult the Autobots.

After a long period of only exclusively using Omega Prime as a power-up, Optimus Prime’s battle mode makes its final appearance.

Also, Landfill forms with Hightower as arms. Usually it’s Grimlock, and Heavy Load got his turn once.

Galvatron both calls his one headed dragon and his griffin modes as ‘IRON MAMMOTH!’ Then again, all three new modes do kind of look similar, and Galvatron claims he’s unbeatable in IRON MAMMOTH mode, so who can blame him?

As usual, the recap of the previous episode had altered dialogue. This one is particularly jarring, because the line about Galvatron’s ship blowing up is delivered by Koji, who isn’t even present in the battlefield.

The Spychangers, Skid-Z and Tow-Line disappear for the entirely of this episode, despite being present last episode as well as the next.

The Commandos are in Ruination at the beginning of the episode, but later the Commandos form Ruination a short while later. Granted, they do switch the Scramble City configuration.

When the Autobot Brothers run into the Global Space Bridge, they are in their normal colour schemes, despite being in Supercharge mode immediately prior and after the scene. Their cooldown periods also seem to be eliminated for the finale.

It is unclear when Omega Prime separates, because after Omega orders the retreat, all of a sudden Optimus Prime is in the Space Bridge while Ultra Magnus is hiding behind a rock.

Why would Galvatron kill the Decepticons after all the trouble of reprogramming them?

Blackjack 2011-08-13 03:27 PM

The Final Battle
Airdate: 23 March 2002
Written By: Junki Takegami
Adapted By: Tom Wyner
Japanese Title: Final Battle! Fire Convoy

Galvatron gloats as the Autobots are lifted to the sky, claiming that after absorbing the power of Fortress Maximus he is unstoppable. Galvatron uses some kind of electrical attack and drops the Autobots to the ground. Side Burn drags himself to the edge of the crater that Optimus Prime created during his fall. Optimus struggles to get up, but the ever-loyal Decepticons burst out of the ground and assault Optimus Prime. Sky-Byte and the Predacon Trio likewise have survived the lava, and are worried at what Galvatron will do to them. Galvatron spots the Predacons and orders them to attack the Autobot troops. Reluctantly the Predacons get ready to fight, but the Autobot troops have recovered and literally run over the Predacons. The Autobots open fire on the Decepticons, but Galvatron uses an energy attack to seize all of the Autobots. T-AI opens a Space Bridge portal nearby, but Optimus Prime refuses to leave his troops behind. After an argument Ultra Magnus swoops in and takes Optimus Prime into the portal. Optimus and Magnus have a heart to heart talk in the tunnel, form Omega Prime and fly out just as Galvatron is about to kill Side Burn. Omega Prime challenges Galvatron to a one-on-one fight.

Prime and Galvatron go through the Space Bridge to the Earth’s molten core, in a gambit that the two of them will be trapped inside. Despite T-AI and Koji’s concerns, T-AI goes through with it. Koji begins to contact other children over the internet, asking for their help and power to defeat Galvatron. Omega Prime, meanwhile, finds himself weakened while Galvatron is not even fazed by the heat. The kids’ energy repowers up Fortress Maximus. Galvatron gloats that he will harness the power of Earth’s children and stuff, but Fortress Maximus sends the energy through the space bridge, which powers up Omega Prime and creates a gigantic Matrix Blade. Omega Prime and Galvatron exchange words and finally clashes, until Galvatron’s blade shatters. An immense explosion lights up the sky and the Autobots are released from Galvatron’s energy attack. T-AI cries that Omega Prime is trapped.

Some time later Koji looks around the Autobot base, finding it deserted. As he trudges down the road, however, Optimus Prime arrives, alive and well. Optimus tells Koji that the sheer force of the clash of energies reactivated the Space Bridge and freed him. The Autobots will be returning to Cybertron soon, but they are all engaging in their leisure activities one last time on Earth. Fortress Maximus and Ultra Magnus have the Predacons and Decepticons trapped in energy prisons. The Predacon Trio lament that poor Sky-Byte is trapped on Earth alone… but Sky-Byte is happy, swimming through the seas, free at last.

The end.

Featured Transformers: Fortress Maximus, Galvatron, Omega Prime, Wedge, Side Burn, Prowl, X-Brawn, Midnight Express, Railspike, Rapid Run, Optimus Prime, Crosswise, Mirage, Wars, Rev, Hot Shot, Ironhide, Scourge, Ruination, Sky-Byte, Gas Skunk, Slapper, Dark Scream, Rail Racer, Landfill, Skid-Z, Tow-Line, Ultra Magnus, Cerebros (screen), Rollbar, Ro-Tor, Movor, Armorhide, Mega-Octane
Notable Others: T-AI, Koji Onishi, Cyberbats, Kelly

And so ends Transformers’ most standalone cartoon series. Poor RID has the worst endings ever, with terrible dialogue between Galvatron and Optimus Prime, a ridiculous endgame by Galvatron to harness the power of children, and a ridiculous way of winning, what with the power of chain e-mail spamming creating a magic giant glo-stick. And the secondary characters just simply wait as Optimus and Galvatron and Koji angst and stuff. Koji’s dramatic screaming all fall flat on his face, and the dialogue between Optimus and Galvatron is the worst ever. In short, this is an embarrassment instead of a climatic final battle. It’s the worst and most absurd ending of all the main-line Transformers shows... I can’t speak for Japan’s G1 sequels.

But at the very least the epilogue details what happens to the cast after the end, which really is predictable. The Autobots continue to goof around, and the Deceptipreds are all jailed up. Very nicely, Sky-Byte, the only villain with personality, gets off scot-free on Earth with his own happy ending. And Sky-Byte gets the final line, which, as the best character of the series… not a difficult feat, considering that guest stars like Tow-Line aside, the others who had any personality in this maddeningly banal show are Scourge, Ultra Magnus, Wedge and barely Side Burn. And so Robots in Disguise ends with Sky-Byte swimming in the distance, and thankfully it’s kept at that. It’s a very terrible ending for a half-decent show. Robots in Disguise tries, but the fact is that the villains were uninteresting and non-threatening, and the plots are repetitive. Combine that with the fact that both Autobots and Predacons are incompetent idiots that can’t find a city hidden right in front of them, as well as horrible dialogue (again, other than Sky-Byte… it’s like a Beast Wars character wandered into a wrong show, damn it) and clunky action scenes… well, Robots in Disguise is not the worst show out there, mainly because it has the decency to wither off and die when the show begins to dip in quality, so it doesn’t become an overlong dead joke like the way Energon became.

(Three out of Ten)

In addition with the changes from Car Robots from last episode, Robots in Disguise has Galvatron challenge Omega Prime and tells him to pick the battlefield. In Car Robots, Galvatron blackmails Prime to open the Global Space Bridge to Earth’s core in order to drain the core dry. So the whole plan of trapping Galvatron in the Earth’s core is a dub creation… which doesn’t really jive with the fact that there is a Space Bridge portal nearby.

Galvatron’s ‘absorb the power of children’ master plan is also made by the dub, in order to justify the silly ‘children’s willpower makes green energy fall out of the sky’ thing that happens in the episode. Another dub change is that in RID Omega Prime’s strike with the Matrix Blade defeated Galvatron, while in Car Robots Galvatron was defeated off screen when he tried to absorb too much energy knocked himself out.

The Predacons and Decepticons’ prisons are in flat, rotating crystals that resemble the Phantom Zone in the 70s/80s Superman film.

Ultra Magnus, while never mentioned in the dialogue, could be barely glimpsed riding on Fortress Maximus.

After being absent for the previous episode, Skid-Z, Tow-Line and the Spychangers pop up at the beginning of this one and stay up to the end.

Optimus Prime is in super mode in the beginning of the episode. But when he hits the ground and gets out of the crater he is in regular robot mode without any reason.

The Predacon Trio somehow end up with Sky-Byte as they dig themselves out of the tunnel. Also, Sky-Byte tells the Trio that Galvatron thinks he’s gotten rid of them. However, Galvatron never actually wanted to kill the Predacon goons, Sky-Byte just had the misfortune to follow the Decepticons and Galvatron just couldn’t care less.

Scourge and the Commandos kind of disappears after the Autobots shoot at them for a bit before Galvatron does his Jedi trick, until they appear in the prison at the end.

Galvatron says that he has more power than ‘every Cybertron in the universe combined’. Either he means Cybertronian, or it’s a dub flub in mixing up Cybertron as in Autobot and Seibertron as in Cybertron.

How did Galvatron keep the Autobots floating in the energy web when he’s in the Earth’s core?

Battling in the Earth’s core, and causing an explosion that extended to the surface, would surely cause havoc with our planet.

Blackjack 2011-08-13 03:30 PM

And with these five reviews (showing I can still churn out a spree of reviews when I sit down and put my mind on it) I close the book on Robots in Disguise. Gad it's terrible near the end. I try to give it good marks as best as I could, but compared to the Beast series, Animated and Prime I can't do it. It's just bad.

On brighter thoughts, I'll be reviewing Prime and Animated episodes (interspliced with IDW issues, and Fun Pub material when I feel like tackling it) after this, so it wouldn't be as painful as this experience.

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