Rewatched season 1 of the G1 cartoon

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Post by Tetsuro » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:08 am

Didn't see anyone brings this up, but apparently the folks who subbed Car Robots and Micron Legend also did Beast Wars II.

Still no sign of Neo tho.

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Post by Heinrad » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:53 pm

So, finally, I have Headmasters, Masterforce, and Victory on DVD, the English dub.

Yes gods, why do I love these dubs? They're bloody awful.

Nightbeat: "They made me a teenage girl......"

We're not there yet. We're on Headmasters. I'd forgotten exactly how nuts this one is. Of the three series, it's probably the ugliest. And yet it's huge in terms of scope. Alien races, Battle Beasts, crazed schemes, Mindwipe accidentally hypnotizing Skullcruncher half the time.....

And yet.... It feels like the season 4 we could have had. Other than a more overarching plot line, and some really odd dialogue, there's a definate feel of season 3.

And a feeling that whoever wrote it was desperately trying to mimic the way the US cartoon worked.
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Post by Blitzwing » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:24 pm

I'm planning to get the Shout Factory versions of Headmasters, Masterforce and Victory some time in the next year. I saw a few episodes of Headmasters about 15 years ago, but never got back into it since then. I currently am slogging my way through Season 2 of the G1 cartoon, and plan on checking them out afterwards.

My main question for anybody that has seen them is are they better with English Sub-Titles or the English Dub? Is the Dub professional or is it more fan-made level quality?

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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:29 pm

Well, the dub is technically professional and more accurate than it's often given credit (having the subs on at the same time will often result in both being basically the same), but it's also very low budget and with minimal reference material resulting in performances that are certainly worth hearing once.
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Post by Blackjack » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:49 pm

I haven't watched Headmasters super-exhaustively, but the dub quality, while generally featuring good translation, has pretty... unimpressive voicework, even compared to other dubbed Transformers shows like Armada or Cybertron (those two have the benefit of featuring the very talented Beast Wars voice actors, though). Mileage may vary on whether you consider 'language I understand but shoddy voice acting' or 'more decent voice acting but I have to read while they talk in a foreign language' far more palatable, though.

I've only watched like a couple of episodes, though, so take it with a grain of salt.

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Post by Tetsuro » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:58 pm

HM/MF/V were dubbed by a Southeast Asian company, a Hong Kong one I think, who also dubbed a lot of movie from that region, including the Riki-Oh movie. So obviously their voice acting isn't quite up to par with a company like Fox Kids, which is the opposite; awful translations, competent voice actors.

Then again, when they just make up the character names, can you really call it a competent translation either?

While the Shout! releases are tempting from a technical perspective, the fact that they (apparently under Hasbro mandate) shoehorned IDW terminology into the translations where they have no business being is a massive turnoff.
Heinrad wrote:We're not there yet. We're on Headmasters. I'd forgotten exactly how nuts this one is. Of the three series, it's probably the ugliest. And yet it's huge in terms of scope. Alien races, Battle Beasts, crazed schemes, Mindwipe accidentally hypnotizing Skullcruncher half the time.....

And yet.... It feels like the season 4 we could have had. Other than a more overarching plot line, and some really odd dialogue, there's a definate feel of season 3.

And a feeling that whoever wrote it was desperately trying to mimic the way the US cartoon worked.
That's probably why I like Headmasters so much.

Well, maybe "like" is a bit too strong a word. It obviously has it's flaws with characters acting like idiots for the sake of plot, but I still don't think it's quite as bad as people seem to think. Then again, I also think it's better than Victory, putting me in the minority.

It doesn't help that the official subtitles aren't that great either. I remember there was a name or something they didn't bother to actually translate - by which I mean they didn't include it in the freakin' subtitles at all so in the end you have no idea what the thing is actually called unless you actually pay attention to the Japanese dialogue and can tell which word it is. Or you can just go to TFwiki, but I'd rather not.

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:53 pm

Headmasters is an absolute garbage fire of a show and the comedy value provided by the appalling dub is genuinely the only thing that keeps it watchable.

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Post by Tetsuro » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:48 am

Whatever rocks your boat, man.

Meanwhile, I'm trying my damnest to convince myself to watch Masterforce, I've gone through the usual motions (ie. watched every other show preceding it in addition to reading the Marvel comic up to late '88 or whatever), but I feel kind of burned out on Transformers right now. Might just watch something else instead and hold it off until I actually feel like watching it again.

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Post by Heinrad » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:04 am

Closing in on the end of Headmasters now, and the art's gotten a lot better. Except when it isn't. It's like they had one team trying to mimic the overall look of season 3, and another doing far more traditional generic mecha-style animation.

This is also the first time it really sunk in exactly how much of a headache Zarak must have been for the designers. They wind up having to make a Headmaster component the same height as, say, Pointblank. Or leave him human sized. Or both in the same scene.
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Post by Heinrad » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:26 pm

So...... My Friend, SIXSHOT! is just kind of odd. Or Uncle Sixshot as Daniel keeps calling him. Admittedly, part of the problem is the dub(never has anybody using the term Little Boy sounded so creepy. Repeatedly.), but it's such a character change for him. He goes from being a, generally honorable, typical kids show baddie to cool and brooding anti-hero.

The art on it was great, though. And Wheelie is just the worst. He pushes Daniel into the Radon cannon room that gets damaged and ejected, and then he tells Daniel that Chromedome and Sixshot might kill each other in their duel.

And why does Fort Max have hatch locking wheels?
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Post by Heinrad » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:47 am

Headmasters is now over. Good guys win, bad guys lose, just about every character that got tossed aside shows back up to remind us they're still there(either as a bone to the fan base or a Takara mandate to get what's left of the old stock moving), the writers saying screw it and giving up trying to imitate the U.S. Series, the art team giving up trying to make it look like season 3.....

But does the ending save it? Does it make up for the just general insanity of the last 25 to 30 episodes?

To me, kind of. As Brend put it, it is more or less a garbage fire in terms of anything at all making sense. The dub makes it tolerable simply for unintended comedy value. At least, I guess it wasn't intended.

It does some stuff well. It builds on the intergalactic scope of things. Yeah, Battle Beasts and Bee People are odd, but it's imaginative.

Strangely enough, my favorite thing in it is still Chromedome. They wind up doing with him what I think they wanted to do with Roddy in season 3. At the start, he's rash, impulsive, and prone to charging off to fight the enemy. By the end, he's grown and matured somewhat. That being said, his character growth really starts once the writers gave up trying to mimic the U.S. series. Roddy's downfall was more the nature of syndication and the fact that the episodes were more or less standalone, and lots of letters from distraught children. And distraught parents. And possibly distraught toy store owners who wound up with lots of space Winnebagos on their shelves.

And now I'm into Masterforce. The art's much better, although I can tell the B team's already come in for art duties. They're keeping the scope small to start with, they've done the typical trope of giving teenagers who've probably had no driver's ed classes cars(I'm not even sure Cab/Hosehead had ever seen a car before...... you can tell his parents hated him in the dub. Who names their kid Hosehead? At least Minerva manages to pass Nightbeat off more as a nickname), and the villains of the piece so far are reasonably intelligent. As memory serves, they go through the worst character degradation in anime history once more of the story unfolds, but for now Bombburst and his buddies are an actual threat.

But while I think Masterforce is my favorite of the three series, it's theme is the worst. Especially with the subtitles. Headmasters is 80s Rock, Victory is catchy at levels that only the DuckTales theme can hit, Masterforce..... isn't. It's way too sedate, and the lyrics are worrying.
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Post by Warcry » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:11 pm

Skyquake87 wrote:I'm watching Beast Machines at the moment, just into ep 2 of Season 2. I have a lot of love for this series - again, largely just being able to watch it (and on Region 2 DVDs!In its entirety!) thanks to Universal having a bit of a quick cash-grab during the time of the first Bay film - but it is quite hard work.
I've gotten to around this point in the series myself, but this the first time I've ever watched it! After absorbing some seventeen years' worth of bile that's been spewed about it, I have to say...it's not at all what I expected. It's actually pretty good! But not without flaws.
Skyquake87 wrote:It has quite a deep philosophical bent for a kids show, but that complexity is undone by a series of very repetitive episodes and some extremely flat characterisation throughout. Things start to turn around towards the end of the first season with all the Tankor stuff.
I watched the first season in three sittings I think, maybe four, so I didn't mind that the pace was a bit slow. I can imagine it was a bit frustrating to watch week-to-week on TV back in the day, though. But in general, the whole season had the feeling of building momentum, with things moving a bit quicker and getting a bit more intense with every episode until it exploded in the finale.

The Vehicon characters were generally (no pun intended) quite good. Tankor feels like a genuine threat, Jetstorm is insufferably smug and Thrust genuinely seems like he's struggling with his loyalties (until the Maximals reject him for not being who they thought he was). Even the Diagnostic Drone felt like a fully fleshed-out person. Nightscream on the other hand is quite grating, though they seemed to tone it down as the show went on.
Skyquake87 wrote:The thing that I felt could have done with some further expansion is Megatron's dislike of his beast form that's driven him to this idea of technological purity - there's a story there that's never touched on or expanded, so it feels very abrupt following on from Beast Wars (hand wavey 'he got to Cybertron before the Maximals aside').
Megatron and Optimus both seem to have undergone complete personality transplants on the way back to Cybertron, and that above anything else really hurts the show as a sequel. They're well-written characters and if this was a standalone show I wouldn't have a problem with it, but as a big BW fan it definitely hurts my enjoyment to hear the iconic Chalk and Kaye voices coming from these two weirdos.

Honestly, I'm even more weirded out by seeing the proactive, decisive Primal become a reactionary fanatic totally incapable of doing anything that doesn't fit with the Oracle's dogma. BW Primal didn't seem the type to even believe in the thing (aside from one line in the episode that Furman wrote, but that's Furman so whatever), and he certainly wouldn't have followed it so unthinkingly, totally setting aside his own judgment.
Skyquake87 wrote:The animation is stunning though, I love the design and shadows on Cybertron and the character models are all largely great (except for Optimus' beast mode, which must be the ugliest thing ever - what were they thinking with those massive hands and that weird elongated neck with a face dangling off the end?).
From a technical standpoint I'd say it's great. A lot smoother than what we got during Beast Wars, even the much-improved later seasons. I have a hard time believing it was done in 1999. But the art direction is so godawful that I have a hard time appreciating that, and I just can't agree with you about the character models. I think everyone and everything looks terrible aside from Tankor, and maybe Blackarachnia and Cheetor's beast modes if I'm in a generous mood.

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Post by Tetsuro » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:12 pm

Just finished the three-part arc of Masterforce where the Autobot base is destroyed.

For some reason I always got the impression that Clouder's change of heart was because the Seacons left him to die, but unless the subtitles on the Metrodome DVDs are full of crap like the Headmasters ones, he's screaming to the Autobots that the Seacons are here, so it seems like his change of heart comes from...what, exactly? He didn't exactly get to fall for Minerva's charms in the same way Cancer did, and considering how desperate the Decepticons had been until then to get some new Godmasters, it seems really weird of them to not even bring it up, let alone make an effort to actually save him.

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Post by Skyquake87 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:28 pm

I've just spent the last 2 weeks watching Animated Season 3! I'd forgotten how much I like Animated. It's so cheery and funny and does new things with the TF mythos. Might have to re-watch it all the way from the beginning.

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Post by Tetsuro » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am

No matter how many times I watch it, the moment in Masterforce where the Decepticon Headmaster juniors and Clouder are suddenly robbed of their bracelets and their transtectors become sentient and turn evil again?

I always think "man, that's such a load of bullshit".

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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:40 pm

One thing that's surprised me over the last few weeks is running into several fans in their 20's (because I hang out with the cool kids) and them all being big fans of the cartoon. Seems those cable repeats and cash in DVDs around the time of the first film/Animated did their job and that generation (a Generation 2 if you will. Or is it 3?) is tremendously fond of the old show and consider it gleeful nonsense they like as much as the versions of the franchise from their actual childhood.

Indeed, they seem more upbeat about it than I usually see those of us who were there in the 80's being! Interesting none of them have been able to really get into the Marvel comics despite all having given it a go since becoming Fans (or in a few cases even tried the Titan books from their library when they were kids). Have comics shifted more than cartoons over the years for them to seem more like dusty relics? I suppose so, even after the post Batman Animated Series revolution there must still be a lot of cheerfully cheap toy advert cartoons.

I suppose none of this should have been that surprising, my generation all definitely preferred the older Scooby Doo repeats over the stuff that didn't have half the team in and there was no shortage of 60's TV on at teatime we ate up (IIRC Randll and Hopkirk, which was never properly networked originally, was actually more of a success for BBC2 in the 90's than on original broadcast).
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Post by Warcry » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:38 pm

inflatable dalek wrote:Indeed, they seem more upbeat about it than I usually see those of us who were there in the 80's being!
I would venture that a lot of them probably watched it for the first time as adults (or older children, at least) knowing full well what to expect from it. Whereas a lot of us had glowing memories of it from when we were five or six only to rewatch it as grown-ups and be very disappointed when it didn't match up to our nostalgic memories. So it's a lot easier for them to just like it for what it is.
inflatable dalek wrote:Interesting none of them have been able to really get into the Marvel comics despite all having given it a go since becoming Fans (or in a few cases even tried the Titan books from their library when they were kids). Have comics shifted more than cartoons over the years for them to seem more like dusty relics? I suppose so, even after the post Batman Animated Series revolution there must still be a lot of cheerfully cheap toy advert cartoons.
I think you're underestimating just how bad some stretches of the Marvel book were. If a new reader started from the beginning, I wouldn't blame them for not making it past the first mini. And after that, the US book had one good arc and then mostly sucked until around #60, and the first bunch of UK stories weren't especially great (or accessible) either. Even if they just picked up a random trade there's still probably only a 1 in 3 chance that it'll actually be something that's both good and comprehensible, and not, say, Space Pirates or wrestling Micromasters, or the end of a years-long story arc.

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Post by Skyquake87 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:43 pm

I'd agree with that! nearly twenty years ago when Marvel started cranking out those 'Essentials' b&w reprints of early Marvel stories, I found them quaint, hard to follow and a little bit impenetrable with all the florid exposition boxes and so on. Easy to get past when its something like Lee & Kirby in their prime on Fantastic Four or mid '70s Spider-Man. Less so when its whatever was going on with Spider-Woman.

The rhythm, pace and dynamics of comic-book storytelling has changed so much since that older stuff can seem... less impressive. Transformers especially, which is a very dense and smudgy looking book in its early days. With horrible colouring, even by contemporary standards.

When Titan reprinted the UK stuff, I liked the approach they had which was sort of a 'Collected Comics' approach. The Galvatron story was told across five volumes and then you had a bunch of standalones arranged around a theme. The UK stuff, with its larger format, more expressive artwork and more energetic stories is probably what I'd point anyone interested in the old comics towards.

As for the cartoon, I've just rewatched Season 3 (on one of the cheap cash-in 2009 ROTF releases) and found it hugely enjoyable. There's almost actual character development, with the focus on the same key bunch of Autobots. I love the relationship between the Unicron created Decepticons, with Cyclonus being the one keeping a check on Galvatron's excesses (most of the time) and Scourge being treated so badly by the pair of them, its a wonder he just doesn't round up the Sweeps and leave.

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Post by G1Optimusprime9 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:01 am

Yeah I re watched season one recently as well I really like it
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