Review: Transformers Super God Masterforce (1988)

Directed by:
Cast: , , ,

Distributed in Australia by:

In April 1988, Transformers Super God Masterforce first aired on Japanese television. Young children had their favourite Transformer toys in their hands, while yelling ‘Masterforce! Transform! Head on!’… In April 2008, Transformers Super God Masterforce was recently made available on DVD in Australia. An HC reviewer had the TV remote control in one hand, while quietly taking notes with the other. So how did he rate this 20-year old anime series? Read on to find out!

The Transformers Super God Masterforce series tells the story of another battle between the good Transformers (the Autobots) and the evil Transformers (the Decepticons). It has been thousands of years since the Decepticons lost their battle against the Autobots and were locked away. Now, the Decepticons are back carrying out plans to destroy the earth and exterminate human kind, and it is once again up to the Autobots to stop them. With both sides gaining help from the power of Masterforce, the epic battle continues…

Transformers Super God Masterforce consists of 42 episodes in total. The first half of the series introduces most of the main characters, while the second half focuses on the Decepticons’ plans for destruction and the battle between the two sides. The story itself is simple but interesting enough to have you keep watching. The progress in the story line is admittedly slow-paced by today’s standards, but it is still acceptable. I found the plot lines that surround the character of Cancer particularly enjoyable.

Most people will probably be more interested in the action, however. In the first half of the series, pretty much all the fight scenes follow one basic formula: A Decepticon gains the upper hand in the fight with an Autobot, but just as the Autobot is about to be defeated, he strikes back and win over the Decepticon, who manages to escape successfully, every time. As you can imagine, this gets terribly repetitive and uninteresting. Thankfully, things do improve significantly in the second half of the series. There is a lot more variety in the action scenes, some of which are actually quite spectacular (with my favourite being the final fight between God Ginrai and Overlord).

It is worth mentioning that a special feature of the DVD set is that select episodes are in English. This would have been perfectly OK if the viewers were given the option of switching back to the Japanese version if they wish to. But they were not. I pressed the ‘Audio’ button on my remote repeatedly wishing it would give me the original Japanese audio track, and it was not available! This was particularly annoying because most of the series is in Japanese only, and suddenly you are forced to watch the final two episodes in English. It is made worse by the fact that the English voiceovers are done rather poorly. Actually, even the characters’ names are different in the two versions. It was simply disturbing to find that Minerva’s name has been changed to ‘Nightbeat’, and that Bullhorn is now ‘Horri-Bull’!

While Transformers Super God Masterforce has some parts which are quite enjoyable, the overall quality of the series is a little disappointing. Transformers fans will no doubt still want to check it out, but everyone else may wish to look for other anime series that are actually worthy of 17 hours of their time.

6 juicy coconuts for the Headmaster Juniors out of 10.
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