series (Tatakae Cho Robot Seimetai Transformers
, or Fight Super Living Robots Transformers
) was written in America, but animated in Japan. Based on a line of robots from Takara that was licensed to Hasbro, Transformers sparked a craze for metamorphic toys in the mid-80s. Each robot-character could be reconfigured to form a car, a tank, a plane, and so on. The 24 episodes in this collection, which ran between 1985 and 1986, conclude the second season and lead up to Transformers 2006
. Each episode forms a self-contained story, with little in the way of larger character arcs or plot developments tying them together. Although the cast has expanded, the Autobots remain the good guys who defeat the bad guy Decepticons, and no-one expects anything else. Although the character designs and animation are Japanese, the direction is pure American saturday morning: instead of creating effective transitions, the filmmakers just cut to a shot of the logo--a standard practice in Hanna-Barbera kidvid. Websites, role-playing games, fan fiction, and a brisk commerce in the original toys have kept Transformers alive in the hearts of their fans. But like Robotech, Transformers will appeal most strongly to nostalgic adults who watched the show as kids. --Charles Solomon
Episodes from the second half of the second season of this animated adventure series. The battle is on as Optimus Prime struggles against the evil Decepticons to gain supremacy of the Earth. Episodes are: 'The Golden Lagoon', 'The God Gambit', 'Make Tracks', 'Child's Play', 'Quest for Survival', 'The Secret of the Omega Supreme', 'The Gambler', 'Kremzeek!', 'Sea Change', 'Triple Takeover', 'Prime Target', 'Auto-Bop', 'The Search for Alpha Trion', 'The Girl Who Loved Powerglide', 'Hoist Goes Hollywood', 'The Key to Vector Sigma (Part 1)', 'The Key to Vector Sigma (Part 2)', 'Aerial Assault', 'War Dawn', 'Trans-Europe Express', 'Cosmic Rust', 'Starscream's Brigade', 'The Revenge of Bruticus', 'Masquerade' and 'B.O.T'.