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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enter the world of alternative nostalgia
Transformers: The Headmasters is the Japanese continuation of the "Transformers: 2010" series (better known as Season 3 of G1 in English speaking countries). This series essentially ignores the three-part Rebirth episodes, opting for a new and more ongoing introduction to the Headmasters, Six shot, and other characters. It also sets up the rest of the Japanese continuity...
Published on 9 Aug 2005

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for Transformers Fans
I think that it is important to remember that the series is designed for and was aimed at children; the credits sequence after each episode and the fact that Daniel gets so many appearances I think are testimony to this. As an adult I can appreciate all the flaws that previous reviewers have pointed out, but as a child I think I would have enjoyed this series as much as...
Published on 13 Feb 2006


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enter the world of alternative nostalgia, 9 Aug 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Transformers: Takara Collection - Volume 1 - Headmasters [DVD] (DVD)
Transformers: The Headmasters is the Japanese continuation of the "Transformers: 2010" series (better known as Season 3 of G1 in English speaking countries). This series essentially ignores the three-part Rebirth episodes, opting for a new and more ongoing introduction to the Headmasters, Six shot, and other characters. It also sets up the rest of the Japanese continuity for G1, including Masterforce, Victory, Zone and other TV Magazines and such.
The actual series is fairly basic- Galvatron returns to retake Cybertron (obviously the pact with Optimus Prime wore out), and employs the new Headmasters, lead by the mysterious Megazarak/Scorpinok. However, from a far off, distant planet, autobot headmasters come and well.. you can sort of figure it out for yourself. The plot actually goes somewhere, though, something that's been missing from Transformers series before this.
The series was the first Japanese-spearheaded project in the Transformers animated series that acheived a full length production (Scramble City, a one-off that introduced Ultra Magnus, Metroplex and Trypticon into the Japanese G1 toyline, due to the absence of the movie), and as such doesn't stray too far away from the original styles of Generation one (though sadly, the music is not as orchestral or fantastic as the majority of G1's score), including similar designs, characters, and even the scene-changing interludes are still there, which really add to the "alternative nostalgia" thing in the title. It's something you should have watched when you were a child, and it feels like something you should have watched, but due to where you were in the world, you just couldn't.
There's even things for the general Anime fan to enjoy, such as a more flowing contiuity and development of characters, plus a slightly more streamlined-Japanese mecha feel for later characters as they appear in the series. The DVDs also come with the original Japanese audio, and the translations (so I've heard) are still fairly top notch. Hironobu Kageyama, the over-the-top JAM Project singer and performer of three of the original Japanese Dragonball Z credit sequences, among a plenthora of other anime, gives us a fairly fun and if not standard opening to get hooked in to.
Sadly though, as this is a primarily Japanese-Asian series, the treatment wasn't too great as far as it comes to the English track. Gone are Frank Welker and Peter Cullen, since this series was never released to the US public. However, an "Engrish" dub was produced for a SIngapore/Asian English speaking market, who's cast is mostly inappropriate, the scripting and direction is fairly horrible and confusing (The ressurected Billy (Blaster) vs the decepticons, and "I am the ninja consultant for the decepticons!"), and the performances generally subpar. I can see some people watching this, but only for the comedy value really, since it completely removes any merit or serious watching value from the series, assuming you're a native English speaker. It would have been nice to have a faithful redub, and new score cast for this release, but I somewhat doubt you could justify the expense in a realistic way.
So as long as you stick to the subtitled Japanese track, you'll be in store for a somewhat rewarding experience, especially if you've never seen this before. It's like the continuation you've always wanted, only it's really.. not, but at the same time, it's also fairly good. It proves that the Japanese are capable of making a coherant Transformers series without the use of (to most) irritating, silly and pointless power-ups and speed lines. It's not without it's flaws, though. Hopefully we'll get Masterforce and Victory released, since that would be quite nice.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff, 5 Mar 2007
A big step up in terms of the subbing from 'vol.1' in this series (Headmasters) and the show as a whole is helped by being presented with its original voice acting and music score.

A little bit to much the same in places and could easily have been trimmed down, but both the characters and the story develop well.

Best of the original TF cartoons!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for Transformers Fans, 13 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Transformers: Takara Collection - Volume 1 - Headmasters [DVD] (DVD)
I think that it is important to remember that the series is designed for and was aimed at children; the credits sequence after each episode and the fact that Daniel gets so many appearances I think are testimony to this. As an adult I can appreciate all the flaws that previous reviewers have pointed out, but as a child I think I would have enjoyed this series as much as the the original G1 episodes.
There is no point in watching cartoons from your childhood if you are going to scrutinize them as an adult - you will not enjoy them !
A small warning - the English language soundtrack to these episodes is awful.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bye bye "Rebirth", 30 July 2007
By 
Jonathan Boyd (Aiken, SC USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Transformers: Takara Collection - Volume 1 - Headmasters [DVD] (DVD)
This is much better than "Rebirth" aka Season 4 of Transformers: Generation One.

I remember the headmasters in Rebirth being green alien people that had robot suits that transformed into robotic heads that sat on top of robot bodies. How stupid is that?

The Headmasters series erases all that happened in Rebirth and does it right. This time there are no green alien people. Instead, the headmasters are are small, human-sized robots that transform into heads that control larger robot bodies.

It's an interesting series. Not everyone will like it, but the old fans most likely will.

The English language track is absolutely awful. I wish they would've recorded a new one, but that will probably never happen. The Japanese track is just fine, though.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Autobots! Decpticons! Battle Beasts!, 11 April 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Transformers: Takara Collection - Volume 1 - Headmasters [DVD] (DVD)
What are you expecting from this box set? First off, understand that the DVDs are region-free. You can play them on any machines, but may not be able to properly view the videos if you screens are PAL. To bypass this you can watch them on your computers with the DVD drive. I tried mine on my American Xbox and it worked too, but there were occasional skips on my TV due to the frame rates of PAL being one more than NTSC, which is what's used in America. The subtitle for the episodes are redone, continuing the naming of characters from the G1 toy line and series. You also get commentary tracks, as well as the horrendous StarTV English-language dubs (please avoid this, unless you need a good... bad laugh!). Of course you get the Japanese language track as well. The series begins with Optimus Prime, Galvatron and Rodimus Prime, but eventually makes way for Fortress Maximus and Scorponok as the main characters. The series itself is a direct continuation of the American "G1" series (minus season 4) and the "2010" Japanese series. You even get a few episodes of the Beastformers, which were marketed in the U.S. as their own toy line, the Battle Beasts, after the elemental feature was added to them.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 4 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Transformers: Takara Collection - Volume 1 - Headmasters [DVD] (DVD)
I've never written a review on Amazon.co.uk before but "A Viewer" from Australia's comment that this series develops characters is ridiculous.
Much of this series is poorly written. Although earlier series of Transformers were far from being the best thing any written, they had that certain something and definitely were never as poor as this. A FAILURE to develop character is the most obvious flaw in this series. Where characters are represented, they are done in only the most basic way (oh look, Hardhead is saying he wants to fight decepticons and is making mock punches in the air) or, for the most part, not at all.
I don't want to address specific concerns because these would act as "spoilers" but, I'm sorry, this is poor at best and I believe the writing shows little of what made me like Transformers in the first place.
But I will say... (look away now)
The Battle Beasts (remember them?) cross-over was pathetic. They might call them "Beast Formers" but I've still got the action figures (in a box in the attic) hat proves somewhere that this is what it was.
Fortress Maximus is depicted as Voltron?? You can't argue with that - when he is first introduced, they show him doing the Voltron pose, you know with the sword and the half-open mouth. I don't know if its a homage or what but whichever way you look at it, it's pointless. Transformers are a classic in its own right without having to ape another series.
Trainbot was rather lame. Besides, a train that can travel intersellar distances? I'm sure that had already been done in another anime series??
The above were things that annoyed me but the worst part really was that, generally, the writing was poor. Characters were not developed, characters that had been developed in previous series were not respected and were just reduced to the same pathetic level as all the others, stories & plots were simplistic, non-existant and/or unoriginal,.
The only positive is that you saw more of the combiner teams in superficial action.
I'd rather had more character development. And stories. Yes, this series was more like Japanese anime but the worst parts of it, not the better parts.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome series!, 16 Sep 2009
By 
This review is from: Transformers: Takara Collection - Volume 1 - Headmasters [DVD] (DVD)
This was my first experience with viewing a Transformers series in Japanese. I decided to buy this set after watching the first 5 or 6 episodes on youtube. The audio and subtitles took a little getting used to. If you're a diehard fan of the American Generation 1 series, this is for you! Whatever you do, forget about watching it with the English audio. Stick to the origial Japanese audio with the English subtitles. The show is much more enjoyable that way. I don't know a word of Japanese and I'd still rather hear that with the English than hear the TERRIBLE English audio in this set! The translation are not accurate at all! Every review I have read of this series has stated that the English audio is terrible and know I know why. If you've never watched a Transformers series in Japanese, here's a good place to start.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars behold the EPICNESS! (or should that be epicacity?), 10 Dec 2008
By 
Adam Benyon (soton, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Transformers: Takara Collection - Volume 1 - Headmasters [DVD] (DVD)
okay so long story short, i've always been an anime fan, and when i saw the new live action transformers movie gutted like an xmas turkey, i had to know the extent of the damage. going back to the start, watched the 80s movie (cheesy excellence galore), traced even further and instantly

fell in love with the series.
this boxset is an amazing way of effectively bludgening the bad hollywood acting out of your memory, by taking the original seasons 1-4 further, introducing new characters, even killing a good few off (gasp! shock!).

if nothing else, the first season of takara is proof that transformers can be more than a mere toy commercial, as more recent "remake" series would have us believe (such as energon and armada).

for those more focussed on the visual i would recommend checking a few classic episodes out first, as it has a certain multicoloured 80s vibe to it, not the clunky realism of the new film, but hey it is sci-fi, why restrict yourself? great stuff, highly addictive and very nostalgic (even though i missed it first time round)! bring back the power of saturday morning shows with this series now!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My twenty year old son loves it!, 23 Aug 2007
By 
M. M. Hall (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Transformers: Takara Collection - Volume 1 - Headmasters [DVD] (DVD)
He's always quoting the hilarious dialogue. (And it's not just the translation, it's the delivery.)

Personally, I enjoyed the new live-action film, and can sit through an episode or two of this.

It does strike me a bit bizarre, and perhaps a less than subtle jeer at the John Wayne-era of American cinema, but I assume fans of the original Transformers will have a ball with this DVD set.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good...., 10 July 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
...but it's a shame that the English dub is missing. Really nice box set, and it goes along well with the other Transformers DVD releases from Metrodome. The fact that this is the first time most Western fans have seen this cartoon makes it worth buying alone!

The style is still in the same as in the original 80s cartoons, but animation is noticably better. The actual story has some familiar elements, and some entierly new elements. While Transformers: Headmasters (the previous release in the series) could simply be seen as a straight continuation of the original 80s TF cartoons, Masterforce is more like the beginning of a new story - with all-new characters, and a different focus than the previous cartoons.

The only negative about this collection is the fact that Metrodome were unable to include the English dub. I know that most people really dislike the dubbed version (it's the same dub as on the Transformers: Headmasters collection), but I actually found it to be not all that bad. I think this collection is sorely missing the English dub. The subtitles do a good job, but I generally dislike watching subtitled animation (with the opposite being true of live-action foreign films - in that I can't watch a dub)!

Anyway, I suppose it's all down to individual preference. Anyway, I'm now looking forward to Metrodome's next release "Transformers: Victory"! It's great to finally have these long-forgotten cartoons available to us fans in the west! I just hope Metrodome continue on the trend, and aquire the rights to "Beast Wars 2" and "Beast Wars Neo"!
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