Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.
Date 17 Oct 2005
Riding the wave of the UK nostalgia market, Metrodome has made a very astute decision and released Transformers: Headmasters as part of it's Takara Collection.
For those not in the know, Transformers: Headmasters was the Japanese-only continuation of the Transformers saga, which discarded the American Headmasters 3 parter entirely and went on for 35 episodes. With it's focus on the (then brand new) concept of robots with smaller robots for heads, it introduced a new set of characters and a new adventure set in the original G1 Transformers universe.
This box set, spreading itself across 4 discs, contains the entire saga in both the original Japanese, and the bloody awful English dub, which is unintentionally hilarious, recorded with literal and nonsensical translations by the worst voice actors the studio could provide. Sadly these poor sods had no idea of Transformers lore, and proceeded to make huge gaffs with names and items throughout the series. Originally recorded for (I think) a small cable station called Star TV, this translation has "filler" written all over it.
That said, for Transformers fans, this is a treasure. Regardless of the poor animation quality, bad comedy and awful storyline, this is their chance to see a series never before released outside of Japan (officially) and some of the most spectacular face-offs that are almost mythical - fan favourites Soundwave and Blaster have their final face-off, Optimus Prime dies (again) and many of the original cast, killed off in the movie, make a return as background characters. And it's always nice to see old friends.
As an added bonus, the first 3 episodes have a commentary track provided by TF guru Chris McFeeley, who's knowledge is impressive, and although his delivery is very dry, it works in context.
At best, Headmasters works as a curio - it really isn't that good in terms of either storyline or animation, and at times you may wonder what the hell is going on, but just seeing these characters back on your screen, in whatever guise, in adventures you never knew existed, is a rare treat. Metrodome deserve credit for bringing us old-timers something new to gush over, and who knows what else may surface if they keep digging?
For TF fans, this is a must have - for everyone else, it's going to be a scary reminder of a toy phenomenon that simply refuses to die ^_^