Yes, it’s certainly been a giant transforming robot sort of year, kids. Not only did we get the opportunity to waste our money on yet another Michael Bay film filled with numerous explosions, but they boys and girls over at Shout! Factory have actually given us something to save up for. First there was that Beast Wars: Transformers collection — which fans of the franchise gobbled up like there was no tomorrow. And now, Shout! has brought us an additional collectable for any and all aficionados of the big morphin’ ‘bots: Transformers: Headmasters - The Japanese Collection.
As a lot of you may recall, the original Transformers series first aired on American television back in the ‘80s. The original show that we all know and love(d) — though based off of the Japanese-made line of Takara toys — was written and recorded in America but animated in South Korea and Japan. The show was then dubbed and broadcast on Japanese TV for several seasons until that three-part excuse of a fourth season (“The Rebirth”) came to pass. Takara evidently didn’t like what was going on, so they decided to branch out and start making several series of their own, the first of which was Transformers: Headmasters.
As such, Transformers: Headmasters doesn’t acknowledge anything made past the third season of the US series — creating its own alternate universe tale (something the Japanese are quite fond of doing with their animated franchises). While the title might give one the odd impression that this is some sort of reboot that takes place in a robot elementary school, Transformers: Headmasters instead takes place a year after Season Three of the original US series (which took place in the future, following the events of The Transformers: The Movie), wherein a new group of mechanical wonders (the Headmasters) emerged.
Essentially, these automaton critters are small robots with the ability to transform into the heads of the series’ larger characters. Much like its American/Japanese cousin, Transformers: Headmasters - The Japanese Collection has that classic ‘80s animation and charm to it (read: campy). There's even the proverbial weird human character and an even stranger monkey-critter-thing to give you nightmares should you need them. Between the great music, intriguing (and mostly new to us) storylines and the slew of new characters, this is a fun ride through an alternate universe that a lot of fans in the US never really had the opportunity to explore. There's even the proverbial weird human character and an even stranger monkey-critter-thing to give you nightmares should you need them.