Since this 35-episode series was never broadcast in America (the Transformers trend had died by the time this series was produced, while the fad was still big in Japan), it has never seen an official release here. There was, however, a poorly-translated dub produced for English-speaking audiences in parts of Southern Asia. Often referred to by fans as the “StarTV Dub,” the laughable English-language track accompanied the series when it was finally made available in the United States via bootlegged copies.
Fortunately for all (though I confess there’s noting like a hilarious dub sometimes), Shout! Factory has chosen to release Transformers: Headmasters - The Japanese Collection in its original Japanese-language incarnation with English subtitles and not include the infamous "StarTV Dub." Sadly, though, time has not been all-that-kind to the original elements that Shout! has used here — that, or the elements weren’t all that hot to begin with) — as Transformers: Headmasters - The Japanese Collection is a fairly foggy affair. The video quality isn’t the best I’ve seen (although I’m sure it’s a vast improvement over what was present on the bootlegs). The audio quality is substantially better, but may irk some of you perfectionists out there. Another thing that might frustrate some of you is the fact that the only special features present with this 4-disc release are some art galleries.
Despite all of those minor annoyances, however, Transformers: Headmasters - The Japanese Collection still emerges as a winner. It’s thirteen hours of good retro fun for geeks from all walks of life.