DVD Review: TRANSFORMERS Japanese Collection: Headmasters

Shout! Factory
Release date: July 5, 2011
MSRP: $29.93

Set one year after Season 3 of the U.S. Transformers Gen1 cartoon, this 35-episode anime, produced by Japanese toy maker Takara, aired in Japan from July 1987 until March 1988. Never aired in the U.S., the series follows the further adventures of Gen 1 characters and their new allies, diminutive Transformers called Headmasters.

In the Japanese continuity, the Headmasters escaped Cybertron millions of years ago, ignoring the American Season 4 premise that they were another race called the Nebulans. For American fans, the main draw is seeing the Gen1 characters again after all these years. The series features an ongoing story arc and better rock’em-sock’em robot action than I recall from the American series.

I only wish I had a better grasp of spoken Japanese. The brand-new English subtitles were helpful, but at times, they overlapped Japanese captions. Besides, I don’t believe one can get the most out of a TV show or movie by reading subtitles.

The set includes 35 episodes on 4 discs and a bonus art gallery.

–Gerald So
For more of Gerald’s thoughts and observations, check out his blog: If you want to know about my Life…