Opinions of Japanese influence

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by TerraDestroyer, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. TerraDestroyer

    TerraDestroyer "Sometimes crazy works."

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    TD here, yet again.
    Look, we all love the Japanese. Lord knows I wouldn't have made it through the 90's without them and their wacky sex cartoons and giant rubber monsters.
    And of course, we all know what sort of influence they have had on our favorite robot-oriented franchise, and they've done a LOT of good for the fiction and franchise. I mean, hell, they pretty much created the Transformers, if I'm not mistaken.

    The thing is...there's a lot of the blatantly BAD when it comes to Japanese TF. I mean, for Primus's sake, look at the Armada Trilogy. It'd be pretty much unwatchable if it weren't for Starscream. And what about female Transformers? They pretty much reinforce the Japanese stereotype that "if you're female and not a sex object, you're basically worthless." (Reference: Arcee)
    And by the Matrix, need I remind anyone of Manga Rattrap? And friggin' Kiss Players? What kind of crap is that?
    I will say this though: Beast Wars Neo makes for a hell of a lot better ending to the Beast Era than Beast Machines was...granted that BM was in a whole other level of animation quality...but still...

    Gah.

    I guess the direction I'm going in is this: I'd like to know the general fandom's opinion of Japanese influence on Transformers. It seems to be very much a love-hate relationship (bordering more on hate at times), so let's hear those opinions.
     
  2. Abrogate

    Abrogate Nondescript Former Poster

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    I agree with you that Arcee is useless and I've never understood the fandom's fascination with her. Although, I think she is supposed to be a sex object, as much as she gets hit on by Hot Rod and Springer.

    I would also agree that the Armada Trilogy is really poor.

    Kiss Players rules though
     
  3. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    To be truthful, we've had some good (Masterforce, Victory) and some bad (the overly stock footage heavy and filled out newer series, although they have some good moments).
    We've not had an honest to goodness, out and out Super Robot Transformers show yet, though. We've not had something with monsters of the week and over-the-top finishing attacks. A couple of the shows (Energon / Super Link springs to mind) would have been ideal for this.

    Ultimately though Transformers is steeped in Japanese influences since many of the early robots were taken from Japanese toy lines that harked back to the styles of Go Nagai (although Diaclone's real robo subline which Transformers came from is the least influenced out of all Diaclone, in my opinion). Done right I think the Japanese shows would be incredible, but since Takara aims TF at very young kids (younger than Hasbro's target demographic) then we get a TF that is more kiddy by comparison. I've nothing against that, it's good fun, but after six years of Japanese imports, I'm ready for something a little less anime and a little closer to Beast Wars. Bring on Heroes!
     
  4. NIDARAM12

    NIDARAM12 Robot art guy

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    This has nothing to do with the fact that they were Japanese animes. Its because were CHILDRENS Japanese anime that they were so silly and full of super DBZ power-up action.

    If anything, I would love to see an adult Transformers series done by Production IG in the style of a more serious show like Stand Alone Complex or even with the robot action of IGPX.
     
  5. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    I think Takara and companies it deals with to produce fiction for Transformers in Japan really waste potential, or try to work the series as a 'just like every other kids cartoon in Japan', failing to notice that Japan already has japanese-made, japanese localised-themed mecha franchises in abundance and another one isn't going to help matters.

    I think Takara also tries too hard to dumb down Transformers to a lowest possible age market, which is rather a confusing business decision given the relative expense of Transformers and the relatively small allowance of children in that age group. No wonder cheap Sentai do better.

    Frankly, I think Takara doesn't really know what to do with this gaijin-created franchise (in terms of basic story and theme) that they partly own. They're winging it now.

    Arcee's uselessness is more of a 'development' during Japan's Headmasters series (which deviated significantly from the tone and style of the US G1 series). While OUR Arcee was never really a significant character, I'd hardly call her useless.

    Energon was much worse.
     
  6. Laser_Optimus

    Laser_Optimus Your opinion was noted. Now get lost. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I have to echo the sentiments that the big problem seems to lie with the fact that Takara really don't know what to do with Transformers from their market's standpoint. They aim the shows and toys at a lot younger audience than Hasbro does (at one Botcon pannel Hasbro employees mentioned that they pretty much aim it at the pre-teen boys because TFs are considered highly complex toys and usually the last toy a boy gets into before he starts leaving toys behind for the most part). Personally, I think they have a bad habbit of trying to model their version of TFs after all the niche "giant robot series" that are already out there and TFs are a hard fit in that.

    However, I don't feel the fault come from them being anime. In reality there's alot of really good anime and companies that make very mature and non-DBZ/Naruto anime. Unfortunantly, the age group that Takara aims for is into the kiddie power up thing and monster of the day thing. Luckily they've managed to stay away from the "yoma-of-day" influence, but it wouldn't surprise me if a Japanese TF series ever went there, because that's what's popular with the age group that Takara is attempting to market to.

    Now if they were to do something more pre-teen oriented than we wouldn't have such a big streatch when the series come state side. As it stands right now, Takara ends up making a show that's aimed at a younger audience that what Hasbro aims Transformers at and is probably one of the biggest causes as to the last three series not being very watchable. That and the horrid dub for the first two, but that's another matter entirely. More than likely, kids who would probably move away from the Power Rangers/DBZ type kiddie shows and look for something a little higher on the scale wouldn't find the Japanese versions of the series very appealing with all it's Power Ranger/DBZ type undertones.

    My two cents...
     
  7. Abrogate

    Abrogate Nondescript Former Poster

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    I didnt watch the Energon cartoon for the most part, but I remember the episode where Arcee first showed up and Optimus gave this unnecessary, lame, feminist speech about how she was a valuable Autobot and an important character and I just friggin laughed
     
  8. butz

    butz slippery when wet

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    Dare I ask, whats a "yoma-of-day"??
     
  9. Laser_Optimus

    Laser_Optimus Your opinion was noted. Now get lost. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Monster of the day. Usually used in shows like Sailor Moon and the like where the throw away monsters are referred to as "Yoma". Sorry, my wife's a big Anime nut (with Sailor Moon being her favorite show for some reason...) and some of the phrases tend to come out without me thinking about it.
     
  10. Frognal

    Frognal Prodigal Son Returned

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    Yeah, the problem isn't that it's anime.
     
  11. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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    I love Transformers. Maybe the Unicron Trilogy wasn't the greatest, but it was much much better then having no animation at all. It's still fun to discuss too. I always liked Takara, because they seemed to always put a little extra in their Transformers. This sort of ended with Tak-Tom, MPs and BTs now made of plastic and QC issues are now much more common. I also think the Kiss Play storyline is over-the-top, but not in a good way. There's room for improvement all around, but at least Transformers are still going strong. I enjoy the Japenese influence and love the Japanese Trasformers music. Some the the songs have beautiful lyrics. I really enjoy the Galaxy Force music. Anyway, bottom line, for the most part, I'm a happy Transformers fan.
     
  12. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    You see, Energon could have used that and made it work. The Terrorcons were practically crying out to get some big uglies to give them some support. Unicron had ingested the Divebombs and Ravages and they were revived, as was Megatron. So why couldn't Alpha Q and later Megatron have woken up some other monsters from within Unicron? I think it would have worked out well since it would have shown off the Super Link gimmick nicely, what with the Autobots combining to give themselves the tactical edge needed to overcome the latest Terrorcon threat.
    Granted, the way Energon was done worked pretty well up until that last arc, but I just personally feel that the monster of the week angle would have lent itself to Energon like no other show did. But then again it would've taken away from the Decepticons, who were pretty awesome in that series, so either way it would've lost something.
     
  13. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    Galaxy Force on it's own, seperated from the prior two series as it was meant to be, is a really great show. not as good as beast wars, but likely second best in my opinion.

    hasbro trying to connect it to shows that it really had nothing to do with hurt it a whole lot.
     
  14. butz

    butz slippery when wet

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    I didn't think they were that bad, for what they were. Putting them on at 6 in the morning was what killed them for me.
     
  15. Shaun_C

    Shaun_C The REAL One True fan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    QFT, Armada, Energon and Cybertron weren't bad show IMPO. Can't comment on the 6am thing though as over here Transformers is aired Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons
     
  16. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    I agree with you. I disliked the RID, Armada, Energon, and Cybertron shows for many of those same aesthetics. Plus, I have seen many adult-oriented animes that I find very compelling, well written, and well animated.

    I guess there are aspects of the Japanese influence that I enjoy and those that I don't care for...same can be said of American influenced media/franchises.
     
  17. LigerPrime

    LigerPrime Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, basically the problem with TFs in Japan is that TakaraTomy does not know how to market the brand. For example, should they target pre-teens, teens or...the collector's market. This is reflected in recent TF shows from Armada to Galaxy Force.

    Of course it doesn't help that TakaraTomy is facing intense competition in Japan fir the various age groups. For example,

    i) Pre-teen males, they have to compete against Sentai (Power Rangers and Ultraman), teens - Gundams

    ii) collector's Yamato's Macross, Gundam and even more Sentai shows like Garo...I don't even want to mention anime...

    From what I see, TakaraTomy is heading towards the collectors' market with the release of higher-end stuff like the MP Screamer and Megatron and are developing a "wait and see" attitude with regards to the "general line".

    They're getting whacked at mass retail. For example, Galaxy Force aka Cyberton didn't do as well as they (Takara) expected. Hence the "delay" in releasing Classics in Japan.

    Another critical factor of concern to TakaraTomy is the category of toys that TFs are competing against...mecha.

    TFs in Japan are competing against the Gundams, Mazingers, GaoGaiGars, Getters etc. Sure, there are Japanese fans who like the Beastie stuff but on awhole, it doesn't appeal to "Mecha fans". It will be interesting to see the reactions of Japanese TF fans to the movie...it could make or break its brand in the country.

    Although Hasbro has their share of competitors, the lack of "mecha" competition allows them to "experiment" with various concepts and get away with it.

    For me, I just prefer Takara's stuff because of the "extras" such as paint jobs etc. :D 
     
  18. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    I pretty much agree with the general idea.

    Takara has been a great influence to the design of transformers, but they pretty much stink at the writing. I'm not really sure what happened.

    Headmasters, Masterforce, and Victory were great shows.

    Beastwars II and Neo were both good. Not as good as the previous japanese shows, but good nonetheless.

    The writting was about on par with the previous shows with RiD.

    Armada was another decline, but went back up a bit during the second half.

    Energon was actually not a half bad show untill the second half. Had they ended it with Prime defeating unicron, it would have actually be an ok show. With a few exceptions (like Shockblast's episode and the special), the show took a quick downhill spiral.

    Cybertron was a huge improvement over Energon all around, but still had some issues. Storyarchs taking far too long (speed planet in particular) caused other's to be much shorter than they should have been.
     
  19. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    I still don't see how Hasbro attempting to connect Cybertron was such a bad thing, considering it was mostly throw-away lines.

    Galaxy Force was pretty good in the first half, but was a lost cause in the second half - too much story to fit in, too much time wasting on comedy episodes, and not enough on character or story development. Where the hell did Soundwave and Planet X come from? What happened to them afterwards?

    I was also less than happy that they decided to save money on animation by doing the super-robot fighting move of 'HITTING EACH OTHER'S FISTS CAUSING A MASSIVE EXPLOSION'.

    I really hated the bad acting from the actress who plays Bud. I wanted to stab my ears out. Stab my freaking ears out whenever Bud talked in the Galaxy Force version. Plus he was kind of a brat in that version.
     
  20. MagiRanger

    MagiRanger Banned

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    I think Japan has done pretty good with the Transformers franchise, much better than the US has done. Japan is always willing to take more risks and give us more interesting concepts (Kiss-Play). Plus, these last few series have given us some very memorable characters.

    All you people bitching about the target demographic make me laugh, because no matter what you think its a kid franchise and aimed towards kids. Trying to differentiate between "older kids" and "young kids" doesn't help an argument at all.
     

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