Thoughts on Headmasters?

Discussion in 'Transformers Cyberverse and Cartoon Discussion' started by ArcanielRE3, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. ArcanielRE3

    ArcanielRE3 Honorary Autobot

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    Yeah, I know. Its the sort of thing that is "so bad, it's good".
     
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  2. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    When was the last time you actually watched G1 because a lot of your comments come off as "I loved this as a kid but haven't actually seen it recently" AKA nostalgic.

    Which is actually pretty standard for the entirety of the G1 era cartoons even before Headmasters. Even the G1 movie which had a larger budget and looked generally much better than the series did still had some animation problems... like the fact that the Matrix jumped into Ultra Magnus' chest a few frames before Ultra Magnus put it there.

    Being that the brand was created by a toy company that has always been the case. Like they killed off most of the cast in the movie just because their toys weren't selling and introduced new characters out of no where with no in universe explanation multiple times during the series.

    Not sure how "to sell toys" syndrome is disrespectful to two character who were introduced just to sell toys... Granted Arcee didn't actually get a toy on shelves till 30 years later but she did have a prototype that just never got released and I think it was too late to write her out of the movie by the time they scrapped it.

    Also Arcee never really had much of a personality in G1 other than oddly motherly figure to Daniel despite the fact that he has an actual mother... and that does get slightly weirder in Headmasters where Carly is actually around. In the US cartoon she just kind of disappears and I had always assumed she was killed off camera at some point.

    I wish there was an English dub of it... I mean... like a real one where Blaster is still Blaster and not Billy and the voices actually some what match the American cast. I know there was an English dub over seas for some of the English speaking countries in Europe but it's terrible. A lot of characters go by different names and the acting is just the worst. It's laughably bad and I don't even consider that as a real dub... more like an abridged series... Who names a robot Billy?
     
  3. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    The Omni dub is one of the great mysteries of life. Just how it was possible for someone to create a dub that terrible will forever be a puzzle. :D 
     
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  4. Fallout

    Fallout content in the same old schtick again

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    FORTRESS MAXIMUS HAS COME HIMSELF
     
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  5. ArcanielRE3

    ArcanielRE3 Honorary Autobot

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    I watched G1 for the first time a year ago, dickhead.

    Yes... and? Animation problems that were present in other G1 media doesn't excuse it from being a problem in Headmasters. What kind of logic is that?

    Also, I feel that Headmasters has less of an excuse to be as inconsistent. Unlike the original G1 cartoon, it wasn't passed around through different animation studios every couple episodes.

    Yes, but when they did kill off characters prior to Headmasters, they seemed to make sure the character recieved an impactful or worthy death. Compare the lackluster death of Ultra Magnus to the death of the Shuttle crew, or even just seeing the corpses of Wheeljack and Windcharger, in the '86 movie. Don't even get me started on deaths like Optimus and Starscream.

    Easy. I'll tell you how.
    Galvatron (AKA Megatron, the most iconic Decepticon in Transformers history) is killed off in a lazy, underwhelming, and completely stupid way, for the sole purpose of putting more focus on Scorponok, the new bad guy toy, for the last 10 episodes of the show.

    Arcee was never a deep character in G1, but the compassion she had for Daniel and her fellow Autobots made her very likeable to me. Headmasters forgot one key detail about Arcee though... she can fight. How is it that Arcee has so much screentime in Headmasters, yet never once is even seen with a blaster? The writers instead thought it'd be great to make her a poor-man's repair bay and keep her stuck on the ship for the whole show. That isn't Arcee, she should be out there fighting alongside everyone else!

    And how long has it been since you've seen G1? "She just kind of disappears" are you kidding me? Arcee had sizable roles in a few Season 3 episodes, and even starred as a Headmaster during the three-part series finale. (Which was much better than the Headmasters cartoon overall, I must say)

    Finally, something we can agree on.

    Though you can't deny that the Omni dub is glorious, and has every right to exist for just how... incredible it is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  6. ArcanielRE3

    ArcanielRE3 Honorary Autobot

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    My best guess was that it was the result of an absolutely wasted crew.

    I'm telling ya, from translators, to script writers, to voice actors, no one was sober during production, I guarantee lol
     
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  7. Liege Nemesis

    Liege Nemesis Snarks about old cartoons

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    I know you're just being flippant and sarcastic (that's my native language too), but I would guess that the "real" reason would be down to a combo of lack of understanding of the source material and possibly low 'value' on the contract (this probably wasn't a high-paying gig given the limited release of the series) and expectations given the nature of the translation (it was dubbed into English for the Takara markets, which coincidentally doesn't include most of the parts of the world where English is the primary language. So they were left with something that probably only had appeal in the small markets it ended up in, where English is something of a lingua franca but not the mother tongue of its residents. Places like Malaysia and Singapore. In those cases they probably figured that 'close enough' is good enough and people may not notice the issues so readily given that English would be most of the audience's second/third/fourth language). Add in that the company paying for and overseeing this dub (Takara) aren't native English speakers themselves and it wouldn't be surprising that nobody there would've been able to or cared to do proper quality control on what they got.

    Omni was based in Hong Kong and run by a group of British/Australian ex-pats who would all have been far too old to care about Transformers. Also their stock and trade of the time seems to have mostly been niche type stuff like sci-fi fantasy movies and b-grade martial arts action movies from Japan and China. So I doubt that they were ever concerned with exacting accuracy.

    For what it's worth they also handled the Toei-contracted international English dubs for most Godzilla movies released in the 90s and while those weren't high art either, they seemed to be handled with more care than Headmasters was. Though in that case one of the actors admitted in a usenet discussion that they had no familiarity with that source material either and readily changed things on the fly if they thought the original dialogue was too confusing.

    Seriously, if you watch most of the Godzilla movies from the Heisei era of releases and even some of the ones from the 2000s you can easily pick out Rik Thomas' voices that he used for Galvatron and the narrator peppered throughout them.
     
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  8. ArcanielRE3

    ArcanielRE3 Honorary Autobot

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    Yeah, this right here is almost certainly the legitimate explanation. Having been a big fan of Japanese media my whole life, I'm all too familar with shoddy international dubs. Omni's Headmasters dub is simply one of many.

    Surprising to hear that Omni had a hand in dubbing the Heisei Godzilla films. I grew up watching those dubs on DVD all the time! Makes me kind of want to just sit down and watch the Headmasters dub in its entirety some day, just to see which voices I recognize (and, of course, have a good laugh as well).
     
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  9. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    No excuse for that kind of language.

    You were criticizing Headmasters specifically as if the US portion of G1 never had that issue which is simply not the case. It's not about excusing Headmasters, it's about you singling out Headmasters for an issue that had ALWAYS been a problem as if it was something new that only effected this one series. It's not.

    Fair enough.

    Only if the character was named Optimus Prime or Starscream. Pretty much everyone else who died in the movie, their deaths barely took up 2 seconds of screen time. I clearly remember Megatron's line "Such Heroic nonsense" before shooting one of the Autobots on the shuttle who was barely clinging onto life as it was but that moment goes by so quickly that might as well have been a generic Autobot cause I can never remember who the F that was. So many characters were killed off so quickly during that shuttle attack and the attack on Autobot city that they might as well have been killed off screen.

    Plus a lot of those characters still oddly showed up later in the movie and during season 3 as background characters. They were main characters for a good portion of the first 2 seasons of the show but when it came time to kill them off they were little more than background cameos. Optimus and Starscream were the only deaths that really mattered, that they actually focused on for more than two seconds.

    See here's how uneventful those deaths were... I don't even remember seeing Wheeljack or Windcharger in the movie at all. Who killed them? How did they die?

    Fair enough

    You make a good point there.



    Dude learn to read better. I said CARLY disappears in season 3 not Arcee. I was talking about how weird it was for Arcee to take on a "motherly" role with Daniel in Headmasters because CARLY his actual mother was actually around in that series. It's still kind of weird during season 3 and the Rebirth but CARLY disappears for most the series so it's not quite as weird when Arcee takes on that role in the absence of Daniel's actual mother.

    I assumed that CARLY had been killed off screen at some point because she never shows up again in the U.S. portion of G1 during that whole time that Arcee is filling her role with Daniel. Carly has more of a presence in the Japanese Headmasters though and is clearly still alive which makes Arcee's relationship with Daniel even weirder... Even if part of that isn't even canon anymore... (The Rebirth) it's still weird. Prime Arcee and Jack had a much better written partnership which is partially why I prefer that version of Arcee over the weirdly motherly G1 counterpart.
     
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  10. Rojixus

    Rojixus Well-Known Member

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    Windcharger was the corpse Arcee was dragging around before Springer told her to cut that out and help him. She ended up leaving Windcharger's corpse with Wheeljack's.
     
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  11. Mako Crab

    Mako Crab Well-Known Member

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    I watched Headmasters once. And I’ll never make that mistake again. I remember Cybertron blowing up & then they just wandered around for the rest of the show aimlessly, just basically waiting to hear back from Rodimus, who went looking for a new planet for them to live on.

    We never hear from him again & as far as I can recall, they never get a new planet to call home.

    And Wheelie was jealous, because Daniel had a crush on an amazon girl in a pink jungle swimsuit. Oh, Wheelie.

    The one word that sums up this show: BORING.
     
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  12. Gaastra

    Gaastra Well-Known Member

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    Hot rod comes back in the manga. Odd thing is the autobots have two planets they are living on. Why do they need a third?

    The thing i hated was why did they just abandon spikes family out of the blue after what 30 years? "It's the last episode so good bye. I know you grew up around us but it's a anime thing so don't let the door hit you on the way out. Never mind carleys job has her going to other planets as a ambassador so it's pointless."

    Never mind they fact that they lived ON THE OTHER PLANET so their house isn't even on earth so they are homeless. Good thing they can take a ship back to their house. What a dumb ending.
     
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  13. ArcanielRE3

    ArcanielRE3 Honorary Autobot

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    Sorry for the name-calling, but I just cannot stand it when people try to disregard someone's comments/opinions with the percieved notion that they're "blinded by nostalgia". Its insulting and extremely patronizing.

    I never said it wasn't an issue in the original cartoon. It very much was. However, bringing attention to that fact is irrelevant as I was discussing Headmasters, not the original G1 cartoon or anything else related to G1.
    Just Headmasters.


    I can understand missing Windcharger and Wheeljack's corpses, as they weren't the focus of the scene, but I struggle to figure out how one can miss who dies on the shuttle.

    The camera focuses on each character as they get gunned down, lingering on them as they fall dead. I'll never forget the chilling death of Prowl, where his eyes dim out before smoke expells from his dead mouth. And if you were paying attention, you'd know it was Ironhide who gets executed by Megatron. He even gets a speaking line, albeit its just a single word.

    While yes, their deaths are brief, I think what made them memorable and worthwhile (to me, at least) was that it finally sold just how dangerous and merciless the Decepticons could be, not to mention the severity of the Autobot-Decepticon war. The cartoon always presented it all in good fun somewhat, so truly seeing just how severe the conflict is was incredible.

    As for the characters coming back ordeal, blame it on AKOM and the producers just not caring at all during Season 3 lol


    Ohhhh... okay, that makes a lot more sense. My bad, I apologize. I do think you could've worded your statement better though.
     
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  14. ArcanielRE3

    ArcanielRE3 Honorary Autobot

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    Yeah... the more I think about this show, the more I don't like it lol
     
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  15. Liege Nemesis

    Liege Nemesis Snarks about old cartoons

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    Neither Spike nor Carly really had the ambassador job by the time we got to Headmasters. Spike did negotiate with Galvatron that one time, but that was specifically requested. The rest of the time he was treated like some sort of scientist, creating that energy satellite that Scroponok steals in one episode (so that Chromedome can whinge about how he promised to get it back safely and then has to blow it up to prevent the Decepticons from keeping it.)

    And Carly? She pretty much gets downgraded to "housewife", likely on the back of Japan's more traditionalist gender role expectations which, even by the 80s in anime/manga, were still somewhat encouraging of the idea that a woman should quit working once married so she can stay in the home. Even if, in the Witwicky's case, they're already pawning Daniel off on Arcee to take care of him and Carly should be free to use the fact that she's a former ambassador to Cybertron and has a degree from MIT to do some good. But nope. She's just there to serve tea and fret about Spike and Daniel's safety.
     
  16. CybertronianFan

    CybertronianFan Well-Known Member

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    The series (and more so the dubbing) were bad (dubbing was worse). The personalities of some of the characters were very lame.

    I also disliked the direction they took with the whole Headmaster concept. In the American series, I loved how they made the whole Head & Target masters a set of bonded characters to each other. That, in particular the Headmasters, was a body that had to cope with the (sometimes clashing) personalities of two different beings and how they had to co-exist. However, I loathed that instead of being Cybertronians themselves, the head/target/powermasters were organic beings wearing cast-off armors that would allow them to bond with the bonded Cybertronians. An armor that would twist and contort them in ways that would kill them outright, but .... 80's logic. The Japanese Headmasters series took this step in both the right and wrong direction. They Headmasters were indeed Cybertronians, but they took away the binary bonded theme in lieu of making the larger bots a shell (transectors?). I wished they would have married both concepts. Keep the Cybertronians as they are, sentient beings, and the Head/Targetmasters being mini-cons themselves not be organic beings with cast-off armors. Two Cybertronian beings bonded to each other in a way Cybertronians were never bonded before.
     
  17. Takeshi357

    Takeshi357 "Research"

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    I have mixed feelings about Headmasters.

    In one hand, my initial reaction to it was overwhelmingly negative. I didn't like many of the writing choices like blowing up Cybertron just to write all the season 3 mains out of the series, Daniel is way more infantile and obnoxious than he was in season 3.

    On subsequent viewings though, I've warmed up to it a bit more, and I have a kind of begrudging admiration towards some of those writing choices. As much as like the Headmasters in the Marvel comic, I can't help but to find the Japanese version of the concept to make a lot more sense because Hasbro's definition of what binary bonding actually means is vague at best and it's been up to the writers to figure out how the hell it works. Also finding that Victory didn't live up to any of it's hype while people were constantly trashing this one probably helped.

    The biggest hurdle for me is the lack of an actually good and accurate translation for the series. I haven't seen Shout's subs so they might be better but I was turned off from actually finding them to check them out because they shoehorned IDW terminology into a TV show from the 1980s which is just dumb.
     
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  18. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Wields Mjolnir!

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    Unchanged from all those years ago.

     
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  19. Liege Nemesis

    Liege Nemesis Snarks about old cartoons

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    Cycling out characters has always been a thing even back into various segments of G1 (besides just the transition from season 2 to the movie/season 3), they just never usually called attention to it the way Headmasters did.

    Also while I didn't think most of the big writing choices they employed paid off, I can't fault them for at least trying to employ them. The odd thing is that while some series and stories out there swing for the fences and strike out, Headmasters doesn't even lend itself to working within the framework of this baseball metaphor. Because they don't really complete the 'swing for the fences' portion of things. They set up these big, dramatic moments that offer grand opportunities to shift the tone and story of the series to something more daring and grand and instead they just brush it off and continue as if it never happened (or mattered)

    Yeah, that's totally fair. And I totally agree about how much the plot dawdles and meanders. Honestly they would've been better off if the series was like 20 episodes instead of 35. Cut out the entirety of Galvatron returning and his whole plot from that point until he gets buried in the ice. Have him die when Cybertron blows up and that's it. From then on it's entirely about finishing off Scorponok's plan, which they could probably cut down to maybe 8-10 episodes.
     
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  20. Gaastra

    Gaastra Well-Known Member

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    Carley was still a ambassador in headmasters in fact she was out on one of them later in the series and had to be saved.

    I also hated how arcee went from front lines with the main autobots to fort maxs secretary and coffee fetcher.

    Did she even fight at all in that series? I did like the battle beast crossover and going to other planets however. Prime dying right after he just came back to life was dumb.
     
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