This week David makes April Fools of us all by making us watch the inexplicably popular new anime Kemono Friends! How much are Serval-chan, Sand Cat-chan, and Tsuchinoko-chan like Cute Anime Girl Cheetor, Tigatron, and Dinobot? Was Japari Park actually Earth all along? Does it have a second moon that will turn into a superweapon? And who comes out of it thinking that anime was a mistake? Join us this week as we make some Kemono Friends!
Sari helps the Autobots settle into their new home on Earth, and she decides to start with a sleepover! But when her key jolts Megatron awake, he immediately starts looking for ways to get the Allspark from them! Can the Autobots survive a game of Twister? Will Prowl stop being a jerk? And just what kind of vocal range does Corey Burton have? Join us this week as we learn that Home Is Where The Spark Is!
With Beast Wars, Beast Machines, and an overview of everything else after behind us, it’s time to move on to our next full series: Transformers Animated!
The war is over, and Autobot Academy washout Optimus Prime is stuck on space bridge repair duty with a ragtag crew when they come across something no one expected to see again: The Allspark! But when its presence draws Megatron’s own flagship, can they keep it out of Decepticon hands? Can Starscream stop being so Starscream for like two minutes? And is “huge asshole” just Prowl’s default characterization now? Join us this week as we… Transform and Roll Out! (Part 1.)
After the Energon cartoon, Hasbro and Takara decided they needed to put at least a little effort into the next one. By enlisting the anime studio Gonzo and actually giving the translators time to work, Transformers: Cybertron was… well, at the very least, better than the two shows that came before it. With far better CG robots, some genuinely charming characters, and a story that at the very least had clear cause-and-effect, Cybertron was actually pretty likable.
Except for that incredibly boring Speed Planet arc.
Fortunately, we’re skipping right past that part this week! We come in with the Autobots in possession of three of the four Cyber Planet Keys, Bud, Jolt, and Reverb stuck with the Decepticons on the Atlantis, and everyone rushing to find the last Cybertronian colony, Gigantron! But with a black hole threatening Primus, can Optimus Prime use the Matrix to power him up without the final key? Has Thunderblast gotten any more bearable with time? And could Starscream just maybe not jump in front of something that’ll make him a planet-sized monster for a change? Join us this week as we return to “Titans”!
Following Armada’s amazing toy sales, Hasbro and Takara apparently decided lackluster animation and even worse translation were just fine, because that seems to have been the attitude behind the Transformers: Energon TV series. With a confusing plot, stilted CG robots, and translations errors on par with Generation 1’s animation errors, Energon quickly established itself as no one’s favorite Transformers cartoon.
We’re still gonna watch an episode, though. In fact, we’re going to watch an episode that in many ways embodies the series, an episode that didn’t even get a spell-check on the title: Imprisoned Inferno!
As Kicker! and Misha explore a new planet that’s teeming with life and Energon, Inferno holds watch over Shockblast on the desolate Iron Planet. But when Megatron sets his sights on corrupting the stoic sniper, will Inferno be able to resist? Why does the animation suddenly get so much better in Act 3? And did Cliffjumper and Downshift really just refer to each other by their own names!? Join us as we answer some of these questions and fail to answer others while watching Improsoned Inferno!
With anime the “cool new thing the kids are into”, 2002 saw the first Transformers toyline and TV show jointly developed by Hasbro and Takara for both markets: Armada. And while the toys were exciting and innovative, the show was… less so.
With the Autobots out screaming dramatically at the Decepticons, Alexis, Rad, and Carlos find the base’s computer being possessed by Sideways! Soon they’re pulled into “cyberspace” with their Mini-Con partners, where they get a glimpse of Cybertron, fight Sideways, and end up chased by an awfully familiar-looking evil planet! Will they ever find their way out? Did anyone working in cartoons in 2002 know anything about computers? And just what were the animators smoking? Join us this week for an episode of Transformers: Armada–Chase!
After Beast Machines, Hasbro took a break from cartoon production and imported Takara’s Car Robots under the name Robots in Disguise. But only a couple episodes into the show’s American run on Fox Kids, something happened that lowered the American viewing public’s appetite for casual urban destruction. Many episodes had to be edited; a few had to be pulled from airing entirely, though they later saw release on DVD in the UK.
This week we watch one of the latter.
The Decepticons replace a human space shuttle with their own Movor in hopes that a spy in Earth orbit will be able to find the Autobot’s secret base. But the Autobots he finds are too busy doing other things to be much help! Will he be able to fulfill his duty? Is it still too soon for that much casual urban destruction? And do any of us believe that the replaced astronauts are totally safe? Join us this week for some ani-mayhem with the original Robots in Disguise episode, “Attack From Outer Space”
With Beast Machines finished, our rewatch of the Beast Era comes to an end. Join us this week as we talk collective fandom fits, the influence of the Beast Era on later Transformers fiction, and Rob tells us all about Bob Skir’s Beast Machines prose story! (Also David apologizes in advance for some “sketchier than usual editing”.)
This is it: the final episode of the Beast era! Every Maximal but Optimus Primal has had their spark removed, and now Optimus must face Megatron in his own upgraded body! With the souls of every Cybertronian at stake, with the two of them left as the only living beings on Cybertron, can Optimus defeat him? Or will Megatron succeed in remaking the planet in his image? And will Waspinator ever catch a break? Join us this week for Endgame Pt. III: Seeds of the Future!
With the sparks of every Transformer on Cybertron at stake, the Maximals try to hold the grounded Grand Mal against the full force of Megatron’s Vehicons. But just what is this new body Megatron is building for himself? Can the Maximals glow and crash into things enough to make a difference? And how far will these titles keep stretching for the sake of hyperbole? Join us for the penultimate episode of the Beast era of Transformers, Endgame Part II: When Legends Fall!