Top 5 Best Episodes of Transformers Super God Masterforce

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Top 5 Best Episodes of Transformers Super God Masterforce

Postby Optimutt » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:12 pm

Motto: "If it's not fun and you can't win, it's not worth doing."
Every two weeks, brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor, or a guest like this week's Optimutt. These are personal opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 Best Episodes of Transformers Super God Masterforce!

Following the end of the Transformers cartoon in the USA, Japan continued the line with a number of shows. The first was Headmasters, a show I did a Top 5 Episodes for, whose 38 episodes was released in 1987-1988. The second of these year-long series was Super God Masterforce, arriving in 1988-1989.

Masterforce followed the adventures of the Cybertrons, Ginrai (Powermaster Optimus Prime in the West, though they are vastly different characters) and the Headmaster Juniors (Minerva, Cab, and Shuta), as they set out to thwart Overlord his Destron army. The 42-episode run opened up a whole new world of Transformers where most of the cast were actually humans who received special bracelets that let them interact with their Transtectors (transforming vehicles that they combined with as Godmasters or Headmasters) as a kind of battle suit that maintained the human personality. The only actual Transformers in the series were 4 Cybertron (Autobot) Pretenders and 3 Destron (Decepticon) pretenders, the monstrous Black Zarak, and a lone knight named SixKnight. Brave Maximus had a pretender shell, but it was never revealed if he was just another Pretender or a human commanding his battleship Maximus. With the rich human element directly interacting and connecting with the Transformers (transtectors), it made for a very earth-oriented and human-focused story.

More information about this series can be found here.

The episodes are ranked by their originality, entertainment factor, and a measure of the human factor: heart.

Number 5.
Episode 2. Terror! The Destrons’ Manhunt
- The Decepticons transform human corpses into undead "Destroids", and then attack the island nation of Karin, where the Autobots must team up with the island's prince, Cab, to save the day. Writer: Toyohiro Ando. Director: Yoshikata Nitta.


This is only the second episode into the Masterforce cartoon, and it essentially pulls out all the stops. Through the Destron’s plan to make an army of zombie soldiers, it shows that there is a whole lot of room for madcap adventures. This is a very fitting exploration considering the three initial antagonists in the show are Blood (Bomb-Burst), Dauros (Skullgrin), and Gilmer (Submarauder), all of whom have very monstrous forms. Not only do the trio launch a zombie invasion, but we learn a little about their past. It turns out that they were the first Destrons on Earth, but they were locked away in various temples by Metalhawk: of Egypt (Blood), the Nazca Lines of Peru (Dauros) and the ruin of Atlantis (Gilmer). The coolest thing about this detail is how worldly the show sets its locales.


The episode also introduces the second of the characters who would go on to become the Cybertron Headmaster Juniors: Cab. While the depiction of Cab as being the prince of the pseudo-barbaric tribe people without such worldliness as even a knowledge of soccer (football), it does create a kind of enthusiasm in the young Cab to learn all he can about the world around him. The first of the future Headmaster Juniors, Shuta, uses the latter sport to connect with the youth, and in this way, the pair are able to use their interest in the sport to jumpstart their mutual desire to stop the Destrons.


Perhaps one of the only things really preventing my enjoyment is how much the crisis that Shuta’s father faces reminds me of the Robots in Disguise cartoon that came nearly fifteen years after this. Much of the human problems that establish that short-lived but revolutionary series come beat for beat from Shuta and his father.

Number 4.
Episode 12. A Strange Friendship: Cancer and Minerva
- In an attempt to learn the secrets of the Godmasters, the Autobots capture Cancer, who develops the world's worst case of Stockholm Syndrome. Writer: Toyohiro Ando. Director: Hiroki Shibata.


In putting this together, I reread my notes and concentrated on my details regarding Stockholm Syndrome. This is legendary psychological inclination for a prisoner to see the kindness of their captor as a means of sympathizing with their plight, and often leads the prisoner to come to the conclusion that the captor might just be misunderstood, and that, indeed, there is a logical motivation for capturing them. At first, I thought the use of this was just me being smart. Turns out that it was actually the episode’s writer, Toyohiro Ando, that was smart. <sigh. Maybe one day…> This tale is classic Stockholm Syndrome, right down to its core. The villainous Cancer is taken out of the battle, only to be taken prisoner by the Cybertrons. There, he has to deal with an abusive and temperamental Ginrai, Cab, and Shuta. In Minerva, however, he finds compassion and a force of support, doggedly determined to protect his basic human rights. In a Transformers cartoon whose focus is the humanity of its world, Minerva comes across as a champion of such rights.


Throughout this series, Minerva comes across as a nurse. She is a pillar of the accomplishments of heart and compassion, but she is utterly useless as a warrior. Just about every episode we see her in throughout this series, she is a physically weak, clumsy, and inadequate individual. Simply, she is totally useless on the battlefield. Luckily she is balanced out in more supporting roles as she finds herself in this episode. Another of the strong points of this episode comes in the fact that this unlikely friendship between Minerva and Cancer – the psychological connection, if you will – reverberates all throughout the series. Indeed, this will not be the last time that Cancer finds himself the center of attention on this list.

Number 3.
Episode 24. Super Ginrai Gets Blown Away in the Desert!?
- Ginrai faces his greatest challenge yet when Mega and Giga reveal their true power. Writer: Toyohiro Ando. Director: Hiroki Shibata.


Ginrai was a truck driver in the USA by way of Japan. But he was also so much more: upon discovering the bracelets that allowed him to combine with his transtector truck, it opened up the doors of leadership and power. Sure, he looked exactly like Optimus Prime, but in reality, he was just a regular human whose truck had a really cool secret. It was not long before he rose through the ranks and lit their dark- ahem! Sorry. It was not long before the Cybertron forces recognized that in order to win this battle with the Destrons, they would need more power. Their solution: the Godbomber project. Before this could be completed, however, the Destrons launched a deceptive attack on the Cybertron leader.


The episode that showed this pre-emptive strike was great. Great action. Great animation. Great set-up. Great heroics. Best of all, the two main villains, the husband / wife team of Lord Giga and Lady Mega, finally reveal their battle armor. Thus decked out, they combine with a tank / jet transtector of their own that can combine into the mighty Overlord. This is the first time the audience sees this mighty Destron force, and he shines so brightly that he nearly eclipses Ginrai’s light. It is a very welcome introduction to the potential that Giga and Mega previously hinted at. Moreover, it gives a real glimpse of just how much trouble the Cybertrons were up against, a detail that fully justified their efforts to create the Godbomber upgrade for Ginrai.

Number 2.
Episode 31. Appearance!! The Final Godmaster
- The final Godmaster Transtector turns up in possession of a young man named Clouder. But this particular Godmaster has a special ability which could spell the downfall of the Autobots. Writer: Yoshihisa Araki. Director: Michihiro Kanayama.


Talk about potential! When the final Godmaster appears, he turns out to be a youngish adult (early 20s, maybe) with excellent tech skills, possession of his own rocket vehicle, and good hacking skills. The skeevy, creepy individual has already discovered his bracelets and has decided to use his newfound abilities to set his own plans in action. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Clouder, the opportunist.


What follows is a story that follows his approach of the Destrons, a sudden trial by fire, manipulation of Minerva’s good heart, a de facto attack on a cruise liner, and Clouder as a major schemer. He schemes so well that when the Autobots take him back to their headquarters, the audience just knows that the Cybertrons have just put their hands in the proverbial lion’s mouth, all while thinking they have brought a noble sheep back home with them. This episode has just about everything that one would want from a late-game character. As a bonus, we are finally treated to Overlord’s base mode, which the episode shows off in all its toy-selling glory.

Number 1.
Episode 37. “God Ginrai: Showdown at the Decepticon Base”
- When Shūta and Clouder are captured while attempting to infiltrate the Decepticon base and used as bait to lure Ginrai into a trap, things look grim for the Autobots... until help comes from a most unexpected source! Writer: Hiroyuki Hoshiyama. Director: Michihiro Kanayama.


This episode is all about depth. Though this can be seen as the depths of the ocean, it can also be looked at from the depths of characters. Clouder finally makes peace with the mistake that he made earlier, which resulted in the destruction of the Cybertron base. While neither Shuta nor Ginrai offer much in the way of character development, the seeds of Cancer’s dissatisfaction with the Destron cause finally bear fruit. Thanks to his aid, the Shuta is able to effect his escape.


This is probably the best episode because while it does have some great action scenes, the action is not the whole focus of the episode. This is the moment where not one, but two characters make a very vivid show of individualism, and in doing so, complete an arc that has long been coming. While Overlord and his Destron forces doubtless felt betrayal from Cancer, the audience is more likely to celebrate his liberation from deception and poor life choices.

There you have it! Do you agree? Do you disagree? What are your favorite Masterforce episodes?
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Re: Top 5 Best Episodes of Transformers Super God Masterforce

Postby william-james88 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:21 pm

Awesome list Optimutt :APPLAUSE:
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Re: Top 5 Best Episodes of Transformers Super God Masterforce

Postby Bucky » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:10 am

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Nicely done, Optimutt. I revisited Masterforce again maybe three months back, and I’d have to say your list is dead on. As I was slowly scrolling down, I was thinking “I bet the next one is...yup!” for each entry on this list.
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Re: Top 5 Best Episodes of Transformers Super God Masterforce

Postby ZeroWolf » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:30 am

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This is a great list and I agree with the choices here :-) this is one of my favourite series, and it's just really fun to go back and watch.
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Re: Top 5 Best Episodes of Transformers Super God Masterforce

Postby Ultra Markus » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:21 am

Motto: "“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” - Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight"
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i went and watched the series a few months ago just so i could get a better understanding of it
i think as a whole where Ginria is concerned the character he became is worthy of optimus prime
as even the real cybertronians took him as their leader even though he is human
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Re: Top 5 Best Episodes of Transformers Super God Masterforce

Postby Sabrblade » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:34 pm

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Optimutt wrote:Brave Maximus had a pretender shell, but it was never revealed if he was just another Pretender or a human commanding his battleship Maximus.
Grand Maximus is Fort Max's brother. Only Headmaster Juniors were human, while Grand was a fully normal Headmaster of the non-Junior type.
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Shadowman wrote:This is Sabrblade we're talking about. His ability to store trivial information about TV shows is downright superhuman.
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Re: Top 5 Best Episodes of Transformers Super God Masterforce

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:41 pm

Always interesting to give these lists a read. You can see a lot of time, effort and research goes into them. Kudos.

Naturally, given my proclivities regarding Transformers, I have zero further contribution to make on this list specifically. As this series is the closest it can get within Transformers to anathema to me.
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Re: Top 5 Best Episodes of Transformers Super God Masterforce

Postby ZeroWolf » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:22 pm

Motto: "My past no longer binds my future..."
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To be fair, at the series end, they are all proper transformers (having been split from the humans by Devil Z)
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