A Prime Problem

Monday, September 15th, 2003 3:12PM CDT

Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron   Views: 38,072

Written by DrSpengler


"Is Convoy the same as Convoy?"

All those who have seen the Japanese dub of Beast Wars have at one point wondered if Beast Wars Convoy (Optimus Primal) is the same character as the original Convoy (Optimus Prime). Now we all know that in America they are two distinctly different characters. It is even specifically noted in Beast Machines that Optimus Primal is a descendant of Optimus Prime’s. But what about the Japanese interpretation of the character?

Well, that’s a tough one. When the cartoon was imported to Japan future key plot elements were not sent with it. Mainframe neglected to mention certain things which would ultimately have a HUGE effect on the storyline. For one thing, they didn’t mention that Airrazor and Tigatron would become romantically intertwined. Thus the Japanese writers didn’t think twice about making Airrazor a dude for toy sale reasons. The result was…disturbing. And then they also neglected to mention that the planet the Beast Senshi (Beast Warriors) crashed on was prehistoric Earth. So the planet got named "Enerogia" and the writer’s had to jump through some hoops to work out the plotholes when they discovered the truth. And of course, the biggest problem: the Ark. The original Convoy and Megatron showing up with the Beast Wars Convoy and Megatron caused some noticeable problems. Why?

Because originally they WERE the same character. If you’ve seen Beast Wars II: the Movie you’ve no doubt wondered why the Beast Senshi on Gaea are so awestruck at the presence of Convoy. They refer to him as "The Legendary Warrior". That’s because in Japanese continuity, following the events from the Japanese Generation 2 manga, Convoy and Megatron never died. That was the last time either of them were ever seen. So the writers decided to make the Beast Wars Convoy and Megatron the same as the genuine article. However, they were very ambiguous on the subject. They never actually SAID that Beast Wars Convoy is the same character as Generation 1 Convoy, only subtly implied it. That ambiguity, in the end, saved them. By never actually flat out saying they were the same characters they were able to keep things straight when they received season 2 and 3(Beast Wars Metals).

So in the end they were revealed to be only descendants of the original Megatron and Convoy. That made sense, actually, and helped give a good background to their rivalry. It also helped viewers understand why their voices sounded completely different (Beast Wars Megatron screamed like a girl and Beast Wars Convoy did an awful Tessho Genda impretion).

The biggest foe of Beast Wars in Japan was a total lack of communication. Mainframe simply didn’t provide them with adequate information. Knowing this, one can understand why Beast Machines never got imported out of the United States.

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