Were Megatron and Galvatron 2 separate characters in Japan?

Sunday, September 14th, 2003 11:21PM CDT

Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron   Views: 47,591

Written by DrSpengler

"So Megatron was Galvatron in Japan?"

Yeah, it’s true. From an American perspective the Japanese continuity is all sorts of crazy. And the internet hasn’t done much to help. With all kinds of whacky rumors or just completely fabricated BS, newcomers to the Japanese universe of the Transformers are more confused than anything else. Me? I have seen every episode of the Transformers (US or Japanese) and read every issue of the manga. There’s a lot of wild rumors and crap out there that needs to be set straight, so I’ll start with one of the biggest misconceptions American Transfans have about the Japanese continuity.

So Megatron and Galvatron are two completely different characters, right? Wrong.

Yeah, the Japanese continuity on this subject is REALLY confusing because…well, they WERE two completely different characters at first. Let’s start with Scramble City Toys (called Scramble City 2 by some). This was a stop-motion OVA released by Takara. It was a remake of the original animated Scramble City OVA and featured voice-overs from the original Japanese cast. Were Megatron and Galvatron 2 separate characters in Japan? Basically it was just a half-hour commercial promoting the toys. So what made it different from its animated counterpart? This one featured Galvatron. Actually, it featured Megatron ordering Galvatron around as if he were a subordinate. This is where the misconception begins. When Scramble City Toys was made the backgrounds of the newer characters had yet to be fully developed. Takara wasn’t sure how the Galvatron character was going to turn out but they wanted to market him as early as possible. While the original Scramble City takes place in Japanese continuity Scramble City Toys DOES NOT. It is merely a commercial. A really long commercial, but a commercial none-the-less.

And now you ask "But I’ve seen scans from the manga that shows Galvatron and Megatron side by side!". Calm down, Francine. Yeah, Comics Bon Bon did a lot of promo art for the toys. One shows Ultra Magnus and Galvatron duking it out on the shoulder of Metroflex (Metroplex in America) while Megatron watches in the back. Well, there’s an explanation for that too. Comics Bon Bon wasn’t given info on the characters when they did the art. They were just given the toys and told to make them look cool. How were they supposed to know? Even worse, when they began work on the 2010 manga for Terebi Magazine (TV Magazine) they were not told that Megatron and Galvatron were separate. As a result Megatron and Galvatron show up together. The artists and writers were quickly set straight afterward and, for lack of a better term, "pretended" that error never happened.

Yeah, it’s confusing. But if the Japanese can get over it so can we Americans

Now for the Movie. Yes, it takes place in exactly the same time as it does in the American continuity. Then why was it released in 1989 in Japan, you ask? Well, that’s a tough one. There is no definite answer as to why. Some say it was the fact that it financially BOMBED in the US, others say that the killing off of major characters would have negatively effected Japanese toy sales. But don’t think for a second that Japanese Transfans back in 1986 were left in the dark. Recaps of the movie’s events were in just about every shoujo magazine including Terebi Magazine (the official magazine for Transformers over in Japan). And don’t think that bootlegs never showed up there either. On top of that in the first episode of Transformers 2010 (season 3) there is a narrated recap explaining the events from the movie for the audience’s benefit.

And now comes the kicker, that stupid rumor that in the Transformers: the Battlestars manga Super Megatron is sent to kill Galvatron. I don’t know who dreamed that up but IT NEVER HAPPENED! Dark Nova resurrected Galvatron from the North Pole (where he got buried in Headmasters) and upgraded him into Super Megatron on the spot.

So there you have it. In Japanese continuity Megatron IS Galvatron. This is about as simplified as it gets. If you’re still confused ... well, I’m sorry.

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