Transformers Generation 2

Transformers Generation 2 is an anime series in the Transformers franchise
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Transformers Generation 2 was a re-boot of G1, it changed around most episodes order, added CGI cut-scenes and made some small audio changes, but the episodes themselves were just recycled from G1. It only ran two seasons and cut nearly half the episodes from the original series out entirely.

Far out in the galaxy is a planet where life has evolved in mechanical, rather than organic, form: Cybertron, a world of intelligent transforming robots. Two forces struggle for control of the planet-the evil Destrons (Decepticons in the U.S. version) led by Megatron (later upgraded to Galvatron), and the heroic Cybertrons (Autobots), led by Convoy (Optimus Prime). The energy that sustains the planet is running out and the good guys build a huge starship, the Ark, to look for new energy sources. The Destron too have their own starship, and after their plotting leads to both ships being flung far back in time to Earth, good and bad robots are buried under the crust of our planet until, in the 20th century, they are awakened by the eruption of a volcano. Remodeling themselves to allow transformation into automobiles, jets, and other indigenous technology in order to conceal their presence from the local population, they plan to carry on their war on Earth. The Cybertrons team up with a few humans who stumble across their base, but the Destrons see humankind as inferiors to be enslaved or removed.

A U.S.-Japanese coproduction and the Pokémon of its day, Transformers was originally made to order by Toei from scripts and designs prepared in the U.S. It was based on a toy line by Takara that was not originally known as Transformers until it was licensed to Hasbro for Western markets. Though nothing particularly new (Macross was way ahead of the game with transforming robots) or believable (a consistent sense of scale disappearing for good), the concept of two-toys-in-one wormed its way into boys' hearts, and there it stayed.

Transformers: The Movie (1986) was notable for a voice cast including Orson Welles, Eric Idle, and Leonard Nimoy. It moved the action back to the robots' homeworld in 2005. Supposedly designed to bridge the gap between the first and second series, it was not shown in Japan, creating the first wobbles of confusion that would eventually split the franchise into four distinct and contradictory continuities. Optimus Prime dies, handing on leadership of the Cybertrons to Ultra Magnus, who in turn passes on the leadership to Rodimus Prime. On the dark side, Megatron is remodeled by the mighty Unicron, an even nastier Force of Evil that goes around the galaxy eating planets, into a new leader named Galvatron-possibly after his Japanese self, who appeared in a new TV series the same year.

Transformers 2010 (1986) continued the story without reference to the movie continuity, ending with another heroic self-sacrifice for Convoy and featuring a whole range of new transforming toys. The format of "new transformations to fight new battles" was set, and from here on the complications multiplied, with U.S. and British comics from Marvel taking the story in separate directions, while the animated version continued in Japan. Originated completely in Japan, the third series, Transformers Headmasters (1987), has the goodies led by Fortress Maximus and Galvatron still leading the Destrons, as the search for new energy sources goes on across the galaxy.

The fourth series, Transformers Chojin Master Force (1988), introduces a new breed of robots, known as Pretenders, that can mix with human beings. The Destron have been driven off Earth, but under their leader Metalhawk, the few remaining Cybertron Pretenders are fighting to defend humans from a demonic force. The transformations that sold toys were still paramount, with the robot characters changing into other forms such as starfighters. The fifth season, Transformers: Victory (1989), focuses around Star Saber, the Galaxy's greatest swordsman, who leads the Cybertron to protect Earth from the menace of Deathsaurus.

Transformers Z[one] (1990), in which a supernatural evil has resurrected the Destron, was canceled, and instead it was released straight to video as a 25-minute special. The series returned with a vengeance as Beast Wars (1998) on TV Tokyo, which reduplicated its checkered origins for a whole new generation. Though now using computer animation (from ReBoot creators Mainframe) the franchise began once more as a U.S.-Japan coproduction, which was then continued in Japan as Beast Wars Second (1998), Beast Wars Neo (1999), and Beast Wars Metals (1999). Just to confuse things, there was an additional non-anime Beast Wars sequel, Beast Machines (2000), animated in Canada by Mainframe, and only later exported back to Japan as Beast Wars Returns. A twist was borrowed from Jurassic Park as the two opposing robot ships crashed on planet Gaea and the good guys merged with local animals, while the bad guys linked up with fossil dinosaur DNA, enabling the protagonists to transform into cyber-versions of the local fauna both alive and extinct. The Destron (Predacon in the English version) under souped-up T-Rex Galvatron (Megatron) want the planet's mysterious energy source, and the Cybertron (Maximals) under Live-Convoy (giant gorilla Optimus Primal) mean to stop them.

Transformers: Car-Robot (2000, released in America as Transformers: Robots in Disguise) returned to cel animation and the basic vehicle-to-robot transformation on which the series originally made its name. At the beginning of 2001, it was rebranded as Transformers: Powerful Cars. The next series was a true international coproduction between America and Japan, the 52-episode Transformers: Armada (2002, subsequently released in Japan as Transformers: Micron Legend), focusing on a group of special, smaller Transformers known as Mini-cons in America (Microns in Japan), who flee to Earth being pursued by the larger, bullying versions. The difference between the American and Japanese versions is not limited to the language track-the American version was rushed into production and onto the airwaves, resulting in numerous bloopers and substandard animation that were cleaned up for the localized version in Japan, which had more time to work on the materials.

Despite such embarrassments, the coproduction method clearly made things a little easier for both sides, and the cross-Pacific collaboration continued in Transformers: Energon (2004, released in Japan as Transformers: Super Link), set ten years after the events of the previous series and featuring two new twists. The Transformers themselves are locked in a struggle to seize the powerful element known as Energon, but the series also introduces the other great robot gimmick-the Energon continuity robots can not only transform, but they can also combine.

The emphasis on quests and collection was continued in the next international coproduction, Transformers: Cybertron (2005, released in Japan as Transformers: Galaxy Force), in which a black hole threatens to destroy the galaxy, and both Autobots and Decepticons rush to acquire the MacGuffins of the season-the Planet Forces (Cyber Planet Keys in Japan) that will allow them to control the energies involved and save the universe, or conquer it, or something.

With the concept still selling toys to a new generation of six-year-old fans, and "vintage" 1980s items acquiring collectible status, it seems the Transformers concept will run and run. Edits of various series were also rebroadcast as seven "TV specials" throughout the period and were also shown as Beast Wars "movies" in 1998 and 1999. There have also been two computer-animated Robotmaster DVDs released as special deals with toy packets, which feature characters from several of the continuities. Transformers Takara is a special DVD release of episodes from the original series previously unseen outside Japan. An American Transformers "live-action" movie (the term seems strange considering how much CG animation will doubtless be used) is forthcoming in 2007.
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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Transformers Generation 2
Romaji: Tatakae Cho Robot Seimetai Transformers G-2
Publisher Toei Animation
Start Year 1992
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Aliases Fight Super Robot Lifeform Transformers G-2
Transformers G2
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