Synonyms: Transformers: Car Robots
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 5, 2000 to Dec 27, 2000
21 min. per episode
PG - Children
L represents licensing company
Score: 6.861 (scored by 1085 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
SynopsisAn evil race of transforming robots known as the Destronger make their appearance known by invading a world exposition in New York and abducting Professor Onishi, a renowned scientist. The professor's son Yuuki befriends Fire Convoy and the heroic Cybertron forces, who will stop at nothing to rescue the professor and protect Earth from the wrath of Gigatron and his Destron henchmen.
Related AnimeAlternative setting: Transformers Generation 1
Characters & Voice Actors
As far as Transformers go, this is far from being great, but even farther from being bad. weather you've seen other TF series before or after or are new to Transformers, this certainly isn't a strong anime, in fact, the only way you can truly appreciate it is if you're a Transformers fan as this series was not kind to newcomers.
Like most people who grew up in the 90's, my main exposure was through G1 reruns and Beast Wars with G1 being the much cooler one in my books, so it was great to see a remake that was more faithful to that of the original. However, unlike the Beast Era which was set in the G1 continuity, RiD, or Car Robots if you prefer, is the first Transformers line set in an alternate timeline and therefore it takes a lit of liberties, it's like the G Gundam of Transformers, although not that extreme.
Story and Characters:
The story begins with a world famous scientist, Dr. Onishi, who is targeted by a faction evil giant alien robots called Predacons (Destrongers in Japan) who are mostly bumbling idiots, led by Megatron (Gigatron in Japan) that transform into animals who need him for his knowledge of energy but it turns out that he knows a lot more about the Transformers than initially thought.
Note: Gigatron is treated as a whole new villain in Japan having no relation to Megatron, not even as a 're-imagining' but the US version made him Megatron just for the sake of familiarity.
The Autobots (Cybertrons) led by Fire Convoy (Optimus Prime) who transform into cars and other conventional transport vehicles attempt to rescue him and get in contact with the doctor's son, Koji Onishi (Yuki Onishi ) who becomes the human ally and bring him along (yeah, just role with it), and they fail miserably, and then at that point the show the becomes a series, like that of G1 where the bad guys have an evil plan and the good guys save the day.
But as the series continues, there are bits and bobs of events that advance the plot until finally the military-themed Decepticons, who are basically the G1 Combaticons with different names, and led by a 6th member called Scourge (Black Convoy in Japan) appear and take the spotlight from the Predacons, only SKy-Bye, a fan favorite continues to appear afterwards, but for the most part, that's when the show gets a little more serious and more G1-ish and actually gets good, but before that in the fist dozen episodes, we are given a barrage of goofiness and silliness which are only funny when Sky-Byte is at the spotlight, the other Predacons are, well, annoying.
This has a HUGE cast of characters, but mainly on the Autobot side, but the 4 main ones are at the center stage for the majority of the episodes while the others become stars of certain episodes here and there. Some of the characters are awesome and memorable such as this series atypical depiction of a character bearing the name Ultra Magnus (known as God Magnus in Japan) who is a bit of an pr*ck but when he appears, you know things are getting serious. Optimus Prime was exactly like he was in G1, they made no changes to his character which whatsoever, the same old courageous and brilliant leader. The Decepticons are as serious as their G1 counterparts, nothing new to them.
Aesthetically, this is great for its time. There is stock footage but only during transformation scenes, and at least they're quick, unlike those damn lengthy ones like in Transformers Victory and Transformers Cybertron. The robot designs are detailed, a huge upgrade from G1 but still being G1 and the Predacons being as they are in Beast Wars, except cel-animated.
But there are original still transformations used without stock footage in the way and they are very well-done and very accurate, you see where the pieces go and how they all fit together, while the G1 series had a lot of 'disappearing' and 'shrinking' (known as mass displacement) which are absent in this anime.
Human characters on the other hand are not the strong points, they look very very kiddy but who cares? Where in it to see the robots and they take up 90+% of the screen time. Something idiots like Michael Bay should have done.
The American version does a lot of changes to make it more familiar to western audiences. Besides obvious ones like name changes, the music was changed. I feel both versions had their ups and downs but overall, neither have download-worthy OSTs.
Voice acting changes were done well on both sides but because depictions can be a bit different, you may like a character in one language version but hate him in the other.
This anime is a mixed bag, it can be serious, it can be goofy, it can be fun, it can be boring, it can go somewhere, it can go nowhere. You can say there are filler episodes here and there made just to sell toys more than tell an interesting story but I don't see why they can't do both like other franchises like 'Gundam' does.
As a TF fan, I say give it a shot. It's not terrible, but it's not great. It certainly isn't Michael Bay crap or a TF Animated kind of bad, it can be good when it needs to be. Some cool characters exclusive to this universe/timeline do make it worth a watch.
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Opening Theme"Honoo no Overdrive" by Wada Kouji
Ending Theme"Marionette" by Nishikaku Mami
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