Mar 12, 2021
I've talked about the Transformers before and it's a subject I'll definitely come back to when I decide to sit down and re-watch Beast Wars for a bonus review. But this time around we'll be looking at one of the many anime versions that came out. To be specific, the early 90s OVA Transformers Zone brought to us by Toei and Takara.
Our story begins with the evil Destrons attacking a peaceful planet. Fortunately, the heroic Cybertrons are there to save the day. So, just think of Destrons and Cybertrons as the terms for Decepticons and Autobots in this. In any case, the Destrons quickly
take their battle to Earth to recover a powerful energy source called the Zodiac.
Here's the issue with this OVA, most of it is spent on technobabble and exposition since none of it is actually tied into the Transformers we know and love. So, we get to have long, boring bits where they explain every detail. Like what Powered Masters are or why the Destrons are doing every little thing they're doing. Which would make for a banal viewing experience even if it used characters we know and love and had strong action sequences. But I'll get into the issues with those in a moment.
About the best I can say for it is that it's mostly just dull. It's not one of those offensively terrible OVAs, and I've certainly reviewed enough of those. There's also not anything really egregiously bad about it. If you wanted to sit a kid in front of this, it would probably keep them out of your hair for a half hour.
Here's the problem with this. These aren't characters we know anything about. They aren't characters we have any reason to care about. They're just a bunch of bland robot characters. And that's comparing it to the original Transformers where there were a bunch of characters with very little personality. But at least the original had some memorable faces like Soundwave, Megatron, Starscream, Ironhide, Mirage, Optimus, Bumblebee, the Insecticons and The Dinobots. And we aren't talking about a simple case of "they were just around longer." We're talking, any one of those characters was more interesting in their first episode than any of these characters.
But the human characters are still the worst part. Basically, we have two kids who get rescued and then just sort of hang around and occasionally have something explained to them or react to something. They're both completely useless to the plot and just take up valuable time.
This could look just fine. The character designs are decent enough. The backgrounds are definitely on par with the classic cartoon. The problem is with the action sequences. In this, the action sequences are basically the Destrons running in, getting pelted with fire and shrugging it all off because they have super special armour like bratty children always seem to have when playing imaginative games.
It honestly just gets really boring to watch because, until the very end, we're just watching these one-sided matches where the Cybertrons can't do shit except fire lasers that do nothing and transform sometimes.
The acting is fine. Yara Yusaku, Shiozawa Toshikazu, Kakegawa Hirohiko and the others all do decently enough. The music is fine as well. It won't win any awards and you probably aren't going to listen to it on its own, but it works well enough.
There isn't any. You'd have to have well developed interpersonal dynamics for ho-yay to sprout or at least say it's there outright. Neither of which happens here.
Areas of Improvement:
1. You don't need the human characters. In anything where your main cast is giant robots, nobody wants to see random humans hanging around. Because they want more time with the giant robots.
2. Have some dynamic action sequences. I get it, they want the Destrons to be a threat. But you don't do that by making them over-powered. You do that by giving them numbers or making them really cunning or highly skilled. You get better action sequences that way.
3. Give us fewer characters and more time to get to know them. I get it, you have one episode to work with. That doesn't mean you have to have a huge cast of completely forgettable characters with no personality traits. We'd be better off with a more intimate cast with some personality to them.
In terms of Transformers media, I've definitely seen worse. Both from Michael Bay films and from one particular TV series that was rubbish but still better than Michael Bay films. That being said, this is a largely dull affair with nothing characters and uninteresting action sequences. I can't really see it appealing to anyone except for possibly some really hardcore fans of the franchise. I'd give it a 4/10.
What did you think of this review?