Japanese Transformers with Subs
March 27, 2007 7:42 PM   Subscribe

I'd really like to watch all of the transformers episode in their native japanese, with subtitles.

It's been incredibly hard to find any source for download.
I'm looking for the original series, the ones before Beast War.

Does anyone in the hive mind have any clue how I'd be able to get them?
posted by PowerCat to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Transformers was animated in Japan, but was always intended for an American audience. Hasbro had TOEI work on the animated series when they decided to bring the toys to the US. (According to wikipedia, it gets more confusing... Transformers were original two unrelated toy lines called 'Diaclone' (the cars) and 'MicroChange' (The other objects... which explains why Megatron was a pistol and Optimus Prime was a big rig) and were a spin off of Microman, which is basically the Japanese edition of G.I. Joe)

There were series that was made for a Japanese audience. 'The Headmasters' starts up after the end of the US Season 3 and picks up the story line from there. The US version diverged with the three 'Rebirth' episodes that made up season 4.

Try looking for 'Takara Trilogy', The Headmasters, SuperGod Masterforce, Victory on the intraweb, but remember this was a sequel to the american series. I checked a couple of sites. One only had a badly dubbed version and another did not give language details.
posted by aristan at 8:29 PM on March 27, 2007

I don't know where to find what you're looking for, but I can give you a bit of help. Here is what I gather from Wikipedia:

The original Transformers series, called Generation One, is not actually natively from Japan. The show is a co-production, written in the US and animated by a Japanese animation studio. Although it was exported later for Japanese TV, it was aired in the States first. That means that if you watch the Japanese version with subtitles, you're doing yourself a disservice due to excessive translation (English to Japanese back to English). This series ran from 1984-1987.

In 1987, Hasbro decided to end the Transformers cartoon in America. However, rather than following suit, the Japanese producers of the series chose to continue the story as another show called Transformers: The Headmasters. This series was aired exclusively in Japan, but unfortunately was never professionally released in the US. A dubbed version, created for Hong Kong and Singapore TV stations was released on DVD in the UK, but apparently it is of dubious quality.

So it seems what you want doesn't commercially exist. This leaves only one option: you need a fan subbed version of The Headmasters. Given the relative obscurity of that series, I'd say you're in for a bit of challenge. I don't think you'll have much luck on the popular torrent sites, but maybe you can try asking/looking on IRC or Usenet. You should at least be able to find out if fan subs exist, even if you can't get your hands on any.

on preview: God dammit. I should type faster.
posted by tracert at 8:35 PM on March 27, 2007

Well this is more information than I ever knew, I always thought such a show could only be japanese. Thanks for all the incredible info!
posted by PowerCat at 9:13 PM on March 27, 2007

A follow up...

All of the Japanese series, known collectively as The Takara Collection because of the name of the company who released the toys in Japan, were officially dubbed and subbed for release in the UK. They're PAL format, and 'officially' Region 2, but I have seen them mentioned on other sites as actually being region 0, but don't quote me on that.

SuperGod MasterForce
posted by aristan at 9:20 PM on March 27, 2007

If you use DC++ there are a few hubs dedicated just to Transformers. Headmasters, Masterforce, and Victory are really easy to find there. These hubs are not necessarily on the public list though, so if you need help finding them, my email is in my profile. These series are actually why I started using DC++ in the first place :)
posted by Who_Am_I at 5:32 AM on March 28, 2007

You can join AnimeGround for a month and download these series:

Transformers Galaxy Force, Transformers HeadMaster, Transformers MasterForce, Transformers Super Link, Transformers Victory.

Doesn't look to have subs, though.
posted by xo at 8:32 AM on March 28, 2007

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