In America The Transformers was a three-season cartoon plus a theatrical movie. Generation Two the cartoon just misused computer graphic transitions to re-air those episode “through the magic of the Cybernet Space Cube”. Beast Wars and Beast Machines took place in the future of that continuity while it was arguable just where the first Robots In Disguise took place. Every show since then has been in different continuities, some sharing continuities like “The Unicron Trilogy” and the “Aligned Continuity” while the “Prime Wars Trilogy” by the now-defunct Machinima took a few looks and cues from the classic G1 cartoon and not much else. Outside of the video game Transformers: Devastation the G1 cartoon universe has only been touched in fan works and convention comics (which tend to be official fan works).
In Japan however the G1 continuity not only went further with two new shows and a handful of specials plus their original “Beast” shows, but unlike Marvel most of their comics continued the G1 cartoon universe as well, and is still being built upon. With the recent announcement that Viz is bringing us some of this G1 manga previously only available in fan translations, I though it would be prudent to show off this episode of Transformers: The Basics which goes into the extended G1 universe in the home of the pre-Transformers toys.
Catch more episodes of The Basics on Chris McFeely’s YouTube channel.
You know what just hit me? Detractors of modern superhero comics that come down on continuity and periodicals point to Japanese manga with their usually limited universes (ignoring the Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One-Piece books of course) with definite endings that only go for a few years, maybe a generation or two. And yet here are all these manga stories and animated works continuing a cartoon that only went for three seasons and a couple of spin-off shows in America. So here’s Japan showing that multigenerational continuity isn’t some evil thing to be despised and ignored. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
The manga is coming soon from Viz and the TV shows are available from Shout Factory. Support the official releases and check them out. I hope to.