By now you realize I’ve given in to just giving the weekend over to Transformers between my two sites. So let’s continue on with a show I discussed in a recent Many MANY Intros Of Transformers posting, Scramble City.
If you live in the US (I can’t speak for other countries) you may come across old VHS tapes or DVDs that are one episode promotions for upcoming TV shows or even toylines. If that toyline has a regular TV show usually everything is there but there’s still a version of the episode released to help promote the toy or as part of some crossover with a store or fast food place. Japan apparently does this as well. Scramble City: Mobilization is a direct to video (or as they refer to it “Original Video Animation”) promotional tape for the Combiners as well as the Cityformers (known as Titans these days) Metroplex and Trypticon. It sort of serves as an answer to a problem I mentioned over at The Clutter Reports in my reviews of the “scramble style” Combiners in that it actually demonstrates the ability for the limbs to switch around and not just stay in the same spot you saw on the show and in the comics. In other words a undocumented feature that would enhance play is finally given a proper showing. Well, mostly. Anyway, enjoy.
This is another one Toei doesn’t want to show outside of Japan as they’ve refused to officially release it to Western distributors. Shout Factor was able to get the series but not this or last week’s Transformers Zone OVA. Apparently they also mess with the shows they do send out with lower-quality masters. Considering how many shows they animated FOR the United States I don’t understand why they would mess with the US this way.
Anyway, besides the usual animation errors we’ve come to expect out of G1 Transformers by now the continuity is a bit off. Metroplex…sorry, “Metroflex” is drawn more like the toy than his cartoon model and there’s a lot of miscoloring. However Trypticon isn’t supposed to be built until 2006 (or 2010 in the Japanese version) and the Aerialbots were created to counteract the Stunticons, not the other way around, in “The Key To Vector Sigma”. Where this fits in the show’s history is highly dubious.
We can do worse though. While this story doesn’t have a conclusion (it’s just a promotional tape to sell toys, kind of like what’s coming up next) there is a second Scramble City, using a strange combination of clips from the show and stop-motion animation–when they actually animate them–with the toys. Stop-motion toy animation is nothing new for Japan. Unlike the US, where our kids are apparently too stupid to realize toys don’t usually move on their own, Japan doesn’t show kids playing to a script written by adults but stop-motion animating the toys with explosions and lights and stuff in their Transformers toy ads. This one does not have subtitles and is here just so you can be as confused as to why this exists as the rest of us.
The plot is the same although the story itself is different. It’s an…interesting addition to Transformers media but not in canon with even Japan’s side continuity. From here I think we’re out of OVAs for a while (I already did a posting years ago for Robot Masters) but since I’m caught in this trap there’s still more interesting Transformers stuff coming up, although I have something different for the Saturday before Halloween if it’s still up on YouTube when we get there.