While waiting for seasons two and three of the American Beast Wars series to finish so they could
mutilate re-dub it with a gag dub (never hear that mentioned from the anti-dub side of the anime debate, do you?) Takara produced two of their own shows. Unlike the American show, it was done with traditional 2D animation instead of 3D computer animation, but they didn’t go with Toei, producers of the original cartoon. In fact Toei doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the franchise as far as I know. (Research for this series may prove differently.) Instead Beast Wars II (also known as Beast Wars The Second) and it’s follow-up, Beast Wars Neo use a different studio, and I’m not entirely sure who worked on Neo or the Car Robots show coming up in a couple of installments but I don’t think you’ll ever see the same studio work on a show again except for two-thirds of the Unicron Trilogy, even if it’s set in the same continuity. Tonight’s offering is it.
The curious thing for me, based on a handful of fansub and fandubbed episodes of these series, is that the shows were pretty similar to the US Beast Wars in tone, balancing serious moments with the odd slapstick or just fun character interactions. However, I don’t think either show had their own Waspinator to pick on. Tonight I’ll be looking at both shows, with two intros for Beast Wars II and a movie intro worth discussing, as well as Neo. (Look, I think Lion did the best cover of the classic Transformers theme ever but the intro to Transformers: The Movie is just a bunch of credits and a cool effect going through the classic logo.) Let’s see how well the intros came out.
I managed to find a “clean” version of the intro so the credits don’t cover the cool visuals. However, I wanted to find one with the lyrics subtitled. I found one but it wasn’t a very good video so instead I post the translations for Cyber Nation Network’s “Get My Future” below from the TF Wiki.
Emotions shaking in loneliness
Swallowed in the fluctuating eras all the time
My painful heart is wandering
Just One Nation to carve an I.D.
You can’t go anywhere by yourself
Even then you still dream
Far away the distant sinking sun sounds
Let’s go to that place
Until the end of the world
- One’s desire to become stronger than anyone
- For the sake of existing
- My passion won’t yield to anyone
- For the sake of living tomorrow
- The road you earnestly believe to get my future
- It’s fine to travel it
- The action that opens up the future
- For the courage to fight
- To be free, I’ll embrace to my heart
I wish they would try to match up the lyrics. For example “to be free” are the last words of the last verse in Japanese but in this translation its the first. “I’ll embrace to my heart to be free” even sounds more like a song than a poem. Not that it matters much since the song, while nice to listen to in Japanese, doesn’t appear to be talking about the Beast Wars at all. It’s all about…you’re guess is as good as mine. I get something about seizing your future or…something. It’s that problem I have with anime themes as far too many of them don’t seem to be connected to the show, which we’ve seen with almost every Japanese intro thus far. The intro itself is just a bunch of clips, but so is the regular Beast Wars intro in both countries so I guess that fits. Actually, there are a few moments of original animation beyond the logo but not much. Beast Wars II would get a new intro as new characters were added to the Cybertron/Maximal and Destron/Predacon ranks.
Not having seen the later episodes I don’t know how much of this is using original footage but it seems more likely that more new footage was created for this intro. Cyber Nation Network performed “Super Voyager” as well. (How come we never name our theme songs?) But are the lyrics finally about the show?
A tough heart that cuts the future to pieces
The voyager that pierces through the ends of space
I want to chase it anywhere
Making someone look for a thrill is heart-pounding
Because I want to eat a lot of such as dreams and love
It burns more like dream and love
Feeling friendship, I’m not alone
I can live still believing both past and future
God knows the Key of Life’s destiny
In this sky and great land
The dream flows constantly
- A tough heart that cuts the future to pieces
- The voyager that pierces through the ends of space
- Until the day shines over everything
- Someday I’ll see this ineradicable and endless dream
- I want to chase it everywhere
To the ends of space
Apparently no. It’s still about the future, only now space is added. I still like the song, perhaps even more than “Get My Future”, but if it hasn’t been made clear in the one month shy of 11 years I’ve been doing this site I’m pretty picky about what goes into an intro. Maybe the movie, Lio Convoy in Imminent Danger!, will break the trend? This one I found a sub for!
Well it mentioned Beast Wars and a couple other beast-related things, but otherwise it’s still future and space stuff. Yes, they’re from space and apparently it’s revealed this is future Earth (explaining how they turned into Earth animals on planet Gaia–I would have gone with “animal preserve” myself but that works too) but C.O.A.’s “Space Dreamer: Distant Beast Wars” is still only tangentially related to the show. It is a nice song though. I like how the electronically altered English sounds and the regular singer also does a fantastic job. The visuals also utilize something important to the movie, but I forget if it’s the portal generator or the big threat they bring in through it.
I should talk a bit about the show before moving on. The toyline used primarily molds from Hasbro’s Beast Wars line that weren’t feature in the show, only with altered names, which is the norm for Japan, as well as following the Transformers Universe style of using molds not previously released in Japan. They named both Optimuses (Optimusi) as “Convoy”, meaning the heroes of these two shows are Lioconvoy and Big Convoy. Lio was an original mold as was Galvatron (the purple guy who turns into a drill tank and a dragon), but Snarl/Tasmania Kid and B’Boom/Apache for example were non-show toys in the US while the Predacons ranks were filled out with figures from other lines. Eventually some of them got Japan-exclusive remolds to show a boost in power thanks to Anglamois, a power source revealed to come from Unicron as a sort of predecessor to the Aligned continuity’s “Dark Energon”.
Beast Wars Neo on the other hand was mainly filled with original molds, and if they’re anything like Lioconvoy and Galvatron I’m betting a lot of them were hard to transform and kibble crazy. Then again I own Stampy the rabbit and Stampy is awesome so don’t waste your time trying to convince me otherwise. I’m sure he’ll show up over at The Clutter Reports someday but he will not be on the Clutter For Sale page. This show was about collection lost Angalmois capsules from the previous series, as Big Convoy was forced to lead a group of cadets to collect them before Magmatron and his band of Predacons got to them first.
So naturally we get a relaxing song that sounds more like a romance song than the theme to a war story involving alien robots that take on animal forms and fight for the future of the universe. Did we learn NOTHING from the Masterforce theme? Because it doesn’t look like it! M.C.R.’s song is called “Love For Ever: To Protect You”. I have to call out Yoshiaki Ōuchi for this song because he wrote it.
- Love is here
- As long as there is life, it is you
- Dream of love
- That I’ll continue to protect for eternity
From the ends of the cosmos
Can you hear the impact?
Warriors of love
Stand up to become one
The flame of courage is unleashed into the darkness
Absolutely don’t give up
Change your hearts, Maximals [NOTE: The song actually goes with the Japanese name “Cybertron”]
- Love is here
- Always believe in the future
- Dream of love
- Because you’re always shining
- Beast Wars
I have no idea what this song is talking about. Love, warriors of love, don’t give up…it’s like someone tried to write a song for soldiers and hippies at the same time without realizing how impossible that is. I mean, the visuals are quite good, with cool shots of the characters transforming and cool shots of them doing cool stuff but based solely on my intro criteria this really misses the mark. With a better theme song that actually ties into the show maybe but otherwise I’m not as impressed as I want to be. Your perspective may differ but apparently none of the Beast Wars themes in either country do more than throw stuff at you with varying quality levels of theme song.
By the way, I do recommend giving these shows a look. Based on the few episodes I’ve seen Beast Wars II is a fun action show while I’ve only seen the first few Beast Wars Neo and thought it was okay. Maybe if I ever finish II I’ll give Neo a better look, since Neo continues from II.
We do have one more showing in the “Beast Era” of Transformers shows however. Next time we get into Beast Machines, with so few intros I’ll throw in the Japanese version, Beast Wars Returns, as well. Japan did no original stories set in this period but they did their own dub. We’ll explore that as well next time. No, I won’t be going over the Fox Kids preview trailer.