So the American creators of Transformers Prime screwed over the whole Aligned continuity plan the show was supposed to be a flagship for, as we discussed last week. What resulted was still a pretty darn good show, with intros that highlighted the tone of the show and its cinematic feel. So on its own it was a good show. So what happened when Japan got their hands on it.

“Ruin” may be a harsh word given that I haven’t watched it and don’t know Japanese anyway. I’m going by the Transformers wiki on this and according to them the tone intended was tossed out. Again Yoshikazu Iwanami decided to mess with things, with fourth wall breaking humor, boosting the comedy in one of the darkest Transformers series to date, and…having Airrachnid pursuing Jake romantically Pepe Le Pew style? Seriously? Additionally, the “Beast Hunters” season was dropped, the final episode of season two altered into a less cliffhanger style ending, and instead gave us the show I’ll be reviewing the intro for next time. They also added a few features we’ll talk about later. First let’s look at the intros because that’s a mistake I can actually discuss.

For some reason the TF Wiki doesn’t translate the Japanese parts of the song. So I had to drop the Japanese lettering (I can’t tell kanji from whatever else they use, I’m a dumb American) into Google Translate to get some idea of what’s being said. Although I think we can already tell this isn’t talking about Transformers. The translated parts of Big Bang’s “Feeling” are in bold for your convenience.

Yeah we back “BIGBANG” that’s ma man “BOYZ NOIZE” in da house
Woo wee- party people let’s go let’s go let’s go…

Let’s move here we go get loose ya’ll know
We gon reach for the sky yup party like our time’s up
Let’s move here we go get loose ya’ll know
Throw your hands up in the air jump on up like you don’t care

Bling Lights of The streets of the city One and two
I feel the familiar night sky All night long with you
I don’t need to look at anyone’s complexion in Tokyo
You shine from the neon sign
I don’t want never want you to leave
Dazzlingly Flashing night It’s intense.
Let’s see if we’re together tonight, full of excitement.

Preparing to make a fuss With you all night
You can’t stop it.
Everybody move
The mood gradually moved into the sky. Fly

I feel the sound. Vibes Resound it.
Don’t stop this feeling
Let’s go aga until the dawn
I feel the sound. Vibes Resound it.
Don’t stop this feeling
Let’s go aga until the dawn

Called that one, didn’t I? Now I don’t know what “aga” is, outside of something that didn’t get translated properly, or possibly something cultural. Either way I don’t hate this song. I could see myself dancing to this at the nightclub if I still went to nightclubs. (I’m a 46 year old Crohn’s sufferer with a big surgical scar on my fat belly where my bellybutton used to be. That doesn’t draw a lot of dance partners if I had the energy and money to even go.) However, that’s also the problem. It might fit Iwanami’s “hilarious” redub tonally but it certainly isn’t the tone of the show. While Transformers Animated gave us unique animation in their Japanese openings we’re back to clips to pad the intro run time along with clips of the original intro. The lettering going across the screen is something new I guess. Despite cutting a season they somehow had double the intros of the US version, with the last three all using the same song. m-flo (that’s how it’s spelled in the wiki) performs “Transformerz“. No, it’s not a Dragon Ball Z crossover…and now you want one.

Transformers
Transformers
Transformers
Transformers

(m-flo)

Just Sing
(Yeah Yeah)
Just Sing
(Yeah Yeah)
Somebody
Anybody
Just Say
(Yeah Yeah)
Just Sing
(Yeah Yeah)
Just Say
(Yeah Yeah)

Meteorite life form
Musical people in disguise
We from the skies
Transforming by day and night
We are the future
We the committee
All-Stars gathered from the All Spark
Controlling the future system

I can’t go back
To grab the flashing lights
If we change our image, we’ll
Save the world
Transformers
Transformers

They actually referenced the All-Spark. I’m kind of surprised at that one. It’s a bit more about Transformers but even looking at the full version it also seems to be about meteorites. That’s how the Autobots came to Earth in the first Bay movie and those films were one of the inspirations the Prime creators actually used but otherwise it’s still a club song more than a song fitting the tone of the show…again, not going by the comedic dub. According to the wiki the instrumental usually had a character talking over it but it doesn’t say what they were talking about. I did like the character graphics better here though. They kind of remind me of the Dreamwave “More Than Meets The Eye” profiles that have become the normal layout for TF personality profiles in the convention comics. The theme song was altered for a 2.0 version of the song. There really aren’t any lyric changes beyond a few words between placed differently so I won’t post those here. You can find them in the previous link above.

I think I prefer the original to the remix. Someone more musically inclined than myself could probably explain this better, but the new beat just doesn’t do it for me. The other one I could dance to more than this one and it’s still missing the cinematic feel of the show. I keep harping on that but the US intro perfectly matched the show in tone more than any other version so it keeps getting in the way of connecting to these in the same way. There is one more intro and it uses the 2.0 remix.

I will give them credit for improving in the choices made for clips as the show goes on. It loses the original cinematic feel they were going for but it does look good nevertheless. I don’t hate these intros but while Japan improved on the Animated intros the US intros for Prime were much better in my opinion. (Of course it’s my opinion, it’s my review.)

So what else did Iwanani add to the Japanese airing? Animated gave us the Otoboto family but Prime gave us TWO new segments in addition to the lengthier intros. First there was “From the Cybertron Satellite, Transformers Division“, a segment hosted by the J-pop duo Tokyo Girls Style as Vector Sigma told them about franchise history and pushing the toys. One of the toys they pushed was something TakaraTomy added to the Prime toys, the “Arms Micron”. (“Micron” being the Japanese term for Mini-Cons, remember.) These were Mini-Cons whose backstory was that they were actually the Prime characters’ weapons but hid the fact they were alive. Many came in unassembled “kits” that you had to sticker or paint and put together yourself, and some of them combined to form new weapons, though obviously we never saw that in the show. Being a Mini-Con fan I would love to see these original designs in action, but some actually came from the Power Core Combiners line. I chose episode three as a…prime…example. No, I’m not apologizing.

I’m not sure why Japan opted to add these segments. The “Arms Micron Theater” makes sense since TakaraTomy decided to add in their own touch, and I’m sorry the US Prime toys didn’t have these now. I wouldn’t mind finding a translation of them although it’s kind of silly otherwise. Then again so was the Japanese dub. However the Otoboto family and the Transformers Division stuff seems pointless given the show itself is supposed to make the toys look cool enough that the kids want to buy them. I’m sure they knew Transformers toys existed in stores. Did having a multigenerational Transformers fan household or cosplaying teenage girls (the target audience probably not even hitting puberty yet) on a satellite talking to Vector Sigma really push toys to kids better than the actual show? That doesn’t sound right.

So Japan dropped season three of Prime but this is the spot where they created their own show, though it wasn’t on TV. I’ll explain next time when we look at the intros for Triple Combination: Transformers Go!

 

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

One response »

  1. […] Hunters” season of Transformers Prime. (Check more of that history in the reviews of Transformers Prime Japan and Transformers Go.) The short version is that Go was not released on TV but on DVDs packed with […]

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