If you’re new around here you may not know that despite Transformers being my #1 favorite multiverse (IDW aside), I am also a huge fan of the GoBots (please get the spelling right because Gobots and Go-Bots reference different things thank you). If you weren’t aware I’ve done video reviews of the pack-in illustrated booklet Escape To Planet Earth and the original pilot miniseries of Challenge Of The GoBots. Feel free to check those out at your leisure. In those videos I mention that Tonka took their molds from Bandai’s Machine Robo toyline, though the backstory for that series doesn’t have the police chasing criminals concept of the booklet or the military versus terrorist angle of the cartoon. In fact I don’t think Bandai even really bothered coming up with anything resembling a lore until the success of the Transformers. Rather than bring over Challenge Of The GoBots in the same manner they opted to create their own story, the result being Machine Robo: Revenge Of Chronos.
In this 47 episode series, only a handful of which were given a subtitled release in the states, the action takes place on the world of Chronos, a world populated by robots but unlike Cybertron or Gobotron was left all organic on the top. Here numerous clans live in peace, some the Machine Robo we would later know as GoBots and later Rock Lords (though this series came out after GoBots but for the sake of simplicity the toys predate them both and that’s how I’m describing this), a sentient non-talking vehicle or two, and ones that resemble humans for some odd reason. Our heroes is one of the humanoids, Rom Stoll, who fights to keep the never explained energy Hyribead (though it could be explained in an episode I haven’t seen yet) out of the hands of the villainous Gyandlar group, aliens come to conquer Chronus and steal the energy to become immortal or something. Rom is joined by Blue Jet, one of the Jet Robo we all know as Fitor stateside, and Rod Drill, a Drill Robo aka Screw Head. Rounding out the party is Reina, Rom’s sister who doesn’t like other women making a play for him (no no, not like that…anime wouldn’t start embracing incest as a character trait until the 2000s…and I wish they’d stop) and her friend/ride Triple Jim. I don’t think there were and quad-changers in Machine Robo so like the humans he’s not a toy character.
Speaking of not toy characters…no, I’m going to let you be surprised on that one, and I’m not talking about the villains. I don’t know how long this poster on YouTube is going to be able to get away with posting these, so watch episode one as soon as you can, as our heroes meet their foes for the first time. Enjoy.
Currently he only has 12 episodes posted, and remember only 15 were translated so I don’t know what he has planned for the rest. One of the episodes did require closed caption subtitling because the original was really terrible so maybe he knows Japanese and will translate the rest on his own somehow? I don’t know. I’ve seen the first ten as of this writing and they don’t explain Blade Dragon or Vikung-Fu either. It is however neat to see how many different GoBots I can identify. The series sends the heroes looking for hidden wolf crests around the planet while battling the invaders and the various allies they make (sometimes including their fellow Robos). They get in trouble, final battle happens, Rom summons Blade Dragon and then Vikung-Fu, rinse and repeat. It’s a bit formulaic. If you’re interested check out the series. It’s…interesting anyway. It’s not necessarily good but I can see why it didn’t catch a Western audience too.