Transformers: Robots in Disguise
, known in Japan as , is a Japanese anime television series and serves as a self-contained universe separate from any of the other existing Transformers universes
is an entertainment franchise. It began with the Hasbro Transformers toy line, centered on two factions of warring alien robots which are called the Autobots and the Decepticons...
. The series was imported to the West as a "filler" line while production on the next series, Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Armada, known in Japan as , is a Transformers animated series, comic series and toy line which ran from 2002–2003. It was originally scheduled for 2001, however was delayed until early-2002...
began at 2002, after 2001.
The series episodes last 27 minutes each.
Like most anime, RiD
(as it's commonly abbreviated by fans) can comfortably be broken up into 13-episode story arcs.
Megatron captures Dr. Onishi, and the Autobots ally themselves with his son, Koji, vowing to safely recover him from Megatron's clutches. An assortment of plans by Megatron to steal the Earth's energy ensue, led by his subordinate, Sky-Byte
Sky-Byte is the name of several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. He is usually a Predacon who turns in a mechanical shark.-Transformers: Robots in Disguise:...
, but are stopped by the Autobots, including the newly-introduced teams, Team Bullet Train and the Spy Changers. Probing Doctor Onishi's mind, Megatron discovers the significance of an ancient cave system, in which the Autobots discover a coded microchip belonging to the Doctor. After scuffles involving the new Autobot troops Skid-Z and Tow-Line, the microchip leads the Autobots to the Cave of the Dragon, where they discover a mysterious artifact of Cybertronian origin.
Further information decoded from Dr. Onishi's microchip leads the Autobots to the site of a crashed Cybertronian spaceship containing six protoform Autobots. But Megatron has also learned of the ship through his mind-probes and attacks, capturing the Autobots and taking them to a nearby military base, where he scans vehicle modes for each of them and infuses them with his own Spark energy, creating the evil Decepticons. The final Autobot scans Optimus Prime in addition to the tanker truck that will be his alternate mode, creating Scourge
Scourge is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers series. He first appeared as one of the central villains in the 1986 film The Transformers, voiced by Stan Jones. He also regularly appeared in the animated Transformers series and Transformers comic books. Since then other...
, a twisted "evil twin" of Optimus. Several battles with the Decepticons ensue, as Sky-Byte grows steadily jealous of the attention Megatron heaps on his new warriors. Amidst battles between the Decepticons and the newly-promoted Autobot subgroup, the Build Team, Sky-Byte attempts to prove his worth by holding a tower of humans hostage in exchange for the Autobots' O-Parts, one of which is the artifact from the Cave of the Dragon. The plan meets with failure, but when Sky-Byte saves his hostages' lives, Koji begins to think he might not be all bad.
Subsequently, Ultra Magnus
Ultra Magnus is the name of several fictional characters from the various Transformers storylines.-Transformers: Generation 1:The greatest Transformer of them all. A commander could want no finer a soldier than Ultra Magnus...
, the bitter brother of Optimus Prime, arrives on Earth to claim the Matrix in Prime's possession, leading to an injured Optimus Prime facing certain doom against the Decepticons on a desert island. Magnus offers him the hand of friendship, but it is a ruse to allow Magnus to take the power of the Matrix, with an unexpected side-effect - the two brothers merge into Omega Prime
Omega Prime is a fictional character from the Transformers toyline. He is the combined form of Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus.-Transformers: Robots in Disguise:...
and defeat their foes.
The Predacons and Decepticons attempt to turn Ultra Magnus to their side, but he refuses and channeling the power of the Matrix he and Prime now share, he supercharges the Autobot Brothers, giving them new powered-up forms. The discovery of a mysterious energy field radiating from beneath the Earth's surface leads both sides to the discovery of Fortress Maximus, a colossal Transformer city hidden on the planet to protect it. In the ensuing battles to claim its power, Dr. Onishi is accidentally set free by Sky-Byte. Now with Dr. Onishi advising them, the Autobots begin to put all the pieces together and, under his guidance, quickly locate all the O-Parts, which are combined to form a map that leads to the Orb of Sigma. In a failed attempt to acquire the orb, Megatron is buried in the ruins of a mysterious pyramid, but is resurrected by its energy as Galvatron
Galvatron is the name of several fictional Transformers, most often the recreated version of Megatron, the Decepticon leader. He was voiced by Leonard Nimoy in the 1986 Transformers movie, and then by Frank Welker in season 3 and 4 of the animated television series. Since then, other Transformers...
. The Orb of Sigma soon leads the Autobots to Cerebros, the power key of Fortress Maximus
Fortress Maximus is the name of several fictional characters from several of the various Transformers universes. Fortress Maximus appeared in the season 4 finale of the US Transformers animated series voiced by Stephen Keener. He was one of the stars of the Japanese Transformers: Headmasters...
, but he is stolen by the Decepticons and used by Scourge to activate Fortress Maximus, who rampages through the city until Koji calls out to him, and he stops. Experimentation soon makes it obvious that Maximus responds to human bio-signatures, leading the Decepticons to attempt to capture Koji (but accidentally snatching his friend Carl instead). With Maximus active, Scourge makes his power play, attempting to use him to destroy Galvatron, but when the scheme fails, all the Decepticons have their brains wiped. Galvatron proceeds to drain Fortruss Maximus's energy, boosting his already-formidable strength and then releases a swarm of cyber-bats across the Earth, using them to hold the children of the world to ransom to stay Optimus Prime's hand. Believing he has destroyed the Autobots in a lava flow, Galvatron then recalls his bats, but finds that his foes are still alive, leading to a final confrontation with Omega Prime at the Earth's core. The children of the world re-energize Fortress Maximus, who transmits his energy to Optimus Prime, forming the gigantic Matrix Blade, with which Prime finally defeats Galvatron. At the end, the Predacons and Decepticons—all but Sky-Byte—are imprisoned aboard Fortress Maximus and escorted by Ultra Magnus to Cybertronian space, and the remaining Autobots prepare to leave Earth for good after some rest & relaxation.
RiDs airing was heavily affected by the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and many of its episodes were held back, re-edited, removed from re-run schedules, aired late or didn't air at all in the USA. The entire run of episodes did air on Fox Kids in the UK.
"Battle Protocol" was never re-aired in the U.S. after its premiere due to a scene of "Megatron" smashing through a skyscraper in claw mode.
"Secret of the Ruins" opening scene featured buildings being destroyed and a reference to terrorism, and the episode was held back to be redubbed. The scene in question was recreated using footage from "Battle Protocol!" Eventually, the episode aired between "Ultra Magnus" and "Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion". It is the episode in which Doctor Onishi's microchip is introduced, so its removal left something of a hole in the series. The original version of the episode has never been broadcast, and for international syndication, only the altered redubbed version was used.
"Hope for the Future" was held back, eventually airing between "The Two Faces of Ultra Magnus" and "Fortress Maximus".
"Attack From Outer Space", "Landfill" and "Sky-Byte Saves the Day" did not air in the US. "Attack" would go on to air in Canada, and all three would subsequently air in the UK. All three episodes feature buildings being destroyed, and the plot of "Sky-Byte Rampage" revolves around stopping a tower from falling over. However, this is the first episode to put focus on the O-Parts, and its removal from the line up disrupted the continuity of the show.
"Power to Burn!" aired before "The Two Faces of Ultra Magnus", instead of after.
Heavily altered from its original Car Robots content (see "Changes" below), "Lessons of the Past" aired between "Peril From the Past" and "Maximus Emerges".
"The Mystery of Ultra Magnus" was the final episode of the show to air. However, in its official placement as episode 35, it remains out of order (again, see below).
"Spy Changers To The Rescue" There were 2 versions of this episode aired before and after 9/11. The pre-9/11 episode contained references to the generator possibly exploding and a scene with Prowl's jet-claw. The post 9/11 episode had the jet-claw edited out and the possibilities of "Explosions" were changed to possibilities of "circuit corrosion" along with other minor dialogue changes.
As is commonplace for a televised English dub of a Japanese animated series, some alterations, omissions and even additions were applied to Car Robots
for its broadcast as Robots in Disguise
. Here is a short list of some of the major ones.
- Although the series is, in the words of producer Eric S. Rollman, "its own storyline independent of the other series", featuring "somewhat similar characters in a parallel dimension", the series' dialog was adapted to include sidelong references to past Transformers series.
- Unlike many other Transformers shows the character Starscream
Starscream is a fictional character in the Transformers franchise. He is one of the most prolific characters in the Transformers fictional work, appearing in almost all incarnations of the story. Starscream is usually portrayed with the same characterization...
does not appear in Robots in Disguise.
- Scene transitions consisting of rotating CGI faction symbols were inserted into the series in homage to the similar scene transitions from the G1 series.
- Several computer-animated POV shots were inserted into early episodes (sometimes in addition to existing footage, sometimes in place of it), but by less than halfway through the series, this practice was abandoned.
- In Car Robots, God Magnus is already in possession of a Matrix of his own - as in previous Japanese series such as Beast Wars Neo, all high-ranking Autobots possess a Matrix, which is nothing more than a source of energy, unlike the mystical object
The Matrix of Leadership or Creation Matrix in the fictional Transformers universes is the Autobot talisman of legend, passed down from leader to leader. It consisted of an oval-shaped container, holding a glowing crystal. To open the Matrix is to release an unpredictable wave of power from the...
of G1 lore.
- All three of the series clip shows were completely reworked for RiD, and were altered to focus on new material.
- In the series penultimate episode, Devil Gigatron releases a swarm of cyberbats which attach themselves to children across the world. In Car Robots, Devil Gigatron uses these bats to absorb the mental energy of the children, and then, after believing he has defeated the Cybertron, recalls the bats and absorbs them back into his body, boosting his strength with the energy. In RiD, Galvatron instead uses the bats to hold the children to ransom, forcing the Autobots to stay their hands.
- In the final episode of Car Robots, with the Cybertrons in his clutches, Devil Gigatron forces Fire Convoy to use the Global Spacebridge to take him to the Earth's core, where he will drain the very planet's energy directly. In RiD, this is altered to Prime challenging Galvatron to a final battle there and instructing T-Ai to seal all the Spacebridge portals, so that even if he loses, Galvatron will be trapped (RiD makes very little of the fact that Galvatron is an energy vampire). At the battle's conclusion in Car Robots, T-Ai believes Fire Convoy is dead, but in RiD, she considers him only "trapped".
Japan (Car Robots)
- "Honō no Overdrive [Burning Overdrive]" by Kouji Wada
- "Marionette" by Mami Nishikaku
North American (Robots in Disguise)
- "Transformers: Robots in Disguise Theme" by Paul Gordon
Paul Gordon may refer to:*Paul Gordon , retired American professional basketball player*Paul A. Gordon , Seventh-day Adventist and former director of the Ellen G. White Estate...
- "Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Alternate Theme)" by Hasbro
Hasbro is a multinational toy and boardgame company from the United States of America. It is one of the largest toy makers in the world. The corporate headquarters is located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States...
- "Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ending Credits Theme" by Glenn Scott Lacey