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Anime / Beast Wars II

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Beast Wars II is a Japanese Transformers spinoff from 1998, made to bridge the gap between the Japanese airings of the first and second seasons of Beast Wars. Crash-landed on Gaea, the vicious Predacons, led by Galvatron, and the heroic Maximals, led by Lio Convoy, battle for Angolmois energy. In general, it's a more lighthearted show than Beast Wars, and was followed by a follow up series, Beast Wars Neo.

The full name of the series is Beast Wars II: Chō Seimeitai Transformers (ビーストウォーズII 超生命体トランスフォーマー, literally "Beast Wars II: Super Life-form Transformers") and pronounced Beast Wars Second.


The series provides examples of:

  • A Father to His Men: Lio Convoy towards his teammates. Then there's his actual son, Lio Junior.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Gigastorm's death. After his defeat he apologizes to Galvatron for his defeat, and Galvatron tells him that he fought admirably so what he did was good enough.
  • All-Natural Fire Extinguisher: Tasmania Kid attempts to put out a forest fire by peeing on it while in beast mode in "White Lion, Run".
  • Big Red Button: In one of the worst examples of Tasmania Kid's idocy and immaturity, when he's playing around the Tako Tank he notices a flashing red button and decides to press it. The Tako Tank immediately activates and runs out of the base, taking Kid with it. Upon checking the manual, Scuba explains that it's a mode to run away and then self-destruct, presumably to ensure it was never captured by enemies.
    • What makes the above example especially galling is that Scuba himself still isn't familiar with it, having to check the manual. Worse, in an earlier episode he'd already promised to teach Kid, Diver and Lio Junior how to pilot the Tako Tank. Kid was just being stupid.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Autorollers. They aren't quirky, they aren't flashy, but they're competent and they get the job done. Notably, despite the Maximals usually winning in clashes with the Predacons, the Autorollers still succeed in building all sorts of refineries and forts all over Gaia to better extract Angolmois energy.
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  • Calling Your Attacks: Aside from calling out the action of transforming, characters also call out certain weapon or technique names.
  • Camp Gay: Starscream/Hellscream, doing an fabulous victory dance at one point.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: The Maximals eventually build a secondary base named Niagara Base, which is hidden behind a waterfall not far from their stranded spaceship Yukikaze.
  • Combining Mecha: Magnaboss and Tripledacus for the Maximals. Meanwhile the Seacons become God Neptune (whose toy was a redeco of the G1 Seacons).
  • Convenient Coma: At the start of the series, Galvatron's power is so great that he'd probably be able to take care of the entire Maximal team single-handed. However, he's knocked out on at least two occasions and left comatose, and by the time he's permanently back online the Maximals not only have several members and weapons capable of fighting him (the combiners Magnaboss and Tripredacus, the vehicle Tako Tank), they're also more experienced and less prone to panicking once he takes to the field.
    • Crucially, him being in a coma gives his younger brother Megastorm a taste for power... one he decides he rather likes.
  • Cool Ship: Yukikaze for the Maximals which, among other things, is equipped with a cloaking device that makes it appear to be an unassuming rock formation as well as several shuttles that can be used to ferry the Maximals around.
    • The Predacons have the Fortress Battleship, named the ''Galvaburg II''.
    • The Maximals later gained the use of the Maximal Mobile Base, which was brought to Gaia by Santon and Skywarp. This was of great use to the Maximals, since the Yukikaze had been crippled and was no longer capable of flight.
  • Cool Tank: The Tako Tank is sent by Scuba's family to assist him and his fellow Maximals in their battle with the Predacons. Resembling an octopus (hence Tako Tank), it could operate on both land and underwater. It could even deploy its inner cockpit separately as a Cool Bike when speed was necessary.
  • The Creon: Starscream doesn't scheme to overthrow Galvatron (at least, not yet). No, he'd be content with becoming Galvatron's right hand man. But maybe someday down the line, once he's become more powerful and Galvatron's grown complacent...
  • Decoy Convoy: Done in Episode 34 by the Maximals, who send out two fake Niagara Cannons in order to draw out the Predacons. Once the Predacons are engaged and distracted, the combiner Magnaboss carries the real Niagara Cannon to its mounting point.
  • Drama Bomb Finale: Galvatron gathers up all the Angolmois in his artificial planet Nemesis and engages Lio Convoy and Lio Junior in one massive final battle.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Early material suggested that Lio Convoy, Galvatron et al were contemporaries of Optimus Primal, Megatron and the cast of their cartoon. In fact, an early advert depicted Galvatron defeating Megatron with the declaration, "Your time is over, Megatron!" The anime itself doesn't bring it up (though The Movie treated Optimus Primal as some sort of legendary figure). Later material would explain that Lio Convoy's generation are from thousands of years in Optimus Primal's future.
    • Years later, Takara Tomy's Transformers Legend manga would explain that after the events of Beast Machines, Optimus Primal would go down in history as the saviour of Cybertron and the Convoy-class were designed to resemble him in his honour (this is a bit of a Retcon, as previously it was accepted the Convoys were homaging Optimus Prime).
  • Earth All Along: In a reverse with Beast Wars, where Earth was prehistoric, Gaea is an After the End Earth after humans drew out too much Angolmois energy. Transformers: Generations Selects Special Comic would reveal why it's in that state.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Galvatron genuinely loves his little brother Megastorm. When he's revived and sees that Megastorm has been upgraded into Gigastorm, he brushes aside Starscream's attempt to warn him Gigastorm attempted to assassinate him while he was comatose and instead declares he fully expected his little brother to survive exposure to Angolmois energy.
    • Unfortunately for Gigastorm, when he tried to actively shoot his brother in the back during a battle with the Maximals, Galvatron could no longer ignore his treachery and directly attacked him. While Gigastorm continued to serve as his brother's effective second-in-command, that's also the point where Galvatron became much more critical of him.
  • Four-Leaf Clover: An episode focuses on Bighorn and his handmade four-leaf clover amulet.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Drillnuts is an inventor, but most of his inventions serve useless purposes.
  • G-Rated Drug: Oil pretty much serves the same purpose as alcohol.
  • Gratuitous English: Tonbot likes to use random English at times.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: The Jointrons, muchas!
  • Green Aesop: The alternate modes of the respective sides give off a "nature vs. machine" vibe, with the Maximals turning into organic beasts while the Predacons are primarily vehicles with even any beast modes present being mechanical in nature.
  • Hyperspace Mallet: Artemis pulls out a hammer out of nowhere to hit Moon with as a Running Gag.
  • The Idiot from Osaka: Thrust and Dirge, and Starscream complains about their intellect at one point.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Diver, Ikard, Thrust and Dirge talk this way.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Tasmania Kid is meant to be this, but his immaturity coupled with occasions of genuine stupidity make him one of the weaker examples of this in the Transformers franchise.
  • King of Beasts: Lio Convoy, leader of the Maximals on Gaea who turns into a lion.
  • Klingon Promotion: Since the Predacons are descendants of the Decepticons (in fact, in Japan both factions used the same term "Destron"), it's inevitable that this came into play. Megastorm/Gigastorm attempted on several occasions to assassinate his brother Galvatron to take his place as Emperor of Destruction.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In some of the Artemis and Moon reports at the end of the episodes, the other characters interact with the duo and comment on events. One of the examples is when Galvatron and Lio Convoy are invited to introduce their respective factions.
  • Legacy Character: Later material would explain that the Convoy-class Transformers such as Lio Convoy were created in the image of "Convoy". However, while originally it was implied that this was a reference to Autobot leader Optimus Prime, a retcon in the Transformers Legends manga clarified it was actually referring to Optimus Primal. Note that in Japan, both Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal were simply named "Convoy".
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Beast Wars, Beast Wars II is much sillier, with many of the characters being stereotypes (with some, like the Insectrons, bordering on racist). That said, it isn't without Character Development, such as Lio Junior's constant need to live up to and impress his 'father' Lio Convoy, or Galvatron's increasing disillusionment with his younger brother Megastorm/Gigastorm.
    • The silliness becomes much more toned down once the Predacon endgame begins and Galvatron summons the Nemesis, an artificial planetoid, to drain Gaia of the Angolmois Energy in one fell swoop. That said, it doesn't completely go away, since some of the characters like Tasmania Kid and Bighorn never grow out of being stupidly immature and stupidly belligerent respectively.
  • Love Triangle: Bighorn has a crush on Scylla who has a crush on Scuba who's definitely not interested. It then overlaps with Artemis' love for both Scuba and Starscream.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Hey, it's Transformers, what do you expect?
    • In one particularly insidious example, prominent character Diver is only available with the Niagara Base playset. The Transformers wiki notes that because of this, Diver is one of the most expensive Basic (i.e. smaller sized) toys in the franchise's history.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Several of the Predacons get new bodies courtesy of the Angolmois energy.
  • Mildly Military: Bighorn, Tasmania Kid, Diver and sometimes even Scuba don't have much respect for Apache, despite his position as second-in-command. This would be inexcusable in any actual military, since military discipline is important to the smooth running of military operations. Apache doesn't exactly do much to endear himself to his comrades (since he's a perfectionist and professional soldier while the others are more of a Rag Tag Band Of Misfits).
    • This is especially notable because unlike Optimus Primal's crew who were members of an exploration/scientific research vessel, Lio Convoy's crew are explicitly part of the Maximal armed forces.
  • No Respect Guy: Apache is a competent, professional soldier who acts as Lio Convoy's loyal deputy. Unfortunately, the other Maximals have no respect for him at all, despite his official position of second-in-command. He gripes about this at times, but as long as the others manage to do their jobs (and follow Lio Convoy's orders when it counts) that's as far as he goes.
  • Number Two: Apache's role in the Maximal ranks. As Lio Convoy's old comrade (they were in basic training together), the two have a mutual respect for one another. Unlike many examples, Apache actually spends more time dealing with the other Maximals than Lio Convoy does, acting like the XO to Lio Convoy's captain.
  • One Steve Limit/Name's the Same: Galvatron may share the name of his G1 predecessor, but unlike the insane maniac in the 3rd season of the original cartoon, Galvatron is generally a competent, dangerous enemy. As long as he doesn't get drunk on tainted oil or overcharged on Angolmois Energy, that is.
    • Similarly, of the four Combatrons, 3 of them share names with Seekers from the original series (Starscream, Thrust and Dirge respectively). Of them, Starscream has the most in common with his predecessor.
    • These Seacons are not the Seacons from back in Transformers: Super-God Masterforce.
  • Ninja: Mantis and Scuba's fighting styles are characterized by this.
  • Off-Model: The show was made in a haste to give the producers time to dub the final 2 seasons of Beast Wars, and much of the animation was outsourced. It shows a lot of the time, as Lio Convoy's beast mode face tends to change designs slightly between shots along with other inconsistencies for the character designs.
  • Palette Swap: There were only three new molds - Lio Convoy, Galvatron, and Moon. The rest of the cast are redecos of other figures. For example, Megastorm is a redeco of G2 Megatron, and the Seacons are redecoes of the G1 Seacons, some toys such as Thrust and Dirge were redecoes of toys from the obscure Machine Wars line exclusive to KB Toys in the United States, Autojetter and Autolauncher were toys meant for G2, but ultimately unreleased with the advent of Beast Wars, and Starscream and BB were redecoes of G2 Smokescreen and Dreadwing (no relation to the pre-existing G1 characters), using the color scheme of ATB Megatron and Starscream, a toy that was released in test markets in Ohio. A few were retools of varying severity, though, such as Gigastorm being a retool of G1 Trypticon. Despite her prominence, Artemis had no toy.
  • Parental Abandonment: Lio Junior was accidentally created when, in the very first episode, Lio Convoy was recovering in a cave filled with Angolmois energy. The energy reacted with his Energon Matrix, resulting in Lio Junior. While Lio Junior was at first raised by a white lion (the same one that rescued Lio Convoy at the start of the series, whose form he took on in gratitude), he later realised he was different in that he had a robot mode. He was at first hostile towards Lio Convoy, believing Lio Convoy had simply abandoned him (when in truth, Lio Convoy had no idea he existed).
  • Parents as People: Lio Convoy is understandably uncomfortable when Lio Junior first appears and addresses him as "papa", especially since he had no idea of Lio Junior's existence. Lio Junior's attempts to impress and endear himself to the Maximal leader just increase his discomfort. They eventually come to an understanding when Lio Convoy explains that since they're at war, he has to act as a commander first and parent a distant second. Lio Junior accepts this and addresses him as "commander" from that point on.
  • Series Mascot: Moon, one of the few characters to get a toy that was a new mold.
  • Shrink Ray: The Galvaburg II was equipped with an elemental particle control beam which could shrink or enlarge Transformers. It was primarily used to shrink Gigastorm so he could actually board the ship.
  • SI Prefix Name: Galvatron's second-in-command Megastorm got a Mid-Season Upgrade into Gigastorm.
  • Sidekick Creature Nuisance: Moon, who Artermis has trouble not beating up in response to his antics.
  • Sketchy Successor: As time goes on Galvatron begins becoming especially disdainful of his younger brother Gigastorm. He goes so far as to admit to himself he's jealous of Lio Convoy's 'son' Lio Junior, since Lio Junior is everything Gigastorm is not (e.g. brave, humble, learns from his mistakes).
  • Space Pirates: The Seacons, complete with a pirate ship.
  • Standardized Leader: Lio Convoy. That said, his discomfort with Lio Junior's claims to be his son (Lio Junior was created accidentally by Angolmois energy coming into contact with Lio Convoy's Energon Matrix) is played up for a few episodes over the course of the series.
  • The Starscream: Megastorm, Galvatron's younger brother, develops a taste for power when his older brother is incapacitated early in the series. He continues his plotting even in his upgraded form Gigastorm. Luckily for him, Galvatron genuinely loves his little brother and so is much more patient with him than, say, his namesake would be.
    • Also, Starscream, though in a more subtle way than usual : his goal is to replace Megastorm as Galvatron's second in command, thus making him the Starscream to the Starscream.
  • Storming the Castle: The series finale begins when the Predacons abandon Gaia to board the artificial planet Nemesis, and the Maximals have no choice but to pursue them.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Zigzagged on both sides:
    • In theory, the Combatrons (BB, Starscream, Dirge and Thrust) are the elite troops of the Predacons. In practice, Dirge and Thrust are dimwits, and despite Starscream and BB being more effective all four of them spend more time undermining each other than actually fighting the Maximals. Megastorm (later Gigastorm) is pretty much an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain despite his strength and power theoretically making him a dangerous threat. The Autorollers, on the other hand, are professionals who keep their heads down and do their jobs.
    • On the Maximal side, pretty much all the initial team barring Lio Convoy, Apache and Scuba are morons. Bighorn is a Hot-Blooded idiot whose only tactic is charging headfirst into battle screaming all the way, Tasmania Kid is irresponsible, and Diver is lazy, allowing himself to go along with Kid's antics. Lio Junior is a Hot-Blooded Kid Hero, but luckily Santon and Skywarp try to rein him in.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Scylla's prominent squid mode lips are painted red to resemble lipstick, and some of Tentakil's robot chest armor coincidentally signifies breasts. The anime design goes further by giving her squid mode eyelashes and adding some extra armor to her robot mode's hips to resemble short-shorts.
  • This Is a Drill: Galvatron's vehicle mode is a massive drill tank.
  • Those Two Guys: Thrust and Dirge, Starscream even calls them a comedy duo. Halfways through the show they realize they have never actually fought Lio Convoy and his troops.
  • Translator Buddy: Navi serves as a translator to the Martian emissary so that the Maximals can understand its unintelligible beeping.
    • Starscream often plays this role to BB, since BB generally repeats the word, "Roger!" This continues even after they're upgraded into Hellscream and Max-B.
  • Trojan Horse: In Episode 34, the Maximals have modified a huge artillery cannon called the Niagara Cannon to shoot down the approaching Nemesis. Expecting the Predacons to try to stop them, the Maximals prepare several decoys. Lio Convoy turns out to be hiding in one, allowing him to ambush Thrustor and Dirgegun in order to take them out of the fight.
  • Truly Single Parent: Lio Junior is Lio Convoy's "son" in the sense that he was created when Angolmois energy reacted to Lio Convoy's Energon Matrix, resulting in a smaller lion who also carries an Energon Matrix.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Early in the series, the Maximals (barring Lio Convoy, Apache and Scuba) can come off as this. This becomes downplayed once more characters join the series and less attention gets focused on the initial team.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Averted with the Insectrons, who are good guys despite turning into insects. Eventually. Also averted with Scuba, an octopus.
  • Worthy Opponent: As time goes on, despite actual hatred between them several combatants develop a begrudging respect for each other.
    • Scuba is acknowledged as one of the most competent (and therefore dangerous) of the Maximals by the Predacons.
    • For his part, Scuba considers Starscream (later Hellscream after his upgrade) as one of the most cunning of the Predacons.
    • The Autorollers and the Insectrons both hate and respect each other.
    • The Maximals develop a healthy respect for the Seacons after several fights with them.
  • Years Too Early: The 36th episode has Hellscream tell Lio Junior that he is a thousand years too early to fight him.