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Anime / Transformers Victory

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Transformers Victory is the Japanese-produced sequel series to Transformers Super-God Masterforce, taking the focus back to good old fashioned Autobots vs Decepticons. Star Saber, the new leader of the Autobots, is heading the charge against a new Decepticon warlord named Deathsaurus, who began stealing energy from the Earth to fuel and reactivate an old Decepticon space-fortress. This new Autobot commander is also the foster father of a human boy named Jan, who lost his parents to a Decepticon attack.

The series lasted for 44 episodes, though several of them were mere clip shows. All were released in 1989. A manga with a markedly more bizarre storyline exists.

Alongside Transformers: ★Headmasters and Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, the entire series is released on DVD for the first time in North America by Shout! Factory.

As with both of its predecessors, Victory also received a hilariously bad english dub from Omni Productions. What's interesting to note is that the english dub takes Victory's opening and, with some small editing of the title, uses it for the other two shows.

The series' main characters, Star Saber and Victory Leo, received new figures after a successful Haslab campaign, notably marking Hasbro's first major venture into the Japanese canon. Their rival, Deathsaurus, has since followed in their footsteps.

Followed by Transformers Zone with one episode OVA, but with a series of story pages.

This series provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Hellbat kills Deathcobra by complete accident when he tried to persuade Deathcobra to not get him replaced. The latter was not amused and tried to kill him, causing Hellbat to land lucky shots at him. He becomes remorseful after what he's done.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The manga version is basically this. The manga has Jean's missing sister who combines herself with Victory Leo (who is a seperate character from the former God Ginrai), Deathsaurus' adopted son who he plans to raise as Overlord Jr., and Deathsaurus' motives comes perfectly clear when he plans to release his fortress containing Decepticon civillians and loved ones.
  • Adaptational Weapon Swap:
    • Deathsaurus' toy is armed with a rifle with a nonfunctioning flail under the barrel, but the anime leaves out the rifle in favor of the flail and giving him a fiction-only sword. Even his later Living Metal Destroying Cannon is an entirely different design from the toy's gun. Tigerbreast's gun form is changed to a bow and arrow form, giving Deathsaurus an archery aspect the toy lacks.
    • The Breastforce toys are armed with the gun forms of their Breast Animal partners, with their combined form Liokaiser getting a gun made up of Killbison's tank barrels and Jallguar's missiles. While they have these weapons in the anime, they primarily use fiction-only staffs that can change to sanjieguns, and Liokaiser's staff can launch spiked rings. Liokaiser's first battle has him use his staff for the entirety of the fight and only pull out his gun to try to deal the killing blow.
    • The Dinoforce toys come with guns for their weapons, but the anime portrays them with melee weapons instead. Kakuryu is unique among the team in that he is given a tiny pistol (which is still different from his toy's gun) along with his fictional axe.
  • Aloof Ally: Greatshot, who continued the Japanese Transformers G1 "tradition" of writing Sixchangers with some sense of honor. He was later retconned to be a reformed Sixshot of Transformers: Headmasters.
  • Anti-Villain: In the manga of all places, Deathsaurus wanted to regain his fortress so that he can release civilian Decepticons, along with-get this- families.
  • Back for the Dead: God Ginrai returns as a regular in time to be mortally wounded by Liokaiser.
  • Back from the Dead: Wheeljack makes an appearance, despite being nicely toasted in The Movie. (Probably on account of the movie not premiering in Japan until after the episode was already written). It was later retconned in other stories that Wheeljack learned what happened to him, thanks to the Beast Wars-era Ravage being recovered, and created a Binaltech body where he goes into hiding where a "fake" gets killed off in 2005.
  • Badass Decay: as usual for one of these things, the earlier characters become more or less bumbling idiots by the end. The Dinoforce (and Dinoking) are initially a reasonable threat in the early episodes, but are a joke by the end.
  • Bad Boss: Deathsaurus proceeds to furiously berate his subordinates frequently, going so far as to nearly kill Leozack in a fit of rage.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: For all the Dinoforce are dumber than a sack of rocks, they did manage to kill Jean's parents.
  • The Bus Came Back: Several episodes feature a few familiar faces: Wheeljack and Perceptor from the original series, and Minerva's now-living Transtector (still named Minerva) from ''Super-God Masterforce".
  • Character Development: Victory Leo was the only Transformer in this series who had any significant moment of character development and he's arguably the only Autobot with just the slightest hint of personality to boot. In his debut, the Autobots who were weakened at that point in time were forced to let him run wild against Dinoking. After witnessing Victory Leo's fearsome power but lack of restraint, Star Saber decided to give him another mission with Jan and Holi accompanying so that Victory Leo would remember the need for compassion.
  • Combining Mecha: How the cast herds are divided, with the above-mentioned teams, as well as the Dino Force, the Breastforce (who carry chest-mounted miniature attack robots that could transform into weapons), and the Multi Force, made of 6 Autobots who could combine in three pairs or into a single massive combiner named Landcross.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to American Transformers G1. It is probably the most violent series in the Transformers G1 era, on par with Transformers Zone. Transformers: Victory is also darker than most American kid's shows of its time, but that has more to do with cultural differences.
  • Death Is Gray: God Ginrai's dead corpse fades to gray. The resemblance to Optimus Prime's death in the movie and Ginrai's similarity to him is probably unintentional as said movie had not been released in Japan yet (for further proof that it is probably a coincidence rather than intentional, Wheeljack, who dies in the movie, shows up alive and well in the same episode as Ginrai dies).
  • Demoted to Extra: God Ginrai, the mechanical component of Masterforce's hero, and before that, the body of Optimus Prime, spends most of his time fighting Decepticons in other sectors (i.e. off-camera) and only appears to be destroyed and turned into what Transfans sarcastically label "a backpack and a pair of boots"- Star Saber's Mid-Season Upgrade.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Deathsaurus maybe an Evil Overlord who wants to Kill All Humans, but the manga shows he has a soft soft for children, and them getting hurt actually upsets him.
  • Eye Scream: During their final battle, Star Saber shoots out one of Deathsaurus' eyes with his head guns. He later takes advantage of his hampered vision to fatally strike him on the side with his missing eye.
  • Failed Future Forecast: In a series taking place in the year 2025, the characters are seen using VHS tapes and Jan using a computer for his homework is treated as a form of cheating. VHS tapes would be phased out and most school work would start being done on the computer long before then.
  • Flat Character: For whatever reasons, in terms of characterization of the Autobots, Transformers: Victory was a huge step down from Transformers: Masterforce. Almost all the Autobots had bland and interchangeable personalities - You can't tell the difference if any of the characters sans Star Saber swapped places. Even Star Saber himself gets the typical Autobot military leader's generic personality (Read: None). The Decepticons actually fare slightly better in terms of characterization, especially when it comes to Hellbat, Leozack, and Deszaras. The saving grace for the Autobots was Victory Leo who had an episode of character development dedicated to him, but by then the show was gradually gearing up to the final confrontation.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Downplayed with the Decepticons' Dinoforce. The pretender shells (The dinosaurs) of the Dinoforce are seen to be moving independently of the robots. Given the conventional wisdom of greater strength in numbers, 12 members of the Dinoforce should logically overwhelm any of the Victory series' Autobot subgroups. However, the Dinoforce rarely made use of the independently-moving pretender shells in battle once their individual robot forms emerges. This can be weakly justified as the Dinoforce were portrayed as idiots throughout the whole show.
  • Friend to All Children: While Star Saber is this since he adopted Jean, Deathsaurus of all Decepticons is this in the manga. To the point he tries to bribe Jean into joining him by giving him an NES (though that system would be considered outdated in that time period)
  • Good Is Not Soft:
    • Victory Leo is the epitome of this among the Autobots, the reason being that he was the reborn God Ginrai who had trouble mentally adapting to his new body. Victory Leo lacks restraint in all his attacks and together with his massive power he was the only Autobot who demonstrated he can arguably take on Liokaiser one-on-one.
    • In the series finale, when fighting Deszaras in the fortress, Star Saber loses his "soft" approach he had throughout the whole series and uses every weapon in his disposal, blinded Deszaras in one eye and finally dealt Deszaras a mortal wound by exploiting Deszaras' partial blindness.
  • Hammerspace: Explained. Hammerspace weapons had been the subject of Fridge Logic of where the Transformers' weapons come from since the original G1. This series, alongside Masterforce, brought it back as if it was going out of style. It was explained that all Transformers have a type of energy to bring weapons out of thin air. They can't access their weapons if they ran out of said energy.
  • Hero of Another Story: God Ginrai, the main character of Transformers: Masterforce, was featured a few times in the series either as a cameo or helping out Star Saber... Until he received a mortal injury from Deszaras.
  • Honor Before Reason: As Victory Saber held the Dinoforce dead-to-rights, Goryu requests Saber to cut him, and only him, down so his men can be spared, to the protest of the other Dinoforce members. Victory Saber then decides to spare all of them, showing compassion and allowing the Dinoforce to heal.
  • Kick the Dog: Deathsaurus abounding the Dinoforce to get swept beneath the waves when Atlantis sinks, despite their loyalty to him. It comes back to bite him later.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Liokaiser. His first appearance has him nearly kill Star Saber, and every time he appears, the Decepticons either win outright, or achieve their objectives, and he is played completely straight. Case in point, after his debut, the comedy the Breastforce give drops, though they still have some individually, and most of it goes to the Dinoforce. The Autobots regained their edge against the Decepticons when Victory Leo (And subsequently Victory Saber) appears, but by then the Decepticons had succeeded gaining the energy they need to reactivate their Fortress.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Deathsaurus is very good at this, and often retreats with whatever energy he already has in his possession rather than risk all of it fighting the Autobots. It's part of the reason he actually succeeds in his ultimate goal and reactivates his Planet Destroying Fortress.
  • Large and in Charge: Both Star Saber and Deathsaurus are combiner-sized, meaning they tower over their subordinates. Star Saber at least has a lesser form known as Saber, which is closer to the size of an average Transformer.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Transformers: Masterforce. The Victory saga is slightly more violent but the Masterforce saga has more mature themes and darker moments. Transformers: Victory is overall more child-friendly comedic, with villains being relatively easier to beat (Except that low point for the Autobots between Liokaiser's and Victory Leo's initial appearances) and human casualties are almost never talked about.
  • Lodged Blade Removal: During their final battle, Star Saber and Deathsaurus engage in a One Stroke Battle that the Autobot wins, leaving the tip of his sword lodged in his enemy's chest. In a final show of defiance, Deathsaurus rips the broken blade out and curses Star Saber before collapsing out of a nearby airlock, never to be seen again.
  • Never My Fault: Deathsaurus blames Leozack for the failure of his missile scheme, completely ignoring that he was the one that misjudged Star Saber's speed, and completely ignored his minions attempt to explain his unification with Victory Leo.
  • No Power, No Color:
    • God Ginrai's dead corpse fades to gray. The resemblance to Optimus Prime's death in the movie and Ginrai's similarity to him is probably unintentional as said movie had not been released in Japan yet (for further proof that it is probably a coincidence rather than intentional, Wheeljack, who dies in the movie, shows up alive and well in the same episode as Ginrai dies).
    • Liokaiser gets thrown into the charging cannon of the Planet-Destroying Fortress and is drained of his energy. His now gray body helplessly floats off into space with only a cry for help to indicate any remaining signs of life.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The Deception Fortress is type 2 in the anime. Manga, it's a space colony.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Unlike many of his predecessors, Deathsaurus is generally content to let his minions do the heavy lifting and rarely takes to the field personally.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Deathsaurus is well aware that Leozack is going to try to usurp him, but when Goryu questions Leozack's orders in the second episode, Deathsaurus subtly intimidates Goryu to comply with Leozack's command.
    • Deathsaurus also seems to have a genuine appreciation of Hellbat and Drillhorn's skills, in that he rarely gets mad at them directly and actually compliments them for their actions multiple times.
  • Petty Childhood Grudge: The manga claims that the legendary rivalry between Star Saber and Deathsaurus began when the two were children, and Deathsaurus would often bully Star Saber. The manga is completely separate from the anime, though note .
  • Regained Memories Sequence: Victory Leo regaining Ginrai's memories and truly becoming his reincarnation is established when images of his past life flash on the screen.
  • Spared By Adaptation: God Ginrai is spared from death in the manga version. In the anime, he willingly has himself killed so he can become Victory Leo. In the manga, he's a different character from Leo himself.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Deathsaurus vs Deszaras (or Debt Source if you're feeling snarky). Deathsaurus was the name used when the character appeared in Transformers: Timelines while Deszaras appears in this series' DVD boxsets released by Metrodome and Madman Entertainment. The TF Wiki even discusses this, theorizing that "Deathsaurus" was the intended English spelling.
  • The Starscream:
    • Leozack, who acheives the ultimate treachery in the manga by turning the space-fortress's primary cannon on Deathsaurus while he was battling with Star Saber in the last chapter. In the anime, Deathsaurus was well-aware of this by trolling him. He eventually decides to make his "point" to Leozack.
    • Hellbat, who sort of acts as The Starscream to Leozack, often trying to either sabotage or take credit for his plans.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Its there, but downplayed and even subverted at times. Say what you want about how cliche some tropes can be, but the downplay/subversion of this trope actually made Transformers: Victory a little underwhelming in terms of tension.
    • Subversion: Star Saber defeated the Big Bad Deszaras in the very first episode!
    • Star Saber finally met his biggest challenge in the form of Liokaiser, and required a team-up with God Ginrai to chase off the villain. Additionally, Deszaras gets a new weapon and nearly killed Star Saber with it.
    • Victory Saber's appearance warranted Deszaras' activation of the Planet Destroying Fortress... Which Victory Saber destroys in the final episode anyway.
  • Stock Footage: Used a lot, particularly Star Saber's transformation sequence and the Breastforce combining into Liokaiser. One episode used two transformation shots from Star Saber and an Autobot named Greatshot.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: As Hellbat (and Deathcobra) learn the hard way; if you shoot blindly at something, don't be surprised if you hit something (or someone) you really didn't mean to.
  • Team Rocket Wins: The series is notable for giving the Decepticons some decent victories.
  • Technology Porn: The way the Planet Destroying Fortress' systems slowly come back online with pinpricks of light is beautiful.
  • True Companions:
    • On both sides. The Autobots obviously have this, but the Decepticons have this as well, as Leozack was very upset when Deathcobra was murdered (unknowingly by Hellbat).
    • After Guyhawk was rescued by the Breastforce, the next episode had them warmly welcome him back.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Deszaras' space fortress has a huge cannon that takes a long time to power up. He also uses a cannon called the "Living Metal Destroying Cannon". However, it uses up his energy reserve from Hammerspace.
  • Word Salad Name: Deathsaurus.
  • The Worf Effect: This was invoked with God Ginrai's appearances. God Ginrai is the main character of Transformers: Masterforce. He is the most powerful Godmaster and the Godmasters themselves are purportedly the most powerful variant of Transformers ever portrayed. However in Transformers: Victory, he and Star Saber barely held off Liokaiser (Unsurprisingly, since the show is advertising Liokaiser as the new toy). On another occasion, God Ginrai returns to rescue Star Saber (again) but was mortally wounded by Deszaras' weapon as a result. This is arguably a case of Worf Had the Flu.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Writer's intentions for God Ginrai's poor showings in Transformers: Victory are obviously a case of "God Ginrai is an old toy, you should be looking out for our new toys Star Saber, Deszaras and Liokaiser!" The fans would give a plausible explanation (But technically its head canon) that God Ginrai's loss of human component significantly weakened him to the point such that he was not much better than a Transformer of his size. This explains why he couldn't beat Liokaiser on his own and why he failed to regenerate from damage caused by Deszaras' weapon.