Transformers: The Headmasters
Transformers: The Headmasters (トランスフォーマー ザ★ヘッドマスターズ Toransufōmā: Za Heddomasutāzu) is a Japanese anime television series that is a part of the Transformers robot superhero franchise. It aired from July 1987 to March 1988, and its 17:00-17:30 timeslot was used to broadcast Mashin Hero Wataru at the end of its broadcast.
Initially, Takara, the Japanese producers of the Transformers toyline, imported the American Transformers cartoon series from 1985 to 1986. When the series came to an end with the three-part miniseries "The Rebirth" in 1987, however, Takara decided to continue the series themselves, declining to import The Rebirth and instead creating a full-length 35-episode spin-off series, Transformers: The Headmasters (two additional clips episodes were produced after the fact for direct-to-video release). Supplanting The Rebirth's position in Japanese continuity, The Headmasters occurred one year after The Return of Optimus Prime, introducing the title characters to the Transformers universe in a different way. Whereas in western fiction, the Headmasters result from the merging of a Transformer with an organic alien being from the planet Nebulos, the Headmasters of the Japanese series are a group of small Cybertronians who departed the planet millions of years ago and crash-landed on the inhospitable planet Master. To survive its harsh climate, a select few Cybertronians constructed larger bodies called "Transtectors", to which they connected as the heads.
Six years after the decisive battle against Unicron, when a group of rebellious Headmasters led by Weirdwolf joined with Galvatron's Decepticons in an attack on Cybertron, the bot Headmasters, led by Cerebros return to their home planet to aid in its defense. The situation soon gets worse when it is revealed that Vector Sigma, the super-computer at the planet's heart, was destabilizing, and Optimus Prime again sacrifices his life to save Cybertron. This soon proves to be only delaying the inevitable, however, when a bomb attack instigated by Scorponok turns Cybertron into a burnt-out, inhospitable husk. Rodimus Prime departs to search for a new planet for the Transformers to live on, leaving Cerebros in command, operating from the planet Athenia. Meanwhile, Scorponok replaces Galvatron - who had vanished in the explosion - as Decepticon leader, constructing a personal Transtector so that he can battle Cerebros' own giant form, Fortress Maximus, and redubbing himself MegaZarak.
Although populated mainly with new characters, The Headmasters featured characters from all previous seasons, including new versions of Soundwave and Blaster, rebuilt after a duel that destroyed them both as Soundblaster and Twincast. Human Daniel Witwicky and his young Autobot friend Wheelie also played major roles in the series, serving as the youthful characters for the audience to identify with. More new characters were introduced when Galvatron returned to leadership and the Decepticons embarked on a space voyage, ransacking planets in a chain of stories that introduced the Horrorcons, Autobot and Decepticon clones. Later, the Decepticon ninja six-changer Sixshot kills Ultra Magnus, and the Autobot Headmasters manage to destroy Galvatron, leaving Scorponok to become leader of the Decepticons again. When the Decepticons then return to Master, refugees from the planet are caught in a plasma bomb accident that fuses them to the arms of several Autobots and Decepticons, creating the Targetmasters, and in a final move, Scorponok attempts the destruction of Earth, only to be foiled, thanks in part to a traitorous Sixshot.