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DVD Review: Transformers: Season 2, Volume 1 (25th Anniversary Edition)


The second season of the original Transformers cartoon from back in the 80s had so many episodes that it would have been difficult to release them all in a single box set, and so Rhino split the release into two box sets back when they released season 2 back in 2002. Now, The Shout Factory has done the same thing with their recent 25th anniversary release.

Like their season 1 release, The Shout Factory has not cleaned up film transfer or corrected any of the animation mistakes. So what you get is pretty much what you got on television all those years ago. It would have been nice if we could have had a crisp clean digitally remastered version with 5.1 surround sound, but you know, this way is good too. It's still entertaining and definitely brings back memories.

The season starts off with one of my least favorite episodes, Autobot Spike. In this episode, the human Sparkplug builds an Autobot out of spare parts. This is all fine and good until he turns it on, and the thing starts going berserk, forcing the other Autobots to take him down. Now, here's where it starts to get weird... Spike, Sparkplug's son, is seriously injured, and the doctor says it doesn't look good, but his chances would be better if they had some way to remove Spike's mind from his body... er... why would that help exactly? Is this doc really saying that he can't repair Spike's body even though Spike is in a coma simply because Spike has a mind? What the heck is that? I've seen a ton of medical shows on the Discovery channel and whatnot (my wife loves 'em!), and I've never seen a doctor say anything like that.

Anyway, the Autobots rig up a way to transfer Spike's mind into the Autobot that they know goes crazy, and they don't bother to remove any of the weapons that Sparkplug built into the robot, nor do they remove his arms and legs to prevent him from destroying the place in case he goes crazy. So what happens... Spike goes crazy of course! Gee, who coulda seen that comin'?! So now the Autobots have to go bring down Autobot Spike but without damaging him too badly or his mind won't survive. Now, I know a lot of the episodes are downright ridiculous, but this one just seems absurd. Even as a kid I remember not liking this episode.

Being the second season, new Autobots and Decepticons are introduced (Blaster, Powerglide, Seaspray, Thrust, and Dirge just to name a few), though most are simply inserted into the show without giving any indication as to how they there. I guess we're just supposed to assume that they were there all along, only hiding in crates somewhere waiting for their batteries to recharge. Oh, and Skyfire makes a return appearance, although in is severely underwhelming as he really doesn't do much.

There are several other episodes of mention such as Enter The Nightbird, which features a female ninja robot built exclusive by humans using human technology... and it kicks butt, proving that humans are awesome. Then there's the two part episode Dinobot Island not only features rips in space time where the past meets the present, but also shows us that Dinobots can fly unassisted, where as other Autobots now need jetpacks for some reason. Lets see, what else... oh, there's A Prime Problem where Megatron clones Optimus Prime... an amazing technology that he never seems to use again. But what's odder than that is the tests the Autobots set up to determine which Optimus Prime is the real one, like target practice and racing... are they all brain damaged or something? Just separate them and ask them a few questions that only the real Prime would know. How hard is that?

Despite the plot holes and other silliness that I failed to notice when I was a kid (or purposefully chose to ignore), this was still entertaining.

Disc 1

  • Episode 17: Autobot Spike
  • Episode 18: The Immobilizer
  • Episode 19: Dinobot Island, Part 1
  • Episode 20: Dinobot Island, Part 2
  • Episode 21: Traitor
  • Episode 22: Enter The Nightbird
  • Episode 23: Changing Gears

Disc 2

  • Episode 24: A Prime Problem
  • Episode 25: Atlantis, Arise!
  • Episode 26: Attack of the Autobots
  • Episode 27: Microbots
  • Episode 28: The Master Builders
  • Episode 29: The Insecticon Syndrome
  • Episode 30: Day of the Machines

Disc 3

  • Episode 31: Megatron's Master Plan, Part 1
  • Episode 32: Megatron's Master Plan, Part 2
  • Episode 33: Auto Berserk
  • Episode 34: City of Steel
  • Episode 35: Desertion of the Dinobots, Part 1
  • Episode 36: Desertion of the Dinobots, Part 2
  • Episode 37: Blaster Blues

Disc 4

  • Episode 38: A Decepticon Raider In King Arthur's Court
  • Episode 39: The God Gambit
  • Episode 40: The Core
  • Episode 41: Make Tracks
  • Episode 42: The Autobot Run
  • Episode 43: The Golden Lagoon
  • Episode 44: Quest For Survival

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