After a few months off, my Geek Haiku series is back! We go back to the Transformers line, with the last major Japanese cartoon from the Generation One era. The show’s long name is Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: Victory, but most fans just call it Victory. Victory aired in 1989.
It’s always interesting to watch a new-to-me cartoon, especially one based on the greatest toyline of all time. The American Transformers cartoon had been dead for a couple years at this point in time, though it was still going strong in Japan with Headmasters in ’87 and Masterforce in ’88. Nearly every toy in the line had a gimmick of some sort, and thus every character on the show does as well. Additionally, Victory is unique in that many of the toys had no American equivalent, giving them all an exotic flair to modern collectors like myself.
I’m about a third of the way through the series so far, and it is quite good. The animation is superb for the most part, though there is a big reliance on stock footage. (You see good guy leader Star Saber’s transform sequence 1-3 times per episode.) Standout characters so far include Goryu, the buffoonish leader of the Dinoforce, Leozack, the ambitious Decepticon second in command, and Stakeout, an adorable little police car Micromaster. The series spreads out the introduction of new characters fairly well; just when the formula gets a little repetitive, shiny new robots appear to shake things up.