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A Strange Friendship: Cancer and Minerva is the twelfth episode of Transformers: Super-God Masterforce. It first aired in Japan on June 28, 1988 on Nippon TV.
In an attempt to learn the secrets of the Godmasters, the Autobots capture Cancer, who develops the world's worst case of Stockholm Syndrome.
Driving down a deserted highway in his Transtector in the dead of night, Ginrai is suddenly swept up by a tornado and tossed to the side of the road. Thrown from his truck, he lies unconscious for some time before awakening to see a strange, shimmering ball floating in the air above him. Bolts of energy lance from the sphere, and Ginrai attempts to flee, but he is caught by one and trapped in it, unable to cross his Master-Braces. Just then, three small figure-eight shapes descend from the sky and fire their own energy at the sphere, causing it to vanish. The figure-eights glow brightly and surround Ginrai...
...who awakes with a start in his bed. The dream has left the Godmaster vaguely unsettled, and the feeling is only worsened when he gets in his Transtector and discovers that three new sets of Master-Braces have appeared in its glove box! He immediately meets with Diver, who contacts Hawk, and they arrange for Ginrai to bring the bracelets to the Autobot base in Japan for study. The Headmaster Juniors meet him at the harbour as his ship comes in...but watching from the rooftops nearby are the Decepticon Juniors, having been dispatched to keep an eye on the situation. As the four Autobots return to their base, the young Decepticons shadow them by moving through the forest at the side of the road, but Shūta spots them, and a battle ensues. Ginrai makes quick work of the three punks, and when Wilder and Bullhorn come around, they discover that the Autobots have captured Cancer!
Back at the Autobot base, Cancer fights and wriggles for all he's worth as Ginrai handcuffs him to a cot, much to Minerva's disgust. She treats a cut on Cancer's cheek with minimal protestation from the boy, but when she tries offering him a glass of orange drink, he kicks it from her hand, shattering it and cutting her. Shūta and Cab are furious, but still Minerva prevents them from taking out their anger on Cancer. Meanwhile, Ginrai and Hawk attempt a scan of the bracelets Ginrai found, only for the equipment to explode when they attempt to gauge the level of power they contain. There is no doubt that these are the Master-Braces of three future Godmasters, but Ginrai is less than enthused, as his free-floating life is becoming increasingly tied down by what feel like the manipulations of destiny. In a moment of anger, determined to understand properly what is happening to his life, he bursts into Cancer's cell and seizes the boy, demanding that Cancer tell him everything he knows about what Godmasters are. Minerva intervenes, getting Ginrai to back down, and offers Cancer the drink again. He relents and thirstily accepts. The Juniors are ordered from the room, and Ginrai repeats his question. This time, Cancer starts to give him answers...
Cancer relates the story of Godmasters as he has been told it by Giga and Mega. Godmasters, Giga claims, are godly beings from the depths of space, who serve as messengers for the Decepticons. The Godmasters currently on Earth came to the planet in the ancient past, although originally, they were not multiple beings, but one giant entity which split seven "offspring" off from itself when it entered Earth's atmosphere. The seven offspring fell on land, while the main body was buried deep in an ocean trench until the present day, when they awoke, took the form of Transtectors, and awaited human life with which to bond. Giga and Mega, it is revealed, are bonded to the main body.
Now aware that, although they have only three sets of Master-Braces, there are four more Godmasters hidden somewhere on Earth, the Autobots make a show of releasing Cancer. Ginrai, however, slips a homing beacon onto the back of his shirt as he is taken back to the forest where Wilder and Bullhorn are still searching for him. As Cancer is being transported, Hydra and Buster rendezvous with the two remaining Decepticon Juniors, arriving on the scene just as Cancer is being set free (with a wayward glance back in Minerva's direction). Hydra instantly spots the homing beacon and crushes it. The signal cutting out allows Ginrai and Hawk to realize that something is wrong, and Ginrai speeds to the Juniors' aid in battle against the Godmasters. Buster, however, has his blaster to Minerva's head...only for Cancer to snatch her away, begging the Godmaster brothers not to kill anyone! Surprised and distracted by this turn of events, Hydra is flattened by Ginrai and orders a retreat. Cancer blushes furiously as Minerva thanks him, claiming that it was merely payback for the drink and rushing off after his comrades.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- While their sudden appearance is basically just intended to be creepy and prophetic, the fact is, it's never actually explained where in the hell the other Master-Braces came from (they couldn't simply have been lying in the truck, or Ginrai would have found them when he found his own), nor why they weren't with their own Transtectors, the way Hydra and Buster's were, or how Doubleclouder's will be shown to be later in the series.
- The sphere of light seen by Ginrai in his prophetic dream is the same mysterious orb that viewers have been occasionally seeing in the Decepticon base. As we've explained before, it's the Decepticon emperor, Devil Z, but that has not yet been revealed in the show, and the mystery surrounding it only increases with this episode.
- This episode returns to the enigmatic claim made by Mega and Giga that Godmasters are their children, as seen back in "A Hero is Chosen - His Name is Ginrai". We are now able to understand that claim—they are bonded to the "main body" (the identity of which will not be revealed until "Super Ginrai Gets Blown Away in the Desert!?", a dozen episodes away) from which the other seven Godmaster Transtectors split off. Hence, they consider those seven Godmasters their children. HOWEVER, this story does not fit in the slightest with what the video-exclusive segment added to "You Too Use the Masterforce to Transform!" reveals about Godmasters and their origins, or, indeed some other things seen in the show itself—least of all why, if they were all originally Decepticons, Ginrai's Master-Braces had Autobot symbols on them from the outset. Go read the Godmaster article for the proper origin of these guys. All indications would be that the story related in this episode is a skewed version of the truth, full of lies and half-truths passed on to Giga and Mega by Devil Z. So it's not particularly helpful that it's the only origin story told in the entire broadcast series.
- The silhouetted figures that Ginrai imagines when thinking of the Godmasters for the first time are, indeed, the animation models for Lightfoot and Road King at least; the third one doesn't look bulky enough to be Ranger. However, the second time they are shown, at the end of the episode, none of them really seem to match up.
- It is not explicitly stated in the anime how Mega and Giga discovered the Transtector with which they became bonded. The Super-God Masterforce manga, however, reveals that they were a couple who drowned at sea. Drifting to the bottom of the chasm where the Transtector lay, they were restored to life by Devil Z and bonded with it.