Birth! Headmaster Jrs is the fourth episode of Transformers: Super-God Masterforce. It first aired in Japan on May 03, 1988 on Nippon TV.
Shūta, Cab and Minerva become Headmaster Juniors, but the Decepticons have recruited humans to their side as well.
Hawk recounts historical mysteries and legends to Earth to Shūta and Cab, like UFO sightings and the Bermuda Triangle, and they wonder if the Decepticons could have been responsible for them. What is certain for now, however, is that the Decepticon are definitely active and posing a threat, and when Cab and Shuta wish that they had powers like the Autobots, Hawk grows silent, and after hearing the boys' determination, asks them to come to the Autobot base after school. In the afternoon, Shūta and Cab discover that Minerva has also been asked to go to the base, although when the trio arrive, Hawk is not sure she is up to the "work" he has planned. Minerva asserts that she has her parents' permission, and since being saved by the Autobots, wants to put her life to use saving others. Hawk accepts her decision, and hands to each of the three children a golden sphere. The puzzled kids are then directed to open them, and inside find a pair of shimmering silver bracelets imprinted with the Autobot insignia. Hawk explains that they are "Master-Braces", and once the kids don them, he direct them to cross their arms, touching the bracelets, and say "Masterforce!" After a moment of hesitation, the trio do as told, and their bodies explode with light and energy. When the blinding colours fade, the kids are suited from head to toe in robotic armor! Dubbed "Headmaster Juniors," they are now officially Autobot warriors!
The kids soon discover that their physical abilities have been massively enhanced by the power of the Masterforce, but when Cab and Shūta go a little nuts hacking up trees in the forest, Hawk threatens to take their powers away if they don't rein in their violent impulses. A communication from Lander brings the group back to base, where the kids are presented with three vehicles - Shūta receives a police car, Cab a fire truck, and Minerva an emergency rescue vehicle. They are amazed when the Autobots tell them that they are theirs - with the power of the Masterforce, they have no trouble driving the vehicles expertly. The overjoyed kids race around town all day until the sun hangs low in the sky, and Hawk summons them back to the base for one last surprise. Their vehicles are not simply ordinary Earth machines - they are, in fact, Transtectors that will allow the kids to transform into robots! However, Hawk makes it clear that he wants the trio to be a rescue squad for battlegrounds, not front-line fighters, and Shūta happily agrees.
Elsewhere, beneath the oceam in the Decepticon base, a similar scene is occurring. The Decepticons have recruited three human teenagers - surly punk Wilder, street thug Bullhorn and diminutive martial artist Cancer - and given them their own Master-Braces and Transtectors. The boys are growing restless when Blood and Gilmer arrive to inform them that it's time for a test of their abilities, and that they are to go to the surface and run wild. Crossing their Master-Braces, the boys summon their own suits of armor and climb inside the three monstrous mechs waiting for them.
Back in the Autobot base, Shūta is the first to put the true power of the Masterforce to the test. Climbing into the driver's seat, he gives the famous command - "Transform! Head On!" - and his police car Transtector transforms into a headless robotic body. Shūta himself is launched through the roof, and by the power of the Masterforce, his armored body changes into a head that connects to the Transtector. Much to both his own amazement and that of Cab and Minerva, Shūta is now a Transformer! Cab and Minerva eagerly follow his lead and assume their robot modes, after which Lander and Hawk give them a brief Transformers history lesson, explaining that the other Autobots and Decepticons are fighting a war out in space. In preparation for the possibility of the Decepticons' return, the Pretenders on Earth had contacted Chromedome of the Headmasters, in hopes of finding a way to allow humans to fight in the battle, should it ever come. The Master-Brace was the innovation that allowed this to come to pass, and Chromedome was the one who sent the Transtectors and bracelets to Earth. After viewing a recorded message from Chromedome, however, Hawk explains that the transport ship bringing the Transtectors to Earth was attacked, and three sets of bracelets and Transtectors were stolen. It was only a few months after this that the Decepticons' attacks began, and the connection is obvious to Shūta, but before any further discussion can be had, a report comes in from Phoenix that the Decepticons are attacking Tokyo Harbor!
At the harbor, a police riot squad is under attack by Lobclaw Seacons as Blood and the Decepticon Headmaster Juniors watch from a nearby rooftop. The order is given by Blood for the three boys to run wild, and they transform into their robot modes and begin causing chaos. The Autobot soon arrive and Shūta is all set to leap into combat, but Metalhawk bars his way, reminding him of his promise to work as a rescue operative. While the Pretenders deal with the Seacons and Blood, the Decepticon Headmaster Juniors are busy messing around with cars, kicking them like footballs and batting them around like baseballs. At the same time, Cab is putting out fires when a weeping woman pleads for Minerva to rescue her baby from a burning building. Shūta springs into action, but is confronted by the Decepticon Headmaster Juniors, and realises that they're using the stolen Transtectors. All the same, he has no time for them and tries to get back to the job of saving the baby, but Wilder won't let him, and Minerva won't let him break his promise to Hawk by fighting. As Shūta is shoved around like he's in a schoolyard and the Decepticons are the bullies, Metalhawk arrives and deals with the three tearaways, allowing Shūta to save the baby. Although the child has to be taken to hospital, everything turns out fine, and the mother thanks the Autobots, making Shūta realise the importance of saving lives over fighting.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
With this episode, Shūta, Cab and Minerva officially become members of the Autobot army, and are now listed in the Autobots section of the character table.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- When Shūta and Cab show their determination to Hawk, and react with surprise when he tells them he has something to show them, Cab is colored with a Caucasian skin-tone, as opposed to his normal dark shade.
- When the Autobots attack the Lobclaws, two policemen are heard shouting.
- The first one says "Oh, the Autobots!" Now, this is not strictly a continuity error compared to what we have already seen of the series, as the frequent activity of Transformers on Earth throughout the previous series should mean that they are well-known creatures. However, as the series progresses, it becomes readily apparent that next to no-one has any idea what Transformers are - when introduced, Ginrai is clueless and has to have it explained with old newspaper cuttings, and particularly, in "Expose the Decepticons' Dark Deception!," the existence of Transformers is regarded as a horrifying revelation by the population of Earth. Just how long is this series supposed to be set after The Headmasters - and why does that one fairly-young-looking policeman know about Autobots when no-one else seems to?
- The second policeman shouts "The Pretenders have come!" Well, that's much more cut and dried - how would a human know what a Pretender is?
- Among the mysteries and legends listed by Hawk are the Nazca Lines of Peru. These were the site of Dauros's prison, as seen in "Terror! The Decepticons' Manhunt."
This episode also contains a few callbacks to the previous series, The Headmasters.
- When the history of the Transformers' war is recounted, a clip from the opening sequence of The Headmasters is used to illustrate it, followed by the scene of Fortress Maximus destroying Scorponok from "The Final Showdown on Earth (Part 2)."
- The piece of animation used to begin Chromedome's message (which depicts him dodging laser fire in car mode then transforming) is taken from his eyecatch (commercial bumper) from The Headmasters.
- Transtectors were the robotic bodies of the Headmasters featured in the series, a product of the super-science of the planet Master. The invention of the Master-Braces now allows humans to operate them - a way to allow Earth's own inhabitants to defend the planet, given that the Autobots in space can not easily return to Earth in a hurry following the destruction of the space bridge in "Daniel Faces His Biggest Crisis Ever."
- In the previous two episodes, the Decepticons have been attempting to create 'human Decepticons' in the Destroids, first with corpses, then with live subjects. The goal of a Transformer-powered human becomes a reality in this episode with the successful deployment of the Headmaster Juniors, and the Destroid plan is never revisited.
- As the introduction of the Headmaster Juniors, this episode establishes the main concept of Super-God Masterforce - humans as Transformers. The concept, however, is often regarded as a major turn-off for traditional Transformers fans, given how strange and different it is from anything seen before or after it. That said, often the case is that fans have not seen anything from the show, and the descriptions they hear of it conjure up mental images of Shūta and co. sitting in cockpits, piloting their mecha Power Rangers-style. In truth, it is not a case of a human piloting a Transformer - the human is the Transformer. The process is exactly the same as with the Headmasters from the previous series, only the heads happen to be humans instead of little robots.
- In Japan, the traditional way to write one's name is family name first, given name second. Hence, "Shūta Gō" is written as "Gō Shūta." It is from this that Shūta's "Transformer" name is created - when bonded to his Transtector, he's known as "Goshooter." Of course, this is really just his "merchandising" name, used on his toy and the one-time on-screen caption that appears when he first transforms in this episode - otherwise, throughout the show, whatever mode he's in, everyone still just refers to him as "Shūta."