CM Corp Ginrai: Optimus goes for a new look and the ladies approve!
Well, okay… technically that isn’t Optimus Prime and yet, technically he is.
During the 90’s, the Japanese had this nifty series set after the main Transformers TV series called “Super God Masterforce” which introduced the Pretenders and their battle for Earth. The meat of the series was really all the humans who became Transformers themselves through a series a wild Power Ranger gestures to become transforming engine blocks or robot heads that would allow them to control larger robot bodies.
The guy above was called Ginrai (pronounced “Jin-Rai”), he was a trucker that found some fancy bracelets in his glove compartment and became Optimus Prime. Through urging by his fellow Godmasters, Ginrai eventually became leader of the Earth-bound Autobots, or Cybertrons per the Japanese allegiances.
Ginrai wasn’t alone. Aside from the Autobot Pretenders who had become so attached to their human forms that they had taken up jobs and purchased homes tied to their expertise, there were other Godmasters who were all adult males and then there were the Headmaster Juniors, kids that had been picked up along the way and given cars that became robots that the kids became heads for.
Nobody really remembers the other characters because there’s an unhealthy amount of focus of fan attention on Minerva, one of the few female Transformers characters and a member of the Autobot Headmaster Jr. team. She stands out because she was an asian exclusive toy (we got Nightbeat, a totally kickass Headmaster detective instead) and female toys were utterly unheard of in the Transformers toy line up until then.
Other than that, she’s been flogged with attention for years in the way that anime seems to always treat jailbait. CM Corp‘s debut transformers creation didn’t help that…
If you’re genuinely intrigued, you can get the entire series subtitled in English HERE. It’s an irreparably goofy series, but it has its charms. Masterforce appears to be making a slow comeback of sorts and if there’s anything the Transformers could use, it’s more bonkers stuff like this.