|Cartoon Network (Toonami)|
|Aug. 23, 2002|
Nov. 4, 2002 - Mar. 14, 2003
Sep. 1, 2003 - Jan. 2, 2004
|52 (List of Episodes)|
Transformers: Armada is a Transformers animated series, comic series, and toy line which ran from 2002–2003. It was originally scheduled for 2001, however, it was delayed until early-2002. As the first series co-produced between the American toy company, Hasbro, and their Japanese counterpart, Takara, Armada begins a new continuity/universe for Transformers, with no ties to any of the previous series, including the immediately prior Transformers: Robots in Disguise in 2001. It would go on to birth two sequels in the form of Transformers: Energon and Transformers: Cybertron.
Armada was the first Transformers series to be co-developed in the United States and Japan. The show was produced in Japan with animation by Actas Inc., but wound up airing first in the United States with a dub by ADR studio Voicebox, and was then broadcast in Japan six months after the American premiere. By contrast, the last story arc of the series debuted in the United Kingdom, followed soon after by Canada, and then the US; by the end, the Japanese airing had also overtaken America.
On the planet of Cybertron, war rages between the two factions known as the Autobots and the Decepticons over the race of smaller, power-enhancing Transformers called Mini-Cons. Seeking to flee the conflict that surrounds them, the Mini-Cons escape Cybertron with the aid of the Autobots, but an attack by the Decepticons cripples the ship as it flees through a spacebridge. The ship materializes in Earth's Solar System and impacts Earth's moon, breaking the ship in two. One portion of the ship stays embedded on the Moon, while the other plummets to the planet below. The Mini-Cons, all locked in pentagonal stasis panels, are scattered across Earth. The ship crashes to Earth and millions of years pass.
When Bradley "Rad" White and Carlos Lopez investigate the caves outside their city, they accidentally uncover the wreckage of the Mini-Con ship and activate it, causing it to send a signal that alerts both the Autobots and Decepticons to the Mini-Cons' presence on Earth. Megatron and Optimus Prime's forces teleport to Earth from Cybertron as a result. Rad, Carlos and their friend Alexis befriend the Autobots, along with the Mini-Cons High Wire, Grindor and Sureshock. The Transformers assume earthen alternate modes, and the hunt begins to locate the scattered Mini-Cons.
- Optimus Prime — Leader of the Autobots and protector of life throughout the universe. He is a gentle robot who is kind, brave and wise. Prime transforms into a semi-truck and is partnered with the Mini-Con, Sparkplug. Prime's trailer can transform into a battle station operable by Prime and several Mini-Cons. Prime can also combine with his base to form a "Super Mode". Additionally, Prime can combine with Jetfire and/or Overload for additional power, forming Jet Convoy. His Matrix can restore him even when his spark is vaporized.
- Hotshot — Hotshot transforms into a sports car, and is partnered with the Mini-Con, Jolt. This impetuous bot is the youngest member of the Autobots (until sideswipe's arrival), whose hot-headedness often gets him into situations he can't handle, but Optimus Prime sees potential in him and sculpts him to be a leader. Prime granted Hotshot the responsibility of wielding the "Star Saber", but he was deceived by Sideways and lost the weapon to the Decepticons. His head is styled as a racing helmet with goggles which can be lowered and some false seatbelts that stretch over his torso. Jolt's "gun" becomes a pistol for Hotshot to wield and can also become a false engine when he's in vehicle mode. Hotshot was among the Transformers powered up by the Mini-Cons (becoming Powerlinx Hotshot with Powerlinx Jolt)
- Red Alert — The Autobots' medical expert, who transforms into an ambulance and is partnered with the Mini-Con, Longarm. Red Alert enters combat less frequently than the other Autobots, usually staying to guard the base, but his talents are no less appreciated, particularly by individuals like Smokescreen, whose life he saved. Red Alert was among the Transformers powered up by the Mini-Cons (becoming Powerlinx Red Alert with Powerlinx Longarm).
- Jetfire — The second-in-command of the Autobots on Cybertron, Jetfire departed from Cybertron around the same time as the Decepticon, Thrust, and arrived on Earth in time to throw a monkey-wrench in the evil tactician's plan. In his subsequent battle, he was once again able to foil Thrust's machinations by using his special ability to combine (Power-link) with Optimus Prime (Jet Convoy form), which the Decepticons had failed to account for. Jetfire transforms into a space shuttle, and is partnered with the Mini-Con, Comettor. As a fighter, Jetfire is very powerful and capable. However, he is a very boastful individual, constantly reminding the other Autobots of his greatness and his rank. He has been shown to fear Optimus' wrath at one point or another, however. Later on in the series he gained three more Mini-Cons called Firebot, Makeshift and Prowl. These Mini-Cons were known as the Emergency Team.
- Smokescreen — Smokescreen is the joker of the team, but sometimes he takes things very seriously. Originally intended to be one of the team members who accompanied Optimus Prime to Earth first, the tough, reliable Smokescreen entered the spacebridge portal late, and the distortion caused him to materialize some time later, beneath the city, where he encountered the kids and other Transformers searching for the latest Mini-Con. After a brief case of mistaken identity which saw the kids flee from him, he joined up with the Autobots and became guardian of the "Skyboom Shield". He is partnered with the Mini-Con, Liftor. Later, while he was protecting the "Requiem Blaster" Mini-Cons, the Decepticons invaded the Autobots' base and claimed the weapon, using it to fatally wound Smokescreen, who attempted to fight back even as his body melted away. Red Alert was able to preserve his Spark, and build a new body for him, recreating him as Hoist. As Hoist, he is partnered with the Mini-con Refute. Smokescreen transforms into a crane, and as Hoist, becomes a steam shovel.
- Scavenger — Scavenger is an old war veteran who holds the distinction of being the Autobot who taught Optimus Prime the ways of battle. Arriving on Earth at Prime's request, Scavenger posed as a mercenary who join the Decepticons' side in order to learn information on their plans and put them on the trail of the "Skyboom Shield". His mission done, Scavenger then returned to the Autobot fold, taking Hot Shot under his wing and giving him his unique brand of training. Scavenger transforms into a bulldozer, and is teamed with the Mini-Con, Rollbar. As his names, color (Green and Purple), and vehicle mode imply, he is a homage to the Constructicons of Generation 1.
- Blurr — Cool and aloof, Blurr is one of the suave later additions to the Autobot team, partnered with the Mini-Con Incinerator, who can convert his sports car alternate mode into a flying form. He initially thought of the mini-cons as mere tools, a thought which Hotshot shot down, forcing him to realize the mini-cons were transformers as well. Blurr possesses immense speed, even when Incinerator is not connected to him. Blurr once saved Sideswipe from capture on Cybertron, a fact that he's trying to live down. As a result, Sideswipe sought him out on Earth and begged the Autobots to let him join the team, a decision in which Blurr immediately protested against. At first Hotshot and Blurr are not friends but eventually they become friends.
- Sideswipe — Optimus Prime appointed Hotshot Sideswipe's partner, charging him with keeping a watchful eye over the enthusiastic youngster. It didn't go so well, as Sideswipe was almost immediately captured by Hotshot's friend-turned-foe, Wheeljack, forcing Hotshot into a confrontation with his old ally to save Sideswipe's life. He succeeded, but it taught Sideswipe a harsh lesson about warfare, and he soon sobered up, proving himself a valuable member of the Autobot force during the Unicron Battle. Sideswipe transforms into a sports car, and is partnered with the Mini-Con, Nightbeat, who can convert his vehicle form into a high-speed pursuit mode by attaching to his hood and extending his front.
- Earth Children — Bradley "Rad" White and Carlos Lopez were the two who reactivated the Mini-Con ship while exploring the caves outside their city. Soon joined by their friend Alexis, they befriended the Street Action Team Mini-Cons as Megatron and Optimus Prime's forces arrived on Earth. This led to their alliance with Optimus and the Autobots, as they frequently helped them on missions, teaching them the ways of Earth. Unfortunately, they were unable to keep their friendship with the Autobots a secret from the local bullies, Billy and Fred, but the two boys quickly softened and became friends with the trio, as they too became Autobot allies. They also had cameos in a few episodes of the sequel series Transformers: Energon, and at the end of Transformers: Cybertron, the sequel to Energon, they were seen watching the Autobots leave to establish a new Space Bridge.
- Megatron — The powerful leader of the Decepticons, Megatron is a refined, focused general who treats his troops with little care, yet still infuses them with genuine respect for him. Although usually stern and unflappable on the outside, there are many conflicting emotions within Megatron - he has dedicated his life to war, to the extent that he knows nothing else, and the suggestion that his days of fighting could be over causes him much dismay. The death of Optimus Prime plunged Megatron into a deep depression, relieved only after Prime's resurrection. Subsequently, Megatron was among the Transformers who had their powers boosted by their Mini-Con, becoming Galvatron. Megatron/Galvatron transformed into a tank and was partnered with the Mini-Con, Leader-1.
- Starscream — In almost every Transformers universe, the character Starscream is usually full of treachery and a desire to rule the Decepticons, but the Starscream of this universe only loathed his commander, Megatron, simply because of the sheer mistreatment and contempt Megatron heaped upon him. Forcibly made the last of the Decepticons to gain his partner Mini-Con, Swindle, Starscream was then manipulated by Sideways into a duel with Megatron, which Starscream promptly lost. Starscream was among the Transformers powered up by their Mini-Cons, Starscream transformed into Thundercracker.
- Demolishor — He is extremely strong but his intelligence is sparse. He always acts in the strict conformity with the principle "big strength is much more better than big brains". He is very serious and rather morose bynature. He is wholly devoted to his leader, his comrades and his cause. Unquestionably following orders at every turn, Demolishor is partnered with the Mini-Con, Blackout. He was among the Transformers powered up by their Mini-Cons (becoming Powerlinx Demolishor with Powerlinx Blackout).
- Cyclonus — Cyclonus has a very "trigger happy" personality, cackling as he fires his weaponry. He is partnered with the Mini-Con, Crumplezone, who can also convert to a cockpit extension for his alternate helicopter mode that gives him extra firepower or activate guns that flip out of his knees. For most of the first half of the series he was partnered with a drill-tank Mini-con by the name of Drillbit, but later he had Crumplezone by his side.
- Thrust — Thrust is an Intelligent Tactician, Thrust is only loyal to the most deadly, that is why he allied himself with Megatron in the beginning. Stealthily stalking the skies in his jet mode, aided by his optical camouflage invisibility powers, Thrust personally selected the Mini-Con Inferno for his partner when he arrived on Earth from Cybertron. Heralded as a master tactician and general.
- Tidal Wave — The colossal, lumbering Tidal Wave is the largest of the Decepticons, arriving on Earth shortly after Thrust. Tidal Wave transforms into a huge warship, which can in turn separate into three smaller vehicles (Hovercraft, Submarine and Aircraft Carrier), collectively called the "Dark Fleet", which can combine with Megatron to endow him with flight capabilities and extra firepower. Tidal Wave has something of a reputation as being unintelligent, but this is not truly an accurate way of describing him, as it is simply that he is very childish. He is very much aware of what is going on around him and is capable enough to have led successful campaigns of several planets. However, he has a tendency to constantly repeat "Tidal Wave" while in battle.
- Wheeljack — Wheeljack was formerly an Autobot serving in the same company as Hotshot on Cybertron. When they were both caught in a conflagration on the battle field, and Wheeljack was pinned beneath debris, Hot Shot was forced to leave him to get help, but was prevented from returning to his friend's side by his commander. Wheeljack believed that Hotshot abandoned him, and when Megatron found and rescued him, he swore loyalty to the Decepticon commander. In the present day, Wheeljack arrived on Earth around the same time as the Autobot, Sideswipe, and baited Hotshot into battle, forcing them to relive the past and put their issues to rest so they could go on to battle as enemies. Wheeljack transforms into a sports car, and possesses the power of teleportation. Additionally, he can create illusionary duplicates of himself. What sets him apart from the other Decepticons is that he doesn't wear the Decepticon symbol. Instead, he sports his old Autobot symbol, damaged and scarred from the old Cybertron battle.
|Character||English Voice Actor||Japanese Voice Actor|
|Optimus Prime||Gary Chalk||Toru Okawa|
|Jetfire||Scott McNeil||Susumu Chiba|
|Hot Shot||Brent Miller||Kōsuke Okano|
|Red Alert||Brian Dobson||Ikuya Sawaki|
|Smokescreen||Dale Wilson||Katsuhisa Hōki|
|Scavenger||Ward Perry||Keiji Fujiwara|
|Blurr||Brian Drummond||Isshin Chiba|
|Sideswipe||Sam Vincent||Nobuyuki Kobushi|
|Megatron||David Kaye||Kiyoyuki Yanada|
|Galvatron||Dan Green||Kiyoyuki Yanada|
|Starscream||Michael Dobson||Jin Yamanoi|
|Demolishor||Alvin Sanders||Kōji Yusa|
|Cyclonus||Don Brown||Isshin Chiba|
|Thrust||Colin Murdock||Kōji Yusa|
|Tidal Wave||Doug Parker||Jin Yamanoi|
|Wheeljack||Michael Dangerfield||Susumu Chiba|
|Sideways||Paul Dobson||Takahiro Sakurai|
|Unicron||Mark Acheson||Katsumi Chō|
|Nemesis Prime||Paul Dobson||Toru Okawa|
|Bradley "Rad" White||Kirby Morrow||Masataka Nakai|
|Carlos||Matt Hill||Yukie Maeda|
|Alexis||Tabitha St. Germain||Akira Tomisaka|
|Billy||Andrew Francis||Tarusuke Shingaki|
|Fred||Tony Sampson||Nobuyuki Kobushi|
Transformers: Armada is a 52 episode American/Japanese animated series that ran from 2002–2003. Animation for the series was produced by Actas Inc. The series initiated a total continuity reboot, setting up a brand new Transformers universe separate from any previous storyline. Together with its two sequels, Transformers: Energon and Transformers: Cybertron), this continuity family is now known as the "Unicron Trilogy."
The first three episodes of the series premiered on Cartoon Network's Toonami block on August 23, 2002 as a movie special. The series then began airing on Cartoon Network, outside of the Toonami block, from September 20, 2002 to November 1, 2002. On November 4, 2002 the series returned to Toonami and ran until March 14, 2003. During this time, the series also began airing on the new Saturday Video Entertainment System from March 1, 2003 to May 10, 2003 and in the early mornings from March 17, 2003 to June 27, 2003. On September 1, 2003 the series returned to Toonami airing exclusively on Fridays until September 29, 2003 when it returned to the weekday lineup. It then stayed in the lineup until January 2, 2004. The series then returned to an early morning time slot. The series also appeared on Toonami Super Saturday from August 2002 to March 2003.
Rhino released a few DVD collections in the United States, before releasing the entire series in two box sets in 2004 and 2006 respectively. These releases have since gone out of print. Shout Factory rereleased the entire series on DVD on March 11, 2014.
- ↑ "New G-Gundam Date ". animenewsnetwork.com. June 26, 2002. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2002-06-26/new-g-gundam-date. Retrieved on July 1, 2015.
- ↑ "Transformers Armada Schedule ". cartoonnetwork.com. http://web.archive.org/web/20021015003741/http://schedule.cartoonnetwork.com/servlet/ScheduleServlet?action=viewAll&showID=323670&show=Transformers+Armada&filter=tm. Retrieved on July 1, 2015.
- ↑ "Toonami Episode Guide for the Week of March 10th ". toonamiinfolink.com. March 9, 2003. http://web.archive.org/web/20030410204630/http://www.toonamiinfolink.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=202. Retrieved on July 1, 2015.
- ↑ "Cartoon Network Pushes New Programming Block ". animenewsnetwork.com. February 17, 2003. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2003-02-17/cartoon-network-pushes-new-programming-block. Retrieved on July 1, 2015.
- ↑ "Toonami Schedule Change ". toonamiinfolink.com. September 28, 2003. http://web.archive.org/web/20031012034940/http://www.toonamiinfolink.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=559. Retrieved on July 1, 2015.
- ↑ "New Schedule Hatches on Toonami Today ". toonamiinfolink.com. January 5, 2004. http://web.archive.org/web/20040214144407/http://www.toonamiinfolink.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=649. Retrieved on July 1, 2015.